Recording and Amplifying your mountain dulcimer ?

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
one month ago
492 posts

That's a good point, Lisa, and something we all need to be reminded of from time-to-time.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Strumelia
@strumelia
one month ago
1,702 posts

I'd just like to explain why moderator Dusty's suggestion of posting a thread like this in our Home Recording Group would have been great-

This discussion has exactly the kind of current and useful info in it that someone would be looking for if seeking help on this same issue- and if it had been posted in that Group, it would have been very visible and easily discovered for years to come.

But because it was posted in the General Forum, sadly it will sink out of view in a few weeks and very few folks who come along months or years from now will ever see it.

Unfortunately I cannot move a Forum discussion into a Group once it's been created.  Just mentioning this to help folks understand why Groups are such a good idea for informative/helpful threads on specific subjects of interest.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
2 months ago
492 posts

Here's Noah's link for anyone having trouble connecting to Sweetwater from his post: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/UMC22

Bob
@bob
2 months ago
78 posts

Thanks Noah. For the microphone I went way lower budget than the SM57 for now & selected a PylePro Hand Mic (along with a stand) and a small Sawtooth Guitar Amplifier.  They both had pretty decent reviews. I may spring for more pro grade down the line but it seems like a good start.

For recording, I will just have to wait a bit until I know more of how to set all that up on a computer.

Thanks again for your help!

Noah Aikens
@noah-aikens
2 months ago
37 posts

What you probably saw was a lapel mic (commonly used by pastors). The SM57 is a great handheld (or stand held) mic for just about EVERYTHING (even drums). I have used it for guitar, vocals, and dulcimer. This is a mic that is great for live venues because it doesn't pick other outside sounds like a condenser mic. You do need a small amp (unless your venue already has one) To record with the mic you need an audio interface. An interface acts as a sound card to your computer. It takes the mic cord and transfers it to a usb. A good cheap interface is this one: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/UMC22

you may have to install some drivers (programs that tell the computer how to respond to the interface, but besides that it is plug and play!)

Bob
@bob
2 months ago
78 posts

Thank you Ken and  Dusty. Lots of good information there. I have just a small Point-and-shoot digital camera with a video switch, but it really is very poor quality, naturally. 

I remember seeing a small mic that clipped on to a dulcimer and was plugged into a small amp. It was a pretty simple set-up, and i was years ago, so I dont know if things are that simple now. It looks like dusty might be speaking about something similar with the Sure SM57 and a small amp. For me, the simpler the better. 

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
2 months ago
859 posts

Bob you might want to pose this question in the Home Recording Group where I'm sure you'll get more expert advice than I can offer.

Early on I realized the mic built in to my computer would not suffice.  At first I bought a Blue Snowflake mic and then a Samson Go mic.  Both of them just plug into the USB port of your computer and replace the internal microphone. The Snowflake is a much less expensive version of the mic tha tKen metions.   But eventually I bought a Zoom H4N, which is a handheld multitrack audio recorder. It makes CD-quality audio recordings but can also serve as an audio interface with the computer, so I can use it as the mic on my videos as well.  That last item is more expensive, and if all you want is recording yourself in front of a camera, it's probably not worth the cash.  Then again, I've seen documentaries that were made with a video camera and a Zoom mic attached to the top, so it apparently works well in that setting.  It runs on batteries, so it's fully portable.  The other microphones I mentioned have to be plugged into your computer to work.

I also have a Sure SM57 for use with a small amp.  You can usually find it with a mic stand for about $100 at Guitar Center or elsewhere.  It is the sibling of the common Sure SM58.  The 58 is more for vocals and the 57 for instruments.  I just point it directly at the soundhole of my instrument and go to town.  I also have a Fishman Loudbox mini and plug my SM 57 directly into that. The amp has two inputs, one for an instrument and one for vocals.  It's really small but pretty powerful.  However, unlike some other small amps like the little Cubes, it does not run on batteries.

I hope this is helpful.  Again, you might try the Home Recording Group or even the Gig Talk Group to get more information.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

"A good song makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you think."
-- Pete Seeger
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
2 months ago
492 posts

I haven't recorded any videos for sharing, but I have used my MacBook to record some for my own use. When I do that I use in the built in microphone on the computer. Two of my MDs have built in pickups and need no external microphone. With our dulcimer group we use Blue Microphones enCore 100s. We run those through a portable Custom PA system. My personal system is a Fishman Loudbox Mini. Most of the time I run dulcimers direct through the instrument channel. I have a Sennheiser 835e microphone for vocals and/or miking another instrument.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Bob
@bob
2 months ago
78 posts

Actually this is two questions:

1) What type of video/audio recorder do you use (or suggest) ? The video camera I have has records all sorts of static or background noises.

2) If you use a mic with an amplifier for a Mountain Dulcimer, what type do you use and what would you suggest? Hopefully nothing very expensive blinders

Thanks for any and all suggestions :-)