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Anybody here recording FLUTE ?
Old 1st September 2010
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Anybody here recording FLUTE ?

Hi everybody,

After searching for a thread dedicated specifically to recording flutes in the hip hop forum, I realized that there was nothing.

So I would be interested in knowing how those among you who record flutes go about it?

What mic? What about ribbon mics for examples ?

What position ?

Any reverb / delay of choice ?

What pre-amp ?

And eventually, since I'm totally new to the matter :

What flute brands sounded good to your hears ?

Here's the kind of sound I'd like to go for "live" (as opposed to sampled/or played from a leyboard):





And special question for PSM and all the old school cats (and young ones with an old school state of mind) :

How were flutes recorded in the 1970s ? What mics could they have used ? What flutes ? (I know it's a very broad question... sorry, maybe somebody can help)
Old 1st September 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Back in the 80s when I recorded woodwinds like flute and sax, it was a LDC about four to six feet away from the horn, directly in front of the player, in a really good room with a really good player. The sound from a flute or other woodwind comes from all over the horn, not just at one place, so you can't close mic it. The room is going to be part of the sound, so you can't record it in a vocal booth, for example.
Old 1st September 2010 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Igotsoul4u's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I think large condenser mic's work the best. The flute doesn't have a definitive bell like the trumpet so you need larger pattern and some space between the mic and the player. I think 2 feet is appropriate. I like putting the mic a little above head height facing down and aimed at the center of the flute. I have used u87's, tlm170's, and u89's and they all sounded pretty good to me. I imagine a brauner would be the ultimate for something like a flute. I typically used a millennia HV3d as a pre for nice clean sound and lots of headroom. If you are doing something non-classical you could use a neve or whatever but coloring of the sound will occur which may or may not please the player.
Old 1st September 2010 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
LDC 2-6 feet away aimed at the middle of the flute for a good general sound. A dynamic like a 57 can sound pretty cool if you want a more aggressive flute for a hip-hop track, 2ft away, again at the middle of the flute.
Old 1st September 2010 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
Windshore's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
pretty funny, I am a woodwind player and record myself playing flute all the time and my methods have changed over the years as I have learned the value of different procedures. I used to think only one way worked, - then a different way.... ha!

If it's a "pretty and pure" (legit) sound you want, a SDC is actually better IMHO.

In orchestral recording a spot mic would be over my head pointing basically at my nose. (I would try to have at least 3 feet or more between mic and player's lips.) There are a lot of great quality SDCs but the most common you'll probably see in small studios is Neuman km 84 or 184. Sennheiser mkh40 or 8040 are great too. A good clean pre like API or Millenium is great.

If you're going for more of a jazz sound and want the sound of lip artifacts and breath etc. LDC is great as mentioned maybe 2-3 feet away. (close to level with flute is fine. - experiment!)

In both cases I find a more balanced sound by pointing the mic basically at the mouth or a bit down the flute from there. The sound does radiate from all over so - you HAVE to check position before recording. Do a test and have the player listen in the both. - they'll be more sensitive than you to how evenly it's getting "on-tape"

btw... Don't use a windshield or screen
Old 1st September 2010 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
RedTuxedo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've been very successful with a Senn 421 about a foot or 2 from above pointing down at the mouth.
Old 2nd September 2010 | Show parent
  #7
Here for the gear
 
DrFord's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTuxedo ➑️
I've been very successful with a Senn 421 about a foot or 2 from above pointing down at the mouth.
This is good advice.

Micing technique first and foremost needs to be you listening to where the instrument is producing "good" sound. Use your ear and walk around the room. What you are hearing is what your mic will pick up. In the case of a fixed resonating instrument - like the flute - the sound comes from 2 to 3 places at once.

1 - Mouth hole. A flute player blows accross the hole, not into it... like you would on a bottle. The sound here is the biggest part of the tone, and the player's embouchure a big part of the sound.

1 mic here to capture this, use a windscreen so you don't get funky harmonics from wind in the mic - just like micing outside a kick drum. ''

2 - Body. Place a Mic roughly 2/3rd the way down the body of the flute to capture both the final opening hole on the flute, but also any of the pad openings on the body of the flute. As they are open or closed, air goes out through them instead of the final opening. This changes the length of the resonating chamber and changes the pitch. Most of the tone in this mic will be the sounds of the pads opening and closing, and wind noises.

1 large diaphragm condenser mic here, pull it a bit back (2 -3 feet) so that the player can move around freely and not hit the mic itself.

3 - One additional mic set back to pick up the room tone, if you have a good sounding room. You could also do this in stereo.

The mics you should use are the ones you own, same as which pre-amps to use. Learn how to get the best sound you can with the gear you already have, before buying new stuff.

Best,
doc
Old 3rd September 2010 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
ncoak's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
yo where can i download one of these flutez
Old 3rd September 2010 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
u87, or any ldc with a softened top end is great for solo flute - as are many ribbons. Distance totally varies from player to player. As close as 1/2 foot, as far as 4ft. Orchestral stuff was perfectly stated above.
Old 3rd September 2010 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
phillysoulman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncoak ➑️
yo where can i download one of these flutez
lol
Old 4th September 2010 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman ➑️
lol
Hey philly (if you permit),

Would you mind telling us how do you go about recording flutes today versus (if such is the case) how flutes were recorded in the 1970/80s ? Could you please be as elaborate as possible ? I'd be really interested to hear your input on this topic.

Thank you.

And also thanks to everybody who has responded so far! Great stuff. It's really appreciated.
Old 7th September 2010 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
sunflute's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ribbon Microphones in Stereo M/S aimed at the center of the instrument a few feet out and above. It will capture the Natural sound of the instrument.
Peace.
Old 3rd October 2014 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
[QUOTE=sunflute;5764196]Ribbon Microphones in Stereo M/S aimed at the center of the instrument a few feet out and above. It will capture the Natural sound of the instrument.
Peace.[/
Which ribbons worked better for you on flute?
Old 4th October 2014
  #14
Lives for gear
 
bgrotto's Avatar
If I'm recording flute, my go-to is gonna be a u47 or u48, over the player's head, like three or four feet out (if the room is nice). Might grab a ribbon of some kind if I need something a bit thicker/darker. Probably an R84 or 4038 if I've got one kicking around.

If it's a flute solo, I'll snag something brighter. Josephson C715 or Neumann m269. Maybe a 67.

A 49 in the room is pretty great. Or an R88 with some eq adding top.
Old 4th October 2014
  #15
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Piedpiper's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
As much as I like ribbons in some ways I am usually looking to get more air. Almost all ribbons roll off the top significantly. Short ribbons like the Fathead accentuate the mid treble a bit before rolling off quickly. Long ribbons like the AEA roll off sooner but more gently. If you use a ribbon be sure to use a pre that will not add insult to injury in terms of missing top end. The AEA TRP or better et, RPQ are great for that. If you have the scratch, the AEA KU4 is divine and not as rolled off up top and will give you less room since it's cardioid. If you want to be more mid focussed, then the aforementioned AEA R84 or R88 for stereo are lovely. In any case, as always it depends on what sound you're looking for, and what sound the player is giving you. IOW, there is no answer to your question except the one you give yourself. Personally, I often will like something with clean smooth airiness like a C12 and I do not like to use more than one mic unless you want to accentuate the stereo image as in for solo flute. But if it's a part of a complex mix just use one. Either way, place it between between the mouth and the hands around 2 feet off and above so that any direct breath is avoided and the sound off the holes which are pointing upward is picked up nicely. If you're more than two feet away, you'd better like the sound of the room you're in, though distance will enhance it as long as the room also does. If you're using a mic that has plenty of top end, be sure to use a pre that is extended but smooth and transparent on top so that it doesn't roughen the highs.
Old 4th October 2014
  #16
Lives for gear
 
bgrotto's Avatar
The AEA RPQ preamps are really quite remarkable if you're looking for improved top end extension. I've got the 500 series module, and it pairs insanely well with my R84 and R92. The filter and top lift options offer exactly the right amount of control for dialing in brightness.
Old 5th October 2014
  #17
Lives for gear
 
rhizomeman's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I used an AKG414. The flutist was in a booth. I moved the mic around from about 2 feet away until I got a sound I liked (someone else would probably place the mic differently - F**k them, this is what I want). I recorded through a ULN8 into DP. It sounded great. I added a little reverb and it was a wrap.
Old 10th March 2016
  #18
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
How to decrease wind sound when recording flute?

I recently obtained a quality handmade, concert tuned bamboo transverse flute. I have learned a couple of songs, and attempted to record them. I get an overwhelming wind sound, no matter what method I have used. Here is what I have tried so far:

Large Condenser at 1ft away, 2ft away, and 6ft away, in many positions.

Small Condenser at varied distances and positions.

Dynamic mic at varied distances and positions.

I seem to get the same result no matter what I do. The tone of the flute sounds great, but it is buried under the overwhelming sound of wind. Maybe its my embouchure, as I have only been playing it for 2 weeks, but this isnt what I hear when I play it. I am good with a little wind sound, because it is a woodwind instrument, but what I am picking up is totally distracting to the sound of the flute.

Any recommendations or assistance would be beneficial.
Old 11th March 2016
  #19
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
My best results are with a miniature omnidirectional headset mic, DPA are good ones.
Another thing you can try, is place the mic behind you, and rotate while playing until find the right balance between high frequency and noise.
Over your head can also work.
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