INDIAN MUSIC FORUMS

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barend

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Reply with quote  #1 
I installed the Barcus Berry outsider pick up on my sitar...and I have to say I am fairly happy with the sound.

I tried both Tony's and Neela Sangeeta's setup, and I liked Neela's setup...that means I placed the pick up between my foot and the jawari right under the bird next to the carvings....I also tried it under the jawari (right behind the symp. bridge), but that gave a sound that was too sharp...too much high tones and also the tarafs became too loud......although I have to admit from an esthetic point of view this placing is much nicer...but then again I didn't buy this pick up because it looks so beautiful....the only purpose for this pick up is to 'fight' against the electric instruments....damn them.

BUT now I have one more problem: there is a fairly loud humming....it has to do with the earthing....when I hold my finger on the jack of the input instrument cable or on the input socket then the humming is much less...(although it is still a little bit there, but I can live with that).

I already tried to put the input socket in aluminium foil, but it only helped a little bit....

I also had the same problem with my old blue spot transducers.

What to do? and why is this?
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barend

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Today I went to a local instrument shop with my sitar for this problem.

And after the usual "shall I bring the incense" jokes (it still surprises me how many people know so little about indian music....they are so biased... if they see a sitar they think about new age music or even arabic music sometimes!)....

but anyway, he gave me some good advise which might be useful for everyone playing with a pick up/transducer and experiencing humming (which is there in most cases).
He told me to take a small wire (just like the ones you are using to connect your speakers to your stereo) you put the iron of this wire on the main string behind the jawari of course (or if you have an iron tailpiece this is also possible) and the other end of the wire on the iron of your instrument cable....this solves the earthing problem.....so now there is a lot less humming.
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sitarman

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Hi Barend,
Thanks for the useful tip. I have sung the praises of the AKG 411 pickup and I can add that, since it is low impedance (xlr jack that requires phantom power from the mixer) it never has that problem. The info you gave on placement is valueable. Getting the chikaris in balance with the playing strings is sometimes a challenge with transducers.
I chuckled at your anecdote about comments from the music store employees. I go through that a lot- not with my fellow workers who are pretty interested in any good music- I work at a music store and the guys here are hip to sitar thanks to me (I have turned them on to some DVDs) but customers come in and see my case sometimes and the comments are pretty stereotyped. In fact, if I have Nikhil or Shahid playing on the computer at the front counter, every one of them , upon listening for a second, will say something like "Oh, Ravi, huh?" In fact, I can have sarod playing and they still say, "Ravi Shankar? I did that stuff." Oh, well....
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