Mic advice please!

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
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sax512
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by sax512 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:43 pm

Thanks. It's a project for this winter though. Not really working on it that much right now...

coppice

Re: Mic advice please!

Post by coppice » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:02 am

fiboribo wrote:Hello,
I currently own an Mbox2 and a single Rode NT1a. I will be attempting to record a professional cd soon. I will have some professional guidance (long distance) from an industry professional. I know that a single mic isn't going to suffice so I'm considering the following options:
- buy an additional NT1a to have a stereo pair
- sell the NT1a and buy an NT4 or NT5
- bite the bullet and buy a Neumann K84 or similar caliber mic

I guess the question is can you really obtain a professional quality recording with NT1as?

Any advice?

Thanks!

Fibo
You have an NT1a, so you must know how it behaves. If you are considering replacing it, I assume you have found it inadequate in one or more ways. The NT1a seems well regarded, and people comment about how quiet it is. Quiet sounds like a winning quality to me, but we aren't all annoyed by the same things. Perhaps you could explain what inadequacies you see, and what you are looking for in a better mic?

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sax512
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by sax512 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:09 pm

Resuscitating this post to tell you that I finally completed my mic... I told you it was a project for the winter :-)

You can check it out here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUW0-Ml6 ... re=related

Please let me know what you think of the sound
:merci:

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by rojarosguitar » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:12 pm

Hi Sax512,

I looked at the video. Very nice sound (also the guitar and the player are marvelous). So are you the player or the recording engineer (the recording man, I guess) in this video? What configuration of mic(s), preamps and recorder did you use in the end? Did you build your binaural

As to the sound: it could still be a tad more immediate (especially in the higher frequencies). Also I sense (more than hear) some phase problems, which I can't pinpoint precisely. Maybe somebody else here can describe it better. I could be the room with the hard wall behind ...

But I think the gereneral direction is very good.

best wishes
Robert
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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sax512
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by sax512 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:45 pm

Hi Rojaros,

Yes, I bult the binaural microphone and I am the recording man. The player is a friend of mine.
I use a Focusrite Saffire 24 PRO and Logic Pro 8 running on a mac mini.
What do you mean by more immediate sound and phase problems?

Thank you so much for your input!

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by rojarosguitar » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:07 pm

Hi Sax512, I meant, the sound appears to me to be a bit veiled, as if it came through a thin curtain or from a bit further away. As to the phase problems it is really hard to pinpoint for me. I know only the effect that seems directly to operate on my brain as if something was tearing it in an ambiguous direction, which doesn't generally happen if there are no phase problems with the stereo signal. It's a phenomenon I also encountered with other people during my recording and mastering work. There might be scientific tools nowadays to diagnose that and even correct that. I know that Waves just brought a plug in addressing phase problems between mics.

May be (just in the way of guessing) your stereo mic, being a binaural mic (which is, as far as I understand something that would be used specially for headphone listening), exhibits some frequency-dependent phase shifts?

Bur maybe that is something with my own hearing ... if nobody else has that problem, the better!

hope it's helpful

best wishes
Robert

PS what microphones did you finally use for the binuaral mic construction? - just curious...
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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sax512
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by sax512 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:52 pm

Hi Rojaros. Thanks for the explanation. As far as the sound coming from a bit further away, it is something that I wanted to capture. Aside the ac running all the time, the room had nice acoustic, and I wanted to capture it. In fact there is no artificial reverb in the recording, but that at the expense of a higher background noise. I decided it was worth it.

As far as the phase problems, it could be that the highs in the guitar are very directional, and Adam moves a little bit when he plays. That's one of the catches with the binaural recording technique. Aside the second part (the legnani Variations), where there was a problem with the mic placement and I ended up having to sof-pan instead of a maximum panning as the technique requires, can you check if in the first and third part the phase problems happen when Adams moves a little to the left and right while playing or is it just a constant thing?

I made an orchestra recording too. If you want I can give you the demo so you can tell me if there are the same problems there too. I'd appreciate your analysis.

As far as the microphones, I ended up using the Panasonic WM-61 capsules that everybody suggests on the internet (and rightfully so, on my opinion).

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by rojarosguitar » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:12 pm

Hi Sax512,

just came back from a journey.

I listened to your youtube video through headphones, and I don't hear the phase problems I was talking about here, so I suppose it has something to do with how the binaural recording translates to loudspeakers. As I wrote several times, in my (limited) understanding binuaral's strength is headphones listening.

As far as headphones are concerned I found the localization of the guitar a bit hard to pinpoint, which is a bit strange, because theoretically it should be very good with binaural ...

If you like to send me a link for the orchestra recording, I'll gladly listen to it.

I have sought up the mic capsulas: they seem to be quite cheap on the e -b a y. The signal to noise ratio could be better, but that is hard to have with such small capsulas.

Where did you get the schematics for the electronics necessary for the capsulas?
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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sax512
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by sax512 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:52 pm

I can't send you a link, but I can send you the mp3 file if you give me your e-mail address.
I changed some things in the meantime, so hopefully it would be a better recording. Also, the ac air moving in the room the guitar recording was made could have caused the phase and pinpoint problems that you are talking about. Kind of like when you play in a room with the ceiling fan on.

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by rojarosguitar » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:50 pm

PM sent
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Mykart
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by Mykart » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:22 pm

I also thought that the binaural recording technique was effective only for headphone playback and not when listening through stereo speakers. So I am curious as to why someone would choose this kind of very specific playback process when recording?
"There's nothing worse than an undetermined person" - Robert Pollard

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sax512
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by sax512 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:56 pm

The aim is to have a balanced and natural sound without having to post process the tracks to much in an unnatural way. When Rojaros will listen to the demo I sent him he can tell if I managed to come close to it.
I decided to go that way because to me no classical guitar recording sounds close to the real thing. They may sound great, 'bigger than life' and all, but my aim is to have a natural sounding record... or as close to the real thing as possible.
I am still perfecting the microphone, but I think that the classical guitar recording that I made is closer to what a real classical guitar sounds like. The other recordings that are on youtube all sound thin and metallic to my ears. Is it just me or is that something that you notice too?

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sax512
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by sax512 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:18 pm

Here is a demo of a choir I made two days ago:

http://viennachoralsociety.org/2012/02/ ... -sounding/

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by rojarosguitar » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:50 am

sax512 wrote:The aim is to have a balanced and natural sound without having to post process the tracks to much in an unnatural way. When Rojaros will listen to the demo I sent him he can tell if I managed to come close to it.
I decided to go that way because to me no classical guitar recording sounds close to the real thing. They may sound great, 'bigger than life' and all, but my aim is to have a natural sounding record... or as close to the real thing as possible.
I am still perfecting the microphone, but I think that the classical guitar recording that I made is closer to what a real classical guitar sounds like. The other recordings that are on youtube all sound thin and metallic to my ears. Is it just me or is that something that you notice too?
I agree with your observation that guitars recorded in close field with small condensers sound unnatural and ways too sharp. One solution would be to use a stereo ribbon mic or an array of two mono ribbon mics. They sound very natural (see my cascade x-15 recordings viewtopic.php?f=16&t=58642) without any harshness. The disdvantage of this is that you need a good sounding and very quiet room, but this is certainly true for your binaural techique as well.

I think you really need to reconsider things and maybe see if you can built with those capsulas some other stereo array that suits your purpose without the disadvantages of binaural recording (I just sent you an e-mail with a book reference for that).

best wishes
Robert
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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Mykart
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by Mykart » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:30 pm

sax512,

I only listen to youtube videos through computer speakers, so I can't really judge them to much on sound. They seem to run the gamut, however, form the very poor to very good. i did enjoy your recording very much from what I heard.
my aim is to have a natural sounding record... or as close to the real thing as possible
I fully understand this desire, but wouldn't that just make it natural sounding only when listening through headphones?
"There's nothing worse than an undetermined person" - Robert Pollard

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