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setup for classical guitar duet on stage
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Benoit ALBERT
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#1
2nd March 2013
Old 2nd March 2013
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setup for classical guitar duet on stage

Hi,

We are a classical trained guitar duet, we play "avant garde" silent movie music, contemporary and popular background music. We are playing more and more in a lot of different places in EU and USA. We are searching for a very portable system which can offer the best sound. This system can be use independently for solo performances or as a duet.

On my side, so far I have a USB PRE 2 for monitoring, a line Audio mic CM3/or DPA 4061 and I'm buying a Radial Cube with a Safe Sound Audio P501 and Alta Moda AM 25. Everything has to be very small and portable (easy to travel with in airplane etc...).

- First what do you think of this setup?

- Second, I'm looking for a very good half rack or 500 series reverb? (in the studio I have a Quantec Yardstick 2402/F, just to have an idea of the kind of reverb we like)

Thanks.

Benoit.
Benoit ALBERT
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6th March 2013
Old 6th March 2013
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No idea?

Please....
#3
6th March 2013
Old 6th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benoit ALBERT View Post
Hi,

We are a classical trained guitar duet, we play "avant garde" silent movie music, contemporary and popular background music. We are playing more and more in a lot of different places in EU and USA. We are searching for a very portable system which can offer the best sound. This system can be use independently for solo performances or as a duet.

On my side, so far I have a USB PRE 2 for monitoring, a line Audio mic CM3/or DPA 4061 and I'm buying a Radial Cube with a Safe Sound Audio P501 and Alta Moda AM 25. Everything has to be very small and portable (easy to travel with in airplane etc...).

- First what do you think of this setup?

- Second, I'm looking for a very good half rack or 500 series reverb? (in the studio I have a Quantec Yardstick 2402/F, just to have an idea of the kind of reverb we like)

Thanks.

Benoit.
For a small, live performance/recording front-end you should do very well with the P-501 channel strip and AM25 4-band EQ using your USB Pre2 for recording. I routinely use a USB Pre2 for on-location 2-channel classical recording and love its clean conversion and sound.

For a small, portable system it would be hard to significantly improve upon your choice of 500 Series modules and the SD USB Pre2 for recording. IMHO, The weakest link in your system is the mic choice. Although the CM3 is a fantastic bargain and the 4061 is a nice sounding mic, both can be improved upon. Both have fairly high noise floors, and there are small mics that sound substantially "cleaner" (have lower distortion) than the CM3.

Picking a mic for an acoustic guitar is a very personal choice, but if you can you might want to try a Sennheiser MKH 8040. It's more accurate than a CM3 and has a narrower pick-up pattern and lower noise. If you're happy with the very wide cardioid pattern of the CM3, another alternative (if it's within your budget) is a Schoeps CMC6 MK21. It has a polar pattern that is similar to the CM3, but is more uniform at high frequencies, and is more detailed.

Finding a small, high quality reverb (half-rack or 500 Series) is a challenge. I'm really not completely up to date on the very latest units, but am not aware of any. There are several 1U full 19 inch units (Lexicon, etc.) that are at least as nice sounding as the Quantec, but they are all 19 inches wide.

Have you considered running a small laptop in your live signal chain? It would give you access to a whole world of reverb plug-ins, some of which are actually quite good. "Space Designer", the convolution reverb that is included with Apple Logic Pro or Logic Studio is superb for classical recording and accurately models the sound of great concert halls.

Good luck with your touring. Clearly, you're concerned with providing a very high quality signal chain that will match your high quality Les Frères Méduses performances.
Benoit ALBERT
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#4
6th March 2013
Old 6th March 2013
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Lotus 7, thanks a lot for your very clear answer.

You're right about the mics but I love the CM3 on stage, I really hear my instrument, don't know why.... The DPA 4061 is for very special concerts where we need to move, when there is a "scenography". I've heard a lot of great things about the Sennheiser MKH 8040, I definitely need to give a try.

In the small reverb side, I've heard good things about the Lexicon LXP-1 which is discontinued but really cheap used on ebay. I don't think it's really good but I need to try.

There is a 500 series Spring reverb from Radial but I have the feeling that is absolutely not ideal for the classical nylon guitar...
Radial Tank Driver™ -

I don't know if you have any experience with those two units.

Benoît.
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6th March 2013
Old 6th March 2013
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I didn't even want to acknowledge the existence of the Radial "tank driver" since coming from the classical world, spring reverbs are not something one would ever consider for most performances or recordings. Also it is not self-contained and does need to be connected to an external spring reverb box. I'll leave it at that because I don't want to offend anyone.

No experience with the Lexicon LXP-1, but I do actually own a MPX-1 dual processor that used to be my favorite clean reverb (some of the medium hall presets are excellent for string quartets and piano trios), but I haven't used it in years since switching to doing all post processing "in the box". My only criticism of the Lexicon reverbs, is while they generally produce excellent effects, and are infinitely adjustable, their user interface has too many layers and can be hard to navigate (at least in the MPX-1). That's probably just me!

It's great that the CM3 works for you, and I do like the CM3. Mic choice is always personal, and that you're happy with it is really all that matters. But still, if you ever get a chance to audition a MKH 8040, give it a try. I recently produced a recording of a commissioned new work for string quartet using an ORTF pair of 8040s and a spaced pair of 8020 outriggers, and the quartet members said it was the first recording they have done that captured the detail (of timbre) they hear in their own instruments.
Benoit ALBERT
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6th March 2013
Old 6th March 2013
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Ok let's forget the Radial spring reverb...

For me, the main interest with the lexicon LPX1 is the half rack format.

Any users of that LPX1 in the classical field? (mainly for concert). The main problem with classical guitar is that we need to be amplified very often, and it has to be done very well, it's a tricky instrument...

I have to see if I can use my Mac Book Air on stage to add reverb. Don't know if it's a good idea, i don't rely very much on computer for that specific use.

What is the String Quartet recording you are talking about? is there some sample I can listen to?

Benoît.
#7
6th March 2013
Old 6th March 2013
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Benoit, Check your PM inbox for a private message.
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