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  #16  
Old 02-02-2013, 02:38 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Excellent comments/debate ladies and gentlemen, thanks to you all so far and keep those cards and letters coming!

I did do some searches and spent some time wading through topics, but sometimes it's difficult to separate the wheat from the chaf. I'm enjoying the range of ideas here and I have an open mind for being educated. Do remember that my ideal is spaced pair cardiod SDCs, but all comments are certainly appreciated.

I have been playing around with throwing these up in various configurations and A/B-ing the playback, so what I'm looking for is the conclusions that others have come to and how that may or may not agree with what I'm finding so far. I won't color the topic by what I THINK I like at this time.

I normally use only a single source SDC (or MDC like a C-1000 or Rode NT3) for acoustic guitar because I end up overdubbing other instruments and in that case I think it often ends up being a better mix just concentrating on the pans, EQ, etc. When I've done stereo souces in the past it pretty much ends up getting obscured when the other instruments get thrown in.

I do have a project that I'm in the planning stages of that might benefit from a more stark representation of a single instrument with vocals overdubbed, so hence all of these questions. I also have to figure out how the results will blend in with the other tunes / songs so it's a coheasive project.
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  #17  
Old 02-02-2013, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
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I know there are no mid-side or Jecklin issues, and I'm talking/thihnking about passionate players who rock back and forth while they play or move radically side-to-side.
Of course, but that's not phase. Learning to sit still while playing is one of those interesting things people have to learn about recording. Of course, you can use motion to good effect too, if you move the guitar as a chorus effect like Pierre Bensusan often does, it comes out even better on a recording. Keeping a constant angle/placement relative to mics is important if you need to edit or punch in, too. These things will be a problem with any stereo micing scheme.
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  #18  
Old 02-02-2013, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
E
I have been playing around with throwing these up in various configurations and A/B-ing the playback, so what I'm looking for is the conclusions that others have come to and how that may or may not agree with what I'm finding so far. I won't color the topic by what I THINK I like at this time.
I'd just try it. There are very few wrong ways to record the guitar. Each mic setup has it's own sound, and it all depends on what you're looking for. I'm a little surprised at Scott's 4+ hour comment. I can easily spend 400 hours playing with mic placements, procrastinating on actually doing the real recording! :-) Scott's really fast :-) I often find myself cycling, "this sounds better", "no, wait, let's try it the other way", "yeah, I like that better". "hmm, do I?" round and round it goes. Even listening to others, there are so many "good" sounds. If you like the sound people like Pierre Bensusan or Al Petteway get, that's usually spaced pairs. Or maybe you like the more focused sound Laurence Juber gets - that's usually X/Y. I admire both, and if I want one sound, I set up the mics that way, if I want another I do it another. For the past year or 2 I've been usually combining 4 mics, one pair setup as spaced, the other in MS, and then choose or mix and blend them to taste. (Phase issues do come up in that context!)

In the end, how's it sound to you? Post some examples if you want opinions. Unless you're really far off and there's something obvious wrong, if you post a pair of recordings, half the people will like one, the other half will like the other!
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  #19  
Old 02-02-2013, 03:35 PM
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Doug,

Is M-S as complicated as it seems, what with the conversion and all? I've read a lot about it recently and am intrigued. Never have really understood the merit of the backside of the figure 8. Do you want that facing a reflective surface instead of a bass trap/acoustic panel so that something more direct enters the capsule? Or is that just meant to pick up the ambient sound of the room while playing?
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  #20  
Old 02-02-2013, 03:41 PM
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Doug,

Is M-S as complicated as it seems, what with the conversion and all? I've read a lot about it recently and am intrigued. Never have really understood the merit of the backside of the figure 8. Do you want that facing a reflective surface instead of a bass trap/acoustic panel so that something more direct enters the capsule? Or is that just meant to pick up the ambient sound of the room while playing?

Understanding the theory behind it is complicated, using it is easy. There some math involved, but basically you have a mid mic (M) and a side mic that pickups up equally side to side (figure 8), call it S. You combine the two with one side being the M+S and the other M-S, by flipping the phase. The result is mathematically the same as X/Y, except that it's easy to vary the amount of S in the mix, and therefore the apparent width.

In practice, put the mid mic in the left channel, Side mic to the right channel, record to a stereo track. Then plug in the free Voxengo MidSide decoder. Spin the dials to taste. It's a nice sound, very "centered", very stable, yet it can be as wide as you like without (much) phase issues.
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  #21  
Old 02-02-2013, 05:08 PM
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...Keeping a constant angle/placement relative to mics is important if you need to edit or punch in, too. These things will be a problem with any stereo micing scheme.
Hi Doug...

Isn't that the truth! Do you find one style of mic placement more or less effective with people who move around a lot?

Bluegrass groups are pretty active sometimes, and if they are a single mic performing group who choreograph their 'act' on stage, studio is an interesting transition.

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  #22  
Old 02-02-2013, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post

Isn't that the truth! Do you find one style of mic placement more or less effective with people who move around a lot?
I don't record that many other people, I mostly record myself, that's hard enough. Most others I've recorded in recent times are pretty experienced and have no problems. Once in a rare while, someone who hasn't done much recording will come by, and I see a whole host of common problems, moving around while playing, sitting differently each time they sit down, holding the guitar different between takes, heavy breathing, not leaving silence before or after the recording, tapping their foot on the mic stand, etc.

I'd say in general, I've had better luck using spaced pairs with people who don't understand the stereo image issue, not because it helps during the song, but if they move between takes, it's easier to adjust the stereo image after the fact. There's less of a "soundstage" with spaced pairs, it's just two different spots on the guitar, and you can adjust the gain later to balance the channels. MS, on the other hand, sounds great if you get the balance perfectly right, but its cool properties get all messed up if you have to pan it, or adjust the gain of each side after you decode. I can recall one case where I used MS with a "mover" and the next time he came by, I went to spaced pairs, lesson learned.
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  #23  
Old 02-03-2013, 06:16 AM
Joseph Hanna Joseph Hanna is offline
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Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Great. If you have done much solo guitar stereo mike recording I would like to hear a clip.
Also see Doug's comments. I share those thoughts.
Ah.....a credibility throw down.....nice I do love a challenge and will be happy to knock something out for you. This week I'll make time to record you something. To illustrate a point should it be in or out of phase?
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  #24  
Old 02-03-2013, 06:29 AM
Scott Whigham Scott Whigham is offline
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Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
I'm a little surprised at Scott's 4+ hour comment. I can easily spend 400 hours playing with mic placements, procrastinating on actually doing the real recording! :-) Scott's really fast :-)
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Originally Posted by Scott Whigham View Post
I have a new guitar and I bet I've spent 4+ hours in the past week trying to find the right distance + placement of my spaced pair.

1) Find good sound
2) Go to sleep
3) Wake up next day and listen with fresh ears
4) Arrrggghhhhh

haha
Emphasis added on important context
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  #25  
Old 02-03-2013, 08:17 AM
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Ah.....a credibility throw down.....nice I do love a challenge and will be happy to knock something out for you. This week I'll make time to record you something. To illustrate a point should it be in or out of phase?
Cool. People vary on what they think sounds good and it is hard to describe in words. An actual soundclip where the setup can be described would be useful.

Anyone can create a poor sounding recording, in phase or not. IMO it would demonstrate nothing. I suggest just making the best sounding recording you can leaving the channels fully panned hard right and left (this was never about mono compatibility).
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  #26  
Old 02-03-2013, 09:35 AM
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Emphasis added on important context
I missed the "past week" part - yep, that's my pattern, too, for weeks, and weeks...
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  #27  
Old 02-03-2013, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Joseph Hanna View Post
Ah.....a credibility throw down.....nice I do love a challenge and will be happy to knock something out for you. This week I'll make time to record you something. To illustrate a point should it be in or out of phase?
I hope people understand poor phasing is bad, I always try to minimize phase differences, using as many tools as I can. A good demo would be a nice thing to have tho. I've had people send me tracks that were badly out of phase, just as you said - it leaps out at you - but often they can't hear it, and sometimes can't hear the difference even if I can correct it. I think the thing I'd find interesting is some details of how you overcome the issues of maintaining the 3-1 rule while placing spaced pairs to get a good sound, a demo and photo of the mic placement could be very helpful. For me, I've found a spaced pair placement that I think sounds good and is quite reasonably in phase, but doesn't conform to 3-1. But I'd love to hear about something better
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  #28  
Old 02-03-2013, 09:46 AM
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Yes, as been stated many times, there is good and bad phasing. Take a dry recording with fairly good right and left
channel correlation and decrease that correlation with reverb to make it sound better.
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  #29  
Old 02-03-2013, 10:22 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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I hope people understand poor phasing is bad, I always try to minimize phase differences, using as many tools as I can. A good demo would be a nice thing to have tho. I've had people send me tracks that were badly out of phase, just as you said - it leaps out at you - but often they can't hear it, and sometimes can't hear the difference even if I can correct it. I think the thing I'd find interesting is some details of how you overcome the issues of maintaining the 3-1 rule while placing spaced pairs to get a good sound, a demo and photo of the mic placement could be very helpful. For me, I've found a spaced pair placement that I think sounds good and is quite reasonably in phase, but doesn't conform to 3-1. But I'd love to hear about something better
Hi Doug, From your earlier post:

I usually place spaced pairs about 15 inches apart, which would mean 5 inches or closer to the guitar. That may work, but its pretty close! I'm usually more like 8 to 10 inches these days, and that's still close.

That's EXACTLY the kind of detail I'm looking for. Especially if we're talking about a 3:1 violation I'm looking for what HAS worked. I'd love it if a more realistic distance was something like 16" apart and 8" out, centered over the sound hole to avoid the bass build-up. I'm just going to have to try it out, but I'm still open for schoolin'.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:32 AM
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Hi Doug, From your earlier post:

I usually place spaced pairs about 15 inches apart, which would mean 5 inches or closer to the guitar. That may work, but its pretty close! I'm usually more like 8 to 10 inches these days, and that's still close.

That's EXACTLY the kind of detail I'm looking for. Especially if we're talking about a 3:1 violation I'm looking for what HAS worked. I'd love it if a more realistic distance was something like 16" apart and 8" out, centered over the sound hole to avoid the bass build-up. I'm just going to have to try it out, but I'm still open for schoolin'.
Yep, I'd spend lots of time actually trying things. Post your tests, and hopefully people will comment in them and point out any issues.

Mic setup is a series of tradeoffs, especially in a home environment. As I said, I don't worry about hard-and-fast measurements like a 3-1 rule. Maybe 5 inches away doesn't work for me - too much proximity effect - but if I move out to 12 inches, maybe 3 feet apart doesn't work for me - too wide, or the wrong placement for the guitar. So, I don't get a ruler out and measure. What I want is a sound that has the same levels on each side, and sounds balanced (it's possible to have the meters say levels are matched, but have the sound pull to one side, and vice versa). I want the sound to be fairly direct (close micing), but not overly boomy or too in your face (from being too close). I want some "air" which comes from some room sound and from being back far enough to let the guitar sound come together nicely, but not so much room sound that the guitar sounds distant. I want the mics to be in phase, so that I don't get a bad sound in mono, but I want a spacious sound, which comes in part from allowing natural phase differences to occur. And I want a sound that captures the true sound of my guitar, but that hopefully sounds bigger, better, fuller, warmer, richer....

So I want a sound that is balanced, focused but spacious, big but not cavernous, not too distant and not too close, etc, but "just right". In the effort to get there, I use lots of meters, including phase meters, and lots of back and forth listening (see Scott's 4+ hours per week. Do that every week for a year :-). Record, listen, move an inch, record, listen, endlessly. When I find a sound that works, including not having any obvious phase issues, I'm happy. I would never get a ruler out and say "Crap, I'm getting a great sound, but I've violated the 3-1 rule, can't have that" :-) If it sounds good, it is good. But you have to train yourself to know what's good (and learn what you like), and to hear certain things you might not notice unless someone points them out, like phase issues.
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