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Old 21st February 2007
engineer / producer / mixer
Kevin Killen's Avatar

Originally Posted by ortrejos View Post
Hi Kevin!

Just wondering what was your approach to recording the different kinds of bagpipes (Scottish, Irish different kinds of loudness/sound) and accordions... Difficult, delicate-to-capture instruments.
Sorry I answered this one on Sunday but apparently the web gods got ticked off, so please excuse this tardy response.

In general I will rely heavily on the musicians experience first, particularly if its an instrument that I have no history with. Then I will spend a few minutes discussing the perculiarities and listening to the instrument in the room.

With Irish pipes I tend to gravitate to the larger diaphram mics (47.87, 67 M49, sometimes Ribbon mics) With uillean pipes you have to mic the drone and the chanter separately. It can be a very dynamic instrument so some light compression can be useful. I will get the sound that best reflects what I heard in the room and quickly record a minute of it. I will then have the musician come in and verify if I am "getting it" before expending energy on a take.

I find having the drone mic on hyper cardiod helps focus that sound while leaving the chanter in cardoid helps soften its sharp tone. A room mic in omni can also be useful.