Acoustic stringed instrument players have always suffered from amplification problems in a live environment. Place a microphone on the instrument and you’ll get at least some change in tonal quality and usually a lot of leakage, regardless of the quality of the microphone that you use. Resort to a pickup and the instrument no longer sounds like itself. Engineers and musicians have struggled with this for decades. Help is on the way though, as the new CloseUp Mic System from Your Heaven Audio promises to change how stringed instruments are miked and amplified going forward.
The CloseUp System consists of a processor box and a mic attachment, which is available for available for acoustic guitar, classical guitar, violin, viola, cello, mandolin and even drums. The processor box is unique in its own right, but the secret sauce of the system is the algorithm that creates a profile of your instrument in software during the one-time 5 to 10 minute setup. This makes sure that the amplified sound reflects the harmonics and tonal range of your instrument.
That profile is then stored in the processor box, which can then also act as both a direct box and an interface to your computer for recording. The processor features a mic input, a TRS 1/4 inch output jack, another 1/4 inch jack for a mute footswitch, and a volume and tone control with input signal status LEDs on the top of the box. A series of switches on the side provide for up to 4 different profiles, two different gain stages, a mute switch, and a power switch. Power for the box is unique in that it can use a battery for up to 7 hours of operation, be powered off the USB jack also located on the side, or from a standard AC adapter power supply.
If you listen to the A/B tests between the CloseUp System and a good studio mic and signal path, the difference is pretty small. For live there’s not much that can beat it, but it could work well even in some studio scenarios as well. The whole idea of analyzing the instrument then storing the profile tailored for the instrument is what sets this system apart from other approaches.
The Your Heaven Audio CloseUp system for acoustic and classical guitar is available for $499, for mandolin at $629, and violin/viola/cello for $649.
There’s more information on the Your Heaven Audio website and on the video below.