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What's your favourite technique for recording singing acoustic guitarist?

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Re: What's your favourite technique for recording singing acoustic guitarist?

Postby CS70 » Mon May 20, 2019 11:52 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:
CS70 wrote:
Sam Inglis wrote:Only two?!

Been lusting after an AEA Nuvo for a few months now.. I just don't have any reasonable financial excuse because the work I usually do doesnt really require it... gotta find an unreasonable one! And there's the Royers and other AEAs and.. omg :D

I feel exactly the same way. Should we form a support group? Ribbon Mic Fanciers Anonymous.....

Bob

My name is Cris and I am a ribbonholic :D
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Re: What's your favourite technique for recording singing acoustic guitarist?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon May 20, 2019 2:30 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:https://www.cambridgeandwalker.com/take-action

Enjoying these tracks as I write. Very nice harmonies. Nice one.

CC
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Re: What's your favourite technique for recording singing acoustic guitarist?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Mon May 20, 2019 5:57 pm

Yes very nice. I love that John Martyn song, love the whole album it's from actually, Grace and Danger. My favourite album of his.

Sam, can you talk us through the whole signal/processing chain for these songs, they're beautifully clear and open sounding.
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Re: What's your favourite technique for recording singing acoustic guitarist?

Postby innerchord » Mon May 20, 2019 7:33 pm

Some useful insight, but this is the sort of question I avoid since it takes too long to answer, and I have no favourite as such. The favourite is the technique that gives me the sound I'm looking for...

Every session is different - so many variables.
You bring your gear, your ears and then start listening.

However, I do like a coincident pair on the guitar (possibly with a neck mic for detail), a nice warm vocal mic, and 1-4 ambient mics if it's a great room I want to use (otherwise I'll fake the space by choosing from the plethora of plug-ins now available).
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Re: What's your favourite technique for recording singing acoustic guitarist?

Postby Watchmaker » Mon May 20, 2019 9:16 pm

Being a hobbyist, I love threads like this. I usually just record myself and tend to put a C414 xls in front of my beer hole and DI the acoustic (LR Baggs M-1) to eliminate the time shift issues with 2 mics. I have done a few sessions with others where I put a decent mic in front of the vox and then null as best I can. Because my control room is my live room, I'll put on a pair of closed cans and sweep around the guitar until I find the sweet spot.

Oddly, given my experience level, I rarely have significant phase issues although I suspect comb filtering probably explains why much of my earlier stuff is the aural equivalent of Trump's hair.
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Re: What's your favourite technique for recording singing acoustic guitarist?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Mon May 20, 2019 9:47 pm

What happened in the days before you could time align two mic signals in a DAW? So if you were recording a singing acoustic guitarist to tape did you worry about the phase issues or only ever use one mic?
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Re: What's your favourite technique for recording singing acoustic guitarist?

Postby Sam Inglis » Mon May 20, 2019 9:52 pm

Dr Huge Longjohns wrote:Sam, can you talk us through the whole signal/processing chain for these songs, they're beautifully clear and open sounding.

Well, I'm glad you like them! The recording wasn't at all complicated, just David sat down playing and singing, and Jenna facing him maybe ten feet away.

It was a while ago but from memory, I think I pretty much decoded the Soundfield to a single figure-8 mic for the vocal, and a pair of crossed figure-8s for the guitar. (Imagine a cube standing on one corner, arranged so that one face is pointing at the mouth and the two next to it towards the guitar.) I don't think there is any fancy processing on the decoded guitar or the vocal track, probably a bit of light compression and some reverb, and some automation on the vocal.

Mixing Jenna's vocal was more difficult because I only noticed after the fact that that mic made her sound oddly lispy in places. In retrospect I should have used a different mic and had her sing a bit closer to it. Oh well.

I think what's most important actually is to find a way to record acts like this in a way that they are comfortable with -- so not making them use headphones, or record the guitar first and then overdub their vocals. If you don't get a good performance out of them then the technical side is irrelevant.
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Re: What's your favourite technique for recording singing acoustic guitarist?

Postby blinddrew » Mon May 20, 2019 9:53 pm

I guess either you went with a near coincident array as suggested, or give them plenty of space and try and minimise the spill (and hence the comb-filtering)?
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Re: What's your favourite technique for recording singing acoustic guitarist?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Mon May 20, 2019 10:02 pm

Thanks, Sam.

Here's how they did Dylan by the look of it. Sorry, can't get the image thing to work on this... Fixed it for you -- HR
Image
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Re: What's your favourite technique for recording singing acoustic guitarist?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Mon May 20, 2019 10:14 pm

Here's what Bob Johnston says, another Dylan producer as in..."Is it rolling, Bob?"

"I always used three microphones on Dylan, 'cause his head spun around so much. I used a big [Neumann] U47 on him, same as I used on Johnny Cash later. I would put a baffle over the top of his guitar because he played while he sang lead vocals. I didn't use any EQ on the band, just set the mics up right to make each instrument sound the best it could. I used some EQ on Dylan's voice."

A baffle over the top of his guitar? Anyone got a pic of this strange device?
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Re: What's your favourite technique for recording singing acoustic guitarist?

Postby Sam Inglis » Mon May 20, 2019 10:17 pm

Nice Dylan pic! I'm guessing the mic on his guitar is a KM56, in which case it may well be that both that and the 67 are in figure-8.
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Re: What's your favourite technique for recording singing acoustic guitarist?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue May 21, 2019 7:58 am

Sam Inglis wrote:I think what's most important actually is to find a way to record acts like this in a way that they are comfortable with -- so not making them use headphones, or record the guitar first and then overdub their vocals. If you don't get a good performance out of them then the technical side is irrelevant.

+Lots. I've also found that for folkies and classical musicians the closer you can get to the live experience the better the performance will be - it's true of myself as well, TBH. It's the reason I've taken such a shine to my NT-SF1. If you really want to put a folky off then insist on a click track.

CC
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Re: What's your favourite technique for recording singing acoustic guitarist?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue May 21, 2019 5:00 pm

I'm guessing the mic on his guitar is a KM56,

Aha! That's a side address mic, then, that explains its strange orientation for a sdc!
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