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Testing Placement of RODE NT5's with the Guzheng (Chinese Zither)

Just starting using a pair of RODE NT5's with directional capsules to record the guzheng. After some experimenting with positions, I've settled on both overhead, one on each side, about 3ft from the instrument. I've added no effects to this recording other than a compressor. What do you think?

Comments

pcrecord Wed, 05/20/2020 - 09:39

Interesting, the sound is a bit roomy, I wonder if it's less obvious without the compression.

Also on quiet parts, we hear a bit of Isss.. Certainly the result of pushing the gain on the Tascam DR-40.
Most people would not mind, I'm just a freak on noise.. ;)

All in all, very good job, specially with the equipment you used !!
Thanks for sharing

Michael Svenson Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:26

pcrecord, post: 464346, member: 46460 wrote: Interesting, the sound is a bit roomy, I wonder if it's less obvious without the compression.

Also on quiet parts, we hear a bit of Isss.. Certainly the result of pushing the gain on the Tascam DR-40.
Most people would not mind, I'm just a freak on noise.. ;)

All in all, very good job, specially with the equipment you used !!
Thanks for sharing

Thanks for your insight! It was also my guess that the Isss sound would be coming from the Tascam DR-40. In the future I'd like to upgrade to some equipment that would help me get rid of that, as of now I'm not sure exactly what that would be, perhaps a mixing board and something different to record onto?

I'm not very good yet at using compression so I could have messed it up on this one. I've since done a lot of research on how to use it properly and learned a lot. I'll try my best to apply it correctly next time.

Since I made this post I've tested out several different mic positions and have learned that using one below the instrument (where lots of bass goes) and one above the instrument (where lots of higher end sound goes) sounds great. I've tried this out in both XY pattern and ORTF patterns and feel the ORTF pattern gives the sound more "room".

I've recorded a handful of new pieces with video and will post them up sometime soon.

pcrecord Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:52

It seems newcomers all dream about a mixing board, but all those affordable are overrated regarding sound quality..
When it start to be worth it having a mixer is when the mixer as highend preamps, like a Neve or SSL and other similar.. (way over my budget.. )
So others will buy a few outboard preamps with similar designs (original or clone) then an interface. You get the good sound at a lower price.

Depending on the quality you seek, having a good audio interface is all you need most of the time..
Audient, RME, Antelope, UA etc..
Add a couple of Focusrite ISA or higher quality preamps and you'll never deal with iss (at least comming from the pre..)

Michael Svenson Wed, 05/20/2020 - 13:01

pcrecord, post: 464355, member: 46460 wrote: It seems newcomers all dream about a mixing board, but all those affordable are overrated regarding sound quality..
When it start to be worth it having a mixer is when the mixer as highend preamps, like a Neve or SSL and other similar.. (way over my budget.. )
So others will buy a few outboard preamps with similar designs (original or clone) then an interface. You get the good sound at a lower price.

Depending on the quality you seek, having a good audio interface is all you need most of the time..
Audient, RME, Antelope, UA etc..
Add a couple of Focusrite ISA or higher quality preamps and you'll never deal with iss (at least comming from the pre..)

Interesting, I have a lot to learn. So basically a preamp for the mics and an interface to bring to sound into a computer would improve the sound quality a lot as of now? What if I get a preamp but still record onto the Tascam DR-40, or would I hear a bigger difference without a preamp but ditching the DR-40 and going through an interface into a computer?

Kurt Foster Wed, 05/20/2020 - 13:17

i looked it up and it will "accommodate" line inputs but what this really means is at the 1/4' input, the pre amp is padded down low enough so you can record a line level signal. but running a good pre amp into a not a so good pre amp regardless of level is not a good recipe for better sound. also, a pair of decent pre amps will exceed the cost of the recorder by a factor of ten.

Michael Svenson Wed, 05/20/2020 - 14:17

Kurt Foster, post: 464361, member: 7836 wrote: i looked it up and it will "accommodate" line inputs but what this really means is at the 1/4' input, the pre amp is padded down low enough so you can record a line level signal. but running a good pre amp into a not a so good pre amp regardless of level is not a good recipe for better sound. also, a pair of decent pre amps will exceed the cost of the recorder by a factor of ten.

My setup is:
A matched pair of Rode NT5's, and the DR-40 for recording. Thats all. Then theres my Mac Pro that I import the files into a DAW.

It sounds like in order to make a big difference in the hiss I'd need to replace the DR-40 with some other plan. The DR-40 in my setup is the weakest link if I am corrent.
Keeping things simple and reasonable affordable, what do you think would be a great way to bring out the best in my mics?

Boswell Wed, 05/20/2020 - 15:40

I used to buy old Digidesign mk1 interfaces on Ebay for about £20 ($25), carry out a simple procedure on them to make them active without being driven by PT, add a 5V USB wall-wart and sell them on to people who needed a 2-channel signal booster. They were a lot cheaper than a pair of in-line XLR boosters. Those mk1s had Focusrite pre-amps, and they sounded pretty good. You got a headphone output as well for free.

Michael Svenson Wed, 05/20/2020 - 15:59

Boswell, post: 464363, member: 29034 wrote: I used to buy old Digidesign mk1 interfaces on Ebay for about £20 ($25), carry out a simple procedure on them to make them active without being driven by PT, add a 5V USB wall-wart and sell them on to people who needed 2-channel signal booster. They were a lot cheaper than a pair of in-line XLR boosters. Those mk1s had Focusrite pre-amps, and they sounded pretty good. You got a headphone output as well for free.

Wow thats pretty clever. I have a feeling though I'm in for a bigger purchase than $25....