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Suggestions for tracking violins Condenser Microphones
Old 8th September 2007
  #1
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espen askelad's Avatar
Talking Suggestions for tracking violins

So I'm going to be tracking violins for the first time pretty soon. Two songs on the record I'm working on now will have them - one track, the (two) violins will be essentially over a break section with just some background rhythm base/samples underneath. The other, they'll be accenting some harmony lines amidst a fairly populated track - main vocal, two backing vox, piano, elec guitar, bass, drums, synth, percussion...

What I've got available - mics, I've got a bunch on hand... Royer 121, Crowley&Tripp nakedeye, Pearlman TM2, 4047s, ksm141s, 451, etc etc.

To be honest, I can't remember the last time I was in the presence of a live violin. When tracking them, assuming the performer is competent, is it a peaky instrument where certain frequencies can be expected to leap out? I'm thinking probably the ribbons will get the part. For the solo section, maybe the 4047 on one if I need i darker, to sit underneath... and perhaps the TM2 in the room in omni to sneak up the center channel for some ambiance... I dunno. Suggestions from those who've done violins would be appreciated. This is for a sorta spacey rock band - Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Pink Floyd kinda thing.
Old 8th September 2007
  #2
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themaidsroom's Avatar
 

coles 4038
Old 8th September 2007
  #3
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espen askelad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by themaidsroom View Post
coles 4038
yes, i'm sure, but I don't have one of those.
Old 8th September 2007
  #4
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the royer 121 will be great.
i would try that first.




be well


- jack
Old 8th September 2007
  #5
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espen askelad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by themaidsroom View Post
the royer 121 will be great.
i would try that first.

be well

- jack

thanks, I figure the ribbons should help smooth out any harsh stuff. The violinists aren't part of the band and are coming in as a favor so I don't want to waste their time going through many combinations of mics, seeing if we need any compression on the way in, etc... thanks again.
Old 8th September 2007
  #6
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Try M/S with your ribbons. Violinists move, but they sound best miced from a distance (if your room is aight), so M/S is nice to get a subtle dancing movement without being distracting (plus, you can dial in how much space you want later)

I've gotten my best sound in a largish room about 3 feet above the bridge in front of the player pointing down about 45 degrees. I was using a Soundelux E47 mid with a Royer 122 as the side mic.
Old 8th September 2007
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by espen askelad View Post
thanks, I figure the ribbons should help smooth out any harsh stuff. The violinists aren't part of the band and are coming in as a favor so I don't want to waste their time going through many combinations of mics, seeing if we need any compression on the way in, etc... thanks again.
i would say use the mic alone first - the 121's take a fair amount of gain, but
the ribbon will act as a compressor - it should smooth the harsh high frequencies
and you should be able to get good level with mic placement - i, myself would
not use any compression - recording strings is one of my favorite things


be well


- jack
Old 8th September 2007
  #8
I think R-121 is great on violin (in small numbers, at least, because I only have one). I'd use LDCs for a large section (because I have several). Maybe 2-3' above and slightly in front of the players, depending on the room, and the sound you're after. Pull back for a smoother sound.

Last edited by rwhitney; 8th September 2007 at 09:55 AM.. Reason: Realized why I did it that way
Old 8th September 2007
  #9


I tracked a fiddle last week.

An SDC about 18 inches above the bridge did the trick.

"Violins" are different - you need more distance and a decent room.





-tINY

Old 8th September 2007
  #10
My favorite way is two LDCs (U-87s work well) in omni about 18" apart, angled slightly toward the source, 3' to 6' in front, and about 2' above. I suppose that requires a good room or hall, though.
Old 8th September 2007
  #11
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Wilburguy's Avatar
Hi,

I do tons of violins. Of the mics that you have listed, I think the Royer is most likely to get you the best sound. For violin in a modern pop mix like the ones you listed, you might want to stay 1-2 ft from the instrument rather than a more classical approach of micing at a distance. You want control and definition to compete with electric guitars, etc.

Don't forget that you can dramatically alter the sound of the violin by making small changes in the mic position. Right over the bridge may or may not give you a good sound so definitely play with your positioning options, as well as the room you track in.
Old 8th September 2007
  #12
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I would suggest that you find the biggest best sounding room that you can possibly use. A live room is better than a dead room. This factor for the violin, more than many other instruments, will be a make or break point.

I would also take the most mellow mic that you have. I bet the 121 would be great (i've had good experiences with a single 87). I wouldn't place it any closer than 3 feet (the farther you can get without getting too much room sound the better). Also I would shy away from placing the mic directly in line with the bridge. All you'll hear will be bow scratch.

I practically grew up in a string orchestra and knew/know many violinists and the last factor is the player quality. A crap player for this instrument especially will make the recording very difficult.

When it comes time to mix I've found that using a gentle lo-pass to smooth out any brittleness that you end up capturing helps a lot to give the instrument some warmth.
Old 8th September 2007
  #13
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Firefox's Avatar
 

if u dont like how it sounds when recording move the mic
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