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.
gillingwater

Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by gillingwater » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:37 am

Hello all :)

Any favorite mics to use for classical guitar? Was thinking a sm57 on 12 fret and a condenser room mic.

Any thoughts? Cheers, m

Macleod410

Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Macleod410 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:46 am

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.

gillingwater

Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by gillingwater » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:38 am

Great! Thanks :)

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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by rojarosguitar » Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:18 pm

Do a little search on microphones in the forum. There is a lot more specific material than just "SM57 or condenser?" type of questions. Not all mics of the same functional principle (like condenser or dynamic) are created equal! And placement plays a huge role. And mic preamps, too...
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by sxedio » Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:47 pm

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.
My poor understanding is that the sound hole is the source of all boominess, and especially with microphones that exhibit the proximity effect like the SM 57, should be avoided in favour of the 12 fret.
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fatwarry
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by fatwarry » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:01 pm

sxedio 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.
My poor understanding is that the sound hole is the source of all boominess, and especially with microphones that exhibit the proximity effect like the SM 57, should be avoided in favour of the 12 fret.
Aiming at the lower bout/bridge can sometimes work when other options aren't sounding very good. It's certainly a more controlled sound than that emanating from the soundhole and can help to lessen finger noise/string whistle compared with 12th fret
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UKsteve
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by UKsteve » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:51 pm

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

Macleod410

Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Macleod410 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:10 pm

No, you get a full sound aiming the mic at the sound hole.
Have a look/listen to my recent recording on YouTube of the Rodrigo Aranjuez.
That mic was pointing right at the sound hole just out of camera and the sound is fantastic.
I used an AKG c1000.

Search 'Gary Macleod guitar, on YouTube

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Ken Whisler
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Ken Whisler » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:10 pm

Macleod410 wrote:No, you get a full sound aiming the mic at the sound hole.
Have a look/listen to my recent recording on YouTube of the Rodrigo Aranjuez.
That mic was pointing right at the sound hole just out of camera and the sound is fantastic.
I used an AKG c1000.

Search 'Gary Macleod guitar, on YouTube
I beg to differ......judging from the camera angle your mic is obviously off axis and at least a few feet back, which will alleviate boominess. I do agree that it sounds good.
Last edited by Ken Whisler on Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ken Whisler
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Ken Whisler » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:14 pm

Ideal placement is specific to the room and the guitar itself. Ears and taste dictate mic placement. Have to experiment. Mere inches makes huge differences.The only real rule is get it as close as you humanly can to exactly where you want the sound. EQ and reverb will not help bad mic placement.
Ken Whisler, guitarist and luthier

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Lawler
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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Lawler » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:44 pm

Mic selection and placement depend on many things - instrument, player, room sound (that's a big one), type of mic (mic sensitivity, polar pattern, off-axis response, the mic's inherent EQ curve). Experiment. Have fun with it. Take notes as you go.

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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by sphinx » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:19 pm

Macleod410 wrote:you get a full sound aiming the mic at the sound hole.
The soundhole is the worst place to aim the mic at if you're close mic'ing. But if the room allows you to pull the mic a few feet back, preferably four feet or more, then you can aim the mic at any point on the soundboard (bridge, soundhole, whatever) and get a good sound.

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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Smith » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:09 pm

Hi everyone. I've just signed up for on-line lessons and I need to submit a video of my playing ASAP.
I've been experimenting with my iPhone 5 in the last couple of days and when I play it back I can barely hear the guitar. I have to set the phone about 5 or 6 feet away and the built-in mic isn't going to cut it. The phone needs to be at least that far away to capture me, my guitar, and my posture.

So I think I need one of two things: either a mic that plugs into the phone or a separate rig.
It doesn't have to be fancy, just something that will work for now.

I would also like to pass on this somewhat related tip (mind the Apps): google "The Studio In Your Pocket".
Thx.

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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by franks59 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:50 pm

Smith wrote:Hi everyone. I've just signed up for on-line lessons and I need to submit a video of my playing ASAP.
I've been experimenting with my iPhone 5 in the last couple of days and when I play it back I can barely hear the guitar. I have to set the phone about 5 or 6 feet away and the built-in mic isn't going to cut it. The phone needs to be at least that far away to capture me, my guitar, and my posture.

So I think I need one of two things: either a mic that plugs into the phone or a separate rig.
It doesn't have to be fancy, just something that will work for now.

I would also like to pass on this somewhat related tip (mind the Apps): google "The Studio In Your Pocket".
Thx.
The Apogee Mic mentioned above by UKsteve is supposed to be able record directly into the iPhone.

Frank

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Re: Ideal microphones and mic placement for classical?

Post by Smith » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:46 am

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.

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