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Audio question about person playing the Harp

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Linda O'Connell
Audio question about person playing the Harp
on Feb 26, 2009 at 12:22:28 am

I am not really sure which forum this should go in..but..
I got a call from someone today who wants me to film her playing the harp. She is going to use the dvd to apply to music colleges.

My question is this: What is the best microphone to do this? Should I use a lapel microphone and put it on her? On the harp itself or use a boom?

I really haven't done anything like this before, so any advise would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

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Bill Davis
Re: Audio question about person playing the Harp
on Feb 28, 2009 at 11:51:14 pm

The harp, like the piano is a kinda complicated thing to record.

I'd stay away from lavs or any kind of contact mics.

The traditional technique is a stand mounted condensor mic placed at least as far away from the instrument as the instrument is tall.

The space around the harp is also important. A quiet sound field and a space large enough to let the instrument sounds intermix prior to getting to the mic will get you the best results.

Do a web search under "micing a harp" and you should find some manufacturers recommendations.

I think the traditional mics are either large diaphram condensers like the AKG-414 or small diaphram condensors like those from Schoeps or Audio Technica.

Just bring a way to monitor what you're recording (decent headphones!) and use the best gear you can get your hands on without going too nuts.

Really, there are proabably a couple hundred microphones from many manufacturers and models that can do a workmanlike job of recording this. And if you can't get anything but a Shure SM-57 don't let that stop you. Just move it around until the lower end and upper end are sorta in balance and toss a heavy blanket over the refrigerator or anything else making noise in the background and do the best you can.

Good luck.

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