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  #16  
Old 04-10-2014, 07:10 PM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Just listened to these. Certainly not 'ear piercing', but definitely very shrill/trebly. I don't use GB, but I assume you can use some type of EQ plug in and lower the gain for the higher frequencies. If not, then get a decent DAW (I always recommend Reaper).
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  #17  
Old 04-10-2014, 07:31 PM
The Old Anglo The Old Anglo is offline
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I use Sonar Producer and go into the EQ {Many programs have that} and lower the high end quite a bit,then I would fatten it up a bit using a Sonitus reverb"The Venue" setting.. See if that helps??.
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  #18  
Old 04-10-2014, 08:30 PM
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Listened again this time through my home setup. Most of the particular incidences you pointed out are string fret buzz. If the vibrating string hits a fret further up the neck just slightly it will set off this sound. Other than some possible action adjustment it might help to try picking with your hand rotated a bit counter clockwise (results depend on the shape of your fingernails though), and or play a bit softer overall.
In general the sound is somewhat bright and the reverb you used did not help (a darker sounding one would be better). There is some spot high Q EQ you could try post recording. Waiting for a dry recording to see how that sounds.
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  #19  
Old 04-11-2014, 08:02 AM
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Hi!

I was off yesterday and not in the studio so I didn't have the opportunity to put your recordings up on the big monitors but I have done it this morning. I'm noticing the brightness and a little ambient quality to the recordings. I saw that you said the mics were about two feet away and my ears perked right up. Are you aware of "proximity effect?" That is an effect caused by cardioid microphone phase cancellation that is evidenced by increasing bass tilt-up as you bring the mic in closer and closer. It sounds to me as if you have moved the mics entirely out of the proximity zone and you are getting far less bass and midrange than you could out of your mics and are getting more room noise than you want as well.

I would move the mics in closer until there is better balance between bass and treble and there is less room ambiance in the mics as well. There is often a point in there where the mids and treble will be nicely balanced but the bass may be too full. The bass tilt-up can be overcome with subtractive EQ to give you a nice, clean recording. I just completed a set of score cues for a TV show that I recorded right in the control room with a pair of AKG C451Bs at about fourteen inches out from the neck joint with this method.

Bob
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  #20  
Old 04-11-2014, 11:05 AM
wcap wcap is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
Hi!

I was off yesterday and not in the studio so I didn't have the opportunity to put your recordings up on the big monitors but I have done it this morning. I'm noticing the brightness and a little ambient quality to the recordings. I saw that you said the mics were about two feet away and my ears perked right up. Are you aware of "proximity effect?" That is an effect caused by cardioid microphone phase cancellation that is evidenced by increasing bass tilt-up as you bring the mic in closer and closer. It sounds to me as if you have moved the mics entirely out of the proximity zone and you are getting far less bass and midrange than you could out of your mics and are getting more room noise than you want as well.

I would move the mics in closer until there is better balance between bass and treble and there is less room ambiance in the mics as well. There is often a point in there where the mids and treble will be nicely balanced but the bass may be too full. The bass tilt-up can be overcome with subtractive EQ to give you a nice, clean recording. I just completed a set of score cues for a TV show that I recorded right in the control room with a pair of AKG C451Bs at about fourteen inches out from the neck joint with this method.

Bob
There are lots of replies above that I have not responded to yet that I plan to, but I'll reply quickly to this one since it is easy to do.

I actually have been moving microphones closer over the years of my intermittent, widely spaced bouts of recording attempts. The farthest microphone spacing (close to two feet out) was for my recording of Sheebeg and Sheemore (the third video I posted), recorded a number of years back. I think the 12 string guitar recording (the first recording) was closer to 1 foot (well, maybe between 12" and 18"), and the others were somewhere inbetween (probably very close to your 14 inch distance).

I've been making this switch due to noticing a greater sense of presence (I guess that is what I would call it) in recordings where I had the microphones really close. The other reason for doing this has been to minimize the effects of the less than ideal acoustics of my recording spaces.

And yes, I have encountered booming bass when doing this, but I've figured out how to deal with this with EQ settings, as you suggested.

I think you have identified some real issues with my recordings, but I'm not sure you were completely hearing the harsh, piercing attack that is bothering me. I don't hear it so much on better speakers/headphones myself (I'm sure you have good equipment, better than mine, to listen on), but it simply drives me crazy on my iPod with some of these recordings.

Thanks so much for your feedback. It means a lot to be able to get feedback like this from people like yourself (and others here too) who are extremely knowledgeable and experienced.
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  #21  
Old 04-11-2014, 11:09 AM
wcap wcap is offline
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Regarding microphone placement, it is clear I need to pay attention to this in a more systematic way, and to take notes with each recording. My comments about spacing above are based on memory, which could be faulty.

My daughter recently did this right though. She did a series of recordings of her singing and playing guitar with different microphone locations, and took great notes. The differences in sound are profound. We both concluded she got the best sound with her lips practically touching the pop filter - less than a foot from the Rode NT1A. Listening with headphones its sort of like she is right there.

Again, I need to do this more systematically with guitar.
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  #22  
Old 04-11-2014, 11:17 AM
RedJoker RedJoker is offline
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Originally Posted by wcap View Post
...

And yes, I have encountered booming bass when doing this, but I've figured out how to deal with this with EQ settings, as you suggested.

...
How are you dealing with this in EQ settings? There is a big difference between reducing the low frequency and increasing the high frequency. (I've made that mistake.)
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  #23  
Old 04-11-2014, 11:33 AM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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Originally Posted by wcap View Post
I think you have identified some real issues with my recordings, but I'm not sure you were completely hearing the harsh, piercing attack that is bothering me. I don't hear it so much on better speakers/headphones myself (I'm sure you have good equipment, better than mine, to listen on), but it simply drives me crazy on my iPod with some of these recordings.

Thanks so much for your feedback. It means a lot to be able to get feedback like this from people like yourself (and others here too) who are extremely knowledgeable and experienced.
My pleasure. I was hearing what sounded like Phosphor Bronze strings and some fret sizzle and the sound is very bright. Not knowing what type of guitar you are using puts me in the position of trying to interpret some aspects.

Interestingly enough, the UREI 813C speakers I'm listening to are quite close to the AKG 240s. One thing I did notice was in the first recording video you played the brighter of the two channels on the left. As it turns out, most people tend to want the brighter channel on the right. Swinging the panning that way helps a little, but the two channels are still so different that its is kind of stark.

I sometimes use a vertical array with the two mics placed about 7" apart and at a 110' angle, like this:

I point the mic array at the joint between the neck and body but it can be swung to balance the frequencies. That ensures that the two have roughly the same sound but it still offers a pretty good spread.


There is quite a bit of clashy zing in there, perhaps because you might be trying to project while recording in a more intimate setting. Try this: jack up the headphone volume a little so that when you really dig in it kind of rips off your head. It definitely gives you some incentive to back off a bit. Try the level up and down until you find a level that makes you play well.

Good luck,

Bob
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  #24  
Old 04-11-2014, 11:34 AM
wcap wcap is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Listened again this time through my home setup. Most of the particular incidences you pointed out are string fret buzz. If the vibrating string hits a fret further up the neck just slightly it will set off this sound. Other than some possible action adjustment it might help to try picking with your hand rotated a bit counter clockwise (results depend on the shape of your fingernails though), and or play a bit softer overall.
In general the sound is somewhat bright and the reverb you used did not help (a darker sounding one would be better). There is some spot high Q EQ you could try post recording. Waiting for a dry recording to see how that sounds.
I think you've got something here. The action of that particular guitar is a bit too low. At the time I recorded that piece the low action was not really obvious when playing it, but then it got worse as it got a little dry over the winter. Having a bit of fret buzz on those particular notes (around mid-neck) is consistent with how things developed as the action got even lower over the winter and the low action problem became really obvious.

However, I don't think fret buzz has been an issue in all of these recordings. I could well be mistaken, but I'm not yet convinced it is the whole reason for the harshness that I often hear in recordings (but not in person).

I'll try to find some of the totally unaltered raw recordings of some of these pieces and post them. They might provide some better insights, including some insight as to whether some clipping might be involved, as discussed by some other folks higher up in the thread.
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  #25  
Old 04-11-2014, 11:41 AM
wcap wcap is offline
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Incidentally, I'm pleased that no-one yet has seen this as an obvious consequence of the recording equipment I have been using (which is not high end stuff).

If the microphones and recording device are not likely to be to blame, then perhaps I can fix this cheaply, without having to spend a bunch of money.

I have little doubt that better equipment might still improve the overall result, but I have a lot of other things to work on fixing that I expect are probably much more important at the moment.
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  #26  
Old 04-11-2014, 12:01 PM
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My pleasure. I was hearing what sounded like Phosphor Bronze strings and some fret sizzle and the sound is very bright. Not knowing what type of guitar you are using puts me in the position of trying to interpret some aspects.
The first guitar is a Goodall jumbo 12 string, 80/20 Elixr strings, sitka/rosewood. A very lively guitar, both by build, and because it is a 12 string, and not all the playing is as clean as I'd like. I often dig in too much when I record (and I think that sometime contributes to a harsh recorded sound - I'm trying to correct this), but I play this piece on the 12 string more gently.

I think I do have a bright sound, both due to the guitar, and due to my technique (nails, which incidentally is the only way I could play this particular piece, which has a lot of single string playing in it). But in person I hear none of the ear-piercing quality that I'm getting in these recordings.

The second recording is a Burguet classical, and the 3rd (and 4th) recordings are of a Goodal cedar/rosewood concert jumbo with phosphor bronze Elixr strings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
Interestingly enough, the UREI 813C speakers I'm listening to are quite close to the AKG 240s. One thing I did notice was in the first recording video you played the brighter of the two channels on the left. As it turns out, most people tend to want the brighter channel on the right. Swinging the panning that way helps a little, but the two channels are still so different that its is kind of stark.
Interesting (that people prefer the brighter channel on the right - I wonder why?).

If I am recalling correctly, I'm thinking the microphone on the right in this recording was the Rode NT3 medium condenser mic at the neck position, and on the left is the Rode NT1A large condenser at the bridge position. I would have expected the larger microphone to be less bright, but perhaps that is not the case. Another thing to look into....

I imagine having a better matched set of microphones might help improve the end result. Or possibly I should not be panning left and right as extremely?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
There is quite a bit of clashy zing in there, perhaps because you might be trying to project while recording in a more intimate setting. Try this: jack up the headphone volume a little so that when you really dig in it kind of rips off your head. It definitely gives you some incentive to back off a bit. Try the level up and down until you find a level that makes you play well.

Good luck,

Bob
Yes, there is some zing in this. Some of this comes from some clumsy playing (doing this sort of piece on a 12 string requires pretty intensely perfect right hand control). Also, the guitar was just a bit out of tune (kind of drives me nuts when I listen - I should re-record), and I suspect this does not help. And I think Rick is correct that there is a bit of fret buzz coming from the action being just slightly too low.

Thank you for all the suggestions.

There is so much that goes in to getting a good recorded sound, and I've only really begun to learn how to master this. I'm not expecting this thread will necessarily solve all my recording problems, but this conversation is helping me to focus my thinking about how to best go about troubleshooting some of the issues that are bothering me.
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Last edited by wcap; 04-11-2014 at 12:13 PM.
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  #27  
Old 04-11-2014, 12:21 PM
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I usually use a pair of matching mikes. The times I used different mikes I put the brighter mike on the lower bout and the less bright mike more towards the neck/body area.
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  #28  
Old 04-11-2014, 04:01 PM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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The second recording is a Burguet classical,
I like the sound of that recording, by the way.
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Interesting (that people prefer the brighter channel on the right - I wonder why?).
I believe that it is connected to the fact that when listening to dialog we use the two ears and connected brain sections for two different purposes. The right side is the busier side.
Quote:
I imagine having a better matched set of microphones might help improve the end result. Or possibly I should not be panning left and right as extremely?
Oh, a certain amount of it could be your stated mic positions, one pointed at the bridge (dark area) and one pointed at the neck (bright area).

Bob
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  #29  
Old 04-11-2014, 07:06 PM
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Just an interesting visual - not particularly useful I suppose - of "Sheebeg and Sheemore" at time 1:01. Same note
played twice but the second time (bottom waveform in picture) a brief harsh sound I attribute to fret buzz (until
proven otherwise). That created a lot of high frequency content and therefore a more square wave waveform.



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  #30  
Old 04-11-2014, 10:30 PM
wcap wcap is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Just an interesting visual - not particularly useful I suppose - of "Sheebeg and Sheemore" at time 1:01. Same note
played twice but the second time (bottom waveform in picture) a brief harsh sound I attribute to fret buzz (until
proven otherwise). That created a lot of high frequency content and therefore a more square wave waveform.
This is really interesting. I'm not certain how to interpret this, but it is definitely interesting.

You might well be correct about this fret buzz thing. I do tend to drive my guitars too hard sometimes I think, aiming to get a lot of projection. When not taken too far I think it also gives me a tone I like better. But I have been realizing that in a recording context at least (and maybe sometimes live too - I don't know) the result is not always as good as a gentler touch might have been.

I was definitely aware of having done this when recording Sheebeg and Sheemore, and I know for certain that this was going on when recording the other piece with my classical guitar.

I'm still not certain my attack is the full explanation, but it probably is at least part of it, and it certainly is something I need to experiment with (maybe this summer, when I'll have more time) to try to fine tune my recorded sound (in the process I might also improve my live sound!). It was already something on my radar, but your comments bring this up higher on my list of priorities to explore. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
I like the sound of that recording, by the way.
Thanks. I think that Burguet is a simply wonderful guitar (and was surprisingly inexpensive, as these things go), and I am always impressed by how nicely it records. I don't know whether recording well is a common characteristic of a lot of classical guitars (?), but I think that one is sort of special regardless. As noted above, I am guilty of overdriving it in that recording though, and maybe that is a big part of my problem.

This recording of the same guitar has, I think, a sweeter sound, coming I think from a little gentler touch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsCUSHwZN_g (it also has some conspicuous artifacts from clumsy editing)
I still hear some of the harshness that bothers me though. I don't think there is any reason for there to have been fret buzz here (considering guitar setup and how I was playing), but who knows. I think my attack is part of the problem in some of these recordings, but I still think there is something else going on too.


These recording issues all make my head spin sometimes. There are so many variables that can come into play, and tiny changes in recording technique (not to mention playing technique) can have such large effects on sound. I'm getting a little better at this, slowly, but there is still a steep hill to climb.
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Last edited by wcap; 04-11-2014 at 11:07 PM.
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