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Old 05-25-2020, 06:31 AM
Kevin G String Kevin G String is offline
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Default Recording guitar in front of a desk.

Hi good people.

I was wondering the best situation in a room to record guitars. I have standard boom mic stands for my small and large diaphragm mics. I'm looking to get a couple of Rode PSA1 desk mounted mic booms. These would be much easier to set up and position, particularly when i have a guitar in my arms.

Is there a problem with recording guitar in front of a desk? Am I going to get reflections that might be problematic. Neither mic is omni directional.

Many thanks.
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Old 05-25-2020, 06:47 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Originally Posted by Kevin G String View Post
Hi good people.

I was wondering the best situation in a room to record guitars. I have standard boom mic stands for my small and large diaphragm mics. I'm looking to get a couple of Rode PSA1 desk mounted mic booms. These would be much easier to set up and position, particularly when i have a guitar in my arms.

Is there a problem with recording guitar in front of a desk? Am I going to get reflections that might be problematic. Neither mic is omni directional.

Many thanks.
I tried doing that a few times and always thought it yielded results that were unsatisfactory, mostly due to the odd situation of having alarge piece of furniture in such close proximity. Even more of a problem was how close I was to my PC with mics. Good mics pick up any cooling fan noise, even the stuff you normally don't hear. I eventually moved my PC outside the room through a wall poke-through box I installed. It made mixing WAY better but didn't do anything to make recording in front of the desk any better.

Find the mic position you like and mount them on a stereo bar to make positioning easier for you.
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:29 AM
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Of coarse there will be problems. You can easily hear the difference when you play in front of hard surfaces and when you play to an open room. I'm just saying ......
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:43 AM
Kevin G String Kevin G String is offline
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I tried doing that a few times and always thought it yielded results that were unsatisfactory, mostly due to the odd situation of having alarge piece of furniture in such close proximity. Even more of a problem was how close I was to my PC with mics. Good mics pick up any cooling fan noise, even the stuff you normally don't hear. I eventually moved my PC outside the room through a wall poke-through box I installed. It made mixing WAY better but didn't do anything to make recording in front of the desk any better.

Find the mic position you like and mount them on a stereo bar to make positioning easier for you.
I seem to remember reading something quite a while ago about reflections from a table or desk, I wished I could remember what it said.

I'm on iMac and MacBook, my DAW doesn't push either to the point where the fans come on to the extent where a mic will pic them up.

My mics are fairly budget models SE2a and a Rode NT1a. But to me, if you're in the market for expensive mic's you then may need to consider room treatment. Where does it end?

There are YT videos where Paul Davids records in his apartment with a SE ribbon mic and a Neumann (KM184 maybe) along with a £1k audio interface. I'm no expert, but when you have gear that good/expensive are you getting the best from it in an untreated room? Having said that, he gets a nice sound to my ears.

I've only started recording again after years of not doing any at all. I lost interest to some extent as I couldn't get a good enough sound. Playing about recently, I realise mic placement is so critical. A couple of days ago I got a sound with just the SE2a that I never thought possible. All down to mic placement. The Martin helps a bit too ;-D

Thanks Rudy4
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Old 05-25-2020, 08:42 AM
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TBman TBman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin G String View Post
Hi good people.

I was wondering the best situation in a room to record guitars. I have standard boom mic stands for my small and large diaphragm mics. I'm looking to get a couple of Rode PSA1 desk mounted mic booms. These would be much easier to set up and position, particularly when i have a guitar in my arms.

Is there a problem with recording guitar in front of a desk? Am I going to get reflections that might be problematic. Neither mic is omni directional.

Many thanks.
Once in a while I will record at my desk. I have a couple of the desk mic booms. I have a Scarlett 2i4 and record with 2 AT2035. I have also recorded at my desk just using my Zoom H5 with the built in mics. You might want to buy a couple of mouse pads to put the booms on.

I have this brand of mic stand.

I recorded this tune at my desk, but I don't remember if I used my mics with the Scarlett, with the Zoom or just the Zoom with the built in mics:



If you have a decent DAW you can soften the room a bit. I get a better recording to work with if I record in my family room or living room where there is more open space, I'm not facing a wall and there is no computer hum to deal with. When I record with just the Zoom, with built in mics, I just lay it on a small folded towel.
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:14 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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My "Studio B" is a quite small "Home Office" (which is was a bedroom in 1906 when my house was built). I use this space to do a lot of MIDI interface work with recordings, DI electric guitar, and occasional overdubs with acoustic instruments and voice. And of course everything else, like writing, composing, visiting the AGF and so on.

When I need to record acoustic guitar in this non-optimal space I use a iRig Stage mic which sounds decent and doesn't pickup a great deal of low volume room sound. This tiny mic easily slides onto the edge of a guitar soundhole.

When I need to record vocals in this space I use a dynamic mic. The one I have setup is a ElectroVoice EV20. I actually have it mounted on a conventional straight mic stand near my right knee. It's really not in my way.

I used to use a spring loaded desk-attached boom arm, beefier versions of which are commonly used in broadcasting. My current setup has so much on my desktop (two large monitors, two interfaces) that I didn't really have swing arm room to come from the desk in my current setup. Another possibility for some setups is to come down from a ceiling rather than up from the floor or desktop.

In my studio space I have a Sure SM7b mounted on such an arm, and since I'm always "self-producing" and "self-engineering" myself while playing (and in the past other musicians too), it's nice how easily the arm lets one move the mic out the way and back into position.

I'm no expert on recording, though I'm working on recordings constantly. Many (most) have better ears that me. That out of the way, I think one advantage of dynamic mics like the EV20 (and the SM7b too) is that they are less sensitive, and therefore pickup less background noise. I'm less sure, but I hope they pickup less undesirable room reflections.

A disadvantage of inexpensive spring-loaded booms is that heavy mics sometimes won't say stable, particularly when the arm is extended outward. In the radio network that I used to work at they sometimes "hot-rodded" the booms they used with strong spring to better counterbalance heavy mics.

Some find the "reflection shields" sold to mount on mic stands somewhat helpful in untreated rooms, but added weight from those shields don't sound like a good fit with a spring-loaded boom arm. I have no treatment in my home office "Studio B" but the wall behind my mic position is a big, messy, bookcase which probably acts like wall treatment.
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:42 AM
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…Is there a problem with recording guitar in front of a desk? Am I going to get reflections that might be problematic. Neither mic is omni directional.

Many thanks.
Hi KGS

Yes, there are potentially multiple problems with recording guitars in front of a desk.

If you are not planning on building your career around making home recordings, you'll probably be fine to just use the boom arm and your existing mics. Sounds to me like you are going for fun and convenience.

Your Nt1a and SE2a, you can get pretty good sounding recordings using your interface. You will likely not know what issues a desk creates until/unless you record in a better space.

Most people don't recognize what room reflection sounds like in recordings. They mostly listen to most of their own music on their phone, laptop, computer, or car.

Get decent speakers, and put them in a decently treated area, and it can open up another expensive can-o-worms and obsession.



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