Mics -- Need Advice

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

Mics -- Need Advice

Post by Guitar Slim » Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:47 pm

I currently own a single AKG C1000S microphone. I have the opportunity to buy a second C1000S for a very low price, which I've been wanting to do for some time so I can start dual-micing my guitar.

Problem is, I could also get a C3000B for a very good price. It's a large-diaphragm condensor that by all accounts is a much better microphone that the C1000. But my CFO (aka Mrs. Slim) will only approve the purchase of one mic at the moment -- some nonsense about paying the mortgage and feeding the family, you know how they are :wink:

Would it be completely pointless to try and stereo-mic the guitar with two different mics (a C1000 and a C3000)? My common sense tells me to go with the matching C1000, but my gear-greed tells me to go with the C3000 because it's a better mic. Also, the C1000 is about half the price, so getting one of those would leave me with a little something to put towards a new preamp.

And thoughts, comments, advice?

Azalais

Post by Azalais » Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:45 pm

How about a compromise? Get a new preamp for the mic you already have... (A tube preamp (for my condensor mic) was by far the most effective incremental improvement I ever made)

Guitar Slim

Post by Guitar Slim » Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:15 pm

Azalais wrote:How about a compromise? Get a new preamp for the mic you already have... (A tube preamp (for my condensor mic) was by far the most effective incremental improvement I ever made)
I already have a decent microphone tube preamp, and you're correct, it was a very good investment in my sound.

Problem is, it's single channel. To record in stereo I'll need not just a second mic, but also a second preamp, or a new stereo preamp. :cry:

Azalais

Post by Azalais » Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:49 pm

:oops: Sorry, I missed that... and I was trying to save you from yourself and Mrs. Slim's wrath... :wink: I tried....

Bandersnatch

Re: Mics -- Need Advice

Post by Bandersnatch » Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:19 am

Guitar Slim wrote:
Would it be completely pointless to try and stereo-mic the guitar with two different mics (a C1000 and a C3000)? My common sense tells me to go with the matching C1000, but my gear-greed tells me to go with the C3000 because it's a better mic. Also, the C1000 is about half the price, so getting one of those would leave me with a little something to put towards a new preamp.

And thoughts, comments, advice?
Stereo recording using using ORTF or XY position will require the same mics and preferably they should be a matched pair. You use these techniques to give you good stereo image with minimal phase cancellation problems for those who would need their recording to also be heard in mono. The other thing you achieve is that by using cardioid mics you can close mic the instrument and reject unwanted sonic influences from the room. When using different mics the objective changes. Usually you are looking to get a blend of tonalities that results in part from the different mics and part from the position they are placed which in turn is strongly influenced by the acoustics of the particular room. Because of this experimenting with different mics give best results in an acoustically treated room which is not the common case in home recording. If you are planing to record vocals having a large diaphragm condenser will give you more options to record. So as you can see it all depends and what are your goals.

Guitar Slim

Re: Mics -- Need Advice

Post by Guitar Slim » Mon Sep 11, 2006 5:40 pm

Bandersnatch wrote:Stereo recording using using ORTF or XY position will require the same mics and preferably they should be a matched pair. You use these techniques to give you good stereo image with minimal phase cancellation problems for those who would need their recording to also be heard in mono. The other thing you achieve is that by using cardioid mics you can close mic the instrument and reject unwanted sonic influences from the room. When using different mics the objective changes. Usually you are looking to get a blend of tonalities that results in part from the different mics and part from the position they are placed which in turn is strongly influenced by the acoustics of the particular room. Because of this experimenting with different mics give best results in an acoustically treated room which is not the common case in home recording. If you are planing to record vocals having a large diaphragm condenser will give you more options to record. So as you can see it all depends and what are your goals.
Very good point. You're correct, I don't have a very good acoustic space and intend to do close micing and not experiment with room micing at the moment.

I've also been discouraged from buying the C3000 as I've heard from several sources that a large-diaphragm condensor is not the best choice for close micing a classical guitar.

So the C1000 it is, and hopefully I'll have a little left for a second tube preamp, or a moderately priced stereo preamp!

Thanks for the advice everyone.

Bandersnatch

Post by Bandersnatch » Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:25 pm

I have read that one reason small diaphragm condesnser mics are preferred over large diapgragm mics for recording classical instruments is that the physics of a small diaphragm provides a faster and more accurate frecuency response than the large diaphragm. That may be why the larger one is frecuently described as giving a "warmer" tone. This warmer tone is usually preferred for vocals and many pop acoustic guitar players. That been said I was at John Williams concert last year and the mic he was using in the stage was a large condenser mic. Whether it was his staff or the theater staff choice I don't know but it did not stop me from enjoying it at all. In the end art is a subjective matter and if you are happy with your set up, that is what counts the most.
Another technical point that you might already know but for the benefit of others: A matched pair not only referred to two identical mic models but to qualify as matched they had to be tested so they have near identical frecuency response. Slight variations in manufacturing quality control can affect the stereo image. I don't think this should be a big issue for the home recording artist on a budget but I though to mention it. As I said before mic placement and room acoustic has such a big influence that the other stuff is more academic and less practical stuff for the home recordist on a budget.

Cheers :D

joel oporto

Post by joel oporto » Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:20 pm

get the c1000 to make a pair, it will give you more uses like say recording an ensemble of 2 to 8.

I'm actually not sold out on the c3000 for classical guitar, vocals perhaps.

better to get another mono or stereo preamp with the money.

Return to “Classical guitar recording and amplification”