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amplifying a flute 
 

amplifying a flute

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amplifying a flute    20:46 on Monday, October 19, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

goldenflute
(89 points)

Where is the best placement of a microphone when you are trying to amplify a flute? Would it be by the headjoint or the body or at the end of the footjoint? Thanks for any help.

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Re: amplifying a flute    13:49 on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

jose_luis
(2365 points)

There has been a thread here on this subject some time ago. Perform a search and if lucky you will find several post about it.


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Re: amplifying a flute    17:48 on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

goldenflute
(89 points)

Thanks Jose Luis ... I will try that.

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Re: amplifying a flute    10:15 on Friday, October 23, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

elembandguy
(3 points)

I played in a Celtic band for 6 years. I used an AKG condenser microphone with a windscreen. I would put the mic up high and aim the screen to come down at an angle so it was out of my airstream. This gave a very pure sound. It also had a very consistent pickup pattern, meaning that I could step back from the mic a little without sacrificing pickup quality as happens with vocal microphones and non-condenser mics.

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Re: amplifying a flute    17:08 on Monday, October 26, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

jose_luis
(2365 points)

I tried to find the old post with the microphone discussion but I could not. The search function here seems to have serious problems.

If you want a clip-on mike to fix onto the flute so that you can move around while playing, there are small clip microphones (I believe most are electret type) that can be attached easily to the head joint side. Or you can clip them to your dress or shirt you wear. I do not guarantee the quality of the sound, however. I believe that most of the sound is emitted from the embouchure hole area, not from the foot joint end, so your mike should be near this area.

Others could confirm or correct this assessment.

For more static use, the elemband recommended condenser microphones are a very good choice.

I have been recommended some time ago, to use a couple of Oktava (Russian) M12 condenser microphones placed a meter or so above the head of the player, but I never tried this setting.

IMO you should avoid using dynamic type mikes, only condenser type or in the worst case, electret type (these are self-polarized condenser type, but normally too small and of dubious quality in many cases).



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Re: amplifying a flute    18:43 on Monday, October 26, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

goldenflute
(89 points)

Jose Luis, I also tried to do a search but cme up with nothing. I do remember there being a post about this a very long time ago.

I am principally a Church musician so I stand in the same place always. The microphone I currently use is a condensor microphone. It is (supposedly) omni-directional but I do find that the closer I am directly in front of it, the better the sound pick-up. I also try and direct it close to the headjoint as you stated because I too, believe that's where the majority of the sound comes from. At this point, I find it adequate but I am always conscious as to how close I stand to it and also, to make sure I project my sound.

Thank you anyway for trying to find that old post.

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Re: amplifying a flute    19:32 on Monday, October 26, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

kevin28115
(7 points)

well for our marching band when we had to amplify the flute solo to be heard we just placed a mic above the flute air stream so there's no air sound so that it'll pick up just the sound. ours was a clip-on to the soloist.

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Re: amplifying a flute    08:57 on Thursday, October 29, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

jose_luis
(2365 points)

I think remembering that a distance of about a yard would be better to a closer position for a single soloist,. But if you do not play alone (say, have a accompaniment of cello or similar), this distance should be increased to pick up the sound of the group.

There are basically there types of Condenser Microphone patterns, but the most frequent are omnidirectional and cardioid (but the most common is cardiod).

This is a directional microphone and it picks sounds much better from the front than the rear direction. If there are noises, voices or people moving on the rear side of the microphone you will get a better discrimination than using an omnidirectional microphone, so you could check the plate of the device and see what is said there. Some models may have switchable patterns, but I believe they are rare and expensive.

Also, the issue of echoes and reverbs may be a concern and you should experiment with your position (in case you can move it) and the distance and position of the microphone.

So when playing in places with long reverberation as a big church, probably the directional types are preferable. Cardioids or supercardiods could be most appropriate.

I believe that good amplification and(and recording) of live performances has more of magic art than everything else. But good sound technicians/engineers know how to achieve the best results at every location, so it can be learnt maybe by trial and error at the beginning and then put in practise.


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Re: amplifying a flute    17:07 on Thursday, October 29, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Go-Home-and-Prac
tice

The thread you may be thinking of: "Microphones and Flute---Help!" from back in May. In my own experience, positioning the microphone closer to the keys rather than the head joint gave a warmer sound and my breathing wasn't so abrasive sounding. I recommend experimentation. Good luck!

   

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