Recording solo violin

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jmann
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Recording solo violin

Post by jmann » Tue Aug 24, 2021 12:02 pm

My day job is sound for video production, and I just got a job shooting a solo violin performance in old church. (I have not seen the space, but I'm told it's large.)

I haven't actually recorded anyone playing a violin before, so I'm curious if anyone has any general advice for me (mic choice/placement, etc.) My initial inclination is to place one of my lavalier mics on the violin itself, hiding the cable from the camera, and place a different mic on a stand about 3-5 feet away. My regular kit mic for location work is a supercardioid Sanken CS-M1, which I love, but I also have some other options, like LDCs and even a Tape Op ribbon.

I could also bring my Hamptone JFET with me, or possibly another preamp, if that doesn't seem like overkill.

The final wrinkle is that I haven't heard yet from the producer whether we can have a visible mic in the shot. If the answer is no that makes for a lot fewer mic placement options...

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digitaldrummer
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Re: Recording solo violin

Post by digitaldrummer » Tue Aug 24, 2021 12:20 pm

was just reading the Al Schmitt "On the Record" book and he said he would use a U67 in omni mode, 10 feet in the air above the violins. If the room sounds good, then an omni mic might be a really nice choice.

I recorded a flautist once and just put an AKG 414b-uls about 2-3 feet above her head and it turned out great (I thought).
Last edited by digitaldrummer on Tue Aug 24, 2021 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jmann
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Re: Recording solo violin

Post by jmann » Tue Aug 24, 2021 1:10 pm

Cool! Thanks. I have a CAD e300, which I tend to like a lot and has an omni mode. Maybe I'll try that!

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Re: Recording solo violin

Post by drumsound » Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:26 pm

I've had really good luck with the TOMB Ribbon on violin above, around 8-10 feet up. Usually, I use room mics too.

jmann
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Re: Recording solo violin

Post by jmann » Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:01 pm

Thanks. BTW, I finally took your advice and tried the TOMB ribbon as a "knee" mic. Sounded awesome! (After I took away the drummer's rack toms...)

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Re: Recording solo violin

Post by drumsound » Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:40 am

jmann wrote:
Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:01 pm
Thanks. BTW, I finally took your advice and tried the TOMB ribbon as a "knee" mic. Sounded awesome! (After I took away the drummer's rack toms...)
I'm glad it worked for you.

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A.David.MacKinnon
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Re: Recording solo violin

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:39 am

It depends on the context of the song, room, player etc, but generally pick the mic with the nicest and least harsh high end. As others have said, distance helps as long as the room isn't adding anything bad. Polar pattern would depend on how much of the room you want to hear. Experiment.

I often reach for a nice ribbon or something really flat like an AKG D224.

AndersonSoundRecording
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Re: Recording solo violin

Post by AndersonSoundRecording » Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:58 pm

I'm guessing it's Classical repertoire?

If that's the case, you may wanna ditch the close lav, unless environmental noise is a real concern. Record with a stereo pair - something near-coincident like ORTF or a small AB pair of omni's.

Get creative with placement if you must - boom over from the side so they have clear shots under it.
I heard they inserted a Jimmy Hendrix into the chain somewhere before the preamp.

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frans_13
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Re: Recording solo violin

Post by frans_13 » Fri Sep 17, 2021 6:20 am

In the old BBC training manuals there were pictures how the sound emanates from instruments, for violin it looked like flower petals from above. You may "fish" for an even sounding spot above the instrument when you listen through isolation headphones while poking the mic around.

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