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What mics I should use to record my acoustic guitars? 


James Rose
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Guides To Buy The Best Dot Laser Levels

What is Dot Laser Level?

A point laser level is an electrical tool that uses laser beam technology to create reference points for horizontal or vertical use to facilitate alignment. They can be used to locate or calculate items. It helps create a plane or reference point on a horizontal line like a floor or ceiling or a vertical line like a wall.

The initial laser levels are invested, and their intended use is for outdoor use and remains the best laser level that is widely used for such applications worldwide. Dotted laser levels are often used today by homeowners who want to install chair railings around rooms of the same height or want to hang curtains correctly in straight lines.

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A dot laser is also called a vertical laser level because its use is similar to a conventional spirit level and the bob-lot. Nowadays, they are an integral part of the family toolkit.

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Try to read all guides about dot laser level to get a good overview

Modern dot laser levels

Compared to the large systems used on glass construction sites today in the 1980s and 1990s, laser levels have become much more efficient and cheaper. Today, they can be transported to different locations and do not require a lot of workers. Many experts believe that laser technology has revolutionized the construction industry today. Rotation and preferred lasers are standard.

If you compare point laser levels to other types, it's cheaper, easier to use, and very portable, although their applications are somewhat limited.

General applications of the point/solder laser level

Suppose you want to hang some pictures on two different walls, but both should be on the same level. The first thing you need is a reference point on both walls that are the same length as the floor. You can use a tape measure and do it the traditional way or use the vertical laser level.

First, fire your dotted laser level and place a dot on one of the walls. Then activate the other to achieve a degree of alignment on both walls at a distance equal to the floor.

What if you wanted to do a series of diagonally hanging pictures? No problem, flip your laser level, the possibilities are endless, and you have always had to worry that your friend will criticize you for leaving the link.

Have you ever wondered how your local bookstores ensure that their shelves are level and consistent across the store? For many households, a laser point level can be the lifeline. It is essential for builders.

Some of the main tasks of the point laser level are:

  • Lay bricks, install cupboards, shelves and seat rails, hang up curtains and picture frames.
  • Line up fences and painted stripes, balanced cupboards and shelves, and a surprisingly striped color

Applications on-site include things like:

Measure, arrange stones and squares on the sample board. Leveling, layout and contour cultivation

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Why choose Dot Laser Level?

There are different types of laser levels to choose from. For me, the most important reason for selecting a laser spot level is its accuracy. It doesn't hit with a plumb bob and spirit level; it passes the laser and where you only need a reference point.

They are also straightforward to use. They can be used alone, no vertical bob managers are required, or you have to climb the ladder to take measurements. Finally, they are incredibly flexible with models that allow you to create multiple points or lines in many directions simultaneously.

Functions to be searched

With so many laser levels, you need to know what to focus on. It begins with the price; there's no reason to look at the models that all frills offer if, firstly, you can't afford them, and secondly, if you're the homeowner who wants to get that to hang photos. It does not have the features that a professional carpenter needs.

Then accuracy, I want the most precise laser level in my price range. Finally, I look at the field; I want a working range of at least 20 feet. The more, the better.

Use of Dot Laser Level

Suppose you are an electrician and want to install ceiling lights in parallel. You can take out a tape measure, a ladder, and your reliable pen and take all measurements, move the marked scale up and down and check the positions before running the drill. And repair your furniture.

But if you have a tool that offers automation and simplicity that reduces your effort and time while increasing your accuracy, why not? Here are some simple steps to install ceiling lights with spot/solder lasers

  • Place your lamp on the floor to appear on the ceiling and mark a reference point.
  • Use your 3-point laser and place it over the first reference point you create
  • Shoot the level and see the red dot pointing directly at the ceiling. Your first lamp will go here.
  • Mark this point with a pen and repeat it for every reference point.

What would take about an hour from many difficult measurements from the top of a wall to the ceiling? It takes less than 10 minutes to complete on the floor without ladders or balancing a tape from your ladder to the wall? It is the performance of solder lasers. You can also use the 5-point laser level if you install the lights on the wall.

Types of dot laser levels

There are several main types of laser levels, the two most common being the 3-point laser level and the 5-point laser level, both of which have their characteristics and diverse uses. The number of laser spots determines the amount of laser spots that can be created on the surface.

When buying a laser level, you must take its leveling technology into account. Most laser levels mention either self-sufficient or automatic, which is very different. Self-leveling lasers use a pendulum system, while self-leveling lasers use stepper motor technology. The latter are more expensive and require regular maintenance.

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How do you use Laser Level like a professional?

Using a laser level is surprisingly easy, but you can maximize its performance and efficiency to make your job easier and faster.

Edited by James Rose
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Is there a microphone that records better than another at that proximity to the guitar? I know quality of microphones varies but at such close range I would think it to be very nuanced. That said, the arrangement/placement of the microphones is actually more important to my experience than most other aspects. I use a Shure SM58 on the guitar as well as a Zoom Hr recorder. The SM58 handles the job pretty well but being a home recording hack with little to gain (in every sense) over it by spending a lot more isn't something I'd do. Now, I do see some people placing two small diaphragm condenser microphones in an X-Y pattern in front of the guitar, and some use a single large diaphragm microphone (Studio-1, et al), achieving equal results (in my ear). I think the mods here are studio techs by trade and can lay it all out better than my novice experience can. I will say that the Zoom H4 recorder gives very fine results with its onboard X-Y mounted small diaphragm condenser microphones. Like the SM58, I place  it at the 12th fret, pointed towards the sound hole, and it never fails to faithfully capture my playing, such that is it.

 

Let's be clear on one point, though. The quality of the sound starts with the quality of the guitar.

Edited by Idunno
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At the sound hole?

You can certainly try it, but that’s usually going to be really boomy sounding...

And why LDC’s? Small diaphragm condenser mics are as commonly used on acoustic guitars as large diaphragm models, if not more so. They’re usually less expensive too, if that’s a concern... but if all you have is one or the other, use what you’ve got and experiment!

I do agree with the 14th fret recommendation. You can angle it a bit towards the sound hole, but I normally would not suggest pointing a mic right at it. If all you have is a single mic, that’s a good starting point. 

 

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My favourite mic to use on acoustic guitar is the Shure SM81. I usually point the mic at the fingerboard around where the neck and body meet, from about 8-12 inches away. I find this approach to give a very balanced tone. I'm not a huge fan of miking the sound hole. I used to mic the sound hole in my beginner recordings, which didn't sound great nor was it very usable. I think most small condenser mics would be sufficient; I've also used mics like Rode NT5 and Rode M5 and they do nicely. It really depends on the sound profile of the acoustic guitar as well. One guitar can sound drastically different from another guitar, some may be warmer sounding, some may be brighter sounding. So the choice of mic should compliment the characteristics of the guitar. You should also keep in mind the role of the instrument within the song mix.

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5 hours ago, Phil O'Keefe said:

At the sound hole?

You can certainly try it, but that’s usually going to be really boomy sounding...

And why LDC’s? Small diaphragm condenser mics are as commonly used on acoustic guitars as large diaphragm models, if not more so. They’re usually less expensive too, if that’s a concern... but if all you have is one or the other, use what you’ve got and experiment!

I do agree with the 14th fret recommendation. You can angle it a bit towards the sound hole, but I normally would not suggest pointing a mic right at it. If all you have is a single mic, that’s a good starting point. 

 

I'd also recommend a good preamp with phantom power and XLR inputs. 1/4" inputs are noisy IME.

Edited by kwakatak
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A month ago this was SOP, approved by Phil (warning links to HC Political Party, click at your own risk):

Quote

Small diaphragm condenser pointing at the 12th fret

Large diaphragm condenser pointing at the sound hole from the other direction

Balance to taste, and watch the phase between the 2 mics.

Apparently the wind has shifted (or perhaps Mercury is in retrograde) and it's now a no-no. Who knew?

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On 2/22/2020 at 3:31 PM, davie said:

My favourite mic to use on acoustic guitar is the Shure SM81. I usually point the mic at the fingerboard around where the neck and body meet, from about 8-12 inches away. I find this approach to give a very balanced tone. I'm not a huge fan of miking the sound hole. I used to mic the sound hole in my beginner recordings, which didn't sound great nor was it very usable. I think most small condenser mics would be sufficient; I've also used mics like Rode NT5 and Rode M5 and they do nicely. It really depends on the sound profile of the acoustic guitar as well. One guitar can sound drastically different from another guitar, some may be warmer sounding, some may be brighter sounding. So the choice of mic should compliment the characteristics of the guitar. You should also keep in mind the role of the instrument within the song mix.

Great advice davie! :philthumb:

I have the advantage of owning a heck of a lot of microphones (and have recorded a heck of a lot of acoustic guitars over the years), and I try to pick the mics and the placements to accentuate the positive qualities of the particular instrument I'm recording, and that will give us the sound we want for the track and the way we're going to use that acoustic in the mix. For some things, you might want an acoustic sound that's nearly paper-thin and wispy just to get the zing of the strumming for a particular purpose in a dense mix, while for other things you may want a full-range sound that brings out every detail of the guitar. No single mic or placement is going to be optimal for both, just as no single guitar is going to be able to nail every type of cool acoustic guitar sound. 

 

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14 hours ago, DeepEnd said:

A month ago this was SOP, approved by Phil (warning links to HC Political Party, click at your own risk):

Apparently the wind has shifted (or perhaps Mercury is in retrograde) and it's now a no-no. Who knew?

 

What I "liked" the most about that post is the "pickups sound like @$$" part of it. :lol:  Remember, that was a thread asking about pickups on acoustics for recording purposes. 

I also seriously doubt that Anton (a 2-time Grammy award winning engineer who I have a lot of respect for) is pointing his mics directly at the sound hole. More likely, he's coming in from behind the bridge and angling the mic slightly in that direction - again, putting the mic directly in front of the sound hole and pointing it right at it is usually a recipe for a overly boomy sound. However, I have done some recordings with mics in an XY stereo configuration where the mics were roughly in front of the sound hole and about 12" or so away, but with the XY configuration those mics were not pointed at the sound hole, but rather, towards the bridge and neck / body joint. 

 

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