Microphones.

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
DonM

Re: Microphones.

Post by DonM » Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:03 pm

As a follow up. I definitely made a mistake in my previous post and didn't want to just edit it but rather chose to follow up to point out how wrong it was. You can't hear phase 'properly' with headphones. The binaural isolation reduces it's results fairly drastically. So you'd have to return to your control space and listen on near fields or other speakers to hear the effects of comb and phase. I love being wrong in public.

-D
Last edited by DonM on Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

philparker

Re: Microphones.

Post by philparker » Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:03 pm

Sorry to hijack the thread, but...

Is there any advantage to using a twin mic set-up for live performance?

fscott55

Re: Microphones.

Post by fscott55 » Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:22 pm

Phasing can and does result from bad room acoustics. With a good room 3:1 rule is not needed for a guitar. What I find is that there are many experts who gain their knowledge from reading, rather than actual experience. They've read that the 3:1 mic rule is required, but never ask why or why it doesn't work.

I think the best person to ask about the 3:1 rule as it applies to the guitar is legendary acoustic engineer Billy Wolf. Has nearly 40 years of recording experience and is well known in the recording world as the acoustic recording engineer. I've gained a great bit of knowledge from Billy through the years and asked about the 3:1 mic rule as it pertains to guitars. Billy will tell you it is not needed, and in most cases not preferred.

Feel free to contact wim via email or call him, he's very personable.

Wolf Productions, Inc.
2601-A Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201

Voice: 703-351-7540
Cell: 703-862-3392

DonM

Re: Microphones.

Post by DonM » Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:49 pm

fscott55 wrote:Phasing can and does result from bad room acoustics. With a good room 3:1 rule is not needed for a guitar. What I find is that there are many experts who gain their knowledge from reading, rather than actual experience. They've read that the 3:1 mic rule is required, but never ask why or why it doesn't work.

I think the best person to ask about the 3:1 rule as it applies to the guitar is legendary acoustic engineer Billy Wolf. Has nearly 40 years of recording experience and is well known in the recording world as the acoustic recording engineer. I've gained a great bit of knowledge from Billy through the years and asked about the 3:1 mic rule as it pertains to guitars. Billy will tell you it is not needed, and in most cases not preferred.

Feel free to contact wim via email or call him, he's very personable.

Wolf Productions, Inc.
2601-A Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201

Voice: 703-351-7540
Cell: 703-862-3392
What? I'm not personable :)
-D

DonM

Re: Microphones.

Post by DonM » Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:54 pm

philparker wrote:Sorry to hijack the thread, but...
Is there any advantage to using a twin mic set-up for live performance?
Live means dozens of things:

#1 Live solo concert setting
#2 Live solo club, restaurant setting
#3 Live ensemble concert
#4 Live ensemble club, restaurant setting

I'll stop there. I have fitted some of my instruments with pickups since I have played large outdoor venues with orchestra and what's the point of being there if I can't be heard or a mic is going to pickup every thing around me plus wind. Just my thoughts on large venue things... anyway more to your point. The mic is only 60% of reinforced sound in a live setting, the FOH engineer's preferences and the FOH system are the other 40%.

Honestly the best live mic'ed performance I ever heard was Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer - Two wide card's 2000 people in the concert hall - I was blown away.

-D

fscott55

Re: Microphones.

Post by fscott55 » Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:55 pm

Hehe.. now you know better.

You're correct in that everyone has their own formula for success. Engineers who find a way to do something right will usually stick to that for a long time. Obviously there are formulas for every situation. You wouldn't record a violin with stereo mics the same way you would a jumbo guitar. Different sources require different formulas. I guess I'm just pointing out the fact that sticking to a "mythical" formula like the 3:1 rule not only inhibits your recording experimentation, it may actually prevent you from exploring positions that work for you and your room acoustics. For me, room acoustics are the most important element in a good recording.

Also, the Live At Abbey Road recirding can be purchased on CD if you require higher fidelity. Pete uses that mic setup almost exclusively.

philparker

Re: Microphones.

Post by philparker » Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:17 pm

DonM wrote: Live means dozens of things:

#1 Live solo concert setting
#2 Live solo club, restaurant setting
#3 Live ensemble concert
#4 Live ensemble club, restaurant setting

I'll stop there. I have fitted some of my instruments with pickups since I have played large outdoor venues with orchestra and what's the point of being there if I can't be heard or a mic is going to pickup every thing around me plus wind. -D
Thanks for the response Don, I really appreciate your experienced and knowledgeable advice. I normally play solo club, restaurant setting, weddings and small venues etc. occasionally outdoors. I used to play an electro-classical through and AER 60, but have reverted back to traditional classical. I am reluctant to fit a pick-up system to my most expensive concert CG, but I do have a less expensive concert CG (which is pleasurable to play) that I don't mind modifying.

I have been reading this and other threads with great interest and for my purposes I am tending towards fitting an AER pick up system to one guitar for larger venues, through the AER 60, and retaining my other guitar unmodified for use unamplified in smaller venues. The smaller venues tend to have less ambient noise although it never ceases to amaze me how every venue and audience are so completely different. As background music at a wedding in a small private function room, minutes before the bride arrived - the noise of people talking was almost deafening!! Yet in a huge church before the bride arrived you could hear a pin drop - and every string slide on my CG!!!

Thanks again, Don, I will get there eventually!!!

DonM

Re: Microphones.

Post by DonM » Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:22 pm

fscott55 wrote:Hehe.. now you know better.

You're correct in that everyone has their own formula for success. Engineers who find a way to do something right will usually stick to that for a long time. Obviously there are formulas for every situation. You wouldn't record a violin with stereo mics the same way you would a jumbo guitar. Different sources require different formulas. I guess I'm just pointing out the fact that sticking to a "mythical" formula like the 3:1 rule not only inhibits your recording experimentation, it may actually prevent you from exploring positions that work for you and your room acoustics. For me, room acoustics are the most important element in a good recording.

Also, the Live At Abbey Road recirding can be purchased on CD if you require higher fidelity. Pete uses that mic setup almost exclusively.
Right. 89% is environment, unless you eliminate environment with close micing which has it's own obvious problems and then treat the room with non-reflective surfaces which also has it's problems. Finally the instrument matters. I can understand Why Pete would find something that works for his instrument. I 'assume' that he uses the same mics all the time as well - right?

Once I was at the board for a Leo Kottke sound check. Blend of his Sunrise PU and Beyer 201 (his choice, not the engineer who I was sitting with) Leo wanted house and monitor in a upside down smile - think of mid-squawk - not my preference, but that's want he wanted. After talking with the FOH guy I found out that apparently Leo had hearing damage when serving in the military and he's got a narrow sound he wants both front and monitors.

Experience is the ultimate reference to know that nothing works!

-D

charles dodgen

Re: Microphones.

Post by charles dodgen » Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:48 pm

Hi,
Thanks for all the information.

Regarding comb-filtering, my understanding is that sound wave interactions that result in reinforcing and attenuating certain frequencies (comb-filtering) can occur in two ways: between two or more microphones' combined signals and between a source's direct and reflected sound waves' interaction in relation to the position of one microphone.

I was under the impression that the first way, between two mics, was what the 3 to 1 rule, originally pertaining to recording multiple instruments with multiple microphones that will be summed together, attempted to avoid by keeping the signal level of an instrument picked up from another microphone low enough in relation to the signal level of that instrument's assigned microphone that audible comb-filtering effects between the two signals are minimized.

Where as comb-filtering can be heard between the acoustic interaction of direct and reflected signals even when only one mic is used, isn't comb-filtering that occurs between multiple microphones, in general, only an issue when the signals are summed together, which, for solo instruments recorded in stereo (probably the main application of interest for people on this forum), they would not be?

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GeoffB
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Re: Microphones.

Post by GeoffB » Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:55 pm

charles dodgen wrote:Hi,
Thanks for all the information.
Hi Charles,

I see you've just joined us. Would you like to call in at the Introduce Yourself section some time and tell us a few words about yourself, so we can give you a proper welcome and pass on a few tips on how to get the best out of the forum? Hope to see you there.

Geoff
Classical Guitar Forum.

"Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it." - Steven Wright

DonM

Re: Microphones.

Post by DonM » Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:10 am

Charles:

Yes to everything you've said - and stated very well!

With regard to summing and whether a stereo recording would reflect the results of combing, try it for your self. But keep in mind stereo is stereo. What we saw with Pete's guitar in that video is not stereo at least as I would define it given my orchestral recording experience. So you place your stereo pair (as Cam has provided us in this thread with links) in phased positions and in fact there is combing going since some of the energy in all 'true' stereo recordings is summed to lesser degree at wide angles, and time. Close micing is what I would call 'artificial stereo' - For some background, In my class I define five categories of Stereo, so we won't go there now!

Another nice thing to do is to use Voxengo Span ( http://www.voxengo.com/product/SPAN/ )

This free VST spectrum tool is very useful to confirm what you are hearing.

-D

charles dodgen wrote:Hi,
Thanks for all the information.

Regarding comb-filtering, my understanding is that sound wave interactions that result in reinforcing and attenuating certain frequencies (comb-filtering) can occur in two ways: between two or more microphones' combined signals and between a source's direct and reflected sound waves' interaction in relation to the position of one microphone.

I was under the impression that the first way, between two mics, was what the 3 to 1 rule, originally pertaining to recording multiple instruments with multiple microphones that will be summed together, attempted to avoid by keeping the signal level of an instrument picked up from another microphone low enough in relation to the signal level of that instrument's assigned microphone that audible comb-filtering effects between the two signals are minimized.

Where as comb-filtering can be heard between the acoustic interaction of direct and reflected signals even when only one mic is used, isn't comb-filtering that occurs between multiple microphones, in general, only an issue when the signals are summed together, which, for solo instruments recorded in stereo (probably the main application of interest for people on this forum), they would not be?

charles dodgen

Re: Microphones.

Post by charles dodgen » Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:12 am

Thanks, Don, for the info and the link. I will do some experimenting.

And thanks for the welcome, Geoff! I just posted on the welcome forum.

Charles

cn90

Mic Distance question

Post by cn90 » Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:13 pm

Dear DonM,

I research the topic of distance between the microphones and the CG (or any music instrument).

Some say 6-18" from the CG's soundboard:
http://www.recordinglair.com/record/loc ... cplace.htm

Some say further away (to reduce nail clicks frequencies which do not travel far), such as 4, 6, 8 feet away etc.
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15621

What is your recommendation re distance from the CG?
(I use CAD Equitek E70 microphone and ORTF setup for now).

Thanks!

brsherriff

Re: Microphones.

Post by brsherriff » Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:29 am

Some advise please. I know nothing about micro phones or recording, but I would like to record to my PC to help measure progress. I would like something that would give good sound reproduction. So what is the best bang for my buck?
Thanks in advance.

Jer

Re: Microphones.

Post by Jer » Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:59 pm

A thank you to DonM. Based in large part on his advice on this thread, I looked into the CAD Equitek mics and eventually bought a pair. I am very pleased with their performance considering the price.
I am by any definition a recording newbie, but I have learned that so much more goes into the equation of a good recording than simply what mics. A friend who runs a modest recording studio that has an acoustically controlled room was kind enough to let me borrow several mics to try. It was amazing to me the difference in the recordings between that studio and my "studio" (i.e. extra bedroom) with the same mics. While I have not thoroughly played with the new mics yet, they seem to offer the versatility needed for less that perfect conditions.
Thanks again.
Also, I got them from the place in Maine mentioned above- good price and no problems.
Jerry

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