Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    41
    Liked
    0 times

    Default Mic and tips for recording flute

    Hello all,
    I'm new to the forum (directed here by a bandmate and another forum newbie, in10city) and thought I'd attempt to draw upon everyone's knowledge for some assistance in getting a good sounding flute recording. This has been one of our biggest challenges up to this point. In the past I've attempted to use anything from an SM58 to an AT 4033 or various combinations. We recently did a live show where we got some good results using a borrowed Beta 57.

    Based on what I've read here so far, I'm gathering that the 4033 is a bad choice due to an overemphasis on high frequencies...So, I'll start with a clean slate. What would anyone recommend as far as mics, and any tips as to mic placement would be helpful.
    Thanks in advance...

  2. #2
    DogpitStudios's Avatar
    Gold-Plated Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    550
    Liked
    1 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    Before suggesting any new mics, I'm going to suggest that you take every mic you have (this includes $10 radio shack mics) and set each one up where they sound best when the flute is playd. I'm not sure what mics you have, but after doing this short test get back to us about exactly what you don't like about the way each mic picks up the sound of the flute.

    As for mic placement, I don't know exactly how a flute produces tone, but my aunt is a proffessional and has been in many big new york studios to produce her CDs. I'll be seeing her in about 2 days, so I can talk to her about it and get back to you.

    Ben
    "There is no such thing as bad music... Only different"

  3. #3
    In10city's Avatar
    Bronze-Plated Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    104
    Liked
    0 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    I guess it's time to dust off my old collection of radio Shack SM-58 wanna-be's and see what they sound like.


  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    41
    Liked
    0 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    OK, thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to get together with our flautist and give it a go. We have the 4033, plenty of SM57's and SM58's, a Carvin condenser, some old AKG vocal mics, a couple of EV's, and, well, that cheap Radio Shack stuff. I'll do some experimenting and report back here.



  5. #5
    Gold-Plated Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    512
    Liked
    1 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    This may or may not help....

    I usually pick mics depending on the track and what purpose the flute plays...

    but as far as micing, there are 3 basic positions... one is near the mouth to pick up breath sounds, one is near the exhaust pipe ;D and the other is several feet above the flute. If you are in a room with low ceilings, have the player sit if possible

  6. #6
    brandondrury's Avatar
    Supreme Overlord Commander
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Scott City, Missouri
    Posts
    34,649
    Pissed Off At High End Gear
    Blog Entries
    33
    Liked
    5032 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    I must admit that I've only recorded a flute one time in my entire life. The guy playing it was an amazing saxaphone player, but not an amazing flute player.

    With that said, flutes are what I call "natural instruments". This means that a mic 2-4 feet away will probably sound fine. If it doesn't, you tweak. I know nothing about the specifics of a flute and therefore I have no tricks.

    I'd be really careful using hyper / super cardiod microphones with the flute back too far because they can get exceptionally thin at great distances. This may or may not effect your flute recording.

    In what mix is the flute going to be in? Is it by itself? Is it competing with rock guitar and big drums?

    Brandon

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    41
    Liked
    0 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    Thanks again everyone.

    The flute will be used fairly extensively on this cd, at times with minimal accompaniment on acoustic guitar or keys, at other times pretty much with the full barrage of drum/bass/gtr/keys/kitchen sink.
    There are also a few parts where the flute will be harmonizing with lead guitar melodies in moderately dense arrangements.

  8. #8
    brandondrury's Avatar
    Supreme Overlord Commander
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Scott City, Missouri
    Posts
    34,649
    Pissed Off At High End Gear
    Blog Entries
    33
    Liked
    5032 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    Well, I'd think that it would really need to cut in a dense mix and so you may get away with something like a AT4033 (but that can be one aggressive mic). Of course, the mic will dull up quite a bit if you put a bag over it, leave it in its case, or angle it a little. (The latter being the most realistic solution).

    In the more sparse arrangements, you'll probably want it sounding a little "creamier". I'd reach for a ribbon microhone if you have one, but there are probably certain condensers that would be good for this.

    In reality, positioning is the most important factor here (assuming the flute sounds good in the room).

    Brandon

  9. #9
    Brand New Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2
    Liked
    0 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    I have tried recording bansuri bamboo flute with my AKG perception 200. I mike it close , 4-6 inches from the blowing hole. The sound comes nice and fat but unfortunately there seems to be a rough edge to it - there is a bunch of sibilance (which seems to be in 5-6kHz range) also caught /amplified in the recording. Close range seems necessary to preserve the low-end. Any ideas? Does anybody know about AKG Perception 200's performance etc.? Thanks!

  10. #10
    Brand New Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2
    Liked
    0 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    Originally Posted by cavedweller
    I have tried recording bansuri bamboo flute with my AKG perception 200. I mike it close , 4-6 inches from the blowing hole. The sound comes nice and fat but unfortunately there seems to be a rough edge to it - there is a bunch of sibilance (which seems to be in 5-6kHz range) also caught /amplified in the recording. Close range seems necessary to preserve the low-end. Any ideas? Does anybody know about AKG Perception 200's performance etc.? Thanks!
    Hey folks! Nobody has thoughts on this??

  11. #11
    Brand New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1
    Liked
    0 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    speaking as a flautist, rather than someone who actually knows anything about tech stuff, i'd say to mic up the bansuri bamboo flute about a foot away from the body, but instead of right by the blowing hole, try placing it in the middle-ish of the flute, or towards the end. This is just from when i've had other people recording me, it seems that the sibilance comes from the air actually going over the mic, placing it away from the blowing hole should change that also, if you want to keep the richer tone, try placing a second mic behind you towards the end of the flute. sounds odd, but they tried it on me and liked it! not sure if it helps, but that's what i've seen

  12. #12
    Silver-Plated Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    383
    Liked
    1 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    *************
    Last edited by Freddy G; 03-26-2010 at 08:20 AM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    5,176
    Liked
    126 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    Originally Posted by cavedweller
    I have tried recording bansuri bamboo flute with my AKG perception 200. I mike it close , 4-6 inches from the blowing hole. The sound comes nice and fat but unfortunately there seems to be a rough edge to it - there is a bunch of sibilance (which seems to be in 5-6kHz range) also caught /amplified in the recording. Close range seems necessary to preserve the low-end. Any ideas? Does anybody know about AKG Perception 200's performance etc.? Thanks!
    I just recorded flute last night. Outstanding flautist and sax player.

    I used a 4050 about 12 inches from the end of the flute and a pair of NT-5s about 6 feet beyond (to counter the "rough edge" as you call it) and mixed both as needed. Why "as needed?" We recorded flute on 9 different songs...a couple were more like a rockish Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) while others were a slow, ballad-like gospel song. Requires different ambience so to speak.

    As Brandon said, I'd go with condensers.

    Unfortunately I don't have any experience with the Perception 200's.

    I haven't played around with the mixes yet, but I don't think I'll need to be doing any heavy EQing. I tracked it through my MIDAS with the 80hz HPF on it.
    TonyB
    _________________
    Good Song + Good Arrangement + Good Performer + Good Performance + Good Acoustic Environment + Good Recording Chain + Good Monitoring Chain + Good Engineer + Good Luck =
    Good Product

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    5,176
    Liked
    126 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    Originally Posted by darlingtonflute
    speaking as a flautist, rather than someone who actually knows anything about tech stuff, i'd say to mic up the bansuri bamboo flute about a foot away from the body, but instead of right by the blowing hole, try placing it in the middle-ish of the flute, or towards the end. This is just from when i've had other people recording me, it seems that the sibilance comes from the air actually going over the mic, placing it away from the blowing hole should change that also, if you want to keep the richer tone, try placing a second mic behind you towards the end of the flute. sounds odd, but they tried it on me and liked it! not sure if it helps, but that's what i've seen
    Very good point! I find a 2-mic approach works very well.
    TonyB
    _________________
    Good Song + Good Arrangement + Good Performer + Good Performance + Good Acoustic Environment + Good Recording Chain + Good Monitoring Chain + Good Engineer + Good Luck =
    Good Product

  15. #15
    Brand New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    10
    Liked
    0 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    to get a good sound when you recorded flute you have to have the microphones at least 3 feet or more from the fruit. I know it might sound better when you put it to 5 inch from one part of the flute but you looking for trouble trying to do that. also very important is the acoustic of the room you recording. you'll never get a good sound in your bedroom. David - http://www.freshcutsoundeffects.com

  16. #16
    brandondrury's Avatar
    Supreme Overlord Commander
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Scott City, Missouri
    Posts
    34,649
    Pissed Off At High End Gear
    Blog Entries
    33
    Liked
    5032 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    It always blows my mind when people imply "the only way to..." and specifically say "never get a good sound". The rules have been broken too many times to have such a rigid view and the word "good" is so meaningless that I'm struggling to see how a person could maintain such a viewpoint and maintain anything resembling logic.

    The tips of getting away from the instrument (a good thing with most instruments most of the time) and recording in great rooms are definitely good ones, but I'm not going to risk my reputation on always/never because someone WILL prove me wrong.

    Brandon

  17. #17
    paul999's Avatar
    God Jr.
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6,721
    Blog Entries
    49
    Liked
    1019 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    When I've recorded flute I only used 1 mic. I was about 2 feet back. I though it was great sounding.

  18. #18
    Brand New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    10
    Liked
    0 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    Originally Posted by brandondrury
    It always blows my mind when people imply "the only way to..." and specifically say "never get a good sound". The rules have been broken too many times to have such a rigid view and the word "good" is so meaningless that I'm struggling to see how a person could maintain such a viewpoint and maintain anything resembling logic.

    The tips of getting away from the instrument (a good thing with most instruments most of the time) and recording in great rooms are definitely good ones, but I'm not going to risk my reputation on always/never because someone WILL prove me wrong.

    Brandon

    You are right - I should never use the words always and never. Yes you might get a great sound in a bedroom and yes you might get a good sound recording and instrument in a very close miking but it's unlikely and a lot of time it will sound good at first but later you'll realize there is a problem with the sound you thought was good.
    Thanks for pointing it out David - http://www.freshcutsoundeffects.com

  19. #19
    Rob K's Avatar
    Gold-Plated Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    552
    Liked
    118 times

    Default Re: Mic and tips for recording flute

    For what it's worth, earlyish in my recording days I recorded a flute with an SM58 in my bedroom, plugged into a fostex 4 track which I used as a mixer to record into the stereo input of my Soundblaster soundcard. Applied a bit of EQ and reverb in Acid Pro 3 and it sounded amazing. To this day I listen to that recording and wonder if I could do much better with my now vastly more expensive gear!

    To the OP: Don't assume that a new mic will solve all your problems - you might find that what you alredy have is more than adequate for the job!
    Gear: Cubase 7, Focusrite Scarlett 18i6, Focusrite OctoPre MkII, Audient Mico Preamp
    Mics: Geffel UMT800, SE3 Stereo Pair, SE1A Stereo Pair, GrooveTubes GT55, Beyerdynamic Opus Drum Mic set

Similar Threads

  1. Mic and tips for recording flute
    By Starcross in forum Fixing Gear
    Replies: 14
    Latest Jive: 02-25-2011, 12:02 PM
  2. First recording. Any tips?
    By Ben-g in forum Bash This Recording
    Replies: 14
    Latest Jive: 01-24-2011, 08:27 PM
  3. Flute Recording Experiences?
    By stephentedsmith in forum Recording Toys And Tactics
    Replies: 2
    Latest Jive: 08-10-2009, 12:04 PM
  4. Any tips 4 Bass Cab for recording ?
    By jawsap62 in forum Recording Toys And Tactics
    Replies: 8
    Latest Jive: 07-28-2009, 10:56 PM
  5. Recording Flute and Shaker
    By dantron in forum Recording Toys And Tactics
    Replies: 2
    Latest Jive: 03-26-2009, 11:43 AM

Thread Info

Recording Toys And Tactics Thread, Mic and tips for recording flute in Recording Engineers / Producers; Hello all, I'm new to the forum (directed here by a bandmate and another forum newbie, in10city) and thought I'd ...

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •