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Recording Harp


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#1 AWebb

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 16:53

Hi all

 

I am quite often encouraged to record my playing as a way to work on certain aspects by my teacher. However, I have only used my iPhone for this so far, and the sound quality that I hear is not great (quite twangy...). 

 

I asked my teacher whether this was down to my tone/technique, but she didn't think so. So I guess it could be the harp, the recording device, or the quality of playback on the phone.

 

I suspect it's the recording quality of the phone that is the limiting factor here, so I was wondering if anyone else records themselves and what equipment they use to do this. How is the outcome?

 

I think you can get microphone inputs for the iPhone so this would presumably improve the sounds quality. Does anyone have any experience with these?

 

Thanks!

 

Alex


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#2 Pickle

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 21:00

Recording yourself is a great way of assessing how you are playing. And it is sooooo much more encouraging if the sound quality is reasonable.

 

I use a Zoom H2 - bought about 7 or so years ago. I just did a quick google and it seems to have been superseded by something called the Zoom H2n.

 

The sound quality of my H2 is pretty good for so small and portable a device, so I'm assuming the H2n will be similar.

 

My only gripe with mine is that it guzzles battery power. However, it does come with a mains adaptor.


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#3 dorfmouse

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 21:57

I was beginning to think harpists were an extinct species here these days!

Sorry I can't help you. Phone recording of anything I find very discouraging, and would also like to find a solution that is easy to manage and play back without having to be a tech expert.
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#4 GMc

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 13:49

Depends how keen you are and what its for.  The link below was with a very old video camera - no external mic but it gives quite nice results.

 

 

We have the modern zoom - to be frank its a bit button heavy and techy  and tricky to work out.  Not  getting much use currently cos no one has the energy to master it..  

 

Old sony voice recorder was brilliant - made the best CDs from that for presents.  Then it died and they didn't make it any more.  


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#5 GMc

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 13:52

oops didn't like the link - try you tube Chatelaine en Sa Tour Faure channel Georginamca and you should get it.


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#6 GMc

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 13:56

Sorry, seemed to appear by magic

 

this one was the iPhone with external mic. Not very different.

 


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#7 elemimele

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 17:15

For recording recorder ((!) you know what I mean, not the sort who's a judge), I have taken the budget route and occasionally use a little microphone plugged into a laptop with freebie sound-recording software. I get on better with a separate plugged-in microphone rather than the built in mic on the laptop, although I only bought a cheap conference-call sort of microphone (I paid less than £10 in Maplin - a sad loss to the UK high-street). The key is to put it quite a long way from the instrument. In the case of a recorder, if the microphone is too close, it sounds scratchy, picking up all the breathy noises and white-noise effects disproportionately loudly compared to the actual note; by analogy I'd guess with a plucked instrument you'd hear all the plucky-transients too loudly, and not the overall sound of the harp. Someone who knows about sound-recording can probably explain this.


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#8 dorfmouse

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 20:29

I plucked up courage to try a video recording on my Android. Video quality is very good and of course the sound picked up little hesitations and uncertainties. However it is somewhat tinny though not as bad as I expected. And you can practically hear every vibration which I assume is what elemimele called the plucky transients! (Moving it further away was just too quiet.)

I started reading about external mikes, though in small doses as all the reviews quickly get mired in tech talk. It seems also that for Androids you need to use an adaptor with the mike jack, otherwise the phone just thinks you've plugged in headphones.

Has anyone a suggestion for a decent uncomplicated mike brand up to about the £100 mark maximum?
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#9 GMc

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 05:12

This is a subject that makes me glaze over very quickly too.  DD wants one for her birthday in July so I have been glazing frequently recently. She uses Zoom for day to day or iPhone but zoom means pulling out the card every time you want to listen back properly to get it onto the computer and the iPhone quality is rubbish. 

 

Basically my understanding is that you decide between a USB mic (links straight into a laptop) and a XLR output mic that has to go through a box which is an amplifier and converter.   The box e.g. Scarlett, blu-icicle amplifies the audio and converts it to digital.  Then you need some method of fiddling with said recording on the computer which ranges from free apps like garage band or audacity to pay a bit/moderate like Amadeus Lite/Pro or pay a fortune for a studio set up.    Another complication is if you want the mic to be a long way in front of your instrument to mimic orchestra audition circumstances or a concert then you need a long lead if you want the computer next to you for convenient play back and that may interfere with your USB signal.  Finally headphones to listen through the computer.  

 

As for mics - Audio Technica, Rode, Blue Yeti seem to be popular choices.   You tube has a number of techy tragics demonstrating and comparing various models.    The other thing is what pattern of recording you want (cardioid is common for a solo instrument  but the Blue Yeti is meant to switch between patterns for other set ups). 

 

None of which answers your question but maybe someone here has some experience? I do know of a professional percussionist who uses an audio technical AT4040 cardioid condenser mic with a blue icicle XLR-USB. This is a very pricey mic but they do a cheaper version.  I am thinking of hoping for the best and randomly picking between a Rode NT USB or AT 2020 USB. 


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