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  #1  
Old 07-22-2008, 03:55 AM
Matt Darcy Matt Darcy is offline
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Default Micing up amps and vocal records sound "fine" but distant. Advice please

when ever I mic up a guitar amp, or an acoustic guitar, or even record vocals, they sound a little quiet, so I use the gain on the Rack 003 to compensate. The recording is fine in terms of clarity, however always sounds "distant".( I can post some examples if required).

I've tried a reasonable range of mic's and personally feel its down to too much open space behind the microphone making the sound dispurse.

I havce tried sealing in an amp with mats/rugs/foam and this made pretty much no different to the recorded sound.

Am I missing something obvious,

I'd love to know some of the common mistakes made recording vocals/guitar amps/acoustic guitars, so I can tick them off to make sure I'm not making them, I'd also appriciate any advice you could offer to someone about making a recording of the said instruments but a bit more in the foreground, rather than a clear recording but sounds like it's 2 feet away from the mic.
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  #2  
Old 07-22-2008, 08:15 AM
Matt Whritenour Matt Whritenour is offline
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what mics have you tried? Are they Omni? that would pick up the whole room.
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  #3  
Old 07-22-2008, 09:35 AM
Matt Darcy Matt Darcy is offline
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the two main mics I'm using are a Rode NT1-A and a Sure Beta 57A,

I have tried a few others, but those are the two which give me the best results to date, so I've stuck with them
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:51 PM
Irl Sanders Irl Sanders is offline
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If you are right up on a singer or guitar cabinet, it should not sound soft or ambient if there is not some technical problem.

Most vocals and guitars you hear on commercial albums are compressed to hell, producing that in-your-face sound. Try adding some to your tracks.

If you said U87 I would say turn the mic around, but with these stick style mics you are probably not performing into their backsides.

You don't have your monitors turned up to the point that they could bleed back into the mic, do you?

The Rode will need phantom power. Is in turned on on the 003?

Try a different input channel/mic pre on the 003.

Tried different mic cables? Maybe yours has the pins swapped.

Try a Reflexion filter? http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Reflexion/

What is the recording environment? Typical 10x10 bedroom? Tiled bathroom? Your baffle attempts should have cleared this up, though...
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Old 07-23-2008, 03:06 PM
Matt Whritenour Matt Whritenour is offline
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yeah it definitely shouldn't sound distant, maybe you can post a clip for us to hear it?
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Old 07-23-2008, 03:38 PM
sunburst79 sunburst79 is offline
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I'm leaning towards some compression if you like they overall tone and just want to bring it up in the mix. Steven Massey's Tapehead and CT4 are good and you can demo them for free.

Tapehead especially is good for giving things a bump in the mix.

Also make sure you not having some type of phase issue canceling things out

Position in track the stereo mix and try some compression. Big Greasy Sounding Guitars tend to have tons of Big Greasy compression. The old adage of it it sounds right it is right applies here.

Don't be afraid to experiment
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Old 07-23-2008, 04:07 PM
Matt Whritenour Matt Whritenour is offline
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I don't think adding compression is going to help, he should be able to get a pretty in your face sound without compression at all
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:17 PM
Carl Kolchak Carl Kolchak is offline
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Using compression is more likely going to exacerbate the problem by bringing the loud vocals closer in terms of "volume" to the quiet reflections.

Work on treating the recording environment with packing blankets etc if that's all you can get your hands on i.e. the floor below the subject and wall directly behind are going to cause reflections that are going straight in to the most sensitive part of the mic, being in front of it.

Even though the opposite wall (and any low ceilings, especially with drums) are at the least sensitive part of the cardioid pick-up pattern, they can still produce a strong enough reflection to cause problems (if you're recording in an empty office building you're screwed) and compression is not going to fix that.

Hope I'm not stating the obvious here.

Cheers!
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Old 07-24-2008, 02:33 AM
Matt Darcy Matt Darcy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Whritenour View Post
yeah it definitely shouldn't sound distant, maybe you can post a clip for us to hear it?
Sure, no problem. Here is a track without any vocals at the moment, the guitar sound on it is fine (only the electric and acoustic guitars are mic'd so those are the tracks to listen for.) http://alesi.projecthugo.co.uk/spirit3/demo1.mp3

They sound fine but just distant. I'd certailny appriciate feedback on if that is the way I'm recording it, or just my ear, or my setup is wrong.

I'll get one of the vocal tracks tonight when I get home to demo that too as it's much more obvious in the vocal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Kolchak View Post
Using compression is more likely going to exacerbate the problem by bringing the loud vocals closer in terms of "volume" to the quiet reflections.

Work on treating the recording environment with packing blankets etc if that's all you can get your hands on i.e. the floor below the subject and wall directly behind are going to cause reflections that are going straight in to the most sensitive part of the mic, being in front of it.

Even though the opposite wall (and any low ceilings, especially with drums) are at the least sensitive part of the cardioid pick-up pattern, they can still produce a strong enough reflection to cause problems (if you're recording in an empty office building you're screwed) and compression is not going to fix that.

Hope I'm not stating the obvious here.

Cheers!
These are all very valid points, and I should have pointed out earlier, this is not a studio - this is a home recording setup in a spare room, so treatment can be quite limited. I've invested in some wood pannels and different acoustic foam and attempted to postition "temporary" foam around the room in key positions based on techniques I've read, and to counter the vocal problem I've mentioned I'm attempting to build a small fold away vocal booth, and the Reflexion filter mentioned above looks very promising.

Some excellent advice here, have a listen to the track I've posted and the vocal track I'll grab later and any insite into the situation would be appriciated, is that a limitation of my room? am I recording it wrong ? is my technique/approach wrong ? I am being to fussy and thats "fine"

thanks guys, some excellent comments
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  #10  
Old 07-24-2008, 06:27 AM
Matt Darcy Matt Darcy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irl Sanders View Post
If you are right up on a singer or guitar cabinet, it should not sound soft or ambient if there is not some technical problem.

Most vocals and guitars you hear on commercial albums are compressed to hell, producing that in-your-face sound. Try adding some to your tracks.

If you said U87 I would say turn the mic around, but with these stick style mics you are probably not performing into their backsides.

You don't have your monitors turned up to the point that they could bleed back into the mic, do you?

The Rode will need phantom power. Is in turned on on the 003?

Try a different input channel/mic pre on the 003.

Tried different mic cables? Maybe yours has the pins swapped.

Try a Reflexion filter? http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Reflexion/

What is the recording environment? Typical 10x10 bedroom? Tiled bathroom? Your baffle attempts should have cleared this up, though...
I should mention a response to the following questions.

1.) Phantom power is turned on
2.) different inputs/cables make no difference.
3.) it's a spare room I've tried to pad it out as best as possible according to the books I've read - but there are limitations.
4.) The Rhodes mic
http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/page/s...roduct_id/2998 appears to have no obvious front or back - this is a concern in reference to your comment as I "could" be singing into the back of it.


the refection filter is an excellent suggestion.
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