Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Fiddle Lovers Online

Sorting out the New Heil Mic and the New Violin...

Posted by fiddlepogo on Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Monday I did one of my volunteer senior gigs where I actually need some sound reinforcement.  The room is very long, with a doorway on one side right in the middle.  So you can't sit there... you have to sit to the side of the doorway, which puts you at about the room's 1/3 point.  Soundwise, they should put me at one end, but nearly all these folks are in wheelchairs, so arranged around the edge of the room is the best shot for accessibility if someone needs to leave.

So I use the amp to throw the sound down the room to the people on the far side of the door.

This is the first time I've used the Heil P30 with all the parts- the first time, I lost the clamping screw, so I couldn't hang it upside down over the fiddle like I wanted to.  Yesterday I could, and basically aimed it the way that worked well for the last recording-  about  5 or 6 inches above the fingerboard, but aimed at my chin.  I also had the PR 35 pointed up at the back plate.  And it sounded very good on the fiddle, I think the best live fiddle sound I've gotten so far, and worked well for singing with the fiddle too.  The only downside was that I lost eye contact with some of the audience members right in front of me.  So I readjusted it down for singing with banjo and guitar.

The recording I posted confirmed to me that my old fiddles still have some life in them for Old Time... people seemed to prefer Booker and Stinky over.... Esther Eastman??? ;^D.  I'm tempted to call her Super-Stinky!!!  Oh, that's right, I'm gonna call it Odie-

I guess that makes Odie a "him" because of the dog character in "Garfield".

Anyway, I knew that Odie Eastman was at a disadvantage, because he was competing with the other fiddles at a task for which they've proved themselves- playing and recording an Old Time fiddle tune.

It occurred to me that maybe the problem was the synthetic strings.  After all, I am used to the steels, and I think I've had the violin just long enough that the strings may be going dead.  I had a full set (I thought) of Thomastik Precision Lights, although mostly used.  Well it turned out the winding on the A string was worn through, so I left the D'Addario Pro Arte A on the fiddle.  And it blended surprisingly well with the Precision Lights.  And it took away some of the hissy dry sound off of the G and D.  Surprisingly it didn't change the actual tone all that much- it still sounds more like a violin than a fiddle.

Today, there was a private jam in a home I go to twice a month if everything goes right.  And I took both Booker and Odie Eastman.  Most of the people who attend are singers, and the style varies quite a bit with some Old Time, but also a variety of country folk, and some stuff that is more singer-songwriterish.

The steel strings on the G and D did just fine.  I also realized that part of my dislike of the Eastman E string was caused by the bow- the Thomastik Precision Light E and the newer K. Holtz or LaSalle carbon fiber are less nasal sounding on Odie than the older K. Holtz I had been using.  So that's a plus.

It seemed to me that anything that needing drones and double stops Booker excelled at, and anything that was slow with a lot of single string work was better on Odie.  So I think I'll keep Odie for a while at least, since some of the tone issues are tweakable with string and bow changes.  I definitely like the fullness on Odie's low strings when I draw a long bowstroke.  It really encourages playing simply, since simple sounds so good, and that's a GOOD thing when you are faking it on a song you don't know very well at a jam.

It has occurred to me that maybe what should eventually replace Odie is a FIVE STRING!!!  I like playing low so much, that on some songs, I run out of melody notes, and it would be nice to have that low C!!!  Or maybe even a viola!!!  Naw, five string!!!  I'm not fond of changing position!!!

Be the first to comment on “Sorting out the New Heil Mic and the New Violin...”

You must sign into your myHangout account before you can post comments.

More posts from fiddlepogo

Newest Posts

Click for Details 'Katy Hill' 1 day

Click for Details 'Coleraine Jig' 2 days

More >  

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

Hide these ads: join the Players Union!