Recording Made Simple with Clip-on Mics

Sound samples are at the end of this article.

“Each mic is like an isolation booth.”

Imagine a recording session with no mic stands, headphones or isolation booths. It’s entirely possible using Bartlett clip-on mics on the instruments.

The Crutchfield Project, a North Carolina string band, recently recorded an album at our studio. With our mini mics on their instruments, the band played in a tight circle as they normally jam at home. The close miking eliminated leakage and room acoustics, so no isolation booths were needed. The players could punch-in corrections without creating "ghost" tracks.

Guitar Mic on Todd's guitar

Bartlett Guitar Mic on the sound hole of Todd Neel’s guitar.


Banjo Mic on John's banjo

Banjo Mic fastened to the head of John Crutchfield's banjo, midway between bridge and lower rim.


Fiddle Mic on Alan Dillman’s violin. He likes to place it halfway between the bridge and an f-hole.


Will playing bass

On Will McIntyre's bass I used Will's pickup into a direct box. (When recording bass I prefer the tight sound of a pickup rather than a mic). The pickup needed some boost around 40 Hz and cut around 400 Hz to sound like the real bass did in the studio.

The musicians loved being able to play close together without isolation booths and without headphones. The result was better music.

There was no EQ on the fiddle, banjo and guitar tracks, and no effects except for slight reverb on the fiddle. Here’s an excerpt of one tune:

Band sample

To hear the lack of leakage with each mic, you can click on the individual tracks below. All the musicians played at the same time (no overdubs).

Bass sample        Guitar sample         Fiddle sample        Banjo sample

Bass player Will said, “The sound you got was amazing and the atmosphere was incredibly relaxed.”

Photos courtesy of Deni McIntyre,

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