Superlux S241 pair with classical guitar

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
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rojarosguitar
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Superlux S241 pair with classical guitar

Postby rojarosguitar » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:43 am

Here's a little still movie using a recording I did recently with a pair of Superlux S241 small diaphragm condenser mics.

They went via Zoom TAC-2 direct to Studio One V2. Mixed without any other process apart from dithering (Ozone 5).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuDeUJiL9KM
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R.V.S.
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Re: Superlux S241 pair with classical guitar

Postby R.V.S. » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:24 pm

Sounds great. Nice choice of composition and nice playing, too. Thanks for sharing. You've mentioned an S502 in previous posts... how do you feel a pair of S241s compares with a S502?

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Re: Superlux S241 pair with classical guitar

Postby rojarosguitar » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:34 pm

I think the S502 is basically a pair the same mics in a fixed ORTF housing allowing for only this kind of stereophonic recording (of course one always could use just one of them for a spot mic). Soundwise I feel they perform very similar. Of course ORTF is one of the best proven near coincident stereo arrays; so much so that Shoeps (of which the S502 is a 'copy') makes them as a product with a good place in their catalogue. But one can doubt that ORTF is the optimal microphone array for classical guitar.

Our luthier Alexandru Marian has experimented a lot with microphone arrays for classical guitar and found an array that works better than ORTF.

So the advantage of two individual microphones is that you can realize every possible and meaningful array (I write meaningful, because them being cardioids not every array makes sense at all).

As to the composition I have chosen it because of the range: The scordatura here is e-c#-g#-C#-G#-C#.

The mics seem to have a stable and well focuse bass and the treble are neither brittle nor pointed. Of course they do not have the airy quality of top microphones like Schoeps or DPA, but hey, the cost 1/16 of a DPA ...

Also a bonus is that they have a low cut and a damping switch. They come with schock mounts and even a cleverly made pop filter (which has no purpose for CG).
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

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Re: Superlux S241 pair with classical guitar

Postby R.V.S. » Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:34 pm

Thanks for the detailed response. I know now that I want a Superlux. I'll have to decide whether or not to go with two S241s or one S502 (the convenience appeals to me, and I love the ORTF sound). Or one S241 and a mic with a figure-8 pattern in mid-side arrangement...

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Re: Superlux S241 pair with classical guitar

Postby rojarosguitar » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:24 pm

Thanks for your feed back. Figure eight pattern mics are usually pretty expensive if you go with small diaphragm condensers. The cheapest way would be a ribbon. If it's not a special assymetrical make, they are naturrally figure eight. Cascade makes decent affordable ribbons. If you don't have a preamp with a lot of very quiet and clean gain, a Tritone Audio FETHEAD inline amp (that one that doesn't pass the phantom power) is a great way to use a ribbon without breaking the bank for a good preamp.

If you like the ORTF then S502 is really very very hard to beat. Make sure you test yours when received, their quality control is less then optimum (though I personally didn't have problems with any of their mics yet).
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

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Re: Superlux S241 pair with classical guitar

Postby R.V.S. » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:11 am

Thanks for the tips, again! For preamps, I have an EH 12ay7 tube preamp (the stompbox shape appealed to me as a guitarist), and the preamp on my interface (Apogee Quartet) isn't too bad (lots of clean gain, but a little sterile sounding). I hadn't heard of the FetHead, but will definitely grab one if I go the ribbon route (or possibly to see what it does to my SM7B). I was thinking CAD M179 for the figure-8, though I am worried it'll sound cheap (I've never heard one, but have heard good things).

Regarding ORTF and classical guitar, I'm planning on using Fabfilter's Q2 plugin in mid-side mode to selectively narrow the stereo width in the midrange, which is where things seem to get pushed back in the mix by phase cancellation in ORTF. I don't know how well this will work, but I'm optimistic.

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Re: Superlux S241 pair with classical guitar

Postby rojarosguitar » Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:35 pm

Fethead is great on dynamical microphones like Shure SM57, SM58, too, you almost cant recognize the mic ...

As to MS, I recently got more convinced about it; more then I was before;

I think the best combination of the MS idea with ORTF is to use a near coincident 3-microphone array with two ORTF-like sides and a third middle one. It's a bit more tech work, but the results are a marvelous combination of the airy-ness of ORTF and the flexibility of M-S, but you don't have mono compatibility (which is not an issue these days anyway).

As to CAD I don't know, they are not so widespread here in Germany; Of course basically you could also use any figure eight capable LDC; but it should be a quiet mic as the side mic is a bit underpriviledged in volume in MS recording.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

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Re: Superlux S241 pair with classical guitar

Postby R.V.S. » Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:43 pm

I'll try the ORTF with mid mic combo. I have a mic that I think might complement the S502. It's a Blue Mouse. It's rather dark, typically used on kick drums, bass guitars, and baritone males. It does surprisingly well with classical guitar - very smooth and warm sounding - but does benefit from some EQing to add "air" to the high end... which the S502 might add naturally. On the other hand, more mics means more potential phase issues, especially in a small room like mine, so.. we'll see. I'll give it a shot and post the results.

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Re: Superlux S241 pair with classical guitar

Postby rojarosguitar » Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:49 pm

OK, Usually if I do that, I go wider and more open than ORTF, but obviously you cant't change anything with S502. But still, you can mix the middle channel in to your taste; let us know your results.
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6strings

Re: Superlux S241 pair with classical guitar

Postby 6strings » Mon May 09, 2016 2:25 pm

I don't want to sound rude or harsh, I appreciate those postings you have made and opportunity to hear all those mics and different combinations and constellations, but to me this recording sound very nasal and thin, also kind-of white noisy somehow. I am not sure I can define it. Listening through my usual Senheiser Urbanite as I listen almost all YT recordings. You seem to play well, but I don't know if the nasal sound of trebles is coming from the mics or from your tone production, I suppose it is the mic since you seem to play very clean otherwise. I am aware it is supposed to be cheap, but I am not sure the cheap in this case is justified. I hope you don't mind my critique. I am thinking of maybe recording something myself, so I am just trying to find something simple and easy, with "good enough" quality for pleasant listening.

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Re: Superlux S241 pair with classical guitar

Postby rojarosguitar » Tue May 10, 2016 10:15 am

Not offended at all.
I didn't feel it that way though. I think I played a bit 'edgy' but I don't hear it as nasal - otherwise I would never recommend these mics as I really dislike nasal sound on guitar.
The Baarslag guitar has plenty of higher harmonics and the b string is at c# and g string (which is a 0.9 carbon) at g#, so that might have added to a certain edginess of the sound.

I felt these mics are quite decent even if not looking at the price tag. The noise could be a youtube artefact. Did you listen 8in full resolution?
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

6strings

Re: Superlux S241 pair with classical guitar

Postby 6strings » Tue May 10, 2016 3:19 pm

Seems indeed it sounds a bit more on thinner side when listened through the phones than through the speakers. Reviews about Urbanite does say they reproduce bass a bit better than trebles, so that might come in play too.

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Re: Superlux S241 pair with classical guitar

Postby rojarosguitar » Wed May 11, 2016 6:02 pm

I never used Sennheiser Urbanite by myself so I can't say much. I listened once through another lifestyle headphone by Sennheiser (Momentum) and it didn't hit me as exceptionally faithful to music.

I have different headphones, among which there is the famous Sennheiser HD-25, and two higher grade AKGs, a Sony etc. On none of them I hear any nasality or unacceptable noise. If any, I would qualify the sound as a bit brittle, but that's due to the higher tension of the trebles, I think, and surely my imperfect sound production.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

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Re: Superlux S241 pair with classical guitar

Postby gasman » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:29 pm

hi

I like how it sounds? did you recording in a good room? house room?

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Re: Superlux S241 pair with classical guitar

Postby rojarosguitar » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:50 pm

Hi,
I recorded in my living room, no sound treatment, but quite empty and lively... wooden floor, little furniture, a lot of window surface.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...


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