Tips for recording a hurdy-gurdy

I have a hurdy gurdy in the studio right now. I’ll start experimenting with mic selection and placement, but if anyone has any tips, I’m all ears.


Here’s a recent article with a little information about it right at the end, which may be helpful:

Hurdy gurdy is an instrument people in my household are interested in, so please post anything you learn. Sorry I’ve never held one myself…

Well I wish I’d read the SOS article, it might’ve helped. We only had a short window, so I guessed. I used the same pair of Superlux small-diaphragm condensers I usually use on guitar, one at each end, about a foot from the instrument, both angled slightly toward the middle. He was using it an embellishment for a gospel song written and sung by his mother (the main accompaniment was a 12-string guitar, which sounds good on its own, but its complex sounds kind of clash with those of the hurdy gurdy.

Anyway, we recorded a few passes, and that was it for the hurdy-gurdy. (Next we recorded some very pretty lute by the same artist, a sample of which I posted on my Facebook page. You can see it here, if I did this link right: )

When I reopened the hurdy-gurdy project this morning, there’s a gritty buzz in the upper frequency range that I find very distracting, Here’s a sample:

I’m trying to mitigate it with EQ automations. Oh well.

Then I remembered I shot a minute or two of video with my phone while he was tuning up. Darned if the phone audio didn’t sound better than my studio mics…
I posted this here:

In retrospect, I think I would have done better with a single mic (possibly a more forgiving large-diaphragm) positioned right in front, and farther away.

BTW, Jeff’s hurdy-gurdy is home-made. He hand-carved all the parts, and built it in an old acoustic guitar body.

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Here are a couple of articles discussing how to deal with it during mixing:

Thanks, I’ll check these out!