Recording Flute

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itapragh
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Recording Flute

Post by itapragh »

Hi, I would like to know what gear do you use when you record your flutes?? I play flute in a Jazz/rock band and we have to record some tunes soon but I dont know exactly what kind of microphones should be used.. so if you have any tips thanks!!!

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Phineas
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Post by Phineas »

Are you talking about recording in a studio or live?

itapragh
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Post by itapragh »

Recording In Studio but, if you could tell me more about what kind of mics can be used when performing live it also would be very helpful, because I have noticed that playing with a normal shure SM58 is not so good for a flute, and thats what they always put for me when its time to play

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Phineas
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Post by Phineas »

Well, you are talking about mic brands. Just like with anything else, this is something you will have to try out yourself. However, I can give you some pointers on the type.

For the most part, I would suggest a large diaphram condensor that is position overhead toward the center of the flute. This is the best way to get the full sound of the flute with out picking up any of the wind noise from the headjoint. If the room you are recording in sounds crummy, then you can always stand in from of it. Just position the center of the microphone at least 6"(150mm) from the lipplate. Here is the one I use

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/ ... sku=271356

I like the way this mic sounds. However you may want to try others to see what you prefer. Anyone of this type with the same features can be used live or in the studio. Of course live, you would have to be in front of it, not under it. Also, a pop filter will be needed if you are playing in front of it. Keep in mind, a condenser mic will pickup a lot more than a dynamic mic. Be sure you use the -10db switch when using it live!!!! Here is another mic that works well

http://www.wwbw.com/Applied-Microphone- ... 1472.music

The only problem with it is it will pick up breathing and everything else. The cool about this one is you are not restricted to being in front of a mic stand. This is good for studio work also, but I prefer the sound of the larger diaphram mics.

Lastly are this type

http://www.activemusician.com/item--MC.6100

I use to own a similar one many years back. I had a junk flute I would use this in, because I did not want to risk damage to my good headjoint. The problem with this microphone is the cable coming out of the end of the flute takes getting use to.

I know what you mean about an SM58. Actually an SM57 will work better. An SM57 can also build for a hotter signal like an instrument, and has slightly better frequency response than the SM58.

If you have any other questions, let me know.

Phineas

itapragh
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Post by itapragh »

Thank you very much I am going to try what you use, now I am learning more about brands and types of mics..

FluteProgrammer
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Post by FluteProgrammer »

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Last edited by FluteProgrammer on Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Phineas
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Post by Phineas »

FluteProgrammer wrote:To add another perspective, I've recently tackled these issues, and can make some suggestions on selecting and using microphones:

See if you can find a dealer that will let you try out the mics in your own studio. I did this with Guitar Center in San Jose, and traded up a few times before finding a pair that I liked. The dealer benefits from the trade-up because they make more money on the final sale, and you benefit by knowing you made the right choice. (Note: I do not work for Guitar Center.)

I found that the solid-state mics gave a harsh, cold sound to the flute, while the vacuum-tube mics were warm and lush, though a bit more expensive.

Remember that the weakest link in an audio chain limits the quality of the recording. So, don't expect that you'll be happy with the results if you record a $10,000 flute with a $100 microphone.

Be sure to record in stereo, because studios cause standing waves that cause peaks and nulls that make some notes come out too loud or soft if recording in mono.

Separate the mics so that they don't end up in the same peak or null spot. Don't place either mic against a wall.

Don't place a mic where the little air jet will hit it, lest you end up recording a windstorm. There are pop-screens you can use, but these "sing" along, and add "fuzziness" to the flute tone.

Because the sound beam from a flute is very directional, try to stay put while playing, unless you want the apparent sound source during playback to wander around. Even moving your head slightly to look at a new page on a music stand can induce an apparent motion. The need for this geographic discipline becomes apparent if you ever have to make a splice in the middle of a piece, as the sound source will seem to jump around upon playback if you're not in exactly the same spot (and facing the same direction) while recording each take.

--Dominic Kyrie
http://www.syllaria.com/blog/category/h ... g-studios/
Well, although I agree with most of what you are saying, there are a few things that are subjective.

1. If a person is trying to record themselves on a $10000 dollar flute, then this same person needs to go to a professional recording studio. (If the player is good, that would also help!!!)Why? Because a person could buy a $10000 mic, and not have the skill to use it. A skilled person with a $100 dollar mic will make a better recording than Joe Blow home studio guy with a $10000 mic. Also, what about backround noise. If a person is going to be recording at home, there is a likely hood of unwanted backround noise. This is a situation that the ultra-highend mic becomes useless. You will never get that mic hot enough to make a difference and still kill the backround noise. As it stands, even if the room is quiet, you can amplify the mic to the point where you can hear the audio playback from the head phones, and your clothes rustling.

2. Standing waves? If we are talking about acoustics, you can get peaks and nulls out of any poorly designed room, even if you mic in stereo. A lot of this has a lot to do with the postion of the mic, in relation to the player, and where they are both located in a room(Or the shape of the room). For example, you could change how a mic picks up buy moving the mic/player from the center of a room to the corner. What about the material the walls are made of, etc.... Trying a mic at your home studio is the right thing, but I will bet the $3000 Neumann mic will not always be the best one.

3. Even high dollar condensors are using FET based amplifier circuits. These are FAR better than the old NPN class A amplifiers from the old days. The answer to that is buying a tube preamp.

4. Pop filters add fuzziness to the flute tone? hmmm. I guess that would be the case if you postion the mic right infront of the riser?


Phineas

jefkearns
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how to record a flute

Post by jefkearns »

For my album, I recorded some of the songs with a mic in front of me and a small condenser mic above me then we mixed the sounds together. It gives it a wider and more present sound.

Jef Kearns
Soul Flute

melodydad
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Location: Huntingdon, England

Post by melodydad »

I have recently been using a DPA IMK4061 condenser. It is a tiny omnidirectional mike which you can clip to the flute very easily. I use it with a ProTools Mbox which provides the phantom power. It is considerably cheaper than say the AMT Z1, and will take an amazing 144db before clipping - apparently you can even use it on a snare drum!

Review in Studio Sound:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct03/a ... mk4061.htm
Sankyo CF201, Trevor James 'Privilege', Chinese Dizi . . . oh, and a Theremin!

msandover
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Recording (and playing with mics)

Post by msandover »

I'm by no means an expert when it comes to recording and live amplified playing. Been doing lots of practicing to get the hang of things. Use an SM57 and a rig that includes a Lexicon PCM-42 and an MPX-1 running through a Loudbox 100 (very flat tonally and more than ample power to compete with guitars and drums and other loudness - at least anything short of an arena).

I think what I've figured out is that it's absolutely what you hear/record that's important - thus there are lots and lots of mics that you could choose. There's no one "best" one. Wide range of frequency response (and flat throughout the range) is the important thing.

And by all means don't ever play straight into the mic unless you want lots of punch and air noise and "brightness"! Believe it or not the sound is much much better if you have the body tube in front of the mic (not necessarily right on it either) and not the headjoint. Even try standing back a little and upping the input gain on the amp instead (or control board if you're being recorded).

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
on another thread/note: the whole issue of what the flute's made of is of big concern and as far as I'm concerned the sense that it's 50/50 is at least somewhat true. Better flutes are better flutes and student flutes are student flutes. The player definitely has a lot to do with it. I have a gold Brannen (B foot, 2 different Cooper headjoints), just got an old silver Haynes, own a commercial model Muramatsu that I used professionally, and am waiting on a Burkart-Phelan silver. They all sound different yet I am able to carry certain good things from one to another. They still sound different from each other but I sound like me on all of them. And I can make the dark flutes sound bright and can darken the bright ones. I'm really coming to understand that it's all about how you feed air to the flute. Unrestricted is good, think open. Let the flute sound like it wants to... and your sound will come through. Think openness and colors...

kasal
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue May 12, 2020 4:00 pm

Re: Recording Flute

Post by kasal »

Just sharing. I am not an expert in audio recording but SM shure 58 is fine for me especially during this lockdown period. You can check my links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa0FLty4jro ( all using SM 58)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBHihX9eMfE ( my bamboo flute is recorded with shure SM 58 while the rest are using smartphones )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErKtKXPpsmE ( sm 58 )

All recorded using bandlab Cakewalk. Thanks

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