abbey road d enfer

Re: Mic preamp for classical guitar & other classical instruments
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2012, 06:21:08 PM »
I find it difficult to analyse this recording.
I would say there are two things:
it is overall too midrangey and lacks dimension.
I think the lack of dimension come from the fact that the mics are too close to the instrument. Placing them a little further should improve this, provided the room has good acoustics.
The midrange exaggeration is what I find difficult to pinpoint; is it the character of the instrument or is it due to the recording setup?
The role of the spot mic is a bit mysterious to me. Was the pair of 414's placed in AB, XY or MS?
To me, the dbx386 does not seem to be adequate for the job, unless the modifications you mentioned have improved the noticeably high distortion introduced by the tube section.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2012, 06:24:26 PM by abbey road d enfer »
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.


abbey road d enfer

Re: Mic preamp for classical guitar & other classical instruments
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2012, 05:10:28 AM »
However, that is with the default load. I'm not sure how to change the loading to be 600ohm.
(i'm working on that)
Go to the Analyser tag, the impedance selection is there, with a choice of >100k or 600r. You can also leave it in the default position (>100k) and put a 600r resistor across the output. This method offers more freedom in chosing the load. I don't think there would be much difference between unloaded and 600 ohms-loaded, the DRV135 has really been designed to be impervious to load. The only noticeable difference would be the clip point.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

bruce0

Re: Mic preamp for classical guitar & other classical instruments
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2012, 08:37:52 PM »
I think you may find using a spaced pair like this one in the picture attached, but with the exception that the mic on the neck should be angled toward the sound hole, and pointed at the neck as it crosses the surface of the body (but not directly at the sound hole).  The upper one is on a boom and the lower a stand.

The goal is to have both mic's (SDC's) rake the surface of the front of the body, and to close mic the strings to get the plectrum sounds. 

By raking the body, the mic does not get a particular resonant point on the body but gets a broad range of the different resonant points/frequencies.  The raking placement is more forgiving of mic placement, AND the sound is more complete and complex and gets the sound of a nice wooden instrument (which comes off the whole surface, not a particular spot on the surface).  There is always plenty of volume coming from the sound hole, and while it sounds good it doesn't sound like the instrument, so don't mic it directly ever).  Just think of the mic's as drawing a line over the part of the instrument that is most interesting to hear.

At mix you can take the two different mic's and by varying how much of each you can get mix time control of the sound.

The two mic's do let you construct a spaced pair stereo image, but the image is synthetic.  It can sound great, but it can be more work at mix to get the "placement" impression that your mid/side might be getting you.

When I listened to the recording. I wanted more "precise" sound, it has too much low end and the low end is I think coming from the sound hole.  I wanted to hear the strings be touched (plectrum sounds), which were lost.  I think closer placement, raking the body, and staying away from the sound hole would be best (cardiod sdc's).

You could do it with the 414's too but I think you would get better results with a small diaphragm.

And apologies that I am saying "closer" and abbey is saying "too close"... lot of ways to skin the cat.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 08:45:38 PM by bruce0 »
"it was like heaven on earth, all those transformers" - cj

ubxf

Re: Mic preamp for classical guitar & other classical instruments
« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2012, 08:52:39 PM »
I didn't listen to the recording but if it's classical guitar you probably won't be able to hear the sound of the plectrum

bruce0

Re: Mic preamp for classical guitar & other classical instruments
« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2012, 09:00:54 PM »
Well fingers are plectrum's too!

I want to hear the high frequency sound of the string being plucked or touched, as opposed to resonating.
"it was like heaven on earth, all those transformers" - cj

Re: Mic preamp for classical guitar & other classical instruments
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2012, 01:29:44 AM »
That doesn't have much to do with the preamp.

bruce0

Re: Mic preamp for classical guitar & other classical instruments
« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2012, 11:56:41 PM »
That doesn't have much to do with the preamp.
I agree. My suggestion was that the recording example could benefit from mic positioning changes more than preamp changes.
But of course this is just my opinion.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 12:07:22 AM by bruce0 »
"it was like heaven on earth, all those transformers" - cj

Aleguitarpro

Re: Mic preamp for classical guitar & other classical instruments
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2012, 09:51:29 AM »
Thanks.
I'm agree that the solution may be simply to find a better mic placement, but we tried a lot of options but it's not easy with a classical guitar to take the right sound.
The technician that helped me to make the recording I've posted is one of the most active engineer here in italy that works with a lot of classical labels... but I dislike that recording!
This is the reason for which I've started investigate by myself.

I've tried a lot of mic placements/preamps/mics/instruments but the redundant mids are always there!
The options that bruce0 described I think is better for an acoustic guitar instead for a classical one.
But for acoustic guitars is not a problem to find a great sound...
The problem is classical guitar (with nylon strings)!
There are a lot of bad commercial classical guitar recordings, so I think the problem is widespread.
Someone solves the problem by putting a lot of reverb in their recordings and the others are unheard due to the abundance of low-mid freq.
I personally have a hard time finding a reference recording: the sound captured from a classical guitar is so different from the sound we can hear.
Anyone has experience with binaural recording?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binaural_recording

Is a thing that I have not tried yet...
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 09:59:03 AM by Aleguitarpro »

abbey road d enfer

Re: Mic preamp for classical guitar & other classical instruments
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2012, 10:08:28 AM »
Classical guitar should be recorded with a "classical" setup. I reckon the best way is MS, because the center image is the best. Now you must give some depth by placing the mics at a distance.
The exaggerated midrange may be the guitar's character or proximity effect. If it is the guitar"s sonic signature you either have to accepr it and live with it, or use some EQ. There is nothing wrong with EQ.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

Kingston

Re: Mic preamp for classical guitar & other classical instruments
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2012, 01:11:07 PM »
I personally have a hard time finding a reference recording: the sound captured from a classical guitar is so different from the sound we can hear.

Have you listened to flamenco much? They seem to get a great sound consistently. Often just a single nylon string guitar, maybe a vocalist, sometimes very simple percussion. I don't have expert knowledge in this field - whether music or recording techniques - but "Paco Pena - Flamenco Master - (2003)" is a brilliant modern reference for the guitar sound you might be looking for. There is of course a whole world of great flamenco recordings out there, but I happened to have this one and can recommend it.

No low mid dullness, all the details are there. Can practically hear what the guitarist is thinking. Or actually maybe not such a great reference: the absolutely masterful control of his guitar will easily mask problems in recording techniques.


abbey road d enfer

Re: Mic preamp for classical guitar & other classical instruments
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2012, 01:26:16 PM »
The flamenco guitar is a very different animal. The top is much more rigid than a classical guitar. It is meant to be played extremely hard and has no bass compared to a spanish. It has an almost aggressive sound compared to the smooth sound of most classical guitars. There are exceptions though; some concert guitarists seem to favor classical guitars with a rigid top when they play with an orchestra.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

bruce0

Re: Mic preamp for classical guitar & other classical instruments
« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2012, 01:51:21 PM »
Aleguitarpro, I don't have experience with and have not tried the suggested placement with a classical guitar.  You are probably right about it being more appropriate to an acoustic.

If you stereo mic the guitar really close mic'ing is out, and so you need to be very concerned about the room and it's sound and what it emphasizes.  A small wood walled room might sound better than a dead room for instance.

The right room is matter of experimentation.  For me I would suggest a brighter room than the one in the recording.  I don't think changing the preamp  gets you there (unless you change to one with an EQ in it  ;) )
"it was like heaven on earth, all those transformers" - cj

gfr

Re: Mic preamp for classical guitar & other classical instruments
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2012, 07:45:31 AM »
Aleguitarpro,

I'm just a noob at recording compared to anyone here, but since I happen to play the classical guitar (not professionally) I thought I could give my 2 cents.

Since you mention "a very old guitar made in 1940 in Barcelona", I wouldn't expect it to sound as mid-heavy and piano-like as modern, double top or "Australian" guitars. Am I right to suppose it's got a spruce top and shellac finish (french polish)? A nice guitar of that age with those characteristics should have lots of harmonics and tight, well defined bass.

It's yourself playing the guitar? It may be unorthodox, but I've seen a drum recording technique where the mic stand was positioned behind the musician, with the mic close to his right ear, pointing to wherever he looks at. The idea was to capture the same ballance and tone as the musician is used to hear.

About reference recordings, this is one of my favourite CDs with regarding to the quality of recording, tone, dynamics. Engineering and editing by Norbert Kraft, who is also a nice classical guitar player.

http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.557293

And of course Dimitri is an awesome player.

My all time favourite classical guitar tone is in Turibio Santos' "Classiques D'Amerique Latine" (Erato), unfortunately not available on CD. The guitar was a cedar top Fleta (Barcelona) from the 60's, the cedar top makes a less defined but warmer tone with rounder bass compared to a traditional spruce guitar, but it matches the repertoire in that LP perfectly. He recorded some LPs for Erato with a Bouchet before that, a wonderful guitar.

riggler

Re: Mic preamp for classical guitar & other classical instruments
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2012, 04:45:27 PM »
What I hear is the mics are too close, and I would try omni. Not sure if you recorded with the 414s in omni mode or cardioid. But I had a real eye opener recording some acoustic, simply switching to omni capsules.

I built the Great River MP2 a couple years ago, it is great for this type of recording.
Why does it happen? Because it happens - Roll the bones...


 

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