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Soundhole mics

BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
Thanks to a fellow forum member I've just found out that Mathieu Chatelain of Ensemble Zaiti, uses a lavalier mic to amplify his guitar, often plugged into an AER.
I suspect Sebastien Giniaux and Adrien Moignard use the same... Have you tried it??
AT pro 70
Someone suggested this, swearing this is the soundhole mic used for monitoring on the Bireli Live a Vienne dvd:
Shure Beta 98S
As you see they both cost the same.

Wondering about opinions from people who have tried them...
I thought all three of the aforementioned players sounded great with them and they didn't seem to be having feedback issues.
I'd like to use them in combination with a Bigtone pickup and an AER amp.



  • Dr. HallDr. Hall Green Bay, WisconsinNew
    Posts: 65
    I often use an Audio-Technica clip-on mic with great success both live through an AER and recording. I have the AT-831b which is pretty much the same as the Pro-70. I typically clip it so that the mic is inside the sound hole, which is what I've seen Adrien Moignard doing rather than outside like Stochelo and Romane have done. If you cut the lows and highs a bit you'll get really nice sound with it. I like the mic in combination with the K&K Pure Maccaferri piezos through the AER--the two inputs on the AER Alpha make this possible, but a Compact 60 would be even more versatile with two channels. Verdict: it sounds freakin' great. I liked the combo of piezo and mic so much that on my new guitar I installed the K&K Trinity system (Maccaferri piezos, internal condensor mic, stereo cable, a small pre-amp to blend the mix of piezo and mic). We played a gig the other night at a rather noisy venue with lots of drunks and lots of brick walls--feedback city in the past--but angling the amplifiers properly we had zero feedback at high volume all night long. The last few songs of the last set when folks had begun to clear out and we were winding down, I ran the mic by itself without the piezo and the sound was sheer acoustic heaven. The same goes for the times I've been able to use the Audio-Technica without the piezos. There's just something pure and unadulterated about it. So, unless you're playing the most obnoxiously noisy rooms or with a loud drummer, chances are with a little audio know-how and experimenting, the Audio-Technica will sound great.
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    Thanks for your response.
    Any idea which one of the two model's better?
    I'm in the market right now and would appreciate input so I buy the better one.
    Do you plug straight into the AER?
    Battery, phantom power?

    Is Adrien using the Pro 70 in this vid? The clip looks like it but I'm not sure...
    Enjoy! ... d=15283512
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,252
    Yep, Adrien, Sebastien, Matheiu & Gonzalo all use those mics. They're great little mics and they don't require a lot of EQ. As we were sitting there for the soundcheck - dialing things in - Gonzalo's tone was a little harsh so he said: "Is it possible to just take the EQ out? these little mics sound great just straight out" so the sound guy punched out the channel EQ on Gonzalo and out came the groovy smooth punchy sound. I don't think the other gents EQ much either. Sebastien seems to punch his highend but I think it's more because it fits his playing style because he does a lot of that super-articulate work up the fretboard and so he's going for that really clean bright sound so it doesn't run together. I guess sound waves are shorter the higher they get and as fast as he gets... he may be bumping into the laws of physics and need to use shorter soundwaves ;-)

    Seriously though, yes - they use AT70s. Oh, and Romain Vuillemin (Chavo) uses them too. We got to talking about his sound the other night and he loves the AT70 straight into an AER and that a lot of the gypsy artists use them in Europe. I just took the plunge and got one though I've not gigged it yet.
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • marcieromarciero Southern MaineNew
    Posts: 120
    Yeah, Adrian showed us the the AT Pro he uses at Django in June. You can actually adjust the height of the mic in the soundhole, which is cool. It had a power supply unit with it that I assume gives phantom power. I thought they were cheap, like $100.
    I have used the Shure Beta 98 for several years on and off, Birelli-style. I had to fashion my own clip from a large bobby pin, and it works great. It comes with preamp module/cable end, but it does require external phantom power. Like Stefan, I have gotten great results with the mic and piezo or Dyn G configuration. I have found that it very much depends on the acoustical environment. Generally, with loud volumes and not going through a PA you may need or want more than just the mic. I have not tried the AT, but with the 98 I use low cut on PA, or just dial off bass and perhaps a little of the high and it sounds great. (For what it;s worth, I almost always use a high-quality parametric eq on the Dyn G (Pendulum or Highlander), even when using the designated channel on the Unico.) I have gotten great sounds with Dyn G and 98. When I get tired of the bother of that setup I will just use the Schatten piezo that is in the guitar.

    I have to say that the best sound I get is when I use a Shure SM 81. That usually goes through a board and PA, but I have also plugged that right into the Unico also. Again, with piezo as necessary.

  • Argyle DaveArgyle Dave bellingham,WANew
    Posts: 45
    The AT Pro 70 is 99 bucks at musicians friend which is considerably cheaper than the others mentioned. I have no idea if there is anything better about the other two but the 70 sure has some excellent players using it.

  • Dr. HallDr. Hall Green Bay, WisconsinNew
    Posts: 65
    As far as I can tell the AT-831b has the same frequency range as the Pro-70. The AT-831b cable (from the mic itself) can be disconnected from the little power pack, but I can't remember now if the Pro-70 cable can be disconnected from its power pack. Not sure what the advantage is one way or the other. I use a standard xlr cable from the power pack and I plug straight into the AER and use the AER's phantom power since I can't really stand dealing with batteries. With phantom power for the mic right there it's no worries. When I say I cut the highs and lows just a bit, I mean only a bit, maybe to about 10 o'clock or so at most. The low the mic can capture can be a bit boomy depending on the guitar and the room, the high a bit biting depending on the guitar and whether or not I've got the amp on a chair or on the floor, but the mids these mics pick up are just gorgeous. With a Favino style guitar it's really nice. Anyway, as you can tell, others (professionals, some of our heroes) are using these mics to great effect with their AER amps too, and with p.a. systems, and I think in conjunction with a piezo a really rounded tone can result.
  • Dr. HallDr. Hall Green Bay, WisconsinNew
    Posts: 65
    Thanks for video link. Yep, that looks exactly like the Audio-Technica clip. Notice how he's got the mic on the inside of the guitar's soundhole. Great sound, eh!
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    Thanks everyone!
    I'll try to get one tomorrow, you convinced me.
    I'll update when I've gigged with it.
  • Posts: 597
    Great thread. I've been wondering about these. I currently use a Schatten, and I'm happy with it, but I'm always on the lookout for that mic'd sound -- especially if you don't have to use a stand.
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