INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Anyone do any recordings?


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Anyone do any recordings? Mar 03, 2003 10:22 p.m.

Hey there. I'm new to this place but I've been reading from it for months. You guys all seem very well informed and this site has wonderful information.

Anyway I was wondering if anyone out there had any experience recording indian instruments. My friends and I have a project studio (we are studdying to be recording engineers) and we have recorded bands and made them sound great. However, when i tried to record sitar and tabla i just couldnt make them sound good. especially sitar (tabla was ok, i found some information about tabla micing somewhere else on the site)

Anyone know anything about micing sitars? what kinds of mics to use? Where to mic it? stereo mics? several mics? any ideas?

Thanks a lot for your time.

Peace and love


Re:Anyone do any recordings? Mar 03, 2003 11:34 p.m.

Hi Joey,
A good condenser microphone will work. I use an Oktava which was relatively inexpensive ($99). I recorded sound samples of instruments with it. Place it about 6 inches away from just forward of the bridge and have it pointing from the bottom or top at an angle. What I did was not fancy, only to demonstrate the sound of different models, converted to stereo with Sound Forge. But here's an idea anyway for you........have fun!


Re:Anyone do any recordings? Mar 04, 2003 07:39 a.m.

I started the sitar recording experiment using two Audio Technica AT-3035s, both aimed at the area between the bridge and where the strings are plucked, I eventually decided that this can be done with just one mic. As I don't have a dedicated room to focus on sound isolation, I would pick up a lot of street noise which I would mask by recording a bass track with an old Fender Jazz and add it to the mix until the street noise sounded like it belonged there. I finally discovered that the K & K transducers solved all of my problems. You will most likely find that when using transducers a lot of your sound will be dependant on your preamplification. You will need to add a touch of reverb too, to compensate for the room ambience that isn't picked up by the transducers. I would thing that with a project studio, you probably have ways of cutting out any unwanted sound and will probably find that using condenser microphones will yield the most faithful sound. One other thing that I've noticed though, using the transducers, is that it is a lot easier for my 44 year old ears to hear the tuning process when amplified a bit (too much Led Zepplin in my youth).
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