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What Microphone To Use?


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Hello everyone,

I am playing on an english concertina in a traditionnal band. When I do gigs, I use two sm57, but I am thinking to get two vox 400 microphones that suggest the button box. In my area, no one as those microphones, accordeon players that I know use micro clip ATM 350, and they are very happy with it. What do you suggest would be the best ?

 

Au plaisir,

David

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I'm sorry, I tried googling vox 400 but drew a blank; could you tell us something about them?

 

Back when I used to gig I hated having two mics pointing at each end of my concertina, I much preferred having just one mic pointing at the bellows. This was because I found myself very conscious of the mics and it cramped my playing. Recently I've been experimenting in the studio and I've got very good results indeed with matched pairs of small condenser mics in a co-incident pair. I've also very recently bought a Rode NT4, which is basically just this in one mic body. That is a lovely mic, the concertina sounds great and the stereo pair really brings out the spacial quality of the instrument. However I suspect such an arrangement wouldn't work on stage so well because the stereo pair would be pointing at and past the player to pick up leakage from other instruments.

 

 

Chris

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Hello everyone,

I am playing on an english concertina in a traditionnal band. When I do gigs, I use two sm57, but I am thinking to get two vox 400 microphones that suggest the button box. In my area, no one as those microphones, accordeon players that I know use micro clip ATM 350, and they are very happy with it. What do you suggest would be the best ?

 

I use the Microvox system sold at the Button Box. It works fine. OK sound, great convenience. A good sound person can clean up its harshness and susceptibility to feedback. There are other solution that may be better, but the Microvox is a good choice if you want something designed for concertinas, that doesn't require a lot of tech know how to get up and running.

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I've used the Microvox system for years too. Some criticise it's quality but it's done the job well for me. When one of the mics eventually started to crackle, I sent it back and asked for advice (reparable or should I just buy a new one?). They simply sent me a new mic free of charge. The important thing with them is to make sure that you can turn off "phantom power" on your amp.

Someone I play with in sessions sometimes swears by a condenser mic pointed at the bellows - convenient for him as he plays several instruments and uses the same mic for all.

The gooseneck clip-ons made by several companies are excellent quality but a more expensive option than the Microvox.

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Microvox works and I do have one, though haven't used it for years (not doing gigs, see above) but the actual quality of the sound is poor compared to even a fairly cheap condenser. It is a lot more rugged, however, so horses for courses.

 

The concertina is a pretty tricky sound to mic because of the wide spectral range, and it really responds to a good quality condenser mic. Here's an example I recorded of Anne playing, recorded using a Rode NT1A condenser.

 

Chris

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Micing concertinas is always tricky if you're in a band. If you have the mics close enough to pick up just the concertina without also getting the other instruments, then you risk hitting them with the instrument. Like Chris, I don't like playing between 2 mics as it feels constricting. A single mic pointed at the bellows is possibly not ideal, but is a good compromise. Even so, I don't like having to stay fixed in front of the mic, unless I'm sitting down.

 

For gigging, I currently use Microvox. I have them strapped to the outside of the anglo's hand straps, using velcro cable ties. I found that having them on the end plates picked up too much mechanical and air noise. However they are very susceptible to feedback. The plus is that I am completely free to move the instrument around.

 

In the past I used mics fitted internally, which worked well for me, but I had trouble replacing the leads so I switched to Microvox. For more information about these see http://www.hjcjones.freeserve.co.uk/music/...ertina/mike.htm

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I've only played two gigs in which my concertina got miked. Both had sound guys who knew more than I did. I tend to alternate between concertina and fiddle, sometimes within a single piece, so I needed to be miked for both instruments and not tied down. In one situation there were a large number of available mics so we had one pointing at the bridge of the fiddle from above and two for the concertina: one pointing at each end. At yesterday's gig the sound guy used one rather high above the fiddle and one low pointed roughly at the middle of the bellows. The mics involved were on stands and were intended to pick up acoustic instruments. I didn't see what they were, nor would I know what it meant if I had. Sound in both cases worked very well: one for a smallish concert hall (~400 seats) and one for a large ballroom (~70 dancers). If you have a good sound person, trust his or her judgement.

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