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2 mics for 3 flutes -- best positioning/selection? Condenser Microphones
Old 11th October 2018
  #1
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nightchef's Avatar
 

2 mics for 3 flutes -- best positioning/selection?

I'm mixing a live show next week where one of the numbers will be a light rock piece (the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations", to be exact) where we'll be featuring a 3-piece flute section (including one piccolo). We'll be recording the concert.

The stage will be crowded with singers and players, so I'm going to ask the flute players to sit in a tight huddle toward one side of the stage. I was planning to use a stereo pair of mics on the three players, start with something like XY with the mics placed a bit above the players and equidistant from the three players.

Does this sound workable, both in terms of getting usable live sound (won't need a lot of level, just a little presence -- it's a small room) and recording? One other possibility would be to put the two flutes on one mic and the piccolo on a mic of its own, which would allow a little more control over the relative balance of the piccolo in the mix.

Also, the microphones I would probably be using here would be either AT4040s or EV ND468s -- neither of them ideal, I realize, but I don't have a lot of stereo pairs available. Of those two, which would you recommend for this?

Thanks!
Old 16th October 2018
  #2
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A couple of thoughts. If any of the players are duplicating parts, just mic the best two players directly. Gives a bunch of control.

Assuming that they all have different parts to play, of the two mics you listed - I'd go with the 4040s. I'm not sure I'd go with XY unless you can somehow manage the massively wide pickup of cards in XY to not pick up a bunch of other instruments on stage. You're probably better off doing an AB pair and situating the players/mics so that the each mic is in btw 2 players and that the backs of the mic face everything else. Use the mics pattern to avoid picking up more than you need.

I've not used the ND468, but it's a supercard dynamic. I'm not sure how well a dynamic would work on flute unless it was jammed in close (and even then I wonder how well it would work). And if you need 2 mics to cover 3 people, this might be a problem.

I've periodically recorded jazz big bands with a 3 person flute section. I've used small pencil cardiod (and occasionally subcard) condenser mics to pick them up and block the what's behind the mics. Flutes were positions on the side of the ensemble in order to do this. I used Schoeps MK5 and MK21s with success. The trick is in positioning so you're not picking up a bunch of other stuff.

-Tom
Old 16th October 2018
  #3
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightchef View Post
One other possibility would be to put the two flutes on one mic and the piccolo on a mic of its own...
I'd do that, and point the flute(s) mic away from the piccolo if possible. Sometimes a little piccolo goes a long way.
Old 16th October 2018
  #4
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nightchef's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I'd do that, and point the flute(s) mic away from the piccolo if possible. Sometimes a little piccolo goes a long way.
Thanks, this seems intuitively like a smart approach. I have a feeling the piccolo will need very little help from the PA in that room, while the flutes might need a bit more.
Old 16th October 2018
  #5
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightchef View Post
Thanks, this seems intuitively like a smart approach. I have a feeling the piccolo will need very little help from the PA in that room, while the flutes might need a bit more.
Piccolos are one of those things where you may wish you had an "anti-mic" to turn it down.
Old 16th October 2018
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Piccolos are one of those things where you may wish you had an "anti-mic" to turn it down.
add bagpipes...
Old 16th October 2018
  #7
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Piccolos are one of those things where you may wish you had an "anti-mic" to turn it down.
Anti-mic...like anti-matter. That's great; I'm going to remember that for future use!
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