Violin amplification. Good violin pick up and wireless microphones for live exibitions?
Hello everybody, here is Arianna, violinist from Florence, Italy. I’m the violinist of Golden Salt, an unusual duo comprending the violin and the electric guitar
I’m looking for a very good pick up for my live exibitions. I use a liuther classical violin and I would like a very good and real sound. Actually I’m using an Audiotechnica pick up. It is great, but it needs phantom power and I would like something that doesn’t need it. Do you use any pick-up in your exibitions? Do you recommend me something? Thanks for your help and greetings from Florence!
I know someone using one of these: http://www.barberatransducers.com/violinpickups.html
Hi Michael, thank you for quick reply! I’m having a look, it is very interesting. The only iussue is that I should substitute the bridge :) but It could be a solution too
Toby sorry! :) it was a mistake related to tablet editing “nerd” instead of “need”! Ahah :)
I assume that your "Audio Technica pickup" is actually an ATM-350 microphone. And I further get the impression that you want an acoustic violin sound, but louder. Other high quality microphone options are the DPA 4099V and the Remic violin microphones, both more than twice as expensive as an ATM-350, and like an ATM-350 they both require phantom power. I don't understand why that's a problem for you.
Hi Mark! Yes, I actually use ATM-350. Thanks so much for your opinion. I think you are right. ATM-350 and similar are very good but pheraphs not the best choice for a live high volume exibition. I’ll take a look to your suggestions in particular for my recording studio.
"Feedback" is the word you're looking for. I have a Mi-Si pickup that uses a Kremona pickup element and improves it with a preamp powered by a charged capacitor, so no batteries, and that's all incorporated into the cable jack on the violin. So it's only passive for about 12cm, then it's an active signal going to your wireless transmitter or hard wired to an amp. It's very convenient, but without some signal processing I'm not satisfied with the sound (though I think it's better than most). But I've never been satisfied with the unprocessed sound of any violin pickup.
The problem with Realist is that you have to get used to playing with your bridge slightly higher, and for most violinists that's a significant concession. I use Fishman V-200 pickup with a custom pre-amp. The Fishman is easily removed. It's definitely an "electric violin" sound though.
Although pickups vary so much, I would say that the pre-amp is more important. Not only is it necessary for the signal of most pickups but usually there is some kind of tone control and shaping. Baggs do a decent pre-amp (Venue, Para DI etc.), Grace designs are very nice (Alix and Felix), some amps have a preamp built in (Fishman for example, vintage Trace Eliott acoustic amps are amazing!).
I've often read how this or that pre-amp is better, etc. I think there is a lot of BS out there about pre-amps, the same way there is for expensive stereo equipment. A certain unit "sounds better" but nobody can tell you how or why, except that, of course, it costs a lot more. Of course that's a familiar refrain in the world of antique violins -- but modern consumer electronics?
Dear Paul, Christopher, Mike, really really thank you too for your advices, they are very precious for me! I’ll take a decision soon and I’ll let you know :) many thanks from Italy to you all!
Paul. Yes there is BS out there and it's an expensive minefield! I only care if it sounds better rather than how or why or how much it costs. As I understand it some preamps are transparent and some color the sound. Sometimes tonal differences can be subtle or drastic. The subtle ones work with other subtle improvements in an accumulative way - much like acoustic instruments.
I just went to electricstringplayer.com and found it to be an organizational mess. They have a video that says everything is free now, but they're looking for voluntary subscribers. However, there are hardly any functional links.
I think I used PayPal. Maybe contact the owners of the site and let them know it's not working.
I definitely understand the convenience factor. But "signal chain" and "electronics matched from the same manufacturer" sounds like salesman-speak (i.e., baloney) to me. Unless you are doing a studio recording you do not really need to be super concerned about small sources of noise.
Yeah okay Paul!
I would hate to have to listen to my music on Paul's non audiophile sound system!!
Well, partly I'm just very skeptical about things that seem to be more about the jargon than any actual substance, and the other thing is that my ears ring constantly so anything "audiophile" is totally wasted on me and that very likely includes really fine violins.
I've met violinists that say the same kind of thing about strings. I actually went to a violin shop where the owner was adamant that all string were the same and that I should buy Red Label strings as they were just as good as high end strings (his price of Red Labels was $20 more than online I have to say). Also, I've known violinists who insist that a $20 bow is just as good as any other bow and that it's all baloney and really there is no difference. But guess what? There is a difference. Sometimes it's more experienced people that notice the differences. Sometimes it's the people that have been doing it for years that know what they are talking about believe it or not.
Oh, and my tube microphone preamps in my recording studio sound great but apparently it was all my imagination - thank you. Maybe you could tell me what kind of distortion I should put on digital preamps to save me some money next time! Is that digital distortion? Also, thanks for telling me my signal can go in any order and that it's really only about small sources of noise. Next time I'll buy a Behringer :) <- smiley face! Wink wink!
Tell us about your stereo, Paul, what kind of speakers do you have hooked up to your computer for listening to violin videos, I spent 6 months with an anechoic chamber designing my speakers, and built them myself.
I use an LR Baggs bridge that has a piezo transducer installed, with a Red Eye preamp. The volume is unlimited and the feedback is minimal. The stock Baggs bridge is of medium quality. You can have your luthier fit a high-quality bridge and have it sent to Baggs for installation of the transducer. The tone with the Red Eye preamp is quite good, though you may (depending on your violin) find that your D string will ring sympathetically on its own. This is not a problem with my current violin, but I have had that happen in the past. A bit of foam in one of the f-holes will put a stop to the D ringing. It won't sound quite as good as your acoustic sound, but it will sound very good and produce massive volume with no problems.
I know Baggs were using Aubert then switched to Despiau. What are they using now?
Mark Bouquet, thanks for the note about ElectricStringPlayer.com being an organizational mess. It is, and it doesn't have the pickup tests. I edited my post above to direct people to thepickuptest.com where they can use the Media Player in the top navigation bar to get information and the comparative sound tracks.
Lyndon as you know my hearing is compromised, so I don't do "audiophile." My "stereo" is an ordinary Onkyo receiver. When I listen to stuff coming through my computer I usually wear headphones ... decent Sennheisers, nothing special. And that's usually because I'm listening late at night when nobody else is awake, or when I'm on the treadmill.
One thing I'm glad I didn't do is pay an extra $500 so that my headphones could come in a box that had the word "reference" written on it. And I 'm glad I didn't pay an extra $19500 so that I could see vacuum tubes glowing inside my receiver (sorry ... "amplifier"). I'd be very curious to learn what blind-listening tests have revealed about so-called "audiophile" equipment as to whether one can actually hear the difference that $10000 makes in an amplifier. Oh I forgot ... such a test was published in
Well if you're hearing impaired you hardly make a good case against audiophile products if you can't notice differences.
Not individually, no. But I can still read about all the blind tests that have been conducted that expose various audiophile claims as myth.
there have been no blind tests that claim differences cannot be heard between different loudspeakers.
I would fully expect there to be significant differences among loudspeakers. But I wouldn't necessarily expect a strong correlation with price. My loudspeakers are a set of hand-me-down Advent floor speakers that I re-coned about 10 years ago. They were better than the Bose bookshelf speakers that they replaced. Almost all of my serious music listening is through headphones.
Arianna asked about pickups. Why can't we let this discussion be for that? Too late now anyway.
The OP returned and thanked everyone. We're good.
Well I'll just add that as far as microphones go there is always the possibility of just having a microphone on a stand. I've seen a lot of people do just that. Microphones like Shure SM57 or SM57 Beta are not expensive and can always be used for something else when you upgrade. They are sturdy and easy to setup. The downside is restriction in movement, less ability to shape tone, no chain of effects, tone is on the treble side. However, you can alter your distance for some tone/volume control. You also don't need to modify your violin in any way. It's certainly a simple and cheap option not to be overlooked.
The stock Baggs bridge is a Despiau Two-Tree.
I use a The Band and a Baggs Paracoustic DI and it works well for church where feedback can be an issue. It’s also nice to be able to move around more than when I was on a fixed mic.
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