Old 07-11-2013, 09:07 AM   #1
LCipher
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Default 10 Microphone Placement Techniques for Acoustic Guitar

Nice writeup here, interesting info:

10 Microphone Placement Techniques for Acoustic Guitar
http://www.cakewalk.com/Support/kb/r...spx/2007013311
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:00 PM   #2
Fran Guidry
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This link showed up on the Acoustic Guitar Forum and I responded there, pardon me for just copying that reply with a few tweaks:

Ummmmm, I was struck by the inaccuracies more than the usefulness of the info.

1. Blumlein: "Most microphones have a setting that looks like a figure “8” and can be switched easily into this mode." Really? Most of my microphones do not have this feature, it's only found on switchable multi-pattern mics, almost all of which are dual diaphragm LD condensers.

2. One LD Condenser: in my experience there's no audible difference between LD and SD mics as a class. And "Cardioid focus the microphone to only retain signals from mostly in front of the microphone." Well, no, that's what some folks seem to think but it's far from the actual situation. The cardioid pattern is typically only about 3 dB down at 90 degrees and the rear null offers a further reduction in sensitivity but it certainly still picks up sound.

3. Spaced pair: Is it not possible to use LD mics in a spaced pair? Is it true that SD mics "retain fewer lower frequencies that the large diaphragm microphones." Well actually there are LD mics that roll off lows more than some SD mics and vice versa. The most significant difference as a class is that _dual diaphragm_ LD mics tend toward omni pattern in their low frequencies.

4. Mid-Side: At some point there should be an indication that there are bidirectional mics other than switchable dual diaphragm LDs, I'm still waiting. And rather than duping and flipping tracks, how about using a VST plugin to decode the MS signal? And "the resulting effect is a somewhat roomy and spacious sound." - well actually the degree of space is a function of the pattern of the mid mic and the relative levels of the mid and side signals. With a hypercardioid mid and properly adjusted levels the result is mathematically identical to cardioid XY.

5. One SD close: "If you review example two of this article you can hear how severely different the tone, body, and clarity of a LDC vs the SDC mono signals." This severely different tone is _not_ due to the difference between LD and SD mics as a class. This is exactly the kind of erroneous information that complicates the learning process for those of us trying to learn about recording from the internet. In order to compare mics usefully they must be matched in level, placed at the same position, and given the same source. When I've compared mics (and presented those comparisons to others) with those conditions the differences are remarkably small.

6. Vertical spaced pair: I've never tried this configuration, but "Depending on strum direction you can almost feel the attack of the guitar pick on the high and low strings moving from left to right and right to left." does not sound like something I'd want on my recordings. YMMV.

7. XY - the accompanying pictures shows a misunderstanding of the XY configuration. The point of XY and other coincident arrays is to minimize the arrival time difference at the two mic diaphragms. They should be stacked vertically and aligned as closely as possible, not separated horizontally by an inch or so. "Phasing Issues? Stereo bar to the rescue!" Is it really true that mounting the mics on a stereo bar as opposed to positioning them in the correct location with two separate boom stands will make an audible difference????

8. Room - I'm OK with this one. Of course, a room that sounds good is needed, and few home recordists have one.

9. Dual dynamic: The illustration shows two dynamics a couple of inches apart pointed at the soundhole. Why dynamics rather than condensers? What is the real difference between dynamics and condensers as a class? (Answer: sensitivity and top octave - 10khz to 20khz - frequency response). And do we really want to generate phase anomalies and the resulting unstable image in our recordings?

10. Single dynamic: Why dynamic?

I'm amazed that Cakewalk would publish this material. I guess the fad for "10 amazing facts you never knew" made them do it. It certainly makes me glad I never bought any Cakewalk products, though.

Fran
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:10 PM   #3
karbomusic
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I'm with you mostly but I'll add...

This is my favorite stereo acoustic position YMMV but it has consistently held its own in my studio with multiple artists (ignore the equipment, its the position):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...5gfOaCw#t=145s

As far as Mid-Side being mathematically identical, the only issue I have with that is MS sounds completely different especially when panning and acts differently based on distance from source in comparison. Again personal biased opinion.

My last nitpic is "why dynamic". Because, it might be just the thing so don't be afraid to try it.
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post

This is my favorite stereo acoustic position YMMV

I have had good results using this method also, although, in my room the mics will be closer to the guitar than in this video.


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Old 07-11-2013, 04:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolffman View Post
I have had good results using this method also, although, in my room the mics will be closer to the guitar than in this video.


Cheers
Mine are a tad closer too but not much but it's a fairly tight room so it doesn't hurt the sound. What I have found is that it does very well as wide stereo where you might have a vocal in the middle. Works well in mono and panned hard to one side where the other side contains just enough to sound real for lack of a better term (the lesser side provides the sense of space so to speak). The placement appears per my experience to be very phase cooperative. Point being, you don't have to commit to a wide stereo result when using this but its there if needed and you can narrow it very nicely with stereo pan enabled in Reaper via width control.
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Last edited by karbomusic; 07-11-2013 at 04:53 PM.
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