Help w/ killer simple setup for quality acoustic folk recording

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by kenoflife, Nov 26, 2017.


  1. tribedescribe

    tribedescribe Member

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    jmoose offered a very good explanation above. When recording my wife (who sings and plays acoustic) I set up two cardioid mic's and record a scratch track(s) to a metronome. Sometimes I even just take the piezo signal since its just a scratch track. Then we go back and replace the vocal & guitar takes one at a time. This results in a better take for her but can literally suck the soul out of the song for others. Some singer songwriters sound better singing with their acoustic and recording without a metronome. The two figure 8 mics is kinda a work around for the artist who has to record vocals while playing their acoustic. Since your just starting out you may want to get a single multi pattern LDC like a used AT at4050. This way you can explore some of the other patterns and maby add another one to experiment with the techniques above. But if you can record the vocals separate it will allow you to get a more traditional lead vocal sound.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
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  2. jmoose

    jmoose Supporting Member

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    What exactly is a traditional lead vocal sound?
     
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  3. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

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    I use the following and I'm getting good results:

    DAW: Reaper
    Mics: AKG c414 and a Neumann TLM 103.
    Monitors: KRK Rockit 5
    Interface: Focusrite Scarlett 18i8
    Electric/Bass: Atomic Amplifire and Ampeg SCR-DI
    Drums/Percussion: EZ Drummer w/various EZX and Midi

    I got everything used at really good prices and I'm really happy with my setup. I treated my room a bit with some acoustic foam and got some decent plug-ins that I'm spending some time with to learn them well. If I can't get quality recordings with this setup, it's me, not the gear.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  4. tribedescribe

    tribedescribe Member

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    Should have explained that one better, Cardiod LDC close up(6-12") on vocals.
     
  5. marmalade cream

    marmalade cream Member

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  6. kenoflife

    kenoflife Supporting Member

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  7. tribedescribe

    tribedescribe Member

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    I am sure the gik sounds great, but if your a diy type you can build your own for much cheaper. In fact you could probably build several gobo's for the price of that. I built a smaller vocal booth out of knauf acoustical board(same stuff the big boys use) and burlap for about $60. It sits on a keyboard stand.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. kenoflife

    kenoflife Supporting Member

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    yes open to any suggestions - simple plans or lesser priced but quality manufatured ones
     
  9. marmalade cream

    marmalade cream Member

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    +1 totally agree. I have built a bunch of DIY traps to treat my room. I still bought the GIK because it was easier to move around and put up with when not in use. If my DIY skills were better I would have built gobos too. Either way gobos are key for good recordings if you don't have a good room.
     
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  10. marmalade cream

    marmalade cream Member

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    Really all you need is 4" of Owens Corning 703 (or equivalent like the Knauf Ecose stuff), then make a little wood frame for it and cover it in breathable fabric (burlap and muslin are cheap and . The stuff comes in 2'x4'x2" sheets, so you'll want to double them up to get 4" thick. You won't find this stuff at Home Depot. If you have a contractor's warehouse or an insulation distributor like SPI though they will sell it to you. Barring that there are some online sellers like ATS Acoustics but they tend to be more expensive per square foot and you have to pay shipping.

    Coverage makes a difference with this stuff. Ideally you'll want traps 6ft tall or so, in a v or u shape around the mic. Sound waves tend to bend around objects so the more coverage you have behind the mic the more reflections you'll kill before they bounce around the room.
     
  11. marmalade cream

    marmalade cream Member

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  12. jmoose

    jmoose Supporting Member

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    That's a technique, not a sound. Unless your implying that all large diaphragm mics sound the same..?

    You do also realize, I'm sure... that lots of vocals have been recorded with all types of microphones which pretty much shoots a giant hole in the "need to use an LDC" theory right? Its like Harry Connick Jr is going to sound like himself no matter what you stick on him. Could be a 58 or SM7, could be an 87 or 414, could be a Rode pencil mic...

    If there's one thing I learned long ago its that there's no magic bullet.

    Sometimes you have time on a session to experiment and find the right microphone and technique. Sometimes you don't. And when you don't have time often you go with something standard that's going to work... like the LDC 6" away. But if that's not working, or you do have time to experiment there's a whole other universe of stuff out there that can often yield better results.

    YMMV.
     
  13. kenoflife

    kenoflife Supporting Member

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    maybe I don't need anything but some fiberglass! haha
     
  14. tribedescribe

    tribedescribe Member

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    Your right I should have said technique, what I meant is if you record the acoustic guitar and vocal at the same time using figure 8 mics it will result in a very different vocal sound as opposed to a recording the vocals alone up close using a cardioid. Your right I am well aware that there are exceptions to this (dynamics ribbons etc.) but 95% of the time it done this way and want to make sure the OP knows the chosen technique will result in a different sound and mixing treatment.
     
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  15. _____

    _____ Member

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    Man, mics can all sound so different and accentuate things differently based on the singer.

    If your focusing your vocal mic search based on a particular female singer, have you talked with her about it?

    If she's experienced, she may already know what mics she sounds good on, or maybe already has in her mic locker??.

    If not, and if you're serious about this, before just going and buying what ever happens to be the current forum darling, might I suggest taking her to a decent store or rent a studio for an hour and test out mics that actually are good for her voice.
     
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  16. kenoflife

    kenoflife Supporting Member

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    Really its beyond her and her voice, its also about my own, and about my bandmates I've played with for years (as in the soundcloud songs above).
     
  17. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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    I have one of these too. You can definitely build something similar, but if it's going to be used in the main living area of your apartment, you may want something that looks a little nicer whether set up or folded away.

    The PIB isn't super steady when set up to full height, but I solved that in my low-ceiling room by screwing some eye hooks into the top edge and connecting it to my drop ceiling grid.

     
  18. kenoflife

    kenoflife Supporting Member

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    Picked up a Miktek C300 from Reverb for $185, used 1X ... it reviewed and I liked it VERY well for vocals on Sweetwater test, perhaps a little more vibey than the 4040 I had. Foucsrite came in and I'm trying to move that on and step up to Audient/RME... At least I can get started and experimenting soon! ;)
     

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