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Amplifying Classical Guitar

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Re: Amplifying Classical Guitar

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:34 pm

twotoedsloth wrote:Since I have time I will put out three mics and pick which one sounds best. The KM184 since it made the guitarist (and the guitarists in the hall) so happy (I believe you would say "chuffed"), and a Beta 57, and I have a pair of AKG D224es, so I'll put one of these out as well.

The B57 will probably need a lot of low-end rolled out because the bass tone will tend to vary noticeably if the guitarist moves about relative to the mic. That won't be so much of a problem with the D224, and so you can leave more 'body' in the mix and still have reasonable tonal consistency. And the KM184 will be somewhere in between, but with a slightly sharper high end...

H
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Re: Amplifying Classical Guitar

Postby ef37a » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:35 pm

twotoedsloth wrote:Thanks for your reply Dave.

I'm obviously not going to be able to make it to Northampton before tonight's concert (I live in Canada).

I'm going to be using Tannoy speakers without a subwoofer. I can add a subwoofer if you think it is necessary, but guitars only go down to 80hz so there is no point... if I'm wrong please correct me. The Tannoys are 12 inch dual concentric speakers, and the amp is a Yorkville CR5 (300 watts per channel).

It is not possible to swap out the PA gear, aside from adding the sub that is. However I can put out different mics in different configurations.

Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

Peter

Oh! Just me butting in Peter but no, you don't need sub! IMHO speakers and amplifier are more than adequate and your biggest problem will be acoustic feedback.

The ESLs I mentioned would of course be very challenged to provide the SPLs people seem to want these days but their 'figure 8' polar plot would probable help a bit with feedback?

No, you don't want to come to Northampton! (and we are keeping Kate Ryan!)

Dave.
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Re: Amplifying Classical Guitar

Postby twotoedsloth » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:43 pm

Greetings,

Things went well enough again last night. Maybe amplifying classical guitar is not as tricky as I thought.

I was planning on using a dynamic mic, but the guitarist requested a Rode NT5. I have pairs of NT5s and NT55s, so I thought, hey, why not?

I didn't like the way it sounded but the guitarist and the audience seemed to love it.

I'm probably going to buy a DPA 4099 if guitarists keep asking for amplification. Is there another mic I should be considering?

Many thanks,
Peter
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Re: Amplifying Classical Guitar

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:16 pm

Placed in the right position the DPA4099 sounds stunning (as it damn well ought to at the price) but be aware that some classical players don't like attaching things to their instruments either for aesthetic/sound/potential damage reasons or because it gets in the way of certain techniques (had exactly that problem with my T-Bone 4099 copy).
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Re: Amplifying Classical Guitar

Postby twotoedsloth » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:43 pm

Thanks Sam

If not the 4099, what would you recommend? If I purchase a baby boom stand I could put just about any mic on it and it would not interfere with the the performer. I am using a standard mic stand and it looks not so visually appealing, but it's possible that I am the only person bothered by this.

If I were to acquire another 4011 (or 2!) it (they) might be more useful than the 4099 which appears to be a uni-tasker. A few years ago I bought four Beta 57s to amplify a string quartet, and they get a lot of use amplifying anything from brass, saxes, marimba, vibes, you name it. The point being, it's nice when you can use one tool for many jobs.

If the last couple of years are any indication, I am likely to record 8 to 10 guitar recitals a year, and it appears that all of the guitarists are going to want amplification going forward. 10 gigs a year might be a tough sell to my boss, so if I could use the mic for other purposes it might be more attractive.

So, the point of this being, what mic should I purchase for amplifying classical guitar?

Sorry for blathering on for so long.
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Re: Amplifying Classical Guitar

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:33 pm

Since you already have the KM184, D224 and Beta57s I doubt you really need another mic just for classical guitar. Buy that short/low boom stand and a Rycote suspension for the KM184 and you're good to go (and you've saved the boss about £400......) :thumbup:
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Re: Amplifying Classical Guitar

Postby twotoedsloth » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:40 pm

Oh Sam, you're no fun at all.

I was looking forward to getting a new mic...
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Re: Amplifying Classical Guitar

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:02 pm

:clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Amplifying Classical Guitar

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:03 pm

Weeelllll the DPA is a lovely bit of kit isn't it.........
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Re: Amplifying Classical Guitar

Postby twotoedsloth » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:25 pm

That's the spirit!

I'm hoping that with 8 more guitar recitals to go this spring maybe I can hold my bosses feet to the fire so to speak.

So you figure the DPA 4099 is the way to go? Blue sky, what would you suggest?

Thanks!
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Re: Amplifying Classical Guitar

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:27 pm

It's definitely a good tool to have in the arsenal I wish I could justify the expense), go for the full kit with mounts for everything, it'll do a good job on fiddle, double bass, guitar, mandolin, horns, drums and many other instruments. It's super cardioid and, therefore, as good as it gets for feedback rejection and used correctly sounds very goon. What's not to like. Just accept it won't work in every situation and close miking is good for sound reinforcement but not so good for recording so have a backup plan for the recording (acoustic instruments sound better from a distance as they were intended before sound reinforcement became the norm at concerts). Use a close mic for the live sound (and record it as well) and a more distant mic for the recording if you are doing one. Bearing in mind an average mic correctly positioned will sound better than a top of the range one in the wrong place.
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Re: Amplifying Classical Guitar

Postby twotoedsloth » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:33 pm

Great news!

My boss has approved not one DPA mic, but FOUR of them!!! I made the argument that we have to occasionally amplify guitar quartets, as well as string quartets. With the correct mounts we could also use these mics with the larger Jazz ensembles.

The only question now is do I want 4090s or 4060s?

Anyone have some insight here?

Thanks.

Peter
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Re: Amplifying Classical Guitar

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:51 pm

I've only used the 4099..... But the 4060 is an omni designed for vocals so not appropriate for this job.
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Re: Amplifying Classical Guitar

Postby Wonks » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:06 pm

The 4090s are also omnis. Great for recording, but less so for stage micing.

Before buying any (at considerable expense), I'd suggest hiring one, or getting the loan of one on approval, and seeing what feedback issues you get with it in a stage environment compared to a cardioid pattern mic like the KM 184.

You will probably get away with a very close-miked omni, but if you mic at any distance, in order to get a more complete sound picture of the instrument, then I suspect you'll quickly run into feedback problems.
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Re: Amplifying Classical Guitar

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:54 pm

Yeah, I think twotoedsloth is getting confused by DPA's numbering scheme.... The d:vote 4099 is the one discussed earlier and is a supercardioid designed for SR use.
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Re: Amplifying Classical Guitar

Postby twotoedsloth » Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:52 pm

You're correct, I'm flummoxed by the numbering... Maybe I'm getting old but I thought the only two numbers I needed to know with DPA is 4006 and 4011....

It appears that the mic I want is the d:vote 4099 with the appropriate mounts, at the moment four guitar clips, three violin/viola mounts, a cello mount for now. For Jazz concerts I can think about bass, trumpet/trombone, sax/clarinet and flute, but that's a question for another day. I don't think DPA is going bankrupt so hopefully they'll have lots of stock for future needs.

Please tell me if I'm missing something crucial?
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Re: Amplifying Classical Guitar

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue May 01, 2018 10:12 am

Depends on the environment you are playing in. The best will always be a well placed SDC mic but the best sound is usually around 3' distant. Inevitable this compromises the amount of level you can achieve before feedback rears it's ugly head. Fine for a quiet/listening audience but useless in a noisy pub or rock band (admittedly not the classical guitar's natural habitat). If you need a lot of level then you are definitely going to have to compromise WRT to the sound quality. Getting a mic closer and using a tighter polar pattern, e.g. the aforementioned DPA 4099 will increase gain before feedback and get you louder but all acoustic guitars radiate sound from the whole of the instrument. To get the true sound of the instrument the listener/mic needs to hear all of the instrument, a close mic will only pick up sound from a part of the instrument and will sound less natural (the DPA is the best I've heard mind you and is very good indeed).

The next step is to go for a contact transducer of some type, SBT or UST, better GBF but they pick up an even smaller part of the instrument. I haven't tried it with a classical guitar yet but I have just bought a Tone Dexter https://www.soundsgreatmusic.com/products/audio-sprockets-tonedexter and it is remarkable on my Selmer style gypsy jazz guitar https://www.dropbox.com/s/mfuyoxbevrghisw/Tone%20Dexter%20Preamp%20Test%202.mp3?dl=0 the stereo file linked has two tracks of miked guitar on one side and two tracks of the same 'performance' using the built in 'BigTone' passive pickup recorded via the Tone Dexter. This was a 'quick and dirty' demo but with some tweaking of the mic position when 'training' the TD preamp I think I can get it even better. I plan to try some classical guitar stuff with a mate after I have got my own acoustic guitars sorted.
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