Earlier Veena functioned entirely as an acoustic instrument. Veena never had a contact mike (or even an acoustic pickup) while recording in studios. In studio recordings Veena was recorded by a normal voice mike (placed on a stand) and facing the instrument. Amazingly this proved to be the best and most sensitive mike which had the capacity to pick up the most minute details and nuances of Veena music. In recent times Veenas are plugged in even inside recording studios, whether it is in Cinema/All India Radio/Compact Disc recording studios. The Veenas use pickups/contact mikes that are directly plugged into the recording console or into a portable amp/speaker in front of which a voice mike is placed. Veena loses its natural tone when plugged in for studio recordings.
Late Sri.Chittibabu had recorded his Veena in many films of my father, film music director, late Sri.G.Aswathama.
In all my father's songs Sri.Chittibabu'sVeena was recorded directly by a stand mike and without the usage of contact mike/ pickup.
My father's hit song from the telugu film "Annaa Thammudu" in the year 1958 -Veena by Sri.Chittibabu (Use earphones)
All through my involvement in the field of Cinema (films in Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu and Tamil from the year 1965 to 2000) I had used the voice mike for my Veena and I had never used the pickup/contact mike for recording and re-recording sessions. My concerts for the All India Radio were also recorded through the voice mike and without pickup/contact mike.
MY ACOUSTIC VEENA (WITHOUT PICKUP/CONTACT MIKE FOR THE TITLE MUSIC OF A TAMIL FILM IN 1976) (Use earphones)
MY ACOUSTIC VEENA (WITHOUT CONTACT MIKE/PICKUP FOR A TAMIL FILM SONG, 1977) (Use earphones)
MY ACOUSTIC VEENA FOR A TELUGU FILM SONG (1998) RAJAHAMSA (Use earphones)
MY ACOUSTIC VEENA AND MY VOICE ( the song required an amateur female singer. Primarily I was assigned to play Veena in this song and after much thought from my side the decision to mix my amateurish voice was taken in the last minute.) WITH S.P.BALASUBRAMANIAM IN RAJAHAMSA (1998).
(The English wordings I sang as shown on screen are wrong and hilarious!!) The correct words are- First BGM "Is this love or is that how I feel? Is it magic or is love so real? I want to find this place of ecstasy so is this love, someone tell me please." Second BGM-" Love is a special thing it never grows old. It can make you laugh, it can make you sing, it can't be bought, it can't be sold!"