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Microphone choices

Dingo40

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Nick,
You should ask Piotr.
As far as I can see, he uses just one impressive looking, silver microphone on a stand for all his takes .🤫
Actually, he does use two mikes. See here:

"I use always 2 microphones - one for left and one right side - Audio Technica AT 2020"
 
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debra

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Nick,
You should ask Piotr.
As far as I can see, he uses just one impressive looking, silver microphone on a stand for all his takes .🤫
Actually, he does use two mikes. See here:

"I use always 2 microphones - one for left and one right side - Audio Technica AT 2020"
Piotr's setup is for recording. It's not trivial to use the same setup for amplification but with very careful placement of mics versus speakers it can be done. For recording it's always best to use microphones at some distance of the accordion, left and right, to get the most natural sound pickup. For amplification you want something inside or very close to the accordion to reduce the risk of feedback loops.
 

stickista

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Fwiw, I use a Shure Beta 98h

I’m considering an Apex 565 as a 2nd, and seeing if one is better for bass vs melody

 

stickista

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Piotr's setup is for recording. It's not trivial to use the same setup for amplification but with very careful placement of mics versus speakers it can be done. For recording it's always best to use microphones at some distance of the accordion, left and right, to get the most natural sound pickup. For amplification you want something inside or very close to the accordion to reduce the risk of feedback loops.
I suspect that mics placed a couple of feet away would also pick up less button (and other mechanical) noise, particularly on bandoneons.
 

debra

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I suspect that mics placed a couple of feet away would also pick up less button (and other mechanical) noise, particularly on bandoneons.
On a bandoneon, maybe, I don't know. But on an accordion I do have experience making recordings with mics placed a couple of feet away and they do pick up button and other mechanical noise "quite well". When you have mics under the grille they do not pick up keyboard noise as much, but they do still pick up a bit of noise from key release (pallets closing). The only way to reduce mechanical noise (like key clacks) is to just play louder.
 

debra

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ahh

Signal to Noise Ratio as adjusted by Muscles in real time !
Indeed, but not just louder, but also avoiding going too loud. If you were to use the full dynamic range of a good accordion then the recording would show clipping in very loud parts. If you adjust the volume to avoid clipping then parts played in pp would drown in not just mechanical noise but also electronic noise.
So when you make a recording it's also best to initially "compress" the dynamics by playing between mp and mf instead of pp to ff, also because the tuning of an accordion is not really stable across the whole dynamic range. Tuning is done ("in the factory" or by a tuner) at mf so that always yields the best sound. Of course you want to keep the expression (like accents) in the performance, but use less of the dynamic range. In post-processing the recording you adjust volume to recover the dynamics the music should have in the final result. I find that even there you still want to reduce the most extreme loud parts or notes to achieve a higher overall volume without clipping. All professional recordings are done this way because you want to achieve a "louder" recording while avoiding clipping.
 

Ventura

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when i was a kid, they would record me by placing the old reel-to-reel
in a different room of the house, which avoided that distortion
on the loud passages but also recorded lots of other noise
like cars passing by !

i remember the little Dynamic grey plastic mics with a pull out wire stand built in
 

Valski

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Thanks for the replies everyone. I looked into the small goose neck mics. It seems like a lot of people use them, based on the videos that I've seen. I am sure that they are much more versatile since they can be positioned for optimal response.
Yes the gooseneck microphones are good and flexible however they don't give great coverage over the entire treble keyboard and they cables can be difficult to manage. With internal mikes you have better cable management and have volume control at your fingertips.
 

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