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.
etherline

Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by etherline » Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:19 pm

Thanks, Robert. Another couple of good points to think about. I'll have to check.

Slightly off topic - in order to be able to use the AEA RPQ500 modules I needed a 'lunchbox' type rack. I ordered an Aphex USB500 which just arrived today. As well as handling 500 series modules it has USB and very flexible routing of the modules. The thing I was not expecting and am delighted to see is that (according to the manual) it is supposed to be compatible with the iPad using the camera connection kit! So, unexpectedly, I should have the ability to connect high quality preamps and line inputs direct to my iPad!

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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by rojarosguitar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:24 am

It seems any USB Audio interface is compatible with iPad through camera kit USB connector, provided the interface is not depending on the power supply through the main USB connector. With AEA you certainly have the best possible prerequisites to use passive ribbons.

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Robert
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etherline

Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by etherline » Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:29 am

Hi Robert

There is compatible and then there is compatible, seemingly. However, I find it works well with Auria (in which I can route headphone monitoring separately to the main studio outputs) so now while I wait for my preamps the search for the right microphone continues.

I wanted to ask, if you kept the SF-12, what is your opinion of it after some time working with it? I enjoyed listening to your early experiments but got the impression that you had not yet had time to find the ideal placement for your situation. Did you achieve that?

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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by rojarosguitar » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:23 pm

I did not have time to experiment a lot, but I'm just in train of preparing a recording of the first Cello Suite by JS Bach on classical guitar, and I used the SF-12 for this purpose. It is (for my personal taste) the best microphone for classical guitar I have ever used (which includes DPA and Neumann as well as others, but I have no personal experience with the vintage legends, but consider the price tag!).

It goes well with AEA RP, but also with other preamps I have.As I don't have acoustically treated rooms for recording, there will always be some issues, but I don't care, as long as the recording is agreeable to listen to.

One of the best other mics, if I think of LDC, I have ever tried on CG, was, funny enough a BPM CR-95, made by the Berlin based company, who let the rough mechanical work be done in China and assembled their mics in Berlin. I have a pair of them, and I really like the result on CG, though I greatly prefer SF-12.
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Mark Featherstone
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Mark Featherstone » Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:54 pm

UKsteve wrote:
Macleod410 wrote:I don't get why you'd put a mic on the 12th fret, sound comes out the body!
Condenser mic arms length pointing at sound hole is what I use.
err...sound is reflected off the top (and elsewhere). Aim a mic directly at the soundhole and you'll get a lot of bottom-end and not much else.

Mic placement is a huge subject and you could spend many, many hours researching this. If you have a single mic then, yes, pointing it at the 12th fret, about 12 inches away, is an excellent place to start.
If you have 2 mics (i.e stereo) than one at the 12th (small diaphragm) and the second (larger diaphragm) aimed at the lower bout below the bridge is a good place to start from. Also try a crossed-pair or X/Y, aimed at the 12th fret if you have two small condensers.

Bottom line is that you have to try a variety of positions and see what floats your boat; listen on decent monitors.

SM57s are great in front of a Marshall stack. There are probably better choices for acoustic guitar. Be careful, you can spend a huge amount on mics. No point in getting great mics without a great room...and a great mic preamp. I have been down that road (Neumann KM184s etc) and, after several years of frustration, ended up with an Apogee MiC and an iPad. It takes minutes to set up and tear down and - for a hobbyist like me - is perfectly fine and gives great results at a very reasonable price. I can then concentrate on playing rather than "the gear".

Not me but a cheap Yamaha recorded with an Apogee and iPad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YW7jJ1QB69o

If you want to delve deeper into this stuff, get yourself over to Gearslutz, "low end theory" thread.

cheers,
Steve
Just to throw my two cents in. I've just been playing around with the Focusrite Scarlett Studio, which consists in part of the Scarlett Studio CM25 large diaphragm condenser mic and Scarlett Studio 2i2 computer audio interface. I recorded the same piece three times, one after the other, once with the mic placed about 6 inches from the sound hole, once a bit more than a foot from a point between the saddle and the sound hole, and then a bit more than a foot from the 12th fret. The last position, opposite the 12th fret, gave the best reproduction -- with the caveat that we apparently never hear what our guitars actually sound like because we've got our ears on top of them instead of in front. Nonetheless, the position between saddle and sound hole was just a little muddy and lacked some brightness to my ear. And the position directly in front of the sound hole was just a hopeless booming pudding, although I must admit it really tickled me to hear my bass notes coming out like that. Another caveat -- it's possible that a small diaphragm mic would have given better results at the sound hole or nearer the saddle.

Last, many thanks for this old thread. It was very useful in guiding my trials.
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Mark Featherstone
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Mark Featherstone » Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:12 pm

Mark Featherstone wrote: Just to throw my two cents in. I've just been playing around with the Focusrite Scarlett Studio, which consists in part of the Scarlett Studio CM25 large diaphragm condenser mic and Scarlett Studio 2i2 computer audio interface. I recorded the same piece three times, one after the other, once with the mic placed about 6 inches from the sound hole, once a bit more than a foot from a point between the saddle and the sound hole, and then a bit more than a foot from the 12th fret. The last position, opposite the 12th fret, gave the best reproduction -- with the caveat that we apparently never hear what our guitars actually sound like because we've got our ears on top of them instead of in front. Nonetheless, the position between saddle and sound hole was just a little muddy and lacked some brightness to my ear. And the position directly in front of the sound hole was just a hopeless booming pudding, although I must admit it really tickled me to hear my bass notes coming out like that. Another caveat -- it's possible that a small diaphragm mic would have given better results at the sound hole or nearer the saddle.

Last, many thanks for this old thread. It was very useful in guiding my trials.
Let me correct a wrong. The conclusions I so confidently posted above have to be modified. Make that totally jettisoned. Turns out that the gain on my mic was set too high. At a more reasonable gain setting, positioning of the mic about a foot from the sound hole gave a nicely clear recording (and eliminated background hiss). Sorry for the confusion.
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by ronjazz » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:48 pm

I bought a Kremona pickup for $70, looks like a popsicle stick, slides under the strings on top of the bridge, so no drilling or anything. I had a last-minute demo session to do last night, and instead of setting up mics and preamps, plugged the Kremona into my Zoom A3 acoustic processor, then the Zoom into my ART Dual Tube Preamp, into Logic on my computer. The sound was amazing, and no worries about ambient noises. Now, I wouldn't do a solo classical guitar CD with it, but I would use it for ensemble recording.
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Mark Featherstone
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Mark Featherstone » Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:01 am

ronjazz wrote:I bought a Kremona pickup for $70, looks like a popsicle stick, slides under the strings on top of the bridge, so no drilling or anything. I had a last-minute demo session to do last night, and instead of setting up mics and preamps, plugged the Kremona into my Zoom A3 acoustic processor, then the Zoom into my ART Dual Tube Preamp, into Logic on my computer. The sound was amazing, and no worries about ambient noises. Now, I wouldn't do a solo classical guitar CD with it, but I would use it for ensemble recording.
Wow, that looks amazing! Could you post a recording for us? I'd love to hear the sound.
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by markandersonguitar » Sun Jun 26, 2016 6:11 pm

I just picked up the same Kremona, and run it through a small portable PA from Behringer (similar to the Mackie just cheaper). I must say I am really impressed with the sound. In another guitar I have an expensive Fishman undersaddle+mike combo and the Kremona actually is a truer representation of the nylon string tone.
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by rojarosguitar » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:18 pm

rojarosguitar wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:17 pm



Hi Per, I might have misunderstood your remark about the mic ... but this Neumann is a stereo mic, meaning two mics in one body... It's certainly one of the finest mics of its kind.

Meanwhile I could obtain this microphone (USM 69) second hand and it immediately advanced to be my mic to go for recording my self. It sounds great and is so easy to set up.
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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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:00 pm

rojarosguitar wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:18 pm

Meanwhile I could obtain this microphone (USM 69) second hand and it immediately advanced to be my mic to go for recording my self. It sounds great and is so easy to set up.

How much did it cost you secondhand? New the price is... :shock:

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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by rojarosguitar » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:51 pm

I'm almost shy to tell it: 1300€.
Butt nacked, so I had to buy a Rycotte Universal Mount, and make myself cables, which altogether amounts to another 200€.
No regrets, really, it's a great stereo mic.
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 ...
My Youtube Channel is: TheMusicalEvents

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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by konstantine » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:02 am

rojarosguitar wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:51 pm
I'm almost shy to tell it: 1300€.
Butt nacked, so I had to buy a Rycotte Universal Mount, and make myself cables, which altogether amounts to another 200€.
No regrets, really, it's a great stereo mic.
What?! Great price!

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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by rojarosguitar » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:13 pm

It's so different, sometimes vintage gear is overpriced, sometimes it's very OK. Question of some luck. And one needs patience and must watch the market for some time closely
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 ...
My Youtube Channel is: TheMusicalEvents

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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Alexandra_Iv » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:04 am

Answer for the question about mic and it’s placement depends on what kind of sound do you want to record (clear, booming, with more lows, mids etc.) SM57 is definitely not the right one for recording of classic string instrument. It’s more appropriate for recording of electric guitar from amp.

I’ve posted below some of my vids, made with Neumann KM 184 condenser mics. They made a very clear sound and practically you don’t need an EQ treatment for some of frequency’s.
As a rule if using 2 mics for the recordings (as I have made), distance from mic A mic to mic B should be three times longer than the space between mic and instrument body, because of the phase of sound wave. If mics are placed close to each one they practically will record absolutely the same sound wave and this is that you don’t want to do. The aim of this technique is to record two different colors of the sound to obtain more rich sound. It’s a god idea to place one or more room mics to add some space to the audio.

https://youtu.be/98HRIvuKuXI
https://youtu.be/L2aMjMPvIIw

Gear:
Camera 1 (front) - Zoom Q8;
Camera 2 (side) - Sony HDR-SE10;
Near Instrument mic: Neumann KM184 stereo matched pair;
Room mic: Zoom SSH-6 Stereo Shotgun Microphone Capsule.

P.S. - sorry for my poor English :)

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