Acoustic comparison microphone / ~€ 100 - DIY-pickup-system
I am always asked how good or bad my € 100 DIY-pickup-system is.
This question is difficult to answer, since a lot has to do with personal listening impression and personal preferences. I now had the opportunity to record my playing simultaneously with two computers. The recordings were made with the freeware audacity on the computer.
The only change I made to the recorded signals is that I normalized all levels equally to -5 dB to make the sound pressure comparable.
2 x Rode NT5 MP microphones about 75 cm above the vibraphone, a Behringer audio interface UMC404HD.
One pickup on each sound bar, all pickups paralell connected (no potentiometers or resistors), t.c.electronic stereo chorus as preamplifier, Zoom H4N as audio interface
I have provided two comparisons (mic/pickup) as Audacity projects (one with and one without chorus) for download. Then everyone can get an impression of the sounds themselves and switch back and forth as desired.
The audacity software is freeware and can be downloaded here.
For everyone who does not want to install audacity, I have added an mp3 file of the same recording one with microphone and one with pickups.
I personally would not want to work with the pickups on studio recordings. However, I've never been to a studio anyway.
I like to use the pickups as an uncomplicated, feedback-free amplification option for the vibraphone, without also amplifying the saxophonist or trumpeter blowing into his device behind me. The use of high-quality (expensive) microphones is not recommended anyway on cramped session stages, since such a stand is easily tipped over in the crowd of musicians.