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Where to Begin Recording Your Violin, Viola, Cello?
Simple answers.
Topic Rating: 4.9 Topic Rating: 4.9 Topic Rating: 4.9 Topic Rating: 4.9 Topic Rating: 4.9 Topic Rating: 4.9 (45 votes) 
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SharonC
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January 30, 2022 - 2:00 pm
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The recent activity of some of our tech savvy Forum members has inspired me to learn more about audio recording (I know what phantom power is now!).  While poking around & tinkering, I found these interesting videos to add to the info already posted above. I think they both do a good job of providing some basic explanations/demonstrations:

 

This one explains microphones types (about 2:35 in), how different types of rooms affect violin recording (7:00), microphone placement (8:30), & software (9:40):

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

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ELCBK
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January 30, 2022 - 2:22 pm
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@SharonC -

These are both fabulous finds! 

Thank you!

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ABitRusty
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January 30, 2022 - 3:22 pm
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@SharonC ive been. watching alot of Davids videos lately especially the sampling ones.  A couple years ago when i started experimenting with recording violin...id already been doinv stuff with guitar for another guitar learning type forum...i. bought a presonus BUNDLE from sweetwater and a shure sm57 mic. 

that worked great for guitar.  as david said i found out when i started with violin it added to the already shrill sound the strings espcially beginner playing can cause. BUT it would work as a start and they are cheap..and work great for most every other thing.

 

THOUGHTS ON MICS

dynamic mics usually need to be fairly close since they arent powered among other things im sure..  i also found i had to turn up the gain ( think volume or power ) to signal which added alot of this sssssssssss to the backround that drove ME nuts.  may not be an issue for everybody.

SO.. i finally decided i like this stuff and want to go deeper and contacted a sweetwater sales person.  He gave some violin mic type suggestions.  the lowest price and one people seemed to like was a royer R10 ribbon. 

another thing i added with the royer is an inline cloud lifter or amp type device.  you power it with the phatom power and it takes the incoming signal from mic and boost it.   keeps my gain fairly low on interface instead of having it cranked up more.  you could also look at the SE electronics vr2 which is phantom powered do bypass that inline amp need.

The R10 is pretty much all im using for violin right now.  I have used it paired with a lauten small diaphragm condenser in different setups for stereo. Usually  if the violin is by itself in a recording ill do it stereo.  if its with anything else ill just do mono on it with the r10.  personal prefrence and it changes...

A LITTLE MIXING THOUGHT

Theres other things like panning ill do to place it.  One thing to note is that most listen on their cell phone speaker which is mono anyway so if you do much stereo mixing its probably a good thing to listen in mono and adjust ..all that work you do making a good sound in stereo could be lost and you only hear the loudeat parts...thats down the road..

 

SUGGESTIONS

You can record audio using cell phone then. transfer that wav or mp3 file into a free daw and experiment if you like this kinda stuff before buying things.  I do but most may not and it may take away the violin playing part and actually hurt more than helps.  Ive found when i record and start adding tracks i think about...hmm what may sound good here.  also find things like...i hit that note too hard or out of tune...i need to record that again.   It also keeps my foot in playing some of the other instruments since violin takes so much time.

LOOK at what the software will cost you to upgrade to full version if you like it.   does it have an annual renew fee?   check out their support and user forum..is it active?  does support respond?

IS YOUR COMPUTER able to handle the software?   do you have enough disk space?  dont think you can load on a windows xp computer bought in 2001 and it be an enjoyable experience.  as long as your computer meets the RECOMMENDED specs NOT the minimum...you should be ok.

 

WHAT ID SUGGEST IF YOU DO BUY STUFF

I know thats alot of blab but seemed like a good time place to add it again.   LOOK FOR A BUNDLE.  youll want an interface with at least 2 inputs.... the quieter the preamp the better...youll want a mic stand or 2 if doing stereo and possibly a stereo bar mount... cables xlr youll probably be close but id still get at least a 10' in case... any longer and the extra cables start getting in the way...  stay away from a mixer..go with an recording interface...and a set of CLOSED back headphones to start.   ear buds will work but down the road if this is something you like youll see they have some limitations.

There are several brands on sweetwater with bundles.  you can get a mic a stand headphones interface and a key to download install software.   I prefer presonus because its what i started with and my interface and software all just work together...updates are flawless..if im limited i dont know it..ignorance bliss thing.  

brands dont matter though..they all are great..especially at our level of using the stuff.  once you start experimenting things like room noise and echos stuff like that will come into play.  i have thoughts on what ive found there but this is already way too long.

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ABitRusty
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January 30, 2022 - 4:29 pm
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96k 128k 192k.  

these will be thrown around in marketing of interfaces...here is a video about all that...put your lab coat and safety glasses on...good information ..but maybe too much

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SharonC
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January 30, 2022 - 10:21 pm
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@ABitRusty  Thanks for the suggestions & addition info--I appreciate your experienced insight.  Your posted video does a really good job of explaining audio—I can see myself getting lost in editing rather than practicing my violin!   I know there is a lot out there to test out. 

I’m good on a PC—the computer I do most of my things on is Win7 (I find it more stable than the newer versions), but I have 3 others, 2 with Windows10 with lots of space & capacity (I run backups from the Win7 to one of the Windows10 machines).

Yeah, I’ve already been buying stuff—I’ve got a Zoom Q8 recorder—neat little camera. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?.....VBhSeDpQrs

I recorded some of my violin playing simultaneously with the Q8 & the Ipad, then put the videos into my editing software to compare.  I believe the video on my Ipad is actually slightly better, but the included X/Y module on the Q8 is better (obviously) than the onboard mic of the Ipad.  I like the idea of having a portable camera with decent audio capability that I can take somewhere to record.

And the Q8 also has two XLR inputs.  It allows you to record a combined audio/video .mov file, or you can record the audio & video as separate tracks.  Audio files can be recorded as WAV or AAC (various settings, WAV 44.1kHz/16bit – 96kHz/24bit, AAC 64kbps – 320kbps).

And I’m waiting on a mic this week--after reading about the condenser mics, I went & ordered an AE5100 mic (& stand), along with a portable phantom power supply (Xvive Audio P1 Portable Phantom Power Supply, & cables).  I wanted to give a condenser mic a try before I try the ribbon mic—they are cheaper, but also I’m just curious about how they work, with phantom power, etc., 

The Q8 can support the phantom power, but I wanted the option of a separate supply since the camera is running on a rechargeable battery (will be less of a drain).   I’ll try with & without the portable phantom power supply to see what the differences are. 

I’m looking forward to running the AE5100 mic into the Zoom Q8 to see what I get.     

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

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JohnG
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January 30, 2022 - 10:58 pm
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SharonC said
...

Yeah, I’ve already been buying stuff—I’ve got a Zoom Q8 recorder—neat little camera.

... 

Impressive camera at a reasonable price! Thanks for the tip!

The old curmudgeon!

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ABitRusty
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@SharonC thats a great camera actually made with muscians in mind.  If you look in the cooleys party i started its what i used there.  ive used the phatom power before and im trying to remember if you can used the power adapter while its recording.   One thing thats cool is if you have a backing track you can run that in as one of the tracks listen on headphones out of the camera and play along.  the tracks pretty much will be matched.  I dont use it like i do the canon now because of the video, but as long as youve some extra lighting it works great..especially the audio.  Im planning on doing something with it as a second camera or possibly third with cell phone to kinda mix up videos.  do different angles.  just havent spent the time on it yet 

 

heres an old one where i ran the backing track into the q8 and played along with the les paul.  all this was done without computer or daw.  the guy that made these backings had a ton of great stuff the youtube changed how people can monetize videos.  Id link the track but its not there anymore.  shame.  he made quality stuff. the original link is in the description but think it just says video not found.

q8 example

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ELCBK
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January 31, 2022 - 8:43 am
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@ABitRusty , @SharonC -

ALL of your info has been invaluable to me!  

These posts are especially helpful, taking this HUGE subject of recording and equipment & slowly breaking it down, with more detail for me!  

Headphones vs. ear buds vs. In-ear Monitors? 

After Jim Dunleavy's recent observation, about lugging around recording equipment, the limitations of my current circumstances have become more clear. 

My equipment needs to be 'bare bones' & as compact as possible! 

Been thinking of buying a frame for my smartphone, to mount an external mic and light.  

There's amazing accessories for filming with smartphones now! 

Sweetwater gives a great overview/description of my "Positive Grid Shark Amp".  "An app-driven, Smart amp", it's an interface, works with PreSonus, allows voice controlled lead tones & backing tracks, has MANY styles of PRESETS & VIRTUAL pedals (or can add my own) - and I'll probably get totally lost down this rabbit hole, FOREVER! 

 

I'm still fighting this dilemma: "spend time enjoying playing the violin & just record for personal feedback" vs. "get lost experimenting with electric violin effects & video editing"! 

My other fear, which I've dealt with VERY poorly (completely avoiding), is PC & Smartphone software, especially apps!  I spent a little time (many years ago) becoming familiar with computers - when speeds finally rose above a snail's pace.  I found it too interesting - an all-consuming-trap, taking up all my time!  I made an ill-fated decision to dump everything on Kevin, since he was interested & taking classes for work.  So, up until recently, I've just passed the phone or laptop to Kevin anytime I've needed help. 

I REALLY regret this!  

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ABitRusty
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January 31, 2022 - 11:08 am
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new gadgets software even instruments can just be a distraction from the original goal of learning whatever instrument youre trying to get up to speed on.   You can spend time and money on stuff that doesnt help for sure.  You kinda have to balance everything.  Recording can help ..but you dont need anything other than a phone to do that.  Its not like youre sabotaging yourself by not jumping into daws or amps more equipment..  people learned to play violin long before all this stuff was around so dont beat yourself up over it.  just focus on what youre doing.

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ELCBK
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January 31, 2022 - 11:51 am
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@ABitRusty -

Just realized, if I'm using my smartphone to record, but need to use an app for the Shark amp stuff - I'm still going to need to use my laptop (duh).  

Think I can go wireless with just about everything, except external mic.

I forgot to mention - when I was looking at adding an external mic to my phone, it was brought to my attention the importance of the correct USB adapter.  Sounds simple - but I had NO clue how easy it is to get the wrong kind! 

I have no idea if this applies to other phones. 

 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/21/82/52/2182522c567a0b96e4dd0eccd3e67ff8.png

Thanx! 

I know I'll get there, sooner or later - it's nice to be reminded there's no deadline. 

- Emily

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ABitRusty
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February 1, 2022 - 7:43 pm
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check it out!

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ELCBK
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SWEET! 

...leavin' all those stairs to the youngsters, thank you. (lol)

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Mark
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That's quite the home studio 

 

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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ABitRusty
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@elcbk and anyone interested in this topic...

saw this today and it looks sounds from videos good.   kinda pricey but may help with the external mic to smartphone.  im thinking this may be a repeat from recent topic but cant find it using search so apologies if someone has already ahared this.  

https://www.shopmoment.com/pro.....-video-kit

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SharonC
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ABitRusty said
@SharonC thats a great camera actually made with muscians in mind.  If you look in the cooleys party i started its what i used there.  ive used the phatom power before and im trying to remember if you can used the power adapter while its recording.   One thing thats cool is if you have a backing track you can run that in as one of the tracks listen on headphones out of the camera and play along.  the tracks pretty much will be matched.  I dont use it like i do the canon now because of the video, but as long as youve some extra lighting it works great..especially the audio.  Im planning on doing something with it as a second camera or possibly third with cell phone to kinda mix up videos.  do different angles.  just havent spent the time on it yet 

 

heres an old one where i ran the backing track into the q8 and played along with the les paul.  all this was done without computer or daw.  the guy that made these backings had a ton of great stuff the youtube changed how people can monetize videos.  Id link the track but its not there anymore.  shame.  he made quality stuff. the original link is in the description but think it just says video not found.

q8 example

  

@ABitRusty  I hadn’t realized that about running a backing track into the camera—I may try that, thanks smile

I watched your videos that you indicated that you used the Q8 on – they look & sound good.  I’ve been testing the Q8 this week with my new AE5100 mic; I’m liking the results.

Because of the wide lens, it has a little fisheye effect, but I can reduce that by zooming in, or by angling the camera a certain way.  My video software (Movavi) has a filter to reduce the fisheye effect, but it seems to overcompensate—makes it look bad, so I won’t be using that.  Others things I can do to work around/with it. 

Didn't get a new Viola (not going "dark side", for now), but got some new toys I'm happy with smile

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

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SharonC
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ABitRusty said
check it out!

  

Who wouldn't want that in their attic!

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

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SharonC
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ELCBK said
@ABitRusty , @SharonC -

Sweetwater gives a great overview/description of my "Positive Grid Shark Amp".  "An app-driven, Smart amp", it's an interface, works with PreSonus, allows voice controlled lead tones & backing tracks, has MANY styles of PRESETS & VIRTUAL pedals (or can add my own) - and I'll probably get totally lost down this rabbit hole, FOREVER! 

  

@ELCBK  Just a word about Sweetwater--I contacted them about the phantom power supply I was planning to get to use with my new microphone.  They were quick to respond with pertinent information.  They seem to know what they're talking about, & have good customer service.

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

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ABitRusty
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@SharonC @elcbk so this is what Jon was working on in the attic studio video.  Check out around 1:30 mainly!  I wonder how much bridge modification has to be done to put those strings on.  If none. oh boy 🤣  could have some interesting stuff going on.  Sharon the video you shared from David... he goes into how to sample real instruments and do the kind of things like jon is showing in this video.  Seems like it could be a deep rabbit hole.  anyway...this video showed up in my youtube list..thought someone may also find it cool.

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SharonC
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@ABitRusty wow, great video--so many possibilities.  I'm thinking those strings would shake the violin bridge off! 

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

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Mark
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ABitRusty

A deep dark rabbit hole, I need to retire before I even pear into that rabbit hole.

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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