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  #1  
Old 02-12-2024, 01:19 PM
broy broy is offline
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Default Mic position test

Hi All,

I'm testing out microphone positions and could use some input if anyone is willing.

The below link is to 3 different set ups of a pair of behringer c-2 sdc's.

Sample 1: x-y position, mic tips close together
Sample 2: x-y position, mic tips about 6 in apart
Sample 3: opposite to x-y, mic tips about 8 in apart and pointing away from each other.

I hear the differences, but not sure how to tell which is better.
Sample 1: is darker to me,
Sample 2: a bit brighter than 1
Sample 3: the notes feel softer, not as crisp, less dark than 1

Maybe i like 2 the best, I want to like 1 because of things I've read about just going with and x-y set up and be done with it, but not sure it works here? To yourselves, is there one that would lend better to a finished product? Are there key differences in the samples you'd call out.

Thanks to all for any input, really trying to calibrate my ears.

Rgds - Bill

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  #2  
Old 02-12-2024, 02:26 PM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Hi Bill,
Position 1 is the least problematic for the all the off-the-cuff thing you were playing. It was the least boomy and clearest of all.

The bigger problem is your concern for what others might think about your aural selection.

Your "wanting to like" something because of what you've read or heard others say is going against the most important critic: Your ears.

You got this.

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Old 02-12-2024, 02:30 PM
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I prefer #1 for sure. classic X/Y is not always my favorite, but if I want a nice strong phase-coherent middle, with a fair bit stereo if too, it delivers pretty consistently. And that's what I got from your first track. Sound pretty good to me. #2 and #3 sound unpleasantly phase-y to me, and made think at that point I'd rather just hear a spaced pair and get the pleasant kind of phase
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Old 02-12-2024, 04:21 PM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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Regarding tests 1, 2, and 3 I think it really depends on what else is going on in the song and to abstract a guitar part out of that isn't necessarily the best idea.

I prefer spaced pairs but XY is good too for somethings.
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Old 02-12-2024, 04:42 PM
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Yeah, so I'll always go back to the idea of "reference tracks" and really trying to find some good recordings of maybe somethings "short and simple" that you like and can at least decide you'd be happy with that sound. Then, try to replicate it, and try just about anything to figure out what gets you closer, and what moves you away from that sound. You don't have to make it your life's work, because learning to hear is hard, but still get maybe closer and more consistent, and then record a lot. At some point, you'll probably want to go back and listen to your references, and start the experimentation over, rinse and repeat.

I do agree with what others have said, feeling that #1 might give you more to work with, but XY is just a mic configuration. You've still got distance to the guitar, placement along the guitar axis, distance from walls, etc. to refine.

And, my last blabber - XY is always coincident. Maybe try some of the standards at this link, though it will depend on your space whether all are useful.
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Old 02-12-2024, 05:10 PM
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If I was mixing this I'd choose #1 without a doubt. It doesn't strike me as dark. What it has is enough midrange information to work with and it's dynamically very level. #2 is all over the place with some notes jumping forward and others receding. I'm not sure what sounds brighter to you but I hear it as darker for the fact that it's less present (less midrange info). They very first section summarizes it very well. Your playback system may be misleading you.

I'm indifferent about #3. It doesn't have the problems of #2 but isn't as useable as #1, IMO.

Ultimately, it's about the context and the mix so don't look for a mic technique thinking that's the "best" one. I arrange mics differently nearly every time I record. The acoustic guitar is very different than say, a piano, the player has much more control over tonality with an acoustic guitar.
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Old 02-12-2024, 06:27 PM
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1 sounds the best to my ears.
Does not mean the other 2 mic placements are not worth exploring but, in your room, with these mics 1 seems like the best option.
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Old 02-12-2024, 10:23 PM
DupleMeter DupleMeter is offline
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#1 sounds best to me. Both #2 & #3 have significant phase issues that sound unpleasant.

Have you seen this? https://www.production-expert.com/pr...in-depth-guide

Might help you with some tried & true setups to get to a good sound fast.
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Old 02-12-2024, 11:52 PM
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IMO 1 and 2 and 3 all sound rather boxy (closed-in) and starving for air. Try moving the mikes farther away from the guitar and ideally further apart (i.e. spaced pair).
P.S. I have a good playback setup on my computer.
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Old 02-13-2024, 05:55 AM
broy broy is offline
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Thank you all, very much appreciate the input, lots for me to take in...

Looks like take 1 is best starting point. I've got to do some more listening to see if I hear the phase issues in 2 and 3. I'm going to do some searching for reference tracks as well, see if I can find good examples of bad things(i.e. this sounds boxy, dark, bright, brittle...) and do a good amount of time listening.

I do think my play back options set up could be improved, not there yet... maybe I am now. Really going to try and hear what Rick Slo mentions in the boxiness... and will check out the recording article from Duplemeter - not sure I've seen that one yet.

Thank you all again.

Rgds - Bill
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Old 02-13-2024, 07:19 AM
Bowie Bowie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broy View Post
Really going to try and hear what Rick Slo mentions in the boxiness...
Keep in mind, unless your room sounds great, getting more space could make things worse. While close micing acoustic guitar isn't always ideal, it's often the best way to go for home recordings. Adding a some reflections (reverb/delay) and cutting a little bit of the bass/upper-bass can help if you feel it sounds boxy (which I don't, but it's up to you to decide).
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Old 02-13-2024, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowie View Post
Keep in mind, unless your room sounds great, getting more space could make things worse. While close micing acoustic guitar isn't always ideal, it's often the best way to go for home recordings. Adding a some reflections (reverb/delay) and cutting a little bit of the bass/upper-bass can help if you feel it sounds boxy (which I don't, but it's up to you to decide).
I agree with you about those considerations. Experimenting is the thing to do and having a good playback system to hear accurately what you recorded.

When I had an untreated acoustic space and recorded a flattop acoustic guitar the worst part was higher frequency harshness. Classical guitar recording
was much more forgiving to the recording space.

Close mic'ing can work well if you have somewhat proximity friendly mikes (plenty of recordings out there that prove that) but that plus coincident
type mike placement iffy.

In general I prefer the results with spaced pair mikes and placed well over a foot away from the guitar. I avoid a microphone proximity effect (boxy
woofy sound) and get a more natural frequency response of what the guitar puts out.
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Old 02-13-2024, 12:27 PM
DupleMeter DupleMeter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
I avoid a microphone proximity effect (boxy
woofy sound) and get a more natural frequency response of what the guitar puts out.
And herein lies the problem with talking about sound. You say boxy and mean what I call boomy...which I don't think of as an issue, because close mic'ng always has a build up in the lows & low-mids. I just use an EQ on the way in to thin out the build-up, but retain the immediacy of the closer mics (like 8-10").

So, 2 take-aways:

[1] language is fluid, boxy, boomy, nasal, open, dark, bright, etc., all mean different things ot different people. Don;t get too hung up on the terminology.

[2] not all problems are problems. Without a proper recording space (like a studio), you should 100% expect to need EQ to shape your tone. You can't rely on inexpensive mics in a home setup without any corrective tools. It's just not realistic.
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Old 02-13-2024, 01:04 PM
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Yes Steve, I did indicate to an extent what I meant by boxy in my post.
You can do a fair amount post recording to change the sound but that
can be tedious and some recordings can be non salvageable.

Get the best recording you can going in. Usually about the only thing I
do on a regular basis is add a bit of reverb.

Post a recording you did of an acoustic guitar (hopefully solo guitar) and
point out how you set up your recording session.
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  #15  
Old 02-13-2024, 01:48 PM
DupleMeter DupleMeter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Yes Steve, I did indicate to an extent what I meant by boxy in my post.
You can do a fair amount post recording to change the sound but that
can be tedious and some recordings can be non salvageable.

Get the best recording you can going in. Usually about the only thing I
do on a regular basis is add a bit of reverb.

Post a recording you did of an acoustic guitar (hopefully solo guitar) and
point out how you set up your recording session.
I hope that reply didn't come off as hostile - I was literally laughing at how a word can mean very different things & warning that language is fluid & interpretive I hope you took it that way.

Did you read that article I linked to? That was all me (I wasn't playing...just engineering). It's pretty clear in how I setup for each example, but I am happy to answer specific questions.

For the article I actually used 2 inexpensive (relatively) mics that the studio had just acquired. Normally I would use a high end Neumann (u47, u67, u87), but I've been known to just throw up a km184 and go for it. And, because the article's intent was to hear the natural sound variations of the different mic positions, I did not EQ or compress those to "beautify" them in any way. I think I still have the session laying around, if anyone wants to hear what they sound like once they get some makeup & fancy clothes.

Again, apologies if that reply came off as negative...it certainly wasn't meant that way.

Here's the article link again: https://www.production-expert.com/pr...in-depth-guide
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