Córdoba Gypsy Kings mic blender -- bleh

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
Brian M
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Córdoba Gypsy Kings mic blender -- bleh

Post by Brian M » Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:36 pm

I've been casually trying out the Córdoba Gypsy Kings model that has both under-saddle pickup and internal microphone, with a blender knob. In the environment of the store (a noisy Guitar Conglomerate) I'm so far very un-impressed with it. Running into a Crate acoustic amp, the mic blender actually made it sound worse. Other times, it's so sensitive to feedback as to seem almost useless.

Does anyone out there use one of these, and are you able to get good results out of it in the real world?

So far, it seems that my old Takamine CP132SC (fluorocarbon strings) blows the Córdoba Gypsy Kings away, though I haven't been able to do a valid side-by-side comparison.

riffmeister
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Re: Córdoba Gypsy Kings mic blender -- bleh

Post by riffmeister » Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:48 pm

Mine works well, sounds great. I run it into a Fishman Platinum Pro EQ then into the PA.

2handband
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Re: Córdoba Gypsy Kings mic blender -- bleh

Post by 2handband » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:12 pm

Coming from a pro soundman's perspective, I've never come across an internal method of amplifying an acoustic instrument that I thought sounded good. What you want is what somebody sitting right in front of you would hear, and to do that your best bet is a condenser mic.

The Crate amp is probably not helping. Crate is one of a number of brands that are proscribed in a lot of contract riders, and it's for a reason. Honestly acoustic amps in general are compromise solutions at best; you're far better off running direct to the board. If you're in a noisy guitar conglomerate ask if there's a PA set up in the pro sound area of the store (there should be) and try plugging into that.

As for the feedback, any solution to acoustic guitar amplification (other than those godawful under-saddle pickups) is going to be somewhat prone to feedback. The answer is EQ. There should be a 31 band graphic between board and amp for every PA speaker or monitor in the house.

acmost9
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Re: Córdoba Gypsy Kings mic blender -- bleh

Post by acmost9 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:26 pm

I had a Cordoba GK Studio Negra for a few days, I experimented recording it direct a little, not in depth because I had made up my mind that I wasn't keeping it for different reasons. The Mic Blend ratio felt weird. I've pursued blending(for live use) internal mics & piezos forever, Pendulums mono/stereo, Rane AP13 etc. etc., none of that means squat...just saying the mic blend ratio felt weird to me, again I didn't spend any in depth time with it though. I'm sure I could have adjusted to it.

riffmeister
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Re: Córdoba Gypsy Kings mic blender -- bleh

Post by riffmeister » Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:59 pm

I will make a recording of mine in the next week or so, I am quite pleased with the sound. I have the slider set to about 75:25 piezo:mic.

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Blondie
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Re: Córdoba Gypsy Kings mic blender -- bleh

Post by Blondie » Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:01 pm

Brian M wrote:I've been casually trying out the Córdoba Gypsy Kings model that has both under-saddle pickup and internal microphone, with a blender knob. In the environment of the store (a noisy Guitar Conglomerate) I'm so far very un-impressed with it. Running into a Crate acoustic amp, the mic blender actually made it sound worse. Other times, it's so sensitive to feedback as to seem almost useless.

Does anyone out there use one of these, and are you able to get good results out of it in the real world?
.
Yeah they are pretty bad, but you pay for what you get and this is pretty much an entry level cutaway with onboard mic/UST blend system. I play at weddings/functions etc and have used many times of pickup/mics. I bought a GK Studio to try out as as a gigging guitar but sold it a few months later. The pickup system is the cheapest most basic blend system that Fishman do, the mic is a tiny little button thing which is not on a gooseneck like their more expensive systems so its stuck in one position, limiting your options (and internal miking is always tricky). It gave me a honky sound and was very limited in terms of gain before feedback. I didn't like the narrow fretboard either, it felt like an electric guitar, but then these things tend to be aimed at the crossover market.

Lots of better solutions out there, both in terms of the guitar and the pick up system.

2handband
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Re: Córdoba Gypsy Kings mic blender -- bleh

Post by 2handband » Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:24 pm

Blondie wrote:...and was very limited in terms of gain before feedback.
I'm seeing a lot of talk about feedback on this subforum, and I'm getting the idea that a lot of you guys haven't been introduced to the wonderful world of the graphic EQ.

Yes, good equipment is less prone to feedback. Yes, setup makes a big difference. In a perfect world the equipment would be top-notch, the layout carefully planned, and the ceiling would be high and non-reflective. The fewer frequencies I have to notch the better. But we don't live in that world, and when I'm mixing live sound I know that the equipment varies wildly, the setup is usually something I have to do in an hour or so, and the room is more often than not terrible. And even if all of that WASN'T the case, you'd still have some frequencies feeding back once you started pushing the levels up. If you're gigging, every speaker in the house needs it's own graphic. It's an easy solution and it's cheap; I see stereo pro sound graphics on the big auction site for less than $100 routinely.

riffmeister
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Re: Córdoba Gypsy Kings mic blender -- bleh

Post by riffmeister » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:15 pm

2handband wrote:
Blondie wrote:...and was very limited in terms of gain before feedback.
I'm seeing a lot of talk about feedback on this subforum, and I'm getting the idea that a lot of you guys haven't been introduced to the wonderful world of the graphic EQ.

Yes, good equipment is less prone to feedback. Yes, setup makes a big difference. In a perfect world the equipment would be top-notch, the layout carefully planned, and the ceiling would be high and non-reflective. The fewer frequencies I have to notch the better. But we don't live in that world, and when I'm mixing live sound I know that the equipment varies wildly, the setup is usually something I have to do in an hour or so, and the room is more often than not terrible. And even if all of that WASN'T the case, you'd still have some frequencies feeding back once you started pushing the levels up. If you're gigging, every speaker in the house needs it's own graphic. It's an easy solution and it's cheap; I see stereo pro sound graphics on the big auction site for less than $100 routinely.
Yep. Graphic EQ is great for dialing out feedback frequencies. As the PA guy in a couple of rock bands, I won't leave home without it. :)

2handband
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Re: Córdoba Gypsy Kings mic blender -- bleh

Post by 2handband » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:30 pm

riffmeister wrote:
Yep. Graphic EQ is great for dialing out feedback frequencies. As the PA guy in a couple of rock bands, I won't leave home without it. :)
By "PA guy" do you mean FOH engineer? Cool... I make a largish chunk of my living mixing live sound, although I'm trying to dial that back. If I could get more students I would probably stop doing it altogether but I grossly underestimated the difficulties of getting a decent student load in small town america...

riffmeister
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Re: Córdoba Gypsy Kings mic blender -- bleh

Post by riffmeister » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:13 pm

2handband wrote:
riffmeister wrote:
Yep. Graphic EQ is great for dialing out feedback frequencies. As the PA guy in a couple of rock bands, I won't leave home without it. :)
By "PA guy" do you mean FOH engineer? Cool... I make a largish chunk of my living mixing live sound, although I'm trying to dial that back. If I could get more students I would probably stop doing it altogether but I grossly underestimated the difficulties of getting a decent student load in small town america...
Yes, stage sound and FOH. But.....I'm the guitar player too and have to run things from stage. I'm out front for the first song to check levels etc, then up on stage. Not optimal!

riffmeister
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Re: Córdoba Gypsy Kings mic blender -- bleh

Post by riffmeister » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:18 pm

I haven't used my newly acquired Cordoba 55FCE "in the wild" yet, but in my basement thru my PA it sounds pretty darn good. Does it sound like a modern classical guitar recording? Heck no. But does it sound "good" and plenty of gain before feedback? Heck yeah.

2handband
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Re: Córdoba Gypsy Kings mic blender -- bleh

Post by 2handband » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:23 pm

riffmeister wrote: Yes, stage sound and FOH. But.....I'm the guitar player too and have to run things from stage. I'm out front for the first song to check levels etc, then up on stage. Not optimal!
Once you hit the point where you're making $1000+ from your gigs I would say it's time to start hiring the sound. That way you're not trying to mix from the stage (there's a lot of stuff you simply cannot do that way), and you're not expending half your energy before the show setting up the PA and light rig. A production company also comes with more and better gear than you probably have.

Even before that point, sometimes you're better off taking the hit and hiring it out anyway. I know a lot of club owners who will unpocket for more money next time if you come in with real production. Or assuming your rig is at least decent, have you considered just hiring a soundguy to come and run it? If I don't have to set anything up or bring anything I'll usually do a show for $150 if I don't have to drive too far.

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Blondie
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Re: Córdoba Gypsy Kings mic blender -- bleh

Post by Blondie » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:27 pm

riffmeister wrote:I haven't used my newly acquired Cordoba 55FCE "in the wild" yet, but in my basement thru my PA it sounds pretty darn good. Does it sound like a modern classical guitar recording? Heck no. But does it sound "good" and plenty of gain before feedback? Heck yeah.
Different beast to the Gk models mentioned above of course, the 55fCE has a narrower body and better pick up system, both which make it less prone to feedback , guess we should have clarified with the op which guitar he meant.

And yes some of us have heard of graphic EQ. :roll:

2handband
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Re: Córdoba Gypsy Kings mic blender -- bleh

Post by 2handband » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:36 pm

Blondie wrote:
And yes some of us have heard of graphic EQ. :roll:
Possiby, but after sifting through this subforum I'm finding that it's the last thing that gets brought up when feedback is mentioned, when it ought to be amongst the first.

riffmeister
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Re: Córdoba Gypsy Kings mic blender -- bleh

Post by riffmeister » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:43 pm

Blondie wrote:Different beast to the Gk models mentioned above of course, the 55fCE has a narrower body and better pick up system, both which make it less prone to feedback....
Ah, you are right. My bad.

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