Main Forums >> Recording Techniques
        Print Thread

Pages: 1
The Gifted



Joined: 08/03/08
Posts: 108
Loc: Sheffield, UK
Recording Violin in less than ideal circumstances.
      #1040710 - 01/04/13 06:51 AM
Good morning happy, April to you all.

This afternoon I have a friend coming round to add some violin to one of my tracks, although this was planned some time ago we only managed to sort a date and time at quite short notice, and we only have a small time slot this afternoon. So I have no choice but to record it in my home studio which is a less than ideal space. Normally I would have taken time to find somewhere with some nice acoustics, a while ago Elf offered me use of a nice tiled space and use of his mics for another recording I have planned, but we're not going to have time to make use of that offer today.

So my studio is basically a spare bedroom in the house. The worst shape for a studio being practically a cube at about 5m up, down and across. I was thinking of using my Audio Technica AT2020 or one of my Behringer C3s but have a collection of mics including a 57 & 58 but felt that condensers would be the best.

This is the first time I've recorded a violin and I've searched the internet for tips and most things I've read say the room is the most important thing and that you should never close mic a violin. There also seems to be a lot of argument over whether a violin should be recorded mono or stereo. I personally would have thought mono and treat it the same you would a guitar. I also wondered whether there would be any benefit to double tracking it the same way I would a guitar.

To give you context, here is the track that I'm adding the violin to sans vocals. I've used a synthesised violin line as a guide. Plus the violin only appears on the opening so don't worry if you don't want to listen to the whole thing
https://soundcloud.com/the-gifted/demo-for-sos-tips

Thank you
Andy

--------------------
www.the-gifted.co.uk
www.myspace.com/thegifted


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
ConcertinaChap



Joined: 20/07/05
Posts: 2623
Loc: Bradford on Avon
Re: Recording Violin in less than ideal circumstances. new [Re: The Gifted]
      #1040717 - 01/04/13 08:39 AM
A couple of years back I was asked to record a fiddle tune for a short video to be used on the Somerset Tourist Information website (the video is here). Everything had to be done in a tearing hurry for some reason and I ended up recording it in the fiddler's living room - which was little better than your studio (at least as you describe it). We controlled the sound by the time honoured wheeze of draping quilts everywhere. I used a Rode NT5 mic which I had about 18 inches above the fiddle and pointing approximately down at the end of the finger board.

I've not used it but from what I've heard of it the AT2020 would be the mic to go for.

CC

--------------------
Remember: Tidy wires are happy wires!
Mr Punch's Studio


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
The Elf
active member


Joined: 14/08/01
Posts: 9449
Loc: Sheffield, UK
Re: Recording Violin in less than ideal circumstances. new [Re: The Gifted]
      #1040721 - 01/04/13 08:56 AM
In the context of that mix I wouldn't get too worried about the recording of the violin - a bit of ambience isn't going to do much harm here. Personally I'd get close in with an omni and add some artificial reverb.

--------------------
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 21830
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Recording Violin in less than ideal circumstances. new [Re: The Gifted]
      #1040728 - 01/04/13 09:18 AM
Quote The Gifted:

So I have no choice but to record it in my home studio which is a less than ideal space.




In this kind of situation I find it is usually best to try to remove as much of the recording environment's acoustic as possible, since that allows you to then add something more appropriate afterwards with reverb etc. So hanging duvets around the performance area to make the room sound as dead and neutral as possible is the way I'd go with this.

By all means, put some temporary 'comfort' reverb in the performers' headphones to help with pitching and tuning, as well as the overall performance, but record as dry as possible.

Close miking violins is always horrible, so don't go there. You need the mic to be at least one metre away and ideally closer to two metres to get a decent violin tone with minimal mechanical noises. Positioning the mic is a case of trial and error -- violins radiate different harmonic components in significantly different directions, adn every violin does this slightly differently, so be prepared to move the mic around to find the best overall balance.

You might find THIS article and the associated picstures of interest.

As for the mic, I prefer omnis for this kind of thing, but failing that, the flattest mic you have -- the AT2020 is the best bet from your list. recording in mono is fine -- the violin is a small instrument that has no significant width and there's no acoustic setting to capture in this particular case.

Double tracking? Well, you're probably going to record several takes anyway to get the best performance, so you'll have options afterwards to use a single track or double track it if you want... You can decide that later!

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
The Gifted



Joined: 08/03/08
Posts: 108
Loc: Sheffield, UK
Re: Recording Violin in less than ideal circumstances. new [Re: The Gifted]
      #1040818 - 01/04/13 09:30 PM
Thanks for the tips everyone, I think I managed to get a decent result.

Was a bit more rushed than I first expected as she was only able to stay for a short while so didn't have time to do many takes or play with mic positions but I think we did ok given the circumstances.

The performance(s) were quite rough but managed to get enough takes to chop and slice and stick together. Just having to use a touch of Melodyne to tidy it up as well as automate the crap out of it but it should be useable and have a much better sound than the synthesised violin I'd used at first.

--------------------
www.the-gifted.co.uk
www.myspace.com/thegifted


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
ConcertinaChap



Joined: 20/07/05
Posts: 2623
Loc: Bradford on Avon
Re: Recording Violin in less than ideal circumstances. new [Re: The Gifted]
      #1040992 - 03/04/13 07:22 AM
Quote The Gifted:

Was a bit more rushed than I first expected




'Twas ever thus. Good result.

CC

--------------------
Remember: Tidy wires are happy wires!
Mr Punch's Studio


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Pages: 1

Rate this thread

Jump to

Extra Information
0 registered and 21 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  David Etheridge, James Perrett, zenguitar, Martin Walker, Forum Admin, Hugh Robjohns, Zukan, Frank Eleveld, SOS News Editor,  
Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled
Rating:
Thread views: 2198

October 2014
On sale now at main newsagents and bookstores (or buy direct from the
SOS Web Shop)
SOS current Print Magazine: click here for FULL Contents list
Click image for October 2014
DAW Tips from SOS

 

Home | Search | News | Current Issue | Tablet Mag | Articles | Forum | Subscribe | Shop | Readers Ads

Advertise | Information | Privacy Policy | Support | Login Help

 

Email: Contact SOS

Telephone: +44 (0)1954 789888

Fax: +44 (0)1954 789895

Registered Office: Media House, Trafalgar Way, Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8SQ, United Kingdom.

Sound On Sound Ltd is registered in England and Wales.

Company number: 3015516 VAT number: GB 638 5307 26

         

All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2014. All rights reserved.
The contents of this article are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents. The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers.

Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates | SOS | Relative Media