Jump to content

Recording Problem..my Ear?


Recommended Posts

Quick question here: when I record myself playing with either of my concertinas, a Dipper and an Edgley, the recorded sound is ..harsh?..course maybe? It does not sound like the instrument to my ear as I play it. It certainly doesn't sound like the sweet tone produced on, say, the Mick Bramich disc or on a Mary Mac Namara tune. I have a mini-tape recorder, and a fostex four track and both machines give me the same effect. Any hints on achieving a better tone?

Thanks, Alan Caffrey.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quick question here: when I record myself playing with either of my concertinas, a Dipper and an Edgley, the recorded sound is ..harsh?..course maybe? It does not sound like the instrument to my ear as I play it. It certainly doesn't sound like the sweet tone produced on, say, the Mick Bramich disc or on a Mary Mac Namara tune. I have a mini-tape recorder, and a fostex four track and both machines give me the same effect. Any hints on achieving a better tone?

Thanks, Alan Caffrey.

 

 

Lots of possibilities, some of which may cost you a small fortune in electronic gizmos, but try the simplest and cheapest first: get further away from the microphone(s).

If this does not produce a better result, try recording in another room or even out of doors. It is amazing how different an instrument can sound in different acoustic surroundings.

Only after trying the above would I consider the possibility of trying aditional or more advanced equipment, but before you do this you have to try and decide whether it is the recording gear or the playback equipment that is causing the harshness.

Please let us know if this helps....and good luck.

 

MC

Edited by malcolm clapp
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It does not sound like the instrument to my ear as I play it. It certainly doesn't sound like the sweet tone produced on, say, the Mick Bramich disc or on a Mary Mac Namara tune. I have a mini-tape recorder, and a fostex four track and both machines give me the same effect. Any hints on achieving a better tone?

Alan,

To my ears my concertina sounds different than for the audience. Especially my Geuns sounds to me quite harsh but the audience has a different experience. This was confirmed by a simple recording with a PC microphone (5$) plugged in my notebook and using the free audacity software.

 

There are always two tings I take into account when recording. Keep at least 1.5 meter distance from the microphone and keep the volume level of the recording rather low.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just recently I dealt with the problem of how my concertina sounds on my recordings. (Too harsh, yes!) I was working on some short samples of singing and playing together -- some 'pop' or familiar-type songs that I've worked out. I assumed that my singing should carry it all and be as loud as possible, and that if I played the concertina as smoothly and as passively as possible, it would follow and blend-in okay.

 

Concertinas don't 'blend in,' maybe.

 

Finally, I did manage to smooth out the harshness just a little, but not by playing more softly or lightly. (Yes, I positioned the mic as nicely as possible, and kept the recorder's volume down.) What worked was to actually play with a little bit more gusto, less legato than I'd been playing, and to be careful not to hold notes for very long.

 

I'm no audio pro, of course. I use my Sony IC Voice recorder, ICD-ST series...(whatever that means). I upload imy recording to the computer, convert it to a .wav file, edit where necessary, then convert it to .mp3.

 

I think my particular problem is maybe less of a technical one, more of a matter of finally hearing objectively how my concertina and I sound together. The only other instrument I ever did much singing with was the guitar, and that's a whole different animal!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a similar problem recently recording an accordion.

 

I was a recording a band with some loud and persistent instruments, so trying to avoid spillage I close miked the instruments using end-fire mics. This was using Rode NT3 - mid-price similar to AKG C1000s mentioned above. I prefer these mics to the AKG, they give a good sound, more signal and less noise.

 

Everything sounded OK except the accordion, which sounded particularly rough on the right hand - the reeds really came over with a rasping quality, quite unlike the real thing.

 

We tried a few things, but ended up backing the mic off by a metre, and repositioning the accordionist to reduce spillage from the other instruments. Once we had done this the accordion was sounding sweet again.

 

When recording solo concertina the spillage problem from other instruments does not exist. I usually use a pair of AKG 3000b microphones - large diaghram, mid price mics. Again backing off a bit, and placed on either side, slightly behind the player. This position gives two benefits - better separation (less cross-over in the stereo image), and less key noise (if the concertina has any rattly keys).

I learnt this technique from a professional sound recordist who was very experienced in recording accordions. Tried it out on the concertina and was pleased with the results.

 

 

 

Thanks for the tips - moving the mic further away helped with the upper range but the lower notes are still pretty rough - so I'll try a better mic - can anyone recommend a mid price mic?

Alan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm now using the AKG C1000S, with good results so far, having tried quite a few over the years. My problem was not the concertina but my voice.

 

For a single mike set-up for voice and concertina I tend to play standing in front of a boom mike-stand with the mike pointing somewhat upwards and holding the concertina low.

 

I think that there are a lot of cheaper microphones out there that just can't handle my bass voice. I don't know why but suspect it is something to do with odd harmonics at low pitch coupled with the high pitch concertina harmonics.

 

Robin Madge

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try a AKG 3000b. Large diagphram mike. I regularly use one of these to record a singer with a strong bass voice, with stunning results. Make sure you have a good pop-screen.

 

Steve

 

 

I'm now using the AKG C1000S, with good results so far, having tried quite a few over the years. My problem was not the concertina but my voice.

 

For a single mike set-up for voice and concertina I tend to play standing in front of a boom mike-stand with the mike pointing somewhat upwards and holding the concertina low.

 

I think that there are a lot of cheaper microphones out there that just can't handle my bass voice. I don't know why but suspect it is something to do with odd harmonics at low pitch coupled with the high pitch concertina harmonics.

 

Robin Madge

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...