miking and mixing classical guitar in band context

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by laurentius, May 4, 2010.

  1. laurentius

    laurentius Guest

    Hi folks, this is my first post here.

    And I have a real big problem: I'm playing with my own jazzband that also features some electronic stuff and is also pretty loud; not as loud as straight rock but much louder than let's say a standard piano trio (we never use drums with brushes because we always need pretty loud beats). And here comes the issue with my classical guitar which I wanna feature on my next tour quiet alot. I don't know any good concept of how to establish it on stage and escape those terrible feeback problems. I just bought a bunch of AMT-Mics which I thought were the best for my purpose (lots of legends are using those) - still too much feedback even on low volumes if there is the slightest trace of room reverb coming from the venue itself.
    So here are my questions: what kind of microphone would you guys suggest me try out? PLUS do I need some specific eqing (like 31 band graphic equalizers) or special ways compressing the signal?
    Maybe someone remembers a special setup to recommend. Would be so great!!!

    All the best,
    Laurentius
     
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I have worked with a few sax players who have used AMT mics, one pops up every so often. There were no feedback or room ambience pick-up issues with them, so something else is going on here. The first order of business is to find the cause of the feedback, and this is probably due to a number of interactive issues going on simultaneously. Feedback is the end result of poor mic vs. speaker placement, often combined with poor gain structuring. The AMT's I ran across were miniature electret condenser mics, and as such, tend to be very sensitive to the source and surroundings; if you are not careful with the gain settings at the front end ofthe mixer, these can bite you BIG time. How are your stage monitor wedges (I assume that there are no IEMs here) placed in relationship to the performers' mics? If the classical guitar is using one of the AMT mics designed to go INSIDE the guitar, special care in regards to the placement will be required to avoid "howling " resonance of feedback (say, at around 220-880Hz). You will have to play with that positioning a bit, as this depends on the guitar's bracing and build structure. Remember to keep the microphone(s) placed in such a way that the floor monitors are not firing their sound at the "hot" side of the mics, but at their "null spots". You might consider contacting AMT with the model#s of your mics and have them go over where exactly that is on each model mic. Once this is established, you can position the stage wedges and performers properly to minimize feedback. There is no "silver bullet" to control feedback, and excessive EQ is a last resort. Compression , especially in the hands of someone less experienced, can make feedback issues aggravated. Learn to place the mics vs the speakers, and learn your gain staging!
     
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I have worked with several big name classical (nylon-string) guitarists, both live on stage with a band and PA, and also in the studio. The clued-up live artists have all had specialist bridge pickups fitted on their instruments because of the problems they have encountered when touring and having to work with inexperienced sound engineers.

    Where the guitar has to be loud to compete with other instruments, the best live sounds I have got have been by using a blend of the pickup and a carefully-positioned microphone, with the pickup providing the bulk of the PA volume from the instrument and the mic adding the sweetness of tone. The critical thing is to phase up the pickup and microphone, and a live X-Y display on a laptop used with the variable-phase facility of a pre-amp such as the Audient Mico achieves this, once the necessary pure time delay of about 0.8ms is added to the pickup channel in the mixer.
     
  4. laurentius

    laurentius Guest

    that phase invert feature is really a cool thing. i have to check this out one day.
    which bridge pickup would you recommend though? maybe that's the best: to combine my amt s3g with a pickup...
    thanks,
    laurentius
     
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The point was that on the Mico it's a continuous phase adjustment, not just an invert switch.

    I don't have a note of the makes of pickup the various players used. One of the performers was the guitarist Gilbert Isbin. You could try contacting him - he's very approachable on this type of subject.
    gilbert.isbin AT telenet.be (written this way to avoid spam - use the @ symbol and no spaces)
     

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