Flute Pickups

Brooks Blanchard writes “I play an Emerson open hole with a b foot. I’ve looking for this flute pickup from Aungles since i saw one in N.Y. last year. They even had a web site but I can’t find it under any of the expected addresses. It sounded good live and the woman playing it said that it was under $100. Do you know anything about this or is there another pickup that you would recomend for loud stage situations.”

29 thoughts on “Flute Pickups”

  1. So if I were playing mainly on stage with a flute in a bar/coffee shop setting, which type of mic would be best for me? I have heard arguments for both dynamic and condenser, cartioid and omnidirectional. I would like a mic that fits inside the headjoint, replacing the cork, so that no other extraneous sound is picked up. Is such a thing possible? Or would I be better off getting a standard flute mic that clips on the end of the headjoint? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

  2. Well, if the cost is not a factor, you can probably find someone to put a pickup in the flute. I’m not sure that that is really what people are doing nowadays. The best way seems to be getting something to clip on the front and possibly in the middle. The one a lot of people recommend is Aungles Microphone. Here are some other possibilities.

    For a standard microphone, I’d get something with a cardiod or tighter pattern. You want to just pick up YOU and nothing else. I like the Shure Beta 57 for flute or the Sennheiser 421.

  3. Hi there, i use the aungles microphone and it’s really good, it screws into the headjoint and is positioned in front of the embouchure. I like it but I don(t know where you can find it. It is fragile though!!

  4. Hi,

    I saw your post about the Aungles mic. I’m considering getting one, but I’m concerned that plugging it into the crown of the headjoint (replacing the screw-in crown) will affect the sound of my flute. Any opinions?

    Mike

  5. The Aungles Pro mike with XLR pickup seems like a very good design. Could you tell me more about it being fragile? Your statement that it is fragile makes me think I should avoid it. What advice can you give about handling this microphone that would keep me from breaking it?

    How does this compare with other flute microphones you have used?

    What do you think about the clip-on microphones?

    Have you experienced any pickup of sounds related to the action of the fingers on the keys?

  6. Barcus Berry makes a cork pickup. On a side note – has anyone ever put a flute into an amp and then used a multi pedal to create effects? What sort of noise would that make? Or am I insane….

    1. I do have a pedal & love the range of effects it allows me with my flute- our church is very progressive & the color & expressions it allows me is awesome. Try it- you will love it!

    2. Yes, I’ve used a Barcus Berry for years in my rock band. I’ve settled down a bit on the effects, but I highly recommend an octaver and delay pedal Loads of fun! 🙂

    3. No your are not insane that is what I use and my Pick up is a Barcus Berry. I have had this set up for over thirty years. But an acoustic pre amp is recommended to filter out key noise.

    4. Barcus Barry’s amplify all the keys noises and playing thru a guitar multi effects doesn’t work unforntunately

    5. I have been using an effects pedal for quite a while. I do not have an amp., but use it is hooked into the house system & my personal monitor….there is nothing like having control over the sound one gets with both the reverb & delay effects. Right now I am looking for a replacement pedal….and searching for options. Good luck.

  7. Kathy – Try a cardiod condenser instrument mic with windscreen, but construct your own mic-mount. Otherwise the MOUNT limits your choices. A mic w/freq range 20hz-20Khz, and an adjustable pre-amp combining either battery/phantom power works well. I now use a K&K mic and sax pre-amp on a budget. See Ian Andersen’s website (flute amplification) for live-sound info.

  8. I am also concerned about altering my headjoint in any way. I’ve been waiting for a Barcus Berry 5100 for the LONGEST time. They keep telling me that they are missing a part, and I’m getting tired of waiting.

  9. My local music store (Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center) tells me that the Barcus-Berry 5100 is the best and only good flute pick-up mic out. It has a pre-amp, and looks pretty cool. The problem is they are not able to get any in stock for me, and they say it is because Barcus-Berry is having trouble getting a part. Does anyone know anything about this mic?

  10. I used this mic alot; church Praise Team every sunday mornings, Jazz gigs and studio recordings. I have use it for eight years. If I may, I would sugguest the 6100 because, like I said before, I have use it for eight years and the microphone has been making poping sounds. A short in the mic wire occured too close to the mic itself to be repaired and I have had the preamp repaired twice before. I am (at this moment) looking for the 6100M which is just the mic w/o the preamp because I have the preamp from the 5100. The only problem is that the 6100 replaces the headjoints cork and crown but I will be using two headjoints; one w/ a mic and one w/o. Unless you take extremely great care of the 5100 look for a different model or different flute mic company.
    P.S.
    The Aungles Flute Mic (a Co. from Australia) is a good one to look at. It has a Head Phone Jack output and an XLR Phantom Powered output and they both sound great.
    Also the Barcus Berry and the Aungles mics are great for recording. The don’t have much bleed from the other instruments and have a full warm sound.
    -JMW

  11. I use a zoom 4040 programmable pedal and I would recommend it for anyone doing a lot of live work. While the traditional distortion effects are good as conversation pieces, the real benefit is the wide range of reverb, delay, chorus and pitch (harmonizer).

    you have a bank of four “stops”, and a roller bank that lets you scroll through 10 sets of 4. I can go from a deep reverb to dry, or turn on ping-pong stereo delay (which when used lightly can really add zest to a solo).

    I have one bank with the harmonizer – with settings for 4th above, 3rd below, 5th below and an octave below. The octave effectively gives me a bass flute, and the 5th below/ 4th above gives me a nice octave in harmony.

    the pedal comes with a volume control (which is nice when the night gets louder or you solo), and an expressive pedal (wah wah) that you can assign anything to (such as the mix between original signal and the harmony signal).

    check out the sample on my CD named “morroco”
    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/yeager

    doug yeager
    http://www.dougyeager.com

  12. In my studio I use two mics – one at the embouchure and one pointing up the footjoint.

    – the embouchure captures more expression

    – The foot joint is definitely a more level signal (lows are stronger, highs are futher away)

    I find the mix to be the best reproduction of sound, and during mix down I can play with it for desired effect.

    I use and Audio Technica 4055 (which is a hand held format of the AT 4050 large-diaphragm condenser). It has a flat response pattern and really picks up a warm signal. (I use it at the embouchure).
    I use an SM-58 for the footjoint mic. (PS- since SM-58’s are used on stage so much, you should get to know it well. Sometimes us flutists don’t get a chance to help set up and do sound checks)>
    doug yeager
    http://www.dougyeager.com

  13. In my studio I use two mics – one at the embouchure and one pointing up the footjoint.
    – the embouchure captures more expression
    – The foot joint is definitely a more level signal (lows are stronger, highs are futher away)
    I find the mix to be the best reproduction of sound, and during mix down I can play with it for desired effect.
    I use and Audio Technica 4055 (which is a hand held format of the AT 4050 large-diaphragm condenser). It has a flat response pattern and really picks up a warm signal. (I use it at the embouchure).
    I use an SM-58 for the footjoint mic. (PS- since SM-58’s are used on stage so much, you should get to know it well. Sometimes us flutists don’t get a chance to help set up and do sound checks)>
    doug yeager

  14. Microphone technologies are very very confusing. A microphone for a studio situation is not what you would want for a live situation. For a flute, you would probably want to get something with a range up to 20,000 Khz. But then there are pickup patterns.
    Good primers on pickup patterns can be found here, here and here. For a studio situation, Omnidirectional is supposedly the best. For a live setting, you want a Cardio pattern. There are microphone systems for flute that have another pickup towards the middle of the flute in addition to the headjoint. I don’t know if that would really be valuable to get. I think a good 20,000Khz microphone with maybe selectable pickup patterns would be a good purchase.

  15. I have tried a Boss Chorus/Ensamble CE-5 and used it with care in Sabbath Prayer (Fiddler on the roof). That worked. Now I will try a Boss DD-6 (digital delay).

  16. I play in a rock band in NZ and have tried many different things when it comesto amplifying the flute. I had a BarcusBerry Pickup but the mic was faulty and they refused to fix it due to being so fa away… nonethelessit was fantastic the few times it worked!
    As for effects, I run a standard sm58/57 through a delay unit and occasionally through a distortion or harmony pedal.Line 6 gear works really well with the frewuenciesof the flute and it is best to look for analogue pedalsso you can manipulate to suit your style.

    1. HI, can you give any info re using a delay pedal…i have used a DD3/5 – in small combo’s running it through a small amp this is fine. But when linking it to a rig it can pose problems…one has to use a DI etc….can anyone explain the best way to use a pedal through a SM58 to make sure the least sound problems? Thanks!

  17. hi freind’s , am play oriantel flute ( nay) and i need a good mic to use it in a satge can we help to tell me which a good mic can i use ? thnx

  18. In my experience, the best position for a mic on a flute is near the embouchure only.
    you will get the most consistent sound from there.
    cork replacement mics pick up way too much key noise.
    playing the flute into a mic on a stand gives you the most control as you can play closer to the element for lower notes and stand away on higher notes (if you play them louder naturally).
    as far as the microphone, you don’t really need an expensive one since they usually have a better response in the higher frequencies, and that is where the hiss is from the flute.
    even an old SM57 or 58 is good if you have decent technique.
    On noisy stages, omnidirectional mics can bleed over too much. that’s where unidirectional mics that clip on your flute, and are always aimed correctly, shine.
    Then, you have to really control your dynamics with your diaphragm.

  19. I didn’t bother to read all of the posts before commenting but I have had a Barcus Berry external & internal mic. It comes with a pre-amp. The mic would attach by a clamp and screw and lock or replaced the cork which had an RCA plug in it. I just bought a 12 ft. RCA cable and plugged them into the pre-amp which had a RCA in and 1/4″ out. When you check and adjust your cork tunning you need to be careful not to mess up your mic and the pieces around it.

    I used it with a guitar effects processor. It just sounds like a flute plugged into a guitar processor with tons of feed back. You’d need to adjust the settings on each patch to make it work. The easy one the wa-wa pedal. I wouldn’t use a friends. I would buy your own moderately priced pedal, not cheap but good quality, that you can be familar with because the hall or stage adds to the effect and what may work on one may not work on another. So be ready to adjust your setting alot. (This part of the comment would be for any mic not just the Barcus Berry, vocal mic too.

    It’s late, I hope this makes sense.

  20. Never, and i mean NEVER use a mic which has become a part of your flute, by drill, or screwed into head joint, etc. I believe the mic should be external so not to pick up clicks, sticks, and slaps which happens when a flute is turned into a hot mic. I use a Television mic, or a Lavilar by Shure. I had the Omni-directional which always picked up my surroundings. But now, I’m experimenting with the Uni-directional which is sensitive but great. Never harm your flute for a crappy mic.

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