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Recording guitar, vocals, cello, violin LIVE with 2 mics?

I'm recording a songwriter with 1 large condenser; vocals and acoustic guitar. Also, I'm Micing a cello, and a violin with a RODE ntg-2 shotgun. I'm running both into a Zoom H4N recorder. 

Here's a mock-up of how I intend to set up. Nix the back-up singers. Any ideas or tips?
Much appreciated!

Attached files


gehauser Wed, 03/16/2011 - 15:31

A few thoughts...

Shotgun mics are highly directional, so how will you capture two instruments with one of those? Might be better off using the 90 or 120 degree pattern on the internal mics to capture these two instruments.

Or, if the vocals are nixed, then put the shotgun on the guitar and the large condenser (especially if multi-pattern) on the cello and violin.

Or use the mid-side stereo technique on the trio as a whole, if the large condenser has fig8. And let the musicians balance themselves.

serpaco007 Thu, 03/17/2011 - 08:49

You're right, I may see if I can borrow another condenser from a friend. If I can, and it's multi-pattern; what's your opinion on how to mic them both? This is my first time recording cello/violin.

My idea was to back the shotgun off of of the cello & violin to widen the range. It's the only other mic I have. I would use the stereo pair on the recorder but they don't sound as good. I use them mostly for ambient room sound.

I have to use the condenser on guitar and main vocals (only the backup singers are nixed).

gehauser Thu, 03/17/2011 - 08:59

Four sources and two mikes makes it tough. You will get a lot of room sound if you back way off with the shotgun mic.

I think I would just go for the M/S stereo recording, if you can get a fig 8 condenser. Use the fig8 mic for the S and the shotgun for the M mic.

Not optimal, because the shotgun is probably hypercardioid.

Is the vocalist playing the guitar?

BobRogers Sat, 03/19/2011 - 16:45

If you are new to this I would not try M/S. Try [=""]ORTF[/]="http://en.wikipedia…"]ORTF[/] or [[url=http://="http://en.wikipedia…"]XY[/]="http://en.wikipedia…"]XY[/]. You want a matched pair of condensers for this (at least as closely matched as possible).

If getting a matched pair is a problem, from what I've read the internal mics on the Zoom are not all that bad. Can you use those to record the whole ensemble as two tracks and then use your condenser as a spot mic on the vocalist for a third track?