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Correct way to connect & record guitar in stereo?

Hi, I need to make a video recording of a solo guitarist, and we want to make the recording in stereo using the chorus and delay pedals. What would be the optimal setup and method for the best quality stereo recording? Guitar will be recorded direct, not with a mic'd amp. Audio will be output from the mixer to the camcorder's XLR inputs (left and right channels)

Gear:
  • An archtop guitar
  • PreSonus 2 channel BlueTube
  • Allen & Heath ZED 10FX Mixer (using built in reverb)
  • Canon XA10 Camcorder
  • Boss CH-1 Super Chorus Pedal
  • Carvin Delay Pedal
If you need anymore information, let me know and I will provide. TIA

Comments

bouldersound Sat, 06/03/2017 - 00:14
What Carvin delay pedal? Does it have stereo in and out? Normally pedal order is determined by the player for artistic reasons. If the delay is mono then it would have to go ahead of the chorus to make the guitar stereo, but that may not be what the player wants. If the guitar ends up mono then the only stereo separation you'll get is panning the voice and guitar apart, which is okay but kind of boring. So it's not really about "best quality stereo" as it is about whatever is most artistically interesting.

Boswell Sat, 06/03/2017 - 03:23
MC - what do you mean by "recorded direct"? Does this mean you will take the output of the pickup into an audio interface via the pedals, or are you saying that you will use one or more microphones to capture the acoustic output of the guitar?

Also, when you say the performer is a guitarist, is the resulting track just going to be solo guitar or are there vocal or other instruments in the mix as well?

Do you have to create the final sound at the time of the performance, or can you mix effects in post production?

There are many YouTube videos showing a Rode NT4 microphone capturing a stereo image of an acoustic guitar, and it's possible something like that in conjunction with pickup-fed effects would give you more mixing flexibility than having to accept whatever you happened to record at the time.

pcrecord Sat, 06/03/2017 - 05:23
MC208, post: 450696, member: 49667 wrote: Hi, I need to make a video recording of a solo guitarist, and we want to make the recording in stereo using the chorus and delay pedals. What would be the optimal setup and method for the best quality stereo recording? Guitar will be recorded direct, not with a mic'd amp. Audio will be output from the mixer to the camcorder's XLR inputs (left and right channels)

Gear:
  • An archtop guitar
  • PreSonus 2 channel BlueTube
  • Allen & Heath ZED 10FX Mixer (using built in reverb)
  • Canon XA10 Camcorder
  • Boss CH-1 Super Chorus Pedal
  • Carvin Delay Pedal
class="xf-ul"> If you need anymore information, let me know and I will provide. TIA
All that pops in mine is WHY !!!

Why no amp ?
Why audio recorded by the camera ?
Why a mixer ? for the verb ?
Why stereo ? Because the cam input is stereo ?
Will this be the only instrument in the recording ?

First thing I would do is ditch the bluetube and the mixer (add a better reverb in an audio recording software DAW) and get a good audio interface and record with a computer. OR record clean to the cam and process the audio later.

MC208 Mon, 06/05/2017 - 10:22
This is the Carvin delay pedal: http://www.effectsdatabase.com/model/carvin/sd1

Boswell, by direct, I mean no microphones, just the guitar into the pedals and system.

Only solo guitar, no other instruments, or voices.

The performer cannot play the performance with a dry sound, so he wants to have the effects on.

----
Audio recorded to the camera because it's a video we're making.
Yes, the mixer has the Reverb in it.
The performer wants to have a stereo effect on the final video, e.g. drifting chorus sound

I should also mention that I'm using Sony Vegas v13

pcrecord Mon, 06/05/2017 - 10:36
MC208, post: 450728, member: 49667 wrote: The performer cannot play the performance with a dry sound, so he wants to have the effects on.
You could use a DI and record the clean AND the effects on seperate tracks. Than use the clean track to reamp it later if needed...
If he must have the effects so does he, record with them in the chain. But I'm sure he can go without at least the reverb so you can use a better one in your DAW.
Onless you don't have a proper audio interface and neither a DAW...

MC208, post: 450728, member: 49667 wrote: Audio recorded to the camera because it's a video we're making.
I'm always record audio in my daw and combine audio and video in post...

pcrecord Mon, 06/05/2017 - 12:08
MC208, post: 450733, member: 49667 wrote: What is a "DI" and what is a "DAW" ?
I should have seen that one coming ! !
Sorry for sending you a bunch of informations without better evaluation of where you are (knowledge and experiences)

Electric guitars don't sound as good plugged direct compared to through an amp. A big part of the sound the musician crave comes from the speaker movement and air displacement.
Distorted sound that sound sweet on a cab will sound like an electric razor when plugged direct.

I can understand that this could be overwhelming if it's your first attempt and there is no reason to invest a lot if it's a one time deal.

I've check your cam see that it accepts line level (like the output of a CD player). So this gives me better ideas as what you can do.

So here is a possible plan with the equipement you already have (appart from a few cables maybe):

  • Guitar to mono delay (1/4 to 1/4 TR mono)
  • Carvin mono delay to chorus (1/4 to 1/4 TR mono)
  • Stereo Chorus output 1 to line input 1 of the Presonus preamp (1/4 to 1/4 TR mono)
  • Stereo Chorus ouput 2 to line input 2 of the Presonus preamp (1/4 to 1/4 TR mono).
  • Presonus preamp XLR Output 1 to XLR input 1 of the camera (XLR female to XLR male cable)
  • Presonus preamp XLR Output 2 to XLR input 2 of the camera (XLR female to XLR male cable)
  • Try to deactivate the auto volumes on the cam and set it to zero first, adjust the guitar and the pedals to give a good level on the preamp and then pull up the volume on the cam slowly until you have healthy levels... If the pedals runs on battery and not AC adapters, you should not have a lot of noise.
class="xf-ul"> No I didn't put the mixer there.. In my opinion it will add to much noise to the equation.

I hope you will link results hear so we can follow your achievements ;)

bouldersound Mon, 06/05/2017 - 13:07
Yeah, my first inclination was to record to a DAW and put it together in post, largely because that's what I'm working on right now. But I figured this might be a situation for keeping it simple so I didn't go that route. I agree with pcrecord's suggestion above. Go for healthy level but ensure that there's enough headroom to prevent clipping. Once it's in the camera you could transfer to computer and do a bit of audio and video post production.

MC208 Tue, 06/06/2017 - 12:43
I should mention that I also have:
  • Acoustic Image Clarus Series 4
  • Raezer’s Edge 12" cabinet
  • Shure SM58 Mic
class="xf-ul"> Would these be better options to use for recording the solo guitar, and if so, how would using this gear change your instructions pcrecord? I've never mic'd a guitar before but based on brief research it seems the mic I have is a good one for doing so...

Kurt Foster Tue, 06/06/2017 - 13:26
these guys around here love to make things difficult lol. :love:

to answer your question .... the most important thing you have to do is not use the PreSonus. it's redundant. you don't need it and the pres on the A/H are far better.

go out of the archtop guitar into the Boss CH-1 Super Chorus Pedal and the Carvin Delay Pedal into the Allen & Heath ZED 10FX Mixer through the instrument di input into the Canon XA10 Camcorder via the XLRs. be sure to turn off the phantom power on the Cannon. that's your signal path.

how the guitarist monitors the delay chorus reverb mix is another question. have you given that any thought?

MC208 Tue, 06/06/2017 - 13:32
Hi Kurt, Thanks for the reply. If I bypass the Bluetube, I should be going into the guitar hi-z input on the ZED, correct?
As to monitoring sound, I currently use the AUX output of the ZED and control what he hears through the AUX levels on each channel (sometimes we use another guitarist, or a backing track)

Kurt Foster Tue, 06/06/2017 - 13:48
MC208, post: 450759, member: 49667 wrote: Hi Kurt, Thanks for the reply. If I bypass the Bluetube, I should be going into the guitar hi-z input on the ZED, correct?
yes. btw, why the blue tube in the first place? for the "tube" sound? i mean, if you really like it you can use it i guess. i just hate PreSonus stuff. if you do use it put it last in the chain before the ZED and plug it into a line input.

go out of the archtop guitar into the Boss CH-1 Super Chorus Pedal and the Carvin Delay Pedal into the Blue Tube into a line input on a channel of the ZED. out of the ZED via XLRs to the Cannon. set the levels on the ZED for around -2 or 3 dB average. this should yield a nominal 0 dB output.

trim back the inputs on the Cannon XLRs inputs to accept this nominal -0dB level.

paulears Sun, 06/11/2017 - 12:39
NEVER - record audio on a video camera where the audio is the critical element. ALWAYS record it separately and sync in the edit. The noise performance of the Canon is great for speech and loud music, but they're prone to be hissy - which I suppose may not be a real issue anyway as the pedals will hiss anyway! Just that camera audio is always their weakest area - they are designed to do the video part really well, and like in computers, little has been spent on the audio side of the cameras.

The one question I always ask when people want these things doing is what is the chance of the player doing the same thing perfectly at least twice? Single camera needs either continual movement and reframing to not be dull and boring, so you at the very least will need some close-ups of fingers to use as cutaways. The chances of being able to sync two free-played versions is going to present problems, and if you intend on doing the one-shot version, be prepared for multiple takes, each one getting worse. Getting to the end will be an eternity, and you'll end up with loads of identical material, up to the mistake, and very little on the takes where the player gets past the mistake area.

Is there a chance of recording perhaps the thing in it's entirety and then getting the musician to mime to this recording while you shoot from another angle, so you can add some variety in the edit - and if you recorded the mime, with him playing, maybe you would even have something to cover an edit or two?

As for stereo? It's just whatever the pedals add as an effect. If it was me, I'd take the DI from where it goes to his amp, record that into a proper audio recorder - zoom or similar, and a parallel split to the camera, or even just use the camera audio to sync things up in the edit. So much is going to depend on the skill of the player, and what exactly he wants to do.

MC208 Sun, 06/11/2017 - 13:52
Paulears,
Thank you for your reply! I know what you mean about the camera audio. Here's a question. The mixer has a USB out on it. Could I use that USB out to send the audio for recording to the hard drive via my Sony Vegas video editing software? I did something similar where I connected a firewire device to convert some old cassette tapes audio to digital wave format. Seems I could do the same thing with the USB out from the mixer. Would that work as an acceptable recording device?

If I mic the guitar audio through two speakers (left and right), and go into two channels on the mixer, should the channel pan stay in the middle on each channel, or should they be panned hard right and hard left?

pcrecord Mon, 06/12/2017 - 11:00
MC208, post: 450932, member: 49667 wrote: If I mic the guitar audio through two speakers (left and right), and go into two channels on the mixer, should the channel pan stay in the middle on each channel, or should they be panned hard right and hard left?
If you record direct to the camera, you need to pan them to get a stereo signal recorded.
If you use the mixer USB connection to a computer, you will have the choice of making 1 stereo track or 2 mono track in you music software (DAW).
If you do 2 mono tracks, panning on the mixer won't mather.
Why do 2 mono tracks ? it lets you use different effects / settings / EQ etc... on them. It's specially important if you have 2 different mics or if the 2 speakers sound different sounds or the signals sent to them are different. The 2 mono tracks in the software will need to be panned then.

dvdhawk Mon, 06/12/2017 - 18:53
Paul is right that you'll get better audio quality recording to a dedicated audio system, but most modern "pro-sumer" camcorders are capable of decent audio if people would just turn off all the automatic crap and go 'full-manual' with the audio settings and use a proper interface. The XA10 can give you 48kHz recordings at 16-bit and it has XLR inputs, which is a step in the right direction. If you try it, and feed the ZED into the camera, you should set the XA10 inputs to "Line" level and turn off anything that says ALC (automatic level control) AGC (automatic gain control) and set the recording levels manually.

But as far as, "best quality stereo recording" goes, a DAW is the best way to go - assuming you have the video editing software to sync them up. As I've commented elsewhere, manually lining up the audio and video in an NLE (non-linear video editor) can usually get you close enough, but the relatively coarse frame-rate of the video (typically 1/30th of a second) may not sync with the audio exactly. The audio tracks can't move in anything less than one frame increments as dictated by the video editor. If there's noticeable lag you may have to go back to the DAW and trim 10-20 ms off the front of the audio track(s) and re-import them back in to the video editor and try again - that is if you're fussy about that sort of thing.

bouldersound Tue, 06/13/2017 - 18:01
dvdhawk, post: 450952, member: 36047 wrote: But as far as, "best quality stereo recording" goes, a DAW is the best way to go - assuming you have the video editing software to sync them up. As I've commented elsewhere, manually lining up the audio and video in an NLE (non-linear video editor) can usually get you close enough, but the relatively coarse frame-rate of the video (typically 1/30th of a second) may not sync with the audio exactly. The audio tracks can't move in anything less than one frame increments as dictated by the video editor. If there's noticeable lag you may have to go back to the DAW and trim 10-20 ms off the front of the audio track(s) and re-import them back in to the video editor and try again - that is if you're fussy about that sort of thing.

In what software? I use Vegas (formerly Sony, now owned by Magix), and you can turn off "Quantize to frames" so that audio and video clips move freely on the timeline. I generally leave it on for cutting the video, then turn it off for audio work. You can mix and match source frame and sample rates in a project; the software will re-quantize video and resample audio as needed during the render process.

dvdhawk Wed, 06/14/2017 - 08:32
You're absolutely right, boulder, and you make a good point. Good catch. It's not impossible, but they make it harder than it needs to be. I've never used Vegas, it sounds great. It sounds like it is very well thought out platform for both audio and video editing, and they might make it a lot easier than the other guys. The OP says he's using Vegas, which might put him at an advantage.

Sub-frame audio editing can be done in FCP and Premiere to various degrees, which are the two I've used for 17 yrs (first 9 yrs. with FCP 1.0 - 4.5HD, last 8 yrs. with Premiere CS4 - CC2017). Premiere has proven to be much easier to manipulate audio than FCP, but back then I was also using ProTools too - so I would do all the audio sweetening there.

To edit sub-frame in Premiere, you have to change the sequence increments to "show audio time units" to get sample-accurate 48k/sec in the sequence / timeline. You have to really know where to look for it though, it's not in the preferences, project settings, or upper level menu anywhere - it's a choice in a small on-screen sub-menu within the Sequence. FCP sub-frame capability is limited to 1/100th of a frame. I still think a novice would get through it much faster trimming the audio in their DAW. Now if they were experiencing 'drift' on a long video, and had to constantly re-align things, it would be much better to do it in the NLE.
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