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Advice wanted - Singer/songwriter - Stereo/mono mics + tec..

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Anonymous
September 7, 2005 6:01:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

howdy all -

needin' a bit of a check, turning to the pro's here...

my first album was done with a trio in a studio. band (drums, bass,
guitar)recorded live, vocals scratch and then overdubbed. turned out
very nice.

now on to album two. using prootools rig at home tracking my parts,
then ship off around the country to various other side men, then
mixed/mastered professionally. taking the approach of recording solo,
and then adding "only what is needed" to really support the tune, and
add a little variety. a cello here, a dobro there, maybe drums/upright
on a couple. really won't know what the tunes will need until i get
done tracking.

so i tracked my guitars thru a pair of borrowed geffell m300's. quite
nice, great tone. then tracked vocals. really disliked the outcome of
it all: too perfect, no life. i suffer from the age old needing to
sing & play together after doing it every day for 15 years. the
emotions of each play off the other.

after reading up around here, sounds like i need to try: 1. MONO 2.
Stereo X/Y - Trying both live with git/voice. should capture what i am
after hopefully.

so here are the questions:

1. will the stereo X/Y tracks of git/vox allow for mixing in of a few
other instruments, even drums/upright bass?

2. how about mono - any advantages mono has over stereo x/y considering
the album goals?

3. mics - i have no SD mic's - only one LD cardiod. not enough budget
for 2 gefell M300's, so josephson c-42's likely. But for plug one mic
in, find sweet spot quickly, hit record, the rode NT4 sounds
interesting. (and would work well with the edirol r-1 deck i am eyeing
for recording my shows) lastly, the idea of 2 GOOD LD figure 8's
working in the null sounds cool, but it ain't in the budget for me, and
sounds set-up heavy.

bottom line, can i capture the live feel, and still leave enough room
for some occasional other players in the mix?

i enjoy the hell out of dabbling in recording, but need to get back to
"it's the performance stupid..."

all thoughts welcome, many thanks.

scott
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 9:04:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

scottvon2004@yahoo.com wrote:

> now on to album two. using prootools rig at home tracking my parts,
> then ship off around the country to various other side men, then
> mixed/mastered professionally. taking the approach of recording solo,
> and then adding "only what is needed" to really support the tune, and
> add a little variety. a cello here, a dobro there, maybe drums/upright
> on a couple. really won't know what the tunes will need until i get
> done tracking.

I predict that you'll never finis this project. Experience (from the
"pros") is that if you don't have a clear idea of where you're going,
you'll never get there. Some bands (that are real bands and have some
sense of what other members can do, and how they think about music) can
work out a song in a studio (which may be home studio) but it's an
interactive process. And occasionally, a producer will ship a tape to,
someone like, say, Ry Cooder, and say "put a little mandolin in this
song where you think it fits" but that's not necessarily because they
think it really needs mandolin, but that having Ry Cooder's name on the
album will help it to sell.

> so i tracked my guitars thru a pair of borrowed geffell m300's. quite
> nice, great tone. then tracked vocals. really disliked the outcome of
> it all: too perfect, no life. i suffer from the age old needing to
> sing & play together after doing it every day for 15 years. the
> emotions of each play off the other.

It will be the same case for the musicians who haven't heard your
music, to which you send tracks for them to add parts.

> after reading up around here, sounds like i need to try: 1. MONO 2.
> Stereo X/Y - Trying both live with git/voice. should capture what i am
> after hopefully.

As to mono or stereo, that's your choice. It depends on what part the
guitar plays in the song. But there's no reason not to record guitar
and vocal in a single pass except that you probably won't get enough
separation so that you can punch in or replace the vocal because of
vocal leakage into the guitar mic or mics. A traditional technique for
this is to record a couple of takes, being careful to keep a steady
tempo, and then edit among them to fix mistakes.

You always have the option of punching in both voice and guitar
together, but that can be tricky, and with digital recorders,
particularly low end DAWs, can be difficult due to "latency."

> 1. will the stereo X/Y tracks of git/vox allow for mixing in of a few
> other instruments, even drums/upright bass?

Sure.

> 2. how about mono - any advantages mono has over stereo x/y considering
> the album goals?

I would ask the question the other way around (would stereo be of any
advantage?) but the answer is the same - it depends on the role of the
guitar in the song.

Remember, though, that when you record your guitar and voice
simultaneously, even if you have them on separate tracks, they'll both
need to be panned pretty much in the same place since there will be
plenty of vocal on the guitar track and plenty of guitar on the vocal
track. You'll almost always want your vocal centered, but if the guitar
is a texture and not the main instrument, you may want it panned off to
one side. That's just an example.

> 3. mics - i have no SD mic's - only one LD cardiod. not enough budget
> for 2 gefell M300's, so josephson c-42's likely. But for plug one mic
> in, find sweet spot quickly, hit record, the rode NT4 sounds
> interesting.

Lots of records have been made with a lesser mic, in just that manner.
But the music has to support a bare-bones recording like that. That's
for you to judge. At this point, only you know your music.

> lastly, the idea of 2 GOOD LD figure 8's
> working in the null sounds cool, but it ain't in the budget for me, and
> sounds set-up heavy.

This may be the best way to do what you want, however. It can give you
enough separation so that you can pan and mix better than if you
recorded guitar and voice with two two (or three) cardioid mics, and if
the song is busy enough, you can sometimes even get away with making
punches on the voice.

> bottom line, can i capture the live feel, and still leave enough room
> for some occasional other players in the mix?

You can do that. Whether or not it will be successful is completely a
function of the music, the song, and the arrangement. If you don't have
an arrangement in mind, you probably won't leave space for other
instruments (you'll be trying to be the whole band with your guitar)
and you may not be able to mix what you can record.

> i enjoy the hell out of dabbling in recording, but need to get back to
> "it's the performance stupid..."

Exactly. So dabble until you have a clear idea of how the song will
sound, work out an arrangement, and get some help recording it. I'm not
trying to sell you on going to a $250/hour studio, you can do it at
home, but if you plan to have other instruments on your song than what
you record in your first pass, you have to make space for them, and
that starts before you strum the first chord.
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 5:10:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

thanks mike, i was actually hoping you would chime in.

i know i am on a slippery slope here, and the end result of six months
of dabbling with protools may wind up a lesson in humility. i may well
end up in studio afterall, but stubborn enough to try for a while
longer as i have enjoyed it all, especially the learning.

i have been skeptical about this approach from the beginning. but
using players i know and have played with many times over the years
brings a certain level of trust. flying them all in for a week of
recording in a good studio is just outside the budget.

honestly i have a damn small budget, and compromises will be made. i
have free mastering at airshow in Boulder, CO that i won in a
songwriting contest, but between mixing, artwork, and pressing i have a
damn small budget. the higher up i go, the less i make off of each cd
at shows, they less to feed the family. a fine line to walk here.

i keep getting requests at shows to do a pure solo album, guitar &
voice. so it seemed possible (and fun) to set out and try that. i just
have a hard time not thinking "oh man, with a little upright here, a
dobro there, it would be so much better."

always a juggling act between budget, goals, family, and reality.
seems next step is to try just solo guitar/voice live, see if i can
nail the performances. it's living with the vulnerability of a 12 song
bare bones acoustic album that is the challenge for me...

thanks for the reality check. -scott
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Anonymous
September 7, 2005 5:14:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

scottvon2004@yahoo.com wrote:
> howdy all -

SNIP

> so here are the questions:
>
> 1. will the stereo X/Y tracks of git/vox allow for mixing in of a few
> other instruments, even drums/upright bass?
>
> 2. how about mono - any advantages mono has over stereo x/y considering
> the album goals?
>
> 3. mics - i have no SD mic's - only one LD cardiod. not enough budget
> for 2 gefell M300's, so josephson c-42's likely. But for plug one mic
> in, find sweet spot quickly, hit record, the rode NT4 sounds
> interesting. (and would work well with the edirol r-1 deck i am eyeing
> for recording my shows) lastly, the idea of 2 GOOD LD figure 8's
> working in the null sounds cool, but it ain't in the budget for me, and
> sounds set-up heavy.
>
> bottom line, can i capture the live feel, and still leave enough room
> for some occasional other players in the mix?
>
> i enjoy the hell out of dabbling in recording, but need to get back to
> "it's the performance stupid..."
>
> all thoughts welcome, many thanks.

Well I'd record the guitar in stereo. The width of the stereo
spread on guitar shouldn't be an issue really, that's adjustable
during mixing for a competent mix engineer, using panning in if it's
too wide and you can use plugins also for that and to increase the
stereo width if needed. I wouldn't say that issue has so much to do
with whether there is room for anything else in the mix either.

The main problem people have with tracking vocals and guitar
together is phasing between the vocal mic and the guitar mics. If you
haven't had that problem, it ain't the tracking that's broke that needs
fixing, it's the mixing. If you have had that problem, consider a
hypercardiod pattern for tracking vocals and putting a pair of mics up
pretty close to the neck and body of the guitar aimed so their greatest
null is pointing at your mouth.

The Okatva MC012's are cheap enough that you could get a pair
with hyper-cardiod caps and later get cardiod caps. You can even stick
a Lomo large diaphragm head on one for a very vintage sounding vocal
mic.

Will Miho
NY Music and TV/Audio Post Guy
"The large print giveth and the small print taketh away..." Tom Waits
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 6:57:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Interesting that the first album turned out so well. Maybe there's something
to be said for having the "band" rehearsed and done live versus the approach
taken on your 2nd project {taking the approach of recording solo,
> and then adding "only what is needed" to really support the tune, and
> add a little variety. a cello here, a dobro there, maybe drums/upright
> on a couple. really won't know what the tunes will need until i get
> done tracking.} It's hard to create a vibe without the other players
around you. Best of luck in any event.

Rick Hollett

<scottvon2004@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1126080897.474032.216330@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> howdy all -
>
> needin' a bit of a check, turning to the pro's here...
>
> my first album was done with a trio in a studio. band (drums, bass,
> guitar)recorded live, vocals scratch and then overdubbed. turned out
> very nice.
>
> now on to album two. using prootools rig at home tracking my parts,
> then ship off around the country to various other side men, then
> mixed/mastered professionally. taking the approach of recording solo,
> and then adding "only what is needed" to really support the tune, and
> add a little variety. a cello here, a dobro there, maybe drums/upright
> on a couple. really won't know what the tunes will need until i get
> done tracking.
>
> so i tracked my guitars thru a pair of borrowed geffell m300's. quite
> nice, great tone. then tracked vocals. really disliked the outcome of
> it all: too perfect, no life. i suffer from the age old needing to
> sing & play together after doing it every day for 15 years. the
> emotions of each play off the other.
>
> after reading up around here, sounds like i need to try: 1. MONO 2.
> Stereo X/Y - Trying both live with git/voice. should capture what i am
> after hopefully.
>
> so here are the questions:
>
> 1. will the stereo X/Y tracks of git/vox allow for mixing in of a few
> other instruments, even drums/upright bass?
>
> 2. how about mono - any advantages mono has over stereo x/y considering
> the album goals?
>
> 3. mics - i have no SD mic's - only one LD cardiod. not enough budget
> for 2 gefell M300's, so josephson c-42's likely. But for plug one mic
> in, find sweet spot quickly, hit record, the rode NT4 sounds
> interesting. (and would work well with the edirol r-1 deck i am eyeing
> for recording my shows) lastly, the idea of 2 GOOD LD figure 8's
> working in the null sounds cool, but it ain't in the budget for me, and
> sounds set-up heavy.
>
> bottom line, can i capture the live feel, and still leave enough room
> for some occasional other players in the mix?
>
> i enjoy the hell out of dabbling in recording, but need to get back to
> "it's the performance stupid..."
>
> all thoughts welcome, many thanks.
>
> scott
>
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 7:20:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

you are a prime candidate for using figure-8 mics. the singing
acoustic guitar player is the most classic example of when to use
figure-8 mics.

you should rent an AKG 414 TLII for your Voice, and an AKG 414 uls for
the guitar. these rent for cheap. check out dreamhire.com they will
ship and if you rent for 4 days, you get the remaining 3 free for that
week.

and then you should hope that the god known as Scott Dorsey chimes in
on why and how to set up the figure 8 mics. it's really not that hard,
but he would do a far better job of explaining it than i could.
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 10:44:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<scottvon2004@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1126080897.474032.216330@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

> so i tracked my guitars thru a pair of borrowed geffell m300's. quite
> nice, great tone. then tracked vocals. really disliked the outcome of
> it all: too perfect, no life. i suffer from the age old needing to
> sing & play together after doing it every day for 15 years. the
> emotions of each play off the other.
>
> after reading up around here, sounds like i need to try: 1. MONO 2.
> Stereo X/Y - Trying both live with git/voice. should capture what i am
> after hopefully.
>
> so here are the questions:
>
> 1. will the stereo X/Y tracks of git/vox allow for mixing in of a few
> other instruments, even drums/upright bass?

They should. The main drawback would be if the image of the guitar was
larger than the image of, say, the drums. That would sound kinda weird to my
ears.

> 2. how about mono - any advantages mono has over stereo x/y considering
> the album goals?

The caveat about image size would be it. Oh, and if you're miking the voice
in the X/Y pair, and you sway from side to side, that could become an issue.
One common setup is to put the X/Y pair on the guitar and use a separate
vocal mike.

> 3. mics - i have no SD mic's - only one LD cardiod. not enough budget
> for 2 gefell M300's, so josephson c-42's likely. But for plug one mic
> in, find sweet spot quickly, hit record, the rode NT4 sounds
> interesting. (and would work well with the edirol r-1 deck i am eyeing
> for recording my shows) lastly, the idea of 2 GOOD LD figure 8's
> working in the null sounds cool, but it ain't in the budget for me, and
> sounds set-up heavy.

And sensitive to body movements. For a single mike, the NT4 would probably
be a good choice.

> bottom line, can i capture the live feel, and still leave enough room
> for some occasional other players in the mix?

Yes.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 5:43:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Here's another slippery slope.....

You say that you get requests for a guitar/voice album, and that you're keen
on nailing a performance, so have you considered (dare I say it) getting
your live shows recorded for an album?
--
Phil Wilson
----
<scottvon2004@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1126123821.818562.3960@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> thanks mike, i was actually hoping you would chime in.
>
> i know i am on a slippery slope here, and the end result of six months
> of dabbling with protools may wind up a lesson in humility. i may well
> end up in studio afterall, but stubborn enough to try for a while
> longer as i have enjoyed it all, especially the learning.
>
> i have been skeptical about this approach from the beginning. but
> using players i know and have played with many times over the years
> brings a certain level of trust. flying them all in for a week of
> recording in a good studio is just outside the budget.
>
> honestly i have a damn small budget, and compromises will be made. i
> have free mastering at airshow in Boulder, CO that i won in a
> songwriting contest, but between mixing, artwork, and pressing i have a
> damn small budget. the higher up i go, the less i make off of each cd
> at shows, they less to feed the family. a fine line to walk here.
>
> i keep getting requests at shows to do a pure solo album, guitar &
> voice. so it seemed possible (and fun) to set out and try that. i just
> have a hard time not thinking "oh man, with a little upright here, a
> dobro there, it would be so much better."
>
> always a juggling act between budget, goals, family, and reality.
> seems next step is to try just solo guitar/voice live, see if i can
> nail the performances. it's living with the vulnerability of a 12 song
> bare bones acoustic album that is the challenge for me...
>
> thanks for the reality check. -scott
>
Anonymous
September 9, 2005 1:21:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>> i know i am on a slippery slope here, and the end result of six months
>> of dabbling with protools may wind up a lesson in humility. i may well
>> end up in studio afterall, but stubborn enough to try for a while
>> longer as i have enjoyed it all, especially the learning.
>>
>> i have been skeptical about this approach from the beginning. but
>> using players i know and have played with many times over the years
>> brings a certain level of trust. flying them all in for a week of
>> recording in a good studio is just outside the budget.
>>
>> honestly i have a damn small budget, and compromises will be made. i
>> have free mastering at airshow in Boulder, CO that i won in a
>> songwriting contest, but between mixing, artwork, and pressing i have a
>> damn small budget. the higher up i go, the less i make off of each cd
>> at shows, they less to feed the family. a fine line to walk here.
>>
>> i keep getting requests at shows to do a pure solo album, guitar &
>> voice. so it seemed possible (and fun) to set out and try that. i just
>> have a hard time not thinking "oh man, with a little upright here, a
>> dobro there, it would be so much better."
>>
>> always a juggling act between budget, goals, family, and reality.
>> seems next step is to try just solo guitar/voice live, see if i can
>> nail the performances. it's living with the vulnerability of a 12 song
>> bare bones acoustic album that is the challenge for me...
>>
>> thanks for the reality check. -scott


Do you also have
Your own self-barbering setup in the basement?
Your own complete tailoring shop?
A fully equipped garage with lift and grease lines?
!