Critique/help my Recording

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Ehvam, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. Ehvam

    Ehvam Active Member

    Jan 6, 2010
    Hello. I recently recorded a live string quartet, the recording was done in a fairly large church. I place the two matched pair Samson c02 mics in the 110 degree angle, 17 cm apart about five feet from the quartet, at about standing height (just above their head level). Since the sound I was getting from the mics was a bit thinned out (they aren't very good) I also put a large condensor MXL mic in between the two C02s, about the same distance, but a bit lower to help catch some more low end.
    I have added a little bit of reverb (SIR, Church impulse) simpley because it seems to sound better to me.
    Any advice for improving the actual recordings in the future would be great, or any ideas on how to make this recording sound better as well.

    Here is the link
  2. soundfarm1

    soundfarm1 Active Member

    Dec 30, 2008
    In the future for recording string quartets, I would recommend really experimenting with mic distance and stereo patterns such as a blumlein, X-Y, M-S, Jeklin disc (which, to me, is really dependent on the room).

    If your setup permits, try adding an omni-directional ambient mic further back and play with the placement rather than adding artificial reverb.

    Also, experiment with the spacing between the players as well.

    Hope you find this useful!
  3. Ehvam

    Ehvam Active Member

    Jan 6, 2010
    Thanks. I tried a few different placements until I settled on the one I used. Was it a bad one? At the time it seemed to have a more "open" sound to me.
    I also tried using a room mic once but it was an epic failure, so maybe I just need to figure out what I did wrong that time. I think I was getting phase issues.
    I'll look into your suggestions. I just wish I had more time to set up and experiment before a show.

    At my level everything is useful, Thank You!
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Sorry, but I have to pick on this post a little.
    First, if the OP is using Samson SDCs and a cheap LDC, he's not going to have a blumlein pair or a Jecklin disc in the arsenal. Also, a single omni mic instead of reverb isn't a good solution. A pair of spaced omnis, yes. A single omni mic though wouldn't give you the spread necessary to create a diffuse-field representation. And my last critique of this post - changing the spacing between players during a recording session is a great idea. If this is a live performance, I would never ask the musicians to alter their spacing.

    Sadly, I can't listen to the example at the moment so I can't provide criticism or insight. I will try to listen later.

    I would agree with the above post that I've found ORTF to be a bit off for string quartet. Typically, I'll use an XY pair augmented by some other ambient pair. In your case, if you happened to have another one of those LDCs, you could space them and put them a bit further back. Also, you could put them over the strings (not too close - above their heads - maybe 8' off the ground - not at all appealing for a live performance). The choice to use a good reverb (if well done) can be a good choice. Very rarely do I find anything other than grand churches or professional concert halls that give me a room sound that I like without some tweaking of a reverb box.

    Best wishes,
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