Accordion basics for the new guy

Forums Forums Qu Forums Qu general discussions Accordion basics for the new guy

This topic contains 15 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Dick Rees Dick Rees 6 years, 3 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #45433
    Profile photo of av8en1
    av8en1
    Participant

    Hoping you guys don’t mind a general newbie question …. I’m configuring my Q16 for a Cajun band. I’ve no idea how to deal with a loud accordion. EQ, comp, etc. Any last second suggestions very welcome. Thanks so much.
    john

    #45435
    Profile photo of MarkPAman
    MarkPAman
    Participant

    How are you mixing it? Is it between two mics on stands, or does it have clip on or built in mics?

    #45438
    Profile photo of GCumbee
    GCumbee
    Participant

    You can put about anything on it and be fine. Just don’t get real close. If he is that loud may not need a whole lot of PA level unless it is just a big room. I would keep EQ to a minimum. They can get harsh. Not much low end if any so don’t try to make it sound bassy. I have recorded them for records and only a little live but never had much problem making them heard.

    #45439
    Profile photo of av8en1
    av8en1
    Participant

    Thanks for the responses … They are providing the food for thought I needed. He want’s a DI for the accordion, so I’ll contact the musician to get answers to my/your questions.
    He was concerned that a 10 inch monitor would not provide the high level of sound he wanted to hear the accordion, but said OK when I told him it was a QSC Q10. From previous experience (voice and violin, no accordion) I know he likes his monitors really loud.
    So EQ’ing it I’ll start flat and see how it goes.

    #45440
    Profile photo of GCumbee
    GCumbee
    Participant

    What’s wrong he can’t hear the darned thing? Loud monitors on an accordion? Amazing. Some players getting crazier all the time.

    #45441
    Profile photo of MarkPAman
    MarkPAman
    Participant

    Don’t forget to ask him how long it as too 😀

    #45442
    Profile photo of Andreas
    Andreas
    Moderator

    Hearing the accordion louder from monitors than from the original thing? Sounds like preprogrammed feedback for me…
    I guess he need loud monitors from the rest of the band not for hearing the accordion…

    #45443
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Hi John
    I have been mic’ing accordions for 20 years at folk festivals and Irish pubs.
    Yes not too close so that he can move around slightly if mic’s are on stands each side?
    Some musicians like to us clip on mic’s as per small AKG and Audia-tech.
    However you said he wants a Di?
    Well that’s good start.
    Hopefully both sides of the instrument will be mixed together in the accordion somewhere. They often have a balance control or 2 knobs sometimes.
    On a QU16 you don’t have sub-groups so you will be going to FOH ‘I suspect’.
    Flat is a good start however you may find you will need to make a narrow mid cut of somewhere around 400hz “on his instrument”
    And there may be another mid-ish frequency you will need to pull out.
    If he is also singing then the bleed from the vocal mic will also be in that mix

    I would just bring the instrument into the mix WITHOUT HIM PLAYING and find where the 1st howling starts and gently with a narrow band pull that frequency out firstly on his PEQ.
    They do like the instrument to sound ’round’

    If he wants loud fold back get the musician to play and bring it up in FOH firstly as musicians hear the sound going out into the FOH and then bring it up slowly into monitors last.

    my 2 cents worth
    dave NZ

    #45445
    Profile photo of Dick Rees
    Dick Rees
    Participant

    As an accordion player myself, both diatonic and piano, I’ll give you the straight skinny.

    If the player wants a DI, he’s got (proper) mic(s) mounted already. If you need to add a mic for the right hand, anything will do, but a Sennheiser 441 is the best. He will know how to “work it”.

    You’ll want a separate channel for his instrument in the monitors. A hard split will do.

    Do not use any compression on it UNLESS REQUESTED BY THE PLAYER, and certainly not in the monitor. Dynamic playing is absolutely integral to this style and changing the dynamics with compression is a no-no.

    Don’t forget: one channel for the mains, one channel for the monitors.

    #45446
    Profile photo of gilly
    gilly
    Participant

    Why seperate channels for FOH and monitors?

    #45447
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Hi John
    So there you have it [straight and skinny] from an accordion player.

    Just to correct my statement about the bleed of the vocal Mic.
    I meant to say the instrument will bleed into the vocal mic.
    That’s if the accordion player sings.

    cheers

    #45448
    Profile photo of Dick Rees
    Dick Rees
    Participant

    1. Monitors. Being able to hear yourself clearly without blowing out the bellows. Believe it or not, the accordion is highly directional and to be able to hear yourself play amongst the other stage sound really does require some foldback.

    2. What the player wants… is what you should try to do. Work WITH the player and avoid over-thinking the situation and laying a tech trip on him. The job of the sound man is to be able to make it work from any given situation, not to “teach” the miso’s their job. If they’re lousy, shut up and do your best. But ideally, they’ll know the idiosyncrasies of their presentation…or not.

    3. Separate channels for the “money” channel is SOP. If you just think about it for a moment you might realize that having the ability to EQ the mains and monitors separately is fairly necessary. There are some other considerations as well regarding possible parallel processing, but that’s beyond the scope of this discussion.

    4. Relative volume. Do you really think a small diatonic accordion is louder than a drum kit or guitar/bass amps? Really? Wait until you have to do a zydeco band…

    #45449
    Profile photo of Dick Rees
    Dick Rees
    Participant

    PS

    If you have questions about any other instruments, I have played brass, strings, folk, pop and classical…over two dozen instruments in all. As a sound provider I’ve also had to mic up almost everything for live and recording.

    My first rule is still “ask the player”.

    #45452
    Profile photo of Dick Rees
    Dick Rees
    Participant

    Sorry if I’m crabby. I’m stuck in bed with the flu…

    #45502
    Profile photo of av8en1
    av8en1
    Participant

    As in my former life in the aviation technologies discipline, in audio there is a lifetime of knowledge to be gained. Unfortunately, I only have a few years to try to acquire it. Many thanks to all of you for your comments, feedback and guidance.

    The musician did finally contact me before the gig. I did follow his requests, and he knows exactly what he is doing. He was using his own single AT clip on with a wireless in his pocket to a receiver on the floor into his DI … Where I picked up the signal.

    Splitting the money channel to FoH and monitors makes perfect sense. Unfortunately I was already limiting drum mics because of maxed out channel count. I was thinking about the necessity of a QU24 or more for this type of gig.

    I received lots of “sounds great” comments from the folks that contracted me and the band was happy, so I’m putting it in the successful gig column.

    Dick, it WAS a zydeco band

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.