A little help please

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Mark Nelson, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. Mark Nelson

    Mark Nelson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2018
    Location:
    Montana
    I am a newbie so a little help would be appeciacted. I am setting a little home recording room to record acoustic guitar and vocals. I will be using condenser mics on my acoustics, but thought I might also plug in my pickup. It is an active pickup, a D-Tar multisource. I not sure if it should go to a line input or a Hi-z. The pickup includes a piezo and internal condensr electret condenser mic, with 18 volt output. I would grateful for any help.
     
  2. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    Home Page:
    Being an active pickup system it's not as sensitive to the impedance (Z) of the device to which it's connected. Try both and see if there's a sonic difference, then use whatever sounds better.
     
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Home Page:
    It could go into either input, but the batteries will last a little longer if you use the Hi-Z. Incidentally, just because the pickup pre-amp uses a pair of 9V batteries doesn't mean that you get an uncontrolled 18V pk-pk output.

    You didn't tell us what make and model of audio interface you are using, so it's difficult to comment further on the matching of pickup pre-amp to interface.

    What model of microphones have you chosen for the acoustic aspect of the recording? What sort of acoustic environment will you be recording in?

    Don't forget to delay the pickup track by 1-2 ms relative to the external microphones.
     
  4. Mark Nelson

    Mark Nelson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2018
    Location:
    Montana
    Sorry for the omissions. I will have a Steinberg UR 242, AKG p420 and AKG p170. The room will be spare bedroom 13 x 14 wit 9 ft ceilings, fabric window coverings and oak floors. Sounds great to play in, not overly echoey to my ears.
     
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Home Page:
    I think you may be constrained by the interface as to whether you connect your pickup to the Hi-Z input or a line input. With two condenser microphones taking up inputs 1 and 2, you have only line inputs left.

    Your description of the room acoustics rings alarm bells. What your ears hear while playing is very different from what a pair of condenser microphones will hear when recording. I think you should consider some room treatment, even if it's just a thick carpet on the floor. Don't sit in the centre of the room - make the distances from you to each wall different to try to reduce resonances and echo reinforcements.
     
  6. Mark Nelson

    Mark Nelson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2018
    Location:
    Montana
    Yes. I am aware that I will need to work on my room. Thanks for your help.
     
  7. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    Home Page:
    It's powered by two AA batteries, so there's some kind of voltage multiplier circuit. That might make going into the Hi-Z even more preferable to keep the current draw as low as possible.
     
  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    one thing you can do is sit towards the corner of the room 2/3-3/4 of the way back, facing towards the corner in front of you, not directly at it, but in that direction. this will help break up the direct reflections that result from parallel surfaces, hopefully causing less comb filtering/phase cancellations at the mic locations.
     
  9. Mark Nelson

    Mark Nelson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2018
    Location:
    Montana
    Thank you for the tips. All help is appreciated.
     
    kmetal likes this.
  10. Mark Nelson

    Mark Nelson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2018
    Location:
    Montana
    kmetal

    When you write 2/3 -3/4 of the way back, do you mean 2/3-3/4 of the distance across the entire room? I am not sure what you mean. The corner idea makes sense to me. I also read that people hang blankets or quilts, but sometimes they hang them behind the vocalist and sometimes behind the mic. The reflective filters I have seen all seem to be behind the mic. So, anyway the 2/3-3/4 rule, I want to understand. Thanks in advance if you have time.
     
  11. Makzimia

    Makzimia The Minstrel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Location:
    Hyde, England
    @Mark Nelson

    Mark, from someone who deals with a single smallish room, and I think successfully so far, just listen to your room. Clap your hands, shout, what kind of reflections or echo does it make, if you move somewhere else, is it less. Ultimately though, it is going to come down to volume and type of acoustic source, and the Mic and Pre-amp you choose to use. Things in the room will absorb and deflect sound. Example if you can have a bookcase with books in behind you, it helps, not being right near a wall or the direct centre of a room is basically all that is being conveyed here, in our usual wordy way :D.

    Tony
     
  12. Mark Nelson

    Mark Nelson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2018
    Location:
    Montana
    Got it. Thanks
     
  13. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    i meant if you went looked at the room diagonally, starting out about 2/3-3/4 of the way back from the "front" of the room is a decent place to start. its by no means a rule, just generally where i'd start in an unknown room. Bass builds up in the room corners, so the closer you get to the corners, the more the bass will be pronounced.

    its definitely a good idea to hang some moving blankets, towels, quilts, sweatshirts, whatever you got of that nature, from some mic stands, or the wall. hanging them from the wall could be a potential fire harzard, as they should be fire treated to do this, so just be careful. the advantage to mic stands, or whatever you have that will be like that, is you can place them closer to you/the sound source. by doing this your adjusting the proportion of direct sound (the guitar) and the reflected sound (ambience). ive had good luck in terrible rooms, making a little cave out of blankets and panels for drummers, and vocalists.

    keep in mind that your as close to the ceiling as you are the walls, in a seated position, so the ceiling is gonna reflect some (qualitatively harmful) sounds back into your mics. the ceiling is the most overlooked area, and if this is a room you'll use often for recording, it will pay dividends to get some treatment up there. anything from (reputable brand) acoustic foam/acoustic panels, to blankets wrapping a wooden frame, to ripping the drywall down and leaving the insulation exposed, will all do the trick.

    the amount of room sound (reflections/ambience) you let into the mics, is a matter of taste, and depends generally on the style of song. pop songs usually have very very dry acoustic guitar sounds, where folk may have quite a bit of room sound in them. rock is somewhere in the middle. i did a quick drawing to try and illustrate the starting position for you/the guitar, and the blankets. your best bet is to try a few places for you and the mics, to get a feel for how the sounds changes, with regard to locations.

    Basic Treatment Of direct Reflections- Tracking Room.jpg
     
  14. Mark Nelson

    Mark Nelson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2018
    Location:
    Montana
    Terrific and very helpful. Thanks
     
    kmetal likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice