Recording cello

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by seafarer, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. seafarer


    Mar 2, 2004
    Hi guys, this is something I posted in the other "Bass guitar' forum, and I didn't realise it probably is more suited here.


    I'll be recording a cello, but it will be played as if it were a double bass, so, it won't be bowed.

    I'm having trouble getting a clean sound without compensating the sound. It sounds too bassy, and if I turn up the treble I get some noise.

    I'm using a very simple set up: SM58 microphone connected to a Behringer EuroTrack. The recording software is Cubase SX 2.0

    Any idea of the settings I should do to have a well-balanced sound? I'm positiong the microphone close to the bridge.

    I think it is just something in my equalisation, but I've tried lots of different settings, and I'm beginning to think I have to change some stuff on my Behringer mixer, I just don't know what exactly.

    Right now, the bass is turned down all the way and the treble is a little past 3/4 of the way. I later add the bassier sound with the equalisation in Cubase.

    Anyway, I appreciate your response.

  2. Touch


    Aug 7, 2002
    Boulder, CO
    A couple of points. In my opinion, the SM58 is not the best mic to use for a cello.

    The SM58 is a dynamic mic and really designed for vocals. However if you were stranded on a desert island and only had one microphone, most folks would pick the SM58.

    The SM58 has a "proximity effect" (PE) that you may be suffering with. The PE means that the bass response of the microphone increases as you get closer to it. Now any mic will in general give you more output (at all frequencies) as you get closer to the source. PE is in addition to this. The increased bass response of this microphone might explain why you need to turn down the bass eq to get a pleasant sound from your cello.

    You might want to consider using a condenser microphone instead of a dynamic. Sometimes these microphones use a small battery inside the mic, but most of the time they need "phantom power" which is usually provided by your mixer (You might check the manual on the Behringer to see if it provides this).

    There are tons of small condenser mics on E-bay for cheap (less that $100). You can also use a "large element" condenser mic, but these are usually more expensive. I've picked up small, older model condensers from Audio Technica (ATM35, Pro37) and Shure (BG4.0 and BG.4.1) on E-bay with not too much trouble.

    I have also heard some good reviews on some of the new inexpensive models that you can get from places like Musicians Friend. Try a Google search.

  3. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    yeah, het rid of the sm58. Set up a mic on each side and in front of you. Adjust the distance until you get a clear sound. Are u using a hardware mixer or a software mixer ?
  4. seafarer


    Mar 2, 2004
  5. Touch


    Aug 7, 2002
    Boulder, CO
    Your mixer doesn't provide "phantom power". You would need the UB802 (or an outboard mic preamp) in order to use a condenser mic.

    Since it seems you're stuck with that mixer and microphone, make sure you have the gain of the mixer adjusted properly and play around with the mic positioning. The location of the microphone makes a HUGE difference when recording strings.

    Good Luck!
  6. seafarer


    Mar 2, 2004
    Thank-you, every bit of information helps.

    Recording and handling (and even some of the terminology) is really quite foreign to me. I'm a player, not a producer (or whatever you want to call it) as you might have already guessed.

    About the gain: how does the gain work? What part of the sound does it effect? Is it volume? Is it how much sound it can pick up?

    If it is how much sound it can pick up, is it better to stand further away from the mic and higher it or is it better to get closer to the mic and lower the gain?

    I hope you kind people don't get tired of answering my silly questions!