Guidelines for close-miking the balalaika.
Keywords: Balalaika, microphone set-up.
Achieved knowledge: You will achieve knowledge on how to mike this instrument.
Close miking a balalaika with one mic only
Balalaikas, like all acoustic instruments, have the ability to change the timbre according to the recording axis and the position of the microphone. It is the recordist's job to match the timbre of the instrument to the intended sound image. When using the neutral DPA microphones the recordist will be able to use the instrument as an equalizer with possibilities of adjusting both timbre, depth and the amount of finger sounds.
Close miking with cardioid microphones from DPA is the perfect solution for live recordings, live PA, or studio recordings where the accurate and low-ambiance sound is needed.
The following advice can be used in search for the sweetspot:
1. Adjust the height of the microphone stand to the mid of the strings.
2. Microphone positions close to the front body of the balalaika will probably give the best result.
3. The DPA cardioid microphones are neutral with regards to proximity effect in 30 cm distance on-axis. Closer microphone positions will add more low frequencies. Use the cardioid microphone off-axis (30-45°) in order to adjust the amount of bass.
4. Listen carefully to the acoustic instrument in the microphone position and compare it with the sound impression in more natural listening positions.