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Jun 21, 2019 - 6:32:14 AM
1 posts since 6/21/2019

A friend wants to add a pickup to her fiddle. What is most commonly used by professional performers? Thanks for your help.

Jun 21, 2019 - 6:39:59 AM
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2491 posts since 7/12/2013

I think either a piezo bridge pickup like lr bags or a small condenser microphone like Bartlett or DPA.

The piezo will suffer less from feedback, but not sound as naturAl.

Small condensers will be more prone to feedback but sound amazing.

I’ve used the Bartlett for performing with a bluegrass group in loud noisy venues and not had issues, playing with a country or loud rock band might be an issue, whereas a piezo will be just fine in those upper loud environments.

Edited by - fiddlinsteudel on 06/21/2019 06:40:22

Jun 21, 2019 - 8:46:21 AM

9 posts since 10/31/2014

I use the Myers pickup, I have both the clamp model and the clip model. I use mine with an effects pedal board as well and it works for me.

Jun 21, 2019 - 11:05:14 AM

4313 posts since 9/26/2008

amazon.com/Andoer-WCP-60V-Pick...APMVKNYYB

I use this one. Removable, sounds decent.

Jun 21, 2019 - 1:31:23 PM

1657 posts since 10/22/2007

Had one similar to Billy's called a Cherub. Worked suprisingly well for the price. Got one for the acoustic guitar too. Did have plug trouble with one, but small matter to replace a 1/4" male plug. Ended up with a L. R. Baggs bridge eventually. They are expensive, but they do sound nice. Definately the choice of many pros.

Edited by - farmerjones on 06/21/2019 13:38:49

Jun 21, 2019 - 7:01:32 PM
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4313 posts since 9/26/2008

I think the one I have is actually the cherub. Cheap and effective.

Jun 21, 2019 - 7:07:46 PM
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Fiddler

USA

3985 posts since 6/22/2007

I use a Bartlet. Great little device. True sound reproduction - it sounds like an acoustic fiddle. It is small and does not require special installation. The mic is secured under the tailpiece with a piece of foam. Unless someone looks carefully, it is barely noticeable. The price was reasonable ~$179 a few years ago.

The downside - if you swap instruments, you have to move the mic. For me at a dance, that's not a big deal, but during a performance, it is a problem. The mic has no on/off switch. The mic is always hot. I bought an in-line switch to solve that problem. And, you are tethered. You can't move around much on stage. However, if you buy a transmitter/receiver, problem is solved. (I am tethered.)

I truly like my Bartlet mic. I am not receiving an compensation for this comment. I am just a happy customer.

Jun 22, 2019 - 7:07:03 PM

1657 posts since 10/22/2007

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

I think the one I have is actually the cherub. Cheap and effective.


Did you ever try a pea size bit of puddy under the transducer, to make it less rattly?

Jun 24, 2019 - 4:55:59 AM
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37 posts since 9/4/2007

I would also recommend the Bartlett mic. Have used it in bars, at square dances, and on stage. Always works. It give you the sound of an acoustic instrument played into a really good microphone but you don't have to pay attention to distance or placing or where you stand. In the situations I was in I never had feedback issues.

Should also add that the sound guys always really liked them. Needs very little EQ as Bartlett mics are configured for the instruments they were designed for.

Bruce used to live in our area and many of us around here use them and like them a lot.

Jun 24, 2019 - 8:53:37 AM

4313 posts since 9/26/2008

quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones
quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

I think the one I have is actually the cherub. Cheap and effective.


Did you ever try a pea size bit of puddy under the transducer, to make it less rattly?


Hadn't noticed any rattle other than handling noise.

Jun 25, 2019 - 5:04:21 AM

RobBob

USA

2649 posts since 6/26/2007

Bartlett mic(s) and for two instruments a Radial Tonebone two channel box  and you have the mute, also can connect a tuner and it is an A-B all in one.  I use this rig and can get great sound.

Edited by - RobBob on 06/25/2019 05:04:54

Jun 25, 2019 - 7:54:42 AM

2491 posts since 7/12/2013

quote:
Originally posted by RobBob

Bartlett mic(s) and for two instruments a Radial Tonebone two channel box  and you have the mute, also can connect a tuner and it is an A-B all in one.  I use this rig and can get great sound.


Wow cool I'm surprised that works, any of the boxes I ever checked out that had boost to it didn't work with the bartlett. AND it's not horribly expensive!

Jun 25, 2019 - 8:16 AM

RobBob

USA

2649 posts since 6/26/2007

Don't use the boost and there is a setting on the side for passive or active use passive. Yeah you can blow your ears out otherwise.

Jun 25, 2019 - 9:05:23 AM

2491 posts since 7/12/2013

quote:
Originally posted by RobBob

Don't use the boost and there is a setting on the side for passive or active use passive. Yeah you can blow your ears out otherwise.


I was always envious of the guitar and mando players who could hit boost on their solos ... but a mute would be awesome! I always just ran my bartlett straight into the board. I often get compliments on the sound my fiddle gets run through the board.

Jun 25, 2019 - 9:06:51 AM

2491 posts since 7/12/2013

What's also nice about that pedal you posted is that you can run two mics/pickups. The bartlett plus a piezo and you can have them routed to different places (like room and monitors).

Jun 25, 2019 - 9:14:04 AM

DougD

USA

9304 posts since 12/2/2007

Mark, you and Bob might be talking about two different things. The Radial has a gain/impedance boost on each channel for piezo pickups (which you don't need) plus a footswitch gain boost for solos. I don't see why that wouldn't work with any input source.
However, it doesn't look like this is really a mic preamp - its meant for magnetic or piezo pickups. Bob - how do you deal with the fact that the Bartlett has balanced low impedance output on an XLR connector and requires phantom power?
The Bartlett is just a high quality condenser mic optimized for violin. I would think runnng it straight into a good board should work just fine, although you lose the extra outputs. Two instruments = two mic channels.

Edited by - DougD on 06/25/2019 09:22:44

Jun 25, 2019 - 11:28:05 AM

DougD

USA

9304 posts since 12/2/2007

Mark, you can buy a microphone mute switch, like this: bhphotovideo.com/c/product/520...itch.html

or this: bhphotovideo.com/c/product/725...udio.html

Contra dance fiddlers used to use small Audio Technica clip on mics, which had a very high output, and a friend of mine designed and used to make a little beltpack with a volume control and mute switch. I don't know if he still does that though.

Jun 25, 2019 - 11:53:42 AM

4313 posts since 9/26/2008

What was that product called, Doug?

Jun 25, 2019 - 12:46:37 PM
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DougD

USA

9304 posts since 12/2/2007

Billy, it was never offered for sale commercially - just custom jobs. Its funny that his work all has a certain "look" to it, and it was easy to spot contradance fiddlers using his boxes, especially people from the Boston area. He helped me spec and design the snake I still use 40 years later. A piano player from Boston immediately recognized the stage box as his work!
His name is Walter Lenk and he still has a webpage, so maybe he's still active. If you contact him tell him I sent you. configular.com/

Jun 25, 2019 - 12:59:01 PM

RobBob

USA

2649 posts since 6/26/2007

I also have a phantom power box. It gets complicated but it seems to work. Some times the smaller venues have a PA without phantom power so we tote it along.

Jun 25, 2019 - 12:59:50 PM

RobBob

USA

2649 posts since 6/26/2007

I have an old Fishman pickup too but it sounds like a late 60's electric guitar half the time. Kind of fuzzy.

Jun 26, 2019 - 7:55:11 AM

DougD

USA

9304 posts since 12/2/2007

Mark, here's another mute pedal that looks like it has everything - a tuner output that's always on, an output for personal monitoring that switches with the XLR main out, and the switch itself is mechanically silent. orchid-electronics.co.uk/balan..._mute.htm
The price seems quite reasonable too, but I don't know how you'd go about buying one.

Jun 26, 2019 - 8:05:52 AM

DougD

USA

9304 posts since 12/2/2007

They also make an active DI that mutes, for use with pickups: orchid-electronics.co.uk/Muting_DI_Box.htm

Jun 28, 2019 - 6:47:19 PM

2356 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Hokey Pokey

A friend wants to add a pickup to her fiddle. What is most commonly used by professional performers? Thanks for your help.


Depends a bit on style, context, and place.  What you want it to sound like and issues such as loud, bleed, feedback that might be a factor.

There are a few basic different choices... 
1. clip on mic - essentially just fixed mic (usually very close). Sometimes inside the fiddle.
2. Contact mic; actually piezo - placed somewhere on the "body" of fiddle (outside or inside); include piezo disc, hot dots or bending film/band. These are generally a bit loosely held in place (not compressed force). 
3. Bridge pickup - piezo (probably most common) A. embedded in bridge; B. inserted in bridge wing slot C. clipped onto bridge. D. Compression, under bridge foot (or both).
5. Sound post piezo
4. Magnetic coil - similar to elec guitar PU (needs all metal strings)

5. Some use a hybrid - such as piezo and clip on mic; and blend the 2.

There are differences in tone qualities in different manufacturers of each; mic or piezo; as well as placement.  

The other part of the equation is amplification.... These all have to go through and work with various stages of amplification (and impedance matching) process... that affect the sound qualities...  pre-amp, compression, EQ, perhaps effects... all affect the final sound; so need to find a good match. Keep in mind the tone qualities can change unequally with volume. (low volume might sound fine, but turning it up, esp underpowered... can sound bad).

------------

A new method is using a piezo with a digital sampled modelling effect... like as mentioned in another post on the Tonedexter; or Fishman Aura.  Rather than sounding like a cheap VSO (violin shaped object) going thru cheap piezo and crappy preamp you have... it can sound like a Stradivarius thru a vey expensive mic at 4 feet, thru great preamp...  in theory anyway.

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