Tired of those old-fashioned "reliable" microphones and usage skills? So let us learn about the little-known microphone usage skills together.
About the human voice
To make a differential (noise reduction) microphone, two identical omnidirectional microphones need to be tied together, one is placed on top of the other, and the middle is separated by a wooden block (as shown in Figure 1). Mix two microphones in the same environment, but switch one of the microphones to the opposite polarity. The singer should speak into the microphone above when singing.
This method is actually the same as the principle of the figure-of-eight ribbon microphone, and is more suitable for in-ear monitoring. Make sure to use a foam windshield.
Need zombie effect? Try pointing the microphone at the singer’s throat. Want a comb filter sound? Two microphones were used to record the singers at different distances, and then the two recordings were mixed together. Want a hollow voice? Try singing into the mini microphone placed in the sound hole of the guitar. In addition, you can also let the singer use a loudspeaker, either acoustic or electronic.
About the drum
Try the one-mic technology invented by engineer/producer Tchad Blake. Take a large-diaphragm cardioid to point the condenser microphone, fix it on top of the kick drum and aim it at the snare drum. (As shown in a picture in the article)
It can pick up the sounds of snare drums, tom drums, kick drums and wipers around it in a balanced manner, and can adjust the balance by moving or rotating the microphone and raising or lowering the position of the cymbals. Because of the microphone model and location, there may be some off-axis sound staining problems of the cymbals, but according to my past experience, this is not very serious.
Another single-mic method is to clip the mini omnidirectional condenser microphone between 1 and 4 inches above the edge of the snare drum, above the drummer’s knee between the drum sets. It will pick up the surrounding snare drums, tom drums and wipes (as shown in Figure 2), and aim the other microphone at the kick drum. If you want to pick up a punk band, you can try hanging a Shure SM57 at the height of the drummer's forehead.
Other suggestions about drums:
Glue a pair of boundary microphones (such as Crown PZM) to the inside of the acrylic drum noise filter, and then install a PZM inside the kick drum and fix it on the drum clapper. Another trick: fit the PZM on the chest of the drummer. This method is especially suitable for situations where the musicians need to keep moving when picking up a large number of percussion instruments. For added fun, you can also glue a mini microphone to each sand hammer, tambourine, Niu Ling, etc.
Pick up a kid’s toy drum kit instead of a regular professional drum kit.
Use some sturdy dynamic microphones to tap the wipers while amplifying their signals. In other words, use the microphone as a drumstick.
About acoustic guitar and mandolin
Try to hoist a small diaphragm condenser microphone near the guitarist's right ear and aim it at the bridge (as shown in Figure 3). You will hear natural sound in this position, but pay attention to acoustic feedback.
Place a mini omnidirectional condenser microphone in the sound hole and roll it off 100Hz by about 10dB to offset the hum that would appear there. This method provides good isolation and is also suitable for mandolins with ukuleles or oval holes.
For the f-hole mandolin, you can wrap the cable 1 inch below the pickup of a mini omnidirectional condenser microphone with felt, and then tuck it under the strings between the tie plate and the bridge (Figure 4) Shown). Slightly roll off low and high frequencies by a few dB.
If you want to pick up the voice of a guitarist without phase interference, you can use two ribbon microphones, one microphone is aimed at the guitarist's mouth, and the other is aimed at the guitar.
Point the tail of the vocal microphone at the guitar, and the tail of the guitar microphone at the person’s mouth. Of course you can also simply use a Royer SF-12 stereo ribbon microphone.
In order to save trouble, some singers or guitarists will bend down so that their head is just above the guitar, so that they can pick up both the vocals and the guitar at the same time by using a small diaphragm microphone (installed under the guitar and aimed at the top) sound.
You can use a headset microphone with a gooseneck microphone head, such as Audio-Technica ATM75. Ask the musicians to wear the microphone and place the microphone head between the mouthpiece and the sound hole.
About electric guitars
Point the microphone at the hand of the guitarist to pick up the sound of the plucked strings and mix it with the microphone track of the pickup speaker. Another method is to use a y-type cable to amplify the electric guitar through a power amplifier and a Leslie speaker, and pick up their sounds at the same time, and divide them into left and right sound images. This method is also applicable to human voices.
For many low and high frequencies of a guitar amp, you can pick up the Shure SM57 directly at the center of the horn cone next to the grille. If you want to reduce the low and high frequencies, you can hang the microphone above the speaker so that it can pick up the sound of the speaker at 90 degrees off-axis. This angle will not produce proximity effects.
About bassoon, clarinet and oboe
This method is suitable for musicians who need to move: clip the lavalier microphone to the musician's shirt, level with the center of the instrument, and it will pick up the sound of the instrument from the back.
Pick up the hand-held part of the bagpipe about 8 inches from the side, and pick up the sound of the pipe at the position directly above. But why do you want to amplify the sound of the bagpipe? (Some people will also ask the same question about picking up a banjo).
Cello and Acoustic Bass
Fix the cable under the microphone head of an omnidirectional miniature microphone with a 3-inch-long hanger wire, wrap the cable with felt, and then tuck it between the two strings under the bridge, and place the microphone Fix it close to the body (as shown in Figure 5).
Picking up a sound hole will produce a limited, medium-intensity sound that may add a lot of coloring, while picking up under the soundboard will produce a deep, full tone. You can also consider placing a microphone at the end of the piano, slightly lift the top cover, and aim the microphone inside. Or, try placing a few PZMs under the slightly raised top cover above the bass and treble strings.
If you want to add some gritty feeling, connect the synthesizer to the speakers and pick up the sound of the speakers.
Other native instruments in the world
For instruments such as pipa, bouzouki, udder, and sitar, try placing a small diaphragm condenser microphone 3 to 8 inches away from the instrument to pick up the sound. If there is a sound hole, you can place the microphone near where the fingerboard is connected to the body, if not, place it in front of the body. The sound hole will resonate with the air inside the instrument, producing a very low impact sound.
Concertina, accordion and bandonou
Take a few mini omnidirectional microphones, tie a wide rubber band on each musician’s wrist, and then insert the microphone capsule and the 1-inch cable under the capsule into the rubber band. Both microphones are fixed near the sound hole. Or stick the microphone to the instrument first, so that when the musician is on the stage, he/she can take the microphone off and fix it on the hand.
If you want to use a cheap piezoelectric microphone or head-mounted microphone to pick up musical instruments or vocals, you can stick a tissue or TP tube to the end of the microphone-this will create a resonator, unlike any EQ you've heard of same. But please pay attention to the acoustic feedback problem. You can also put the microphone in a tin can to get a unique sound coloring. These unusual pickup methods can create some interesting and novel sounds to surprise your audience.