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Old 09-26-2023, 05:13 PM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
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Default Single Mic' Gig - Ear Trumpet



I've just got home from seeing a lovely local gig by a duo called Filkin's Drift. These two young musicians are walking the 700 mile Wales coastal path carrying a guitar and fiddle - and an ear trumpet mic' - and giving concerts each night.

There were 60+ in the audience this evening in the bar of our local cinema. The house p/a is a Bose column stytem x 2. They set up the mic' between the two of them seated, like in the video above, and played and sang for 2 hours with a break.

The sound was fantastic. Everything from intricate fingerstyle guitar to vocal harmonies carried beautifully. They obviously knew how to make the most of that mic'

The video above is off their website (not from tonight's gig) but it shows their set up. The guitar is a custom build by a UK luthier (I can't remember who). It is fitted with a sound hole and undersaddle p/u. But for most venues just the single mic' is used.

I chatted to them about it and they said that they loved the mic' as it worked really well in a wide variety of venues and was both simple and natural. I really wouldn't have said that the venue they played tonight would have worked with a single mic (reflective back wall and low reflective ceiling) - but it did!
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I'm learning to flatpick and fingerpick guitar to accompany songs.

I've played and studied traditional noter/drone mountain dulcimer for many years. And I used to play dobro in a bluegrass band.




Last edited by Robin, Wales; 09-26-2023 at 05:24 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-26-2023, 09:42 PM
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Chriscom Chriscom is offline
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What a joy that music is!
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Old 09-27-2023, 01:01 AM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
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What a joy that music is!
Yes!

They did a mix of Welsh songs/tunes and songs/tunes from Glostershire. The outlier was one from your neck of the woods, an old time fiddle with Dadgad guitar version of Red Rocking Chair.

There's rarely much traffic in the acoustic amplification section here on AGF about using a single stage mic' for gigs. It seems like a neglected art. Perhaps, it's because it is more exposing and intimate psychologically? It is just pure; there's no colouring of the guitar and voice - no effects - no e/q on the guitar to tweek - no reverb or proximity effect to fill out your voice. You can use mic' position for balance, but that's about it.

It is certainly a style of performance I am interested in pursuing - and learning the stagecraft for.
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I'm learning to flatpick and fingerpick guitar to accompany songs.

I've played and studied traditional noter/drone mountain dulcimer for many years. And I used to play dobro in a bluegrass band.



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Old 09-27-2023, 03:16 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Hi Sir Robin,

For my club, and should I ever get a paid gig again, I use an original Rode NT1.

The only p.a. I have now is an early Bose L1.

The thing about a half decent Large diaphragm condenser mic is that it is SOOO easy to use.

Occasionally, I have people who are conditioned into the (poor) technique of using an SM58 by eating it, so I have to tell newcomers that I will position the Rode for en ad it will pick up their vocals and instruments.

I usually place it about 2 to 3 feet from both mouths and instruments but we succesfully used it for "The Druthers Brothers" (my last, four piece bluegrass band).

We use the Bose every third Thursday for whoever comes to do a spot. I hear surprised comments like - "Its very .... clear, isn't it ? Yup! and I do virtually no EQ and no fx at all.

Of course, you need a listening audience!
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Old 09-27-2023, 04:36 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Thanks, Robin, For This Wonderful Music!

I've got a stereo-matched pair of Ear Trumpet Labs Edwina Mics and love them!
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Old 09-27-2023, 04:46 AM
Nymuso Nymuso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post

Of course, you need a listening audience!
Therein lies the catch.

Plus it helps to have a guy somewhere in the room with his fingers on volume and EQ. I have worked with a single LDC and love it, but in the cramped, noisy, throw-n-go, self engineered environment in which many of us find ourselves, it’s unfortunately not overly practical.
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Old 09-27-2023, 05:52 AM
Eastbound Eastbound is offline
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Single mic is great when you have a quiet stage and can hear everything well without loud monitors. Many bluegrass bands can pull this off with a good bit of
Physical movement to get the lead instruments closer to the mic
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Old 09-27-2023, 07:33 AM
Jeffreykip Jeffreykip is offline
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Very beautiful. There’s a great Punch Brothers video out there on whih they cover The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald and they’re all around a single mic. The sound is amazing. I’d love to give the single condenser a try, but I’m generally one guy with guitar in a restaurant or pub, plugged into a 130w acoustic amp (does have phantom power). I feel like I’d pay a lot for a mic that will just catch all the chatting and laughter of the group at the table down front and not let me balance my sound or use effects (light chorus, reverb). Am I wrong?
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Old 09-27-2023, 07:52 AM
Mobilemike Mobilemike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffreykip View Post
I feel like Iíd pay a lot for a mic that will just catch all the chatting and laughter of the group at the table down front and not let me balance my sound or use effects (light chorus, reverb). Am I wrong?
You can still balance your sound - just move the mic up or down to get closer to your vocal or closer to your guitar. That said, a noisy pub is not the space for a single mic IMO. You need a quiet space where people are listening to get the most out of it.
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Old 09-27-2023, 08:00 AM
PaperMoon PaperMoon is offline
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The occasions where I've gotten to do this have always been awesome and inspiring. I learned the hard way about when it does and doesn't work!

I have the Edwina and it's amazing as just a vocal mic--that's what I use it for 99% of the time.
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Old 09-27-2023, 08:10 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Using a single mic will work fine for some applications, but close vocal miking is absolutely necessary with a vocal harmonizer. The harmonizer takes itís que (via pickup & instrument cable) from the guitar chords being played, but you need to avoid picking up much of the guitar sound in the vocal mic.
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Old 09-27-2023, 08:52 AM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
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Love the ETL mics. The cool aesthetic is a bonus. I bought a pair of Edwinas to record an album with a couple of years ago and the producer/studio owner liked em so much he bought them from me when we finished the record. Super versatile mics that are not too terribly expensive
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Old 09-27-2023, 09:49 AM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
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There are some very interesting points coming out in this discussion. Going down the single stage mic' route is not going to be for everyone. The issues raised about effects (guitar and vocal), loopers etc are all valid.

The "noisy venue" issue is an interesting one. If most of your gigs are as "background sound" then the single mic' may not be a suitable option. But if you are mainly giving "performances" then it becomes more of a possibility - if it is a path that you want to follow.

I have single mic'd with a 5 piece bluegrass band in noisy, crowded pubs in Bala on a Saturday night. And it actually worked really well. For a start we took up much less space and the bar staff could still hear to take orders (which is their biggest issue with most bands). Folks weren't out to listen to the band - they were out for a good time with their mates and generally on a pub crawl. But it is amazing how the crowd become self-policing if you play well, and catch the mood. You don't need volume, you need stage craft. When we played I would think of all those years of Saturday night barn dances and ceilidhs back in the day where the musicians had no p.a. at all - yet seemed to manage.

It is a different attitude and different approach to plug and play or even close mic'ing. It is not one being better than the other, but horses for courses. It is like choosing to play acoustic guitar or electric guitar - both are great but very different, and need different skills and a different approach.

Like I said at the start of this thread. The topic of single mic'ing for acoustic gigs doesn't come up that often in this "acoustic amplification" section. I'm sure that there is a lot of experience on the forum that could be shared on how to do this well.

Personally, I see different level of acoustic amplification for performance situations:

1. Performing without a p.a. (I do that quite a lot at local concerts)
2. Performing with a single mic' (I have done a reasonable amount of that with a bluegrass band)
3. Performing with close mic's for guitar and voice (I have done some of that recently)
4. Performing with guitar plugged in and a vocal mic' (Not done that for years)

I expect that there are an awful lot of acoustic guitarists who went straight to number 4 first time in front of an audience. Whereas, in years gone by, most acoustic guitarists would sit at No 1 and perhaps 2 in a big venue. I'm not saying that what happens now is wrong, just that the collective experience of purely acoustic performance is perhaps less than it used to be.

Tomorrow evening I'm rehearsing with a new duo partner. We have a gig booked towards Christmas in the same venue I saw Filkin's Drift play last night. We will rehearse purely acoustically, and it would make sense to play purely acoustically for the type of set we will be performing. So I'm going to suggest we take the single mic' route for the gig, now that I have seen it work in the venue.
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I'm learning to flatpick and fingerpick guitar to accompany songs.

I've played and studied traditional noter/drone mountain dulcimer for many years. And I used to play dobro in a bluegrass band.



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Old 09-27-2023, 12:57 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffreykip View Post
I feel like Iíd pay a lot for a mic that will just catch all the chatting and laughter of the group at the table down front and not let me balance my sound or use effects (light chorus, reverb). Am I wrong?
No, these are valid issues.

Single LDC microphone systems will pick up everything, so they are best used in quieter/controlled rooms - probably not restaurants and pubs.

You also cannot use effects selectively. You are effectively 'mixing in the microphone' so you can't have, for example, reverb on the voice but not on the guitar.
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Old 09-28-2023, 12:34 AM
Jeffreykip Jeffreykip is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Currie View Post
No, these are valid issues.

Single LDC microphone systems will pick up everything, so they are best used in quieter/controlled rooms - probably not restaurants and pubs.

You also cannot use effects selectively. You are effectively 'mixing in the microphone' so you can't have, for example, reverb on the voice but not on the guitar.
Thatís what I figured. I was just hoping someone might chime in and say, ďactually, all you have to do is x y z!Ē. Ill hve to wait until Iím playing bluegrass festivals.
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