Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
franks59
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by franks59 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:20 am

Smith wrote:Thanks Frank, I watched the video in the above post with the apogee mic. I really liked the sound of that mic, so I watched a review of it on YouTube. I see that it is 199.99. I've also been looking at the zoom iq5. It is 99.99 but it is on backorder around here. It looks like the zoom iq5 plugs directly into the iphone5, while the apogee mic has a cord so you can move it around. Also, what the reviewer says about how it would be nice if there was a headphone jack for monitoring makes sense, I guess.

I seem to recall reading about the zoom iq5 elsewhere here so I think I will look around.

I liked the arrangement and performance of what I gather is a traditional Celtic Air.

Thanks again.
If I understood your previous post correctly, I think something that attaches directly to the iPhone won't work for you.

The problem is the video has to be too far away. I don't know if any mic will have the sensitivity required to give you good volume at that distance. You'd need to either move the mic closer via a cable or run the mic through a pre-amp, again via cable.

I have a Zoom Q3HD and ran into the same problem you did. By the time I moved the unit far enough away to get me in frame, the audio was way too weak, even at maximum gain.

Frank

Smith
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Smith » Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:18 am

Yes I think you are probably right. There is something not right about the iq5 story so far.
1. It was shown 6 months ago and should have been out by now.
2. The specs are suspect and no one has actually used it.
3. Reviewers of the story so far scoff at the idea that a mic that attaches directly to your device could be any good.

The apogee mic,however, gets great reviews. I wonder if it will work with my iPhone 5.
Some mics come with their own app, but i don't think I want that.' I thought I would try using the iMovie app because apparently you can edit the video and the audio together inside the app, like trimming the beginning and ending where you turn the camera on and off, as well as joining 2 or 3 good excerpts of a piece or pieces.

Smith
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Smith » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:49 am

Update: Yes the Apogee Mic seems to work well with iphone5.
It comes with the cables you need EXCEPT the 30- pin lightning adapter.
There are many complaints about this adapter, for a wide variety of reasons.
Evidently it is possible to get a cable instead of the adapter but the exact reasons reasons why i would do so for my specific application are unclear to me.

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Marek Cupak
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Marek Cupak » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:34 am

I'd go for Zoom H4N with external mics.

A simple AB pair of LDCs would be to my taste.
If you can record in some "acoustically pleasant" room (concert hall, church) with interesting reverb: 2x omni pattern, 40-45cm spacing, 50-90cm in front of instrument
If not: 2x cardioid pattern, 25cm spacing, only cca 50cm away. 30cm and less can get boomy - proximity effect.
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2012 Martin Okenica spruce, early romantic (F. R. Lacôte inspired)

Smith
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Smith » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:29 pm

Update 2: This thread is a helpful guide and reference point.

Key point thus far: Google the names of 2 devices as a pair--e.g., "apogee mic iphone5" or "zoom h4n iPhone5".
The iPhone5 is new, but the iphone4s is close enough for comparison.

Check out Roland Comfort on YouTube SD-302 with H4N. He explains XLR cables and clipping briefly and succinctly, as well as SHOWING how to set up the SD-302.

Edit: Thanks Marek for feedback about the Zoom. I looked at it but it is too much for me to
deal with right now, so I've gone with the Apogee Mic and the Lightning 30 pin cable, $199.99 + $45.00 at the A store ($100+ less than Big River).

Now I just need the iMovie app, which I can't download from my stupid phone because it knows I am not in the U.S.
I complained in an email to A and said "It might be easier to buy a VPN than go through this". I don't know If it will help b..."knock knock"...oh, there's the NSA at my door right now...gotta go.





Edit 2: The Apogee Mic comes with a built-in pre-amp.

Smith
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Smith » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:31 am

Update: Today the Apogee MiC arrived but I can't use it until the adapter arrives as well.
The manual says to place the mic 6 - 12 inches away from the sound hole, but the cord that comes with it is only .5 metres long---too short to reach the camera 6 feet away.

I need the "3 meter MiC cable" for iPad and iPhone, but it was not listed at the Apple site where I bought the mic.
There is a picture of it on the box. I could not find it on the Apogee website and it took a while to register the mic at Apogee and send them an email requesting more info about the longer cable.
All this rigamarole was time consuming but necessary as it looks like you can't send them an email until you have registered a product.
Playing scales is more fun than this.

franks59
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by franks59 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:46 am

I got the MiC last week from Amazon. I had known about the cable and ordered the 3m cable and mic stand adapter at the time. Search Apogee Cable and Apogee Mic Stand Adapter.

The MiC sounds great. I got the best sound by pointing it at either the 12th fret or 15th fret, about 8 inches away. The only problem with that is that it gets really close to my knee.

I really wish I could mix the sound of the MiC with another one pointed at the lower bout, but I've not seen any type of adapter for the iPad that would take two 30 pin inputs. I had thought about running the headphone out into a mixer and using a second standard mic but I guess that would defeat the quality of the MiC as i would be depending on the quality of the D/A conversion of the iPad.

Frank

Smith
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Smith » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:18 pm

I am thinking ahead about the 2 mic world as well.
I foresee 2 separate systems. The Apogee mic for day to day recording, and other gear for hi-fi.

I can't find the cable I need so I wrote to Apogee again. No big rush.

Thanks for the heads-up about the mic stand adapter. Aggh! I may as well get the mic stand too.

franks59
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by franks59 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:44 pm

Smith wrote:I am thinking ahead about the 2 mic world as well.
I foresee 2 separate systems. The Apogee mic for day to day recording, and other gear for hi-fi.

I can't find the cable I need so I wrote to Apogee again. No big rush.

Thanks for the heads-up about the mic stand adapter. Aggh! I may as well get the mic stand too.
I see it in the Apogee store ( apogeedigital dot com / Accessories / MiC Accssories ), but it says "Shipping to Continental US ONLY".
Maybe that's why you can't find it on Amazon either. :(

Frank

Smith
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Smith » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:13 pm

Thank you, Frank, for your interest. It's all fixed now. Apogee kindly sent me a link to a retailer who had it for sure. I just ordered it. I also ordered the mic stand and the mic stand adapter.

It was easy to find the 3 meter cable for USB, but that is not quite it. The impression I gather from talking to people about this is that we are on the leading edge of the curve here.

franks59
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by franks59 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:37 pm

I've tried a few other low end mic solutions - a Zoom H4n, a Zoom Q3 HD, a Samson USB mic, a pair of MXL condensor mics running through a mixer - and I can say this mic sounds the best with the easiest set-up by far as long as I'm satisfied being tied to an iPad.

The only thing is, since it ties me to a strictly Apple solution, if I want to do anything other than iPad audio and video, I'll need to buy a Mac and whatever Apple-specific hardware/software required.

Frank

Smith
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Smith » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:42 pm

I have similar concerns, but they are medium/long term.
I intend to explore the capabilities/limitations of iphone5 first.
For me, no more spending money for a while.

Per Lindhof
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Per Lindhof » Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:13 pm

Regarding mic placement. The trend to place one mic at the 12. fret and one at the body 30 cm out comes from recording acoustic guitars with steel strings (often as part of a mix with other instruments).
A classical guitar should be recorded as a whole instrument. This often means that the mics are placed no less than 60 cm from the guitar and in some cases several metres away (depending on the room).
This gives a safe stereo image and no "local" boominess or other artifacts.

Regards
Per Lindhof.

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sxedio
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by sxedio » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:53 pm

Per Lindhof wrote:Regarding mic placement. The trend to place one mic at the 12. fret and one at the body 30 cm out comes from recording acoustic guitars with steel strings (often as part of a mix with other instruments).
A classical guitar should be recorded as a whole instrument.
I have the same suspicion for the use of pencil mics ( small diaphragm condensers), they boost some mid high frequencies that contain all the percussive edge of the pick, making the acoustic guitar a percussion instrument in the mix. I wonder if a large diaphragm condenser or even a ribbon mic would have a more accurate response for solo guitar.
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Smith
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Smith » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:03 pm

As I read the 2 above posts I am reminded of Yo- Yo Mah.
He participated in a tv special on the Bravo network with Diana Krall on acoustic piano, John Clayton on upright bass, and someone on trumpet, all recorded simultaneously in one room.
I'm afraid I do not recall the type of mics or their placement.

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