The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > RECORD

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12-02-2010, 09:25 AM
Bob1131 Bob1131 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 6,928
Default Home recording vocal and guitar

If there has been anything I've learned over the past few years of home recording, it's that experimentation with set-ups, equipment, and environments is required to get the best possible sound for any given circumstances and limitations (cost, location, time, etc.). In my pursuit of improvement I have found that I achieve the best sounding recordings when I play the guitar part first in stereo and then sing to it on another track. This multitrack approach gives me a lot of flexibility when mixing. However, I often find that I lose feeling and overall flow when each part is recorded separately, so I recently set out experimenting with set-ups for capturing a decent stereo image of guitar and vocal simultaneously.

I have landed on a set-up that seems to yield promising results, so I thought I would share it with fellow hobbyists who are trying to work within a limited budget or making use of what they might already have! I used a pair of EV N/D767a mics for the guitar and a Rode NT1-A for vocals. What makes the EVs useful is their super cardioid pattern that minimizes bleed from off axis sources. YES, I know there are other patterns and mics that can be effective for this, but I don't own any and I can't afford to buy more right now, so this post is just to give experimenting hobbyists an idea to work from.

[IMG][/IMG]

With the mics I have, the angle and direction placement are critical to minimize bleed over. As pictured, the guitar mics are spaced while pointing at the lower bout and the neck-body joint. Both are angled downward at approximately 30 degrees. The mics are fed into a stereo mixer and panned hard left and right. I used headphones and played with the positions until I found where my voice was barely audible and completely inaudible when I started playing the guitar. Similarly, the Rode is tilted upward about 30 degrees. With the guitar mics off, playing the guitar is audible, but at a very low volume. When I start singing, the guitar was not loud enough to be heard.

Here is what the recording sounded like. I used some reverb while recording and did not add any other processing to the recording. The guitar is a Taylor GA4.

When using this type of set-up, you must mix appropriately on the front end of the recording. You might be able to tweak the sound of the post recording mix by panning in some to boost the center and applying EQ to emphasis either guitar or vocal, but that is the limitation compromise for being able to record voice and guitar simultaneously.

The recording chain I used was mic > mixer > recorder. This is a low budget and multi-purpose set-up (the EVs and mixer are used for live performances, too).

[IMG][/IMG]
__________________
ShowcaseYourMusic (covers)

ReverbNation (originals)

SoundCloud (the Hobo Troubadour)

Last edited by Bob1131; 01-09-2011 at 12:40 PM. Reason: changed demo file
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-02-2010, 01:44 PM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Posts: 3,445
Default

Bob, would it be a huge hassle to put up a clip with guitar only, voice only, and mixed, in various segments? The end result is terrific, I'd be very interested to hear the bleed on the each part.

I think this is a great demonstration of the importance of the ear over the gear.

Fran
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-02-2010, 06:18 PM
Bob1131 Bob1131 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 6,928
Default

No problem, Fran. It's still set up, so I'll try to put something together tomorrow.
__________________
ShowcaseYourMusic (covers)

ReverbNation (originals)

SoundCloud (the Hobo Troubadour)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-02-2010, 09:50 PM
stratt2828 stratt2828 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Exeter, NH
Posts: 283
Default

Thanks for that post Bob. VERY informative and very useful to those of us who are trying to learn more about mics and placement and recording in general. I love the picture of your simple yet VERY nice sounding setup.

Thanks.
__________________
Jody in NH


Taylor DN3
Fender Deluxe Players Strat
Boss BR 1600CD
Zoom H4n
Dell XPS M1640
Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Monitor Headphones
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-03-2010, 06:35 AM
Tele1111's Avatar
Tele1111 Tele1111 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida
Posts: 1,289
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran Guidry View Post
Bob, would it be a huge hassle to put up a clip with guitar only, voice only, and mixed, in various segments? The end result is terrific, I'd be very interested to hear the bleed on the each part.

I think this is a great demonstration of the importance of the ear over the gear.

Fran
I agree with Fran. Nice post Bob.
__________________
Guitars; Esteban -"Tribute to Paula Abdul L.E." Arturo Fuente- Cigar Box"Hand Made" First Act-"Diamond Bling" Main Street- "Flaming Acoustic" Silvertone-"Paul Stanley Dark Star" Daisy Rock- "Purple Daze"
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-03-2010, 09:40 AM
Bob1131 Bob1131 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 6,928
Default

Here is a demonstration of the bleed-over to each mic. It is important to note that this set-up is a "close" mic'ing technique, in that, the mic's are within 8 to 10 inches of my guitar and mouth. As the mics are moved farther away, each will pick up more mix of guitar and vocal.


Mic Bleed-over Demo
__________________
ShowcaseYourMusic (covers)

ReverbNation (originals)

SoundCloud (the Hobo Troubadour)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-03-2010, 10:09 AM
randysitz randysitz is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southeast
Posts: 335
Default

Thanks, that gives me some ideas as I am in the same situation. I always try to record separately too and even forget where I am sometimes. Kudos on the performance too. Great playing and beautiful voice.
__________________
MY MUSIC:
http://www.youtube.com/user/randysitz
CD Baby

2003 Taylor 514ce
1987 EF 369 Solid Rosewood Takamine
1969 Yamaha FG180
1986 Fender Strat
1950s Harmony Airline
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-03-2010, 10:21 AM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Posts: 3,445
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob1131 View Post
Here is a demonstration of the bleed-over to each mic. It is important to note that this set-up is a "close" mic'ing technique, in that, the mic's are within 8 to 10 inches of my guitar and mouth. As the mics are moved farther away, each will pick up more mix of guitar and vocal.


Mic Bleed-over Demo
Quite impressive, an excellent example of "aiming the null" to maximize separation.

Am I correct in understanding that you mix these two before recording, that is, you combine the three mics into a stereo pair in the mixer and then send the stereo pair to your recording inputs?

Fran
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-03-2010, 10:22 AM
Bob1131 Bob1131 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 6,928
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by randysitz View Post
Thanks, that gives me some ideas as I am in the same situation. I always try to record separately too and even forget where I am sometimes. Kudos on the performance too. Great playing and beautiful voice.
Thanks, Randy! Losing my place in a song while recording separate takes is a frequent occurrence for me! Frustration with the process was my motivation for searching for a setup that would capture my playing and singing together. I have used scratch tracks to try to maintain flow, but that can be difficult to follow too. I'm glad this thread gave you some ideas...that's exactly why I started it!
__________________
ShowcaseYourMusic (covers)

ReverbNation (originals)

SoundCloud (the Hobo Troubadour)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-03-2010, 10:24 AM
Dark Eyed Junko Dark Eyed Junko is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 406
Default

Great post. Thanks!
I always record guitar and vocal (and anything else) separately so that I have total control over each track in the mix. It also lets me do one over (usually the vocal) if I'm already satisfied with the other. But I totally know what you mean about losing feeling by doing them separately. I think next time I'll play with something like the setup you've got.

By the way, awesome song choices. Paul Simon, as successful as he is, is still one of the most underrated songwriters.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-03-2010, 12:11 PM
Bob1131 Bob1131 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 6,928
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran Guidry View Post
Quite impressive, an excellent example of "aiming the null" to maximize separation.

Am I correct in understanding that you mix these two before recording, that is, you combine the three mics into a stereo pair in the mixer and then send the stereo pair to your recording inputs?

Fran
That is exactly what I did. Of course, one could send the guitar to one track and the voice to another, but then that would defeat the purpose of using 3 mics and would not yield the stereo image I am trying to obtain with the 3 mic setup.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Eyed Junko View Post
Great post. Thanks!
I always record guitar and vocal (and anything else) separately so that I have total control over each track in the mix. It also lets me do one over (usually the vocal) if I'm already satisfied with the other. But I totally know what you mean about losing feeling by doing them separately. I think next time I'll play with something like the setup you've got.

By the way, awesome song choices. Paul Simon, as successful as he is, is still one of the most underrated songwriters.
I will still use individual takes and tracks for some songs, but I find that singing and playing simultaneously is more enjoyable for me...it's how I have always played so it just feels more comfortable. It also yields a "live" sound that I like, as opposed to a "studio" sound. So, this set-up will certainly be another useful "tool" in my kit for whenever it is appropriate.

Yes, I agree, Paul Simon has written some great songs and my wife and I cover many of them. I think he has shown tremendous versatility and creativity throughout his career, so I never get bored with his music.
__________________
ShowcaseYourMusic (covers)

ReverbNation (originals)

SoundCloud (the Hobo Troubadour)

Last edited by Bob1131; 12-03-2010 at 08:51 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-03-2010, 07:09 PM
napman's Avatar
napman napman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Alta Loma, CA,
Posts: 928
Default

Thanks Bob for sharing this,
Also very impressed with your singing/playing, I'm one of PS fans too.
__________________
To the thinking man, this world is a comedy, and to the feeling man, it is a tragedy
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-03-2010, 08:55 PM
Bob1131 Bob1131 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 6,928
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by napman View Post
Thanks Bob for sharing this,
Also very impressed with your singing/playing, I'm one of PS fans too.
You are very kind, napman! In the demo, I wasn't focused on performing the song well and messed up some...still, I'm glad it sounded alright to you. Thanks for the compliment and encouragement!
__________________
ShowcaseYourMusic (covers)

ReverbNation (originals)

SoundCloud (the Hobo Troubadour)
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-04-2010, 01:48 AM
hazmuz hazmuz is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 113
Default

thanks a lot for sharing; nice playing, voice and rec-tech.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-04-2010, 11:22 AM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Posts: 3,445
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob1131 View Post
That is exactly what I did. Of course, one could send the guitar to one track and the voice to another, but then that would defeat the purpose of using 3 mics and would not yield the stereo image I am trying to obtain with the 3 mic setup. ...
Hey, Bob,

When I do something similar, aligning mics to minimize bleed while playing and singing, I'm doing it so I can tweak the tracks in post production. Often I wind up dropping one of the initial tracks and replacing it, so keeping bleed down is critical.

Since you're mixing ahead of the recording, this isn't an option for you. What benefit are you seeking and finding with this setup, compared to positioning a stereo pair so that it blend the guitar and voice "in the air?" Are you applying different EQ and effects to the vocal track while mixing?

Fran
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > RECORD

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=