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Miking up clarinets - advice?

CharleyR 22 Jun 05 - 01:49 PM
JohnInKansas 22 Jun 05 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,Guest 23 Jun 05 - 03:49 AM
Jess A 23 Jun 05 - 04:58 AM
treewind 23 Jun 05 - 05:49 AM
CharleyR 23 Jun 05 - 06:31 AM
12string growler 23 Jun 05 - 03:25 PM
12string growler 23 Jun 05 - 03:38 PM
Highlandman 23 Jun 05 - 03:52 PM
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Subject: Miking up clarinets - advice?
From: CharleyR
Date: 22 Jun 05 - 01:49 PM

Can anyone recommend a way of miking up a clarinet for live performance in a way that is fairly resistant to feedback? The clarinet player in my ceilidh band currently uses two microvox mics, one at top and bottom of the instrument, but she finds that she can't get a high enough level in the monitors for her to hear it properly without it feeding back and is trying to work out how to improve things. She's thinking of buying new pickups anyway as the ones she uses are borrowed. I guess an alternative might be to invest in some kind of graphic equaliser to add to the PA, but I don't know how time-consuming it would be to get it set up effectively at gigs. Has anyone found a solution?

Charley


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Subject: RE: Miking up clarinets - advice?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 Jun 05 - 04:46 PM

Unlike most stringed instruments where the sound must go through a bridge or nut and can always be picked up from one (or very few common) locations, the principal source of sound for a clarinet or other keyed instrument comes from a different place for each note. The common solution is to use a directional mic located where the 'nettist can "blow at it." If the mic is sufficiently directional, her monitor noise can be directed at her head and away from the mic to eliminate the feedback.

If your clarinetist is geeting feedback, she's likely getting enough pickup, or too much. What you need is more likely a preamp, preferably with some volume control, between her pickups and your PA.

As a personal note, I would not voluntarily remain in any environment where I couldn't hear my own clarinet. Played at normal volume two or three clarinets in the same room can cause damage to one's headbone. It's a very "strong" instrument. If she's having trouble getting normal loudness, perhaps a step - or half-step - up in reed stiffness, and a little practice with the harder blow might help more than changing pickups.

John


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Subject: RE: Miking up clarinets - advice?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 03:49 AM

Going completely sideways to the problem - how about checking out In Ear Monitors. Essentially, little ear phones. No feedback and they weigh a whole lot less than a monitor and an amp.


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Subject: RE: Miking up clarinets - advice?
From: Jess A
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 04:58 AM

I thought from the thread title I might be able to help but in fact the clarinetist in my ceilidh band uses the same solution yours is trying - two microvox mics (both plugged into same preamp) and she doesn't have particular feedback problems. I guess it depends what else you've got in the band (we have electric bass but no drums) and also how you set up your monitors.


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Subject: RE: Miking up clarinets - advice?
From: treewind
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 05:49 AM

Agreed - the problem may be the monitors.

In our band we replaced big floor wedges with little monitor speakers (JBL Control 1's) on stands at head height and they work brilliantly. Our recorder/flute player said it was the first time she could really hear what she was playing. I'm more comfortable with my melodeon sound coming out of a small monitor close to me too. You need less overall sound and you can choose a position for the speaker to minimise feedback.

The speakers, amp and cable also pack up neatly into a small suitcase!

For a very loud band with electric guitars and drum kit small speakers might not be loud enough but in an environment like that I'd worry about my hearing and wonder if I was in the right band...

In-ear monitoring is the ultimate and expensive solution.

Preamps won't help.
EQ won't help much either unless the tone is out of balance and needs EQing anway, or if the feedback is way out of range of the instrument e.g. bass cut on a fiddle mic will kill a low frequency feedback but not affect the fiddle sound enough to matter. A feedback destroyer (self tuning notch filters) might gain you a few dB of headroom but may also make the sound wrong.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Miking up clarinets - advice?
From: CharleyR
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 06:31 AM

Useful ideas so far. The band isn't particularly 'noisy' (we don't have a drumkit or electric instruments) but it could be that the clarinetist doesn't play particularly loudly, I hadn't thought of that before. Any more thoughts?


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Subject: RE: Miking up clarinets - advice?
From: 12string growler
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 03:25 PM

I seem to remember the magazine "Sound on Sound" recommending turning everybody else down instead of "upping" one instrument.
Otherwise everything just gets louder and louder and louder and....OOOOwwww
Set the input gains on your mixing desk to just flash the clipping Led or to just enter the red on the vu meter for each and every instrument individually with no-one else playing. This in itself will set every instrument to the best setting. Use the faders to adjust the front of house balance. For foldback, get the clarinet to a good level in the monitors and then balance everybody else around that, and keep it all DOWN to a comfortable level.

You have a duty of care to your musicians(and punters), that by law stops you causing them hearing problems.

Chris (Amicus AEEU Safety Rep)


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Subject: RE: Miking up clarinets - advice?
From: 12string growler
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 03:38 PM

Another thought, Have you checked if the feedback signal is from the monitors or from Front of house? There are bits of kit called FEEDBACK ILLIMINATORS or F/b Suppressors, these are quite cheap.
Studiospares.co.uk list the Behringer Shark for £55.60 +vat and it does other things too.
There are other suppliers that do similar gear, I just had that catalogue to hand.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Miking up clarinets - advice?
From: Highlandman
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 03:52 PM

These folks have a fairly extensive series of articles on setting up. May be a lot of hooey, I don't have enough personal experience to say. But check out vocalist.org.uk/sound_advice.
-HM


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