Gtrs, Gtrs, Gtrs!! Recording, Mixing and Phase considerations!
AMIEL
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#1
15th June 2009
Old 15th June 2009
  #1
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Thread Starter
Wink Gtrs, Gtrs, Gtrs!! Recording, Mixing and Phase considerations!

Hi Butch, thanks for sharing your experience, knowledge and time with us!!.thumbsup

Any special consideration when you record Gtrs?

how do you handle the phase when you record a GTR track with more than one mic?

how do you handle the phase when you record different Gtr (Parts) with different sounds? i mean ...i guess you may move the mic to get the right sound for a different GTR track(Part) when you want a total\ different Gtr sound in the same song.
So basically the question is :
how do you work the phasing relationship between different tracks, and between different mics?

Any tools, considerations, techniques, for recording and mixing??

Do you tend to have a specific panning for the main rhythm Gtrs during mixing?

Any special number of doubles for the main rhythm Gtr?

I know is a rain of questions, but I really love your work and anyway is Rock'N'Roll ...so Gtrs!

THANKS!!
#2
15th June 2009
Old 15th June 2009
  #2
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The Butch Vig approach to guitars

Hi Butch, it's an honor to be in your presence. A lot of your work has been close to me and influenced my decision to do what I do so thanks.

On to my question! This isn't specific to any one song or record but more about your approach in general.

How do you approach guitars? Do you have certain go to mics/placements etc? Are there types of sounds or characteristics you always go for? Any rules you set for yourself regarding room acoustics etc?

I know this question is very broad but I've noticed a lot of people while obviously trying to do what's best for the song, still have their preferred ways and tools for doing things. Anything you can say about your approach would be awesome.

Thanks again!
#3
17th June 2009
Old 17th June 2009
  #3
Hi Butch!

Thanks for doing this!!

I like to know the following:

Do you have a favorite starting point for micing guitar (bass) speakers?

(single mic, which? multimicing? both same distance? side by side on one speaker? In which distance from the cabinet? which mic pointing where? which axis?)

Why I ask so specific is because I'm still so undecided about guitar (and bass) micing.. I very often see (big-) studio pics with that typical straight to the grill micing, and I recorded plenty of guitars in that fashion, too. I think I know the tones you can get close (and while they do it for me in a way, Im not 100 percent convinced).

Recently I experiment which futher away micing, lets say 1,5m from the cabinet, where the low end begins to "bloom" and the 4 (or 2..) speakers "come together" (sorry for the flowery explanation, I'm lacking terms here..) I'm liking it so far (with a little high shelf boost, of course), but in the mixes I sometimes get the impression this kind of sound is almost too "tall" (in contrast to a focused "smaller" close micing.)

To what conclusion did you both come in terms of cabinet miking? Where is your starting point and...
..what are you looking for?

and: Do you normally eq guitars while tracking?

I think you experimented and tried for decades longer than I, so I hope you don't mind I grab the opportunity to ask....

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Sincerely,

Jens Siefert
#4
18th June 2009
Old 18th June 2009
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMIEL View Post
Do you tend to have a specific panning for the main rhythm Gtrs during mixing?

Any special number of doubles for the main rhythm Gtr?


THANKS!!
Bump because I too am curious about this!
#5
18th June 2009
Old 18th June 2009
  #5
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ButchVig's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMIEL View Post
Hi Butch, thanks for sharing your experience, knowledge and time with us!!.thumbsup

Any special consideration when you record Gtrs?

how do you handle the phase when you record a GTR track with more than one mic?

how do you handle the phase when you record different Gtr (Parts) with different sounds? i mean ...i guess you may move the mic to get the right sound for a different GTR track(Part) when you want a total\ different Gtr sound in the same song.
So basically the question is :
how do you work the phasing relationship between different tracks, and between different mics?

Any tools, considerations, techniques, for recording and mixing??

Do you tend to have a specific panning for the main rhythm Gtrs during mixing?

Any special number of doubles for the main rhythm Gtr?

I know is a rain of questions, but I really love your work and anyway is Rock'N'Roll ...so Gtrs!

THANKS!!
Getting phase right can be VERY tricky...sometimes you have to move the mics around just fractions of inches to get it right. There's no hard fast rule, you just have to use your ears.

Sometimes i like to bi-amp between a clean sound and distorted sound...and that's also very tricky because no matter what splitter box you use, i think it still f**ks with the signal.

There are phase click boxes that will let you know if the signal is coming in with a positive phase...especially useful for drums...can't remember the name of it
#6
18th June 2009
Old 18th June 2009
  #6
#7
18th June 2009
Old 18th June 2009
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
Galaxy made (Make?) one..

Found it

Galaxy Cricket Polarity Test Set | Sweetwater.com
That's the one. One thing to be aware of is different amps and even different channels on the same amp can have a different polarity.

it's also important to distinguish between polarity and phase relationships between mics.
11413
#8
19th June 2009
Old 19th June 2009
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchVig View Post
There are phase click boxes that will let you know if the signal is coming in with a positive phase...especially useful for drums...can't remember the name of it
SCV PC80 mkII phase clickers
AMIEL
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#9
19th June 2009
Old 19th June 2009
  #9
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Thread Starter
exactly, so any variable phase boxes or tricks, besides of course the ear?

Thanks Butch and Billy!
#10
19th June 2009
Old 19th June 2009
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchVig View Post
Getting phase right can be VERY tricky...sometimes you have to move the mics around just fractions of inches to get it right. There's no hard fast rule, you just have to use your ears.

Sometimes i like to bi-amp between a clean sound and distorted sound...and that's also very tricky because no matter what splitter box you use, i think it still f**ks with the signal.

There are phase click boxes that will let you know if the signal is coming in with a positive phase...especially useful for drums...can't remember the name of it
Rolls Music also makes a fairly economical unit (or they did.)

I have one, but it is packed away in a road case in our warehouse, so I can't get the model number right now.
It is a two piece set consisting of a send unit and a receiver.
#11
19th June 2009
Old 19th June 2009
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMIEL View Post
exactly, so any variable phase boxes or tricks, besides of course the ear?

Thanks Butch and Billy!
not really.. i just check the polarity of every step of the signal chain, get the amp to sound cool in the room (which is by far the most difficult part and can be really painful sometimes as I can't really hear it with earplugs!), do BV's white noise check with headphones to find the sweet spot on the sweetest speaker, put the mic on it and then flip the phase and sweep the second mic around until it cancels out as much as possible. Then flip the phase back and it should sound massive!

one thing i forgot to mention is that you need to be aware where the capsule is on each mic - the CAPSULES need to be in the same plane so the sound hits them at the same time! even a 1/8" will make it sound super wonky.
AMIEL
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#12
20th June 2009
Old 20th June 2009
  #12
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Thread Starter
Thanks Billy! that was a cool Info!!
#13
20th June 2009
Old 20th June 2009
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Bush View Post
...do BV's white noise check with headphones to find the sweet spot on the sweetest speaker...
Sorry Billy & Butch, I missed this one. Care to explain (again)?
#14
20th June 2009
Old 20th June 2009
  #14
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White Noise test

Speaking of the white noise test, an engineer bud of mine showed me a similar thing, thumb on Tip of input cable, then listen in. I was curious to know whether you guys have AB'd the white noise vs. thumb on tip and chose the white noise as a more accurate method with regards to finding the sweet spot.

Thanks!
#15
20th June 2009
Old 20th June 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Bush View Post
one thing i forgot to mention is that you need to be aware where the capsule is on each mic - the CAPSULES need to be in the same plane so the sound hits them at the same time! even a 1/8" will make it sound super wonky.
sometimes I like to have one mic really close and another about 2 feet away. Do you prefer to avoid this kind of setup? how do you deal with it? How about lining up phase in the daw afterwards?
#16
20th June 2009
Old 20th June 2009
  #16
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Bush View Post
not really.. i just check the polarity of every step of the signal chain, get the amp to sound cool in the room (which is by far the most difficult part and can be really painful sometimes as I can't really hear it with earplugs!), do BV's white noise check with headphones to find the sweet spot on the sweetest speaker, put the mic on it and then flip the phase and sweep the second mic around until it cancels out as much as possible. Then flip the phase back and it should sound massive!

one thing i forgot to mention is that you need to be aware where the capsule is on each mic - the CAPSULES need to be in the same plane so the sound hits them at the same time! even a 1/8" will make it sound super wonky.
I'm glad you posted that response Billy, I've read some engineers take that approach so it's nice to hear you do too and get such great results!!

Thanks
#17
20th June 2009
Old 20th June 2009
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Do you ever record both mics into your daw and phase align there? Ive been using a 57 and 121 and to me the 57 sounds good right on the cone and the 121 about 6 inches back but its always out of phase this way. What am I missing here?
#18
21st June 2009
Old 21st June 2009
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAstudio View Post
Sorry Billy & Butch, I missed this one. Care to explain (again)?
Usually what I'll do is crank the amp or stomp box up so there is a lot of hiss coming out of the cabinet.. touching the tip of the guitar cable works too.. anything that has a full range of noise.. i'll then strap some headphones on and sweep the first mic around the speaker until it sounds as full range as possible.

try it.. you really hear how different a 1/8" can make to the sound coming out of the speaker.
#19
21st June 2009
Old 21st June 2009
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevedresser83 View Post
Do you ever record both mics into your daw and phase align there? Ive been using a 57 and 121 and to me the 57 sounds good right on the cone and the 121 about 6 inches back but its always out of phase this way. What am I missing here?
not really.. i like to make sure i know exactly how it's going to sound before i record it.. If i'm using two or more mics, it's the blend of them that i'm looking for and sometimes it means that individually they may sound bizarre but together give the sound i'm looking for.

and on top of that, as soon as i start moving ANYTHING around in the computer to try and align the phase, it always starts sounding super weird no matter what i do!
#20
21st June 2009
Old 21st June 2009
  #20
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Great stuff!
#21
21st June 2009
Old 21st June 2009
  #21
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The speed of sound is 343 meters per second or 343,000 millimeters (mm)/s

if you're recording at 96 khz that equates to 3.57291mm per sample.

So even if you slip a track at 96khz by 1 sample you are mimicking a 3.5mm movement of the mic.

Hey that's 1/8th of an inch.
#22
22nd June 2009
Old 22nd June 2009
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurubuzz View Post
The speed of sound is 343 meters per second or 343,000 millimeters (mm)/s

if you're recording at 96 khz that equates to 3.57291mm per sample.

So even if you slip a track at 96khz by 1 sample you are mimicking a 3.5mm movement of the mic.

Hey that's 1/8th of an inch.
Now that's what I call a gearhead!
#23
22nd June 2009
Old 22nd June 2009
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurubuzz View Post
The speed of sound is 343 meters per second or 343,000 millimeters (mm)/s

if you're recording at 96 khz that equates to 3.57291mm per sample.

So even if you slip a track at 96khz by 1 sample you are mimicking a 3.5mm movement of the mic.

Hey that's 1/8th of an inch.
is that 180 degrees out or phase at 40K or 80K??
#24
22nd June 2009
Old 22nd June 2009
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurubuzz View Post
The speed of sound is 343 meters per second or 343,000 millimeters (mm)/s

if you're recording at 96 khz that equates to 3.57291mm per sample.

So even if you slip a track at 96khz by 1 sample you are mimicking a 3.5mm movement of the mic.

Hey that's 1/8th of an inch.
yea wow, that explains a lot really.
#25
22nd June 2009
Old 22nd June 2009
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Bush View Post
do BV's white noise check with headphones to find the sweet spot on the sweetest speaker, put the mic on it and then flip the phase and sweep the second mic around until it cancels out as much as possible. Then flip the phase back and it should sound massive!

Nuggets of fine gold here....
I've done similar in other contexts, but deliberately trying to cancel out, then restoring phase... brilliant!
Will use this next session....
#26
23rd June 2009
Old 23rd June 2009
  #26
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I've been using this same technique but with the pink noise generator in Pro Tools with excellent results. Obviously white noise works as well because your albums sound phenomenal! Thanks for taking the time to share with us guys, this is really cool.
#27
23rd June 2009
Old 23rd June 2009
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurubuzz View Post
The speed of sound is 343 meters per second or 343,000 millimeters (mm)/s

if you're recording at 96 khz that equates to 3.57291mm per sample.

So even if you slip a track at 96khz by 1 sample you are mimicking a 3.5mm movement of the mic.

Hey that's 1/8th of an inch.
wow. and i thought i was just losing my mind!
84K
#28
23rd June 2009
Old 23rd June 2009
  #28
84K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurubuzz View Post
The speed of sound is 343 meters per second or 343,000 millimeters (mm)/s

if you're recording at 96 khz that equates to 3.57291mm per sample.

So even if you slip a track at 96khz by 1 sample you are mimicking a 3.5mm movement of the mic.

Hey that's 1/8th of an inch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchVig View Post
Now that's what I call a gearhead!

Either that or the missing mathematician for the space program.

Well done Gurubuzz
#29
23rd June 2009
Old 23rd June 2009
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurubuzz View Post
The speed of sound is 343 meters per second or 343,000 millimeters (mm)/s

if you're recording at 96 khz that equates to 3.57291mm per sample.

So even if you slip a track at 96khz by 1 sample you are mimicking a 3.5mm movement of the mic.

Hey that's 1/8th of an inch.
Thank you.
#30
23rd June 2009
Old 23rd June 2009
  #30
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Yeah, but moving the mic changes the relationship between the direct sound and it's reflections, where as moving it after tracking by delaying the recorded track maintains that mic's relationship between direct and reflected sound, which will be different from the other mic's relationship, despite the fact the two direct sounds are aligned!

I'm not making much sense am I?

What circumstance would you really want to put the mic in a different part of the room? If you've found a good hot spot for the 1st mic, wouldn't you want to place the 2nd mic there to capture a different part of the sound?
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