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  #1  
Old 01-11-2017, 09:01 PM
schwa schwa is offline
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Default Can one throw to many mics at a recording?

I'm getting ready to do some recording, and I should confess my gear is better than my talent.

I have some good mics (KSM 44, 2xSM81) and some good preamps (LA-610, SSL).

I'm thinking of using the LA with the KSM and the SM81's with the (4 channel) SSL. I figure if I ever get a good performance, I have a number of sources to choose from.

Is there any downside to this approach? Would I do better to focus more?
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:12 PM
muscmp muscmp is offline
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as long as you keep it organized, i think it would be a good personal shootout to let you know what works with what.

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Old 01-11-2017, 10:31 PM
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Two mikes is plenty. The best recordings I have heard were done with two mikes. You could add in a pickup for a more powerful lower frequency response, but that is in another category then is adding a third (or more) microphone.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:36 PM
Looburst Looburst is offline
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Yes, what Rick just said. Two are plenty and you know, tinker with the positioning of them, every guitar can vary a bit on the best placement. I usually use only one mic, pointed near the 10th fret but it can always change a bit depending on the guitar and mic.
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:55 AM
RodB RodB is offline
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As mentioned 2 is (for me anyway) usually optimum, but why not try different combinations simultaneously so that you know you are with what works best for you. Then you can focus on the music...
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:08 AM
Fairlight Fairlight is offline
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The answer to your original question is yes. Mostly. If you are wanting a certain stereo image and are able to record separate channels, then experimenting with additional room mics can be fun to create a bigger "space" and more air in your recording. If you want a simple solo, in your face performance, 1-2 mics close up are typically sufficient. A nice reverb or delay effect on a mono recording can sound really cool. Double tracking a mono part can also be an interesting way to create a more dynamic "stereo" sound or more punchy mono part. I usually double track rhythm parts while using one mic for leads. More finger style stuff I go for a wider stereo sound. A lot of options that really depend on the song.

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Old 01-12-2017, 08:03 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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A lot depends on your recording room. Unless a particular mic has very different tone/frequency/pickup pattern characteristics you probably won't be able to hear much difference between the tracks of 2 mics placed side-by-side. Placing the mics in different positions will allow you to get different sound (for example, one pointing to the 12th fret from 12", one pointing to the bridge at 12", one pointing to the soundhole at 36") and allow you to decide what works best for your guitar & room.
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:07 AM
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I agree in that you will most likely end up using 2 mics, but even with just two there are lots of options.

Are you familiar with different micing techniques, such spaced pair (A-B), X-Y, and Mid-Side? If not you might want to read up a bit and then experiment.

Once you discover a preference for the micing technique you can then experiment to fine tune its use for your application. There are variables such as distance from the guitar, how mics are pointing relative to the guitar, spacing between mics, etc. Then there are the mic variables such as sdc and ldc, as well as polar patterns (cardioid, omni, figure 8, etc).

I've found that X-Y is a pretty safe way to get a reasonable recording, but I don't really care for it that much for solo fingerstyle. I've found I prefer A-B, and depending on the mic and room, I'll place the mics 14-20" apart, back 16-30" from the guitar, and I pan them hard left and hard right.
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:28 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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I didn't see anyone relate the issue with phase cancellation, but be forewarned if it hasn't been mentioned. Two mics are bad enough, and chasing the problem with three or more (assuming you are going to combine them in a track or stereo mix) can often be "challenging".
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:29 AM
H165 H165 is offline
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Quote:
If you are wanting a certain stereo image and are able to record separate channels,
If this is true then the answer is no. Other than the disadvantage of jockeying for position and avoiding reflective problems, you can use all the mics you want and sort everything out in the mix. Beware - it adds extra work and requires good ears.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:20 AM
KevWind KevWind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwa View Post
I'm getting ready to do some recording, and I should confess my gear is better than my talent.

I have some good mics (KSM 44, 2xSM81) and some good preamps (LA-610, SSL).

I'm thinking of using the LA with the KSM and the SM81's with the (4 channel) SSL. I figure if I ever get a good performance, I have a number of sources to choose from.

Is there any downside to this approach? Would I do better to focus more?
What type of recording are you doing just guitar or are there other instruments or vocals ?
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:42 PM
Cue Zephyr Cue Zephyr is offline
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You can't, really, but you can end up using too many tracks. Even with vocals and guitar it can be great to have just one mic. You have to experiment a bit to get the balance right but when you do it'll sound wonderful.
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  #13  
Old 01-17-2017, 07:55 AM
KevWind KevWind is offline
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So far "schwa" has not informed us with a clarification as to his actual application so everything is a bit speculative still .

That said, Rudy4 brought up a good point and it is an issue even without full phase cancellation, because you can get comb filtering issues without total cancelation.
Recording an acoustic instrument in an inclosed space has potential phase "distortion" comb filtering issues even with only one mic, let alone multiple mic's . Now while this phase distortion can actually be pleasing (ie. good "stereo" recording ) phase is non the less distortion and increasing the number of mic's increases the potential for increased distortion issues .
And while there are numerous ways to minimize these phase issues and multiple mic techniques are routinely used by experienced engineers. The reality is that increasing the number of mic's increases the potential for phase issues plain and simple. So answer to the original OP , absolutely one can indeed throw too many mic's at a recording.
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  #14  
Old 01-17-2017, 08:17 AM
Martin Maniac Martin Maniac is offline
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Well let's say you put 5 mics on a guitar, each one on a separate track, then come back after recording and listen to each track separately, choose the one that sounds the best and mute the rest....that would work without any phase issues. What you're doing is just auditioning mics and mic positions. Take it a step further and try blending two mics together and you may come up with a great sound. I know that my Blizzard 4000 mic and Neumann TLM 102 sound great together. I found this out by experimenting with many various sound test recordings.
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