toughest instrument to record well?
PlugHead
Thread Starter
#1
25th June 2007
Old 25th June 2007
  #1
Lives for gear
 
PlugHead's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
toughest instrument to record well?

Thought I'd throw this one out there: I primarily record acoustic instruments/ensembles, and I have a few instruments that continually disappoint me when recording...

Piano. I am never floored with the piano sounds I come up with. In almost ANY situation. This is the instrument I find the most challenging, and least rewarding come mix time.

Anyone else have a certain instrument that they feel falls 'short' of their expectations re: the recorded sound?

BTW: feel free to advise re: getting a good piano recording, but this thread is about bitch instruments to record...
#2
26th June 2007
Old 26th June 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
octatonic's Avatar
 

Skin flute.
#3
26th June 2007
Old 26th June 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

I find that many stand up basses are difficullt to get a focused sound on. That said, I have had good results with really fine instruments but an average or lower quality bass gives me fits.
#4
12th July 2007
Old 12th July 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 
boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton View Post
I find that many stand up basses are difficullt to get a focused sound on. That said, I have had good results with really fine instruments but an average or lower quality bass gives me fits.
I am curious if the non-directionality of low notes might be the problem.
#5
12th July 2007
Old 12th July 2007
  #5
Gear nut
 
Sandersonic's Avatar
 

Acoustic Bass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton View Post
I find that many stand up basses are difficullt to get a focused sound on. That said, I have had good results with really fine instruments but an average or lower quality bass gives me fits.
I agree. In my experience I've definitely found that the quality of the bass is a huge factor in the quality of the sound. That's of course assuming that the room and the mic choice & placement are suitable. And that the player knows what he's doing.
#6
12th July 2007
Old 12th July 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 
AlexLakis's Avatar
 

TIMBALES!!!!
#7
12th July 2007
Old 12th July 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 
emkay's Avatar
 

In a song, not an instrumental- --the human voice.......
everything else is there as support
#8
13th July 2007
Old 13th July 2007
  #8
Gear nut
 

Upright bass in a small studio.
#9
13th July 2007
Old 13th July 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 
flail19's Avatar
 

I had a lot of trouble recording a baritone sax not long ago. I never did like the way it turned out but the tune sounded great.




I wonder how much of a nightmare it would be to record one of those huge pipe organs, you know like in a church?
#10
13th July 2007
Old 13th July 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
1. Handclaps
2. Steel Drum
3. Sitar

Kalimba used to be #1 until I figured it out.
#11
13th July 2007
Old 13th July 2007
  #11
I agree... skin flute is pretty hard!
#12
13th July 2007
Old 13th July 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
 
HIGHENDONLY's Avatar
 

bad singer
#13
13th July 2007
Old 13th July 2007
  #13
Gear addict
 
6dyslexicelephnt's Avatar
 

1. Melodica. The problem is the source is so annoying sounding what are you going to do. They don't sound nice at all. I got an Apex 205 (my first ribbon) coming in the mail and maybe that will help it although maybe I can also convince the band I'm recording that that's what it really sounds like and that sound is really bad.

2. Acoustic guitar... NOT! Just figured this one out tonight. Oktava MK012 9-12 inches away, lower than the guitar, pointing up between the 12th fret and sound hole. Much better. No more LDCs on acoustics! I could really see having some better pres help out here.
#14
13th July 2007
Old 13th July 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
 
zeljkom's Avatar
Drums with a bad drummer.
#15
13th July 2007
Old 13th July 2007
  #15
Lives for gear
 
sonicdefault's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HIGHENDONLY View Post
bad singer

especially if they have a bad attitude
#16
13th July 2007
Old 13th July 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 
d_fu's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
3. Sitar
What do you find particularly difficult about recording a sitar?
#17
13th July 2007
Old 13th July 2007
  #17
Lives for gear
 
peeder's Avatar
 

The voice. Regardless of quality. I only hear the voice recorded right once in a blue moon. I'm still not sure how exactly to do it.

And it matters more, and its quality matters more, than everything else combined.
#18
13th July 2007
Old 13th July 2007
  #18
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by d_fu View Post
What do you find particularly difficult about recording a sitar?
Getting a decent sound isn't difficult, I guess. They're just very peaky, so tricky in the gain-structure sense.
#19
19th August 2007
Old 19th August 2007
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Akoppenheffer's Avatar
 

I second hand claps... If it's just you at least and you're trying to make it sound big. A lot of people, that's different.
#20
19th August 2007
Old 19th August 2007
  #20
Lives for gear
 
FossilTooth's Avatar
 

+3 for handclaps.

And, although acoustic guitar isn't challenging, I seldom get the sound I hear in my dreams.
#21
19th August 2007
Old 19th August 2007
  #21
Gear addict
 

I struggled with upright bass for a long time, but my m201 or nt3 suspended in the bridge of any substandard bass in any substandard room is a real eye opener.

Still having trouble with violin...
#22
19th August 2007
Old 19th August 2007
  #22
Lives for gear
 
sonicdefault's Avatar
The challenge IMO with recording acoustic guitar is that it seems the nature of the instrument is more prone to reveal the defeciencies inherent in the signal chain. And I'm not talking about poor equipment or technique... I mean just the nature of translating the sound through mics and pre's. It seems like the shortcomings of current technology is always very apparent with acoustic recording. Of course there are things about the equipment that are pleasing and at times preferred even though they're not natural- But when you want realistic, nothing ever seems to satisfy like hearing an acoustic played live. Perhaps it's because ac gtr has such a unique blend of tone which needs to be captured all at once, from the dynamics of the string attack, to it's complex natural resonances across an incredibly wide spectrum.

#23
21st August 2007
Old 21st August 2007
  #23
Lives for gear
 
TheRealRoach's Avatar
Upright Bass

I am primarily a bass player and have had lots of opportunities to try out different techniques. My favourite by far is a LDC wedged between the legs of the bridge pointing straight into the body. I always avoided this technique because it didn't really make much sense to me and always thought you would lose the mid and high qualities of the instrument. Anyway it's turned out to be the best in my opinion. And the added bonus is isolation because the mic is so close.

A second place for me would be an LDC about half a foot off the tip of the bridge pointing straight into the bridge. At this range though I've found it more likely to encounter the finger "clunks". This being dependent on the room and player of course.

I had also tried combinations of SDCs and LDCs but then as the bassist moves around the phase starts to cause issues.

Any while i'm on it, I was at a session where the bassist was miked up as follows: U47 -> Neve (1081 i believe), and Shoeps -> Manley. The mikes were positioned one on top of the next in line with the bridge about 6-8" away (as described above). Again I found this setup to bring out some unflattering characteristics: String clacks and finger bumps. The 47 was my favourite in this situation though.
#24
21st August 2007
Old 21st August 2007
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by peeder View Post
The voice. Regardless of quality. I only hear the voice recorded right once in a blue moon. I'm still not sure how exactly to do it.

And it matters more, and its quality matters more, than everything else combined.
Agreed! Also piano is fairly complex.
#25
22nd August 2007
Old 22nd August 2007
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Old Goat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by emkay View Post
In a song, not an instrumental- --the human voice.......
everything else is there as support
Especially an old, abused voice...
#26
27th December 2007
Old 27th December 2007
  #26
Gear nut
 
ahjteam's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6dyslexicelephnt View Post
2. Acoustic guitar... NOT! Just figured this one out tonight. Oktava MK012 9-12 inches away, lower than the guitar, pointing up between the 12th fret and sound hole. Much better. No more LDCs on acoustics! I could really see having some better pres help out here.
MySpace.com - Noisy Newt - Helsinki, FI - Rock / Pop - www.myspace.com/noisynewt

Listen to the acoustic guitar in "Been Away". The song otherwise wasn't that well recorded on my part, especially the vocals were horrible in my opinion, but I think the acoustic guitar turned out OK (and the guitartone on "I'm Dreaming"). I used three mics: Röde NT1 pointing to the hole, Röde NT5 pointing to the 12th fret and another NT5 pointing to the 3rd fret, to Yamaha MLA8. We rented a $2000 Martin, which has a wonderul tone to begin with, so we didn't need to use any EQ on any of the mics except hipass at 80hz. All mics as close as possible = so that the hands don't hit the mics.
#27
27th December 2007
Old 27th December 2007
  #27
Lives for gear
 

I'll concur that hand claps are tricky, and upright bass can be alternately frustrating/rewarding, but think that the tibetan singing bowl is probably the toughest acoustic instrument I've run across.
PlugHead
Thread Starter
#28
27th December 2007
Old 27th December 2007
  #28
Lives for gear
 
PlugHead's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by centurymantra View Post
I'll concur that hand claps are tricky, and upright bass can be alternately frustrating/rewarding, but think that the tibetan singing bowl is probably the toughest acoustic instrument I've run across.
I guess that's why most migrate towards using that old patch on a Korg M1 instead!!!

As for handclaps: I've had success (stacking singles) with omni miced in a live room, and 1176 or 1178 to taste (fast attack/release or "all-in" mode).

Upright bass can also be difficult: I'm really digging the 4060 (w string clip) when I can manage/minimize spill - it sounds damn good, and doesn't limit the bass player from moving around...

Keep 'em coming!

Happy Holidays!!!
#29
1st January 2008
Old 1st January 2008
  #29
Gear Head
 

HANDCLAPS! UGH!

i just had to do this for the first time not long ago. man they suck. i ended up using some ass slaps from a couple of porno flicks. worked much better.



...stop laughing. i'm serious
#30
1st January 2008
Old 1st January 2008
  #30
Gear maniac
 
sluttygearhere's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugHead View Post

BTW: feel free to advise re: getting a good piano recording, but this thread is about bitch instruments to record...

I just did a track the other night recording a steinway. I used 4 SM57's spaced evenly accross the strings from high strings to low strings. Placed about 3 or 4 inches away from where the strings tied off to the back of the piano, and about 4 or 5 inches above the strings. Then I took my at3031 put it right over the middle of everything about 3 or more feet above the piano, to catch the piano as a whole. and then I took my AT Pro37 and put it under the piano about 1 foot away from the soundboard to catch the resonance from that. when it was all said and done and mixed together I was content with the way it sounded. mixing it all together was the trickiest part, making sure they're all balanced with each other. But this has worked for me, not sure what your setup your using is, hope that might have been of some help.

-- Ben
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
FULL-DUPLEX / Music Computers
4
fivestarstudios / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
9
bongo / So much gear, so little time!
8
notbillcosby / Geekslutz forum
2

Forum Jump
 
Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.