Recording vocals & guitar simultaneously

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by musicologydoc, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. Hi all,

    I am trying to record vocals and acoustic guitar simultaneously, using only two microphones and two-track recording and still get a good stereo result (for musical reasons, I much prefer to play and sing at the same time, rather than do each separately).

    What do you suggest for a good approach? Two small condensers in a coincident pair? Small condenser on the guitar, large condenser on the vocals, and rely on bleed through for stereo? Small condenser on the guitar, large condenser on the vocals, and use mixing techniques to create the stereo?

    Any help is much appreciated!
  2. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    Large cond on vocals....pair of sd on guitar...and a LD for room...
    Pan vox to middle, guitars left,right and room slightly off center (whichever it's placed at)
    Blend to taste. Watch phase...

    If that's not the sound your after...try a LD on vocals and a LD on guitar...see what happens there.
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Comb filtering, phasing issues are very common with this combination. LDs pick up a much wider pattern and extraneous sounds.. I would try a couple of small diaphragm cardioid condensers ... one pointed at the lower bout of the guitar.. at the sound board below the bridge..and pointed / angled downward towards the floor, to help in isolating the guitar from the vocal .. The other mic should be aimed at an angle towards the singer and ceiling, with a pop screen or foam wind filter to help with the pops ... Try for as much isolation as possible between the two elements.

    Another solution is to go with less is more approach and set up a stereo mic configuration (either LD or SD mics) and just go for an "air mix" of vocal and guitar ... In the end this may be the more viable solution and the best sounding one. You just won't be able to mix the guitar / vocal balances after the fact ...
  4. dgooder

    dgooder Guest

    The player, as always, has a lot to do with how you should approach this. If you absolutely have only two mics, I’d go with a xy configuration about two to three feet in front, and adjust the position until you have the best blend of vocal, guitar, and room.

    Dave Goodermuth
  5. tripnek

    tripnek Active Member

    Jun 9, 2003
    I remember reading an interview with the producer who recorded one of James Taylor's albums. They had a similar situation and ended up using a small Audio Technica mic for the Guitar. I believe it was the pro 35. Its a small condenser with a clip on goosneck designed for drums. They tapes a popsicle stick to his guitar and clipped the mic to it and pointed it slightly downward. I can't remember what they used for vocals but I think it was a dynamic.
  6. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    Feb 16, 2001
    Home Page:
    If you have a decent room and two mics that will do figure 8...

    Aim one at the artist's mouth so that the null is aimed at the guitar. Aim the second at the guitar so the null is aimed at his mouth.

    You'll pick up a lot of room from the back end of each, so this only works with a decently high ceiling and larger rooms.
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