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  #16  
Old 06-08-2011, 08:50 PM
corbetta corbetta is offline
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To Corbetta, can you show me some recordings that are miked this way out of curiosity? I would like to hear some because all I usually hear is the close miked fingerstyle stuff.
Sure—there's free samples at both of the following pages. I prefer the sound on "Colors" (the most recent one)—better room, better guitar, better mics.

http://www.giacomofiore.com/music/colors
http://www.giacomofiore.com/music/genteel
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  #17  
Old 06-08-2011, 09:08 PM
themachinist themachinist is offline
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Hey Zach,

Like people have said already - Closer micing can give you a punchier sound and is a good idea if you're in a bad room. I prefer close micing as A) My room is terrible for recording B) I love the way it makes the bass notes 'thump' and aids in a fat tone. Of course, I get pretty loud squeaks and you can often hear my fingernails accidentally hit the soundboard - But such is the compromise for me!
Have a listen here - http://seansiegfried.bandcamp.com/album/backwoods

Above is a spaced pair.. LD on the body and SD at the neck join: both about 6 inches and pointing very slightly inwards towards the soundhole. Panned hard left and right to represent the ears of someone sitting right in front of the guitar..

Really like your Youtube video, by the way. Nice playing and a v. good singer too.
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  #18  
Old 06-09-2011, 06:13 AM
Pokiehat Pokiehat is offline
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Originally Posted by Fran Guidry View Post
Close mic, mix expertly with excellent reverb, play with spectacular control of dynamics and tone, and repeat nearly every phrase.

Fran
If you want to sound like Dufour, you need a soundboard transducer and a body mic (and possibly a magnetic pickup too). The rest is all how he plays the guitar. You mix the mic, body mic, transducer and pickup to get certain desirable characteristics of all. The relative proportions of the mix is something you need to experiment with.

You can mic closer and add reverb later if your rec room has poor acoustics. Or if you are recording in an environment with good, controlled acoustics, you can ditch the reverb, move the mic further out and pick up more of the natural reverberation of the room.

Same deal with McKee et al.

You can angle the mic towards the nut and closer to the fretboard to get more fret/string noise if this is something you want but you will lose bass from the mic feed. This can be a good thing if you want more of the bass sound to come from the soundboard transducer (SBT)/pickup.

This kind of sound is something you can't get with just 1x mic or even 2x mics however. Its really a clever mix of multiple sources, some of which are mics and some of which are pickups/SBTs. The clever part is in creating the illusion that multiple, simple voices in unison are actually just one complex voice, sounding in a real space.

Part of the art of mixing is to create the illusion that the sound has direction and distance and depth when in fact, it is just a composite of several mono recordings, less than 15 inches from the sound source.

The type of mic you use + direction + distance + rec room nonetheless gives you alot of sound shaping control. An SBT picks up alot of the mechanical resonance you can't pick up with a mic. So for instance, if you have an SBT and mix in alot of the SBT signal, you will find that slapping the body is much more pronounced and even things like tapping on the headstock will be picked up strongly.

A magnetic pickup is generally quite good at reinforcing bass and imparting more of an electric guitar type sound. On its own, it is probably not desirable but a clever mix between mic and pickup gives you the good bits of both - you can get the room sound, and string/fret noise in the mics but also the strong, even bass you typically get from a pickup.

As an aside, if you ever work with synthesizers, you will probably find that to get the kind of popular synth sounds you hear in many professional recordings, you need to stack the living daylights out of it. It is not uncommon for one synth sound to actually be a composite of several different synthesizers or synthesizer patches. They are just cleverly mixed so they sound like a single instrument when in fact they are several, simple instrument sounds layered in unison.

These kinds of sounds (example: see Jexus' youtube demos) are not possible without multi-timbrality. To get a similar effect, you have to be layering multiple sources. Like guitar, this can also be done in realtime although the logistics of doing so can be very involved (up to and including programming your own MIDI scripts).

Last edited by Pokiehat; 06-09-2011 at 06:47 AM.
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  #19  
Old 06-09-2011, 10:53 AM
Fichtezc Fichtezc is offline
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Originally Posted by themachinist View Post
Hey Zach,

Like people have said already - Closer micing can give you a punchier sound and is a good idea if you're in a bad room. I prefer close micing as A) My room is terrible for recording B) I love the way it makes the bass notes 'thump' and aids in a fat tone. Of course, I get pretty loud squeaks and you can often hear my fingernails accidentally hit the soundboard - But such is the compromise for me!
Have a listen here - http://seansiegfried.bandcamp.com/album/backwoods

Above is a spaced pair.. LD on the body and SD at the neck join: both about 6 inches and pointing very slightly inwards towards the soundhole. Panned hard left and right to represent the ears of someone sitting right in front of the guitar..

Really like your Youtube video, by the way. Nice playing and a v. good singer too.
That is very close to the sound I want! Thank you.

And thanks, I'll pass the compliment on to Joy!

And to Pokiehat:

I do have an anthem system which I'll be able to use with any number of mics when I get my new computer so hopefully that will open up the world of using a bunch of different sources. I've gotten that kinda massive sound once before using the pickup along with two mics but I had them all running through a mixer into a single stereo track instead of being able to manipulate each one.

You've given me a lot to play with, thank you very much!
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  #20  
Old 06-10-2011, 09:25 PM
Fichtezc Fichtezc is offline
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Alright guys, check this out.

I spent the better part of my day with my parents moving everything out of the root cellar and putting up various insulation and curtains and the like. We deadened the room as much as we could with what we had available.

Remember how bad my bedroom sounded? I did the exact same set up in my basement with all the padding and everything

http://soundcloud.com/fichtezc/new-room-far-mics
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  #21  
Old 06-11-2011, 05:22 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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When I saw you say, "We deadened the room as much as we could with what we had available.", my initial response was to say, "NO! That's not what you do. A completely deadened room is not a good idea. It sucks the life out of everything. Proper acoustic treatment is a combination of absorptive AND diffusive treatment."

Then I listened to your clip. I still hear the small room.

Perhaps you could explain more about the room and more about what you did or didn't do, mic patterns and distances.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #22  
Old 06-11-2011, 08:07 AM
Fichtezc Fichtezc is offline
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Maybe deadened is the wrong term but we hung curtains in a box around a maybe 12 foot space with some panels of insulation behind them on the walls which are all concrete. We also put down a big, shaggy wool rug on the concrete floor. So obviously not high end acoustic treatment but it stopped the harsh echo of the concrete.

I recorded the clip with the mics spaced, each about 3 or 4 feet out to either corner of the room, pointed slightly inward toward the soundhole. I tried to imitate the mic set up of the previous clip in my bed room as much as possible.
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  #23  
Old 06-11-2011, 11:15 PM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Zach,

OK, thanks! I guess I'm thinking, yes, distance micing can work if your space sounds good. Your work to take the sting off the room is good, but I can still hear the room at the current mic distance. You may not be able to hear it if you listen over monitors in that room because the sound of the room may also be resonated by the playback. I'd move 'em in some nice playing!

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #24  
Old 06-12-2011, 10:40 AM
goldhedge goldhedge is offline
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I recorded my fiddle for a CD and it sounded thin and tinny. The engineer tried placing the mic in several different areas. In the end, he used 4 mics and mixed it down to one stereo mix.

There was a mic behind me, one really close, and two more further out front.

Why couldn't one also mic the guitar up close and also mic the room sound to get the desired effect?

To my way of thinking, it's the harmonics that make up the sound of an instrument. The ear is very good at assuming the sound and it 'makes up' for the differences in tonality. A recording does not. Just listen to your own voice and you'll see what I mean.

By placing mics in different areas of the room, they each pick up a different harmonic tonality and 'report' their findings to the machine. Blending the different inputs creates what the ear already 'hears'.
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  #25  
Old 06-12-2011, 04:42 PM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Originally Posted by goldhedge View Post
By placing mics in different areas of the room, they each pick up a different harmonic tonality and 'report' their findings to the machine. Blending the different inputs creates what the ear already 'hears'.
Um, what that is is phase cancellation more than anything and a smeary mess. Fiddle is difficult, though, and the one thing you don't want is one of the many cheap chinese condenser mics that already have a nasty little edge on 'em.

A dynamic hypercardioid like a Sennheiser MD441 will tame the screech, so will a ribbon or a schoeps cmc641.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #26  
Old 06-12-2011, 04:58 PM
goldhedge goldhedge is offline
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I usually cut a little 4k to remove the screech of a fiddle. Live and in studio.

Phase cancellation...I'll look into it. It sounded the same (tinny) with only one mic as well. That can't be phase cancellation, or were you meaning the cancellation that happens when waves collide?

The studio had some pretty good mics as well. I don't remember the models though...
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  #27  
Old 06-12-2011, 05:59 PM
Fichtezc Fichtezc is offline
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Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
Zach,

OK, thanks! I guess I'm thinking, yes, distance micing can work if your space sounds good. Your work to take the sting off the room is good, but I can still hear the room at the current mic distance. You may not be able to hear it if you listen over monitors in that room because the sound of the room may also be resonated by the playback. I'd move 'em in some nice playing!

Regards,

Ty Ford


Yeah, the room is definitely still audible but I have to use headphones to hear it. It's 1000x better than my bedroom for sure though. Also, that's the maximum I could move the mics out in the space, they can definitely come in quite a bit.

Thanks for all the help!
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  #28  
Old 06-12-2011, 08:46 PM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Originally Posted by goldhedge View Post
I usually cut a little 4k to remove the screech of a fiddle. Live and in studio.

Phase cancellation...I'll look into it. It sounded the same (tinny) with only one mic as well. That can't be phase cancellation, or were you meaning the cancellation that happens when waves collide?
Phase cancellation happens when you have more than one mic open recording the same source, close or distant. Sometimes you get lucky and like it. Sometimes you don't.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #29  
Old 06-13-2011, 01:51 AM
Pokiehat Pokiehat is offline
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Originally Posted by goldhedge View Post
I recorded my fiddle for a CD and it sounded thin and tinny. The engineer tried placing the mic in several different areas. In the end, he used 4 mics and mixed it down to one stereo mix.

There was a mic behind me, one really close, and two more further out front.

Why couldn't one also mic the guitar up close and also mic the room sound to get the desired effect?

To my way of thinking, it's the harmonics that make up the sound of an instrument. The ear is very good at assuming the sound and it 'makes up' for the differences in tonality. A recording does not. Just listen to your own voice and you'll see what I mean.

By placing mics in different areas of the room, they each pick up a different harmonic tonality and 'report' their findings to the machine. Blending the different inputs creates what the ear already 'hears'.
It doesn't work like that. How does one mic "the room"? To most closely approximate the sound you hear from your position in the room, it would need to be a binaural recording (with both mics in your ears). The sound of your fiddle from this position in the room will be different to someone standing somewhere else in the room.

What your engineer is doing is building an illusion of sound coming from a real space by using 4 mono source recordings - 2 near (dry), 2 distant (wet). It doesn't have to be completely authentic. It can in fact be highly unrealistic so long as the listener doesn't cop the illusion.

When you mix multiple sources like this, destructive phasing is something you need to be conscious off. There isn't necessarily anything wrong with the mic placement, since it may just be mixed poorly. Or the opposite may be the case. You should read up about destructive phasing and do a few sound tests with simple test tones to get an idea of what happens when you phase shift and sum to fewer channels (hint: same source recording x2 with 180 degrees phase shift + summed to mono = total destructive phasing. No sound at all).

One solution to fix periodic destructive phasing, is to add more phase shift. You will never stop periodic destructive phasing but you can shift the destructive part into a less significant part of the sound and the additive part into a more significant part. Its difficult to explain but when you see it in practice its an easy thing to demonstrate. It isn't easy to control though.

Last edited by Pokiehat; 06-13-2011 at 01:56 AM.
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  #30  
Old 06-13-2011, 07:14 AM
KevWind KevWind is offline
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Originally Posted by Fichtezc View Post
I think another part of my problem recording up close is that I use so much percussion. I have pretty/actually really good control over my percussion dynamics but up close, even the lightest tap booms on the mic pointing at the body but when I do the same thing with room mics it's barely audible. I'll just need to work on finding the happy medium.
So if I am correct that your are referring to physically slapping or tapping the soundboard with your hand? Then a close mic is always going to be problematic. However there might be a couple of techniques to try.

For instance you could record two mono tracks Record one close mic and one further out . Also you could try a dynamic mic for close something like an SM57 around the 12 th fret and another condenser type further out. Then roll off everything below 500 hz on the fret mic, and possibly compress that track, this might help control the big boom yet give some closer detail to the mids and highs. Then blend the two tracks to get the the best of both.
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