11/01/15

HOW TO MIC THE GU ZHENG (CHINESE LAP HARP)

Guidelines for miking the Gu Zheng with DPA Microphones.
Keywords: microphone set-up for the gu zheng.
Achieved knowledge: You will achieve knowledge on how to mike this instrument.

The Gu Zheng (pronounced koo-cheng) is an ancient Chinese instrument. This harp rests on two pedestals and is played using three to four imitation nails. There are about 24 to 30 strings stretched across the harp. The strings rest on adjustable bamboo frets.

The Gu Zheng is a distinguished solo instrument and is seldom used in the orchestra. Its attraction lies in the water-rippling sound produced when the strings are plucked by the fingers in a sweeping manner from the highest note to the lowest note or vice versa.

One overhead microphone is able to pick up the impressive timbre and dynamics of the chinese harp. Using a pair of overheads tends to reproduce the instrument with too wide an image. Placing a d:dicate™ 4015A Wide Cardioid Microphone at approximately the height of the performer's head and at the middle of the instrument will give a natural and rich sound.

For close miking applications on stage the d:vote™ 4099G Instrument Microphone will be the solution. Attach two d:vote™ 4099G  on the edge of the deck, spaced from one another at approximately 30 cm, and point the capsules slightly towards the strings.

For close miking applications in the studio the stereo microphone kit d:screet™ SMK4061 Stereo Mic Kit is recommended. Use the DMM0007 Universal Surface Mount and fix the miniature omni microphones directly at the deck. A smooth balance is obtained at the right side of the string bridges (seen from the player's side) and in the middle of the instrument.

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