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I know that this has been asked before but I'm beggered if I can find it. Can anyone suggest how to amplify a concertina for stage performance particularly as part of a band. One microphone on a stand does not pick up enough, two takes up too much room so what system is best for attaching to concertinas. I do change concertina's so need something that I can move from one to another - budget is tight so nothing too flash. Here's hoping someone can help.

:)

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I know that this has been asked before but I'm beggered if I can find it. Can anyone suggest how to amplify a concertina for stage performance particularly as part of a band. One microphone on a stand does not pick up enough, two takes up too much room so what system is best for attaching to concertinas. I do change concertina's so need something that I can move from one to another - budget is tight so nothing too flash. Here's hoping someone can help.

:)

 

A popular system is Microvox - you get two electret capsules which fit on to the instrument with Velcro pads. You also need a battery pack. They're not the greatest sound, and I've found them a bit prone to feedback, but they're fairly cheap and widely used. As it happens, I've got a surplus set (2 mics with battery pack) which I've been meaning to put on ebay - PM me if you're interested.

 

A better solution which I now use is a pair of AKG C416 L gooseneck mics. The sound is much better, but they are more expensive, and again you need either a battery pack or a phantom power adaptor. I attach these using velcro luggage straps around the ends of the concertina so I don't have to stick anything to the instruments (which I have to say I'm not keen on, on aesthetic grounds). It makes it a bit more fiddly to swap between instruments, but it's worth it.

 

I third solution, which I used to use, was to fit mics inside the instrument - similar sound quality to the microvox but without the velcro pads:

 

http://www.hjcjones.freeserve.co.uk/music/...ertina/mike.htm

 

If you're swapping instruments, then of course you need to fit separate mics to each.

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I use 3 mics on one stand - one for singing/announcing, 2 mounted on a cross bar for the concertinas. In Germany those bars are made by K&M (König & Meyer) This system is usefull when you use different concertinas. My mics are cheap SM 57, but I`ve used AKG goosenecks this way as well. An advantage compared to microvox is that you get less of the click-noise of the buttons.

 

Nils

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I don't use mics when playing, so I don't have experience, but

 

How about using the lapel mics designed for voice, but put them on the cuffs of your shirt, so that the microphones are on your wrists, pointed toward the instrument? That way the mics stay with the performer, rather than with the instrument. If you play several different concertinas this might be more convenient than changing the mics for each instrument.

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I don't use mics when playing, so I don't have experience, but

 

How about using the lapel mics designed for voice, but put them on the cuffs of your shirt, so that the microphones are on your wrists, pointed toward the instrument? That way the mics stay with the performer, rather than with the instrument. If you play several different concertinas this might be more convenient than changing the mics for each instrument.

 

These sort of mics are usually omni-directional, so they may pick up other sounds besides the concertina. I tried it once, but it didn't seem to work very well. However I used the same mics inside the instrument with better results.

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I know that this has been asked before but I'm beggered if I can find it. Can anyone suggest how to amplify a concertina for stage performance particularly as part of a band. One microphone on a stand does not pick up enough, two takes up too much room so what system is best for attaching to concertinas. I do change concertina's so need something that I can move from one to another - budget is tight so nothing too flash. Here's hoping someone can help.

:)

 

 

Galley

It certainly sounds best to use two "open" mics (2 regular mics not attached to the concertina). Fortunately, the concertina has plenty of focused volume, so they are easier than many instrument to mic. The best concertina mics in the studio are ribbon mics in an XY position (I use a pair of Royer 122s), but they shouldn't be used in a live situation (bidirectional pattern being one of the many reasons).

I think that two Shure SM81s are great for live use, and since they are almost shotgun pattern mics, they can give you plenty of volume without feedback. You can also save room, (and have them sound better) by having them XYed instead of spaced apart. You could use a stereo bracket that goes on one mic stand. The other great thing about XY is that as the one end of the concertina moves in and out (creating phase problems for the mics) the phasing doesn't change in the XY setup (keeping the sound full, rich and in-phase).

Sorry for rambling on about this... but I'm both a concertina geek and a recording nerd...

All the best.

- John Mock

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Great advice from everyone - many thanks.

 

When I got home from work yesterday I discovered that that hubby already has a microvox box and one mic that he used to use on his acoustic basouki but now he has a semi acoustic it is redundant so just ordered another mic from mircovox (its the same mic for a bousouki as for a concertina) and thought I would give that system a try.

 

If this doesn't work I would like to try to do what John says but sorry to be thick John what do you mean by XYed? Do you have a picture of the mic set up that you use?

 

Cheers

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Stereo microphone techniques are a very interesting topic to get into in its own right, particularly with concertinas, since these are par excellence instruments that make noise at both ends. There is a very good article here that explains the different techniques used. What John calls XY is what the article calls coinicident microphones and means two mics (cardioid or figure-of-eight) placed together and at right angles to each other. The image you get from those arrangements are much nicer than just having a mic at each end, but it is a studio technique really. Having said that I have a Rode NT4 that I really like and sounds superb with concertina. Though I haven't used it outside the studio I can't see why it shouldn't be used live, because you are spared all the faffing about with stereo bars that would probably drive the average soundman up the wall.

 

You should like the Microvox for stage use. I have one, though I haven't used it for a long time because Anne and I haven't gigged for quite a while now. In all honesty, though, we found that a decent (preferably small diaphragm condenser) mic pointing at the middle of the bellows was actually not that bad and gave you much more freedom than a mic at each end. Now, though, as I say, I would be very tempted to take the NT4 along.

 

Chris

 

PS John - I envy you your ribbon mics. My budget won't stretch that far. I have, however, very recently bought a Studio Projects LSD2 on ebay, something of a monster of a mic, with two large diaphragm capsules stacked, the top one rotating freely and both capable of omni, cardioid and figure-of-eight. I should be able to have fun experimenting with that and shall report back if anyone is interested - really only for "concertina geeks and recording nerds", I suppose ...

 

Edited to add PPS - I wouldn't recommend the Microvox for studio use. The sound quality is just not up to the job, and you get a little too much mechanical rattling. A concertina recording without mechanical noise is like tea without milk to me, but you can have too much of a good thing.

Edited by Chris Timson
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Microvox should be quite up to the job for stage performance but, as Chris says, they are beaten by other microphones for studio recording.

As regards feedback problems it can be usefull to take the microvox output through a graphic equaliser pedal to reduce certain frequencies that give you problems. I use a Laney 120 watt cabinet and that seems to have a certain range of frequencies that it boosts jut a bit too much.

Then you can get into having fun with chorus pedals and digital delays. It's quite entertaining to watch the faces of people when you walk into an average guitar shop, say you like to try out some foot pedals and then produce a concertina:)

 

Robin Madge

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miking diagram

 

I've attached a diagram of basic XY miking using small diaphragm mics (like a pair of SM81s, or anything that is "end addressed"). I also attached a photo of how this would be done with two large diaphragm "side addressed" mics.

Chris is right though, there are different variations of this technique using various types of mics, angles and patterns that all have different names. XY is really just a basic, broad term used to convey the general technique.

All the best.

- John

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post-5713-1215609699_thumb.jpg

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miking diagram

 

I've attached a diagram of basic XY miking using small diaphragm mics (like a pair of SM81s, or anything that is "end addressed"). I also attached a photo of how this would be done with two large diaphragm "side addressed" mics.

Chris is right though, there are different variations of this technique using various types of mics, angles and patterns that all have different names. XY is really just a basic, broad term used to convey the general technique.

All the best.

- John

 

And then again, you could go acoustic....these honkers can carry sound!

 

John,

I enjoyed your CD, and the clips on your site, which I only recently found. http://www.johnmock.net/

 

Dan

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Dan

Thank you!

I'm hoping to do another CD soon, one with a lot more solo concertina compositions on it... though the last time I said I was ready to do a CD it took me 2 more years to get around to it... Maybe I'll be better about it this time.

All the best.

- John

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And then again, you could go acoustic....these honkers can carry sound!

 

John,

I enjoyed your CD, and the clips on your site, which I only recently found. http://www.johnmock.net/

 

Dan

 

Yeh but I am competing with a melodian! Thank again to you all for all this great advice. Can someone now tell me where the best place is to stick the microvox mics - polite answers only please :P I will be using the mics on a metal ended Wheatstone Aeola Tenor Treble and a Morse Baritone with wood ends.

 

Cheers

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Cheers Chris. Where do the wires trail - oh dear I really am out of my depth here :unsure:

 

I am very much a novice at this performing lark and generally hide amongst vocals and other instruments playing the melody line or simple harmonies - sometimes its such a relief when we sing unacompanied so I can rest and take a few deep breaths. It is getting easier though. :rolleyes:

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Yeh but I am competing with a melodian!

 

Might that require human solution than a technical one? Some melodeon players have been known to co-operate with musicians you know! :o

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