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 Feb 24, 2012 1:47 pm

The headphones make you hear the 3-D effect, but when you listen through speakers I think the recording retains the balance of the frequency spectrum you hear on the headphones.
I'm not too much concerned about the 3-D reproduction at this moment. Just a good spacial definition in the 120-150 degree sound stage. What I'm looking for is a natural sounding recording.
I'm more concerned about solving the phase problems that Rojaros was talking about. I just made some changes to the microphone and hopefully I'll be able to post a new recording in a short while..

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Mykart
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by Mykart » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:22 pm

Do you know of any recordings that made use of the binaural recording process? It doesn't seem to be widely used. I'm now very curious to hear the differences between playback devices.

BTW - Robert mentioned the phase plugin by waves, there is also a very nice plugin by Melda production that addresses the same issue:
http://www.meldaproduction.com/mautoalign/
"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 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:38 pm

The Pasadena orchestra issued two cds made with the Neumann ku 100. You can find them on Amazon for around 15 $ each.
I am trying to avoid any artificial post processing that isn't eq, compression and some reverb (if any). I hope to solve the phase issue with a different build of the mic. I just put it back together yesterday evening, after working on it for two days.
This Sunday I have a recording session, so I'll be able to tell if there's any improvement. It definitely should sound different, that I can tell...

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Mykart
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by Mykart » Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:01 pm

Thanks for the info, I'm certainly impressed with your search for a working and natural recording process as well as making your own microphone.
"There's nothing worse than an undetermined person" - Robert Pollard

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by rojarosguitar » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:42 am

@sax 512

This is what I wrote yesterday in the thread about the ribbon mic.

It adresses the issue of 'natural sounding' records form a bit different perspective:

Certainly listening habits do play a role; also the high frequency sensitivity is beeing reduced with age.

Keep in mind, whatever you feel as natural, that the listening of live music is quite different from listening to a record.
Just to name few factors:
1. The visual presence of the player helps to adjust to a much bigger dynamical range than in a purely auditive situation. I think a slight compression could help with that, though it certainly contradicts all 'purist' standards.
2. It is sheer impossible to capture the far diffuse field experience of a good sounding room. So records 'natural sounding' tend to be a bit boring at home. Making a recording slightly 'larger than life' by a higher degree of proximity and intimacy can balance that out.
3. Most people listen music under far less than optimal listening conditions. The impuls fidelity (speed) of most amps and loudspeakers is sub-optimal. Furniture and stuff dampen the high frequency energy ...

Probabely it's all a matter of a good balance and taste. I strongly encourage you to find your own 'handwriting' as a recording engneer. Some people will love it, some other will loath it; it's impossible to satisfy everybody. It's an iportant starting point to have a vision how you want the sound to be.

Still, I'm strongly advocating more direct stereo methods, including border surface arays; also, Neumann binauaral system is certainly the best you can get, hard to beat with 10$ capsulas.
There is a lot to learn about mic positioning before you resort to such a special purpose solution like binaural. Sometimes little changes in positioning make a world of differences in the result. When you record live, and have a chance to check the sound before it get's hot. Take the mic stand and go around with your headphones until you find the sweetest spot.

When I was recording Anthony Bailes on lute for the first time, we have spent hours just first shifting his stool to find the position that fitted him best, accoustically, and than shifting the mic array centimeter by centimeter ...

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 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:32 pm

Here is my most recent recording:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZRX0oQbJR4

Thoughts or advices?

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by rojarosguitar » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:29 am

Hi again,

I have listend just now to your recording through a headphone.
My first impression is that I have to listen a few more times until my ears get familiar with the quite different space perception, so I'm not going to comment immediately. Obviously something is quite different from I'm used to hear.

best

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 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:09 am

Hi Rojaros,

Thank you for your always insightful advices. Take all the time you need. Just remember, even though made with a binaural microphone, my recordings are made to also be listened to and hopefully sound good in everyday conditions (speakers, home system, car and whatever..). But they do try to achieve a closer to real life sound.

Also, that video has the YouTube compression and a little artificial reverb. If you want I can send you a high quality mp3 of the master I made.

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by rojarosguitar » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:20 pm

sax512 wrote:Hi Rojaros,

...
Also, that video has the YouTube compression and a little artificial reverb. If you want I can send you a high quality mp3 of the master I made.
That certainly would be helpful, because I found the sound too much drowned in reverb...
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 02, 2013 2:02 pm

Drowned? That's not good :-)
It definitely sounds more distant than most recordings, which is an effect I wanted to achieve. I'll work on the mp3 and send it to you sometimes next week.

Thanks!

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by rojarosguitar » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:22 pm

Hi, got your mp3 but no time yet to listen to it. I'll come back to it, as soon as I have time.

Did you listen to my newest experiments with ribbon mics?:

viewtopic.php?f=116&t=74699

viewtopic.php?f=116&t=74758

viewtopic.php?f=116&t=74635

I'd be interested what you think about the sound...

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 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:17 am

Very clean sound for all three. The one I prefer is the third one, a little more close to how a classical guitar really sounds like. The one that I like the least is the second one, a little too artificial sounding to me. The first one is much more natural sounding than the second one, but thinner than the third.
All that, of course, in the light of the kind of sound I am looking for, which is totally different from the majority of the recordings out there. With another mind set than mine, I think they all sound great and interesting.

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by rojarosguitar » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:25 pm

sax512 wrote:Very clean sound for all three. The one I prefer is the third one, a little more close to how a classical guitar really sounds like. The one that I like the least is the second one, a little too artificial sounding to me. The first one is much more natural sounding than the second one, but thinner than the third.
All that, of course, in the light of the kind of sound I am looking for, which is totally different from the majority of the recordings out there. With another mind set than mine, I think they all sound great and interesting.
The first and the second are recorded with quite a different tuning (C G D A d e on second and C G D A b e on first; also on two different guitars) I think both recordings vaotured actually quite well how the guitar sounded. Third is classical guitar tuning.

Thanks for listening and your comments. I appreciate very much.

Best
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 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:37 am

Anytime. Let me know when you get a chance to listen to the mp3..

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Mic advice please!

Post by rojarosguitar » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:57 pm

@sax512: wrote you an email concerning your sample recording.
I like the tonal qualities of it but have still some problems with localization. Maybe it's my ears ...
Yes it still sounds a bit distant even without reverb.

This being said I still like it better than many "professional" recordings... Im sure you're on the right track. What preamp did you use?
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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