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  • newbie needs advice on recording violin and acoustic guitar

    hi guys, an acoustic group is about to record in my studio, despite knowing im not a pro.

    they are a 3 piece group, violin, acoustic guitar and vocals. I have never recorded violin before and the last time I recorded acoustic guitar with AT2020, it was muddy, perhaps the positioning.

    so I need you guys' advice on which mics/placement to use for the violin and guitar, and if its possible to get a good recording with vocals as well all at the same time

    the condensers i have are two AKG Perception 170 , two AT2020

    dynamics : i5, om5, two SM57

    I'm thinking i5 would make a good vocal mic for recording in a loud/live setting, cause I really like the sweet sound. 

     

    any help greatly appreciated


  • #2

    You might want to get more mics, depending on how you want to record.

    I use MXL 990 and 991 condensors for most of my acoustic stuff. Either works by itself, but ive been expiramenting with dynamic micing. I have the 991 pointed at the soundhole, probably 5 or 6 inches back and coming in at an angle. Then i have the 990 set up around a foot back, coming in from the opposite angle. 

    Not sure how to do a violin. The fist thing i'd try would be my 990 (or any large diaphragm condensor you can use) and set it somewhere close (but out of the way of the bow, obviously) to the side and point it at the F hole.

    Sorry i cant help a whole lot, i'm not very familiar with the mics your using. I've got pretty limited experience myself, but that's how i'd try to handle it with my gear. Hope it helps a bit. 

    Comment


    • #3

      Howdy! I use an AKG S1000 for the violin. I've been playing violin for a loooooooong time--have a degree in music, concentration: violin--and I record myself frequently to see how I'm sounding. 

      The best position is about 6 inches above the musicians. If there's too much treble, move the mics back a bit at a time until it gets *right*. 

      In the space I'm in, it works best to turn the mic up a bit more than I usually would. 

      Anyhow...

      Comment


      • zzzxtreme
        zzzxtreme commented
        Editing a comment

        thanks for the tip on the guitar. very helpful

         

        and VTEC, do you mean, the AKG points down to player? thanks


    • #4

      violine:

      live, or studio?

      home studio?

      how high is the ceiling of the room?

       

      you record both, guitar and violine, at the same time?

      and you have the mentioned microphones available for that?

      Comment


    • #5

      Acoustic violin is a tough item to record and get good results. I did allot of experimentation trying to get good recording results and unless you have a really good mic and room acoustics, it can sound dreadful. My studio is a dead room with practically no reflection and I couldn't get good tone no matter what I tried. I eventually installed a piezo bridge and used a combination of the direct signal and a mic. The preamp needs to be tailored for the fiddle and the mic position needs to be the correct distance so you don't have phase cancellation. I used 18" with a reverse phased cable. With a regular cable you need to be 3' from the sound source to have proper phase between the direct sound and mic.

      Another option are these new electric fiddles. Even the cheap ones aren't bad. My buddy picked up one of those $100 eBay jobs and it blew my doors of for recording. I could get the thing loud enough with enough frequency range to mix with electric guitars and sound like a real fiddle In comparison to my acoustic which sounded squeaky and scratchey

      Those fishman mic systems are really good too. If I had an expensive fiddle, that's likely the route I'd take. They aren't cheap, but they work equally well live and recording. The key again is, the preamp/EQ is matched to the instruments frequency range. Then if you want some additional room "Air",  supplement the recording with another condenser.  The close mic will get the full warmth and body you really need recording a single fiddle. Otherwise you wind up having to EQ the crap out of a track using a single mic to get it to sound even partially decent.

      Comment


      • VTEC_Dreams
        VTEC_Dreams commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah, I would never, ever, EVER put a preamp on my violin to record it.

        Live, sure, because you're compromising for the sake of feedback and mixing with other things, but putting pickups on a violin or using an electric one are just that--a compromise.

        If the violin is remotely nice sounding, it's not rocket science to get a good sounds for a recording.

    • #6
      Wow rudolf! Thanks! Never seen such setup . Its my own recording/rehearsal studio, i think about 11 ft or so? Really just a part time thing for passion. Not pro setting, although room has plenty panels. Yeah those are the mics i have.

      Mark thanks for the tip!!! Though wondering why 57/om5 instead of akg pencils for violin? Curious.

      Thanks again all. pretty excited.

      Comment


      • #7
        11ft i mean the height(no edit button in mobile site)

        Comment


        • #8
          Rudolf sorry another question. My at2020 has "front/back" side. Do i point both mics the same direction?

          Comment


          • Rudolf von Hagenwil
            Editing a comment

            11 ft ceiling is very good

            - when the ceiling is too low, then the reflection from the ceiling would make your recording unusable

             

            mic distance: to the violin depends on what balance you want between direct sound and room,

            - when the room has good natural reverberation, you can place the microphone further away from the violin, up to 3-5 ft.

            - when the natural reverberation is unusable for the final product, then go nearer to the violin, that almost only the direct sound of the violin gets recorded, in this case you use artificial reverberation.

             

            so:  you record the violin single channel (mono), as point source; and when the room reverberation is good, you additionally put two mics in the room.

            - when the room sound is not good, you use artifical reverberation on the violin, the artifical reverberation will be stereo and the single channel violin point source.

             


            zzzxtreme wrote:
            Rudolf sorry another question. My at2020 has "front/back" side. Do i point both mics the same direction?


            Front side

            this microphone does not record on the back side. The AT 2020's polar pattern is cardioid, so you only have to make a Blumlein pair stereo technique with two of them.

            Maybe test if the other two mics sound more preferable to you in this technique.

             

            The angle of a Blumlein pair is = +/- 45


        • #9

          btw, and only that I told you...

          in the good old days they recorded strings without microphone

           

          RCA\_Schumann\_Rubin.jpg

          Attached Files

          Comment


          • VTEC_Dreams
            VTEC_Dreams commented
            Editing a comment
            I saw the Guarneri a few years ago. Got to do a master class with the violist!!

            Oy, what a talented bunch of tossers those guys are.

        • #10
          vtec, u mean just 1 or 2 telefunken mics for whole orchestra?

          Comment


          • VTEC_Dreams
            VTEC_Dreams commented
            Editing a comment
            I've played in orchestras where there were just two mics for the whole group, and the recordings turned out terrific.

            That said, the spaces I played in were terrific and you could have put your laptop speaker up and it would have sounded pretty darn good.

            For a small ensemble, yeah, two mics could very well do it. Ideally you'd have more, but it's not like it *couldn't* be done,

        • #11

          Is there a way to get MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 files into Final Cut Pro X without having to convert them? 

          Comment


          • Rudolf von Hagenwil
            Editing a comment

            pull down menu > import > audio

            or drag and drop the MPEG into the timeline


        • #12
          Thanks for the tip! I will fix the highs & reverbs. Ya very pitchy

          Comment


          • Rudolf von Hagenwil
            Editing a comment

            zzzxtreme wrote:
            Thanks for the tip! I will fix the highs & reverbs. Ya very pitchy

             

            it is enormously difficult to make a good recording with childen in music class in primary school,

            I did that once when my son was still in school



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