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Thread: Using Pickups With String Instruments

  1. #1
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    Default Using Pickups With String Instruments

    I was wondering, does anybody here know whether a preamp is required when using a pickup for string instruments (I'm most concerned with the cello). I've been thinking to buy a cello, and I'd like to use a pickup such as the Fishman C-100 for recording it. Do I also need a preamp for the pickup?

    The way I've thought I'd do the recording is to plug the pickup directly to my PCs soundcard, or into a digital recorder such as the Roland Micro BR, but would this actually work?

    Thanks.

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    Senior Member Mark Harwood's Avatar
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    Unless the Fishman specs say different, try it without a pre-amp first. The worst that can happen is the signal being too weak. That's unlikely, as the computer's microphone input is ready for a weak mic signal. It should work fine. I'm told that a good sound card makes a big difference. I've never recorded a 'cello with a pickup, but I'd use a microphone anyway.
    "Music is a social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is."
    - Malcolm Arnold.

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    Thanks. The Fishman website says that "an impedance matching preamp is recommended but not required", so I guess I'll try it first without a preamp.

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    I'm probably replying to a really old post, but I've always used a c-ducer mic, which seems to give a better sound than when I've tried with a preamp.

    How did you get on without a preamp? I've tried with a cello, and it sounded really rough, but it could well have been the sound system...

  5. #5
    Junior Member colin's Avatar
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    If you are plugging into a soundcard on your P.C. a preamp is definitely required. Plugging into an amplifier will need no preamp.
    I have come across this problem so many times, the best way I found was to use a small four chanell mixing desk which was £70.oo new. so great for a limited budget and the level indicators meant I didnt blow the sound card, as some preamps are meant for audio systems and its difficult to calibrate the milliamps for whatever sound card you are using.

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