in craig anderton's old musicplayer forum, bruce swedien once described a stereo mic-ing techinque where an instrument is recorded blumlein and then recorded again, matching as closely as possible the first pass. the first pass is panned left all the way left and right 2 o'clock. the second pass is panned left 10 o'clock and right all the way right. if the second pass matches the first, it will sound like one instrument, sitting nicely big in the middle of the stereo field.
i tried this in the playroom of my house (a smallish room with carpeted floor, paneled walls, slanted ceiling, a big couch soaking up some of the sound), playing a three-stringed instrument called a strumstick, which i bought at an art fair. it looks a little like a martin backpacker. it's chromatic. the strings are tuned (low)g-d-(high)g. it sounds kind of like a banjo.
i recorded this using an mbox and protools le 6.4 through a pc laptop onto an external drive. the mics are cheap: samson c03s. i played the strumstick inches away from the mics, close, but far enough away to catch the first reflections from the instrument in the room (per mr. swedien's advice). after that, i strummed one pass of an acoustic guitar using the same blumlein setup. the bass is from reason: the "bass guitar" preset from subtractor with the decay set shorter than the preset had it.
i sang the lead vocal through one of the c03s, set cardioid, from 6 inches away. i sang the harmonies (a low one and a high one) through the same mic, standing four feet away to pick up some of the room and to thin out the sound of the voices using the proximity effect. i doubled the harmonies and panned the low one part way left and the high one part way right.
i mixed this on another system, a tdm system, taking a little bottom off the lead vocal and putting it and the harmonies through bombfactory 1176s (grouping the harmonies). i limited the mix just a touch to control peaks with an L1.
i didn't use any reverbs or anything like that, hoping that the room sound would surfice.
i was trying to get that matching blumlein thing going and to successfully use the proximty effect on the harmonies, as well as using the room's natural reverberence instead of a reverb plug-in.
would love to hear comments.