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Author Topic: Recording Singer/Guitar players....too much vocal bleed..  (Read 1486 times)

Ryan Leigh Patterson

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Recording Singer/Guitar players....too much vocal bleed..
« on: April 21, 2005, 12:41:39 pm »

Yeah, I've done this one a few times, and while I've had decent results, I've yet to get it perfect.  I've never tried a piece of cardboard between the vocal mic and the guitar mic, but I'm not too crazy about this anyways, since it really bothers most musicians.  I always seem to get a great vocal sound, but the guitar sound is never as good as I would like it.

Has anyone out there got a special technique that minimizes vocal bleed into the guitar mic?  I always end up spending way too much time trying to get the phase between the two main mics perfect, and I hate to see the musicians sitting there patiently, while all their creative energy evaporates.  

I'm thinking of simply putting up a stereo pair (coincident) and trying to get a nice balance with clever positioning.  Maybe ad a room mic or two....

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Ryan Patterson
Toronto, Ontario
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jimmyjazz

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Re: Recording Singer/Guitar players....too much vocal bleed..
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2005, 12:59:57 pm »

I'm all for miking the voice & guitar "together" with a stereo pair (X/Y or M/S), but you could also try working with microphones that have strong nulls, and using those nulls to help minimize bleed.  My Royer 121 has pretty good rejection 90 degrees away from the front/back lobes, and might work well on certain voices.  Maybe a hypercardiod, which nulls out somewhere near (but not at) 180 degrees could be used for the voice.  

I usually just accept the bleed and try to place a stereo pair in a location where the vocal/guitar balance is best.  I like coincident pair techniques for this application because phase issues are essentially nonexistent, and I usually don't really need (or want) the bigger, less precise soundstage I might get with ORTF, etc.
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wwittman

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Re: Recording Singer/Guitar players....too much vocal bleed..
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2005, 10:06:32 pm »

I think it's a good point to say that rather than minimising it, work WITH it.

When you stand in front of the guy playing and singing, can you hear both things all right?

You don't need perfect separation, only a good balance.

I tend to start with a side address condenser, like an 87 or 47, and angle it upward toward the singer form slightly below chin level.. the idea being to reject the guitar behind and below.
Then I sort of mirror that with another one pointed down at an angle at the guitar.

Sort of semi-X-Y with one axis pointed at the guitar and the other at the singer's mouth.

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William Wittman
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maxim

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Re: Recording Singer/Guitar players....too much vocal bleed..
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2005, 10:19:05 pm »

sounds whacky, but one of the best sounds i got with this setup, was using just one condenser mic

hanging just above mouth level and looking down at the guitar

you have to listen for the right spot, but if it works, you can compress and eq afterwards, and it'll stay great

don't use the cardboard, it will give you weird reflections

ps figure-8's have the strongest nulls
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Ryan Leigh Patterson

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Re: Recording Singer/Guitar players....too much vocal bleed..
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2005, 10:05:40 am »

I'm not really looking for perfect seperation, I'm just looking to minimize the bleed issues that tend to cloud an otherwise great guitar sound.

I'll try the side address thing Mr Wittman has so kindly suggested.  Seems like it should work nicely!

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Ryan Patterson
Toronto, Ontario
www.myspace.com/ryanlpatterson

j.hall

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Re: Recording Singer/Guitar players....too much vocal bleed..
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2005, 10:40:40 am »

wwittman wrote on Thu, 21 April 2005 21:06

I think it's a good point to say that rather than minimising it, work WITH it.

When you stand in front of the guy playing and singing, can you hear both things all right?

You don't need perfect separation, only a good balance.

I tend to start with a side address condenser, like an 87 or 47, and angle it upward toward the singer form slightly below chin level.. the idea being to reject the guitar behind and below.
Then I sort of mirror that with another one pointed down at an angle at the guitar.

Sort of semi-X-Y with one axis pointed at the guitar and the other at the singer's mouth.




why not try using a figure 8 pattern?

just one mic, could be interesting.

i've always done what william does.  works great for me.
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jimmyjazz

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Re: Recording Singer/Guitar players....too much vocal bleed..
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2005, 11:28:52 am »

j.hall wrote on Fri, 22 April 2005 10:40

why not try using a figure 8 pattern?

just one mic, could be interesting.



Are you trying to minimize bleed by using a single fig-8 mic?  If so, how would you position the microphone?  If you position it at 0/180, both lobes will pick up both "instruments" (voice & guitar).  If you position it at 90/270, neither lobe (in theory) will pick up either instrument.  (Of course, that's not true in practice, but I'm not sure I follow your line of thought.)
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j.hall

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Re: Recording Singer/Guitar players....too much vocal bleed..
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2005, 11:39:37 am »

top lobe gets the singer, bottom lobe gets the guitar.
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Ryan Leigh Patterson

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Re: Recording Singer/Guitar players....too much vocal bleed..
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2005, 02:07:55 pm »

Thanks for the ideas....

I've also tried the single fig 8, and it works...sometimes....just not as well as I had hoped.  I've got a few more mics at my disposal now, and I think I'll play around with some of these. I'm also in the process of getting some new capsules for my ol' 414EBs (my only multi position mics).

Gotta get a ribbon, I'm thinking AEA 84...seems like the one thats right for me!


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Ryan Patterson
Toronto, Ontario
www.myspace.com/ryanlpatterson

maxim

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Re: Recording Singer/Guitar players....too much vocal bleed..
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2005, 10:09:09 pm »

use 2 figure 8's and point the nulls at the sources you're trying to reject
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wwittman

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Re: Recording Singer/Guitar players....too much vocal bleed..
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2005, 03:54:17 pm »

Somone (who SHOULD know {g}) once told me that the J-200 jumbo was designed for this very idea.. so that it had extra bottom projecting so that when it was picked up by just the vocla mic it would sound nice and full.

Cool, even if it turns out to be not true!

Part of the trick, if there is a trick, is getting leackage that sounds GOOD... which is why sometimes a mic with not so perfect rejection works better, because that slightly off axis stuff that gets in doesn't sound all weird and thin.

It's usually that nasty clacky stuff that gets into the vocal mic that ruins the otherwise good guitar sound... so if you get the leakage sounding fuller and at least 'nicer' it doesn't "matter" as much.
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William Wittman
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(Cyndi Lauper, Joan Osborne, The Fixx, The Outfield, Hooters...)
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