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acoustic, multiple mics, and processing

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Damon, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. Damon

    Damon Member

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    Been playing around with recording acoustic with three mics: A stereo ribbon (B&O BM5) right in front, a unidirectional ribbon (RCA BK5A) pointed at the 12th fret, and a dynamic (MD421) pointed at the bridge. I'd like to know what you guys think about these two clips of the same performance... one is the original take the way it came out of the mixer; the other has been played with in pro tools a bit... panning stuff, compressing a hair with Bomb Factory's 1176 plug, and normalizing.

    clip 1

    clip 2

    Please let me know which version you prefer.

    P.S. aren't open tunings fun????
     
  2. Greggy

    Greggy Member

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    clip 2 sounds a tad warmer, but I'm also hearing low frequency distortion there. Clip 1 is crisper. If the distortion were removed, I'd prefer clip 2.
     
  3. zenpicker

    zenpicker Member

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    Personally I prefer the more crystalline tone of clip 1. Not sure if it was the compression, but a little definition seems to have been lost in #2. Clip 1 has more air in it, I think. Both are very appealing, though--nice little tune, nice touch.

    What was your preamp?
     
  4. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure if I have a preference between the clips, tough if pressed I would pick the first one. Both sound great to me. Really great - smooth and rich, though I'm sure that some of that is due to the guitar and strings. It makes me think that I should be thinking about getting some ribbon mics for recording, as they give such a different sound from small diaphragm condensors.

    Thanks for the clips!

    Bryan

    P.S. Open tunings are a lot of fun. I write a lot in "sus" tunings, like DADGAD, DGDGCD, and EADEAE, as well as DADF#AD, DADFAD, DGDGBG, and DGDGBbD.
     
  5. zenpicker

    zenpicker Member

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    Fellow alternate tuners:

    Not to highjack this thread, but there's another great forum for people like us that has really been exhibiting iron-poor blood lately. You may know it -- the All Things Fingerstyle forum at http://p200.ezboard.com/facousticfingerstyleguitarfrm1. This has been a great place to talk about things like tunings, but of late it's really slowed down. Not sure why. If you have the inclination, why not join up and pump some life back into it? There are some really talented fingerstyle players there and I've learned a lot from it over the last couple years, so I hate to see it wither. We need fresh meat. New blood. Whatever.

    FWIW, I just posted a new recording of a tune of mine, "Lilina," which is my first go at using a really good preamp. (See Listening Room under www.edwardhamlin.com.) I think I overworked it on the computer and I'll probably remix it, but the native audio quality is a step up. Miking was a LDC (Behringer B1) at the 14th fret and a SDC (MXL 991) near the saddle, both mikes about 12" away. I.e., much cheaper mikes than yours. Mikes are now my weakest link. So I find your experiments (and clips) extremely interesting!

    FWIW, the tuning for Lilina is DADGBD.

    Hope to see you at the All Things Fingerstyle forum!
     
  6. Damon

    Damon Member

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    Thanks for the replies, guys. The first clip was without any tweaking, glad to see you liked it better too. I guess you gotta really know what you're doing if you want to polish rather than tarnish a half-decent recording.

    The preamp was an Ampex MX10 tube mixer from 1960, straight into an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 sound card. The mics are all 30+ years old, too. I'd really love to get an old tube mic to go along with it (I don't have a condenser yet), but for even an entry-level C37A or UM57 I'd still be looking at $1500, before worrying about maintenance. Never mind the ANOS U47 that recently went for $14500 (!). So, I'm leaning heavily towards the Rode K2... from what I can gather on the net, it's smoother than its ancestors the NTV and NTK, extremely low noise, and it has continuously variable polar patterns (I love room sounds). At least I can swap out the tube for a nice goldpin, to satisfy my urge to have something vintage happening there.

    zenpicker, that's some really lovely stuff you have on your site, your skills are way past me so thanks very much for the nod. I've only just dabbled with alternate tunings, the fun of it to me is that I have no "burnt-in neural pathways" so maybe I can come up with something a little less hackneyed. I'm going to check out that forum link now...
     

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