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  #1  
Old 01-17-2021, 08:40 AM
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Default Classical recording critique

Hi all

Since getting my first classical / nylon guitar just before Christmas I have been working on a few simple pieces to get the feel of it.

Not only is this a very different instrument to play, it's also different to record and mix so I wanted to post this up here for some critique on the overall sound / balance / EQ etc.

Mics were my CM4's set about 30cm apart in an AB array on a stereo bar - distance from guitar about 50cm (farther than I would use on steel string) mics just below height of guitar and pointing up just slightly.

EQ was generally subtractive with a high pass at around 50hz then a low shelf cut of around 2db from 250hz to clean up the low mids a little.

Reverb was an IR file of a small hall, dialled back about 7db on a bus.

Love to hear your thoughts on how I can improve this so thanks in advance.

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Old 01-17-2021, 03:17 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
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Nice stereo image. I have the CM3, so I am familiar with the clarity of this microphone.

I'm not hearing anything jump out that needs improvement. Your positioning seems to work well. EQ is effective and transparent to me.

It may be the piece/notes you played, but there wasn't a lot of bass. I wonder what it might sound like if you removed the 50 Hz lowpass?

Good job - classical guitar IS often a bear to capture well.
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Old 01-17-2021, 06:51 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Default Nice Recording & Playing Peter!

Aloha Peter,

Excellent playing & recording on this clip. Great balance & stereo depth imaging. Don't know those mic's but it felt close & intimate, like the classical guitar should sound. No problem frequencies or cancellations, close-miked but no proximity effect. Just really good recorded sound!

Now, why do steel string recordings provide so much challenge in consistency to you by comparison? Classical recordings tend to be more challenging (at least they were for me which is why I stopped playing classical guitar decades ago - though I love it.

Great job, Peter! Encore. Or, as we say in the Islands, "Hana Hou!"

alohachris
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Old 01-17-2021, 07:01 PM
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Good clear sound. Perceived location of instrument a bit odd with headphones - almost inside my head. Maybe some type of reverb would move it out front a little.
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Old 01-18-2021, 01:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Currie View Post
Nice stereo image. I have the CM3, so I am familiar with the clarity of this microphone.



I'm not hearing anything jump out that needs improvement. Your positioning seems to work well. EQ is effective and transparent to me.



It may be the piece/notes you played, but there wasn't a lot of bass. I wonder what it might sound like if you removed the 50 Hz lowpass?



Good job - classical guitar IS often a bear to capture well.


Thanks Gordon, interesting re the bass - I compared it with a few reference recordings of this piece and felt they were similar in bass levels. It may be that there isnít much low E/A action.
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Old 01-18-2021, 01:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alohachris View Post
Aloha Peter,

Excellent playing & recording on this clip. Great balance & stereo depth imaging. Don't know those mic's but it felt close & intimate, like the classical guitar should sound. No problem frequencies or cancellations, close-miked but no proximity effect. Just really good recorded sound!

Now, why do steel string recordings provide so much challenge in consistency to you by comparison? Classical recordings tend to be more challenging (at least they were for me which is why I stopped playing classical guitar decades ago - though I love it.

Great job, Peter! Encore. Or, as we say in the Islands, "Hana Hou!"

alohachris


Thanks for the feedback Chris - good to hear my ears are telling me the right things.

Iíd like to think my recent steel string recordings have been more consistent as I have learned more about what to listen for and what not to do.

Cheers!
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Old 01-18-2021, 01:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Good clear sound. Perceived location of instrument a bit odd with headphones - almost inside my head. Maybe some type of reverb would move it out front a little.


Hi Derek, thanks for listening and offering a view.

I noticed a placement issue on my cheaper Beats headphones but not on my decent AKGís.

There is a reverb on this - a convolution IR of Hinton hall, dialled back a bit.

Iíll have another listen and tweak the reverb.
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Old 01-18-2021, 09:07 AM
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Sounds great man! glad to hear you posting recordings. Once I get my recorder Ill hopefully be posting some as well.
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Old 01-18-2021, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by JParrilla View Post
Sounds great man! glad to hear you posting recordings. Once I get my recorder Ill hopefully be posting some as well.
Thanks JP - much appreciated!
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:01 AM
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So, I decided to challenge myself this morning and headed to our local disused church at the end of the road, armed with my guitar and Zoom H4 and a tripod!

The H4 was about 2m away from me and about 1.5m up with a downward facing angle to my playing position.

Two things I had underestimated were the cold (2 deg) and the traffic noise - apart from that it was a lot of fun to record in such a lively space. The playing took a hit due to my fingers being so immobile, but I can work with that. I will also pick a better time next time I go to minimise traffic.

Not much done to this file apart form some high pass EQ - certainly no reverb added..

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Old 01-18-2021, 12:42 PM
j3ffr0 j3ffr0 is offline
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What a great space that church is! I don't even mind the cars!

In the first one there is a little bit of background/residual noise and it might be a little light on the bass. However, the overall tone is good and pleasing to the ear. It's certainly a reasonable recording.


I have been experimenting a lot, and my current recording location will not support the mics 50cm away. The room is too bad. I've got a couple more weeks of 20cm until my additional room treatments arrive.
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Old 01-18-2021, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j3ffr0 View Post
What a great space that church is! I don't even mind the cars!



In the first one there is a little bit of background/residual noise and it might be a little light on the bass. However, the overall tone is good and pleasing to the ear. It's certainly a reasonable recording.





I have been experimenting a lot, and my current recording location will not support the mics 50cm away. The room is too bad. I've got a couple more weeks of 20cm until my additional room treatments arrive.


Thanks, yes it was quite daunting to play in there and will take some time to relax (given that after about 15 mins my fingers are solid..)

I have tweaked the low cut a little on the indoor one but not much I can do about that low level house noise Iím afraid.

My treatment seems to allow that placement but not much farther.
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  #13  
Old 01-18-2021, 02:21 PM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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Hi Peter,
Excellent! I think you have the hang of this.
I was particularly impressed by the beautiful tone you were able to produce. That has to be very encouraging to you.
Also, what a great place to choose to record. No reverb needed is right. It's wonderful that you have access to this church for these recordings.
The room makes a big difference, but you still have to play well, which you ably demonstrated.
Great stuff! and hope to hear much more in the future!
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Old 01-18-2021, 02:52 PM
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Great job!. The only thing I hear, just using my headphones anyway, is it seems a little bright. A few of the string squeaks -which I generally like the sound of - for example are pretty spiky
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Old 01-18-2021, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by min7b5 View Post
Great job!. The only thing I hear, just using my headphones anyway, is it seems a little bright. A few of the string squeaks -which I generally like the sound of - for example are pretty spiky


Thanks for the feedback - which version did you listen to, the original or the one in the church?
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