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Concertina Microphones


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15 minutes ago, schult said:

A couple of questions for those of you using an X-Y mic setup like this: how far are you positioning the mics from your instrument? Are you using this setup in a live environment (particularly with other instruments), or just home/studio recording?

 

I don’t measure it, and it’s likely a little different each time. I’d say arm’s length (from the instrument, not my shoulder) or a little further.

 

I bought the mics during the pandemic (in October) and they've neither been out of the house nor seen another instrument since.

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On 5/12/2021 at 4:09 PM, paaudio said:

 2) I haven't worked out a system (that doesn't include velcro glued to my box(es)) which won't compromise the woodwork surface of my boxes.

 

You could use non-adhesive sew-on Velcro and stitch it through the holes in the woodwork. 

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The answer partly depends on what problem you are trying to solve.  If it's for solo work, or alongside one or two others where you can keep a distance between you and avoid too much of their sound spilling into your mics, then stand-mounted mics have many advantages.  If you can, talk to sound engineers who are used to working with these instruments and find out what works best for your set-up.  Of course if you're recording then leave microphone choice and placement to the sound engineer, and be assured you almost certainly couldn't afford what they will use.

 

If like me you are part of a large noisy ceilidh band squeezed together on stages which are usually slightly too small, then on-board mics are preferable.  Microvox are a cheap entry-level solution but don't cut it for serious work, and it's probably worth spending a bit more for condenser mics with phantom power, either from a battery pack or from the sound desk.

 

I use a pair of Thomann CC75s which are astonishingly good value, and appear to be entirely adequate as part of a band sound where you don't need to capture every nuance.

 

The biggest problem is finding ways to attach mics to the instrument. I was never happy sticking velcro onto expensive instruments.  AKG provide a sort of putty which works well and shouldn't damage the finish.  On my anglos the mics I use have clips which attach to the hand straps, but not all mics have the clips positioned at an angle which will work.   I've seen some usebrackets fitted to the strap retaining screw to which a mic can then be attached, and for EC players this may be the only option.  Velcro cable ties can also work to attach mics to straps.

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2 hours ago, hjcjones said:

The answer partly depends on what problem you are trying to solve.  

 

Exactly. There is no one-size-all-fits solution to getting good sound out of concertinas. What works best for someone in a big, noisy ceilidh band with loud dancers and a huge sound system may be a poor solution for an ITM player playing solo in a studio or someone playing in a small trio at a folk club, or for a player trying to do high quality home recordings.

 

Good sound depends on finding the solution that's right for your particular use.  If you play in a variety of situations, like I do, you will probably need multiple setups in your tool kit.

 

And I repeat myself: it's hard to get good sound on the cheap. And it's a really good idea to find opportunities to work with professional sound engineers experienced in dealing with the myriad variables that make for high quality sound.

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On 5/13/2021 at 10:52 PM, David Barnert said:

I don’t measure it, and it’s likely a little different each time. I’d say arm’s length (from the instrument, not my shoulder) or a little further.

 

I’m using it right now. About a foot and a half from the center of the bellows.

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