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Help recording a soprano and guitar Duo
Old 1 week ago
Gear Head

Help recording a soprano and guitar Duo

Dear members,
I have always used my equippment to record myself (classical guitar).
Now I have to record a duo of guitar and singer and I have no idea as to how to place the mics. Would you give me a piece of advice?
The room sounds quite nice and is not small and I own a pair of cardioid Schoeps and a pair of Mk2H omnis.

Thanks a lot
Old 1 week ago
Gear Maniac

I'm also a classical guitarist and often work with singers. Something that has worked for me in the past has been a Faulkner 4-mic array, starting in normal performance position and adjusting distance from the mics until an acceptable balance was achieved. We ended up with the singer a few feet further back from the mics than myself. Worked pretty well, sounded natural with good balance. We were very lucky in that we had the luxery of time to experiment, and the hall was fabulous.
Old 1 week ago
Gear Head

Thanks a lot for you answer. That approach seems very clever! A few feet further back would be something between 50-100 cms or much more ?
Old 1 week ago
Gear Maniac
Stradivariusz's Avatar
Did once recording with small renaissance group, lute, viola da gamba, singer. Singer was very dominant whle on the same distance as instruments. He went back around 2 meters for a good balance. They were sitting, he was standing, what made more adantage for him. I would not make any prejudgements. Just start with 3 meters, which will be too far, but will let you get the idea of too far and let the singer coming closer to match the level and the amount of presence with guitar. Probably not that hard to hear.
Old 1 week ago
Gear Maniac

Agreed. Assuming you have a bit of time to experiment, trial and error.
Old 1 week ago
You might try recording with 2 spot pairs, the omnis for the voice and cards for the guitar. Have the performers more or less facing each other, with the spots 3’ or so in front of each performer.

I often use this technique for piano and voice or piano and instrument recordings, though the mics would be flipped (omnis on piano, cards on soloist). Gives you that nice Omni sound with the full bass and a bit of Hall ambience, and then you can turn the spots up to fill in the balance and presence of what it’s pointed at. You also get some balance control over the two sources in post.

To this I’ll often add a pair of room mics to fill in the sound a bit, though artificial verb also works nicely with this setup.
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
Plush's Avatar
I would use as your model the record with Christopher Parkening and Kathleen Battle. Have a main pair, mic the guitar in stereo, and mic the singer in stereo too.

Naturally, the singer will be louder than the guitar.

There should be a good balance in the stereo pair. Get to that good balance by having the singer move farther away from the mains. Then add in guitar detail and, if necessary, vocal presence.

It is not easy to do.

I recommend getting someone to record this for you and you concentrate on playing the guitar.
Old 6 days ago
Gear Head

Thanks all of you for all your answers!.
Would you recommend having the singer sitting or standing?
Old 6 days ago
Lives for gear

however s/he feels best - same for setup, whether that's besides or opposite of each other. i'd use mono spots, cardioid on the guitar to keep out the singer, rest depends... do you have more than those four mics you mentioned available and can you add more mic pres/tracks?
Old 6 days ago
Gear Head

No, these are all my mics.
Old 6 days ago
Lives for gear you could either use x/y, nos or ortf and the omnis for spots (in which case i'd try to shield off the guitar a bit and go much closer) - or a/b and cardioids for spots (i'd still go closer on guitar).

hard to say, depends on your preferences and whether musicians can achieve a reasonable balance on their own: if so, a (close to) coincident main pair might be fine; if not, a/b might help to blur the stereo image.
in any case, i'd try to get the guitar closer to the mains and not only compensate the expected level offset by the use of the spot.
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