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Old 06-16-2020, 04:50 PM
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eatswodo eatswodo is offline
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Default Recording an Emerald

I'm stepping gingerly into the world of recording. Right now, I don't have much in the way of equipment - a Focusrite Scarlett Solo interface, and a borrowed Shure SM58.

Any advice from those who've tried it for mic positioning for an Emerald X-20? Do I follow the usual guidance of pointing the mic to the 12th-14th fret area from a foot or so away, or does the unique soundhole configuration play a part?

I do know, after my first experiments, that an SM58 is far from ideal for the purpose.
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Old 06-16-2020, 05:02 PM
btbliatout btbliatout is offline
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I don't know much, but I played around with mic locations for my X20 Nylon. I found that off to the player's left a bit, and pointed at the 12th fret, did not do it for me. I think the sound hole location does make a difference.

Call me crazy, but for me, I found the most balanced sound was picked up by my condenser mic when it was directly in front of the middle of the top, aimed directly at the center of the top, anywhere from 6-12" away.

I'd love to hear what your preferred location ends up being.
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Old 06-16-2020, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by btbliatout View Post
I don't know much, but I played around with mic locations for my X20 Nylon. I found that off to the player's left a bit, and pointed at the 12th fret, did not do it for me. I think the sound hole location does make a difference.

Call me crazy, but for me, I found the most balanced sound was picked up by my condenser mic when it was directly in front of the middle of the top, aimed directly at the center of the top, anywhere from 6-12" away.

I'd love to hear what your preferred location ends up being.
Thank you! Just needed a starting point. Now investigating modestly priced small diaphragm condenser mics What are you using?

I'll keep you posted.
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Old 06-16-2020, 05:08 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Let your ear be your guide. Mic placement is too complex for simple rules, and is heavily influenced by the instrument and the room. Even small position changes can make big differences - only a 4" different location can sound like a totally different EQ. Put on good headphones and listen carefully to the sound as you try the mic in different locations. Or make recordings and notes of various microphone positions. You'll eventually come up with a spot that you like. I have not recorded my X20 so generalities are all I can offer. There are many interactions going on in and around the sound hole - don't point it there.

An SM58 is a decent starting place, but a condenser mic will likely give you more pleasing tone and an accurate representation of acoustic guitar. As a stage hand, I've had plenty of trouble with performers - even pro's - at festivals. I carefully explain that the best balanced acoustic sound is pointing the mic at the 14th fret from about 30° off axis and roughly a foot away. And then they immediately move to put the mic directly in front of the sound hole at about 6". Drove our sound tech nuts as she spun off the bass frequencies to control boominess.
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Old 06-16-2020, 05:17 PM
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steelvibe steelvibe is offline
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Plug some headphones into the Focusrite. You can do it yourself but it would work best while someone else plays, but you basically need to move the mic around while the guitar is being played to find out the sweet spot with your headphones as a reference. I've been able to do this my myself, but my recording mic has mid/side capabilities and I was able to hold it while playing with my picking hand. Once I found a good spot, I locked up the boom stand to mimic where I heard the best tone and was golden. Earl is right on the money about a condenser too, just much more tuned to recording acoustic guitars.
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Old 06-16-2020, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
Let your ear be your guide.
Thank you, Earl - much wisdom there. I have plenty of time to experiment, so I need to be methodical about it.

Even with the SM58 about a foot away, I was having trouble getting enough level at the volumes I usually play at. I'm a fairly gentle fingerpicker, so just want to be able to capture the nuances and dynamics of that without having to be overly rigid in my setup.

Here's a rather clunky iPhone rendering of the kind of thing I'm trying to capture. Like taking photos of cars, reflections are not always your friends

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Old 06-16-2020, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by steelvibe View Post
Plug some headphones into the Focusrite. You can do it yourself but it would work best while someone else plays, but you basically need to move the mic around while the guitar is being played to find out the sweet spot with your headphones as a reference. I've been able to do this my myself, but my recording mic has mid/side capabilities and I was able to hold it while playing with my picking hand. Once I found a good spot, I locked up the boom stand to mimic where I heard the best tone and was golden. Earl is right on the money about a condenser too, just much more tuned to recording acoustic guitars.
Good thought, Steelvibe (or can I just call you Steel? ). I have an almost antique pair of Koss PRO/4 AAA 'phones that I've pressed back into service for this - and an equally ancient set of open-back Sennheisers which I haven't tried yet.

I do need a more suitable mic, though. I have to max everything out with the SM58 and headphones to get anything audible, and I'd rather have a setup where I can run with some leeway between 'min' and 'max'.
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Old 06-16-2020, 05:35 PM
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Good thought, Steelvibe (or can I just call you Steel? ). I have an almost antique pair of Koss PRO/4 AAA 'phones that I've pressed back into service for this - and an equally ancient set of open-back Sennheisers which I haven't tried yet.

I do need a more suitable mic, though. I have to max everything out with the SM58 and headphones to get anything audible, and I'd rather have a setup where I can run with some leeway between 'min' and 'max'.
You can call me Sean, steel, El Guapo, I'm good.

Your playing is great even with iphone capture. Have fun David, you'll figure something out.
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Old 06-16-2020, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatswodo View Post
Thank you, Earl - much wisdom there. I have plenty of time to experiment, so I need to be methodical about it.

Even with the SM58 about a foot away, I was having trouble getting enough level at the volumes I usually play at. I'm a fairly gentle fingerpicker, so just want to be able to capture the nuances and dynamics of that without having to be overly rigid in my setup.

Here's a rather clunky iPhone rendering of the kind of thing I'm trying to capture. Like taking photos of cars, reflections are not always your friends

I do like the reflection of the guitar on the wall. I enjoyed your playing too, but I am an idiot when it comes to appropriately sculpting the soundscape. I'll follow with interest though.
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Old 06-16-2020, 06:04 PM
btbliatout btbliatout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatswodo View Post
Thank you! Just needed a starting point. Now investigating modestly priced small diaphragm condenser mics What are you using?

I'll keep you posted.
I'm using a RØDE NT1-A, directly into a Zoom H4N Pro. If you're curious, here's a recent and small clip with these items and the positioning I mentioned earlier.

https://home.mycloud.com/action/shar...f-c9165f34297b

Processing was extremely limited. I clipped out a few seconds at the start of the recording, a few seconds at the end, and adjusted the amplitude so the peak was at -3dB, then exported it to an mp3, all in Audacity. No other alterations.
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Old 06-17-2020, 04:20 AM
Strumalot Strumalot is offline
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For some good live mic "visual" recording tips, check out the Playing for Change videos (there's a ton of them on youtube).

They record on location, sound amazingly good, and frequently use a Neumann KMS 105 MT Super-Cardiod (zeros in on the sound and rejects noise) Condenser.

The Neumann is a little pricey, but should last a lifetime.

Audio Technica makes some nice condensers at decent prices. I have a couple of AT2035s that work well and also reject noise (I use them in an outdoor studio).

The AT series is worth taking a look at if you haven't done so already.
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  #12  
Old 06-17-2020, 07:44 AM
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eatswodo eatswodo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btbliatout View Post
I'm using a RØDE NT1-A, directly into a Zoom H4N Pro. If you're curious, here's a recent and small clip with these items and the positioning I mentioned earlier.

https://home.mycloud.com/action/shar...f-c9165f34297b

Processing was extremely limited. I clipped out a few seconds at the start of the recording, a few seconds at the end, and adjusted the amplitude so the peak was at -3dB, then exported it to an mp3, all in Audacity. No other alterations.
That sounds really nice - clean and clear. The Rode is rather more than I want to spend at the moment, but it's becoming clear that MAS is a thing

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelvibe View Post
You can call me Sean, steel, El Guapo, I'm good.

Your playing is great even with iphone capture. Have fun David, you'll figure something out.
Thank you - it's been fun so far, if a little frustrating. I used to pride myself on being able to figure all this tech stuff out, but I feel like I'm starting all over again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mot View Post
I do like the reflection of the guitar on the wall. I enjoyed your playing too, but I am an idiot when it comes to appropriately sculpting the soundscape. I'll follow with interest though.
Thank you - it's all a work in progress
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  #13  
Old 06-17-2020, 07:45 AM
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eatswodo eatswodo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strumalot View Post
For some good live mic "visual" recording tips, check out the Playing for Change videos (there's a ton of them on youtube).

They record on location, sound amazingly good, and frequently use a Neumann KMS 105 MT Super-Cardiod (zeros in on the sound and rejects noise) Condenser.

The Neumann is a little pricey, but should last a lifetime.

Audio Technica makes some nice condensers at decent prices. I have a couple of AT2035s that work well and also reject noise (I use them in an outdoor studio).

The AT series is worth taking a look at if you haven't done so already.
Some great advice here - thanks! I've got my eye on an AT2021 as a possibility for the first condenser. See comment about MAS above
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  #14  
Old 06-17-2020, 08:46 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Nice playing and tone, David! I enjoy seeing/hearing what others on here are doing. Thanks for sharing.
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  #15  
Old 06-17-2020, 08:47 AM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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David;

Beautiful guitar work! You make the Emerald sing. Thanks for sharing.

As far as The Shure SM58, I've always thought of it as a competent vocal mike. As other members note, there are better options for instrumental recording.
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