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Recording good audio on concertinas


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1 hour ago, Jim Besser said:

what do you mean by a 'crossed pair?'

 

It's a pair of microphones arranged so their heads cross at right angles - pretty much what you have on your Zoom recorder.

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43 minutes ago, Little John said:

 

It's a pair of microphones arranged so their heads cross at right angles - pretty much what you have on your Zoom recorder.

 

Hmm. But would preclude having mics at either end of the instrument, wouldn't it?  Or am I missing something?

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Maybe an expert will chime in (I've seen Dana record this way, for example) but my understanding is that using crossed microphones lets you record in two directions but without the phasing issues you can get from separated microphones. It is common in classical recording settings I've witnessed or been part of.

 

Ken

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9 hours ago, Kathryn Wheeler said:

Daniel, how far away do you tend to put this device?

For recording, it sits in front of my monitor while I'm at the computer - so maybe two feet from the concertina.  For Zoom I clip it to the top of the monitor.

 

On 1/14/2021 at 9:47 AM, Little John said:

I like the idea of a simple microphone I can plug into my iPhone to improve the quality of the sound. This one seems to be mono only. Is there a stereo equivalent?

 

I don't think I see a stereo USB mic on Samson's website, but it looks like the Blue Yeti (https://www.bluemic.com/en-us/products/yeti/) has a stereo mode.  I don't know if either would work with a phone - I'm only familiar with using them with PCs.

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5 hours ago, Daniel Hersh said:

I don't think I see a stereo USB mic on Samson's website, but it looks like the Blue Yeti (https://www.bluemic.com/en-us/products/yeti/) has a stereo mode.  I don't know if either would work with a phone - I'm only familiar with using them with PCs.

 

In theory it's possible to connect USB class compliant audio devices to most Apple phones and tablets using the Lightning to USB3 camera dongle. The dongle doesn't supply enough power to run things like powered mics, so you need some other way to get power into the device, e.g. by connecting a powered hub between the dongle and the device. I have used this method to connect a Steinberg UR22 MkII audio interface to my iPad, which I can then use to hook up standard analogue audio gear, e.g. a pair of condenser mics with phantom power. I assume there is something similar for Android devices.

 

Incidentally, I'm no sound mixing expert, but it seems to me that if you have a stereo recording of the two ends of a concertina, it sounds better to pan both channels close to the centre to give you a narrow stereo audio field, rather than just converting it to mono. I'm only really familiar with how to do this in Audacity:

 

On the stereo track, click on the down triangle next to the filename and select "Split Stereo Track". This changes it into two mono tracks, one of which has the pan slider set all the way to the left, and the other track has the pan slider all the way to the right. Adjust those sliders down to something like 20% left and 20% right (experiment with listening to it with headphones on). You can then do whatever other edits you want to do before exporting it.

 

If the audio is attached to a video recording (e.g. if you used the camera app on a phone), you'll probably have to use a video editor program to extract the audio, edit it in Audacity or some other DAW type software, then import the edited audio back into the video project.

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22 hours ago, Kathryn Wheeler said:

David, 

How have you found JamKazam as a way of playing live with others?

 

I have given up on JamKazam and am now using Jamulus. Two things soured me on JK: One, they’ve instituted a fee schedule as of the new year, and although there’s a free level, it’s very limited. Two, I’ve got a DSL internet connection. Fiberoptic isn’t available here (they’ve been promising it for 10 years) and cable would be too much of a disruption. The people I was playing with heard a lot of distortion from my system and we decided it must be the decreased capacity of the DSL. That doesn’t seem to be a problem on Jamulus.

 

22 hours ago, Kathryn Wheeler said:

Also have the new condenser mics been essential for doing that, and/or have they made a noticeable difference to the sound.  Have you tested it by recording (for your own use if not YouTube/Soundcloud) If so in what way would you say it’s better? 

 

I have not done any recording with the new mics and I was perfectly happy with the performance of the internal mic on the Mac. I bought the mics (and an audio processor at the same time) in hopes that it would improve the situation when I was still struggling with JamKazam.

 

18 hours ago, Jim Besser said:

Educate me: what do you mean by a 'crossed pair?'

 

mics.jpg.74ee50400100384d669d59841541fde8.jpg

 

 

16 hours ago, Jim Besser said:

Hmm. But would preclude having mics at either end of the instrument, wouldn't it?  Or am I missing something?

 

Jim, do you remember that JamKazam session a few months back when Jody K dropped in? He commented that it sounded like I was playing two different instruments, one on the left with the lower notes and one on the right with the higher notes (I’m playing a Hayden Duet concertina). My response was “Isn’t that pretty much what you’d hear if you were sitting in front of me in the same room?

Edited by David Barnert
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6 minutes ago, David Barnert said:

 

 

 

Jim, do you remember that JamKazam session a few months back when Jody K dropped in? He commented that it sounded like I was playing two different instruments, one on the left with the lower notes and one on the right with the higher notes (I’m playing a Hayden Duet concertina). My response was “Isn’t that pretty much what you’d hear if you were sitting in front of me in the same room?

 

 

I actually missed that call.

 

For Jamulus / JamKazam, I'm now using a single mic pointed at the center of the instrument; this allows me to have the second mic positioned for talking.  Sound quality is worse than having two mics pointed at the concertina, but it means I don't have to keep moving one mic back and forth so I can talk, and quality is good enough for online jamming.

 

 

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6 hours ago, alex_holden said:

 

 

 

Incidentally, I'm no sound mixing expert, but it seems to me that if you have a stereo recording of the two ends of a concertina, it sounds better to pan both channels close to the centre to give you a narrow stereo audio field, rather than just converting it to mono. I'm only really familiar with how to do this in Audacity:

 

 

That's really interesting; I'll try it!

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I also use a Zoom recorder, the Zoom H1 handy recorder. The quaility of this recorder always surprises me.

An example is here.

This time I possitioned the recorder a bit oddly...🤭 : Fixed on the ceiling lamp ( aprox  1.20 over mi head and about 1m apart. With that I tried with Sort of a more "ambient" recording.

(Ah... No further sound edition, with exception of using Davinci Resolve to compress audio to IG requirements)

 

Edited by Isel
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for all your responses - I’m digesting it all and am v grateful

 

I can now spot that strange watery sound (produced by my iPhone when doing “selfies” using the camera’s video) a mile off when I listen to other videos I’ve seen (similar when some people have used laptops)

 

It’s fascinating that the mic at the bottom of the phone (used when recording audio on it) is fine and even when videoing in non selfie mode it’s ok (ish). -  so either the mic used when in selfie mode is duff or there’s something to do with the position of it and where I am in respect to it.

 

To be honest using a phone to record audio ain’t ideal is the conclusion!  So I have now been using a wee recording device like those used here.  
 

I think I could probably use a nice mic that would plug into either the phone or one that’d go into a laptop (but I hate the whirring noise a laptop in a room can introduce)

 

I do have an external sound card type thing you can plug two XLRs into which has usb to put into a computer so that’s an option.  Though it’s way more faff setting up mics and sometimes I just want to record on the spot before I get too shy 😛

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Kathryn, I think your latest video sounds great. I saw a video with an interesting solution I have not yet seen discussed here. In said video, a Japanese man seemed to be demonstrating some concertinas at a shop while elastic bracelets held something like lapel microphones at each of his wrists. I would link the video here, but I am unable to find it in my history and cannot verify all I'm describing. Certainly quite a bit of faff with wires hanging off your wrists, though.

 

EDIT: It was probably a Toru KATO video, similar to this short one here.

 

Zach

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Hi Zack - Thankyou, glad you think the latest video sounds better!

 

That sounds a clever way of being able to pick up a lot of concertinas and just play although the idea of wires down each sleeve (rather like what 5year olds have to keep mittens from getting lost) does seem a faff!

 

Edit: actually I’m not sure that’s right the cable goes down - maybe, like gauntlets, you just slip them on

 

I’m surprised there isn’t a lot of button noise that close 

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