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recording classical guitars

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Mice256, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. Mice256

    Mice256 Active Member

    hey all!

    I will be recording a classical guitar trio and I need your guys' input and help. I want this to sound great for them so i'm trying to do my research now. While i was studying recording i spent most time on recording popular music rather than classical, which is why i need help. I need help in choosing Mics and placement.

    I was thinking of doing close mics on each guitar(3), a stereo pair in X-Y in the center at a distance, and a left and right distance mics in an A-B pattern. For the individual Mics i as thinking royer 121's and a pair of c414(eb if can rent it) for the X-Y pattern, and not sure what for the A-B distance Mics. I am doing this so i have options if the ensemble prefers a closer sound rather than the more distant one like most classical recordings. I will probably end up dropping out some Mics. Maybe instead of 414's some u87's? Has anyone used the 121 tube's i'm just curious what they sound like.

    so if anyone can please give me feedback and tell me if i'm on the right track or if i'm crazy etc... Please send in links, pics of Mic set ups, mp3's, Stories, and anything than you may think can help I would appreciate it.

    thanks in advance!
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Royer and Mojove Mics

    Hi Mice,

    I think you are on the right track.

    I am planning on doing some acoustic guitar and piano projects this year.
    I'll be using Royer 122 V and the Mojave package (microphone designs by David Royer). I'm hoping my ears will find a nice mix from all these gems. I'm thinking all these mics designed by David Royer have to be sweet.

    I'll be using an SPL Passeq with a few different quality pre's. This will be a new adventure for me, lots to learn. I'm so excited. John Jennings from Royer has been so helpful.

    Looking forward to learning more from this thread.
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Your approach is fine if not a little over the top. However, I'll commonly throw up some extras just to make sure I can get the sound I want.

    You don't really say what mics you have at your disposal. I've had good luck with Schoeps CMC6 MK4 and MK2S on classical guitar. That being said, I've never tried the 67. I have used royers on classical guitar with great success. However, I FAR prefer the sound of the SF series Royers to the 121 or 122 on classical guitar. As for ribbons and CG, there's no better fit than the SF1 or SF12. I've not had the same luck with AEA. I've used the R88 on classical guitar and found it to be too unreal. The royer has a delicate balance of depth and realism.

    A critical component to properly recording the classical guitar is the space in which you record. You will need it to be dead quiet and have a nice reverb tail. So much so that it's almost hard to have too much natural reverb tail. My best recordings of CG came from a small cathedral with a 4.x second tail.

    Let us know what gear you have at your disposal (that which you own and that which you're willing and able to rent) and we'll give you a hand.

  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Royer 122V

    Cucco, have you tried the 122 V's ?
  5. Mice256

    Mice256 Active Member

    Thanks for the reply! well using an 8 core mac, PT 8, 003( although for this i may go into my analog 1640 mackie mixer first then to the 003 via light pipe). As far as mics the only ones that may be useable is maybe my ksm 27 or my pair of SE 3's for extra room mics.(i also have other but more drums mics than anythings...421's, beta 52, sm 57's, ns-10) I will be renting most of the mics from this place in Hollywood.

    i read in an article the las LAGQ album(Los Angeles gutiar Quartet) they used 122's on the guitars, aea r88s and r84s as O.H. but in the past they have used mkh 800s or m49s.

    I'm willing to rent 8 Mics and they are a good group so we only need one day of recording.(that way i don't break the bank!) although now i'm debating for the center mic to do either X-Y or M-S. any thoughts?

    What mic technique is this in the center?


    there is ood shot at 2:22, 2:58, 3:58.
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The center array is two different pairs of mics. The first pair is SDC in ORTF or NOS and the second pair are either 414's or ribbons in very slightly wider but same stereo technique.

    All the youngin's reading these forums should note the very clean cable runs. There aren't piles of cables laying around nor is everything jumbled about. Of course the LAGQ has professional sound guys but all those coming up ought to take note.
  7. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I think Jackattack is right about the configurations - though its a little hard to see. A quartet is getting to the size where you something like ORTF rather than XY. With a trio you might experiment, but if you are going with ribbon, Blumlein is an obvious choice.
  8. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    This is not really directed at the OP who is obviously aiming more upscale, but it may help someone in the future.

    A guitarist in my jazz group brought over his nylon string guitar and a tres (a Cuban instrument with three paired strings). After all the talk of ribbons on this thread I put my pair of Cascade FatHead II in Blumlein on them. I had recorded both instruments previously with a Rode K2 and I was pleased with the results. But the results with the Fatheads were better. Part of the difference was using Blumlien rather than mono. But the darkness of the Fatheads cut some of the harshness of the instruments (neither of which is top quality - Jose is a starving grad student). This was particularly noticeable with the tres, which is by nature pretty "jangly." So good results with even inexpensive ribbons (which has not usually been my experience with steel string guitars).
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Mono and Stereo Miking

    You guys are amazing.

    Here is an excellent article on micing by Elizabeth Papapetrou I thought to add with this topic.


    It explains so much on mono and stereo micing.

    Double Your Pleasure
  10. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Re: Royer 122V

    Sorry for the delay -
    No, I haven't. I'm quite curious though. The 121s are pretty smooth overall - It must be a good overall mic!
  11. Mice256

    Mice256 Active Member

    so i decided to go with a mid-side stereo mic placement in the center, but if i did decide to go with an ortf placement would there be a need for a center mic?
  12. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Not necessarily. It will depend on your recording space more than anything.
  13. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I have not had any "hole in the center" problem with ORTF. I think that's basically an A-B thing - hence the Decca tree solution .
  14. Mice256

    Mice256 Active Member

    so i have been playing with ortf and mid side. i love them both and i have never used ortf before. i am leaning towards M-S because it is easier to set up. i am still having some trouble getting an even stereo image with ortf because my placement must be wrong. any tips on setting up ortf or do i need to break out my ruler and protractor? any links or tips appreciated.
  15. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    A ruler and protractor helps. I made a cardboard template. Remember that there are several standards with the capsules at about that distance and angle (which is similar to the distance and angle of human ears). So ORTF isn't written in stone. It's OK to experiment, but its nice to have the reference standard.

    To me, the hardest thing is getting the placement symmetric on a stereo bar - the cables are always bumping into each other. I can usually do pretty well by staggering the heights of of the two clips and then gaffing the cables in place. I think if I were doing classical recording regularly I might invest in one of those Scheops ORTF stereo mics.

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