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Thread: Recording violin?

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    Recording violin?

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    Curious what mics you guys recommend for violin/fiddle. I currently have a 57 and 58. Wife purchased an AT4040 as a Christmas gift to upgrade cheap Stagg condenser I have. I'll soon have that in my arsenal. With the 50 dollars off of a $299 puchase through MF the mic ended up being $249, which I thought was a good deal for that mic. I'm anxious to see how that one sounds on fiddle. I know it's supposed to be good mic for a variety of things. A bandmate friend of mine, who I've done a lot of recording with, recommended 40 series AT's as a good choice for getting started. I've been recorded with small condensers in the past, but I never really took note as to what they were. They sounded much better than the 57 I've been using, that's for sure. What I want to know is, what have you folks used for violin that sounded the best...with the budget minded caveat, of course!

    I have seen some pretty good reviews of the AT Pro 37 for acoustic instruments...violin and mando specifically. Any thoughts on the Pro37? Any other small condensers anyone can think of that would be good, or should the 4040 be all I need?

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    I prefer a decent ribbon mic (Golden Age) and place it about 12" above the fiddle however I've also had excellent results with the Blue Bluebird and even a tube mic.
    It really depends on what you are trying to get out of the instrument.
    Some will recommend using two mics just as you would with a guitar.
    For a flat response with a natural sound however, I still prefer one ribbon.
    Cheers ♫
    Jim

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    Because a violin can be a rather bright sound source (downright harsh sounding in the wrong hands), the warmer the mic the better. I have had good results with a ribbon mic and a tube mic - and I also had decent results with a basic condensor mic (such as your AT4040) - but I used a "warmer" sounding mic pre. I would not recommend using the 57 or 58 - but we home recording geeks have to use what we have.

    The key to a good recorded violin sound (beyond a good player) is a decent room sound. Like any acoustic instrument the sound needs to develop and move some air - and I would suggest a violin needs more room than many acoustic instruments (close micing will pick up too much of the bow sound, etc.) Accordingly, if you don't have a decent sounding room (or at least a room with relatively effective treatment to control excess reflections )- trying to get a good violin sound can be a challenge.

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    So, basically, the warmer the mic, the better? Is the MXL R40 worth a shot @ $69....or the MXL 990 ribbon? There doesn't look to be huge market for ribbon mics. Any others I should look at?

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    So, basically, the warmer the mic, the better?
    Only if you agree that most violins
    can be a rather bright sound source (downright harsh sounding in the wrong hands),
    .
    That's not always the case though.
    Some are downright harsh but others are absolutely sweet.
    You really have to listen to that particular instrument and know what you want from it.
    What Xdrummer says about room sound and giving the fiddle some air is exactly right in my opinion also.
    That's why I've enjoyed using a ribbon mic at 12" - 18".
    The distance from the instrument plus the extra room sound from a figure 8 pattern can result in a perfect blend.
    Cheers ♫
    Jim

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