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Pat Metheny mic'ing on this recording
Old 15th November 2016
  #1
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Pat Metheny mic'ing on this recording

Thought this would be the forum to use for this. Anyway.
Does anyone have any information on the signal chain used for this recording:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3BTNpHQzL0

Looks like an RE 20, maybe a Schoeps at the sound hole, and perhaps a ribbon on the 12th fret? Really close! And the sound is so sweet and round.
Old 15th November 2016
  #2
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Roland's Avatar
The mic you say is a ribbon, has two leads out, so it may be a stereo. The other looks like an re20 or 320. To be honest, the sound although decent sounds fairly straightforward. A lot, I would suspect is down to Metheney's playing and the instrument. Not what I guess you are wanting to hear, but it's like the line in Kung Fu Panda, "there is no secret source". Pat Metheney sound like Pat Metheney, recorded with a sm58 it would still sound similar. Recorded with decent microphones it may even sound better. The same microphone set-up used in the picture to capture a local player with an average guitar would sound at best average.
Old 15th November 2016
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
To be honest, the sound although decent sounds fairly straightforward. A lot, I would suspect is down to Metheney's playing and the instrument. Not what I guess you are wanting to hear, but it's like the line in Kung Fu Panda, "there is no secret source".
Of course it's Pat, and his playing. But I guess you had to be "that guy". I asked if anyone had any specific information regarding this recording session. Let me live in my delusion that a similar signal chain will make me sound awesome.

And there's Three Mics there. I think that's worthy of a discussion.

This vid shows it better:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYcZ6s3z1jg
Old 15th November 2016
  #4
Gear Addict
It's a baritone guitar! Tuned down a fourth, looks like, as compared to regular eadgbe tuning. So it's probably beadf#b, though I didn't watch his fingerings/frettings to verify (could be scordatura). The baritone guitar is responsible for a lot of the round/full quality that you're hearing (as well as Pat's touch, of course). Sorry I don't have info on the mics.

I watched the "Cherish" video also, and that goes down to Bb, so at least on that tune it looks to be tuned to Bb (as I noticed an open Eb also).
Old 15th November 2016
  #5
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One thought: The RE20 is pointed below the bridge, I imagine to pick up bass . . . and its reduced proximity effect probably helps in this regard. It's a setup I have never seen or heard of before. And the (Schoeps) is pointed right at the sound hole, really close. This configuration is used on the regular nylon string guitar as well. Yeah, that bari guitar has some very rich tone!
Old 15th November 2016
  #6
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This is not directly related to the video but it offers some insight into how Pat Methany approaches his guitar tone. He uses some "sauce."
Pat Metheny : Question & Answer
Old 15th November 2016
  #7
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Given To Fly View Post
This is not directly related to the video but it offers some insight into how Pat Methany approaches his guitar tone. He uses some "sauce."
Pat Metheny : Question & Answer
I enjoyed the link; thanks. But, he's talking there about his electric guitar tone, not acoustic.

Here's the question about the album that this track comes from (What's It All About):

Pat Metheny : Question & Answer

Here's a quote from the above, which should answer some of your questions:

"with WIAA [What's It All About] I really set out to make a record and actually set up the mics in a good spot and paid atttention to things a good bit more. To answer your question, it is basically the DI right off the guitar, a Shure Stereo mic (VP88) right in front of the guitar sound hole, an internal AMT mic and an RE20 down at the bottom of the instrument. At the mix we find a good combination of everything but most people would be surprised at how much the DI leads the way with the mics filling in around it. Everything stays in DP until mastering. For WIAA I got a Briscati reverb unity which sounded great, but the built in MOTU ProVerb is my favorite at the moment."

Interesting that he preferred the MOTU ProVerb to the Bricasti. The built-in pickup and/or AMT sure sounds good (not sure what's feeding the DI). I've often been tempted to pick up an AMT, but never have.

He has said in other interviews that he has used MOTU interfaces (don't know if he did here).

Here's another GS Pat thread, if you're interested:

Pat Metheny Recordings

Last edited by JoeDeF; 15th November 2016 at 06:27 AM..
Old 15th November 2016
  #8
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regarding the YouTube video quoted in this thread...it's simply everything you'd expect from a closely-miked guitar, nothing more than that. Especially when boosted by a pickup.

I hear a bordering-on-unpleasant bass resonance trailing every hit of the bass string, and a reverb pasted on which sounds like the guitar is going through a PA system. No dispute about the calibre of the playing, and that's what's saving it from buzz/twang hell, given the closeness of the miking.

I'm happy to put myself in a minority of one, and I'd use this video as an object lesson in why miking is better from a metre back than forensically amplifying his fingernails. Again...No Question about the talent, and the sound is typically Pat Metheny, but simply not a sound to my taste.

Reminds me of when I saw DiMeola, McLaughlin & deLucia live in the early 80's on an Ovation-endorsed tour..... let the slings and arrows of complaint loose on me now !
Old 15th November 2016
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Thought this would be the forum to use for this. Anyway.
Does anyone have any information on the signal chain used for this recording:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3BTNpHQzL0

Looks like an RE 20, maybe a Schoeps at the sound hole, and perhaps a ribbon on the 12th fret? Really close! And the sound is so sweet and round.
Nice question
Old 15th November 2016
  #10
Gear Addict
I went ahead and dug up this recording, which I own (along with about 25 other Pat recordings, not counting his sideman appearances).

As for the tuning (in case anyone beside me cares about it), here's the info from Pat's liner notes:

"This is a straight solo baritone guitar record (except instrument changes as noted); edits but no overdubs. And as in the previous solo baritone guitar record, One Quiet Night, the basic tuning used throughout this recording is A D G C E A. The relative intervallic relationship of the strings is the same as a conventional guitar tuned down a fifth. However, as in a “Nashville” tuning, the 3rd and 4th strings are restrung and tuned an octave higher than usual. In the case of this tuning, the 5th and 6th strings are quite low in pitch. The longer scale of the baritone guitar accommodates this, but heavy bass guitar strings are still required. For this recording, I varied the tuning by keeping the same intervallic relationship but moving the entire tuning up and down on a tune-by-tune basis in a range from Ab to C."

I thought from watching the video casually that the tuning had something different going on; turned out to be a down-tuned Nashville tuning. The notes don't say anything else about the gear used, unfortunately.
Old 15th November 2016
  #11
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDeF View Post
I enjoyed the link; thanks. But, he's talking there about his electric guitar tone, not acoustic.

Here's the question about the album that this track comes from (What's It All About):

Pat Metheny : Question & Answer

Here's a quote from the above, which should answer some of your questions:

"with WIAA [What's It All About] I really set out to make a record and actually set up the mics in a good spot and paid atttention to things a good bit more. To answer your question, it is basically the DI right off the guitar, a Shure Stereo mic (VP88) right in front of the guitar sound hole, an internal AMT mic and an RE20 down at the bottom of the instrument. At the mix we find a good combination of everything but most people would be surprised at how much the DI leads the way with the mics filling in around it. Everything stays in DP until mastering. For WIAA I got a Briscati reverb unity which sounded great, but the built in MOTU ProVerb is my favorite at the moment."

Interesting that he preferred the MOTU ProVerb to the Bricasti. The built-in pickup and/or AMT sure sounds good (not sure what's feeding the DI). I've often been tempted to pick up an AMT, but never have.

He has said in other interviews that he has used MOTU interfaces (don't know if he did here).

Here's another GS Pat thread, if you're interested:

Pat Metheny Recordings
Aaaaaannnnd end of thread!
Thanks, man! Exactly what I was looking for. And why I love GS.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
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Pat Metheny explains the guitar, mics and recording process on What's It All About (WIAA):


Explains how he set up his baritone guitar.
Linda Manzer Guitars - Baritone (possibly around $20K new?)
http://www.manzer.com/guitars/index....tring/baritone

(The 'Linda 6' has got a Takamine pickup same for the baritone?)
at minute 3:40 here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dD0X1AFuMtM
"This is a straight solo baritone guitar record (except instrument changes as noted); edits but no overdubs. And as in the previous solo baritone guitar record, One Quiet Night, the basic tuning used throughout this recording is A D G C E A. The relative intervallic relationship of the strings is the same as a conventional guitar tuned down a fifth. However, as in a “Nashville” tuning, the 3rd and 4th strings are restrung and tuned an octave higher than usual. In the case of this tuning, the 5th and 6th strings are quite low in pitch. The longer scale of the baritone guitar accommodates this, but heavy bass guitar strings are still required. For this recording, I varied the tuning by keeping the same intervallic relationship but moving the entire tuning up and down on a tune-by-tune basis in a range from Ab to C." [a down-tuned Nashville tuning.]

“What It’s All About” – Pat Metheny | Jazz Guitar Society

The mics:
EV RE20 on body, in back,
To answer your question, it is basically the DI right off the guitar, a
Shure Stereo mic (VP88)
right in front of the guitar sound hole,
an internal AMT mic
Pat Metheny | Applied Microphone Technology - microphone for saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, acoustic bass, violin, cello, drums, and percussion.
and an RE20 down at the bottom of the instrument. At the mix we find a good combination of everything but most people would be surprised at how much the DI leads the way with the mics filling in around it.

Your Recording Process for "What’s It All About
Pat Metheny : Question & Answer

Question:

Hi Pat, You self-produced One Quiet Night and What’s It All About. It is quite a challenge to capture great performances while also being the recording engineer. Would you please share your recording chain (mics, pres, recorder, etc.) and just a little of your process as simutaneous artist/engineer? Thanks!
Pat’s Answer:

Hi Marc, That is a really good question that I have not talked about much. In the past 10 or 15 years the boundaries between playing and all the other stuff required to make a record have really blurred for me and that is especially true when I am doing everything from the beginning all alone. I really love that the barrier between what I imagine in my head and what I can offer as a final result to you has gotten a few steps more immediate in that I don't have to rely on going to an official studio for projects like these. The process in the case of the two records was the same but with a big difference. For OQN I really had no sense that what I was doing would ever come out as a record. I was literally learning a new version of Digital Performer and decided to just record a whole bunch of stuff for myself only. (I have given the background on this record lots of times so I won't repeat it here) - while with WIAA I really set out to make a record and actually set up the mics in a good spot and paid atttention to things a good bit more. To answer your question, it is basically the DI right off the guitar, a Shure Stereo mic (VP88) right in front of the guitar sound hole, an internal AMT mic and an RE20 down at the bottom of the instrument. At the mix we find a good combination of everything but most people would be surprised at how much the DI leads the way with the mics filling in around it. Everything stays in DP until mastering. For WIAA I got a Briscati reverb unity which sounded great, but the built in MOTU ProVerb is my favorite at the moment. The process for me also includes editing which I sometimes do almost as I am going. I do set up some quick keys so I can do takes and new tracks easily and quickly and have also used the Pok pedals for quick undos and various other things. All in all it is something I really enjoy and find the process of recording to now me a real extension of music making.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
One thought: The RE20 is pointed below the bridge, I imagine to pick up bass . . . and its reduced proximity effect probably helps in this regard. It's a setup I have never seen or heard of before. And the (Schoeps) is pointed right at the sound hole, really close. This configuration is used on the regular nylon string guitar as well. Yeah, that bari guitar has some very rich tone!
Watching these clips when the recording came out inspired me to try a RE-20 on acoustic guitar and I really liked it. I think Metheny's method is similar to how kick drums are being recorded: 'Splitting up' the frequency spectrum by using several mics that focus on different ranges.

I had good results with a RE-20 capturing the low end and a C451 for the sparkle and snap.

What I find interesting here is that using more than one mic on acoustic guitar is mostly used for spatial reasons: Getting a wider/deeper stereo picture. I never got good results doing that but using several mics to fill out the sound worked well.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
Watching these clips when the recording came out inspired me to try a RE-20 on acoustic guitar and I really liked it. I think Metheny's method is similar to how kick drums are being recorded: 'Splitting up' the frequency spectrum by using several mics that focus on different ranges.

I had good results with a RE-20 capturing the low end and a C451 for the sparkle and snap.

What I find interesting here is that using more than one mic on acoustic guitar is mostly used for spatial reasons: Getting a wider/deeper stereo picture. I never got good results doing that but using several mics to fill out the sound worked well.
The trick seems to be finding the exact placement that reduces phase cancellation. I've been experimenting with Blumlein, Mid/Side, and A/B, and you're right, you get the widest imaging with A/B, but at the risk of getting a boxy or hollow sound.
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