Hello Friends! I'm musician ;) I play many different musical instrument, such as piano, drums, guitar and bass, trombone. But the main instrument and my specialty is a cello. And i would like to share my experience with you about recording acoustic instrument on the cello`s example.

At home i usually use my AKG C4000 B for recording cello. It is a large diaphragm condenser microphones. It is very sensitive, that is why i can play any kind of dynamic: from the pianissimo to fortissimo and can be sure that everything will be recorded with all details of sound.. This microphone also have unique frequency response. And as we can see it is really good for cello record. So, we can receive good quality of sound in DWS even without using any special EQ. In addition to this AKG C4000 B has button on the body which can cut the segment of signal bellow 100Hz. Cello can not be played in this range. So we need to use this button to make our recording better.

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The best way to record cello is to put microphone in front of the instrument in parallel of the front side of the instrument body on the distance from 30sm to 50 sm. It should be not so far, but be careful and avoid short distance! At he moment of emotional playing you can damage you instrument or a bow if you hit the microphone. So, try to find comfortable place for player and good distance for recording at once.

This microphone is ideal for studio recording. But, unfortunately, we can not use it on the stage, because it has wide range and will pick up the monitors sounds. 

So, we need to use another types of microphone. We can try to use dynamic microphones, but it will not be as good as an example of singer. Because the sound of cello is not as focused as the sound from the singer. And a large part of signal will be lost. 

But we have a special microphone for the concerts.

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DPA 4099С was constructed to help us to reach this goal. It is a difficult mix of the condenser microphones with wide range but short distance. It is fixed on the body of cello and picks up only sound from it, even if you seat in front of stage monitors.

"The 4099C microphone and mounting system is meticulously designed and optimized for the violoncello. This is to ensure the best possible mount and audio reinforcement is achieved when performing live. The 4099C attaches to the C and A string below the bridge and allows for microphone capsule placement in the sweet spot between bridge and fingerboard, offering a unique combination of natural string sound and high audio separation on stage."

In addition this microphone has special latch for fixing it on cello`s body. It is really good, because you can not avoid body movement while playing on stage. But the microphone should be on the equal distance in any time of the recording moment. On this instance microphone will move with instrument, so we solve this problem too.

HOW TO USE

You should attach a pickup to the bridge or tailpiece, below the string. The pickup will not adequately capture the characteristic overtones of cello.  Whenever the sound reinforcement situation permits, place microphone, preferably a carded condenser, in front of the instrument. Position the microphone within the main radiation angle, about 10 to 45 degrees to the right, at a maximum distance of 20 inches. A microphone/pickup combination provides a well-balanced sound and capture little unwanted noise.

Now you can compare the sounds of these two microphones in different situations:

And the best way - to use it together

The instance of using cello recording in MIX

The Cello's track from the MIX above

What can happen if we will try to use studio microphone on the live perfomance.It will pick up the monitors sounds

And the sound from Playing Live (cello with DPA 4099C) in the same situdation

MIX of the Playing Live (cello with DPA 4099C)

Copyright © Roman Shirokinskiy