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Mics for accordion
Old 31st May 2011
Mics for accordion

Hi guys

I need your advice for accordion mics. He's a friend of mine and his mic got broken. As I don't have any clue with this instrument, I hope you may help me.

After a search, I've read that some people use 2 mics for recording. But my friend needs it for the stage and he doesn't have the possibility for 2 mics.

He hasn't yet defined the budget is. But I'd say, it shouldn't go over 1000$. The cheaper the better

Thanks a lot in advance
Old 31st May 2011
Gear Head

Your friend has to use two mics, I'm afraid. One for the right side, and one for the left side (bass and chords).
What works best is (based upon what I could try):
- a sennheiser e604 for the left hand. Just dig a hole in the belt, and screw the mic holder in it, just in front of the small holes where the sound is coming from. Cut around 400Hz and 2.5Khz and you'll get very big basses!
- an audio-technica atm35 for the right hand, much better than a SM98, cause less prone to larsens and to key noises.

That is what my accordionist uses and believe me he has a huge sound on stage. He uses wireless transmitters too, placed on his back. It's not that heavy compared to the weight of the instrument itself!
Old 31st May 2011
Lives for gear
ScumBum's Avatar

I'm gotten great results with two 57's , one on the left side one on the right .
Old 31st May 2011
Aha... didn't know that. Thanks for your hints.

Other experiences / mics?
Old 31st May 2011
Lives for gear

I love a Coles on Accordion, or some kind of nice ribbon. How about a fathead?
Old 31st May 2011
Gear Head

a lot of stuff can work, but I understood you needed it for live shows, too. So the e604 and the atm35 are both clip-on microphones, very handy if the accordionist is moving while playing.
And even in studio I like using the e604 for the left side, because it allows me to keep a constant distance between the mic and the source. But there I often put a U87 for the right side. Any mic can work IMHO, depending of what kind of sound you're looking for.
Old 31st May 2011
Gear Head
imusic's Avatar
mic on accordion

it is a fairly easy instrument to mic, ...

"mid class" condenser will work

I record accordions with b&k and Brauner/Neuman (if stereo), ...

best, imusic
Old 31st May 2011
Gear Maniac
valthesoundman's Avatar

Look no further:
C 516 ML

I've been using these for a long time now. Unbeaten for sound and practicality.

And you're looking at a lot less than $500

2 x 516 and a B29 pack.
Old 1st June 2011
my accordion and studio friend says if he could afford anything, he'd get a pair of lawsons. That said, most of the folks he knows who play accordion (and he knows a lot of them, does a polka radio show, travels across the U.S. performing polka, ....) use whatever---from a pair of SM57 s of stands, to a pair of little AKG condensers on goosenecks attached to the accordion.

He says it will depend upon what sort of sound you are trying to get out of the instrument. If you are doing Cajun, you might want mics or internal pickups that roll off some of the low freqs. If you are doing full range polkas, you probably want a pair of mics that will reproduce a realistic sound of the instrument.

I do not know if that is helpful to you or not, but that is coming from a serious accordion player. You do not need to spend $1000. If you can use mic stands, I would get a pair of dynamic mics and call it a day. Audix i5 comes to mind.
Old 1st June 2011
Lives for gear

There's a huge difference between live and studio... Based on lots of experience playing with an accordion player in an indie rock band and recording both that and more trad players, I recommend a single CAD Equitek e100 for live. You can make a simple velcro harness, so the mic lays flat, with a touch of cushioning, against the grill on the keyboard side. It WILL pick up the button chord stuff.

In the studio, a single nice old 87, a royer 121 and a 414, and lots of other possibilities work well depending on the instrument, player, and material...

Another live idea is two Audio Technica lapel mics on little goosenecks attached to the instrument...
Old 1st June 2011
Thanks a lot. Your help is really appreciated. I'll pack all your hints and suggestions in a nice summary for my friend, so he can choose the right one for him.
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