31 August 2013

DIY wireless violin mic

Here is a little DIY project for the weekend. This video demonstrates how to modify a headset microphone into a semi-permanent violin microphone.

The video is a bit fiddly, but I like the idea of modifying existing products into something useful for the fiddle.


30 August 2013

Soundpost Pickup

A couple of years ago I tried the Kurmann Soundpost pickup, which is popular among Irish fiddlers.
An unusual idea, which placed the pickup in the soundpost of your bowed instrument.
(The soundpost is the small piece of wood hold in place inside the violin, viola, cello or doublebass between the bottom and the top plate.)

Now there is another soundpost pickup on the market sold thorugh the Violorama website.

Where the Kurmann Soundpost had a special cable running from the instrument to a bespoke preamp with internal EQ filters. The Violorama soundpost has a more common RCA plug and a RCA cable to XLR plug with a built in FET buffer preamp with no EQ.

27 August 2013

Stringamp - Lilholt

Here at home I have for a long while been trying out a Stringamp system, which is one of the systems that goes the loudest before feedback.

Michael Edinger who is the maker of this system has been very patient and has been listening to all my comments.
I have been trying out different preamps with different systems trying to evaluate the system.

The other day I came by a youtube clip of Lars Lilholt, one of the most famous troubadours in Denmark, who incidentally also plays a Stringamped fiddle:

He plays a one minute solo at 2:56, where you can hear the Stringamps sound.

23 August 2013

Remic Strings

I just got this video from Thorkild, the microphone designer at Remic microphones.

This is a preview of their new line of microphones for strings, of which I have been testing the prototype v5200-lb. A test you can see and hear here on this blog.

I have also been testing two never versions of this mic and at the moment I am testing a wireless system consisting of the Remic V5200 and a Sony GB30 digital wireless system.

20 August 2013

Cymantic LR-16

Another recording device is the Cymantic LR-16.

It is a quite different approach to combine a mixer and a recorder, and most likely one of the simplest solutions around.

There is plenty of compact mixers with a 2 channel usb interface around and some even have a full fledged 16 i/o firewire interface.

The Cymantic LR-16 has 16 ins and 2 outs and is a stand alone 24bit/44-48khz recorder. (you just add a HD or thumb drive via USB). Or it can double as a 24bit/96khz USB audio interface.

It is fed from the inserts of your mixer with regular TRS jacks to hardwired inputs. You do not need to arm the right tracks but just hit the record button, simple.

19 August 2013

Zoom H6

This is of course not a product exclusively for fiddles.

I have choosen to tell about the Zoom H6 because it fits well with the segment of players that plays solo, duo or in small bands using a small number of channels on the mixer.

The H6 is a six-channel hardware recorder using SD flash Cards and it has a lot of nice features in a resonably compact case.

Among the features are the possibility of adding microphone modules: An XY stereo module, A mid-side module, a shotgut and a 2 channel preamp.

16 August 2013

Acoustic Electric Strings Fiddle Jack

Acoustic Electric Strings have been introducing a variety of interesting fiddle products in the last years.

They recently released The Fiddle Jack; a cable with a mono jack and a microphone on a gooseneck with a clip in one end and a mono jack and xlr connector in the other.

This allows the fiddler to use a blend of microphone and pickup for a feedback resistant and natural sound or use the microphone in the PA front and pickup in the monitors.

15 August 2013

Microphone vs. pickup for fiddle

I talk to a lot of fiddlers who wants advice on their stage amplification gear.

Questions about what microphone or pickup to use and with what amplifier or PA.

These questions have so many variables that they are hard to answer.

I have myself done much experimenting and found many good systems.

14 August 2013

Volta acoustic-electric violin

I just found this video review of a new acoustic-electric violin called the Volta.

The system is made with a specially chosen violin by the Long Island Violin Shop and paired with the Stringamp transducer system.

There are three quality grades of violins to choose from and they come in both 4 and 5 string versions.

13 August 2013

Headway adds new preamps to their lineup

Headway has recently added two new preamps to the product lineup.

The EDM-1 is a very compact 1 channel preamp suitable for both pickups and mics.

The EDB-2 will replace the well reviewed EDB-1. A 2 channel preamp with assignable EQ to either channel or both.

The EDB-1 is now discontinued but I have just bought one and will test it as soon as it gets here.

09 August 2013

Wittner Isny shulder rest

I have seen this concept before, but Wittner is taking it a step further and combining a shoulder rest and a chin rest.

The idea is of course to minimize contact to the vibrating body of the instrument.

I will have to test it in order to find out how comfortable is really is

05 August 2013

Headway vl3 and EDB-1 preamp

Here is a video of the Headway vl-3 pickup. An in-bridge pickup with 2 piezo elements.

This test is made a follows:

"The VL3 Bridge Pickup on Chinese made Violin was recorded onto Hard Disc, via Headway EDB-1 DI Box, recorded with flat EQ. This was played back via EDB-1 DI Box into Headway Shire King 120 Acoustic Amp, which was Mic'd up using AKG C414 Condenser Mic., to achieve a recording of live type sound, using all Headway gear entirely from pickup No microphones were used while recording fiddle.

Amp controls were set with flat EQ, tiny amounts of EQ cuts were applied from EDB-1 on 5 band EQ controls ( 0-3 dB) to balance room, Instrument and speaker cabinet sounds etc. A small amount of reverb was the only outboard treatment used."

I would of course like to test this one as well. This test is good, but Headway is clearly is making this sound as good as possible (why should they not?), I would like to hear a sound sample before eq and reverb was added.

04 August 2013

Dazzolin violin PU

I found this video of the Dazzolin pickup. It is a comparison to the L R Baggs in bridge pickup.

I am not sure if both pickups are used with the same preamp, and I do not know which preamp is used.
Also I do not know if it is the same violin used - It looks like two different fiddles? In my opinion both pickups should have been mounted on the same violin and the comparison made in one go for the best evaluation.

I would of course like to test this pickup myself. This would make it is easier to compare with the others tested here on my blog.