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Celtic Festival miking an autoharp


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I have mixed luck with my approach of just letting the talent tell me what they need, but it is still my main way of dealing with musicians.

 

About half the time, they have no clue, and the other half of the time they are spot on. Usually, if it is a strange request, I try and figure out what they like about the setup.

 

It's possible that a dynamic would be a better choice as they seem to feedback less when turned up, and an autoharp is a damn quiet instrument, but an sdc seems a more obvious choice.

 

AH usually reminds me of an unplugged electric guitar. My wife jammed with a really good harp player this weekend, and I was impressed-- great chops, but still very, very quite. This is a gross generalization, but I have run into a whole lotta folks playing AH just because it seems easier, and they tend to play very quietly.

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I do about 90% Celtic these days. In my experience most Trad players can tell you EXACTLY how to mic their instrument. In the event they are wrong, a 57 near the hole is the go to. Of it's a soloist on a quiet stage indoors, large diapram condensor about a foot or so away works well. Probably not an option. Is the artist local or touring?

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My keyboardist brought an autoharp to play a Sunday morning service a couple months ago. I first tried mic'ing near the sound hole, but I got so much slap sound from the pick it was horrible. I ended up placing the mic near the farthest tuning pegs to reduce the slap sound as much as I could. I still wasn't happy with the sound though.

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i've done autoharp a bunch of times and i find a 57 near 12" away works best for me - the audience doesnt seem to want as much of a detailed sound as we seem to give them credit for - a general "autoharp sound" is all they really want and if you give them more detail than that (with an SDC for example) they become disconcerted. add a touch of plate for some "zing"

 

i know its strange, but its my experience with these things. its the same with all these fiddly little instruments, give the general public too much HF content or detail and they think it sounds goofy. even with my assortment of 57's i use for these situations i often find i am pulling down on the HF shelf on those channels.

 

if you really want accurate beautiful autoharp sound place an M179 around 18" away from it and play with the pattern and location. it will sound like an autoharp, only louder, not that thats what you want.

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I do about 90% Celtic these days. In my experience most Trad players can tell you EXACTLY how to mic their instrument. In the event they are wrong, a 57 near the hole is the go to. Of it's a soloist on a quiet stage indoors, large diapram condensor about a foot or so away works well. Probably not an option. Is the artist local or touring?

 

 

The artist is relatively local (70 miles away). I was planning on having an AT3035 on stage for a string act---maybe this would work well for the AH. There will be no monitors at the direction of the event coordinator. I saw the room, probably not needed anyway.

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