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Old July 9th, 2009, 08:35 AM   #61
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Interesting. I've not come across the plastic sounding issue. I once had a live sound PA engineer stick a SM58 in front of my classical...! felt like going home before we'd started!
Apart from that it would have to be a condenser mic'. I'm lucky in that in the studio or front room, church etc.. doing recordings I've always had access to a top end mic. Being an ex full time pro guitarist and having a close friend who plays exceptionally, I find myself recording classical guitar from time to time. His instruments are made by a guy who names them girls names. They are proper nice works of luthiership. Everytime I buy his last guitar his upgrade makes me not like it as much. I'm trying to get hold of another MKH105 in order to have a pair of omni room mic's to put out along with a CCM41 which has a emmsser fig 8 attached. My last rig was to use a Nuemann kmi85. As may be becoming obvious on this group, I love recording acoustic instruments and in particular stringed instruments.

The Schoeps do have what seems like an honest balanced response. Nuemann sounds great too. Not sure which I prefer yet. Funnily enough it's the same thing in speakers which appeals to me. A detailed mid range. You know what it's like. I find myself re-evaluating my preferences as the years go by and as I get deeper into listening. I remember finding Mackie speakers were very larger than life sounding with great high and low ends but lacking the warm detailed mid range that say Tannoys are renowned for.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 10:45 AM   #62
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While we're on the subject of recording, can anyone advise how to avoid "finger squeaks"? The problem is most acute with onboard pickups, I think, but I hear them if the fretboard is miked, which as I understand it, is a good thing to do...I have limited experience in recording music (my job is news) but getting my feet wet.../Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team
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Old July 9th, 2009, 11:18 AM   #63
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that's a technique question, part of the performance. You can minimize teh really bad ones, but I tend to leave the "normal" ones alone.

I once had a guy cruising for a studio for classical guitar. He recorded a track here and then questioned a noise in the recording at xminutesyseconds. He implied there was something wrong with my rig. It was his nose snort. I didn't expect him back. I was rewarded by being correct.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old July 9th, 2009, 12:57 PM   #64
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Ty, would you say not using on-board pickups for recording would be good practice? (When Ty talks I tend to listen closely....)/ bvaughan
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Old July 9th, 2009, 01:07 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Jimmy Tuffrey View Post
Got to beg to differ about this. It is my belief and experience that a good acoustic, either steel or nylon string designs, is characterised by an even balance across the whole of it's range from low to high and that a warm bass response which is balanced with the rest of the instruments range is not a given. A lot of lesser classical/spanish/nylon string instruments appear fine in the treble register, say above the F on 3rd string at tenth fret, but lack a good depth of tone, including a good bass response created from the instruments top resonating, and it is only the very best instruments which have an even tonal response across all registers whilst embodying a warm tone with it as opposed to an even response which is a bit tame or dull. The main achievement is evenness, The sam goes with loudspeakers and microphones.

Is it all in the treble? No. A cheap piano sounds good in the treble too but lacks the depth and evenness... here we go again. It is the same for most instruments. Maybe all.
If you consider I said that a guitar by default has a good bass, my comments make sense. Of course taking it to the extreme, that only treble will do isn't what I meant, you need bass, however from building guitars for the past 35 years i've found the most challenging thing is to get good trebles. This may not be so important on steel string guitars, as it is for classical guitars. Cheap classical guitars have surprisingly good bass response. If you consider the main melody in classical music happens in the treble range this becomes vitally important. The bass in my mind creates the ambiance for the melody or cantable to dwell in, it shouldn't dominate the treble.

If you make your first guitar it's hard not to get a decent bass response, as I said it's built into the design by default, it's therefore the challenge to get a good treble. If you get good treble the bass is automatically there as well. If you get good bass it doesn't guarantee good treble.

I've heard it said, that someone will pay one million dollars for a car that goes 200 mph, but they will pay 2 million dollars for a car that will go 205 mph.

Michael
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Old July 9th, 2009, 02:16 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Battle Vaughan View Post
While we're on the subject of recording, can anyone advise how to avoid "finger squeaks"?
This helps a bit:
Fingerease Guitar String Lubricant and more Fretted Instrument Care and Cleaning at GuitarCenter.com.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 04:09 PM   #67
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If you consider I said that a guitar by default has a good bass, my comments make sense. Of course taking it to the extreme, that only treble will do isn't what I meant, you need bass, however from building guitars for the past 35 years i've found the most challenging thing is to get good trebles. This may not be so important on steel string guitars, as it is for classical guitars. Cheap classical guitars have surprisingly good bass response. If you consider the main melody in classical music happens in the treble range this becomes vitally important. The bass in my mind creates the ambiance for the melody or cantable to dwell in, it shouldn't dominate the treble.

If you make your first guitar it's hard not to get a decent bass response, as I said it's built into the design by default, it's therefore the challenge to get a good treble. If you get good treble the bass is automatically there as well. If you get good bass it doesn't guarantee good treble.

I've heard it said, that someone will pay one million dollars for a car that goes 200 mph, but they will pay 2 million dollars for a car that will go 205 mph.

Michael
MMmm. I like this site. You've got me thinking.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Battle Vaughan View Post
Ty, would you say not using on-board pickups for recording would be good practice? (When Ty talks I tend to listen closely....)/ bvaughan
Bat,

I've seldom heard a pickup I've liked on an acoustic guitar for recording. I have a friend with a Simon & Patrick guitar. It's pickup sounds pretty darn good and we have used that on some tracks mixed in with other things. That track was not extremely prominent in the mix.

I just rigged my old Harmony 12 Sovereign with a K&K Arch Top kit and it sounds VERY much like the guitar itself, even though it's not an archtop.

I have gone direct with my Tele, a Les Paul and a Fender P-bass through a Groove Tube Brick or Ditto and right into the system. This keeps the noise (from amps) in the room down and actually sounds a lot like an old Pre-CBS Fender amp.

In general I like the sound of a good guitar. If the guitar doesn't sound that good, whatever you can do to it to help it works for me.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old July 10th, 2009, 10:05 PM   #69
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Thanks, Ty and Jon, this site always has people who know what they're about....!/B. Vaughan
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Old July 11th, 2009, 12:54 PM   #70
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Well I've made my mind up to buy a couple Schoeps. I have a question though. To go with the CMC6 amplifier, what is the best capsule to record classical guitar with? I see the MK-21h is made specifically for guitar recordings.
Posthorn | Schoeps Colette Capsules

Also is there a compromise for a capsule that is good for both voice, and guitar ( this would be best for me as I record voice as well.

Michael
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Old July 11th, 2009, 03:10 PM   #71
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Michael,

I don't see where Schoeps or Posthorn suggests that capsule for guitar. If you have a good sounding guitar, boosting the highs is not required. I used a MK41 capsule on mine and find it hides the flaws in the room better.

And, again, I'd start with one Schoeps on one guitar.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old July 12th, 2009, 12:08 AM   #72
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I generally use the MK21 (not 21H) but for the guitar recordings I like the cardioid MK4.

I like the MK21 because it doesn't disproportionately boost off axis highs and works very well for a lot of what I do, and I agree with Ty that the MK41 is a surprisingly good mike for a lot more than what it normally gets used for

But I think in general starting with a regular cardioid will give you a lot of options.

I also have to say that for classical instruments I don't much like really close mic'ing.

I play brass (tuba to be exact) and I can clearly hear different frequencies originating from different locations on the horn. Just as guitar highs and bass originate in different locations, I guess.

I think a classical instrument needs some space between instrument and listener so the sound can blend and I think overly close mic placement defeats this blending.

Similarly for piano, I really don't much like the "performer's location sound image" with noticeably spread out highs and lows. That just isn't how listeners hear the instrument.

On the other hand, closer mic placement may help minimize room effect so it's a real game of listening and deciding what sounds best to YOU!

So you should probably buy a couple of every kind of capsule (ha ha)

Financially to say the least this isn't too practical with $choeps, so I understand the dilemma of choice you're faced with.

If it were me I'd start with a pair of cardioids - OR maybe a single cardioid and then maybe a figure 8 capsule and look into M/S recording because you would be able to get a reasonably nice stereo image and also be able to buy additional capsules singly rather than in pairs. Lots of bang for the buck. And I think Ty's advice of one mic and one guitar is really worth thinking about. I think having a bit of stereo image adds a nice open-ness but stereo is not by any means a necessity

I'd be happy to bring my Schoeps collection when I'm in Santa Fe next month and let you listen and figure out which you like best.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 02:05 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thames View Post
Well I've made my mind up to buy a couple Schoeps. I have a question though. To go with the CMC6 amplifier, what is the best capsule to record classical guitar with? I see the MK-21h is made specifically for guitar recordings.
Posthorn | Schoeps Colette Capsules

Also is there a compromise for a capsule that is good for both voice, and guitar ( this would be best for me as I record voice as well.

Michael
If you are recordng voice and guitar at the same time, things get a lot more complicated.

There are two basic approaches.

One is to back off the mics and record this like a classical performance. This will require a reasonably good room, and a performer who knows how to balance the voice and guitar well naturally. What you hear is what you get.

A pair of cardiods, a cardiod and figure 8 (for MS) or even a pair of omnis in a good room will work well for this.

The other approach is to close mic. This opens up a very large can of worms. The problem here is that the two sources are very close together, and that any bleed from voice into the guitar mic (and vice versa) will sound bad, due to being off axis (especially with cardiods) and the distances are such that there is likely to be phase cancellation or comb filtering (distance 1 to 2 feet between the mics means problems with phase in the 500-3000 Hz range - right in the middle of the sensitive vocal range!).

Another problem is that you will need to be micing very close to get near the 3 to 1 guideline (which is a minimum). Small condensor mics with a cardiod pattern tend to get very boomy and are very prone to pops at such distances.

Here are two approaches I often use in such situations:

1. This is where the unique properties of the figure 8 pattern come in very handy. I use such a mic on the guitar, with the front pointed at te strings, but the null of the mic pointed at the singers mouth. This almost perfectly eliminates the voice from the guitar mic. No other pattern can do this as well, only figure 8 has a perfect null.

For the voice, normally a small condensor would not be my first choice due to the problems mentioned above. If I did have to use one, I would choose an omni pattern which can be used close without boominess and pops. More likely though, I would choose a large condensor, and also use it in a figure 8 pattern, but with the null of this mic pointed at the guitar.

2. Similar to #1 on the guitar, but I would use a dynamic mic for the vocal - something designed to be used VERY close, such as an SM-7 or SM-57. This pretty much eliminates any bleed from the guitar into the vocal mic due to sheer distance (1 in from mouth, 12-24 in from guitar - much better than the minimum 3 to 1).

If one of the Schoeps is specifically for voice (as opposed to for stereo), omni rather than cardiod may be better, if you plan to close mic.

If I were going to buy two Schoeps, in this circumstance, I might get one figure eight and one omni. This woud allow both a nice MS stereo setup for distant micing and and the potential for better separation and less chance of vocal pops and boominess in a close miced situation.

You might think a bi-directional mic would not not be a good choice in a less than perfect room. In actual practice, what happens is that - in a close mic situation - the bounce from sidewalls is eliminated by the null of the mic, and the sound from the rear wall is so much less than the front (due to close micing) that it makes little difference.

And of course in a distant micing situation, using MS micing allows the amount of ambience to be varied after the fact - a great advantage if you are uncertain of the room.


-Mike
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Old July 12th, 2009, 10:53 AM   #74
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I usually use a wide cardioid with figure 8 as an M/S setup and I like it - again, for what I do which is often concert band recording. I'm actually playing with the idea of adding an omni to the mix as my next purchase.

I think the great thing about M/S is that it works well with just about any capsule in addition to the figure 8. There are even configurations of two fiigure 8 mics as a stereo setup (Blumlein)

Downside is that the figure 8 is one of the more expensive capsules.

The other downside is that you either need a mixer or recorder that will decode the M/S to stereo, or after the fact editing in software. There are lots of plug-ins available to do this as well. (Waves Stereo Imager, for example or a relatively low cost module from Brainworks in Germany.) It's a well solved problem so not to worry.

Last edited by Jim Andrada; July 12th, 2009 at 11:42 AM.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 05:48 PM   #75
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I usually use a wide cardioid with figure 8 as an M/S setup and I like it - again, for what I do which is often concert band recording. I'm actually playing with the idea of adding an omni to the mix as my next purchase.
Wide cardioid is not a bad choice if you are micing pretty far away. If you are closer though, or need to cover a sound source that is wide (like a concert band), the omni shoud provide better MS decoding in the critical high frequencies at the extremes of the stereo image. Since cardioids tend to fall off in the high frequencies as you get off axis, this will naturaly affect the MS decoding there.

A cheap way to play with this before spending your money would be to cover up the sound holes on the back of your cardioid, which turns it into an omni. This works with varying degrees of success depending upon the construction of the mic, so do some quick checks with white or pink noise, on and off axis to make sure. Depending upon the size of the mic body, you may be able to use a short piece of vinyl tubing for this, which can be slipped on and off quickly.

Figure 8 mics are more expensive, but for MS this is partially offset by being able to use an omni for the other mic, which is usualy the cheapest. And no other mic has the flexibility of a figure 8. With an omni and a figure 8 mic, you can generate all the other common mic patterns by combining them in various ways (wide and narrow cardioid, though not interference type patterns such as long shotgun patterns).

(Michael) Decoding MS can be done simply by sending the omni to a mono channel, panned center, and sending the figure 8 to both sides of a stereo channel, with one side flipped out of phase.
Modern audio software makes this so easy to do. No plug-ins strictly needed, though they make things even simpler. Nowadays, you probably got an MS decoder plugin for free with your software anyways.

Add one more figure 8 mic to the mix and you could record your concert band in full ambisonics for complete audio heaven. I'd be hard pressed to decide between that and a new omni. ;-)

-Mike
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