I've been asked by my local church to help out with mics etc. for the new building they're putting up. It'll have some decent audio gear in it (they've decided to shell out for a digital sound desk ) and i've been asked to look into mics for the instruments. The guitar cabs etc. were fine but i wasn't sure what to do about strings + woodwind.

We often have violins/violas, flutes, clarinets, bassoons etc. and need a few mics which will be flexible for mic'ing any of them. It is doubtful we'll ever be doing recording seriously.

- Instruments: violins/violas, flutes, clarinets, bassoons (some combinations thereof rarely more than 4 at a time)
- number of mics 3-4
- each mic less than £150 please
- used for live, not recording so not too omni-directional as we may have feedback issues.

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I'd suggest ribbon mics, for that price the best I can think of is the T-Bone ribbon mics made by Thomann... not many people make ribbons in that pricerange, but we have a couple of the T-Bone ribbon range and they're surprisingly usable for the price. Alternatively, you can get away with a few condensors - small diaphragm condensors will get you more bang for the buck here in my opinion, maybe buy some Rode NT5's or a similar design.
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here's the problem with miking those instruments.

to get the best sound you need to give the instrument some space with a good condenser, but since most of those instruments are not terribly loud you'll run into feedback problems when you try to gain them up enough. either that or you'll pick up too much of another instrument(s).
This leaves you with having to close mic them. close miking any of those means the player has to stand incredibly still when they play which can be annoying for the player as well as the sound man since most musicians are thinking more about their playing and less about the mic. condensers or ribbons are the best for those instruments, but they can be a b**** to deal with on stage as far as feedback goes...

What i've done with most of those instruments when i've done church sound is clip a lapel mic on them. it's the best balance between a consistent sound level and sound quality for not a whole lot of money without buying specific mics for different instruments that can cost a lot. you can use the same mic on any one of those. blended in with all the other instruments, it works out surprisingly well and is a whole lot easier on the sound man.

and yes, i do have experience in that and have personally tried various dynamics and condensers and will stick with a lapel mic just about any time. the advantages definitely out way the disadvantages.
Maybe consider using dynamic mics for the live application to the PA, and condensors and/or ribbons for recording. They won't feed back if they're not going through the PA.

It's pretty common practice when doing a live recording to do things like this. You notice it most when you see a singer singing through two mics taped together. Generally, one is for the PA and the other is going to a recorder.

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

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