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Digitally Recording The Concertina


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Ive been searching historic threads on this subject, but am still a bit puzzled. i.e., an inexpensive method of digitally recording a concertina.

 

I would like to record my new Wakker W-A2, Amboyna flat ended and post it. However, Ive found that some of the interesting overtones are simply not captured. I can get the metal reed sound that a harmonica makes recorded, but the instrument also has an organic reed sound like an oboe as well, that just doesnt come through the recording. It is the latter sound that, to me, is the interesting and pleasing aspect of the instrument.

 

Ive got two microphones. A Sony stereo mic that I use with a Sony MiniDisc. It has an AA battery. I also have a Shure-SM58 mic that sounds better than the Sony, but the recording lacks volume. This mic does not have a battery. I also need to go from a 1/4 inch plug to an 1/8 inch through a reducer when using this mic.

 

If I want to use the Shure, do I need to get some sort of a pre-amp between the mic and the computer? Also, is the resulting sound quality also a function of the computer sounds card?

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Ive been searching historic threads on this subject, but am still a bit puzzled. i.e., an inexpensive method of digitally recording a concertina.

 

I would like to record my new Wakker W-A2, Amboyna flat ended and post it. However, Ive found that some of the interesting overtones are simply not captured. I can get the metal reed sound that a harmonica makes recorded, but the instrument also has an organic reed sound like an oboe as well, that just doesnt come through the recording. It is the latter sound that, to me, is the interesting and pleasing aspect of the instrument.

 

Ive got two microphones. A Sony stereo mic that I use with a Sony MiniDisc. It has an AA battery. I also have a Shure-SM58 mic that sounds better than the Sony, but the recording lacks volume. This mic does not have a battery. I also need to go from a 1/4 inch plug to an 1/8 inch through a reducer when using this mic.

 

If I want to use the Shure, do I need to get some sort of a pre-amp between the mic and the computer? Also, is the resulting sound quality also a function of the computer sounds card?

 

Well to the best of my knowledge, getting good quality field recordings (as opposed to studio recordings) is something of a black art. The biggest problem most of us have is that we can't afford to spend thousands of dollars on the best possible recording equipment. Most of the more inexpensive methods of recording have decided disadvantages. The limitations of analog tapes are pretty clear; the primary being that it is pain to do anything with the tape once it is made. The other options that most of us use are minidiscs or some form of voice recorder or MP3 player. What might be the problem here is that both options used compression to maximize the storage media... unfortunately the compression always includes some loss of fidelity... its usually not much but it might be enough to loose some of the interesting overtones you are looking at are not captured. There are a few devices now designed to record in non-compressed formats; some of the field digital recordors by Marantz and Eirodol (sp?) for example. I am currently experimenting with the latest minidisc format, the Hi-MD format (you didn't mention if your minidisc was an Hi-MD or the older NetMD format).

 

One final thought, how are you listenning to recordings made with the minidisc? If you are playing it from the portable unit, you might be missing stuff that the unit actually recorded. Likewise, if you are forced to use a line in to play the music into your computer it might get lost before it gets to your computer.

 

Anyway, those are just some thoughts. I have no particular expertise, so if someone has better info, I am eager to hear it too.

 

--

Bill

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I have used a small Mackie 1202 mixer along with a Large Diaphragm Condenser mic (okava Mk219A) that uses phantom power and kept it about one or two feet away. This type of mic will record every noise in the house when there is no music going into it. It's advantages are that you don't need two mics (one for each side), also because of the distance from the concertina you really reduce the percussive effect from the pads and valves moving and lastly you get a natural reverb from the room you are playing in. I just ran cable from the outputs of the mixer to the mic input of the Minidisc recorder. The disadvantage is that you might not have this stuff, however, maybe asking around you could find some of your music friends that has this gear and might be willing to help you do an hour or so of recording. Good Luck

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A computer sound card is not designed to accept a signal directly from a Shure 58, or any other make of dynamic mic for that matter.

 

If you wish to use the Shure 58, (though a 57 would be better imho), then you will need to plug it into a mixing desk (Mackie 1202 as suggested is excellent for this), and then run the mixing desk line out signal to the sound card line input, (not the mic input).

 

Hope this helps.

 

MC

Edited by malcolm clapp
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