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Old August 5th, 2006, 08:45 PM   #1
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Questions about NTG1 & recording music

Greetings. I'm working on a doc and at some point will be recording two friends playing two different songs that I will later edit in to the final piece over the video, etc. One song will be strictly two acoustic guitars (no singing), and the other song will be two acoustic guitars along with one of them singing. I don't have much of an audio setup (I'm currently a no budget one man band with a camera and a few mics), but was wondering if anyone has any recommendations as to the best way to set it up to get a decent quality recording, based upon the mics I have (my camera is the Sony A1U):

1. Rode NTG-1
2. Sony ECM-44B lavalier
3. Sony UWP-C1 wireless
4. The stock Sony mic that comes with the A1U (I know, probably don't bother with this one).

ALSO, regarding my NTG-1...this may be a dumb question, but I just recently got it so please excuse the ignorance. Pin #1 is slightly longer (about 1 or 2mm) than the other two and I've never seen this before on an XLR connector. All other pins I've seen in the past on cables and mics are always the same length. Kind of strange. Is this normal on the NTG1?

Thanks a lot!
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Old August 6th, 2006, 01:52 AM   #2
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I very rarely record music, so I'll leave that part of your question to those who know what they're talking about in that area.

As for the long XLR connector pin on your NTG-1, it's completely normal. That's the ground pin, I believe. Nothing to worry about.
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Old August 6th, 2006, 05:39 AM   #3
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Are they going to be playing on-camera as a scene in your video or are these songs going to become part of the score - the background music for other action?
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Old August 6th, 2006, 06:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
Are they going to be playing on-camera as a scene in your video or are these songs going to become part of the score - the background music for other action?
Hi Steve. Yes, it's more to just record the music to become part of background music for the doc. So the picture doesn't necessarily matter...

Thanks. Bob.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 07:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Bitteroot
Hi Steve. Yes, it's more to just record the music to become part of background music for the doc. So the picture doesn't necessarily matter...

Thanks. Bob.
If that's the case, the issue of microphone's compatibility with the camera goes away. Don't even bother recording into the camera at all. After you video is edited, record the music directly into your computer as they watch the video on the monitor for timing. Then fine-tune the tracks in your editor and mix the whole thing down. Set up a quiet area to record, perhaps draping blankets around to improve the acoustics a bit. You haven't menitoned what you have in terms of a mixer and soundcard so it's hard to give specifics on the mics but none of the ones you've mentioned are what I'd think of a first choices for guitars as studio cardioid condensor mics, either large or small diaphram, are the usual choices for micing instruments and vocals. You might experiment with clipping the Sony lav directly in the soundhole of the instrument as that can sometimes give good results but none of these will be very good for the vocals, although the Rode NTG-1 might work out if you can do a good job of cutting down on the room reflections.

You didn't mention what audio programs you have, but remember if it's a mutlitrack program like Audition or Vegas you don't have to record both guitars and the vocal all at once. You can do what the studios do and multitrack the recording - lay down a click track for tempo, play it in headphones while recording the lead guitar, perhaps even double the track by having him play along with himself while listening to it on playback, then record the other guitar (tracks) also while he listens to playback of the first tracks in headphones, and finally record the vocal on its own track while he sings to the playback of the instruments on his headphones.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 11:32 AM   #6
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Hi Steve. Thanks for the great suggestions. Sorry it's taken me so long to respond, I've been out of town.

I guess I failed to mention something fairly important...I'm going to be recording this while I'm in Europe in September shooting video for my doc, so my only option is to record into the camera. I won't have the option to record directly into my computer, although I will definitely use your suggestions on doing that in the future!

BTW, I recently bought a ME64 cardioid mic. So now I have the NTG1, the Sony lav, and the Sony wireless. Any other advice you have on mic placement or the best way to record is appreciated. Thanks a lot!

Bob
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Old August 17th, 2006, 01:08 PM   #7
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I'd suggest the ME64 as the vocal mic, maybe about 10 or 12 inches asay from singer (if you can get a pop filter then great (they're cheap) or get the singe to 'aim' slightly to one side of ME64 to stop plosives etc.
And use the Senn wireless taped/clipped to the guitar or taped/clipped to something just in front of it.

Experiment a bit to get the mix about right (singer volume balanced with guitar volume. I gues this depends on how loud he sings and what sort of musci he' playing.

With XLR, you can record these two mono tracks at same time using the settings on the XLR module etc. Also you can set manual audio levels for the two mics SEPARATELY which is really handy.

Room choice is important. Maximum soft furnishings as possible, minimum hard surfaces. TRy to do it on a room with a carpeted floor, not hardfloor. Aircon off (of there's aircon), and even stuff like fridges etc can make a big hum when they kick in. If traffic on road nearby, try recording early in the morning or late at night when less traffic. (neighbours permitting...)

I've done similar thing - taped singer + acoustic guitar in a room. only had one mic though and no XLR facility so had to mount shogtun condesner (never a great choice indoors) pointing a bit between voice and guitar. Kinda worked but room acoustics were too reflective so ended up duct-taping blankets over the bare walls !! Blankets are heavy...... you need quite a bit of duct-tape to stop them falling down.....

anyway hope that helps.

For sure you're ME64 will be better than my shotgun in that situ.
Get mics as close as possible without blowing up the levels, and do 2 or 3 takes on one song and review via decent headphones during/after to check for clipping or nasty other probs.
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