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7/8/2007

Amplifying the fiddle

By Billy Oh. Filed under: GigBlog, TweedBlog.

After reading the informative posts by Kip about amplifying the band, I thought I’d add a little bit about how I mic the fiddle. Currently, I use a clip-on condenser microphone made by Audio-Technica, the ATM-30. I find this gives me a sound that is most faithful to the violin without having to feel tied to a microphone stand while I play. I use this in conjunction with a Fishman Pro EQ Platinum preamp which I think is a fantastic piece of equipment. It’s sturdy and allows me to control my own sound on stage. It also has a convenient notch filter which helps reduce feedback.

I’ve experimented with pick-ups in the past but have yet to find one that doesn’t give you an annoying nasal sound. The only drawback about using a microphone is the feedback issue. This has been a problem for me as we play larger venues who want to crank us up as loud as rock bands. I just recently purchased a hypercardioid capsule for my ATM-30 which will hopefully further reduce feedback. I’m also experimenting with changing the position of the mic on the violin. Previously I had it clipped onto my chinrest and aimed directly over the f-hole next to the E-string. However, the violin body acts as an acoustic amplifier and this causes a low D to hum. One solution is to cover up the other f-hole, but a simpler way is to position the mic over the bridge instead. The upgraded model of the ATM-30, the ATM-350, comes with a violin mount which positions the mic in exactly this way. I’m hoping this will eliminate feedback while still allowing me to be heard clearly.

I’ll let you know how it works out, but better yet come see us play at our next gig and listen for yourself!