19 December 2012

Fishman Aura Spectrum DI - part Ill

Here is the third part of the Fishman Aura Spectrum DI test.

This time I will be going through the images one by one so you can compare the effect the different images can have on one instrument pickup combination.

You can see the two first parts of the Fishman Aura Spectrum tests here.

17 December 2012

Fishman Aura Spectrum DI - part Il

I have now made a different test setup for the Aura Spectrum DI.

This time I am using the Hengsheng violin with the Bradivarius pickup.

I want to go a little more in depth with the blend part of the preamp, so you are able to hear what the images add to the sound.

Also take a look at the Fishman Aura Spectrum DI test part I

05 December 2012

Bradivarius bridge pickup

I have for a while wanted to test the Bradivarius bridge pickup.

The maker is Bradley Higgins, a luthier from Hartford New York, who builds beautiful acoustic instruments.

He wanted to provide a bridge pickup solution for his instruments and made the Bradivarius pickup.

26 November 2012

Great pickup sound

I was just browsing a little on youtube and found this clip with Darol Anger and The Furies. Darol is playing a London five-string fiddle from G. Edward Lutherie, and I must say I find the apparent tone of the pickup really good, very clean and effortless.
I do not know which other gear is used but it looks like it is only the built in pickup through a preamp.
I will have try and get a chance test these instruments from G. Edward Lutherie.

18 November 2012

New electric body design

It has taken me quite some time to decide on a design of the electric violin.

For me an acoustic violin has a certain beauty that is just classic. I did however not want to just take a Stradivarius or Guarneri model a fit a pickup - that would make an acoustic-electric violin.

In my design I have stayed on a conservative line though, keeping the same dimensions of an acoustic violin with the same key elements.

At the moment I am finalizing pickup testing. I have been through different bridge and body pickups and am trying to strike a balance between best sound and being able to play loud.

I am also doing a bit of experimenting with the placement of the output jack. Left or right side of the lower bout or maybe on the bottom or in the chinrest?

13 November 2012

New electric violin

I have been very busy for the last months.

Teaching at the music school, playing concerts, doing workshops, working with music politics.

I have also been working on my own electric violin design.
This process is nearly finished, resulting in an instrument with similar shape and hollow body and in exact violin proportions, but without f-holes and sound post.

Stay tuned for more pics and info on this instrument.

01 September 2012

Remic v5200 lb - live

This summer I have been testing the Remic v5200-lb microphone on a couple of live gigs.

My band consists of 2 guitarist, a double bass player, a drummer and me playing the fiddle. We always play amplified with wedge monitors on every musician.
The fiddle is the main instrument in this setup, and it can be difficult to get at good monitor sound without feedback occuring.

The Remic proves to be very feedback resistant, maybe the most feedback resistant microphone I have ever tried.

I have had talks with Remic about making me a wireless system to give me even more free room on stage.

29 July 2012

EQ for fiddle

Here is comment from my friend and expert sound engineer Peter Simonsen.
Peter is a versatile recording engineer and did the recordings for my first album. He also builds high-end microphone preamps and more.

Here is his comment on choosing a hardware EQ unit for live/stage use:

23 May 2012

Fishman Aura Spectrum DI - part I

Here is the first part of my tests with the AURA spectrum DI.

A couple of years ago Fishman released the first preamp with the Aura technology inside. It enabled musicians playing acoustic instruments to improve on their amplified tone with the help of digital modeling.

The Aura Spectrum DI is the next generation of this technology in the shape of a versatile preamp and DI.

Take a look at the Fishman Aura Spectrum DI test part II

14 May 2012

Bridge pickups

I have just had three different bridge pickups fitted to my Hengsheng violin.

A Schatten V-02, a inexpensive Singular pickup and the Bradivarius bridge pickup.

Well it turns out that the only pickup now in function is the Bradivarius, neither the Schatten og the Singular worked when fitted and mounted.

07 May 2012

The Fiddle Mic

The Fiddle Mic is designed by Bruce Bartlett.

It is a miniature omnidirectional condenser microphone, with a frequency response tailored specially for violin and viola.

Bartlett sells The Fiddle Mic in two versions: One with a long permanently attached cable, and one with an inline jack so the mic can be left on the instrument.

30 April 2012

New colors

To celebrate the first 1000 visitors on this blog. I have decided to make a change in colors to my design.

Thanks for visiting.

27 April 2012

Source Audio Programmable EQ

The Source Audio Programmable EQ is a compact, digital, graphic-equalizer pedal.

A graphic-eq is a good tool when playing live because you can quickly see which settings you have made.
The Source Audio EQ even lights up in green. However the scale is a little small and can be hard to read. Luckily the knob for adjusting the EQ has a clicking feeling and every click is 1db.

The true bypass EQ has another important feature: It can store up to four presets and scroll through them, making it convenient to select different presets for different songs or solo/ backing or two different instruments.

The Programmable EQ also provides a output knob for leveling or boosting the eq'ed signal.

22 April 2012

EQ and new microphone..

I have started a test of my new Source Audio Programmable EQ - A good tool for tweaking the live sound setup. I will be posting more on this soon.

I am also waiting for The Fiddle Mic to arrive, which Bruce Bartlett graciously send me for testing. I will be posting more as soon as the microphone arrives.

19 April 2012

How mic placement affects tone

This article is an extract of an article made by microphone designer and engineer Bruce Bartlett.

Your mic technique has a powerful effect on the sound of your recordings and your amplified sound through a PA system. In this article we’ll look at how mic choice and placement affect the sound you pick up from various acoustic instruments. To get a good sound, you need to start with an excellent mic and mount it on your instrument where it sounds good.

Which mic should I use
If you want an accurate or natural sound, first go for a microphone with a wide, flat frequency response. Such a mic reproduces the true timbre of the instrument -- its fundamental frequencies and harmonics, and how loud they are relative to each other.

18 April 2012

Instrument rigs and gear setup

"How much gear do i need to play my fiddle live?" I am often asked.
Well, it depends greatly on what style you are playing and what sounds you are going for.

If you play in great concert halls with fantastic acoustics all the time, you might never need anything but your great acoustic instrument.

If you play at festivals, concert venues or small cafés in an amplified acoustic or electric setup then read on.

17 April 2012

Remic v5200-lb

Remic Microphones is a rather young Danish microphone company founded in 2009.

I first came to hear about Remic when my good friend and guitar multi-instrumentalist Perry Stenbäck introduced me at the soundcheck for a concert with my band.

The microphone in focus here is the prototype v-5200-lb miniature condenser for violin and viola.

15 April 2012

New mic

Just got this exciting new mic from the new Danish  company called Remic Microphones.

It is a miniature omni made for mounting on the instrument.
The special feature is the 20db's rejection of ambient sounds.

I will be posting a test shortly.

12 April 2012

DPA 4061

Miniature omnidirectional microphone.

Mounts with a special clip to the strings behind the bridge.

Visit DPA microphones website

11 April 2012

Mässbacka Microphone

Finnish designed and hand-built microphone called Mässbacka (from the name of the designed I guess).

I do not hav any additional info on the origin of this microphone.

The microphone is an omnidirectional miniature mic. It sits in a metal housing and mounts on the violin through the tailpiece G-string hole by the sue of a small finger-screw.

05 April 2012

Schaller Oyster

The Oyster is one of the oldest and cheapest pickup designs I know. I have seen other manufacturers use the same design with small detail changes.

The pickups is a piezo placed inside a metal housing, providing shield from hum and potection.

The Schaller has 3mtr's of cable and is terminated with a 6,5mm jack.

04 April 2012

Microphones for violin

Wether you are performing on stage or recording in the studio it is good to acquire some basic knowledge about the different microphone types and their uses.
The right choice of microphone will save you from waisting a lot of time trying "fix" your sound and good sound makes you perform better.

Microphones come in 3 different types: capacitor, back-electret and dynamic - these three types has different properties but can all be brought to good use on bowed instruments.
The first two types requires some powering to work (phantom power). Tube capacitor microphones come with separate power supply and do not need phantom. Dynamic microphones does not require phantom powering either - be aware that phantom power can in some cases damage dynamic microphones, for instance ribbon microphones.

02 March 2012

Strings for a five string violin

The problems when choosing strings for a five string violin is to get good balance from string to string and to get the same kind of response all over the instrument.

There are special five string fiddle sets: D'Addario Helicore, Super-Sensitive Sensicore, Pinnacle, Red Label, Old Fiddler and Thomastik Infeld Vision all come in a sets with a violin length C-string.

01 March 2012

String Choices

There are a lot of choices in violin and viola strings.

Usually string types are divided into 3 groups: steel, synthetic and gut strings.
The different materials give the strings different properties: Playing in time, longevity, durability, response,  and of course sound characteristics.

The first and maybe most important thing is to realize that a good set of strings cannot make a lousy instrument sound like an expensive instrument.
Strings are more a tool for bringing out the tone that is in the instrument they are put on and help balancing out slight issues regarding volume, egality or sound.