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Old 12-03-2019, 07:33 AM
CASD57 CASD57 is offline
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Default How to separate the Guitar and Vocals?

I'm having a problem with my guitar bleeding into the vocal mic.
At first I wanted to record like that...Like a real performance but my guitar sounds like poo that way
I'm now thinking I want to separate the vocals and guitar but how do I?
If it's heard with one mic how to limit it in the vocal mic even if I'm using two mic's?
I've got a Zoom R8 to use as the interface to my computer or should I get something else?
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:05 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Record the parts separately. First the guitar part, then the vocal. You can minimize mic bleed with correct mic placement, but you can never eliminate it.
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:07 AM
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I use two large diaphragm condenser mics, in figure-8 pattern, Blumlein technique ... look that up. It greatly improves separation, less effective if recording a seated performer, but still OK.
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:16 AM
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I've seen cardioid mic patterns do a pretty good job of it though it's not perfect.
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:17 AM
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First let's set up the situation .

You may have mentioned it previously but, my short term memory is old

What is your current recording chain ? And how are you recording ? are you using one mic simultaneously ? two mics simultaneously ?

since you mention "bleed" I assume simultaneously so the first obvious answer is record the guitar first then while listening to the guitar overdub the vocal.

But understand bleed may not actually be the issue ( there are thousands of recording done that have bleed but sound good) there are a number of possible variables involved.
First for the optimum in replies ...You can just do a simple signal flow sentence like (here is my current signal flow)

Simultaneous style
Guitar > pair of AEA N22's > > OMNI interface > computer/DAW

Vocal > ADK 251> MP2A mic pre > OMNI > computer DAW

Overdub
Guitar > pair of AEA N22's > MP2A > OMNI > computer DAW
Vocal > ADK 251 MP2A > MP2A > OMNI > computer DAW
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:23 AM
Ncbandit Ncbandit is offline
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To get the best possible sound and performance quality from both parts I always record separately. This way you can do as many takes of each as you want.

Sometimes I will even cut and paste part of the guitar if it repeats in the song and 1 part is better. I am fine with it since it falls under the definition of recording artist instead of performing artist. To me it is all about the final result however you need to get there.

I have done 20 takes of a chorus part alone to get it the way I wanted. Recording both at the same time I would never be able to come up with the same quality finished product.

Last edited by Ncbandit; 12-03-2019 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 12-03-2019, 10:00 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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I'm not a great recordist, there are others who will respond here who get better results that I do. To help them, elaborate on the guitar sounding bad when you record simultaneously? What sort of bad?

My impression is that if you are using a single mic or single array of a pair of mics, positioning them correctly in a room that also doesn't detract is the key thing. It's hard when you "engineer yourself," but move the mic(s) around to get see what changes/gets better. You'll have to wear headphones while you do this. As far as I know and have experienced, this is extremely awkward to do as you self-engineer, but it's important.

The advantage of recording the parts separately is that you can fix mistakes with overdubs or editing easier, and if you want to apply effects you aren't trying to compromise between the vocal and the guitar. If you don't need to fix mistakes or apply effects noticeably, then don't worry about bleed, worry about what it sounds like before you hit record.

If you do need to fix mistakes, or to maximize the quality of the performances instrumentally and vocally, or for other reasons you want the vocal and guitar to be separate with no appreciable bleed, then you have to work out a way to track them separately. If you are a regular player with even rhythm and worked out song structures you can record the guitar and then on a second pass record the vocal, and Done!

If you're like me (sloppy player, irregular in his song structures) you may want to record the guitar and vocal with bleed as a scratch track. Then overdub a "keeper" guitar track using your original performance to guide you, and then finally a vocal record pass with the newly recorded keeper guitar track (sometimes I'll even keep the original vocal low down in the headphone monitor mix to help guide me with my irregular structures). If your DAW offers it, you might want to use a click track, or watch the bar lines on the DAW's screen to help regularize your playing. Some feel this detracts from the looseness desirable to some styles of playing, but these are tactics that can help some players in some contexts.
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Old 12-03-2019, 10:14 AM
keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CASD57 View Post
I'm having a problem with my guitar bleeding into the vocal mic.
At first I wanted to record like that...Like a real performance but my guitar sounds like poo that way
I'm now thinking I want to separate the vocals and guitar but how do I?
If it's heard with one mic how to limit it in the vocal mic even if I'm using two mic's?
I've got a Zoom R8 to use as the interface to my computer or should I get something else?
This comes up frequently. As suggested, doing the guitar and vocal separately is the way to have tracks with zero bleed. It's a good skill to work on, even if it is frustrating to start with. When I do that, I always start with a full chart of the song in front of me, and play to that, using a click track.

The technique of recording a scratch first and then doing the separate tracks is something I've done with other folks that cannot yet play just guitar by itself. It's a good intermediate step, though trickier if you're not recording to a click (IMO/IME).

If you use two mics, then using the mic's polar pattern to insure it picks up mostly what you want will help - at least you should be able to get tracks that have primarily guitar or vocal, so you can adjust the balance between them. You probably have to aim the guitar mic down a bit, and the vocal mic up some, because we forget that those 2-D polar pattern graphs really need to be interpreted as 3-D. You may have to mic more closely than you have been, and that will introduce other artifacts into the track so your technique on both guitar and vocal need to be pretty spot-on. If the guitar still sounds "like poo" then something else is going on.

As suggested, using figure-8 pattern settings on the mic can help, though this is something you'd have to have the right kind of mics to use, and takes some experimentation. IME it's not guaranteed to give you a better finished recording if you don't have the right space.
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Old 12-03-2019, 10:40 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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I'll repeat the advice others have given... record guitar and vox separately. It takes a bit of getting used to but the payoff is significant. I silently mouth sing when I record the guitar tracks so I don't lose the dynamics of the performance. Once I have the guitar track down, I'll record vox.

Laying down scratch tracks can also be helpful. If you don't know what they are, scratch tracks are recorded tracks you have no intention of keeping. They're laid down as place keepers with which you can play or sing along.

If you work at it a bit, you'll come up with a system that works for you. It'll take some time but as I said, it will pay off in the end.
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:01 PM
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I see this question asked often and often the response is to record it separately. This is a valid response and is the best way to get compete isolation. But it does not address the initial question nor does it take into account that there or some folks that just prefer to roll tape and capture a performance.

If one wants to capture a live take while singing and playing at the same time then 2 figure 8 mics are the only way I know how to get the most separation as possible. But if you do want 100% isolation then recording takes separately is the only way.


These days On most songs I record I will try both methods but I seem to Gravitate towards the take that is done as a performance, especially if it is just acoustic guitar and voice.
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:58 PM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ncbandit View Post
To get the best possible sound and performance quality from both parts I always record separately.
With you playing and singing, or with people in general?
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:09 PM
CASD57 CASD57 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
With you playing and singing, or with people in general?
Playing and singing
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:12 PM
CASD57 CASD57 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbroady View Post
I see this question asked often and often the response is to record it separately. This is a valid response and is the best way to get compete isolation. But it does not address the initial question nor does it take into account that there or some folks that just prefer to roll tape and capture a performance.

If one wants to capture a live take while singing and playing at the same time then 2 figure 8 mics are the only way I know how to get the most separation as possible. But if you do want 100% isolation then recording takes separately is the only way.


These days On most songs I record I will try both methods but I seem to Gravitate towards the take that is done as a performance, especially if it is just acoustic guitar and voice.
And use the Blumlein technic?
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:20 PM
CASD57 CASD57 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
First let's set up the situation .

You may have mentioned it previously but, my short term memory is old

What is your current recording chain ? And how are you recording ? are you using one mic simultaneously ? two mics simultaneously ?

since you mention "bleed" I assume simultaneously so the first obvious answer is record the guitar first then while listening to the guitar overdub the vocal.

But understand bleed may not actually be the issue ( there are thousands of recording done that have bleed but sound good) there are a number of possible variables involved.
First for the optimum in replies ...You can just do a simple signal flow sentence like (here is my current signal flow)

Simultaneous style
Guitar > pair of AEA N22's > > OMNI interface > computer/DAW

Vocal > ADK 251> MP2A mic pre > OMNI > computer DAW

Overdub
Guitar > pair of AEA N22's > MP2A > OMNI > computer DAW
Vocal > ADK 251 MP2A > MP2A > OMNI > computer DAW
You may be correct [emoji106] i go through recording fazes, this time i actually got a DAW to work lol
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Old 12-03-2019, 02:27 PM
Ncbandit Ncbandit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
With you playing and singing, or with people in general?
This is my personal experience. I'm sure there are those who can play and sing together and have a perfect take, but that will never be me with my mediocre singing abilities. I tend to be extremely picky though on my recordings. My final vocals are way better than I can sing a song all the way through.

If I ever get invited to sing at the Grammy's I am in trouble.
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