CAJUN ACCORDION DISCUSSION GROUP
I'd like to hear some opinions. I've had a heck of a time eq'ing my C Larry Miller into the zydecajun mix (lots of excess mids and lows). On the other hand, my D Bon Temps by Jude Moreau is a gem, not only regarding the mix out in the audience but monitoring on stage as well. It cuts thru. A drummer just confirmed that to me. As he only Cajun box player this side of Carencro I have to tell sound engineers what IT's supposed to sound like. I can't be on stage and in the audience at the same time which can be frustrating.
My next box is definitely going to be a Jude Moreau but as to mic'ing in or out, that's the questiong.
Merci bien a tous
(if you're interested, the 2nd tune on the website, "Jambalaya" is the Larry Miller eq'd to death with no lows and just a little mid, going thru a Roland Chorus Echo. same mix as the vocals.
the other 2 tunes in D are the Bon Temps with enough low roll off to minimize mechanical noise.)
I was plagued with sound problems from internal miking (squealing, bad EQ, rumbling sounds) until I used an ART tube preamp as the last step in the signal path, before sending it to main PA. I precede that with a small Behringer mixer that lets me plug in multiple accordions (I use a Larry Miller C and B-flat and am waiting for my first triple row to arrive). The Behringer lets me adjust my own EQ (3 EQ bands), and send to a powered stage monitor. But the ART tube preamp does something to both warm and smooth the sound that nothing else can touch. I previously used a good guitar amp for the accordion but didn't like the result, tried a chorus switch to emulate wet tuning (so-so results), and played through a powered mixer (which is what I saw a lot of zydeco bands using in the 90s). It may be the actual mic cartridge in your C accordion or where it's mounted cause your problem. Larry is often the source for other builder's mic components, but I don't know about the D accordion Jude built for you. ART tube preamp sells for $50 (see provided link). If you try one, please post your experience back here.
Some other things I've noticed: I get different results with different PAs. Whether a small or mid-sized club PA, or a large festival-style PA, I always have to have the sound tech adjust my EQ. It's often too full of high frequencies. When playing through a familiar PA, it takes no time to set EQ levels. I used to play simultaneously with an internal pickup and external clip on AudioTechnica mic, through the Behringer mixer and ART preamp. That gave me as much of the gritty zydeco sound as I wanted to mix in plus superb clarity from the external mic. But I now use only internal for zydeco and only external for Cajun music.
most of the problem is mic placement
i found what works is to point the
mic directly at the treble reeds,
but get it as far away from them as possible.
and in the center of the bellows.
this is not what the builders do.
they will stick them in pointing sideways,
down, over in the corner, you name it.
what you have to do is build a holder from
coathanger wire, so that it ends up
about 3" from the nearest treble
you have to make sure the bass reeds don;t
then the eq will not need much.
though i do use an LR Baggs parametric di
to cut lows a little, boost mids a little,
and cut treble a little.
you can get by without that if you have to.
i use an audio technica that i remove the capsule from
model is discontinued, it was called "brand x".
it sounds good. wasn;t expensive.
larry miller uses those shure whatever they ares,
that the builders seem to like.. shure r-65 i think
i have never liked their sound though.
i even put one in the right place, where it should
sound good, in a friend;s accordion, it still
didn;t sound right
I use the capsule from the Audio-Technica DR-VX2
It has a much better frequency response than the Shure R65. And it's cheaper to buy (on sale $30-40)
(But if you want it to sound like an r65, you can just EQ it.)
I like it because it has the mic and transformer all in one small shock mounted package.
I'm probably "shedding" some credit here, but I think I can give you some what of an answer to your delima . first , I use the same mic cartridge ( Shure R-65 ) that every one else uses, so it's not a matter of different components. the main thing that I see right off, is you're comparing the E/Q mix of a "C" to that of a "D" and that just won't work. The "D" has a lott more mids and highs than the "C". I suspect that you're finding that you have to cut the lows a lot more on the "C" than the "D". this is a common problem that most of us don't think of at first. There are several was to solve this problem, but the key is, you will have to set the E/Q different for each different key accordion that you use in your performance. I know that Chris Miller uses a seperate mixer for his accordions ( he uses 3 or 4 different ones during a normal performance) and sends the final mix signal from that mixer to a single channel on the main PA. I use a Boss G7 E/Q on my accordion. This gives me the "on stage" controle of my E/Q. Once you've used this method a few times, you pretty much know where to adjust the different freq. to get the sound you want, between the "C" and "D" . Hope this helps.