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Author Topic: How to mic a harp?  (Read 16957 times)

Jonathan Johnson

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How to mic a harp?
« on: December 14, 2011, 12:10:24 am »

I've been tasked with providing sound at a memorial service this weekend. One of the performances will include a harpist (a regular harp, not a harmonica). I've never mic'd a harp before, so I need help!

Here are the mics I have at my immediate disposal:
  • 4 @ Shure SM58 (the classic dynamic cardioid vocal)
  • 2 @ Samson CO2 (condenser cardioid)
  • 1 @ Audio-Technica AT857QMa (gooseneck condenser cardiod; has low-freq. rolloff switch)
  • 1 @ Studio Projects B1 (inexpensive "studio" large-diaphragm condenser cardioid)
  • 1 @ Audio-Technica BP892 (headworn submini condenser omni)

Are any of these microphones suitable for the project? What is the recommended way of mic'ing the harp? (Pictures?) Any special considerations for processing?

If there is another microphone that would work better, I'm not opposed to expanding my set within about $200* (providing I can get it by Friday). I think I can borrow an SM57 easily.

EDIT: This will be in an auditorium with seating for about 300. There may be a audio/video feed to another room for overflow seating.

*P.S. -- that budget is flexible if you really give me a good, convincing argument.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2011, 09:28:08 pm by Jonathan Johnson »
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Earl F Young

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Re: How to mic a harp?
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2011, 01:11:04 am »

more important than how at this time might be to call said harpist A.S.A.P. and see if there is a pickup already installed... then supplement, if necessary. Not all pickups are great/ but most _are_ usable...

I've been tasked with providing sound at a memorial service this weekend. One of the performances will include a harpist (a regular harp, not a harmonica). I've never mic'd a harp before, so I need help!

Here are the mics I have at my immediate disposal:
  • Shure SM58 (the classic dynamic cardioid vocal)
  • Samson CO2 (condenser cardioid)
  • Audio-Technica AT857QMa (gooseneck condenser cardiod; has low-freq. rolloff switch)
  • Studio Projects B1 (inexpensive "studio" large-diaphragm condenser cardioid)

Are any of these microphones suitable for the project? What is the recommended way of mic'ing the harp? (Pictures?) Any special considerations for processing?

If there is another microphone that would work better, I'm not opposed to expanding my set within about $200* (providing I can get it by Friday). I think I can borrow an SM57 easily.

EDIT: This will be in an auditorium with seating for about 300. There may be a audio/video feed to another room for overflow seating.

*P.S. -- that budget is flexible if you really give me a good, convincing argument.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: How to mic a harp?
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2011, 01:16:53 am »

more important than how at this time might be to call said harpist A.S.A.P. and see if there is a pickup already installed... then supplement, if necessary. Not all pickups are great/ but most _are_ usable...
Excellent suggestion. I will pursue this.

In the meantime, I've edited my post with quantities of mics available. If different mics are advisable, I'd still like to know what can be done with what I have, in case I'm unable to get something different.
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NickStone

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Re: How to mic a harp?
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2011, 01:46:49 am »

The one time so far that Ive had a harp the lady had a pickup and a small Roland amp. Took my signal from that and all was good.
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Roland Clarke

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Re: How to mic a harp?
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2011, 03:53:42 am »

If it's a classical player, there is probably little chance they have a "bug" installed.  The ATM's should be fine for this type of application.  Most of the sound comes from the soundboard that runs from the foot to over the players shoulder.  If using one mic I would place the mic about 2ft away from here aiming slightly upwards towards the upper reaches of the soundboard (i.e. the higher strings) using two mic's I would split, somewhat as you could for a close miced grand piano, however, try not to get too close.  All should be good as long as you are careful where you mount your speakers and don't use too much level.

Harps are not loud instruments, but I am taking a guess this is more about sound reinforcement rather than out and out volume.
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Ryan Grandusky

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Re: How to mic a harp?
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2011, 10:30:43 am »

I've been tasked with providing sound at a memorial service this weekend. One of the performances will include a harpist (a regular harp, not a harmonica). I've never mic'd a harp before, so I need help!

Here are the mics I have at my immediate disposal:
  • 4 @ Shure SM58 (the classic dynamic cardioid vocal)
  • 2 @ Samson CO2 (condenser cardioid)
  • 1 @ Audio-Technica AT857QMa (gooseneck condenser cardiod; has low-freq. rolloff switch)
  • 1 @ Studio Projects B1 (inexpensive "studio" large-diaphragm condenser cardioid)

Are any of these microphones suitable for the project? What is the recommended way of mic'ing the harp? (Pictures?) Any special considerations for processing?

If there is another microphone that would work better, I'm not opposed to expanding my set within about $200* (providing I can get it by Friday). I think I can borrow an SM57 easily.

EDIT: This will be in an auditorium with seating for about 300. There may be a audio/video feed to another room for overflow seating.

*P.S. -- that budget is flexible if you really give me a good, convincing argument.

Check out this info on Crown's Knowledge Base:
http://www.crownaudio.com/kb/entry/260/
http://www.crownaudio.com/kb/entry/260/
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Ryan "Squirrel" Grandusky
Independent Sound Provider in Central Texas.
Speakers: EV XLD281, QRX153, QRX323, QRX115, ZX1, SB122, XSUBS, Yorkville LS2100P, JTR Growler, EAW SM200, Macpherson M12P, Yamaha A12M.
Consoles: Yamaha M7CL-48, Soundcraft Si Exp 3, Si Compact 24, Behringer X32, Mackie DL1608

Mac Kerr

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Re: How to mic a harp?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2011, 11:58:03 am »

I've been tasked with providing sound at a memorial service this weekend. One of the performances will include a harpist (a regular harp, not a harmonica). I've never mic'd a harp before, so I need help!

Posted 4 days ago in these forums:

http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,135086.msg1265205.html#msg1265205

Mac
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: How to mic a harp?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2011, 09:35:09 pm »

This would be a good excuse to get a PZM. I do have a wireless pack with an Audio Technica AT892 (submini, omni, condenser) that could possibly be used.
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Tim Perry

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Re: How to mic a harp?
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2011, 10:11:21 pm »

This would be a good excuse to get a PZM. I do have a wireless pack with an Audio Technica AT892 (submini, omni, condenser) that could possibly be used.

This shows a couple of ways to do it. It isn't that hard as long as you are not competing with anything, a rock band for example.
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Roland Clarke

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Re: How to mic a harp?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2011, 03:38:26 am »

I wouldn't use a PZM on this occasion, true, I'm not a fan of PZM anyway, just not going to be in the right position sitting on the floor.  Pointing towards the upper soundboard about 2-3ft away, 1/3rd up with always work unless you need real volume, then a contact, bug, or lavlier is going to be needed.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: How to mic a harp?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2011, 03:38:26 am »


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