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  #61  
Old 07-05-2012, 06:04 PM
moon moon is offline
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I'm not trying to be defeatist
Sorry just pulling you and Fran's legs
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  #62  
Old 07-05-2012, 06:57 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Default It's All In The Ears - Not Online Opinions!

Aloha Friends,

Some VERY interesting twists & turns in this thread. Much grist to chew on. We ALL can learn a lot here.

I hope the main thing when we ALL read online gear & mic opinions is to realize that ONLY YOUR EARS CAN TELL WHAT'S RIGHT FOR YOUR MUSIC & NEEDS. You gotta listen first, baby - before ya buy.

If we buy purely due to "respected" online opinions, then we deserve whatever the results are. I mean, those GS mic discussions are Captain Insano - especially RE: U47's & their clones! Sheesh!

As the Chesire Cat said, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there." If you don't listen first, that's YOUR choice/limitation - "any road."

That's why in all my 1600 some AGF posts here I have ALWAYS tried to remember to tell people to ALWAYS go put an ear on it - whatever "it" is - before you buy. AND, to ALWAYS think & choose "it" in terms of your whole signal chain before making a choice of any gear.

But I get the feeling that too many are inclined not to do that.

I know that Mic's & mic discussions are so completely seducing. But I can honestly say that I have never bought any mic in my 50 years of buying mic's based on anyone's else's opinion - without having allowed my ears to make the final choice - before I bought.

Many of you know that I go as far as to often rent gear from all over the Mainland & to do my own shoot-outs on my home rig here in Hawaii & that I also go to LA every coupla years or so just to PUT AN EAR ON GEAR. I don't trust anyone's opinions, just my ears.

We all hear differently. That's the main point & issue. The choice is in the ear of the listener. So why allow someone else's ears make the call for you? Go put an ear on lots of mic's (brands, types, price ranges) before you buy - any mic! That is especially true for younger players who may actually tend to trust online opinions - by us old futs. Don't do it.

Start simply & cheap on mic's (a coupla SDC's for stereo miking solo acoustic guitar = most consistent & complete results). Learn a lot about mic placement, room acoustics & signal chains. Then move up towards the better mic's as soon as you can.

As Doug has said, once you get into the good stuff, you can more easily trade out for other good stuff. I could provide many examples of doing that as I moved up the mic trough. It's much harder to get any $ or trade value for used, cheap mic's.

Regards,

alohachris


PS: Fran, you know what I was saying, right? That we'll always use our best mic's for the right application at hand. And for studio recording (not youtube), we just aren't going to reach for those noisy mic's of any handheld recorder. We simply aint reachin' for a 2020 for a recording for release.

To do that means making a value judgment among mic's & their different qualities. Furthermore, it is really IS true that some of those qualitative differences ARE more obvious than subtle, IMO. Don't need no demo's or null tests to hear that. That's what my ears tell me. That's it. No disparagement or hu-hu, Magoo. I'm your biggest fan, especially for sharing that "absorber" video (oughta be a sticky for every mic discussion thread anywhere, Fran, & your nahe'-nahe' style of playing kiho'alu! -alohachris-

Last edited by alohachris; 07-05-2012 at 07:09 PM.
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  #63  
Old 07-05-2012, 07:37 PM
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Many of you know that I go as far as to often rent gear from all over the Mainland & to do my own shoot-outs on my home rig
That's an important point people may not realize, but there are lots of places that will not only rent you gear, but send you stuff to try out. Mercenary's particularly good about this. I've more than once called them and just told them honestly I wanted to do a shoot out, and in fact might not end up buying anything at all if it didn't make a difference, but could I try these 3 items? Their response tends to be "sure, and are you sure you don't also want to try something else too while you're at it?" I know in at least one case, they just charged my card for the most expensive item, and sent the rest along for the ride. After a few weeks they call to see how you're doing. So plenty of time to really check it all out, see what you like, decide what to keep, if anything. I've sent everything back more than once. Probably some limits on where they'll do this, and it does cost shipping, but with expensive stuff, it's a cheap way to check it all out.

It really is better than taking what you read on the internet as fact - check it out for yourself.
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  #64  
Old 07-05-2012, 07:48 PM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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"It really is better than taking what you read on the internet as fact - check it out for yourself."

I agree, let's shut this sucker down and go fishing. Obviously, no one here has a clue!

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #65  
Old 07-05-2012, 09:41 PM
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I agree, let's shut this sucker down and go fishing. Obviously, no one here has a clue!
Lots of people have a clue, but for every question, you can get at least 10 conflicting answers to almost everything :-) Good for educating yourself on the issues, but after a while it probably is better to go fish for yourself, even if only to generate better questions.
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  #66  
Old 07-05-2012, 10:17 PM
beauarts beauarts is offline
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+1 on fixing the room acoustics and turning off the humidifier.

Condenser mics can be magnificent for guitar. They can also be annoyingly edgy and pick up everything. Dynamic or ribbon mic can be more forgiving of the environment. They also are a good bang for the buck. A top of the line dynamic -> $400 or less. While you can use all kinds of neumann knockoffs, I've found that in the end they don't hold up to the real thing.

dynamics
shure sm7
various beyer
sennheiser 441
Ev re20

ribbon
beyer m160, m260
royer
old RCA and many others

Most of the mic suggestions in this thread have been given from experience of acoustic flat top guitars. Archtops are different animals.

I find archtop guitar particularly hard to mic. There's a lot of bark that's hard to tame. On my acoustic gibson super 400, a sennheiser 441 and an old RCA BK11a ribbon combination is the best i found so far. The 441 on an f-hole and the ribbon on the lower bout. That's for recording just the acoustic sound. On amp micing, a shure sm57 can do wonders sometimes

Don't be hung up on some theoretical position of the mic. Put a mic on a stand and listen on headphones while moving around.
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  #67  
Old 07-06-2012, 06:03 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Lots of people have a clue, but for every question, you can get at least 10 conflicting answers to almost everything :-) Good for educating yourself on the issues, but after a while it probably is better to go fish for yourself, even if only to generate better questions.
I don't know, Doug. I think you're statement holds more truth than you know. In this string alone (and many others I've read) the wash of conflict is so strong that the original poster is not really being served.

Someone asks a question and mostly the same 5-6 guys toss in their often conflicting remarks. The result is a technical tower of Babel. If we're playing nice and not trying to openly challenge each other, we have a line in the comment about subjectivity that serves no one. Several pages later the din quiets until the next poster rings the bell and we're off again, usually on the same ride with no consensus. Not Helpful!

Perhaps that's the best "democracy" can offer; another version of life in a small town in the wild west where there are no laws and no sheriff?

Can we improve on that?

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #68  
Old 07-06-2012, 10:38 AM
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Can we improve on that?
That's a great goal, tho I think, hopefully, there's some useful info in this thread, and I think everyone is trying to help as best they can. At the very least, perhaps the message that it's not as simple as just getting the "best" mic and also that there are different opinions :-), comes thru.

Things would be very different if someone went over to Bob's house to help out and try a few things. A little hands on would go a long way. We have no idea what kind of sound Bob's getting to start with, which would make it a lot easier to be more specific and helpful.

I've repeatedly told myself to make a rule to not even participate in these kinds of discussions unless there's an actual sound sample to work with, but I keep forgetting and violating my own rule. It's just too abstract and meaningless without one. I think I'll renew my vow :-)
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  #69  
Old 07-06-2012, 11:46 AM
el_kabong el_kabong is offline
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For somebody (like me and the OP) just trying to get off to a good start, this thread has been enormously helpful and I, for one, really appreciate all of the discussion. A few quick observations though:

1. I'm now particularly intrigued with the stereo option and will be searching the AGF for more on this subject.

2. I'm more than ever convinced that, for general purposes, the differences among these various mics are *relatively* minor...and that performance, room dynamics, signal chain, recording techniques, mic placement etc. probably matter more. I too had *preferences* among the various samples provided and, not being in the room (or holding the instrument) have no idea whatsoever which mic produced the greatest *fidelity*. Still, it would be hard (especially in an MP3 context) to sort out the obviously *bad* mics.

3. It doesn't have to cost all that much to produce really usable results, especially when relatively low cost approaches available, such as: experimenting and improving room dynamics, mic placement, etc.

Again many thanks to all of those with such great and helpful input here.
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  #70  
Old 07-06-2012, 12:18 PM
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3. It doesn't have to cost all that much to produce really usable results, especially when relatively low cost approaches available, such as: experimenting and improving room dynamics, mic placement, etc.
For anyone doing solo guitar, and who is new to recording, I'd suggest checking out a Zoom H4n or equivalent (there are lots of these). Yes, the mics probably cost 50 cents, and the preamps and converters will make many people cringe, but I know of released CDs recorded with these gizmos, they're cheap, the sound will please all but the most purist and they make a great learning tool. These gadgets are almost foolproof, and you can focus on the things you list above instead of gear, and your whole setup will cost about what 1 budget mic costs. When you can make a recording that sounds really good with one of these, it might be time to move "up" to other gear, or you might just be happy as-is.
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  #71  
Old 07-06-2012, 12:25 PM
el_kabong el_kabong is offline
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Thanks Doug - already on the Amazon wish list
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  #72  
Old 07-06-2012, 01:31 PM
stevecuss stevecuss is offline
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I'm a newbie, so I don't have any helpful advice, but perhaps can offer a perspective. The Recording sub forum of AGF is more helpful to me than most of the well known recording forums (GS, for example.) You guys give diverse advice, for sure, but not polar opposite. I read a ton, asked a few questions and felt I received very helpful advice from you guys. Here's where I ended up:

1) I started with room treatment. I didn't want to, because it isn't nearly as cool as shopping mics, but you all kept saying what a big deal it is. Now I walk into my home office and feel a change in my ears. Its a bit spooky, but it is almost like walking into a serene cave.

2) I bought two mics -an ADK A6 based on overwhelming advice here, and a CAD M9 for second acoustic and mostly for vocal. They are far above the MXL 990 mics I borrowed from a friend. That A6 is really something special and picks up the overtones of my Mcilroy well.

3) First Gen preowned Apogee Duet into Garage Band. Thanks Chris - that one came directly from your many posts.

As for the actual recording....well, I've been playing guitar for years but recording myself is definitely schooling me. For some reason, the way I strike the A string with my thumb is very different from E and strings. My tempo is not as rock solid as I thought. Several little things like this.....Its been a good learning experience.

I think my next big leap is to learn about mastering and appropriate use of compression and EQ.

I think I should also decide soon if I should leap to Logic Pro or stick with GB.

Overall, its a lot of fun....that is until I get up early this morn to record before the kids are up and find some sort of heat exchange fan running that I can't seem to shut off!
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  #73  
Old 07-06-2012, 02:08 PM
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Another alternative to Logic is Ardour. not as polished but it's a heavyweight DAW and has one big advantage in that you can pay whatever you want for it. It comes from the open source linux community where usually all software is free but it takes a lot of work to create a powerful, reliable DAW and they need to generate some income to keep working on it. The Mixbus version is a joint venture with Harrison consoles which adds some useful extras.

Recording really puts your playing under the microscope and makes you raise your game. We expect some clips

Last edited by moon; 07-06-2012 at 02:29 PM.
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  #74  
Old 07-06-2012, 02:29 PM
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Can we improve on that?
A good debate is a good way for a community to process information. If we were scared to contradict each other nobody would ever learn anything. At the very least we'll be forced to question our assumptions and back them up with proper arguments, which isn't a bad thing (that to me is the difference between debate and mere argument).

I think the way to move the discussion on was to get more specific, ie start listening to actual samples of particular mics. People can make up their own minds after that - and Fran has some excellent points to make about audio comparisons. If I recommend a mic, I usually try to explain why I think it's good for a particular job and provide some clips.
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  #75  
Old 07-07-2012, 09:52 AM
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I hope everyone wading thru this thread also notices the "reverb" thread going on at the same time:

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=257235

Check out Bob1131's recording and gear explanation. A great example of an excellent recording sound with all the "wrong" gear, and also note how he deals with bad room acoustics.
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