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  #31  
Old 06-13-2011, 08:00 AM
Fichtezc Fichtezc is offline
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Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
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.
Yeah, think Andy McKee's "Drifting," I do a lot of that kind of percussion.

I actually used to use an SM57 along with my LD condenser before I got my pair of SD condensers. It worked pretty well EXCEPT that either through the pres or the mic a great deal of hiss came into the recording. It reallllly annoyed me to the point of buying new mics.
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  #32  
Old 06-13-2011, 08:05 AM
Pokiehat Pokiehat is offline
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A close mic (surprisingly) doesn't pick up guitar percussion all that well. Results very to an extent depending on the angle of mic and how close it is to the point where you strike the body, but a soundboard transducer is much more sensitive to guitar percussion. The mics I have at home (AT4033s, AT4040, SM57) can handle really high SPLs so overloading them isn't an issue. You can put them 2 inches out from a snare drum and its fine.

A mix of the SBT and mic works really well on guitar percussion. Angle the mic around and move it over the guitar to change the sound you get.

I recommend monitoring the live feed of both the SBT and mic, whilst you drum away. Have a buddy move the mic around whilst doing this and give him the thumbs up where you are feeling the sweet spot in headphones. Fix the mic in that position.

What you should also be doing is switching the polarity of the mic and monitoring the mono sum of the SBT and the mic feed. As your buddy moves the mic around, you will notice parts of the sound disappearing in headphones. You want to avoid placing the mic where the sound disappears alot because this is the area where the mono mix collapses as a result of parts of the mic and SBT signal approaching anti phase. Switch it back and forth between mono and stereo to see if the mono image holds up. It is still desirable to maintain some level of mono compatibility for radios and live soundsystems etc.
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  #33  
Old 06-13-2011, 08:10 AM
Fichtezc Fichtezc is offline
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Originally Posted by Pokiehat View Post
A close mic (surprisingly) doesn't pick up guitar percussion all that well. Results very to an extent depending on the angle of mic and how close it is to the point where you strike the body, but a soundboard transducer is much more sensitive to guitar percussion. The mics I have at home (AT4033s, AT4040, SM57) can handle really high SPLs so overloading them isn't an issue. You can put them 2 inches out from a snare drum and its fine.

A mix of the SBT and mic works really well on guitar percussion. Angle the mic around and move it over the guitar to change the sound you get.

I recommend monitoring the live feed of both the SBT and mic, whilst you drum away. Have a buddy move the mic around whilst doing this and give him the thumbs up where you are feeling the sweet spot in headphones. Fix the mic in that position.

What you should also be doing is switching the polarity of the mic and monitoring the mono sum of the SBT and the mic feed. As your buddy moves the mic around, you will notice parts of the sound disappearing in headphones. You want to avoid placing the mic where the sound disappears alot because this is the area where the mono mix collapses as a result of strong destructive phasing. Switch it back and forth between mono and stereo to see if the mono image holds up. It is still desirable to maintain some level of mono compatibility for radios and live soundsystems etc.

What do you mean it doesn't pick it up very well? Inaccurate reproduction? Unfortunately I don't have an SBT but I do have the two parts of the Anthem system.

Also, I check for phase pretty religiously but when I'm recording but with a pickup and a single mic, won't I be staying in mono? To my ears, panning a mic to one side and a pick up to the other produces a profoundly unrealistic sound. What I was gonna do as soon as I got my new set up was use two SD condensers like, 2 feet out, maybe a little bit more, panned hard left and right and use my pup in the middle.
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  #34  
Old 06-13-2011, 09:11 AM
Pokiehat Pokiehat is offline
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It will pick up the sound of you slapping the body but because its a close mic it will sound very dry. You also need to really clout the guitar to get anywhere close to the kind of loud percussion you get from mixing in an SBT. And even then it lacks bass unless you shove the mic right into the soundhole (which presents different problems).

As for the mic/sbt phase thing. You can still run into phase problems by virtue of the fact that you are stacking two similar sounding tracks on top of each other that are delayed slightly. The greater the distance of the mic from the sound source, the greater the delay.

Polarity is not the same thing as phase so I hope that bit wasn't confusing when I wrote it above (theres a good explanation of the difference here). You measure phase in degrees for periodic signals but we aren't dealing with periodicity so we use fractions of a second to measure the offset.

It doesn't make any sense to me when you say hard pan 2 SDCs left and right and leave a pickup in the middle. In a stereo pair there is no such thing (although you can create the illusion that something sounds center).
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  #35  
Old 06-13-2011, 02:30 PM
Fichtezc Fichtezc is offline
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Originally Posted by Pokiehat View Post
It will pick up the sound of you slapping the body but because its a close mic it will sound very dry. You also need to really clout the guitar to get anywhere close to the kind of loud percussion you get from mixing in an SBT. And even then it lacks bass unless you shove the mic right into the soundhole (which presents different problems).

As for the mic/sbt phase thing. You can still run into phase problems by virtue of the fact that you are stacking two similar sounding tracks on top of each other that are delayed slightly. The greater the distance of the mic from the sound source, the greater the delay.

Polarity is not the same thing as phase so I hope that bit wasn't confusing when I wrote it above (theres a good explanation of the difference here). You measure phase in degrees for periodic signals but we aren't dealing with periodicity so we use fractions of a second to measure the offset.

It doesn't make any sense to me when you say hard pan 2 SDCs left and right and leave a pickup in the middle. In a stereo pair there is no such thing (although you can create the illusion that something sounds center).

Loudness or power isn't really my problem with the close mic, other than it being TOO MUCH. I have to tap as lightly as I possibly can when I close mic or it booms in the mic. I want to tone that DOWN as much as possible, not make it louder. As for lacking bass, it thumps my speaker cone...so I don't know if we're not dealing with the same kind of body slaps.

And yeah, that makes sense for the mic and SBT. I've never had a real problem with it though, not sure why.

As for panning, I know there's no "middle" (and no real "stereo" either) but on the fader knobs I have left, right and center so I say center. I guess I should say equal in both channels or something but it's easier to say middle, I figure people will understand what I mean.
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  #36  
Old 06-13-2011, 02:44 PM
tstrahle tstrahle is offline
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Recently did a session and the engineer placed a vintage Coles ribbon mic about 12" in front of my old Martin D-35's sound hole. "It's going to be boomy" I informed him. "Sounds good in here" he replied. He was right, it sounded sick. That means good yo. He'd been doing this for a while, and now I'm looking for an old Coles.
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  #37  
Old 06-14-2011, 01:54 AM
Pokiehat Pokiehat is offline
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Originally Posted by Fichtezc View Post
I want to tone that DOWN as much as possible, not make it louder. As for lacking bass, it thumps my speaker cone...so I don't know if we're not dealing with the same kind of body slaps.
1. How far away is the mic from the point where you strike the guitar body?
2. Is the mic pointing directly at the point where you strike the guitar body or is it pointing directly at the sound hole?

Most of these types of problem can be fixed by reorienting the mic. If you can't fix it by reorienting the mic, then you are probably just hitting your guitar far too hard.

I note that you said you play McKee's Drifting. If you have an SBT you do not have to hit the guitar hard at all. You can get a pretty strong popping noise with light but fast contact. I only have to clout the guitar to get the pops when I'm not amplified.
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  #38  
Old 06-14-2011, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Pokiehat View Post
I note that you said you play McKee's Drifting. If you have an SBT you do not have to hit the guitar hard at all. You can get a pretty strong popping noise with light but fast contact. I only have to clout the guitar to get the pops when I'm not amplified.
You might find the videos from the interview I did with Andy a while back interesting, since I recorded them and know how they were done. Here's a video of him playing Drifting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfhnzirlxqE

This was recorded with a Zoom H4n about 18 inches in front of him. No pickup, no compression or recording tricks. Andy is just very smooth, and even with his levels whether he's picking, tapping, or using percussion.
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  #39  
Old 06-14-2011, 10:21 AM
Fichtezc Fichtezc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pokiehat View Post
1. How far away is the mic from the point where you strike the guitar body?
2. Is the mic pointing directly at the point where you strike the guitar body or is it pointing directly at the sound hole?

Most of these types of problem can be fixed by reorienting the mic. If you can't fix it by reorienting the mic, then you are probably just hitting your guitar far too hard.

I note that you said you play McKee's Drifting. If you have an SBT you do not have to hit the guitar hard at all. You can get a pretty strong popping noise with light but fast contact. I only have to clout the guitar to get the pops when I'm not amplified.
1.) It's probably 12 inches away, I put both my mics 8 inches out one pointing around the body/neck joint and one near the back end of the body. I wish I had a video where I didn't hide the mics, I might make one of one of my new songs tomorrow.

2.) It's probably pointing near where the contact of my hand and the top is, no where near the sound hole however.

And no matter what I do, I'm tapping the guitar as lightly as possible. It takes a great deal of effort to hit it so softly. In the beginning of this I'm barely touching it, yet it's as loud as all of my playing and at 1:31 I had to spend a long time to tap it that lightly but still get the triplet. Those are close mics though. When I move them out I can beat the hell out of the guitar and it sounds about the same as my playing. Maybe my preamp gain is too high?

I wish you could like, be in my basement and see what I mean. Cause I totally believe what you're saying, it's just not working that way. I don't mean to be defensive at all, I'm just relating my experience.


And to Doug:
Yes, I'm subscribed to AG magazine so I've seen that! Very cool, I love McKee's (and yours as well) work. When I do mic that far back, I get a much smoother sound which is similar to his. My percussion is probably quieter since I try so hard to bring it down when the mics are close in. It's weird when I listen to that though. The percussion is so loud and after listening to myself so much I was thinking "bring the percussion down!!" Maybe I'm just being picky about my recordings.

Also though, if you look at that track on a meter, do the levels spike when he slaps the upper bout on the side? My levels go into the red, just before clipping when I hit the body, my pres are also really hot though.
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Last edited by Fichtezc; 06-14-2011 at 10:27 AM.
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  #40  
Old 06-14-2011, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Fichtezc View Post
Also though, if you look at that track on a meter, do the levels spike when he slaps the upper bout on the side? My levels go into the red, just before clipping when I hit the body, my pres are also really hot though.
Yep, in fact, it looks like the Zoom was clipping on the hits a bit. I'd avoid that if I was recording in the studio, but I wasn't watching the zoom that close. Here's the waveform during Drifting:

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  #41  
Old 06-14-2011, 10:48 AM
Fichtezc Fichtezc is offline
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Wow thank you so much. That's literally exactly why my tracks look like. Does that mean I need to lower my pres?
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