Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
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rojarosguitar
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by rojarosguitar » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:05 am

kloeten wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:38 am


@ Konstantin, for a home recording, this sounds great!
@ rojarosguitar - my Zoom H4n always leaves me frustrated with a thin sound. Recording 'louder' implies more finger noise / clipping etc. Can the difference be explained by post-processing as you say?

Cheers
Rutger
Rutger, a lot can be done soundwise by proper positioning of the recorder; you would need to experiment with it a bit. In the 'postproduction' you can see if you can equalize it a bit and use a pinch of a nice reverb tastefully (reverb can totally destroy a good recording but also improve a not so good one, when used properly).

Unfortunately I can't give you any advice taylored to H4n as I don't have it and have no own experience. But I have heard quite decent recordings with it. If you could post an exemple of what you are not content with, I could maybe say more.

In any case don't expect a stellar sound from a device costing a few hundred bucks ... it certainly is not going to sound like what the big guys use in their recordings. But you can get a lot from these small and easy-to-use things, and have the advantage of not having to be a techie.

Here's a recording done via with iPhone and Zoom iQ7 (which certainly is not a better combo than H4n):

[media]https://youtu.be/RwhLYz_QMNQ[/media]
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kloeten
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by kloeten » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:36 am

rojarosguitar wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:05 am
kloeten wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:38 am


@ Konstantin, for a home recording, this sounds great!
@ rojarosguitar - my Zoom H4n always leaves me frustrated with a thin sound. Recording 'louder' implies more finger noise / clipping etc. Can the difference be explained by post-processing as you say?

Cheers
Rutger
Rutger, a lot can be done soundwise by proper positioning of the recorder; you would need to experiment with it a bit. In the 'postproduction' you can see if you can equalize it a bit and use a pinch of a nice reverb tastefully (reverb can totally destroy a good recording but also improve a not so good one, when used properly).

Unfortunately I can't give you any advice taylored to H4n as I don't have it and have no own experience. But I have heard quite decent recordings with it. If you could post an exemple of what you are not content with, I could maybe say more.
Thanks for your response and sharing your recording! I certainly do not want to hijack this thread but here is an example of my 'thin' sound (thin as compared to my 'live' guitar). viewtopic.php?f=112&t=116229
I enjoyed your recording of that piece by the way!

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bert
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by bert » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:47 am

kloeten wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:38 am
my Zoom H4n always leaves me frustrated with a thin sound.
I must say I always had that same problem, but am more satisfied with my recordings since I place my H2n at my right.

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kloeten
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by kloeten » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:47 pm

bert wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:47 am
kloeten wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:38 am
my Zoom H4n always leaves me frustrated with a thin sound.
I must say I always had that same problem, but am more satisfied with my recordings since I place my H2n at my right.
Thanks Bert I will give that a try!

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by rojarosguitar » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:33 pm

I listened to your recording. I don't find it at all thin. Only the trebles are a bit brittle. My idea is that it was a tiny bit too close to the guitar. Did you record with mics in XY 90° configuration or in AB 120°? (I think both is possible with H4n). I would also experiment with the angle towards the horizontal plane. It may be a good idea to use a photo tripod and place it at the height of your nose pointing down to the guitar, one mic angled at the 12th fret, the other towards the bridge (not straight to the top in any case!). Just experiment a bit. Mostly the problem is with the way how we use the things we have.

Then, as I thought, a pinch of reverb would not hurt. You could also tame the trebles that sound a bit brittle (as typically is the case with cheaper mics) with a tad of EQ.

I was amazed how different an interpretation of a piece can be... Here's an old recording of the same piece I did more than 4 years ago: https://youtu.be/k1ktak6s_G4

Good luck, take care
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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kloeten
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by kloeten » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:11 pm

Thanks Robert I will give that a try.
I believe the Weiss Tombeau is a terrific composition. Love the range of things one can do with these pieces.
My teacher told me that she used to play it at half my speed.

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by rojarosguitar » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:42 pm

I realized that my version was almost 9 minutes whereas yours is under 6 minutes... Yes, there always is this freedom, and it depends so much what kind of atmosphere this piece conveys to you.

Yes, please don't dismiss your H4n to easily, in recording a lot of experimentation is needed even with the best of equipment (and here I'm speaking of my own experience). Just having great gear doesn't ensure great recordings, and the quality one can achieve with even the H4n would let the recording engineers of earlier days become green of envy... :lol:
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

konstantine
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by konstantine » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:26 am

rojarosguitar wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:08 am
Konstantin, very nice playing first of all.
You have a very nice and light touch!

As to the sound, it is difficult to tell, as the sound file is clearly processed, but we don't know how (in any case I hear some reverb, unless you have recorded in a really big lively room).

I can't really see the advantage of this kind of equipment that seems to be somewhere in between the stand-alone mobile recorder (or a smartphone made into a recorder) and a fully blown recording chain.
For documenting a session or ones' musical development I think any of the mobile recorders (Zoom, Tascam, Sony, Panasonic, you name it) is better than good enough IMHO. For serious music productions the Apogee is not going to be good enough, apart from the fact that you are stuck with mono occupying your lightning input.

For myself I have found out that when I record myself I want to be busied or bothered as little as possible with the technical side of the process. If I want really a high quality recorder, I pull ut one of my bigger mobile recorders and use some great and proven stereo mic. If I just want a simple memo, I'd take either my iPhone with Zoom iQ7 or the DR-40 that is hard to beat in that price range. These ar all 'no-brainers' to set up and then you can concentrate on what you actually want to do: play...

These are my thoughts (though certainly these products must have some user niche, because otherwise they will disappear quickly from the market)...

Thanks for the nice snippets of music! More of that, please...
Thank you Rojaros, I record in a quite small room, but due to high ceiling, wooden floor and some asymmetry in the walls it is quite satisfying to play guitar in. Saying that, there is some additional reverb form Logic but other than that and a low cut filter around 78Hz there is no other processing being done to the audio!

A USB mic that can be connected to an iPhone is very similar in practical use with what you do with your iQ7, additionally it offering more placement options - therefore better sound probably - if you want to do video with the phone as well.

As stated above and in my video I don't really like how the onboard mics of the Zoom h5 sound, they are thin, brittle and noisy, okay for recording a performance for future reference but not for any kind of production - unless of course you use external microphones. Therefore I wanted to try the Apogee Mic+ and see where it stands in comparison to my studio mics and a decent portable recorder and I think it is somewhere around in the middle, I could use it for a youtube video but not to record my new album.

Now why I might want something like that since I have already invested in very good microphones, interface, preamps, etc. Well, I´m not in Berlin all the time and It would be cool if I could bring on tour as less equipment as possible and still be able to make some decent recordings if I want and have the time.

In that perspective I did a comparison today (I´ll post it probably tomorrow) between the Neumann TLM102, Line Audio CM3, Apogee Mic+ and Olympus LS-P2 (I just got it yesterday) and I decided that I'm not going to keep the Mic+ since the Olympus sounds more natural and is less of a hustle (and cheaper) so I´ll probably keep that but I'm still searching and any additional suggestion is welcome.
kloeten wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:38 am
@ Konstantin, for a home recording, this sounds great!
@ rojarosguitar - my Zoom H4n always leaves me frustrated with a thin sound. Recording 'louder' implies more finger noise / clipping etc. Can the difference be explained by post-processing as you say?
Thank you Rutger, as I say above the only post-processing that was done to this clip is a bit of reverb and a low cut filter and applying to your recordings won't make the H4n to sound less thin (I have an h5 and have a similar opinion). But definitely if you learn about microphone placement and how to apply EQ, Compression/Limiters, Reverb and some De-noise with your computer, you can definitely make any microphone or recorder that its not too bad to sound decent enough. Saying that, mic placement is the key and I spend a lot of time finding where the mics sound right and then usually leave EQ flat (save for low cut to clear the low frequencies).

Let me know if you are interested and I´ll make a video explaining mic placement and how to process sound with plugins to get more polished results.

Konstantine

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by rojarosguitar » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:53 am

I'm very interested in your future results, Konstantin, you do great work and your playing is more than very enjoyable.

Well, even a bit of reverb is more than just a sound tail after the actual sound; it acts also as a kind of EQ smoothing out some harshness, that's why I said in my post, add a pinch of reverb ...

Personally I would always prefer some kind of stereo recording, even if the mono mic is of much higher quality; the spatial clues and spaciousness of sound are very essential to enjoyment of music. At the end of the day I don't see having a stereo mic or a pair of SDC togather with a good quality mobile recorder allowing for external mics, like DR-40, H4n and many more, as much more cumbersome than anything else one could do. It's set up quickly and doesn't take up much space. CM3 or Superlux S502 would be cheap mobile solutions; Rode NT 4 etc... upwards no limits.

I think it's also a matter of the appreciation of one's own work to record it in best possible work. Recently we had a little concert and Initially I planned to use my DR-40, but than I thought, what the heck, it's a uique situation, let's record it properly, and I brought my Tascam HS-P82 (which is a machine of superb (to say the least) sonic quality, but a bit on the heavy side for a mobile recorder) and a Neumann USM69 ... I think it was worth the little bit extra effort! see here (well, might not be your music :D) :

[media]https://youtu.be/c8RGO2Gktc0[/media]
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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:06 pm

Conall wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:07 pm
Problem for me is:

- it takes ages to set up a neutral background, lighting, camera & recorder (in a video)
- it takes longer to get the sound & visuals to my satisfaction
- I unintentionally pull faces what with the effort & concentration involved in playing for a recording making me unwatchable
- it's fiddly & time consuming to sync video & audio
- and it takes loads of takes before I'm happy (if ever).

The recorder itself is the least of my problems!

Nice recording by the way.
Hi Conall, I think we all have those problems and sometimes when all goes well (when you are recording at home) a loud noise from the street will ruin everything and leave you very happy and satisfied :D :wink:
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:12 pm

konstantine wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:45 pm
I just did a test recording with the new Apogee MiC+ as an an easy, portable and "inexpensive" alternative to regular XLR mics into an audio interface. What do you think?
A very nice recording! Here is my recording on Zoom H6. It's been set on studio mode and low cut 155hz.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-6Ch5Eg7vk
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by rojarosguitar » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:59 pm

@ Arash Ahmadi: very nice playing. The recording is nice too, but I found the reverb tails quite harsh, maybe you can taylotr the HF response of the reverb to soften it down. It sounds a bit like recorded in a concrete building with naked walls...
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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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:12 pm

rojarosguitar wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:59 pm
@ Arash Ahmadi: very nice playing. The recording is nice too, but I found the reverb tails quite harsh, maybe you can taylotr the HF response of the reverb to soften it down. It sounds a bit like recorded in a concrete building with naked walls...
I see, thanks. I will try that :bravo:
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

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sxedio
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by sxedio » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:35 pm

Arash Ahmadi wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:12 pm
A very nice recording! Here is my recording on Zoom H6. It's been set on studio mode and low cut 155hz.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-6Ch5Eg7vk
Isn't 155Hz a bit too high? The open A string fundamental is 110, and E would be around 83. Low cut filters are quite drastic compared to low eq shelving filers, you don't want them to affect useful fundamental frequencies of the instrument.
(Gr) (En) (very little Fr)

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:39 pm

sxedio wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:35 pm
Arash Ahmadi wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:12 pm
A very nice recording! Here is my recording on Zoom H6. It's been set on studio mode and low cut 155hz.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-6Ch5Eg7vk
Isn't 155Hz a bit too high? The open A string fundamental is 110, and E would be around 83. Low cut filters are quite drastic compared to low eq shelving filers, you don't want them to affect useful fundamental frequencies of the instrument.
In this take A and E were recorded OK. I've set it a bit high not to rec the background noise. I am still experimenting on this new device. Will compare it to one without lowcut to see if it gives me a better quality.
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

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