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optimal distacne
Old 9th June 2017
Lives for gear
wildplum's Avatar

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optimal distacne

Say you are recording an acoustic trio (Stand up bass and two acoustic guitars) or quartet (add a violin to the trio) “live in the studio” (no audience).

Assuming a good sounding room of adequate dimensions, what would you consider to be the optimal distance between instruments to get the “best sounding bleed”?
Old 10th June 2017
Gear Maniac

Too many variables.. Microphone choice & count, recording technique, repertoire, room size, acoustics, personal liking.. Just try it out, and don't be afraid to move reposition the musicians for better results.
Old 11th June 2017
Lives for gear
It's obviously going to depend on the pattern of the mics as well (this is mentioned in the post above) perhaps go in there with a variety (both dynamic and condensor, incl ribbons). Predictably, omnis will invite the most blend/bleed.

The musicians will find their own comfortable playing distance, where they can hear one another (presumably they're all unamplified) with comfort. They'll find it quickly and stay there !

You're asking the question about their distance apart as if it's a variable...actually this is just about the only 'constant' over which you'll have little control...all the OTHER factors Newmann lists are the variables....
Old 11th June 2017
Lives for gear

Ascertaining the optimal distance between performers in a recording session should be determined by the ensemble's collective skill to musically balance dynamic control for their performance. A professional Barbershop quartet will always need to maintain their fixed positions and seldom ever need more than two high end mics. Most all groups, including Bluegrass bands, will be less structured with blend and balance: the degree they vary from tight will determine spacing and most likely total separation for "Layering". It only takes one player that plays over the top of leads to ruin a take: the prevention is to put on the headphones and go one at a time for your tracks. To say that some bands are not "session ready" is wrong: most are not ready! Well rehearsed string quartets and their counterparts in contemporary music are notable exceptions to these layering protocols however in todays "More Me" generation the disapline to be session ready is hard to find.
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