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Hello,

 

Started playing with a group on stage,,last night as a matter of fact and my question is,,what is the best way to mike a concertina? I had one mike but because the sound comes out both sides (imagine that) it didn't pick up well.

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The two things I know about this are:

 

1. That there's a section in the FAQ dedicated to this question

2. That the Button Box carries the microvox system mentioned in p.1

 

Thanks!

 

However Im not drilling holes in my box. Anyone had success with two stage mikes on a stand at concertina height?

 

Goodness, I should hope not! (The drilling, I mean). Seems like I've seen dual-mic-stand arrangements on YouTube, but can't be bothered to dig for any right now (and have never miked myself-- sorry!)

 

You know what would be interesting to see, is a tiny microphone like those, but with a squishy little foam "post" that could be gently and snugly inserted into the fretwork, and would pop back out when you're done without leaving a trace.

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The microvox mikes attach using velcro strips, not using hammer drills, screws or lag bolts, Bob.:lol:

The multi-mike setup could work.

Here's one thread discussing the challenge of microphone placement.

 

I was a bit reluctant to stick velcro onto my concertina, spent a lot of money to get myself set up with the two mics on one stand option, tried it for a few gigs ... and then went and bought the Microvox mics and wish I'd done that in the first place.

 

As has been discussed in other threads the sound quality of the Microvox is a bit compromised compared to top quality recording or stage mics, but if you're playing in a hi-fi arena you'll probably have sufficient control over the whole environment to get proper seperation etc. The Microvox solution is brilliant for ceilidhs, club gigs and the like.

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I had a Microvox fiddle mike...... The sound quality was fine but it was desperately feedback prone. It would even feed back outdoors with a 6w battery amp. A friend uses the two Microvoxes on velcro on her English. Definitely needs good EQ to try to reduce key clatter, it's still pretty susceptible to feedback, and the microphone rig had to be replaced once loose connections started generating dreadful pops and crackles.....

 

Anyone used other "swan neck" mikes on concertinas? An Audio Technica ATM350 gives very nice results as my fiddle mike but a pair would get a bit pricy and they do need phantom power. I had a DPA4099 for review, the sound was a definite step up from the ATM350, but so was the price. A pair would be getting serious in cost!

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Choice 1) DPA 4062 with accessory goosenecks ( My new dream mics) The sound man with this combo must set two levels.

Choice 2) AKG C516ml pair plus an AKG B29l. These can attach to strap buttons. ( I use the older version C416ml) You control the two levels via the B29.

Choice 3) AT 350s, but you need either blue tack or velcro to attach the pair to the concertina.( sound man two levels)

Choice 4) AKG C1000s pair, on a pair of K & M 259 low profile boom stands. ( I use these when not the small AKG) sound man two levels.

 

I travel with number 2 to most festival and pub gigs. When a truely great sound person and equipt is involved I prefer choice 4,or other high end mic systems. These all reqi=uire phantom power and are electret designs, not piezo.

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Playing with a ceilidh band in small local venues we often find ourselves on small stages with little room for mic stands. For that reason, plus I like the freedom of movement, I prefer to use on-board mics.

 

I tried Microvox on the anglo concertina, but found them too prone to feedback in our situation. I now use a pair of AKG C416Ls as suggested by Lawrence (choice 2). I've tried various ways of attaching these without sticking velcro or AKG's putty on my instruments - for a while I used short velcro luggage straps wrapped around the ends, but now I'm using velcro cable ties to attach them to the wrist straps.

 

Unfortunately, the C416L is no longer available, and its replacement, the C516L, has a much bulkier mounting bracket which is unsuitable for either of these attachment methods. I use one on my melodeon, however, and it is far more robust than the earlier model, which I found was easily damaged.

 

On a bigger stage. where space and sound separation is less of a problem, and where there's probably a full-time sound engineer, I may stick with the same arrangement or use two boom-stand mounted mics.

 

(Despite my comments about Microvox above, they are a fairly cheap and reliable system and well-proven, and they're certainly worth considering, especially if you're on a budget. I just happens I have a pair to sell... )

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Choice 1) DPA 4062 with accessory goosenecks ( My new dream mics) The sound man with this combo must set two levels.

Choice 2) AKG C516ml pair plus an AKG B29l. These can attach to strap buttons. ( I use the older version C416ml) You control the two levels via the B29.

Choice 3) AT 350s, but you need either blue tack or velcro to attach the pair to the concertina.( sound man two levels)

Choice 4) AKG C1000s pair, on a pair of K & M 259 low profile boom stands. ( I use these when not the small AKG) sound man two levels.

 

I travel with number 2 to most festival and pub gigs. When a truely great sound person and equipt is involved I prefer choice 4,or other high end mic systems. These all reqi=uire phantom power and are electret designs, not piezo.

 

Another way of attaching mics is to lengthen the head on one of the screws (I use the ones opposite my middle fingers on my anglo), slip a metal frame round that extended head, tighten it with a grub screw, and drill a hole in the frame next to the slot for the screw head. Put a rod about 3 cm long into that hole, and you can attach the mic (using the clip that comes with many of them). That gives you a system that's quick to slip on and tighten, great amplification, not a lot of feedback. Much better sound than you get from a mic velcro'd directly onto the wood. (Thanks Alan Robertson who adapted it from the system he'd invented for a fiddle).

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I have performed and still do to some extent on a stage. In some cases moving around the stage. When I played on a large stage (Broadway and concert halls) they have an existing sound system that is multi-directional and easily picked up the sound. The trick was to reduce some of the treble and bring in more Bottom to resonate properly. Recently we played on a small stage with a pretty poor sound system. In those cases I have a lavaliere mike that attaches to my shirt and does a pretty good job of picking up the instruments sound. My one downfall is that I tend to move the instrument around so the sound sometimes misses the mike. But this seems to work pretty good.

Of course then the quality of the sound board is another issue...

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Dirge, I would say the cost for 2 good mics attached to the instrument plus the dual channel preamp as in my pair of AKG C416ml, and B29 is approximately 500 to 600 US. A pair of very high quality mics on low boom stands might be about 500 to 1200 or more US dollars. My take is I am playing an instrument that costs thousands, and 10 % of the cost is put back into the purchase of mics and a preamp. I hate feedback, so the little goosenecks are great with most monitoring systems I encounter. The true stereo pair of mics on boom stands can be very good also , specially if they are of a hyper cardiod pattern to avoid any sound coming from off axis. The engineer in most festivals is much more familiar with non free reeded instruments, that I prefer giving global eq ideas during my sound check. An example of a stage plot to give the sound crew may state something like 2 hypercardiod patterned mics on low booms in equal phasing such as AKG C1000s, or C3000s mics. Roll treble off above 1k at minus 6 db. The pair should be set at equal trim and gain ( these are not bass and treble, they are symmetrical sides).

Edited by Lawrence Reeves
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Dirge, I would say the cost for 2 good mics attached to the instrument plus the dual channel preamp as in my pair of AKG C416ml, and B29 is approximately 500 to 600 US. A pair of very high quality mics on low boom stands might be about 500 to 1200 or more US dollars. My take is I am playing an instrument that costs thousands, and 10 % of the cost is put back into the purchase of mics and a preamp. I hate feedback, so the little goosenecks are great with most monitoring systems I encounter. The true stereo pair of mics on boom stands can be very good also , specially if they are of a hyper cardiod pattern to avoid any sound coming from off axis. The engineer in most festivals is much more familiar with non free reeded instruments, that I prefer giving global eq ideas during my sound check. An example of a stage plot to give the sound crew may state something like 2 hypercardiod patterned mics on low booms in equal phasing such as AKG C1000s, or C3000s mics. Roll treble off above 1k at minus 6 db. The pair should be set at equal trim and gain ( these are not bass and treble, they are symmetrical sides).

Thanks Laurence. I might develop my arm muscles for a bit longer yet, now I realise what a major economy it is! I do take your point that there's not much sense in having a superb instrument that no one can hear properly though.

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Hello,

 

Started playing with a group on stage,,last night as a matter of fact and my question is,,what is the best way to mike a concertina? I had one mike but because the sound comes out both sides (imagine that) it didn't pick up well.

 

The Microvox works well. The mics attach with velcro. Sound quality depends very much on the other sound equipment and the skill of the sound person. On the big sound system at our local contra dance hall, i've had some sound guys who could make the Microvox sound great , others who didn't have a clue, but it always works better than the freestanding mics I've tried.

 

The other factor, in my opinion, is that an amplified concertina never really sounds right. When you need the boost, the Microvox is as good as anything, but don't expect it to sound like your vintage Linota. If you're searching for something that will boom you out with perfect fidelity, you're likely to be disappointed.

 

 

 

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