Originally Posted by Benoit ALBERT
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)
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.