How to Mic an Accordion

Written by robert russell
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Accordions come in two different styles, keyboard accordions and button accordions. Accordions are acoustic instruments that produce both treble and bass notes. The treble notes are played on the right side of the accordion and the bass notes are played on the left side. An accordion is relatively simple to mic in a recording studio. However, live performances present a few more difficulties. Feedback is always an issue for acoustic instruments in live settings. An additional problem is adjusting the treble, mid-range, and bass levels to recreate the natural acoustic sound of the accordion.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Microphone
  • Microphone stand
  • Preamp
  • Instrument cable

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  1. 1

    Place condenser microphones on the treble and bass sides of the accordion if you are recording a solo performance. Place the microphone two to three away from the treble side of the accordion, and place a second condenser microphone on the bass side of the accordion. Move the microphones closer to the accordion if you are recording with an ensemble.

  2. 2

    Place a dynamic microphone on the treble side of the accordion for live performances. The Shure 57 and Shure 58 are the two most popular dynamic microphones. Place the microphone on a mike stand. Adjust the stand to find the right amount of gain and volume while avoiding feedback. Dynamic microphones are much more rugged and durable than condenser microphones, which makes them very reliable for live performances. Many accordion players don't mic the bass side of the accordion during live performances when they are playing with a band.

  3. 3

    Clip a small microphone to the treble side of the accordions. Clip on microphones, such as AKG or Sennheiser microphones work well on accordions. They are easy to attach and remove, however, they need to be plugged into preamp box . The preamp boosts the signal before it sends it to the amp or PA. This provides more gain and volume control as well as EQ controls. Attach the microphone to the accordion. Insert the opposite end of the microphone into input jack of the preamp. Attach another cable to the output jack or XLR connector of the preamp. Connect the preamp to the amp or PA system.

  4. 4

    Install an internal microphone inside the accordion. Internal microphones amplify the sound of the reeds exclusively and they are not affected by external noises. This makes them more feedback resistant. You also don't have to worry about bumping it or knocking it off. Connect the internal microphone to the preamp as well to control the volume and EQ.

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