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A better microphone perhaps?


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I would really appreciate some input from the forum members.

My Dad is 89 and I decided to undertake a small project of recording very short pieces that he plays. Obviously, this is NOT a professional studio. This is a home setting. After doing some research I came across multiple recommendations for the RODE VideoMic Pro+ Compact Directional On-Camera Shotgun Condenser Microphone. So, this is the microphone being used in these recordings. However, after playing the recorded pieces for my Dad he tells me that he does not like the sound that much. Here is an example:


Question: Those of you who play violin professionally and record the music outside the studio what microphone would you recommend? I am NOT a sound recording professional. However, I would be interested in learning what setup the musicians are using. Perhaps I can recreate something a bit better so that my Dad will like the sound.

Thank you for your help in advance.

Edited by MichaelCalgary
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Microphone placement is mission critical when recording a violin. Also, the room and your position in it, and a bit of reverb can be very helpful. I have no doubt that your microphone is up to the task, you just have to take care of everything else.

I would also point out that a violinist really doesn’t know what their violin playing sounds like from a distant listener’s perspective. This is why they should always bring someone else along to play any instrument they’re considering buying, so they can hear that distant sound, which is usually better than the player’s experience. My point is that your dad likely doesn’t really know how he sounds from a distance.

I recommend studying this page: 



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Yes...the link doesn't work for me either.

It would be good to hear.

One thing to be aware of;  what you hear played under the ear always sounds very different from a recording (any recording).  So before you set up an expensive recording studio - your Dad might not like any recording of his playing that he hears! ^_^

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8 minutes ago, Bill Merkel said:

^Copy and paste the text into your address bar.  How many times do I have to take over the internet and sort it out...


Playing and recording both sound fine to me.  


Well - you could have just reposted it! 

Otherwise I agree with Bill. :rolleyes: Sounds fine.  Your Dad will just have to reconcile himself to the way he sounds different in a recording.

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You should consider that most of the "professionel" recordings are processed, with added filters, reverb, echo and more effects. There seems to be a lot of background "noise" which could be reduced within the settings of your recording device? Otherwise the playing sounds fine and pure to me.

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Your Dad sounds great &  putting his music out into the world is a righteous thing to do!

I'm also interested in mic's for internet. It seems the one you're using goes for 300$. If I could only come up with 100$, could anyone make some recomendations? (apologies if I'm hi-jacking this thread -- if people think so I'll delete this posting).

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Sounds pretty good for a DIY home recording, and very nice playing.  You might try renting an AKG C414 from Long & McQuade.

A large diaphragm condenser has a sweeter, more natural sound to it compared to a small diaphragm. Move the mic in closer for more direct, dry sound, and further away to capture more of the room ambience.

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I have no personal experience with this, but most of what I read some number of years ago while researching the matter leads me to believe that either a small diaphragm condenser or a ribbon mic would be best for recording violin. Here's one article suggesting the same:

Fiddle Fiddle Big and Little

Of course, the microphone is only one factor. Microphone placement and recording environment are also important.

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I would endorse what everyone here has said already - this is a really nice project that you've undertaken for your dad. I want to play like that if I ever get to be 89 ...

The sound of the microphone you are using is fine, his playing is very soulful and he has a unique tone which comes across well.

However, there are two things which are probably disturbing him - one is the dryness of the recording, which comes from being quite close to him in a rather small but reflective/bright acoustic.

The other is that you have an automatic gain control (probably on the camcorder) which brings up the background noise when he's not playing and which crushes the dynamics of his playing. You can surely over-ride this somewhere in your camcorder's menu. 

If you can do that and then get him to play in a larger room with a slightly wider shot (or the same shot but from further away on a longer lens setting) then I think your problem will be solved.

The mike itself is more than good enough for the purpose, although very directional (shotgun) mikes would never be my first choice for a neutral room sound.

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A good room is critical to getting a good sound - I just picked up some very nice pro mics to play around with as a hobby (AEA R88a, Rode TF-5) but will get a much superior result with a cheap mic in a really good space vs. the other way around, e.g. this recording done with a $90 Zoom H1n, with no processing.

BTW is the Rode VideoMic Pro a mono mic (single capsule with same output to both channels)?


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  • 3 months later...

Hello everybody,


I apologize for “starting” the topic and then disappearing altogether. However, I did want to update those individuals who might consider recording themselves and forum members in general.


I took some time to do more in-depth research and actually re-read all the comments that were made initially. I listened to several YouTube videos analysing different setups for the stringed instruments.


I did change the setup and my Dad is extremely happy with the sound that I am recording. There is a bit more work involved HOWEVER as long as he is happy, I do not mind the work.


So, to start with there is NO professional studio. Everything is done in the living room AND there are outside noises since he is living right downtown.


I am using Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone. It is connected to Zoom H6 6-Track Portable Recorder. So, this is the setup.


Since I am recording sound separately from video then there is POST-PRODUCTION involved. I have an old MAC with FINAL CUT PRO. Synchronizing video file and audio file takes about 60 seconds.


This is the sample of the NEW sound.




Thank you for all your help and suggestions. In hindsight I should have posted the topic and listened to several of you who posted comments AND THEN bought the microphone. A lot of you suggested condenser microphone. However, I thought I was making the right choice by buying Rodeo mike. In any case THANK YOU.

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Great job! Dad sounds wonderful! :)

What a great way to spend time together!

BTW...my dad loved Russian music. We went through a phase when all that was playing on the stereo was performed by the Red Army musicians.  I might even still have those LPS kicking around.

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