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Mic for live recording (voice/guitar)
 Moderated by: Troy33, RainyDayMan, HankTheTank
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 Posted: Fri Mar 12th, 2021 07:36 am
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T.O
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Hey,

These times, I am trying to make some live recording of cover I like. So, for that I am recording my voice and my guitar at the same time. I thought about doing it with 2 mic : I have a sennheiser e835 for the voice and my AKG P220 for the guitar. The issue is that while the sennheiser is doing great capting only my voice, the AKG gets a lot of the voice sounds (actually it's more like 50/50 guitar/voice on that mic...).

Do you know what I could do about it ? Maybe changing the guitar mic ? But for what mic ? I thought about changing my guitar for an electro-acoustic one, but it's not free, so maybe I can get the same thing by just buying the same kind of mic they put on those guitar ? Maybe you have some good references...

Second option is what I do right know, recording with only one stereo mic (the Zoom H2n). I think the sound is not bad but it's more sensitive to the background noises and having only one track makes it hard to mix.

Here's an example with a quick cover I made with the H2n :
https://soundcloud.com/theoplvr/some-die-young-laleh-acoustic-cover

Would be nice if you could tell me what you think about it. Does it sound good enough ? (more about the sound quality than the performance ;) ) Will I get something much better by changing for 2 separate mic ?

Good day, and thanks for the advices !



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 Posted: Fri Mar 12th, 2021 11:10 am
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Motorist Sketchbook
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Not really any way to prevent audio track bleed when you use two mics in the same room at the same time. The recording actually sounds pretty good, but the guitar is pretty soft. (not too bad though)

You could add a track of just guitar to double it. That would probably sound really good. Another thing that might help you is to record in a room with sound deadening. Some fabric panels or foam material or egg cartons. - lol

Then you can add reverb. Although that may be what you have already done. It sounded like ambient reverb to me, though.

You could also try doubling the guitar track in the mix. Just duplicate the guitar track and adjust the level until it works. Even add effects. And hard pan one to the right and one to the left. Then everything won't be on top of each other. That will give you better separation.

- Sketch



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 Posted: Sat Mar 13th, 2021 08:45 am
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Thanks for the tips.
Actually, I'm trying to do it in "live" conditions. In this case, I can't double the guitar cause It will also automatically double the voice in the guitar track...

Indeed I added some reverb in this case. It's not just my room ;)

I read that the AKG P220, as every static microphone is pretty sensitive. What if I go for a Shure SM57 that seems more adapted for recording the guitar ? Will it capture less sound coming from the voice ?



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 Posted: Sat Mar 13th, 2021 10:51 am
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After I sent my post above I was thinking about mic coverage, in terms of omnidirectional or unidirectional. That could make a difference. Although you are probably set up that way already.

Recording engineers prefer to prevent any bleed, but it really isn't the end of the world. There will be less guitar in the vocal mic and less vocal in the guitar mic. And that is the nature of live recording.

And frankly, I take a different view between live performance and a recording track. In my mind, they are really two different mediums of expression. None of my recordings are live. I layer and mix a dozen tracks on top of one another to get the desired result. But that's how I do it. Not everyone wants to do it that way.

If I was recording your songs, I would add a percussion track (first) and bass (last) and electric guitars to build dynamics and interest.

I would also record all the accompaniment before I recorded the vocals. And work on one instrument at a time. That gives you the most control when editing and mixing.

- Sketch

PS --- This is the only song I have ever used an acoustic guitar on.
https://soundcloud.com/user-426611522/i-still-love-my-first-wife-remix



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 Posted: Sat Mar 13th, 2021 01:57 pm
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As you said, it's two very different type of exercices. When I record my "studio" song, I indeed add more instruments and record them separately to have the best sound possible.

Here it's more about being able to play a whole song in one shot, singing and playing the guitar at the same time. I don't expect it to be as good as a studio version.

I would say that the problem with my microphone is more about the distance from where it capture sounds than the directional feature of it.

The thing is that my AKG take more sound from my voice than from the guitar which is closer...



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 Posted: Sat Mar 13th, 2021 09:35 pm
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T.O.

One of the tricks I use to "isolate" the guitar mic from the vocal is to put the guitar mic as close as you can to where you want it on the guitar and point the mic downward towards that area. By doing that you are shifting the mics pickup pattern away from your other singing mic and it will hopefully "hear" less of your voice and more of the instrument. It's very much a trial and error approach but you should be able to overcome some of your bleed issues when you find the right position.

Yes a sM57 is an excellent for mic'ing guitars, both acoustics and amplifiers but the same position guidelines will still apply. A 57 has a tighter pickup pattern than a 58 does which will also help. I use an SM58 for mic'ing my acoustics and so far have had very good luck by getting the positioning correct.

Last edited on Sat Mar 13th, 2021 09:38 pm by moptop



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 Posted: Sun Mar 14th, 2021 09:30 pm
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moptop,

Ok! thanks for the tips ! I will try the SM57. It will be easier to point it to the guitar than with my AKG which is pretty large...



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 Posted: Wed Mar 17th, 2021 11:46 pm
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If your acoustic guitar also has a pickup, then capturing that feed as well, and mixing it in can help, and you can potentially fit a pickup to the guitar inside the sound hole for that purpose if you want to.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 18th, 2021 08:51 am
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Well I tried the SM57 but i'm not convinced about it. It seems like it's a mic made for pretty loud sounds. To capture my acoustic guitar, I need to add a lot of gain (even more if i'm not strumming). I think i'm gonna return it and try a condenser microphone which should be a little more sensitive.

RainyDayMan : My guitar has no pickup, but I read that it could be a solution. Otherwise, buying one seems to be pretty expensive, all advices I had on that started at around 200€ for a proper one...

I keep investigating !



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