The mandolin is small but mighty and its powerful sound has made it a mainstay in popular music for generations. This member of the lute family plays an important role in the traditional music of Scotland and England, and has also shown up in many popular recordings of today. As part of our basic recording techniques video series, here are some tips to capture the distinctive sound of the mandolin.
Positioning and Repositioning Your Mic To Customize the SoundPositioning your microphone is key in bringing out different effects from the mandolin. The ATM450 Cardioid Condenser instrument microphone is designed for a variety of placement options, making it a natural choice when recording the mandolin in any setting. If you’re familiar with recording acoustic guitars you know that directing the mic where the neck and body meet is a good starting point. The mandolin’s amount of lower midrange can be adjusted by moving the mic closer or farther away from the instrument. Naturally, the sound will become fuller the closer the mic is to the instrument. Take care not to disrupt the player, and never position the mic in a way that leaves the player’s hand between the mic and instrument. To achieve more brightness, aim the mic farther down the neck.
Achieving That Classic SoundSwapping out your ATM450 for the AT4047/SV Cardioid Condenser studio microphone can help you achieve a classic FET sound, bringing a timeless quality to your mandolin recording. Position the mic approximately 10 inches away from the instrument and aim it just above the neck joint. The mandolin is an instrument with a storied history and with these recording techniques you can be a part of its future. On the stage or in the studio, Audio-Technica has you covered.