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How do I record a singer/guitarist with minimal bleed?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by roijin, Feb 17, 2002.

  1. roijin

    roijin Guest

    Here is my problem - I have a singer/guitarist that only sings well when he plays the guitar at the same time. I would like 2 separate recordings with minimal bleed. How do I do this?

    2) The song has no tempo for intro and 1st verse but then goes into a steady 80 BPM tempo from there on. Problem is I want to align the recording (pro tools) with the beat markers for later programming..how do I do this as the singer cannot sing to the click track for the first part of the song?
    Is it clear what I'm trying to do?
    This is my first time at this type of artist/song so please any suggestions.
  2. Mike Simmons

    Mike Simmons Active Member

    Nov 5, 2001
    Home Page:
    This works for me but maybe somebody will straighten us both out!

    Cut a reference gtr/vocal track (with count down) up to the 80 bpm intro. Print your click, mute it out in the non-tempo intro. Slide your non-tempo intro up to the click and adjust position for smooth transition timing to beat 1. Cut a refernce gtr/vox track to the click for the rest of the song.
    Then either:
    Recut solo gtr using ref track as guide. Recut vox track in a dead room, close mic, put an absorptive barrier between the the gtr and vox mic. I use a gobo with an adjustable shelf that slides right up to about 8" under the vocalists chin.
    Cut 'em simultaneously on separate tracks... play with mic placement to get good separation, keep the voice in the null of the gtr mic and vice versa... embrace the bleed, it shouldn't be too bad. Get a great performance and don't worry about the limitations of your performer.
    Good luck!
  3. sign

    sign Guest

    Guitar bleed into vocal mic=not a problem.
    Vocal bleed into guitar mic=a big problem.

    A while ago some engineer posted on musicplayer forums this solution and I think it works:

    Mic your guitar with a figure eight microphone and point the side at the singers nose.

    Hope this helps.
  4. daniel_c

    daniel_c Guest

    Heres a suggestion for 2) If the player keeps time quite well , dont even bother with a click , as long as he can get around the right tempo.
    Now heres the painstaking bit...go thru the track using the identify beat command (command - I ..i think)to place bar markers against his playing. It wont give u a perfect grid for each bar , but its close enough to work with for programming later. Make sure he does a count in at the start.

    and like Curious G says , use this take of vocal and gtr as a guide and get him to replay the guitar agaisnt that. And since u have manually placed a grid , u can go thru and make a click too.
    When he resings the vocal , maybe get him to use an electric gtr , because its a lot quieter (when its not plugged in of course) :D

    A lot of screwing around..but hey , dont we love it

  5. sign

    sign Guest

    Roijin, I'm familiar with the problem. I have worked for two years with a very talented singer/songwriter who is also a great piano player.

    She tried hard to play the piano without singing and sing afterwords with the piano from tape, but this just don't 'work'.

    When she played and sung as a 'one taker' it was a million times better, the interaction between playing and singing is most important. She gave me 'chickenskin' many times.

    The guitarist/singer recording is more difficult than the piano/singer thing, relating to 'bleed'.

    IMHO the performance is much more important than all the other more technical things like bleed, tempo, clicks and what more to think of.

    Best of luck :tu:
  6. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    Piano/vocals are probably a lot easier. Some people close the piano lid with a couple of small diaphragm or boundary mics inside. I haven't been happy with that method, so what I do is open the lid to full stick and lean a small gobo on the front edge (keyboard side) of the piano from the base of the music desk to the edge of the lid. Have a cardiod mic set close to the vocalist's mouth, and mic the piano normally. Very little vocal gets into the piano mics this way, and not a whole lot of piano into the vocal mic either. At least, the bleed is minimal enough so as not to mess up the sound of either one.
  7. Mike Simmons

    Mike Simmons Active Member

    Nov 5, 2001
    Home Page:
    daniel! I like this idea... why oh why I never thought about this??? Run a direct line into the headphone mix and bingo!

  8. The click problem is easy to solve. Set up a drum machine for the click, but don't start it until you get to the point in the song where you need it.

    I find that the bleed problems go away if you have the artist stand while they play. This moves the guitar much farther away from their mouth. Now if you can find a good guitar sound by micing the guitar below the bridge, pointed at the strings (put one ear down there and find where the sweet spot is) you should be able to get enough separation between the vocal and guitar that you can do some tweaking later. I use this technique often and it has always worked for me.

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