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  #46  
Old 08-18-2015, 08:32 PM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
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Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
Here's a bit of a different angle on mic choice / technique from SoundPure. I happened upon this demo of both nylon and steel strung guitar done with a spaced pair of Neumann 102 mics, totally dry but with emphasis on capturing a bit of the natural ambiance of the recording space. From what I can see in the demo the room would have a fair amount of medium reflection, but would also have a lot of attributes that very few of us would ever consciously try to incorporate.

Most folks would probably put the 102 pretty squarely in the middle of the cost vs. sound quality formula, so I'm interested in what some of you more knowledgeable might think of the demonstration and resultant sound. It certainly seems like something that is in agreement with what the OP is trying to accomplish.

https://youtu.be/i41-xZHzqug
There's a decent amount of that large untreated room in that recording, which was Sound Pure's stated intent. I suspect it would be somewhat harder to evaluate the TLM102 in that situation.

The spaced pair setup that works best for me in my space is similar to the one used by Sound Pure in the YouTube video. But I'm in a much smaller room, and the room is well treated.

I did try a single TLM102 a couple of years ago (wish I had a pair to try) and liked it. Quiet as a mouse, pedigree Neumanesque behavior and sonics and high quality build, all at an exceptional price point. The only complaint I had with it was the off axis response, which, as is typical of LD mics in general, was less linear and smooth than most SD mics I have used.
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  #47  
Old 08-18-2015, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
Here's a bit of a different angle on mic choice / technique from SoundPure. I happened upon this demo of both nylon and steel strung guitar done with a spaced pair of Neumann 102 mics, totally dry but with emphasis on capturing a bit of the natural ambiance of the recording space. From what I can see in the demo the room would have a fair amount of medium reflection, but would also have a lot of attributes that very few of us would ever consciously try to incorporate.

Most folks would probably put the 102 pretty squarely in the middle of the cost vs. sound quality formula, so I'm interested in what some of you more knowledgeable might think of the demonstration and resultant sound. It certainly seems like something that is in agreement with what the OP is trying to accomplish.

https://youtu.be/i41-xZHzqug
Sounds ok. Nothing special (except Tommy playing of course). Normally I would not compress the pre-recorded signal.
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  #48  
Old 09-07-2015, 07:52 AM
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WOW!! Great information. Now, dumb this down for us "beginners" lol. OP, not trying to hyjack your thread, and tell me if this isn't the place for this discussion and I'll start a new thread...or direct me to an old one .

"The givens"... the right room, placement, technique, etc.,

So, here's MY question...I want to record a few songs with video to post on Youtube. I have an Iphone, I have a Mac....that's it. I can spend MAX $1000 and preferably less. Doesn't need to sound like it came out of Nashville, but needs to capture the acoustic quality of my guitars. What should I buy that will allow me to record music via video, get the best possible acoustic sound, and post it easily to Youtube?

So, what I need to know is recommendations on Mic, interface, camera, etc. Any help out there?
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  #49  
Old 09-07-2015, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Trevor B. View Post
Hopefully this link will work so you can hear the Gefell M300s.
http://dcoombsguitar.com/Guitar%20Music/Rebecca.wav

I realize that the mikes used in the links are a bit pricier than your budget but they sound great to me.
I like it a lot.
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  #50  
Old 09-07-2015, 11:00 AM
DesolationAngel DesolationAngel is offline
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Flying in the face of everything that's been said here... if you already have a pair of SM81's, I'd be tempted to get a decent multi-pattern LDC and then play around with various recording methods until you get a 'bingo' moment. THEN go spend some proper money. With two SDCs and one multi-pattern LDC you can try:
  1. Spaced pair of SDCs
  2. X/Y SDC's
  3. ORTF (horiz and vertical) SDCs
  4. Mid/Side with one SDC and an LDC in figure 8
  5. One SDC pointing at the 12 fret, one LDC coming over your right shoulder
  6. One LDC close, up the neck, one SDC near the back of the guitar pointing at the bridge
  7. One SDC up close, one LDC further out in omni to bring some room
One other thing to consider with two mics; phase issues. Nothing will kill your tone quicker.

But, at the end of the day, and as many others have said, it's down to experimentation, personal subjectivity and expenditure. It seems to be an area that can't be skimped on from your fingers to room to mic to preamp to A/D converter (assuming you're recording to disk). The way I did it; I read to the ends of the internets... and then went and rented a bunch of mics. One of the things that surprised me was the much-maligned KM184* turned out to be one of my favourite mics in MY space with MY guitars and MY playing. Your mileage may vary, of course. Once I'd played around and discounted some, then I went looking to purchase. There are deals to be had out there. Bear in mind one other thing while you're researching/experimenting though; there are some great little mom 'n' pop microphone makers making some great mics out there that represent great value to the home/project studio recordist and they are well worth looking into (but bear in mind, if you go through a buy/sell/buy phase that the "name" brands might hold their value for resale better than the smaller shop brands.)

So, right now I have a pair of 414 XLS's, which I can use for various tasks (including Blumlein stereo), a pair of 184s, a modern U47 type of tube LDC and a Royer 121 ribbon. I can do most everything I want with whichever guitar I pick up with those... although, I'm probably not 'done' yet. I'd like a pair of tube SDCs, some more flavourful ribbons... (of course, one may never be 'done').

* the KM184 whenever mentioned on any forum, anywhere, will always be followed by 'it's not as good as the KM84', which is the mic it replaced in Neumann's line up. But guess what? You can't easily GET 84s so it's just an annoying–and some might argue–self-perpetuating internet 'truism'.
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  #51  
Old 09-07-2015, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by invguy921 View Post
WOW!! Great information. Now, dumb this down for us "beginners" lol. OP, not trying to hyjack your thread, and tell me if this isn't the place for this discussion and I'll start a new thread...or direct me to an old one .

"The givens"... the right room, placement, technique, etc.,

So, here's MY question...I want to record a few songs with video to post on Youtube. I have an Iphone, I have a Mac....that's it. I can spend MAX $1000 and preferably less. Doesn't need to sound like it came out of Nashville, but needs to capture the acoustic quality of my guitars. What should I buy that will allow me to record music via video, get the best possible acoustic sound, and post it easily to Youtube?

So, what I need to know is recommendations on Mic, interface, camera, etc. Any help out there?
Keep in mind that your requirements are a bit contradictory: "best possible acoustic sound" and $1000 max. You can easily spend $1000 on any single part of the puzzle, and still not be "best possible". You can however, easily be good enough for You Tube. You might find an article I wrote in May 2010 Acoustic Guitar Magazine on "Recording You Tube Videos" useful. Probably in your library if you don't have it. It's 5 years old now, so any specific gear has probably changed, but the concepts remain the same. Also check out Fran Guidry's Homebrewed Music site, for lots of tips, gear explorations etc. Fran's the guy to go to for all the latest in camera's and so on.

You can certainly create a decent video with your iPhone, Mac, GarageBand, etc. The main issue is that you can't place a video camera across the room, where you'll need it for the video, AND get a good sound - the camera mics will be too far back in the room. For that you need mics closer to you. I know Fran explores this topic and related gear on his site, so that's a great place to start.
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  #52  
Old 09-07-2015, 01:17 PM
Knives&Guitars Knives&Guitars is offline
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Originally Posted by DesolationAngel View Post
Flying in the face of everything that's been said here... if you already have a pair of SM81's, I'd be tempted to get a decent multi-pattern LDC and then play around with various recording methods until you get a 'bingo' moment. THEN go spend some proper money. With two SDCs and one multi-pattern LDC you can try:
  1. Spaced pair of SDCs
  2. X/Y SDC's
  3. ORTF (horiz and vertical) SDCs
  4. Mid/Side with one SDC and an LDC in figure 8
  5. One SDC pointing at the 12 fret, one LDC coming over your right shoulder
  6. One LDC close, up the neck, one SDC near the back of the guitar pointing at the bridge
  7. One SDC up close, one LDC further out in omni to bring some room
One other thing to consider with two mics; phase issues. Nothing will kill your tone quicker.

But, at the end of the day, and as many others have said, it's down to experimentation, personal subjectivity and expenditure. It seems to be an area that can't be skimped on from your fingers to room to mic to preamp to A/D converter (assuming you're recording to disk). The way I did it; I read to the ends of the internets... and then went and rented a bunch of mics. One of the things that surprised me was the much-maligned KM184* turned out to be one of my favourite mics in MY space with MY guitars and MY playing. Your mileage may vary, of course. Once I'd played around and discounted some, then I went looking to purchase. There are deals to be had out there. Bear in mind one other thing while you're researching/experimenting though; there are some great little mom 'n' pop microphone makers making some great mics out there that represent great value to the home/project studio recordist and they are well worth looking into (but bear in mind, if you go through a buy/sell/buy phase that the "name" brands might hold their value for resale better than the smaller shop brands.)

So, right now I have a pair of 414 XLS's, which I can use for various tasks (including Blumlein stereo), a pair of 184s, a modern U47 type of tube LDC and a Royer 121 ribbon. I can do most everything I want with whichever guitar I pick up with those... although, I'm probably not 'done' yet. I'd like a pair of tube SDCs, some more flavourful ribbons... (of course, one may never be 'done').

* the KM184 whenever mentioned on any forum, anywhere, will always be followed by 'it's not as good as the KM84', which is the mic it replaced in Neumann's line up. But guess what? You can't easily GET 84s so it's just an annoying–and some might argue–self-perpetuating internet 'truism'.
Thank you Desolation Angel...some great advice & I truly appreciate it.
I have begun my journey of experimenting. Bought a pair of AT4050's and will experiment with all of the mic techniques that you have mentioned....as well as a several others I am envisioning. I also have left over from my 70's and 80's days an electric AKG SDC along with my already SM81's(got three of those)
Unfortunately...It is a bit overwhelming to me right now. As I am learning just how to use Computer recording controls, Mic positioning and the number one problem...being an artist and engineer...the Artist gets in the way of himself in discovery.
I was wondering if you could point me to a good article on Mic- guitar Phasing. I do so understand the concept reasonably well...but get confused on why some Mic positions do not seem to cause phasing...when the distances are not equal. Like the over the shoulder for one and 12 fret for the other. Heard great sound from this technique...but seemingly no phasing problems. So I would love to learn more about this in relation to phasing.
I know that listening is the ultimate...but understanding the mathematics can help me get there a bit faster.
On a side note...Back in the day I own and bought brand new mid 70's Neumann U87. I always felt it was a great mic and used it for my vocals and a few acoustic guitar recordings...Always did a great job. I had stepped out of music for the last couple of decades...and decided to sell my u87...figuring that if I ever got back into music..some of the new & less expensive microphones would do as good a job. BOY was I wrong! Feeling quite foolish now. I am not saying it is an end all mic for voice. It's not..but boy it sure worked on my voice. And..it wasn't bad for acoustic..Seems like I had a lot less problems with that old boy. Well, they always say you got to make mistakes in order to get better. I made a big one.
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  #53  
Old 09-07-2015, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Knives&Guitars View Post
I was wondering if you could point me to a good article on Mic- guitar Phasing. I do so understand the concept reasonably well...but get confused on why some Mic positions do not seem to cause phasing...when the distances are not equal. Like the over the shoulder for one and 12 fret for the other. Heard great sound from this technique...but seemingly no phasing problems. So I would love to learn more about this in relation to phasing.
Try this one:

https://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr...emystified.htm

or this one:

http://jaygraydon.net/MIC_TUTORIAL.pdf

(by THE Jay Graydon, no less...)

All just from searching on "mic phase" on google. Much more where these came from.

My 2 cents:

Phase is important, but I think people get overly worried about. It's not usually a problem, (unless it is.) Phase is one of the audible cues that give info about a sound. When you hear a sound slightly off to the right, the sound arrives at our right ear a millisecond or so before it hits our left ear -aka "out of phase". No big deal - it's useful info that our ears use to tell us location, in addition to volume. Phase isn't "bad", it's just a phenomena that exists any time you pick up the same sound from 2 different locations (even if those 2 locations are on each side of our head)

Mics work the same way. If you record in stereo, and play back in stereo, for recording acoustic guitar, then depending on your mic placement, the sound in each speaker may or may not be in phase, because both mics pick up all parts of the guitar, but may be different distances from any given spot on the guitar. If you use "co-incident" placements (X/Y mostly), then the sound will be mostly in-phase, and the stereo effect you hear is strictly due to volume differences in the sound hitting the mics. As you move the mics further apart ("spaced pairs", for example), then you get not only volume differences but phase differences. This isn't a bad thing, it's just a different way of creating the stereo effect. You choose that mic placement if you want that sound.

Why/when is phase "bad"? Well, if you record using spaced pairs, and then mix to mono, the phase differences will cause cancelation at some frequencies. That may or may not sound good. But as long as you listen in stereo, it matters a lot less. You even get some people here on AGF who, knowing full well what they're doing, record with spaced pairs, and then pan the mics partially inward. What they're doing is narrowing the stereo field by deliberately causing interaction between the mics, including phase cancelation. If it sounds good, no problem...

Also, once you get beyond just one guitar, things get more complicated. Drums is a great example, where maybe you have 6-10 mics on a drum set. Then you mix those mics down to 2 channels. So some mics are going to be combined into one side, so maybe you have a snare mic 2 inches from the snare and a cymble mic that's 2 feet from the snare. Now those are out of phase, and you get that frequency cancelation on your snare. Might sound perfect. But probably not...

You can have the same thing with guitar and voice, where you have a close vocal mic, and your guitar mic also picks up a bit of voice, and vice versa. Now when you mix, that bleed may be out of phase and again, cause some phase cancelation.

One thing that comes up here from time to time is someone who has a mic or mic cable reversed in polarity. People will call that 180 degrees out of phase, but it's actually a bit different. You can really only talk about phase in relation to a specific frequency. But with polarity reversed, *all* frequencies will be out pf phase. Record 2 identical tracks with mics in reverse polarity, and 1 of two things happen. If you listen in stereo, you get this odd, ultra-wide sound that's a bit diffused and hard to focus on, or if you mix to mono, you get total silence. Both are bad things, unless of course that's what you want - there are techniques that leverage this effect.
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  #54  
Old 09-07-2015, 02:22 PM
Knives&Guitars Knives&Guitars is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
Try this one:

https://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr...emystified.htm

or this one:

http://jaygraydon.net/MIC_TUTORIAL.pdf

(by THE Jay Graydon, no less...)

All just from searching on "mic phase" on google. Much more where these came from.

My 2 cents:

Phase is important, but I think people get overly worried about. It's not usually a problem, (unless it is.) Phase is one of the audible cues that give info about a sound. When you hear a sound slightly off to the right, the sound arrives at our right ear a millisecond or so before it hits our left ear -aka "out of phase". No big deal - it's useful info that our ears use to tell us location, in addition to volume. Phase isn't "bad", it's just a phenomena that exists any time you pick up the same sound from 2 different locations (even if those 2 locations are on each side of our head)

Mics work the same way. If you record in stereo, and play back in stereo, for recording acoustic guitar, then depending on your mic placement, the sound in each speaker may or may not be in phase, because both mics pick up all parts of the guitar, but may be different distances from any given spot on the guitar. If you use "co-incident" placements (X/Y mostly), then the sound will be mostly in-phase, and the stereo effect you hear is strictly due to volume differences in the sound hitting the mics. As you move the mics further apart ("spaced pairs", for example), then you get not only volume differences but phase differences. This isn't a bad thing, it's just a different way of creating the stereo effect. You choose that mic placement if you want that sound.

Why/when is phase "bad"? Well, if you record using spaced pairs, and then mix to mono, the phase differences will cause cancelation at some frequencies. That may or may not sound good. But as long as you listen in stereo, it matters a lot less. You even get some people here on AGF who, knowing full well what they're doing, record with spaced pairs, and then pan the mics partially inward. What they're doing is narrowing the stereo field by deliberately causing interaction between the mics, including phase cancelation. If it sounds good, no problem...

Also, once you get beyond just one guitar, things get more complicated. Drums is a great example, where maybe you have 6-10 mics on a drum set. Then you mix those mics down to 2 channels. So some mics are going to be combined into one side, so maybe you have a snare mic 2 inches from the snare and a cymble mic that's 2 feet from the snare. Now those are out of phase, and you get that frequency cancelation on your snare. Might sound perfect. But probably not...

You can have the same thing with guitar and voice, where you have a close vocal mic, and your guitar mic also picks up a bit of voice, and vice versa. Now when you mix, that bleed may be out of phase and again, cause some phase cancelation.

One thing that comes up here from time to time is someone who has a mic or mic cable reversed in polarity. People will call that 180 degrees out of phase, but it's actually a bit different. You can really only talk about phase in relation to a specific frequency. But with polarity reversed, *all* frequencies will be out pf phase. Record 2 identical tracks with mics in reverse polarity, and 1 of two things happen. If you listen in stereo, you get this odd, ultra-wide sound that's a bit diffused and hard to focus on, or if you mix to mono, you get total silence. Both are bad things, unless of course that's what you want - there are techniques that leverage this effect.
Excellent!
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  #55  
Old 09-07-2015, 03:59 PM
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Recording a solo guitar with a pair of mikes and not planning to listen to your recordings in mono? If so then don't spend a lot of time worrying about phase when setting up the mikes other than having a completely reversed polarity somehow in the setup where then even the bass notes thin out - otherwise usually the low frequencies between the mikes correlate pretty well with most any mike setup. Various high frequencies will be out of correlation no matter what you do - that's fine, it's a bigger soundstage.

Though there is no magic formula for correlation and sound I often do run a correlation meter (both pre and post recording) and give it a look - for example it may help me identify a particular problem frequency (most often in the first string fifth to eighth fret area - melody note territory). However if you better correlate one frequency then some other frequency is going to become less correlated. Perfect correlation everywhere is mono - might as well record with one mike then. The final decider as to what to do is the ear of course.

Mike distances from the guitar varying a few inches is not really a problem - it may sound good that way, but whatever, if helpful you can vary the time delay between mikes, as well as vary mike volume levels, post recording.
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Last edited by rick-slo; 09-07-2015 at 04:06 PM.
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  #56  
Old 09-07-2015, 05:46 PM
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I bought a phase alignment tool yesterday (Radial Phazer), having a crazy time with it in the studio today... been playing with it on a spaced pair recording with 184s and with a close/distant recording with a 184 and a 47... pulled up the correlation meter in Logic and watched the differences slide in and out of each other. Great little tool for seeing what you're hearing and understanding the relationships (and for making the best mix of two sources you can).
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  #57  
Old 09-07-2015, 06:03 PM
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The Phazor can be useful, but keep in mind that with spaced pairs the mics are *supposed* to have phase differences - that's why spaced pairs sound like spaced pairs. Also, the Phazor can only optimize a small frequency range, that's just the physics of phase. You can do pretty much the same thing simply with slipping tracks in post-processing. Of course, again, by optimizing out a phase difference, you may be removing the very thing that makes the spaced pairs sound good. But it's fine to play with it as a ton control and see if you find a sound you like - I have the Little Labs IBP in my UAD plugin set. I've messed with it, can't say it's ever been actually useful. A more common use for the Phazor, etc, I believe, is aligning direct pickup recordings with a mic.
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Old 09-07-2015, 06:40 PM
DesolationAngel DesolationAngel is offline
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I've learned more (and gotten better sounds) in an afternoon in the studio with the Phazer than in several months of trial and error with mic placement/track slipping... experimenting with mic'ed and DI is up next.

Also; it sure does make it a lot less work to get a good sound when you're on your lonesome in a studio with an acoustic guitar (it's not like I can 're-amp' a D-28). Set up mics in reasonably decent places. Record. Strap the Phazer as outboard on one of the tracks and sweep to sweet. Print it. Done.
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Old 09-07-2015, 06:46 PM
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(it's not like I can 're-amp' a D-28). Set up mics in reasonably decent places.
Well, you could "reamp" the Phazor, so you can play with it while listening instead of while you're playing. That's essentially what I get to do with the Little Labs equivalent. I'm not sure I see how you're able to use it to dial in a sound while you're tracking. Seems like the same process you'd have to go thru to position mics, with all the same challenges. Can you describe your process? Some examples would be cool, too!

EDIT: Oh, re-read, and I see that's what you're doing - fixing it in "post". It certainly will alter the tone, so it could be just what you're looking for.
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Old 09-07-2015, 07:46 PM
DesolationAngel DesolationAngel is offline
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EDIT: Oh, re-read, and I see that's what you're doing - fixing it in "post". It certainly will alter the tone, so it could be just what you're looking for.
Bingo. Awkward to sort that stuff out while you're sitting with a guitar and two microphones...
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