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Hello, I was wondering what the best practice is for recording a Duduk. i.e. what microphone (large or small diaphragm), pointed where, how far away, etc. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts & oppinions on this too.
In the past, I've used an AKG C-414 large diaphragm condenser microphone when I've wanted it to sound really pristine, clear, and deep. With that, I'll usually use light compression, with a medium-fast attack time and a slow-medium release time if it's playing by itself. If it is sitting on top of many other instruments, I'll add more compression and give it a fast release setting. Then just pick a reverb fitting whatever mood you want. Duduk doesn't have all that many high frequency transients like some other instruments (especially acoustic guitar and vocals) so I'll often let the reverb have a lot more high end to give it more detail. (Usually only if it's in smaller doses, otherwise I find it makes the instrument less soothing over a longer listen).

As far as microphone placement, I'll usually aim it between the 1st and 3rd holes (with the 2nd hole underneath the instrument), although if a performance focuses on one range of notes, sometimes i'll aim it just in that area. Distance... eh, usually about 7 inches. Although, I've heard very beatiful sounds with microphones placed closer, as well as considerably further away.

If you want to use two microphones, place the 2nd mic three times (or further) away from the duduk as the distance of the first microphone from the duduk. This is at least a good starting point, as it observes the "Three to one microphone placement rule" that is followed by most audio engineers. This can give it more depth, although I usually only use this technique when recording flute.

A smaller diaphragm condenser will give you a slightly different sound. Maybe a little less focus on the low end than the high end. It will also be a "faster response", which is difficult to describe in words. I've never tried a ribbon mic, but that could work very well too. Dynamic microphones are usually not used for this type of instrument, although recently I've had fun experimenting with less pristine sounding microphones that give a little more mid range character, specifically the Shure SM-7 (a popular singing/broadcast dynamic microphone, not to be confused with the Shure SM-57).

There are no set rules though. You should try recording it with every microphone, effect, and piece of gear you have, and then listen to the one that sounds the best to YOU. smile.gif

Thanks for the informative post Brian. I'm looking forward to recording some duduk--after I lear to play it smile.gif
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