02-27-2013 05:17 PM
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
02-27-2013 05:47 PM
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.
02-27-2013 06:53 PM
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.
02-27-2013 06:59 PM
Yeah dude. I usually point it towards myself from above, and if it's too harsh I'll angle it away bit by bit, and move the mic away, at the stand.
02-28-2013 03:30 AM - edited 02-28-2013 03:34 AM
live, or 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?
02-28-2013 05:07 AM
02-28-2013 05:31 AM
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.
02-28-2013 05:47 AM
02-28-2013 06:06 AM
02-28-2013 06:48 AM
When someone says never/ever It usually suggests they prefer a purist approach. This is common with acoustic players who have a strong bias to keeping things simple. In other cases some may not get good results experimenting with multiple signal sources. I understand both have no problems working with either. People have the options of choosing what works for them, but look at what a player like Jean Luck Ponte uses. He may use both electric and acoustic setups and loves both for what they are.
Also keep in mind, one method can become awful boring after awhile. It can also limit your artistic creativity. My goal is to get the best tracks recorded. I began playing fiddle back in 1967. I dropped it for may years for acoustic and electric guitar.
I think the first time I recorded fiddle was to stick an ear plug in the F hole and run it through a cannibalized recorder playback head created some crazy drive effects. Not what you'd call High Fidelity but those early experiments put me on the path to getting my degree in electronics and lighting a passion for recorded sound. Only years later did I find some of those crazy experiments were duplicated by other major artists. The guitar chords to The Stones, Jumping Jack flash was an acoustic guitar with a cheap crystal mic from a cassette recorder stuck inside.
Just goes to show you a mix can often be successful when it has a contrast of sounds. Bob Dylan comes to mind. His recordings often had instruments that tracked with something lacking, a Piano or horn slightly out of tune or could have been tracked better, a mix that could have been blended better. Key is it works to make his material unique. And since no two albums sounded the same, It's an important note that experimentation is the key to success. Chances are you'll have 10 failures to every success, but after a few thousand failures, that adds up to a couple of hundred successful methods you can stick in your tool box to choose from to fit the musical arrangement.
As another note, Every mic passes through a preamp. Having one that's customized for violin frequencies can be very beneficial if it saves time and gets better results mixing. EQing the signal before its digitized can produce some really decent results, often times better than using EQ plugins to filter out the stuff you don't want and enhancing what you do want. It can be a mixers EQ, a paragraphic EQ or a preamp/EQ combination. As I said, my results were greatly improved and its why I share my results with others who may be needing some options.
02-28-2013 08:51 AM - edited 02-28-2013 09:45 AM
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.
Rudolf sorry another question. My at2020 has "front/back" side. Do i point both mics the same direction?
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° = 90°, and it records in "intensity stereo", this stereo technique has all the advatage a stereo recording technique can have.
02-28-2013 09:04 AM - edited 02-28-2013 09:07 AM
Apropos "purist approach"
A friend of mine would record all the musicians you described with one stereo pair in front of them, and that stereo track would be the final mix
and when one musician is too loud in the mix, he moves his chair further apart from the stereo mics, and vice versa.
For example: the violinist steps on step to the stereo mic when he makes a solo, and steps back for accompagnement.
This recording technique sounds GREAT, natural and is total easy to apply.
02-28-2013 12:31 PM
03-01-2013 04:57 AM
when you record strings, section or solo violin doesn't matter, it sounds excellent when the ceiling is about 5 yards or more, and about 2 yards above the Decca Tree