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Record Flute Audio/Video, l4 mic advice

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Record Flute Audio/Video, l4 mic advice

Postby Chummy » Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:59 am

hi guys first post, nice to meet y'all

I am a piano and flute player, works as music teacher.
I'd like to record my flute playing for home use, make fun videos for YouTube, family, and friends, maybe even for my students as well.

I have an 8 year old mic JTS em-969 which is a 40$ karaoke mic for amping voice but delivers atrocious results when recording flute (it also has super duper low gain even maxed all the way through for some reason). So I wanna buy a new mic specifically for that task.

After A LOT of research I have found that I could either use a dynamic mic or a small diaphragm condenser. Ribbons are okay but too expensive for my small use. I don't know about those mobile 'zoom' recorders whether they are any good, never had one, maybe you can tell.

So the consensus from what I understood is that I should go for the condenser instead of the dynamic. The Shure 57 while being an industry standard received many conflicting reviews from flutists about use as a sound capture and that just got me more confused... still in a dilemma.

My flute has got a good low end and I would like to capture that. I like the fatness and raw actual 'clean' sound of the instrument. I don't know what I should go with, and moreover which models to aim for. Not looking for a 'million dollar' studio sound, only something that's the most bang for buck sufficient for home use.

In addition, If I record with a backing track in the past I always put on headphones when overdubbing parts in order to prevent leakage. However recently I've seen a couple of videos in which ppl overdub themselves and use a backing track in multiple parts with naked ears in all of them. I guess it could be a post-made clip but could they have found a way to overdub without headphones? (literally can see nothing on the ears) if so how would one achieve that? or did they just ignore the leakage and it still sounds great somehow?

Lastly, I am also contemplating as to whether I should get a video capture device but I do not know where is the right forum to post a thread about that.
Thank you very much!! :P
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Re: Record Flute Audio/Video, l4 mic advice

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:23 am

Hi and welcome,

I would probably use a small diaphragm capacitor* for flute if a ribbon was out of the question (I play a little myself though I'm a guitarist by 'trade'). Some form of improvised acoustic treatment will go a long way to improving the recorded sound in a domestic space.

Portable recorders are pretty good these days, my son uses one to record multi part french horn arrangements while videoing with his iPhone.

* Line Audio seem to be considered very good VFM.

HTH
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Re: Record Flute Audio/Video, l4 mic advice

Postby Chummy » Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:57 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Hi and welcome,

I would probably use a small diaphragm capacitor* for flute if a ribbon was out of the question (I play a little myself though I'm a guitarist by 'trade'). Some form of improvised acoustic treatment will go a long way to improving the recorded sound in a domestic space.

Portable recorders are pretty good these days, my son uses one to record multi part french horn arrangements while videoing with his iPhone.

* Line Audio seem to be considered very good VFM.

HTH

Hey Sam, thank you for the reply. Unfortunately I couldn't find this maker (Line Audio) in my country in order to make a purchase nor in eBay as well. It seems this is a small Swedish company which likely isn't available worldwide.

I have scrolled through a recommended list of SDCs under 500$ and narrowed down to several options. I never used any, so any input as regards to what's better to my application would be welcome!

-Shure SM81
-Shure ksm137
-AKG C451 (not sure about this one for flute)
-Warm Audio WA 87 (eBay only for me)
-Avatone CK-1 . I am extremely surprised at how cheap it is! is it so bad in compared to the others? like 3 times as bad ? (reflected in the price that is..)

Thank you. I am open to other models of course, as long as I am able to find them locally or online (I use seller such as Thomann Europe too)
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Re: Record Flute Audio/Video, l4 mic advice

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:53 pm

The only one I have personal knowledge of is the AKG C451/CK1, It would certainly work but is a bit bright and may not be the best choice, I would use my Calrec CB20C/CC50 but they are long out of production. What about the Rode NT5, I have used those live and found them to be pretty decent but not in a studio setting. I'm sure somebody else will be along soon with some more personal recommendations.
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Re: Record Flute Audio/Video, l4 mic advice

Postby James Perrett » Sun Aug 09, 2020 10:20 pm

I'd suggest Line Audio too. I've used a CM3 successfully for flute but unfortunately the track hasn't been released yet so I can't post an example.

They say they'll send out orders worldwide if you look at

http://www.lineaudio.se/contact.html
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Re: Record Flute Audio/Video, l4 mic advice

Postby shufflebeat » Sun Aug 09, 2020 10:46 pm

Wise words already, some other issues to consider:

How are you planning to edit/process? Matching and coordination of elements can be a PITA which can be easily avoided by doing the video/audio on the same unit which can incorporate editing and distribution so a decent external phone mic can be worth checking out.

As Sam alluded to, a good mix in a bad space will produce awful results, a mediocre mix in a great space can sound great.
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Re: Record Flute Audio/Video, l4 mic advice

Postby CS70 » Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:02 pm

Line Audio is a one-man Swedish company, but it is available wherever there is a post office :) I have just purchased and used two CM4s and they're lovely, cheap and extremely cheerful.

Keep in mind, flute - all exposed instruments really, primary concern is your recording space, no matter the mic. Then, the mic position in the room with respect to the flute, it alters the sound much more than the type of mic.

That given, I would immediately go for an active ribbon to make my life easy, and the SE XR1 is cheap and shouldn't be half bad at all. I mention it because it's the one ribbon I know of which doesn't cost a kidney or half, especially if bought used.

Otherwise, any reasonably unhyped condenser should do.. you can go for SDC, but the flute is often pretty smooth, without great transients, so I wouldn't dismiss a good LDC, especially if it has an omni pattern. If you have to buy a mic, a reasonably good LDC could be a little more versatile than a SDC, and cost-wise there are many more around.

Finally, a word of mention for the MD421 - I think it was Bob here that said that it sounds like a 57 would sound if it were doing its job, and it's a very versatile dynamic mic. But cheap is not..

I see u mention the WA87 which I guess is a U87 clone. U87s can work very well on omni mode on flutes...
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Re: Record Flute Audio/Video, l4 mic advice

Postby Chummy » Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:22 am

Oh I didn't know it's a one man company thing, then I should be talking to the guy from the site . I think at that price given it's a mail order I might order 2 CM4s, never know in the future if I will need to record the upright piano, or who knows what,.. not gonna hurt and I think if I don't get the two of them now I may regret that in a year or two from now...

Thank you kindly for the advice guys, I will be messaging Line Audio Design (shipping price also doesn't seem exaggerated actually!! a huge bonus in my decision)
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Re: Record Flute Audio/Video, l4 mic advice

Postby Chummy » Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:05 am

update on my previous post:

so I sent roger from line audio a message, looking into a pair of CM4s.

In the mean time though, I stumbled upon a discount of a local reputable retailer on an active ribbon Rode NTR for a total of 655$. (given in my area prices or all musical related equipment are very high, this is on sale). Should I go for it for my application?

lastly about my room, one of the rooms in my flat was actually designed as a bomb shelter, super thick walls , only one window which is also pretty tough and a huge thick door as well. The room is actually pretty small but dry. I think it would be great to record there given my other rooms especially the living room are reverbery and not as good.
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Re: Record Flute Audio/Video, l4 mic advice

Postby CS70 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:07 pm

Chummy wrote:update on my previous post:

so I sent roger from line audio a message, looking into a pair of CM4s.

In the mean time though, I stumbled upon a discount of a local reputable retailer on an active ribbon Rode NTR for a total of 655$. (given in my area prices or all musical related equipment are very high, this is on sale). Should I go for it for my application?


I tend to love ribbon mics.. 655 USD doesn't seem so much discounted tough? You can get it from Thomann at $544 ($464 VAT excluded).

The fact that it's active is definitely a plus however, so you don't have to be fussy about which pre you use.

lastly about my room, one of the rooms in my flat was actually designed as a bomb shelter, super thick walls , only one window which is also pretty tough and a huge thick door as well. The room is actually pretty small but dry.

That sounds curious? Unless there's some absorbent materials on them, it sounds like a recipe for lots of reflections?
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