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Old 09-30-2012, 10:48 AM
anton anton is offline
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Hi Folks,

I wanted to post up a recording to get some opinions.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/36952884/bobbycaseys.wav

Line Audio CM3 mics, Presonus Firestudio Mobile, going into my iMac and Logic Pro.

I have been working on my recording technique lately, trying to get a good a sound as I can. I'd like to do another cd sometime soon and want to try and do the basic recording at home.

Mic configuration is a spaced pair, about 5-6 inches away. One mic is off the twelfth fret, the other pointed at the lower bout, about as high as the top edge of the sound hole.

My main problem with this configuration was initially get a good left to right balance. I think i have it mostly sorted out, before the mic off the lower bout would always come in stronger.

Is there a db level I should shoot for initially? I have not altered this track at all, and I think it peaks at about 12db. When I recorded my first cd at Doug Youngs I think the initial recordings were more like 6db. I tried to get a stronger signal by turning up my pre's, but any louder and they just get to noisy.


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Old 09-30-2012, 11:20 AM
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I think the sound quality is pretty good. But then I'm no expert.

Todd
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:31 PM
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Anton, this is sounding really nice to me. The main issue I hear is some noise, which I suspect is just your environment. Your levels are also very low. You pointed all this out, of course. I'd try to dig into a bit more and try to figure out where the noise is coming from. The levels aren't a big deal, you still have plenty of dynamic range, but eliminating the noise would be a big win. As it is, when you raise the volume to release levels, the noise will come up with it, so just recording quieter doesnt really solve the problem. Your balance is pretty good, I hear it as puled a tad to the left, but it's close.

I did a real quick a dirty mix on this, removed some of the noise with Izotope RX, and added some reverb. It sounds pretty decent without EQ, I added a tiny bit of high end lift, and cut the low end below 50Hz, to try to tame the occasional low thud. All in all, I think you're in really good shape with this sound. Here's my rough mix:

http://www.dougyoungguitar.com/mp3/bobbycaseys_mix.mp3
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:33 PM
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A clean, well defined recording. Sounds like you were playing bare finger, or quite short nails.

Levels are low but workable.

Regarding right versus left volume levels when recording, use the volume sliders. Also regarding one mike farther from the guitar than the other, you can delay the nearer mike track with the software to compensate.

I think you might get a bit better sound with at least one mike further out from the guitar. Of course it depends on your room and where you are in it. Experiment.

It could be that the Line Audio CM3 mics are less sensitive that some other mikes and you have to crank the preamp more.

Like Doug, I played around with the volume levels and added a bit of reverb.

http://dcoombsguitar.com/Guitar%20Music/Other/Anton.wav

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Last edited by rick-slo; 09-30-2012 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:58 PM
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Once you get the noise under control, the next frontier might be reverbs :-) Rick's and my mixes provide a subtle, but interesting example of the choices you can make even with a simple solo guitar track. I actually thought there was something nice about the dry track - very intimate, and that's one choice. I went from that to adding a small amount of room verb, which is pretty similar to what Rick did, I think - the reverb's all but un-heard, but enhances the sound. Nice. But as I was listening, I felt like it also might sound good with a more noticeable verb that sort of "hangs" on some of your notes, and that's what I ended up posting. I used a bit of Lexicon room reverb + a UAD model of the Lexicon 224, which is a classic, but not "realistic" reverb, more of an effect. I kept it low, but it's there, and you can clearly hear the difference if you compare Rick's mix with mine. I like all three choices, dry, what Rick did, and what I did, but it's one of those things that you might want to spend some time exploring and decide what sound you want to go for.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:05 PM
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Yes, it's subjective, and it depends on your playback system also. I usually like to keep the clarity of the dry with the atmosphere of the reverb. I used Aether reverb for this piece.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:54 PM
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Thanks Rick and Doug for your insights and mixes. I think they both sound great. My main goal is to be able to get a good enough recording at home, then send it off somewhere else for mixing and mastering.

So my main hurdles seem to be noise and getting a good level. The noise could either be my mics, pre's, iMac, or just outside noise. I wish I could get the computer in another room but thats not really possible at this point. Perhaps if i had something where everything was not built into the monitor.

I am not sure what to do about the levels. I can't any closer to the mics. Cranking up the pre's results in to much noise. Perhaps a better preamp or interface? I am going to try recording with my pair of ADK A6's and see how they compare.



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Old 09-30-2012, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anton View Post
I am not sure what to do about the levels. I can't any closer to the mics. Cranking up the pre's results in to much noise. Perhaps a better preamp or interface? I am going to try recording with my pair of ADK A6's and see how they compare.
Anton
Probably that mike and mike pre combo. The mike is not that sensitive and the preamp can not be cranked up very much without preamp noise.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anton View Post
I am not sure what to do about the levels. I can't any closer to the mics. Cranking up the pre's results in to much noise. Perhaps a better preamp or interface?
You have to figure out where the noise is coming from. If it's coming from the preamp or interface, then upgrading to a quieter one will help. But if it's the mics that are noisy, then the preamp is just amplfying that. And if it's room/computer noise, then there's nothing really that gear will do to solve the problem, 'better' mics may simply pick up the noise better. That's one reason for solo guitar that something like the H4n is so cool. Totally silent, and you can take it anywhere you want, to find some good acoustics.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:03 PM
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Took a different approach tonight and decided to try my pair of ADK A6's. Spaced pair, about 18 inches away. Gain is the same level as on my Line Audio tracks, at 3 o'clock on the Presonus unit.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/36952884/anton_adk.wav

The first thing i noticed is it was much easier to get a higher level than with my other mics, and I'm much farther away. I'm hearing some weird bass resonance going on. I imagine that could probably be fixed with some more acoustic treatment. Or maybe its my speakers.

My biggest issue still seems to be noise. How does it sound to you all? I am thinking most of it a combination of computer and outside noise. You can clearly hear the train as the track fades out. We live on a fairly busy street with the bus going by, etc. We are starting to look around to buy a house, and plan to be a quieter street. At that point it will be easier to setup a more permanent recording space and treat it as needed.

I am not sure what to do about the computer noise. I can hear my iMac a bit when i sit across the room. Perhaps when we get a new place I can sit farther away when I record, or look at getting a Mac mini that I can put on the other side of the wall.


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Old 10-01-2012, 10:16 PM
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I think this sounds great, Anton. Warm, rich, good balance, good stereo image. I hear a few peaky notes, but we got that when we recorded you at my place, so it may be the guitar, or something about the tuning. I don't think it's much of an issue.

As far as noise, H4n, really :-) Under $200 on ebay, and you can turn off the computer, or even find a quiet building somewhere to record in. Work, church, something. Or just record late at night. There's always some noise, tho, unless you live in the middle of nowhere. More than a few of my edits are because a plane flew over head as the song faded out. Easily fixed with an edit.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:09 PM
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Thanks Doug. I have the Zoom H4. Perhaps Ill try hooking up my DMP3 Pre Amp and mics and see how it all sounds.

If I was going to do another solo guitar album a setup like that would be the way to go. But I would like to do some multi tracking, include other folks, etc. Its just much easier recording into my computer, though Zoom units multi track as well. I might try the Zoom setup for the solo guitar tracks, and see what I can do about the ensemble tracks.

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Old 10-02-2012, 12:02 AM
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Sounds good. Lower pitch tuning though. Definitely more sensitive mikes and thus quieter. The amount noise in minimal at this point.
There is a touch of boxy sound which is mostly mike placement.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:25 AM
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Thanks Rick. I am happy with the sound as well. The previous recording had a capo at the second fret. I kind of forgot about it this time around.

I will have to work on mic placement a bit, I am not quite sure what a boxy sound means. Am I capturing a bit to much bass?


thanks


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Old 10-02-2012, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anton View Post
Thanks Rick. I am happy with the sound as well. The previous recording had a capo at the second fret. I kind of forgot about it this time around.

I will have to work on mic placement a bit, I am not quite sure what a boxy sound means. Am I capturing a bit to much bass?

thanks

Anton
As you said "I'm hearing some weird bass resonance going on".
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