OT: mic'ing the pit

What are good mic's to use for  the mallet instruments.  I tried sm57's but I didnt get a good sound. Any suggestions? Thanks

-darryl jones
Figured I'd chime in since you guys mentioned our Bluecoats set up specifically.

True that in 05 we chose to mic the marimbists (vibes were not miced) rather than the board - and had some success with it, but the delicate nature of the wireless systems were very high maintenence.�� In addition to that, we experienced some ";unbalanced"; sounds hand to hand depending on the body's positioning relative to the keyboard for a given passage.

In 06, we hard wired everything w/ the exception of some stationary accessory instruments - all Audio-Technica products.�� The middle two marimbas were stereo mic'd from above (2 mics) - outer two marimbas single mic'd from below - and the vibes w/ a single mic below as well.��

We were also fortunate enough to have a professionial design the set up, and come in and set levels to dial it all in.�� In the end, much happier w/ the sound and the consistency of amplified sounds we were able to get.

Hope that is helpful for you guys.

Tom Rarick
Thanks for sharing the information Tom. Great writing this year and congrats!

What Microphones did you use?
thanks for the kind words.

As far as microphones - on the marimbas I believe they were ATU 857 (gooseneck podium type mics), and the vibes were Pro37R.
Hi Tom! Welcome to the forum, and thanks for chipping in with some helpful info. Kudos on yet another amazing book with Bluecoats this past season. Great stuff!!
Same you to Jim!  and congrats on the win.  Always love your ensembles, and this year was certainly no different.
Just as an aside...  BK's amps were very exposed given that big marimba feature...  I just heard more frame each and every time.  Is that from hanging the mics under, or is it that those frames just rattle too much?
I just tried suspending the mic's under the keys and it worked pretty well. I used a few cloth covered bungy cords and wrapped them around the frame in a ";z"; formation. And then I put the mic in between the bungys cords and zip tied them tight around the mic...Its a little jerry rigged, but it or worked and it cut out all that frame noise. Anyways, thought I would throw that out there...
Right now I am tryinig something new.  I have Sure 57s, just one per marimbas right now, and I have them at the top pointing up and towards the bottom end.  I have all my marimbas in the center of the setup.  Seems to be working well, not a lot of problems with picking up the other unwanted sounds.  I have a student whos dads will come in sometimes and offers somethings to try since we don't quite have enough to hire a separate sound person.

I have also used some Freeport series wireless...but I am just really set on hard-wired mics.  I just like the consistancy more than the wireless.  The Sure mics seem to work great as far as I have noticed.
I use SM57�۪s.  Two for each marimba and one for each vibe, like described.  The sound is fairly good and the price is terrific.

What are everyone�۪s thoughts on eliminating frame noise?  I�۪m working with some older Yamaha instruments and a handful of new Dynasty instruments.  It�۪s been tough finding good mic placement on the Dynasties due to the frame design.
What specifically about the frame design is making the noise?
The frame noise isn�۪t related to the frame design, it�۪s a problem with how I�۪m mounting the mics.  When I hit a key vibrations are transferred from the frame to the mic, sounding like a low thump.  I need a mount that isolates the mic more.

The problem I have with the dynasty frames is that there are two cross bars which get in the way of the mics.
Ah.  That makes sense.

I am using some of the Shure Beta 98H/C mics mounted underneath and they are working great.  I just used ";zip ties"; to fasten them to the cross bar support and was good to go.  Two on the marimba and one on the vibes (as Cavs did this past summer) and plugged in.  They worked well for me...
Yeah.  I also had problems with ";thumping"; when I tried mounting to frames.  I just do not have the right shock mounts right now.  I need one of the ";free floating"; type of shock mount.  I tried this other kind and it didn't work at all and almost made it worse.  :)  So - I have been just using mic stands in the front of the instruments for right now.  It is a bit slower to set up but I do not mind because I can get it to sound good.  I just need a sound person.  BUT DON'T WE ALL?  :)

Do you guys prefer the set ups wehre the Vibes are all on one side and the marimbas on another?  I was thinking about trying it more but I just couldn't get the stereo sound I was getting with metals on the outsides and woods in the middle.
What kind of power setup do most of you run?

I've been thinking of going to a 24v. system to run one amp and mixer setup, but never really thought about what other people are running powerwise...or how beefy their amplification system is.
[quote]What kind of power setup do most of you run?

I've been thinking of going to a 24v. system to run one amp and mixer setup, but never really thought about what other people are running powerwise...or how beefy their amplification system is.[/quote]

We have the following:

2 - Mackie - SR1530z - 500 watts each
2 - Mackie - SR1522z - 500 watts each
2 - Mackie - SWA1801z - 800 watts each

I have one of each of these speakers on a cart and each cart contains a Honda EU2000i generator.


We also have another EU2000i running the mixer/wireless cart.

I can't tell you how wonderful these generators have been....they are a God send. We have three running during our performance and you can't even hear them running during the silent parts of the show.

I'm pushing 18 string players 12 front ensemble mics and 4 wireless mics and everything runs without a hitch.

We crank up the generators before we go on and connect the speakers to the mixer and we are ready to roll! :)

Hope that helps.

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