The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Recording Flute tomorrow, SM7B? Condenser Microphones
Old 27th September 2008
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Recording Flute tomorrow, SM7B?

I going to try the SM7b on the flute....
Thinking of putting the windscreen on ...
also setting up something like a K2 a few feet
away...maybe an x-y sm81
I don't own a ribbon mic (yet).

Anyone had sucess with the sm7b for flute?
Or am I wasting session time trying it?
Old 27th September 2008
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I have recorded solo flute for many years with a 414 about two feet ABOVE the center of the instrument.
It works wonderfully if you want only the pure sound of the instrument.

Like so many woodwind instruments, the sound does not just emanate from the mouthpiece area.
The sound we think of as the classic flute (or woodwind) sound comes from all of the "holes."
You need to get back a ways to get everything in balance.

On the other hand, if you wanted the Ian Anderson thing with lot's of the player's mouth noises or embellishments you would have the player play into a LDC (or maybe an SM7) like a vocal take.
Watch out for the breath wind!
Old 27th September 2008
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
I have recorded solo flute for many years with a 414 about two feet ABOVE the center of the instrument.
It works wonderfully if you want only the pure sound of the instrument.

Like so many woodwind instruments, the sound does not just emanate from the mouthpiece area.
The sound we think of as the classic flute (or woodwind) sound comes from all of the "holes."
You need to get back a ways to get everything in balance.

On the other hand, if you wanted the Ian Anderson thing with lot's of the player's mouth noises or embellishments you would have the player play into a LDC (or maybe an SM7) like a vocal take.
Watch out for the breath wind!
Thanks for the advice Danny!
This band is kinda Santana ish ...conga drums, acoustic guitar...so yes, pure sound is the goal.
One follow-up question if I may;
I don't have a 414, so substitute LDC options would be a K2 or Cx 101...
Are you using a little stereo reverb to widen the mono flute?
This flute will be overdubbed as a solo when the vocals drop out.

Thanks again!
Old 27th September 2008
  #4
Lives for gear
 
taturana's Avatar
I recently got some great results with a neumann KM145 sd condenser aimed at the mouthpiece with a pop filter and a oktava mkl-2500 about 40cm behind for body...
Old 27th September 2008
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by taturana View Post
I recently got some great results with a neumann KM145 sd condenser aimed at the mouthpiece with a pop filter and a oktava mkl-2500 about 40cm behind for body...
I know this may seem odd, but I wonder if usng the sm7b along with other mics could do 3 things for me.

1) the SM7bi may sound good to blend in with the other mics, of course.
2) it may act as a pop filter if i don't use it at all
3) the flute player is used to getting right up on a 58 for live performance, so even if the sm7b was a dummy mic, he my feel more comforatable in the performance
Old 27th September 2008
  #6
Lives for gear
 

The dummy mic might be a good idea for that guy.

Flute is tricky.

In my applications the flute was part of purely instrumental music.
It could be part of an ensemble, a simulated orchestra or solo.
I needed pure flute and I never had to blend it with vocal stuff.
It did have to blend with other instruments and a flute can jump out at you on certain notes.
Close mic'ing (even at 2 ft.) puts the instrument un-naturally up front when building an orchestral "vibe" or feel.

I am a purist and rarely use multiple mics on single source things like a solo instrument.
I just don't want to deal with phase issues.
I also like to get on with the music and a single mic when well positioned can yield a workable result quickly.

I also would not hesitate using a mic like a Nuemann KM84, but I would put that mic a bit higher.
Km84s have a lot of "reach" and are very sensitive, so they can be back further.
Of course the room comes more into play as the mic is moved away.
I was always lucky to be in a great room.

I also found that I needed to compress a solo flute because even at 2 ft. there were hot notes.
I wouldn't compress the entire range, but I would let an 1176 grab the "hot" notes to keep them in check.
Old 27th September 2008
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
The dummy mic might be a good idea for that guy.

Flute is tricky.

In my applications the flute was part of purely instrumental music.
It could be part of an ensemble, a simulated orchestra or solo.
I needed pure flute and I never had to blend it with vocal stuff.
It did have to blend with other instruments and a flute can jump out at you on certain notes.
Close mic'ing (even at 2 ft.) puts the instrument un-naturally up front when building an orchestral "vibe" or feel.

I am a purist and rarely use multiple mics on single source things like a solo instrument.
I just don't want to deal with phase issues.
I also like to get on with the music and a single mic when well positioned can yield a workable result quickly.

I also would not hesitate using a mic like a Nuemann KM84, but I would put that mic a bit higher.
Km84s have a lot of "reach" and are very sensitive, so they can be back further.
Of course the room comes more into play as the mic is moved away.
I was always lucky to be in a great room.

I also found that I needed to compress a solo flute because even at 2 ft. there were hot notes.
I wouldn't compress the entire range, but I would let an 1176 grab the "hot" notes to keep them in check.
I will consider all these things as I try to work quickly enough to keep the energy level of the perfomer high...too much trial and error is a dream for Gearslutz, but bad for most performing musicians ...thanks again Danny!
Old 27th September 2008
  #8
Lives for gear
 
dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 

i tracked flute and alto sax a few weeks ago with the sm7>1073. i had to do some HEAVY eqing once it got in the mix and ended up retracking all of the parts with a u87.
Old 27th September 2008
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Most close mic'd woodwinds you have heard over the years are with a LDC like a U87 or say a 414.

If you want to just "get it on" and record music they work.
Old 27th September 2008
  #10
Lives for gear
 
jchas's Avatar
 

I just did a remake of Sing Child by Heart for a just-for-fun project i'm working on. There is a little bit of flute mixed in during a chorus, and then a flute solo bridge. I used a R121 a couple feet over the flute to the right of the flautist, and a 414 towards the mouthpiece. At playback I enveloped out the 414 during the chorus which kept the flute 'in the mix' but brought up the 414 during the solo to bring it to the front. It also ended up having a neat stereo effect by panning the mics L/R. As the player would move her body to accentuate parts the flute would flow back and forth in the stereo field.
Old 27th September 2008
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhiltonlittle View Post
i tracked flute and alto sax a few weeks ago with the sm7>1073. i had to do some HEAVY eqing once it got in the mix and ended up retracking all of the parts with a u87.
Really...thanks for the advice Brotha.
Old 27th September 2008
  #12
My wife is a great jazz sax and flute player, normally I use a U87 with her,the chain was a API pre into a Manley Elop, a few months back I recorded Dave Valentin, and I used a Peluso 2247 into an ADL 600 into a Cl1b we were happy. I've recorded quite a few flute players including Lew Tabackin on alto flute and I've never put more than one mic up, but I would be interesting to try and mic the rest of the flute, you just have to get the phase right. In general I find woodwind players and horn players usually aren't too happy if they see a dynamic mic up.
Old 27th September 2008
  #13
Gear nut
 

I have to say i have never heard a better flute sound then using a coles 4038 ! just my humble opinion .have fun
Old 27th September 2008
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
My wife is a great jazz sax and flute player, normally I use a U87 with her,the chain was a API pre into a Manley Elop, a few months back I recorded Dave Valentin, and I used a Peluso 2247 into an ADL 600 into a Cl1b we were happy. I've recorded quite a few flute players including Lew Tabackin on alto flute and I've never put more than one mic up, but I would be interesting to try and mic the rest of the flute, you just have to get the phase right. In general I find woodwind players and horn players usually aren't too happy if they see a dynamic mic up.
Tomorrows session will be the first time I work with this band...they only want to do 1 song, they come as a referal from a solo acoustic artist I recorders about a year ago which is a good thing of course
I am sure they are feeling it out to see if they want to do more work me, so I don't want spend too much time experimenting, but I want to get great sounds as quickly as possible.
They sent me a utube video of them playing this song in rehersal...seems good.
From the video, the flute player actually had a pretty good sound just going up on a 58, that is what got me thinking about trying the SM7b.
Anyway thanks for advice!

After taking in the thread advice, and considering I want to work fairly quickly, I think I will begin trying by setting up a K2 and popfilter a few feet in front and above the flute.
The Pacifica is main money pre, and I will probably chain to a Drawmer 1960 for a touch of pre compression going in.
If that doesn't sound good, I will scramble to find a better combination of something.
Old 27th September 2008
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Sigma's Avatar
i like a u87 about 2 feet up and in front.. angled down
Old 27th September 2008
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Corran's Avatar
 

As a flute player, let me chime in...

I have still not gotten the "perfect" flute recording, and I've tried a lot! Something about the harmonics and breath noise is just not conducive to recording.

My most favorable results were with an Earthworks QTC-1 omni about 40cm away, at the center of the instrument and a little high. I've also gotten decent results with a ribbon or two in closer proximity.

I also think that flute will not work on ANY cheap condenser. The unpleasant characteristics of cheap condensers are highlighted really easily by the flute tone due to the the brittle top end of these mics.
Old 28th September 2008
  #17
Lives for gear
 
strewnshank's Avatar
 

Tracked a flute with an R121 last night, used the SM7b on Sax. But I've used an SM7b on flute before, and I thought it sounded good, just not too close to the player's mouth. Mic'd from above as well, not in front.
Old 28th September 2008
  #18
Gear Head
 

I had really good luck w/an Irish wooden flute using an Oktava MK-012, about 18" above the mouthpiece.

MG
Old 28th September 2008
  #19
Gear maniac
 

The SM7 doesn't really come to mind for me as something I'd try on a mellow instrument like flute. Mellow mic + mellow source = way too mellow results. I'd try your SM81 first.
Old 28th September 2008
  #20
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

The flute radiates differently at different frequencies - at low frequencies it is at right-angles and at the highest frequencies it beams out the end - so you need to be very careful with mic. placement.
Old 28th September 2008
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midiguy View Post
The SM7 doesn't really come to mind for me as something I'd try on a mellow instrument like flute. Mellow mic + mellow source = way too mellow results. I'd try your SM81 first.
The SM7 has been one of those odd mics for me, where the things I think it would sound greaT like vocals and kick havn't worked as well as other options.....but suprisingly I have gotton grat results with it on acoustic things like mandolin, dobro....
I think I may quickly throw up an sm7b, an sm81, and the K2 all about 2 feet back and in front and see what's working, and what's not.
I have a few different pre options...
I plan on posting results...hopefully great results.
Thanks for the advice!
Old 29th September 2008
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Just finished the session...It went VERY well...
Everyone happy, dancing in the control room to the playback....YES!
I will post samples later.
All musicians were in their 50's ...seasoned pro's and old school enough to not ask "Do you have protools" They were all very complimentry, and talk of refering others to me, and doing future projects...f@ck yeah!

I used a K2 about 2 feet back and as high as my 7' basement cieling allows.
Went through the Pacifica, daisy chained to a drawmer 1960 compressor.
Some of the loud notes really do jump out as was said, so the compressor dove pretty deep at times, especially since this player moved his body quite a bit while playing.
I came out great, because he is a great flute player....but the tips you guys gave really helped me get a great sound quickly.

Thanks Brothas!!!!
Old 29th September 2008
  #23
Gear addict
 

I tracked flue a few weeks ago with a U87, luckily I was able to record it in a multi-million dollar studio with GREAT acoustics, that made all the difference.
Old 29th September 2008
  #24
Lives for gear
 

I've used QTC1 on a couple of flutes and got a very natural sound.


/Peter
Old 29th September 2008
  #25
Gear addict
 
Thebassist's Avatar
 

Ribbon or dynamic. Or... neutral LDC like Shure ksm32. Recently did a shoot out with 30 mics on flute. These were the standouts- even a 57/58 does better than alot of LDC's.

SM7 was designed for vox. That's where it shines.... plus under a snare.thumbsup
NOT on flute. If you gotta rent a ribbon, it'll save you time and money.


VERY IMPORTANT- as mentioned earlier, mic from above, but make sure your mic isn't at 50% of the room's height. Bad phasing problems. High ceiling+good!
Old 29th September 2008
  #26
Lives for gear
 
David R.'s Avatar
 

Sorry, I was late to the party on this one, but my recommendation would have been a quality (sorry Nady) ribbon mic. Of course I would say a RCA77dx, but that is because that is what I have in my locker.

Glad your session went well.
Old 29th September 2008
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Sample MP3

Alright,
Here is an MP3 sample of one of the flute solo passes...Still in the context of working on the mix
K2> Pacifica> Drawmer 1960> HD24XR. No eq on the flute....but a little PCM60 reverb
Attached Files

01 Track 01 1.mp3 (1.51 MB, 356 views)

Old 29th September 2008
  #28
Lives for gear
 
john caldwell's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yetti View Post
Alright,
Here is an MP3 sample of one of the flute solo passes...Still in the context of working on the mix
K2> Pacifica> Drawmer 1960> HD24XR. No eq on the flute....but a little PCM60 reverb
Sounds good here. My limited experience with flute called for the AEA R84, which gave very nice results. I'm not that surprised your SM7 worked here though, and part of that is your not applying a bunch of sheen through EQ. Very nice.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
mahler007 / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
7
seedee701 / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
5
BigJunk / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
3
wbajzek / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
14
DirkB / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
7

Forum Jump
Forum Jump