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Sound recording
what do you use?
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OldOgre
OhiO
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May 8, 2014 - 5:05 am
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Hi I have been trying to make sound recordings of my violin to upload. But I get clipped, thin unusable recordings. So tell do you Desktop, Laptop, onboard mic, third party mic or camcorder. What in your Opinion give you the best quality.
thank in advance for all responces.

With violins there is no fretting over the music.

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
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May 8, 2014 - 5:47 am
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Hia OO - I know you're wanting to record the acoustic - but let me witter on a bit -

For my EV I record directly from the EV ( which has an inbuilt piezo pickup under the bridge, and an on-board active ( powered by battery ) pre-amp. [ It also happens to have a bass and treble control - but that's beside the point ]. I take the sound output from the EV pramp direclty into the line-in connection on the computer (it happens to be a lap top)

What I say now applies equally to ANY sound source - I always check the levels - and using either the Windows "record mixer for line in" or the volume slider on the EV inbuilt pre-amp - I'll adjust one or other until the level indicator "looks good" and my loudest playing just-about red-lines the indicator. [ I have plenty other tools to manipulate the recorded track if needs be - but it is always best to make sure you start off with as "clean" and "good enough" recording as possible - without it being so low that you have to post-amplify it (and any noise that goes with it), equally, without it being so high that it has started clipping. But - I'm sure you know all that already. I find that this is "really clean" - no hiss, no distortion, no background noise and so on....

Turning to the issue of recording the acoustic - unless you have a decent pickup or indeed a studio microphone in a sound-proofed room (and probably a preamp ) - IMO you are going to struggle. I have only once recorded the acoustic - I used the headset mic - and it was a pointless exercise. Hiss, background noise, frequency response roll-off. My solution to this is going to be to get a special to type violin pick up. There are many around - in fact I have seen ones that are actually small microphones - which I guess would pick up vocals if you were singing along / talking over your playing - personally - that's not what I want - and I am going to order a "clamp-on" Barcus Berry 3100 - as distinct from the BB version with the transducer built into the bridge. I haven't fully researched this yet - and I'm not sure if the BB would require a localised pre-amp or not - but - that's the way I'm planning to go - along with getting a better acoustic violin - pennies permitting !

That's my 2 cents worth !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 8, 2014 - 1:50 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

OO, I am curious about what you are doing now. What mic or pickup are you using? Are you using an audio interface or preamp between the pickup/mic and your computer?

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
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May 8, 2014 - 2:26 pm
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FM - just in passing - I believe @OldOgre is ( or WAS on earlier samples he gave us ) just using the mic from a headset ( like you would use to Skype etc ) - we discussed this on chat - I don't know the entire details but I believe that's what OO was trying - no other info - don't know if it's a USB thing or a two-wire thing ( mic-in and headphone out ) - but it's never going to be the best solution

I would suspect that a web-cam with embedded mic might be marginally better than the headset mic - he'd still get the background noise etc... I guess it depends what you want / are able to spend - but quite clearly - OO "just knows" it sounds better live, and the recording is "thin"

Any "built in" mic in a lappy or whatever usually picks up internal fan / disk actuator noise etc etc - let alone any extraneous background - so @OldOgre - I suspect that would never really be a solution for you either....

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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DanielB
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May 9, 2014 - 5:16 am
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I like to use a large condenser studio mic into a tube/valve mic preamp, then into a compressor set about like one sets it for a singer. Then usually either directly into a multi-fx unit (so I can add things like reverb) or into a small mixer with the FX unit hooked up to it's FX send/recieve. From there, into a USB box and then it can go into either desktop or laptop and I don't feel there is much difference which.

I won't go into detail on what specific brands and units I'm using unless you actually want that. All together, it ran probably a little under 500$, which is actually dirt cheap for a fairly functional little home/project studio. But I already had most of that gear before I ever got around to getting a violin. It works pretty well for recording a lot of different things.

If that sounds too complex and/or expensive, I'd suggest considering maybe something like one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Behringe.....+diaphragm

Less than 50$ at the time of this post, and you can just plug it right into your computer's USB port and go. No batteries or power supplies or other cables needed, and after you get the levels set and etc, you're good to go and will get better sound on your recordings than a lot of folks out there on youtube and etc.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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OldOgre
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May 9, 2014 - 6:57 am
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Ok here goes, the 2 recording I did were
1. Webcam mic (sounded like harmonica)
2. Headset mic held near bridge (better but still thin and nasally)
but I know my short comings, I need a better system to record with.
What I am trying to attain in this threat, is what others have found that works for them, like Dan's suggestion of a USB mic. not the full blown recording studio, but something cheap and affordable to a person on a budget who like me wants to upload audio files so they can be critiqued.

FM do you find using a camcorder to be your best bet?
thanks for replying to this post.

With violins there is no fretting over the music.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 11, 2014 - 7:27 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

@ OldOgre - Do you mean for making a video for a project or otherwise? A camcorder can be fantastic if you have individual audio inputs on the camera. Most camcorders have built-in mics that give that boxed sound. It makes sense that a microphone that is built-in will not pick-up as good audio as one that is in the room and completely open.
For simply recording yourself, the best is to have a great microphone. Usually more money equals a better mic but not necessarily. Along with that mic you'll need to power it and control the gain.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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