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Best Microphone For Violin Recording & Pick-ups

The best microphone for violins is the Shure SM57.

It’s been around for decades and is still one of the top choices for both amateur and professional recording.

This condenser mic has a cardioid pickup pattern, which means it has a high sensitivity to sounds coming from directly in front of it whereas its proximity effect will boost those frequencies when the sound source is close.

The SM57 is a diaphragm-type microphone with a large diaphragm that creates the soldered capsule and provides a large low-frequency response. The transducer membrane is made of a surgical-grade polyester film.

The result of this design is an extremely directional pick-up pattern for sound from only one source, plus an additional response from other sounds around the capsule.

This allows the user to capture acoustic instruments close up and create transparency from further away, like in large group recordings.

How to Choose a Microphone for Recording Violin at Home

Positioning

mic for recording violin

The positioning of the microphone and how it is used with an acoustic violin. It has been found that when the microphone is placed on the bridge or near the fingerboard it will pick up too much action from other string instruments. Some musicians who play violin might find this to be distracting while others may find it to be helpful so this factor needs to be considered on an individual basis.

Types of Violins

There are different types of violins, different brands, and physical sizes that also need to be considered when selecting a microphone for violins which can make things difficult as there are not many microphones available in stores that work well for all types of violins available at present.

Recording Audio

There are different microphone styles available, they range from condensers to dynamic microphones with various frequency ranges and polar patterns.

The room microphones used for live recordings will have their own characteristics, like level controls and vocalists will need to be considered while the microphone is being installed.

The sound engineer for the recording will need to consider how the microphone is used on the recording as they can make or break a sound.

Cleaning

When the microphone is being used, it needs to be cleaned if it is not to reach its optimum performance. This can be done by using a blower and cotton swab or by putting some water on them and then using a blower sprayer. The use of a blower can also be useful when testing microphones in case there are any issues that are not noticeable at first glance.

8 Best Microphones for Recording Violin

1. Shure SM57

Best Microphone For Violin

The Shure SM57 is a quality piece of studio equipment central to the sound of many a classic song. DJs, singers, and musicians alike have relied on it for ages. Even if you’ve only used it for a single recording, you know that in terms of output quality and reliability, this microphone is hard to beat.

The SM57 is what I use for recording my music when I’m playing solo. It has a great, clear sound that doesn’t distort too badly even when you crank up the volume. It has an incredibly durable casing and an affordable price tag. The best part is, you can take it anywhere and know that it will always get the job done with minimal fuss and muss.

The SM57 is the perfect microphone for live sound, vocal recording, and instrument recording. The Shure SM57 is an industry-standard for its durability, versatility, and overall quality.

Product info and specs:

✓ Neodymium element provides extended frequency response with the low-mass diaphragm.

✓ A focused pick-up pattern isolates sound sources with minimum “bleed” from other instruments or sounds.

✓ Rugged and reliable performance in demanding situations.

2. AKG Pro Audio C414 XLS 

The AKG Pro Audio C414 XLS is an excellent choice of Microphone for violin because it offers a high quality microphone with the ability to change from XLR to USB input, is battery operated and comes with a receiver that has a mute button.

3. Beyerdynamic M160 

The Beyerdynamic M160 Professional Studio Condenser Microphone offers high-quality reproduction for vocals, and at the same time produces great sound for string instruments such as violin or viola or any other string instruments.

4. Aston Microphones

The Aston Microphones offers high-quality reproduction for vocals, and at the same time produces great sound for string instruments in general. It is also compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.

5. Audio-Technica AT2020

The Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio Microphone is a great choice for violin or viola recording when you need to offer high quality sound virtually anywhere, despite interference from loud noises produced by the instrument itself as well as from the sound producer’s body. It records through a USB interface and is compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.

6. Lewitt LCT 040

The Lewitt LCT 040 offers high-quality reproduction for vocals, and at the same time produces great sound for recording instruments. It is also compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.

7. Marantz Professional MPM-1000U

The Marantz Professional MPM-1000U microphone is a great choice because it offers a high quality microphone with the ability to change from XLR to USB input, is battery operated and comes with a receiver that has a mute button.

8. Rode M5-MP

The Rode M5-MP Microphone is a great choice for violin because it offers a high quality microphone with the ability to change from XLR to USB input, is battery operated and comes with a receiver that has a mute button.

FAQs

How do you mic a violin live?

There are various ways to mic a violin live, but the simplest way is to use a cardioid microphone. It can be placed off-center of the strings near where the bow has been drawn to in order to pick up sound from the instrument.

This can be done by experimenting with different techniques or finding other ways for what you are playing, such as putting the microphone on your instrument, which will pick up just the sound of your instrument instead of everything else in the room, or placing a contact mic against your instrument’s bridge (a technique called “bowing” for violins).

How can I make my violin sound better when recording?

If you are looking for a rich sound to your violin, then you might find the following tips helpful:

– Find an appropriate recording space. Recording spaces with heavy carpeting or low ceilings tend to give bass-heavy sounds so it is better to look for a space with tiled floors and high ceilings.

– Play in different spaces around the room and move around while playing. The natural reverb of the room will add depth and richness to your recordings that are difficult to achieve otherwise. In addition, it is also helpful to play the violin on carpeted surfaces.

– Set up your microphone with a high-pass filter. Recording in the highs will enhance your sound while cutting low frequencies. Also, changing the settings on the microphone can cut the highs by up to 12 dB without altering its frequency response.

Practice with a metronome and work on speed and bow control.

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