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Author Topic: Question on technique  (Read 2573 times)

Bo

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Question on technique
« on: April 29, 2004, 11:15:02 am »

OK, here's my situation:

My 'studio space' is currently my bedroom - although I'm lucky in that it has 12' vaulted ceilings and is of decent size.

So, I have a guy coming in to record this next month and he plays acoustic guitar and sings.  He wants to play and sing at the same time.  I need help on the best way to mic this guy - I usually make them do the guitar and vocals separate, but he said he'd be more comfortable playing both.  I agree, as I want a good performance as my first priority.

I am rebuilding my gear slowly from my old setup which I sold, so my system is basically (1) SP VTB-1 preamp or Soundcraft console to Protools LE/Digi002 Rack (home recording, haha) - My computer is dead quiet, as its built for recording - so that's a plus since I have no control room.
Mics: a matched pair of MXL 603s, a SP C1, SM57, AKG 451

What would you do?
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Bo

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Re: Question on technique
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2004, 04:14:00 pm »

haha thx guys.
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meverylame

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Re: Question on technique
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2004, 04:33:57 pm »

Bo wrote on Thu, 29 April 2004 16:14

haha thx guys.

Patience man. I would use the mxl 603's on the guitar through your soundcraft. as for the vocals, is there any way of scoring a hyper cardiod mic? That would cut out a good bit of bleed, but if not I would focus in on trying to make him comfortable as possible so the takes won't need to be over dubbed. How's that?
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Cheers!
Jason Kingsland

http://www.jasonruinsrecords.com

spankenstein

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Re: Question on technique
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2004, 05:22:40 pm »

I'd use one of the 603s as a room mic. I love room mics. It makes the recording feel real. Usually with a singer/songwriter I throw up a bunch fo different things and only mix in what soudns good.

Last one I used: Oktava MK012 at 12th fret, AT814 Near sound hole, Oktava MK012 6' away about 4' up and an MXL990 about 6" infront for vocals. He was realyl happy with it and I used a LOT of the room mic.
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josh

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Re: Question on technique
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2004, 05:28:54 pm »

Put your go-to vocal mic through the VTB-1 in front of his head for vocals.  Don't worry about bleed.  Get it a little bit above and aim it down a little bit if you're worried about bleed.  This'd probably be your C1 or 451.  Whichever sounds best for the vocals.  I'd put it about 10" or so from his head.  The other one (either the C1 or 451), put it at about the 12th fret or so below the guitar about 8" away.  

Take your 603's and set them up as ambient stero mics about 6' away and about 6' apart.  Aim them at the soundhole.

That's how I'd do it.

FWIW getting a hypercardiod mic is just asking for trouble imho.  I'd stick with trying to get a balanced sound to begin with with all of the mics on and don't worry about bleed.  Bleed is only a problem if you insist on replacing a track or if the balance is wrong to start with.  With a singer/guitarist it's usually not a big balance problem.

Bo

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Re: Question on technique
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2004, 05:31:01 pm »

thanks guys...I really may use room mics.

also, i can get a hypercardioid but not a very high quality one...most of the mics at work are geared more for live sound work.  But we'll see.

how far away do you place your paticular room mics?  In the top of the corner?

I need sleep hahaha.
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hargerst

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Re: Question on technique
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2004, 06:00:38 pm »

Bo wrote on Thu, 29 April 2004 16:31

thanks guys...I really may use room mics.

also, i can get a hypercardioid but not a very high quality one...most of the mics at work are geared more for live sound work.  But we'll see.

how far away do you place your paticular room mics?  In the top of the corner?

I need sleep hahaha.


Basically, you're screwed, whatever you do.  If the guy fucks up, you're gonna just hafta start over, either with a punch-in (which probably won't work, because the guy won't play and sing evenly enough), or just retake it from the top of the song.

I'd go with a pair of 603's in an x/y array, down low, pointed near the bottom of the guitar.  Blend in the C1, which should be forehead high, aimed at his mouth.  Watch for phasing problems and do a lot of praying.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

Bo

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Re: Question on technique
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2004, 06:07:37 pm »

hargerst wrote on Thu, 29 April 2004 23:00



Basically, you're screwed, whatever you do.  If the guy fucks up, you're gonna just hafta start over, either with a punch-in (which probably won't work, because the guy won't play and sing evenly enough), or just retake it from the top of the song.

I'd go with a pair of 603's in an x/y array, down low, pointed near the bottom of the guitar.  Blend in the C1, which should be forehead high, aimed at his mouth.  Watch for phasing problems and do a lot of praying.


well, I am lucky as heck because this guy is a really good player and vocalist.  I think he is just being picky about getting an intimate sound/feeling.
Another problem is that some tracks may have some other instruments (rhodes piano, upright bass, electric guitar, harmonica, acordian, to name a few) added in on various tracks.  So, I'm scared about mixing essentially his live feel with these other tracks done individually.  But we'll see...I may try to talk him into seeing it my way.  
Do you think the difference will be overly obvious?
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hargerst

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Re: Question on technique
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2004, 09:33:09 pm »

Bo wrote on Thu, 29 April 2004 17:07

hargerst wrote on Thu, 29 April 2004 23:00



Basically, you're screwed, whatever you do.  If the guy fucks up, you're gonna just hafta start over, either with a punch-in (which probably won't work, because the guy won't play and sing evenly enough), or just retake it from the top of the song.

I'd go with a pair of 603's in an x/y array, down low, pointed near the bottom of the guitar.  Blend in the C1, which should be forehead high, aimed at his mouth.  Watch for phasing problems and do a lot of praying.


well, I am lucky as heck because this guy is a really good player and vocalist.  I think he is just being picky about getting an intimate sound/feeling.
Another problem is that some tracks may have some other instruments (rhodes piano, upright bass, electric guitar, harmonica, acordian, to name a few) added in on various tracks.  So, I'm scared about mixing essentially his live feel with these other tracks done individually.  But we'll see...I may try to talk him into seeing it my way.  
Do you think the difference will be overly obvious?


As long as he's fairly steady, it shouldn't be a problem to add the other things later.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

Dan-O

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Re: Question on technique
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2004, 08:46:31 am »

I like Harvey's approach and would try that first. Recently had fine results with an over the shoulder mic and one 4-6" or so in between 12th fret and sound hole. Closer to the sound hole really and slightly angled across the top of the guitar toward the chest. Which helped thicken up a rather thin voice. The over the shoulder mic was placed ear level slightly out from the shoulder toward the guitar. This helped keep the vocal present and kept the phasing down. Tell him not to sing to mic though. Very natural sounding. The 603's should get you there.

One other thing you might want to try is a mono mic about 3-4 feet in front. You have to adjust the hight to taste as you get different results at different heights. Even 2" off the ground. It sounds like the room could be good and this has worked many times surprisingly. The added advantage of no phase problems as well. Come mix time the image can be toyed with to taste.
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Dan-O
Snake Oil Recording
http://www.snakeoilrecording.com
Richmond, VA

Family Hoof

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Re: Question on technique
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2004, 09:43:52 pm »

Am I too late? I only tried to do acoustic + vocal at the same time once and it was hell. Had to get the guy to balance himself really nicely and then mic from a few feet back. Came out terrible because of the room. I'm sure I could do it now as I'm much better.

Sound On Sound had an article on this exact thing in their 'Studio SOS' column two years ago. Their approach was to use two identical figure 8 condensers aimed away from eachother so that the nulls cancelled or so they said - one slightly above the guitar and one slightly below the guy's face if I remember correctly. Never tried that approach but I love the idea mentioned above of getting a good mono sound with a mic on the gtr and a mic at the forehead, then making it stereo with a not-so-distant pair.
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