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How To Mic A Cello: Best Ultimate Guide You Need To Know 2023

How To Mic A Cello Best Ultimate Guide You Need To Know 2023

If you want the best sound out of your cello, proper miking is essential. In this article, we’ll show you how to mic a cello, so you can get the best possible sound.

Types Of Microphones

Although some “omnidirectional” microphones are marginally directional at higher frequencies, omnidirectional (pressure) microphones have the advantage of picking up sound evenly from all directions.

When you want to capture the whole sound of an instrument and can move it a short distance away from it (using a gooseneck), an omnidirectional microphone is the way to go.

On the cello, there are numerous sound sources. There are various beautiful sites to choose from due to their vastness.

An omnidirectional microphone, such as the 4006ES Omnidirectional Microphone or the 4061 Miniature Omnidirectional Microphone, allows you to set the microphone in any location close to the instrument. Using a gooseneck microphone, you can set it close to the instrument if you wish.

Using an omnidirectional microphone ensures that the sound does not suffer from the proximity effect that directional microphones suffer from. When a sound source is close to a directional microphone, the proximity effect causes an increase in bass or low-frequency response.

Using a directional microphone, such as the 4099 Instrument Microphone or the 4011ES Cardioid Microphone, allows you to isolate the sound of the principal instrument from other sound sources such as other instruments on stage or the PA system.

4011 Microphone

On the other hand, directional microphones suffer from the proximity effect and require more modification to reach the best position. The low-end response will be enhanced by moving the microphone closer to the instrument, which may be desired.

It’s important to remember that the cello works as a large reflective surface. Even if the microphone is positioned away from the source, incoming sound from other sources (instruments, PA system) may reflect off it and reach the microphone from the front.

Point the directional microphone away from the drum kit if the cello player sits close to louder sound sources (like a drummer). The bleed from the drum sound reflection off the cello will be reduced.

Mounting The Microphone

All the mics listed above can be mounted on a microphone stand or directly on the cello with the proper microphone mount.

The CC4099 Clip for Cello is a superb close-miking mount that is strong and designed to stay in place in any position. Thanks to its flexible shape, it fits over or beneath the strings and may be adjusted to span across two to four or even between two strings.

The clip is compatible with a variety of our goosenecks, allowing you to position the microphones not just according to your preferences but also considering the application and ambient noise. The goosenecks are incredibly flexible and can be bent gently to adjust the microphone’s location.

Positioning the mic closer to, or aiming at, the F-hole is excellent if you desire more volume from the cello. Bend the gooseneck horizontally toward the F-hole to do this.

The GSM4000 Gooseneck Shock Mount, the GM1600 Gooseneck Mount, and the 4099 Instrument Microphone all function with the CC4099 Clip for Cello.

Mounting The Microphone

How To Set Up A Wireless Mic On A Cello

When using a transmitter on a string instrument like the cello, the following questions generally arise:

  • Is the connection between the cable and the transmitter secure?
  • Is it possible for the musician to set up the mic and connect the connection to the transmitter by himself?

Of course, there are many more questions about wireless in general. However, this isn’t the focus of our discussion.

Those two questions have received particular attention at REMIC MICROPHONES. We know these are highly practical issues based on our decades of expertise.

REMIC WLM models provide a variety of adapters for Shure wireless systems, including TA4F and Lemo connections, as well as 3.5 TRS and Lemo-3 connectors for Sennheiser transmitters.

Overall, the REMICs are designed for excellent quality and ease of use, mainly when the microphones must be set up quickly and easily.

How To Set Up A Wireless Mic On A Cello

How To Mic The Cello

How To Mic The Cello

How To Mic A Cello Live

When it comes to instances when you need to pick up the sound of the strings extremely clearly and separated, we reach a point where we want the best separation and feedback rejection possible, as well as the best sound possible.

The sound of a cello, as we’ve seen, is distinct. By the way, this is also true for the viola, violin, and other strings. As a result, REMIC MICROPHONES has created microphones perfectly suited to each string instrument’s sound.

REMIC MICROPHONES primarily offers two types of cello microphones. The “Studio/Live” Microphone is known as “REMIC C5300 Studio/Live,” while the “LB Live” Microphone is known as “REMIC C5300 LB.” There are also numerous wireless transmitter variations, which will be addressed later.

The sound of a cello suits both sorts nicely. They function well in noisy areas, such as performance halls or studios. While the Studio/Live version has a natural sound and outstanding sound rejection, the LB Live Version has a somewhat different, “woodish” sounding frequency range but greater rejection and feedback suppression.

How To Mic A Cello For Recording

In a typical “classical – classical” setting, there are numerous ways to capture the sound of a cello. Condenser microphones with a small diaphragm, such as those made by Neumann, Schoep, or Sennheiser, are typically employed.

Cardioid versions of these microphones will typically produce good results. Of course, you can also utilize patterns like Omni or wide cardioid. Some folks would even use omni or figure-eight patterns in their designs. Remember that such patterns can be harmful and should only be utilized in particular circumstances.

Of course, multi-pattern mics can be used as well. Finally, the microphone you choose is mostly determined by the recording situation and your preferences (and what you have in your microphone locker). Another possibility is to utilize PZM floor microphones.

5 Tips For Recording Cello

Having a good cellist is essential.

Before you even consider placing a microphone on the floor, starting with a superb performer is usually a good idea, and the cello is no exception. The cello’s nature needs a superior performer more than most other instruments.

A cello, unlike a guitar, does not have frets. As a result, the cellist is responsible for locating the notes on the neck. Tuning is therefore dependent on the performer, and it takes years of effort to get it right.

Furthermore, vibrato is an essential part of the cello’s voicing. It hides tuning flaws and adds a level of emotion that is impossible to accomplish otherwise.

You’ll have difficulty recording your cello musician if they are missing in these areas. Amateur engineers frequently encounter issues with the device because of this. If you have an amateur cellist, no amount of mic placement, choice, or other adjustments can help.

It Isn’t Going To Sound Like An Orchestra

I made this typical blunder when I first started recording stringed instruments. I assumed that registering the same cello or violin several times would provide an orchestral sound, but I was mistaken.

A variety of elements contribute to the sound of large orchestral recordings. This is due to the stylistic differences between players and the tone of their instruments when coupled with the sound of a huge room.

Although you may be able to create something that sounds similar to these recordings, it will sound like one cello recorded numerous times.

However, when performed and recorded effectively, the sound of a solo cello is beautiful. As a result, it’s critical to have reasonable expectations before going into the studio. When it comes time to record the cello, this will help with mic placement and choice.

Selecting a Cello Microphone

The cello is a remarkably similar instrument to the human voice. Each microphone produces a varied sound when utilized on different cellos, just like a vocalist. As a result, choosing the right mic for your cello is crucial.

I’ll choose a condenser microphone for cello recording ninety-nine times out of a hundred. They do a fantastic job of capturing the complete range of sounds the cello can make.

A small-diaphragm condenser can produce a focused sound when recording in a room with other instruments. It’s beneficial if you’re using numerous microphones on the cello and want to record different aspects of the instrument’s sound.

On the other hand, a big diaphragm condenser will capture a more comprehensive image. When only one microphone is needed, this makes it an excellent choice. It will frequently do a better job of capturing the cello’s low-end features.

If you have the option of using a decent ribbon or tube microphone on the cello, the results can be stunning.

If you have many options and aren’t sure which one to use, try a shootout or track a few microphones at once before deciding. On the other hand, the video follows an incredible shootout of several microphone options and positions.

Cello Mic Positioning (Finding The Sweetspot)

The final step in recording the cello is to choose the best microphone position. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach because each cello produces sound differently.

Before you begin, inquire where your cello player wants the microphone to be placed. They are the most knowledgeable about their instrument and may know where it has already been recorded. This is a beautiful place to start when it comes to getting things set up.

It’s also a good idea to have your cellist play while you wander about and listen to it from different angles. Try placing a microphone in a location where it sounds the best.

Give it a go in Omni

Last but not least, if you have the option, try setting your microphones to Omni mode. This reduces low-end build-up caused by the proximity effect and captures a more open and pure cello tone.

However, be mindful that this could potentially impair the cello’s tone. This can happen if the acoustics in the room you’re recording isn’t up to par. Omni mode will detect everything in the space, even reflections from your studio walls.

If this is the case, you might want to settle for a cardioid microphone on your cello as a compromise. The video below provides some additional mic location ideas and explains how to use an Omni mic on the cello.


FAQs About How To Record Cello

Is It Possible To Use A Condenser Mic In A Live Situation?

Condenser microphones are most commonly seen in recording studios. Many condenser mics are currently used in live sound situations. It is a relatively simple mechanical device that permits the microphone to be utilized, consisting of a thin, stretched conductor kept close to a metal disk called the back plate.

For Live Performances, What Kind Of Microphone Is Used?

Condenser microphones are most commonly seen in recording studios. Many condenser mics are currently used in live sound situations. It is a relatively simple mechanical device that permits the microphone to be utilized, consisting of a thin, stretched conductor kept close to a metal disk called the back plate.

What Is The Best Way To Mic My Cello?

If I’m using one, I position the microphone slightly up and to the right of the cello’s bridge. The instrument will be positioned at a little angle, one to two feet away. The microphone should be positioned closer to the bridge if string noise is required.

What Is The Best Microphone For Instruments?

Microphones with big diaphragms are often characterized as those with diaphragms that are 1 inch in diameter or larger. Large-diaphragm condensers provide a more well-rounded frequency response than smaller diaphragm condensers, making them ideal for recording vocals.

Because of their superior high-end response, condensers are suitable for recording instruments.

Which Microphone Is The Best For A Beginner?

  • The AT2020 from Audio-Technica is now available.
  • The most popular option is NT1A.
  • SM58.
  • This is exemplified by the blue Yeti.
  • The Behringer Ultravoice XM8500 is a microphone-equipped voice recorder.
  • MXL 770 is a model from MXL.
  • The PC should be linked to the NT-USB port.
  • The Sennheiser E835 is a wireless microphone designed by Sennheiser.

Can You Record Vocals With A Condenser Mic?

High frequencies and vocals are best captured with a condenser microphone. Furthermore, they are the most frequent type of studio microphone. A capacitor microphone, often known as a condenser microphone, is largely utilized in studios for its detail and precision.

Is It Possible To Use A Recording Mic During A Live Performance?

Yes, assuming you use a high-quality microphone, of course. A cheap dynamic stage microphone may be more obvious in the studio due to its flaws, but it will always sound like a cheap dynamic stage microphone in the field. A high-quality condenser stage microphone, on the other hand, will deliver excellent sound both on stage and in the studio.


When recording a cello performance, you have undoubtedly understood by this point that there is a lot to consider. Always ensure that your expectations are reasonable, and begin with a skilled musician. Once everything is in order, selecting the right mic and positioning it correctly on the cello is essential. Fidlar hope you found this article beneficial, thank you for your reading!

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