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  #16  
Old 07-16-2017, 12:37 AM
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I know you're not a fan of XY, but maybe "phasey" isn't the right word? XY is quite phase coherent, it can't be "phasey".
IMO phasey, as is a single mike, on an acoustic guitar since the acoustic guitar is a spread out (wide and tall) sound source with different areas of the guitar's sound output sound arriving at a given mike at different times (or in other words the guitar is out of phase with itself at any point in space). Obviously not something you could measure with a correlation meter as that is measuring something different. With mikes spaced further apart you have at least added in some time differentials between the two mikes (and thus between the timing of what arrives at each ear) which perhaps paradoxically at first glance can be interpreted by the brain as giving the whole package of what is occurring a more real, solid sound.

Recording a voice, being a compact sound source, with one mike gives a coherent sound. Not so much with an acoustic guitar.
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  #17  
Old 07-16-2017, 06:07 AM
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He likes to lay on my mouse. Makes it a bit hard to get things done....

I go back and forth on the Bricasti settings. The Large Hall can be a bit too much for some things, but I do use it a lot, mixed in low. I have that on my"speed dial" knobs, along with a couple of ambiance settings, Studio B, and D, and "Guitar Room" - which is probably just that I'm suggestable, but it does seem to sound nice on guitar.
It's hard to go very "wrong" with any Bricasti presets

I'll have to try "Guitar Room"..... On my speed buttons I have " Sunset Chamber" "Wooden Room" and "London Plate" Don't remember the 4th off hand.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:18 AM
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I'm really surprised that so few people hear a significant difference between the rooms. To my ears each "room" sounds distinctly different. The laundry room sample is muddy by comparison to the living room which is in turn noticeably less clear and detailed than the studio. I've listened to the samples numerous times through my headphones and Adam 7 monitors and come to the same conclusion every time.
BTW - I also really appreciate the opportunity to make the comparisons.
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  #19  
Old 07-16-2017, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
IMO phasey, as is a single mike, on an acoustic guitar since the acoustic guitar is a spread out (wide and tall) sound source with different areas of the guitar's sound output sound arriving at a given mike at different times (or in other words the guitar is out of phase with itself at any point in space).
Do you hear the same issue with orchestral recordings done with XY? There the spread of the sound source is even bigger. I don't hear this effect, but I know how it is, once you hear a certain characteristic you don't like, it bugs you forever.
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  #20  
Old 07-16-2017, 11:06 AM
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Do you hear the same issue with orchestral recordings done with XY? There the spread of the sound source is even bigger. I don't hear this effect, but I know how it is, once you hear a certain characteristic you don't like, it bugs you forever.
Example recording? But in any case multiple instruments miked at a distance is a different kettle (for example how a mono guitar track in a mix sounds find, but on its own sound pretty thin).

We have had this discussion before. Take one of your best sounding stereo recordings, open it in Audacity (for example) and listen. Then split the stereo track to mono, mute the right track and listen to the left track, and then vice versa. In each case you will hear a thinner and a substantially phasey (is this a word) sound (less on the low frequencies naturally).

Try the same thing with a stereo recording of a "A Cappella" dry (no reverb) voice recording (should you be able to find one) and no problems with a phasey sound (though a different location in space of course).

On an acoustic guitar recording timing differences and a slight different sound in each mike (more like you get in non-coincident miking (or the sound you get from recording multiple instruments for that matter)) fills out and solidifies the sound (not to say you can't get phasey sound in non-coincident miking also, but in coincident miking of a guitar (in the near field anyway) it's impossible not to.
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  #21  
Old 07-16-2017, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Example recording?
Well, this isn't an orchestra, but there are examples of multiple instruments, with some being up close enough to the mic that it should trigger what you're talking about:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blAnzWqNlSc


Quote:
Take one of your best sounding stereo recordings, open it in Audacity (for example) and listen. Then split the stereo track to mono, mute the right track and listen to the left track, and then vice versa. In each case you will hear a thinner and a substantially phasey (is this a word) sound (less on the low frequencies naturally).
yes, listening to just one side of a stereo recording can sound weird. Kind of like if you look at a VR image or 3D movie with one eye. Part of stereo technique is that it's the sum of the parts that makes it work. I'd assume you'd also hear what you describe if you listened to the guitar with an earplug in one ear?

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On an acoustic guitar recording timing differences and a slight different sound in each mike (more like you get in non-coincident miking (or the sound you get from recording multiple instruments for that matter)) fills out and solidifies the sound (not to say you can't get phasey sound in non-coincident miking also, but in coincident miking of a guitar (in the near field anyway) it's impossible not to.
I don't really hear this when listening as intended, in stereo. I wonder what some of our recording engineer pros on the forum would have to say about this. I think arguing that XY has phase issues is probably a hard sell. Arguably more solo guitar CDs, more classical guitar CDs, recorded using XY than other techniques. At least a lot of them are. Do you hear this in many of the CDs you listen to?

XY is not my favorite technique, but to my ears, at least, it works fine. The nice thing is we have options. It's hard for these little recorders to have built-in "spaced pairs", but they do allow for external mics, so you can do anything you want. All I was trying to show here was the effect of different room acoustics, and also the abilities of a simple little "point and shoot" recorder, even in lousy conditions. I think the demo works for that -
I hear the differences clearly - but I'm certainly not trying to promote making XY recordings in the laundry room :-) Maybe laundry room spaced pairs would catch on, tho!
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  #22  
Old 07-16-2017, 01:11 PM
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Great post. It concerns me though that I can hear practically zero difference between all three recordings with a set of AKG MKii headphones on. I'm 48 years old and have definitely noticed my hearing degrade in the last 3 or 4 years.

They all sound good to me.
Try listening to just the first four measures of each piece one after the other rather than the full piece with the fade. Use your mouse to jump right to the start of the next example and avoid the silence in between. That silence can impede the ability to hear the differences.

In the first example (the laundry room), there's a harshness that you don't hear in the other two. It's especially evident in the upper frequencies.

In the middle example, there's a slight muddiness on the bottom end. The bass isn't as focused as it could be in a treated room where the bass is controlled.

In the last example, the bass is more focused than in the middle example and the higher frequencies still have a brilliance to them but that harshness or brittleness that is present in the first example is gone.

When listening to something like this, or when trying to decide what microphone to use for a particular voice or instrument, it's not unusual to find that superior talent can sound like superior talent no matter what piece of electronics you put in front of them. So it becomes not a question of what sound good, but what sounds best.. what is providing the best compliment to that which is being recorded.

Can it be subtle? Often times it's very subtle, although sometimes it's really quite obvious. Developing an ear that can hear the subtleties can take time though. Half the battle is knowing what to listen for.
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  #23  
Old 07-16-2017, 01:11 PM
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..... All I was trying to show here was the effect of different room acoustics, and also the abilities of a simple little "point and shoot" recorder, even in lousy conditions. I think the demo works for that -
I hear the differences clearly.........!
I would say successful on both counts - I'm encouraged by this to try moving about a bit with my H5 and see how things sound. I usually stay in what I think is the best location using 2 external mins.

It's also a lesson in concentrating on the playing rather than worrying too much about relatively small influences. FWIW I would have been very happy with the living room...
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  #24  
Old 07-16-2017, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
Try listening to just the first four measures of each piece one after the other rather than the full piece with the fade. Use your mouse to jump right to the start of the next example and avoid the silence in between. That silence can impede the ability to hear the differences.

In the first example (the laundry room), there's a harshness that you don't hear in the other two. It's especially evident in the upper frequencies.

In the middle example, there's a slight muddiness on the bottom end. The bass isn't as focused as it could be in a treated room where the bass is controlled.

In the last example, the bass is more focused than in the middle example and the higher frequencies still have a brilliance to them but that harshness or brittleness that is present in the first example is gone.

When listening to something like this, or when trying to decide what microphone to use for a particular voice or instrument, it's not unusual to find that superior talent can sound like superior talent no matter what piece of electronics you put in front of them. So it becomes not a question of what sound good, but what sounds best.. what is providing the best compliment to that which is being recorded.

Can it be subtle? Often times it's very subtle, although sometimes it's really quite obvious. Developing an ear that can hear the subtleties can take time though. Half the battle is knowing what to listen for.
One thing I have noticed is the harshness in the first clip is almost impossible to get rid of. I have that same thing in my recordings. It's as if the harshness represents a lack of presence. The bassiness of the living room recording is at least fixable.
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  #25  
Old 07-16-2017, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
Well, this isn't an orchestra, but there are examples of multiple instruments, with some being up close enough to the mic that it should trigger what you're talking about:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blAnzWqNlSc
Sounds fine but not a good example to compare a solo guitar recording for a number of reasons. Distances, multiple instruments, type of instruments, electric pickups, small dimension sound sources, etc. Not coincident xy miking either BTW. Read more about the mike used and his description of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FReWfMia5vA



Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
yes, listening to just one side of a stereo recording can sound weird. Kind of like if you look at a VR image or 3D movie with one eye. Part of stereo technique is that it's the sum of the parts that makes it work. I'd assume you'd also hear what you describe if you listened to the guitar with an earplug in one ear?!
Each track listened to in mono (both ears, not one ear)


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Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
I don't really hear this when listening as intended, in stereo. I wonder what some of our recording engineer pros on the forum would have to say about this. I think arguing that XY has phase issues is probably a hard sell. Arguably more solo guitar CDs, more classical guitar CDs, recorded using XY than other techniques. At least a lot of them are. Do you hear this in many of the CDs you listen to?
I hear the issue on all solo acoustic guitar XY. More with higher frequency content, and thus classical (nylon string) guitars can do better with XY than flattops.

Sound wavelength phase interference happens in free space. If the microphone happens to be there it will record that. For example consider a guitar A note emanating from two different places on the guitar top and how the wavelength from each place interacts at different points in the space around the guitar.

However if you don't hear it this happening, then fine, end of discussion.
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  #26  
Old 07-16-2017, 02:08 PM
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One thing I have noticed is the harshness in the first clip is almost impossible to get rid of. I have that same thing in my recordings.
Yes, it's not an easy task but you can make a track much more listenable through subtractive eq. In other words, identifying the most offensive frequencies and, using a narrow Q, pulling them down a few db or pulling them out completely.

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The bassiness of the living room recording is at least fixable.
To my ears, it wasn't an issue of too much bass so much as it was a issue of the bass being muddy. In other words, there was less separation of the bass notes in the untreated room and they all seemed to mush into each other. That happens because in the untreated rooms, bass frequencies will build up and rumble about with no traps to tame them. Take away the rumbling by using bass traps, and the result is the bass notes will sound crisper with better articulation.
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  #27  
Old 07-16-2017, 02:17 PM
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One thing I have noticed is the harshness in the first clip is almost impossible to get rid of. I have that same thing in my recordings. It's as if the harshness represents a lack of presence. The bassiness of the living room recording is at least fixable.
It's caused by early reflections - very short echos in a small hard-surfaced room, along with resulting comb filtering (frequency response changes caused by phase interactions). It's virtually impossible to remove. I could probably improve that recording with some EQ and processing, but never completely fix it. It's what the guitar sounded like in the room, and the mics captured that. In a tiny room like that, the best bet is serious room treatment, just make it dead to get rid of all the reflections. It's not ideal, but there's not much else you can do.
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  #28  
Old 07-16-2017, 02:21 PM
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To my ears, it wasn't an issue of too much bass so much as it was a issue of the bass being muddy. In other words, there was less separation of the bass notes in the untreated room and they all seemed to mush into each other. That happens because in the untreated rooms, bass frequencies will build up and rumble about with no traps to tame them. Take away the rumbling by using bass traps, and the result is the bass notes will sound crisper with better articulation.
That makes sense - but also keep in mind that I wasn't consistent about mic placement in these examples. All three were just wherever I could place the recorder on some surface that was somewhere near the guitar. And I made no attempt to tweak that for sound - I didn't even audition the sound with headphones or anything. If you mounted the recorder on a mic stand and were able to move it around, you could fine-tune some things. I may have simply been a bit too close, or had the mics aimed too much into the soundhole in the living room setup.
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  #29  
Old 07-16-2017, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Sounds fine but not a good example to compare a solo guitar recording for a number of reasons. Distances, multiple instruments, type of instruments, electric pickups, small dimension sound sources, etc. Not coincident xy miking either BTW. Read more about the mike used and his description of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FReWfMia5vA
Why do you say this isn't a coincident XY mic? It's a stereo XY (Blumlien - figure 8) mic (I own an R88, used it for my last CD, so I've been working with that mic for quite a few years now. I usually use it in MS, tho.). It's not 2 cardiods, but if I recall correctly, the original XY coincident micing was developed with figure 8s (Blumlein), not cardiods. As far as what you're talking about, there should be no difference, unless you think the back lobe somehow changes things?.


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However if you don't hear it this happening, then fine, end of discussion.
Yeah, I don't hear any issue with XY recording. I hear the sound of XY, but no phase issues. I prefer spaced pairs (which are known to introduce phase issues, of course, but that's ok) Maybe Bob Womack will notice this and offer his thoughts - I know he likes a sort of modified vertical XY on guitar. Have you come across anyone else saying there are these kinds of issues with recording guitar with XY? I know there was an engineer here on AGF a while back promoting that the only proper way to record guitar was mono, but I've never heard anyone describe these sorts of issues with XY.

Anyway, way off the topic of this thread :-)
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  #30  
Old 07-16-2017, 03:21 PM
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Fair enough on the mike capsule positions. Though figure 8 capsules and in the recording with the mike surrounded by instruments it is as he said, "like recording with two stereo microphones".

Forget entirely about microphones for the moment. I would just ask, do you think there can phase interference in different points around the guitar between the wavelengths emanating from different areas of the guitar? Yea or nay?
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