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  #61  
Old 04-13-2014, 03:42 PM
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KevWind KevWind is offline
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Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
Jecklin or ORTF is meant to approximate your ears, but there are lots of other issues. If you recorded, say, from 12 inches away, and then listen to headphones, you should get a reasonable close approximation of what you would hear if you were listening from the same spot. Of course, as sdelsolrey points out, we usually don't listen to a guitar with our ears a few inches from the soundhole. And up close, our ears don't have proximity effect the same way mics (at least cardiods) do, so there may be some differences. Once you get further back, you're hearing the guitar from a more realistic audience perspective, but the room starts to dominate, and mics don't pick up quite the same way as our ears/brains, so the sound may not seem so similar.

Kev, there's also the whole collection of raw tracks in Scott Wigham's "library" that he and I recorded using different mic patterns that you could play with. That was partly why Scott set up that collection, so people could play around with raw unprocessed tracks. I'm confused about the goal tho, you just want to know if someone can hear specific stereo techniques, including artificial processing? I'd say yes, some of the time, especially if you're listening on good monitors and know what your listening for, and other times no. A very definitive "maybe" :-)
Hey thanks perhaps I'll give some of those a try also ( on his web sight I take it ?). Yes I am curious as to what can actually be heard by people in general and more importantly If I can enough of difference to consistently identify and differentiate a (spaced pair) stereo track from specifically a duped mono set. I could indeed hear for example the differences in the tracks you posted early on. And interestingly I thought the mono track had the best overall definition and detail, although admittedly lacking in overall presence and width comparatively. I am listening on some older KRK V8's which I would rate mid level.
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  #62  
Old 04-13-2014, 04:42 PM
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I'm not seeing them on his website. Here's the thread where he unveiled these tracks:

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=289290

To me, mono usually sounds wrong, we have 2 ears. But it all varies, and different gear, different ears, will like different things. I think a fair bit of this sort of stuff is training (deliberate, or just conditioning). I read an article somewhere about Thomas Edison and his first phonographs, and people were raving about the fidelity - "indistinguishable from being in the room", etc :-) People hear what they are lead to hear in many cases.

No micing or processing technique sounds just like the guitar in the room, they're all some simulation, some echo of reality. Each technique just simulates reality differently, and usually we can learn to recognize the particular simulation is we care. But ideally, as Larry suggests, the simulation is effective enough (which may or may not be "realistic") that it either gets out of the way and lets the music come thru, or better yet, actually enhances the music.
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  #63  
Old 05-03-2014, 08:57 PM
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Hey all, very interesting and intelligent discussion here so I thought I'd fill in some of the details that get cut when your word count for an article is 500 words. There are a lot of nuances and it sounds like this is the kind of crowd that would appreciate knowing more.

First, I don't always use the single mic technique. I did Nestor Ausqui's most recent album using two mics and stereo, for the same general reasons mentioned here - capturing more ambience, more control over the guitar spectrum, etc. I did have to give up some of the single mic advantages - recording's always a tradeoff - but it was definitely the right technique for this performer and guitar.

I used the single mic technique for the first time on the late Linda Cohen's last album, "Naked Under the Moon." Linda was a delightful person and an excellent classical guitarist and teacher, but was always interested in pushing the boundaries musically. When she did "Leda" (released 1971), the idea of combining acoustic guitar and ambient electronics was quite ahead of its time and due to my reputation as being involved with electronics, I was often credited with "inventing" modern new age music long before it started taking off in the 80s. However, if that album did in fact invent modern new age music, she gets all the credit as it was entirely her idea.

Anyway, Linda played a Contreras guitar very softly and with much dynamics. The single mic thing was born out of frustration. In 1971 it was still a tape-based world, and to capture her dynamics was a problem. Whoever pointed out that one mic over multiple tracks doesn't mean less noise is technically correct, but when using two mics the mics weren't matched and neither was the noise. Spreading it out in stereo created a "soundstage" for the noise.

We couldn't do anything about it back then but "Naked Under the Moon" was done digitally with an ADAT for capture and a PARIS system for editing, her first (and only) album to use a DAW. I noticed that using one mic appeared to give less noise because it was "up the middle" and masked by the centered material. The low frequency channel nuked the noise anyway, and the channel with the highs was panned slightly to the right; while it contributed to the noise, you at least didn't perceive stereo noise.

The Contreras guitar was also a problem because it had a HUGE bump at, IIRC, 220Hz or so. It was great for concerts, because that bass would hit the back rows but it was a bear to record. I usually ended up having to print with a bit of a notch just to set levels that could accommodate her dynamics without having too much noise.

Regarding phase, I've never had any luck with solving problems by using delay unless the point sources are fixed, for example, bass DI and miked amp are easy to fix because they don't move. Even if the mic does move a bit because of a kick drum or cabinet shaking the floor, the wavelength of a bass is so low it has to move a LOT to make a difference.

But guitarists move around when they record, Linda perhaps more than some. The body tends to stay anchored more than the neck, which made things worse because the period of high frequencies is so much shorter. So if she moved about an inch, anything at 5kHz was out of phase. Two inches, and it started affecting the guitar's harmonics. There's not a lot of energy from a nylon string guitar up there except for the fingernail sounds and articulations, but those contribute to the "in the room" feeling. Furthermore, if she got up to listen in the control room and sat down again, it was often way more than a few inches off but the "boom" would still be super-prominent because it didn't move as much, had longer wavelengths, and was loud. So this wasn't a polarity issue, it really was about phase with different peaks and valleys at different frequencies that varied over time...and you all know what comb filters do.

In addition to minimizing the phase issues, part of the reason for the single mic technique was to better re-create what Linda sounded like sitting in front of you and playing. The "stereo" aspect with separation via EQ had nothing to do with capturing the stereo interaction with the room, because it can't do that. What it does do is create a stereo image of the guitar itself that is very "up close and personal" because psycho-acoustically, the finger scrapes are on the right, and the body is on the left, differentiated by EQ. If you get the cutoffs and levels right, it sounds like the guitar is as close to you as your speakers are.

The final benefit was that by essentially putting the boom in its own little tonal ghetto, I could control it much better in relation to the rest of the guitar.

As to sounding tinny, artificial, etc., the technique is like a combination lock. If all the tumblers aren't in place, it won't open. There are 100 ways to make this technique sound bad and only a few that sound good. As mentioned in the article, it's crucial to experiment with the levels and cutoff frequencies. There is no "one size fits all" setting or I would have saved it as a preset In fact sometimes it just plain doesn't work, period, depending on the player, the guitar, and the playing style. But when it DOES work, it works really well. People remarked on "Naked Under the Moon" having by far the best guitar sound of all her albums and while the single mic technique was certainly not the only reason why, I do feel it made a significant contribution to giving a stronger, more defined sound that supported her playing better.

As always, you have to be sensitive to the artist and do whatever you can to represent their music. I've done classical harpsichord recordings with Kathleen Mcintosh and for her album of Antonio Soler pieces, was a good boy and recorded harpsichord the way it's "supposed" to be recorded. But when we did her Bach CD, I said to hell with it and tried close-miking it...very rock and roll. I played her both the traditional and close-miked versions, and said I'd do it whichever way she wanted. She FLIPPED OUT over the close-miked. "That's what it sounds like when I'm playing harpsichord!! Do that!!" I really thought the purists would get upset, but no one even noticed, other than to say she sounded great. And you know what? She did, because the close-miking removed a "layer" between you and her playing, and you could realize just how well she played that music.

Anyway, thought you'd find the above interesting. Carry on
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  #64  
Old 05-03-2014, 09:26 PM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
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Welcome Anderton. We are honored by your presence…no kidding.
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  #65  
Old 05-03-2014, 09:39 PM
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Interesting. In many cases when you have another sound source besides the guitar (in this case guitar and synthetic harpsichord) much of the reason for stereo mic'ing a solo guitar goes out the door. You will have an overall full sound anyway. I do think the warmer, rounder, notes of a classical guitar comes across a better mono than a flattop which gets more thin sounding. Regarding phasing in stereo, that is a serious issue when you pan towards the middle instead of panning full (or nearly full) right and left. However at full right and left panning I do find some channel delay (right or left), when listening through headphones anyway, may change the sound in a positive direction (in addition of course to an alteration of perceived location in space).
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Last edited by rick-slo; 05-03-2014 at 09:46 PM.
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  #66  
Old 05-03-2014, 10:03 PM
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Welcome to AGF, Craig! Wow, I didn't even notice back when this was originally posted who the author of the article being discussed was. I've always enjoyed your articles, and have even built some of the electronic projects from your early books and articles - I probably still have my original copy of Electronic Projects for Musicians around somewhere! Thanks for weighing in and adding more detail.
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  #67  
Old 05-03-2014, 11:52 PM
Anderton Anderton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Interesting. In many cases when you have another sound source besides the guitar (in this case guitar and synthetic harpsichord) much of the reason for stereo mic'ing a solo guitar goes out the door.
Agreed but FYI the harpsichord was the real thing, so your point is actually more relevant.

Quote:
I do think the warmer, rounder, notes of a classical guitar comes across a better mono than a flattop which gets more thin sounding.
Also agreed most of the time, but maybe not for the same reason. The classical guitar is more delicate and kind of needs all the help it can get. Acoustic with steel strings is pretty brash, and it can take over a mix if you're not careful. I tend to cut steel string a bit in the 500Hz - 1kHz range if there's a singer involved. I've tried the one-mic technique with steel string, but with mixed results. Whether it works or not depends mostly on where the guitar needs to sit in the final mix.

Quote:
Regarding phasing in stereo, that is a serious issue when you pan towards the middle instead of panning full (or nearly full) right and left. However at full right and left panning I do find some channel delay (right or left), when listening through headphones anyway, may change the sound in a positive direction (in addition of course to an alteration of perceived location in space).
That's actually becoming a real issue for me when mastering. I used to master on speakers and use headphones as a reality check but with so many people listening to music on headphones, now it's the other way around. I still check for mono compatibility/phase integrity, maybe out of force of habit...once in the air, that stereo become more mono. But I really don't know if it matters that much any more.

I still always start a mix in mono, because that helps make it obvious which instrument frequency ranges are stepping on each other. So when it does open up to stereo, it ends up being quite dramatic...but I have to be careful that it's not too dramatic with headphones.
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  #68  
Old 05-04-2014, 12:02 AM
Anderton Anderton is offline
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Originally Posted by sdelsolray View Post
Welcome Anderton. We are honored by your presence…no kidding.
Well thanks, but the reality is I just saw an interesting discussion and felt I could fill in some of the blanks regarding the one-mic thing...and this seemed like a pretty civil bunch.

Before I get back to work, I've become really interested lately in piezo vs. miked guitars. I think most people associate a "recorded acoustic guitar sound" with a miked sound, which is unlike a piezo sound. I put a fair amount of work into voicing a piezo like a guitar miked with a quality condenser mic, and wrote that up for Guitar Player. Running a piezo through the presets I've designed makes the guitar sit in a mix like a miked guitar, which I often prefer.

Anyway, just another random thought in recording world...
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  #69  
Old 05-04-2014, 12:07 AM
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Generally agree, but my comments in the thread regarding stereo versus mono recording have been directed towards solo guitar recordings. Mix in other instruments and you have a different ballgame (overall soundstage, location of instruments in the soundstage during recording or later with panning, equalization to carve out each instrument's "space", etc.) and mono on the guitar may well be preferred soundwise and less complicating.
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Old 05-04-2014, 07:12 AM
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Thanks so much for the thoughts, Craig. Great to have you here.
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  #71  
Old 05-05-2014, 06:36 AM
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Interesting idea. Logical, although perhaps too simplistic. It may lead to a "boomy left, tinny right" sound:

http://www.guitarplayer.com/miscella...-guitars/21691

Wonder if adding a slightly more ambient mic set back to get more of the room might help out?
1. I'm always trying to get rid of ambient sound for acoustic guitar.
2. Having a mic farther away will surely result in comb filtering when you try to combine them.

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  #72  
Old 05-05-2014, 09:40 AM
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1. I'm always trying to get rid of ambient sound for acoustic guitar.
2. Having a mic farther away will surely result in comb filtering when you try to combine them.

Regards,

Ty Ford
An ambient mike(s) is not really a good case for a comb filtering argument because it is a different sound being picked up (way outside near field, room reflections).
Also the volume level is will probably be mixed in at a lower level than the primary, close, mike(s).
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  #73  
Old 05-05-2014, 10:14 AM
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Your argument is with the laws of physics, not me.

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  #74  
Old 05-05-2014, 10:27 AM
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Your argument is with the laws of physics, not me.

Regards,

TyFord
The proper application of the laws of physics to a given situation is the issue actually.
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  #75  
Old 05-06-2014, 04:44 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Sorry Rick, I don't think one can selectively apply the laws of physics as they choose.

Although the effects of comb filtering can be more obvious when both mics are in the same sound field, comb filtering, per se, does not demand that mics are close together. Maybe I'm missing something.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comb_filter

I'm curious as to how the double EQ approach sounds when the resulting stereo mix is folded down to mono.

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Ty Ford
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