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Recording Studio Discussion on everything recording based, such as mixing, mastering, mics, monitors and other gear.

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Old 04-20-2012, 07:24 AM   #1
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What mic/preamp are you using for acoustic/classical?

Hey all

Just finished building a studio at home (which I must post some pics of). Main 2 drivers of the project, besides me having a dedicated space for it, were to have somewhere to practice/record drums with everything set up and mic'd permanently....and to have a great sounding space to record acoustic and classical guitar. Regarding the latter my main recording kit over the last few years has been Red5 RV10 and Neumann TLM103 condensers into a TL Audio C1 comp/pre.

Now that I have the right space I'm thinking of investing in the acoustic/classical recording chain. Always had great results with TLM103 and C1, but I'd like to upgrade that 'great' to 'wow' if at all possible. Got a healthy budget, such that I've been reading a lot about the Brauner VM1/VMX recently - but, I'm thinking I'll make my way to 'wow' for a bit less potentially. I'm wondering what you guys here are using and, if possible, whether you had any clips you can share.

I'm looking for something fairly transparent, with great detail. I've put a fair bit of effort in finding the right acoustic and classical (to the point where I've only ever owned 1 of each, but 50something electrics) and I want to hear them as they are. If any warmth or brightness needs adding, quite happy for that to be via outboard EQ.

Thoughts and suggestions welcome - hoping to build up a list of kit to try, then try get hold of them one at a time for trial.

Thanks, Q.

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Old 04-21-2012, 01:20 AM   #2
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I've had great results with lots of different setups for Classical recordings, just depending on the instrument.

For microphones:

My current favourite for small ensembles is to use a Decca Tree with two Neumann KM 184s in X/Y in the centre for the mid mic and two KM183s for the AB pair.

I also like Mid Side setups with an AKG C414XLS for the mid and a KM184 for the mid or a second C414XLS depending on how much room I have/how good the stands are.

For Piano Recordings for classical that's a different story, It all depends on the piano, but usually that's a completely different ball game.

Another really cool setup for small ensembles is a Blumlein pair (using either two C414s or two Neumann U87s)

For solo Classical guitar the Decca Tree could be really nice, but if you want to go with just 1 microphone I'd be looking at a Neumann U87 if you want something with a bit of extra high end clarity. If you want a far more even microphone I'd be looking at the C414s or some of the high end Audio Technica's like the 4050 or 4070.

You could also do a matched pair of small diaphragms like some Neumann KM184s for close micing or 183s for room micing.

In terms of preamps, once again, it all depends on the sound you want. If you want a really clear and uncoloured sound, Focusrite ISApre's are pretty good at that, and the Focusrite Liquid Pre is also pretty sick - they add a little noise but are really transparent. The SSL preamps and great River preamps have a nice sound to them without too much colour. If you want a warm but still clear preamp, Universal Audio, API, Neve (those three are my favourites) or Chandler preamps are all stunning. If you want something a bit warmer than that, you're looking at Tube Pre's, and that's a different discussion entirely, but the best ones I've worked with are the Presonus ADL600... but I don't have much experience with them. The really nice Tube ones tend to be VERY expensive!

My band - Ex Curia - Prog in an Opeth meets Karnivool meets Porcupine Tree meets Tool kind of way
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:54 PM   #3
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I used to own a good flamenco guitar but sold it to my uncle, who´s a professional musician. It was a pretty good guitar i picket up at a local market where people sell old stuff. I got it for 150 bucks but the worth of it was over 1500...... I bought one of these for it, STEWMAC.COM : Fishman Ellipse Matrix Blend
Not the same model but i couldn't find the exact thing, I found those very natural sounding and giving a great tone. almost no difference from the acoustic sound.

He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands, head and his heart is an artist.

Francis of Assisi
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