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I'll be watching this thread. Sorry to say I don't have a clue...but I'm thinking on borrowing a sitar to put a little Beatlesque vibe on a couple of tunes, and I'll be interested to see how anyone suggests how best to record it.
"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Hi Coreyman,


I tracked a sitar a couple of years ago. I used two pencils from the AT 4000 series (forget the number; 4048?), one at the top nut and one on the body. This particular sitar did not have the extra gourd so a third mic wasn't an issue, but the two worked well enough.


As for EQ, I forget the specifics, but I remember there was a HP filter around 300 or 400 if I remember correctly. I wouldn't use that same filter for the second gourd, if there is one; the frequencies in there get pretty low.


It's the only time I've had the chance to track a sitar, so I haven't had much experience with it, but it sounded fine on HD, a fostex d-80 with an apogee front end. I'd also love to hear others' methods.


Hope this helps!



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The thing to remember about a sitar is that it doesn't have a point source of sound, the whole thing resonates. Therefore you want to pick up as much of it as possible. I've used a single mic pointing at the pace where you do the actual picking, and make sure that the sympathetic strings come through. I've also sometimes used a second mic on the gourd that's at the end of the neck, it seems to generate a lot of sound.


Because of the nature of the sitar, many times people mic it from far away, which builds some room ambience in to the sound and makes it more "distant." I don't really like this effect, so I tend to mic up close, and experiment a LOT with mic placement. A good condenser is the way to go, some of the subtleties get lost with a dynamic.

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Originally posted by Anderton:

A good condenser is the way to go, some of the subtleties get lost with a dynamic.


What about PZM's? A sitar player friend saw Shankar a couple of weeks ago and said they had PZM's all around him....?



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