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Old 02-01-2018, 06:28 AM
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Default Zoom X-Y Mic Positioning

In all articles and tips for recording acoustic guitar, it is always recommended to avoid aiming the mic(s) at the soundhole of the guitar to avoid low end boom. When using my Zoom H5 with the stereo X-Y capsule mics with the H5 about 18” from the guitar, I find that to get the L/R levels to balance that the H5 is positioned just about in the line of the soundhole but one mic is aimed near the upper neck and one mic is aimed towards the lower bout. Is this what is recommended in that the aim of the mics is not at soundhole even though the mounting location (whether on the H5 or different mics on an X-Y support bracket) is aligned with it?

Thanks.
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Last edited by SprintBob; 02-01-2018 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:39 AM
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That's ok but don't mike too close to the guitar and you can have the mikes either above or below the sound hole by a few inches. Experiment.
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Old 02-01-2018, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SprintBob View Post
In all articles and tips for recording acoustic guitar, it is always recommended to avoid aiming the mic(s) at the soundhole of the guitar to avoid low end boom.
Think of that as a general rule when micing close. But the further you back the mics away from the guitar the less low end boom will be present.

I have a pro friend who almost always points one mic toward the soundhole at an angle. His recordings can't be beat.
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by runamuck View Post
I have a pro friend who almost always points one mic toward the soundhole at an angle. His recordings can't be beat.
Solo acoustic guitar? Link?
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:54 AM
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Bob, there are no hard and fast rules, only general guidelines. You should experiment and trust your ears. What sounds best to you for a particular recording is the proper way.

You just need to experiment with that mic setup, with that guitar, in that room. Move it around and listen to what it says.
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Old 02-01-2018, 02:16 PM
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Thanks for the replies gents, very close to what I expected and nice to get clarification.
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Old 02-01-2018, 02:32 PM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
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SprintBob,

I just got a used H4n here on AGF (shout out to madhat for a very smooth deal) and if you don't mind I'd like to ask you and everyone a real newbie question.

I'm still waiting for my SD card to arrive, so I'm recording directly to the computer using the zoom as an audio interface (if that is the right term). I have no external mics, just the ones on the zoom.

Once I get the card, is there any reason not to continue doing it this way? Other than portability and maybe getting away from the computer noise?

BTW great job you did on Key to the Kingdom in your other thread!

Thanks!
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:58 AM
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Hi Bob,

Thanks for the compliment on KtoK.

I believe the mic pre-amps in the H4N/H5 are fine for recording direct into your DAW via the H4N. The recommendations I have gotten (and seem to make sense) is to not use the lo cut, compression, and limiter options on the H4N (I'm assuming you have these like the H5 does) and deliver a "raw" recording to your DAW that you can then edit and mix using the DAW software. You also have the option to record on to the SD card but then have the extra step to download from the SD card to your storage file on the computer. I can do either of the above also and I'll also be doing some recording through a Scarlett AI to my computer/DAW. Should be lots of fun and lots to learn.

Cheers,

Bob
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Old 02-02-2018, 09:21 AM
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Thanks Bob, that all makes sense. I'm really new to this, just downloaded Audacity and it seems to be ok for what I am doing. Big change from my iphone 3 set up!
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by reeve21 View Post
Thanks Bob, that all makes sense. I'm really new to this, just downloaded Audacity and it seems to be ok for what I am doing. Big change from my iphone 3 set up!
Hi Bob........I have worked with the H4n for a long while and originally just handled things with the onboard mics. The nice thing is that you can with this unit and others, step up to external mics when you're ready. Over the years, I've graduated to building in a mic pre-amp (Rane DMS 22) and spaced pair Shure KSM137's. I download from the H4n into my computer and work in Audacity, but use ADVERB as a plugin for reverbs, but the Audacity system for everything else.
The portability of the Zoom does mean I can reduce noise and also build in portable broad band panels in the right room in my house for more serious recording.
In handling the files, I try to keep everything....original raw Wav file, finished Wav file-processed, finished Mp3 file. For each song that I want to keep, I also have that raw Wav file uploaded to an external flash drive as a back up so I don't lose the original.
Note: the track in my signature is professionally mixed/mastered, but recorded with the system described above.
I'm still a newbie in all this, but it is fun!
Fred
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Last edited by islandguitar; 02-02-2018 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:08 AM
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Hi Fred,

Thanks for that advice, I actually followed some of it

I love the sound you get on your sound cloud recordings, had no idea you were using an H4N and Audacity....gives me hope!
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:23 AM
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Thank you, Bob!!
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islandguitar View Post
Hi Bob........I have worked with the H4n for a long while and originally just handled things with the onboard mics. The nice thing is that you can with this unit and others, step up to external mics when you're ready. Over the years, I've graduated to building in a mic pre-amp (Rane DMS 22) and spaced pair Shure KSM137's. I download from the H4n into my computer and work in Audacity, but use ADVERB as a plugin for reverbs, but the Audacity system for everything else.
The portability of the Zoom does mean I can reduce noise and also build in portable broad band panels in the right room in my house for more serious recording.
In handling the files, I try to keep everything....original raw Wav file, finished Wav file-processed, finished Mp3 file. For each song that I want to keep, I also have that raw Wav file uploaded to an external flash drive as a back up so I don't lose the original.
Note: the track in my signature is pro mixed/mastered, but recorded with the system described above.
I'm still a newbie in all this, but it is fun!
Fred
Very helpful info in planning my recording strategies as I have similar equipment, thanks!
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Santa Cruz Skye 00 (Adi/Coco)
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Taylor K-22ce 12 fret (all Koa)
Taylor 562ce 12 fret (all Mahogany)
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:58 AM
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Thanks! Super pleased that this was helpful for you! Nice!
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Old 02-02-2018, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reeve21 View Post
…I'm recording directly to the computer using the zoom as an audio interface (if that is the right term). I have no external mics, just the ones on the zoom.

Once I get the card, is there any reason not to continue doing it this way? Other than portability and maybe getting away from the computer noise?
Hi Bob…

Of course you can continue to use it that way. I probably would make sure the distance between my computer was great enough it did not pick up in the mics, or add any electronic noise (self-noise).

I use a Zoom H4n for recording audio-for-video, and there are times for the sake of backup I record the audio to the H4n, and then out of the H4n into the camera directly. That way if either has a glitch or fails, there is a built-in backup of the recording.

The need for it is that my video interviews tend to involve spontaneous responses, and it's hard to go back later and get people to be 'spontaneous' again.

I think the recordings I get from my H4n directly on the SD card are cleaner (less self noise) than my computers, or my cameras. Of course using the H4n as you do as a mic interface (presumably using USB input on the computer) will give you a clean recording.

That 'noise of the computer' thing is huge.
I like the fact I can use my Zoom H4n, run a studio mic (using XLR) to the overhead mic which is mere inches from the person I'm interviewing, in a dead silent room, and if they pause for a few seconds before answering, there is no room noise (hiss, self-noise or computer noise) I need to remove in post production.

And the portability means I can roll into a new location, hook up all the same equipment on batteries, and not have to drag along a computer to make it work.

When I ran a studio in our home for 8 years, we always turned off the furnace, unplugged refrigerators, turned off fans, and asked people not to walk overhead or flush toilets right before we started each take…because better equipment picks up lots of stuff.

Hope this adds to the discussion…



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