MS with shotgun? Feedback anyone?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Lois Avil, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. Lois Avil

    Lois Avil Active Member

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    I´ve been asked to record a guy in a living room playing guitar and singing. I first thought to have a cardioid for the singer and the shotgun for the guitar so I can get better signals from each source. But then we discussed a bit more and decided it would be nice to have some of the ambient coming from the window (neighbours talking and some birds singing) and some acoustics from the room it self. I´m thinking of using MS technique, but with the shotgun pointing at him and the guitar(with enough distance) and then the fig. 8 picking up the room acoustics and the window.

    1) Has anyone ever tried this? If so can you share your experience?

    2) If the two mics aren´t exactly on top of each other when recording, will this limit my post production process?

    Cheers!!!
     
  2. bouldersound

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

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    The geometry doesn't really add up. The idea of a mid-side setup is that the mid mic transitions smoothly to the side mic so that where they overlap their combined response is captured. A shotgun and a figure-8 mic will hardly overlap and so they won't have that intended combined pickup of off axis sounds.
     
  3. Lois Avil

    Lois Avil Active Member

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    Hmm... ok. But even if the room is narrow, won´t some of the frequencies overlap? (even assuming there´s a window in one side)
     
  4. Lois Avil

    Lois Avil Active Member

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    I meant polar response not "frequencies", sry!! :(
     
  5. bouldersound

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

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    Not in a time coherent way.
     
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  6. Lois Avil

    Lois Avil Active Member

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    Thanks. :)
     
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    Concentrate on getting the best recording of voice and guitar, preferably on separate tracks. Using a single mic for both sound sources is a hostage to fortune, since you will be making an uncorrectable guess at the balance between them.

    Two fig-8 mics (or a stereo fig-8) positioned end-to-end horizontally so the voice and guitar are in the centre of each pattern and in the null of the other can work well for this situation.

    Record the birdsong later and add it at mixdown if you insist on having some sort of natural effect.
     
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  8. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

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    Shotgun M/S is a dreadful technique, because the on and off axis frequency response of the shotgun varies so much. They're wide and the bottom end and get progressively narrower as the frequency rises, plus all those weird nulls in the response pattern - the wreck stereo imaging. On top of this the damn things are too narrow up top, so the singer moving slightly with the guitar really screws things up. They also suffer badly from whatever is reflect from behind the source - so if the room is unfriendly it gets worse still.
     
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  9. Lois Avil

    Lois Avil Active Member

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    Thanks a lot for your expertise guys. As I said before sound is a passion for me since I was a kid, although I hadn´t much opportunities to work with in a professional level.
    Since I was on a tight schedule and budget (and I admit, I´ve been away from the forum for a while) I recorded the voice with the AKG in cardioid pattern and the guitar with the shotgun so at least I could have the two separate sources in separate tracks.
    Honestly, with all the work I had, I think it should have come off a bit better. I tweaked the sound a bit on logic, just with a reverb and a tiny bit of compression due to the singer (sometimes) uncontrolled intensity.
    You can watch and listen the result if you wish here.

    I´m also here for all the feedback you can give to me.

    Thanks in advance!
    Cheers!
     
  10. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

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    That's quite a short shotgun, what is it? Probably less a shotgun and more a sharp hyper. Overall, both mics seem a bit thin and weak - did you tweak the eq's to deliberately go this way?
     
  11. Lois Avil

    Lois Avil Active Member

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    It´s a Rode NTG1 hypercardiod. Recording on site i tweaked the bass a bit down since I didn´t want to peak the guitar, as sometimes I was hearing it on headphones and it was also clipping on the track.
     
  12. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

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    I never use my shotguns (Audio Tec and AKG 416) for music - they always sound thin and weak. They're just not flattering for instrument sources, I suspect the Rode is the same.
     
  13. Lois Avil

    Lois Avil Active Member

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    I won´t do that same mistake again, believe me. I usually have that mic on cam, but since i really wanted to have the two sources recorded on independent tracks I chose to use AKG on the singer in cardioid pattern.

    There´s one thing I regret not to have tried. What Boswell said:
    I would really enjoyed listening to that sound image... but I was stupid enough for not even tried.
     

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