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recording flamenco guitar
Old 25th September 2007
  #1
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Talking recording flamenco guitar

Hey everyone, I was wondering if you fellow gearslutz could chime in with some advice for recording the acoustic guitar. It is a flamenco body, made of cypress and Ive found it to have a lot of mid highs. I need to record very soon and have wonderful access to way too much ridiculously nice gear. I was hoping people could guide me towards the light of enchanted sonic heaven. Ive checked some posts, but i found a lot dealt more with steel string acoustic, which I feel is completely different.

The style of music is a mixture of pop/rock/flamenco/bossa nova. and a lot of different tunings (if that helps any). alot fingerpicking and aggressive plucking.
I will be recording into my macbook pro through a 003 and apogee rosetta 800 (or an ad8000)

what would you guys use for mics and pres if you had the opportunity to use any thing. what about equalizers and compressors? What kind of mic techniques would you suggest?

heres a list of mics I have access to:
akg c12, c12a, c12vr,c412, c24
akg 451, 452
akg c60
akg c414 buls, bxls, c422, c426 uls
akg c460
b &k (dpa) 4007, 4011, 4006
brauner vm-1, and also a klaus heyne* edition
coles 4038
some crown pzms
earthworks qtc50, tc30
manley black, gold reference
neumann km84, kmr82, m149, m49, m147,* m50, sm69, sm23, km86, sm2, tlm 193, u87, u87a, u67, u 47, ku100
rca 77dx, bx44, 10001
royer sf24
schoeps cmc5 with mk4 cardioid capsule
shure sm81
sony c37a, c800g,
telefunken elam 250, 251

heres the list of pres:
api 512c, 312
boulder jensen
jensen twin swervo
black audio sbmp-01
chandler germanium,tg channel, tg 2
focusrite isa110, isa 428
gml micpre, 2020
grace 801
innovative audio demeter
manley 40db, voxbox
millenia hv3c, stt-1, td1
neve 1073, 1272, 31102
summit tpa200b
universal audio 2-610
vp qlz


any and all advice will be greatly appreciated, thanks!

J
Old 25th September 2007
  #2
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videoteque's Avatar
I love flamenco!

I never recorded proper audio though, I captured in video a lot of shows when I lived in Spain...

My intiution tells me to recomend you this: an SDC near the guitar, and LDC further away. Clean pres, no compression, no EQ, no reverb, no effects. Just a good "guitarrista"!

True flamenco is about "rawness". Remember it!
Old 25th September 2007
  #3
Gear maniac
 

Here, at Center of Study of Flamenco (Granada University), we have used a great flamenco hall of the University, AKG1000 to freatboard and AT4030 on bridge recorded with ADL600, and two U87 recorded with UA2-610 for the ambient, during mix we have used LA2A and AD2044, if I remember correctly...
Many flamenco guitarists, here in Andalucia, love tracking with AKG1000 and AKG412c.
Old 25th September 2007
  #4
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prismtheory's Avatar
 

I have done a few flamenco pieces lately.

Keep it VERY simple. There is no need to for ambiance...ambiant mics will never pick up the finger and hand noises and the pick up against the strings..or finger nails depending on the guitarist. COMPRESSION IS YOUR FRIEND...careful of the attacks though.

I would use a bright mic..or at least a balanced one. U87 worked for me.

One time recently I recorded a Godin electric nylon...Ran it DI and put it through an amp at a low volume. Amp was miced with a ribbon...di went into 1272 into manley vari mu.

Was happy with the tone.

Good luck...should be fun.
Old 25th September 2007
  #5
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AMIEL's Avatar
Godin Guitars are wonderful...but a Classic Flamenco guitarist would not use those guitars to begin with....
Old 25th September 2007
  #6
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
some very interesting stuff, I dont know if I will use compression during tracking, im new to all the hardware outboard gear and dont want to risk it. Ive got to check out c412, should be interesting (wasnt quite a fan of the 414 but then read up that this mic is much closer to the c12 then the others aim to be) so that should be interesting. although I could just use a c12. I dunno.

so far Ive used the akg c24, earthworks qtc 50, and the dpa 4007 mic. the first two I did at my house and while I loved the mics, the dpa blew me away cause I was in a treated room.

That was my discovery to the extreme differences of treatment. I really loved the dpa mic, so nice. but the room was oh so nice.

now I have to try the first two again.
I loved the bright tone of the c24, and the qtc50 was very natural sounding.

also, while I play on a flamenco guitar, and have flamenco influences, I couldnt call myself a flamenco player. just not at that level, however the style im recording is different with flamenco influence. more leaning on bossa nova style textures and rock type riffs. I guess my main point here is that I like the rawness of how flamenco is captured but im not looking to aim for that. Something more edgy and in your face but kind of polished sounding (I guess poppy?) something thick and full. Something that not only captures the guitar but brings it a new flavor, something not too natural sounding I guess (i do love the earthworks, they are amazing no matter where you stick the mic) but not for these songs.

any pres to also recommend? I also forgot to mention my great river mp2h if that helps any. Im in a difficult place where there is way too much gear and not enough time to test each one out.
Old 25th September 2007
  #7
Baz
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Baz's Avatar
 

You have way too many options, imho, if you're not sure and don't know what these pieces already sound like.

All I know is there's definitely a combo there that should be more than adequate to say the least! I'd first want a great or very good sounding room and start with a mono mic setup and then go from there. If you don't have a great space (there's no mention of where you're recording) I'd look to rent a church or something similar with some happening acoustics. Good luck. You could easily spend well over a week playing with all the combo's available to you. It's over the top imo.....

Based solely on my experience - as I haven't used most of that gear listed - I'd start with the 84's and 87 into the Millennia's (the STT-1 set to VT mode, no comp, no EQ) but that's just based on what I know, seeing that I have these items. But if I was recording a flamenco guitar, I'd start with my KM84 for sure.
Old 25th September 2007
  #8
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
I had great results with a Soundfield MK V mic and preamp combo on Flamenco guitar, most natural sounding mic I've heard. Don't compress if you don't have to, Flamenco loves dynamics.
Old 25th September 2007
  #9
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Audio Hombre's Avatar
 

no soundfield in his list Michael
Old 25th September 2007
  #10
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mwagener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Hombre View Post
no soundfield in his list Michael
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfonk View Post
... what would you guys use for mics and pres if you had the opportunity to use any thing...
Old 26th September 2007
  #11
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
that is one crazy setup the soundfield mkv.

has anyone tried out the Neumann KU100?

its ****en awesome looking and quite hilarious. I wonder what sources it shines on
Attached Images
recording flamenco guitar-b3eef6d521edc8a88727f4c55aa8718a.jpg 
Old 26th September 2007
  #12
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
yeah the space im recording at has about 25 ft ceiling, treated room (its more for 5.1 mixing in a post surrounding) Ill be recording in this room. there are 3 movable baffles (the ones with windows) 2 iso booths. its probably 30 ft x 30 ft (just off the top of my head.)

I guess it makes sense to start with the mono. What stereo methods would you guys suggest once I start adding mics? but my biggest problem is, there is way too much to start off with and limited time. I need an awesome plan of attack before I get into the studio to begin recording.

I love the stt-1 that pre is awesome. I got to mess around with it while tracking my friends vocals through a sony c800. quite the chain.
Old 26th September 2007
  #13
Gear addict
 

I love KM54s but i don't see those on the list.

I've had great results with DPA/B&K mics and C-12s.
Neve's and ISA-110s two are my favourite mic pres.


I'd get a rosetta 800. don't use the 003.
Old 26th September 2007
  #14
I was looking for (2) KM54's in the mic list as well.. with the 1073's.. no compression. I would use 2 C12A's as my second choice.

Rail
Old 26th September 2007
  #15
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insomnio's Avatar
 

U87+API
That's the sound. Don't think warm.
Old 26th September 2007
  #16
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
hmmm i hate the u87 but then again it was the new u87 and that mic sound butt ugly, what i do have here though is a 1967 u87 i believe. that should be interesting.

do the 512s and the 312 api pres have different tones? ive tried a 512 for vocals and guitar and it sounded nice. Dont know how to describe it though.
Old 26th September 2007
  #17
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mahler007's Avatar
 

As somebody who has done a fair amount of nylon string recording, I would recommend:

1. A great hall
2. experimenting with omni directional mics

I have found that close mic'ing with percussive styles of guitar music can wreak havoc on your recording, largely due to the proximity effect inherent in cardioid mics. I guess you could always use a compressor to try and tame those percussive transients (which when close mic'd are exponentially greater relative to the sound of the finger on the string) but I really don't think that's the way to go...

Anyway, good luck!

Cheers,
Andrew
Old 9th October 2016
  #18
Here for the gear
 

I am in the midst of a similar project. I think many missed a key point that the flamenco style guitar will be mixed with other instruments in a pop rock style. Is the part heavily percussive? Will it be dominant in the mix? Is it single note melodies? What other instruments will be taking a similar sonic space? Most of the suggestions are more appropriate for solo recordings where ultimate air and natural tone are the goal. But mixed with drums, bass, and vocals, sometimes something funky like a 421 through a tube pre is more appropriate. Mic choice helps avoid too much eq . Know where you want it in the mix first, then choose mics accordingly.
Old 9th October 2016
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfonk View Post
Hey everyone, I was wondering if you fellow gearslutz could chime in with some advice for recording the acoustic guitar. It is a flamenco body, made of cypress and Ive found it to have a lot of mid highs.
From all those mics and pres, there are many possibilities that could work well. Every guitar and space are slightly different so it comes down to experimenting carefully with mic placement. There is no best formula.
Old 10th October 2016
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris mcdermott View Post
I am in the midst of a similar project. I think many missed a key point that the flamenco style guitar will be mixed with other instruments in a pop rock style. Is the part heavily percussive? Will it be dominant in the mix? Is it single note melodies? What other instruments will be taking a similar sonic space? Most of the suggestions are more appropriate for solo recordings where ultimate air and natural tone are the goal. But mixed with drums, bass, and vocals, sometimes something funky like a 421 through a tube pre is more appropriate. Mic choice helps avoid too much eq . Know where you want it in the mix first, then choose mics accordingly.
Agree. There's the type of sound you want when the instrument is featured, and the type you want when it's something like a Bozzio-Levin-Stevens record.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
Here for the gear
 

Holy moly! I've just come across this thread and had a look at some of the mics recommended. Does anyone have any advice for a lower budget approach?

I play a mixture of Classical and Flamenco, both studio and live, and would very much appreciate any advice that could be given.

I know I may be asking for quite a broad scope there, but I'm looking to up my gear a bit, and would be happy to invest in two teams of mics.

I'm currently using a pair of SE220As and a pair of SM58s.

Also, my mic knowledge is very basic. I'm comfortable on the positioning and mixing etc side of it, and great on the performing side, but I really have no idea how to choose mics beyond recommendations.
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 

i assume the guitar gets recorded on it's own? if so, here's my pick:

u67 at short distance, split into two different types of pres, focusrite being one of them and the other grace, gml or millennia. i'd compress one of those two signals on the way in (with analog recording anyway)...

schoeps would be my other choice.

i'd use an additional stereo pair at a distance of 1.5 to 2.5m for some ambient pick up, mic's of choice (i'd go slightly darker), maybe in ortf or a/b: just don't add too much noise from mics/pres, so again rather clean pres recommended.

(and if there would be a pickup, i'd use a radial piezo di with the highest impedance setting - and no substitute here)
Old 1 week ago
  #23
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdjknights View Post
I play a mixture of Classical and Flamenco, both studio and live, and would very much appreciate any advice that could be given.
Welcome to the Forum!

I would start by doing some searches across the Forum for: 'Classical Guitar, Acoustic Guitar and Flamenco Guitar'

I just punched in 'Classical Guitar' to the search engine and got dozens of replies replete with all sorts of great recommendations on gear and recording technique.

My personal favourite-sounding mic on classical guitar is KM84, but they're getting quite hard to find and pricey.

I just finished reading a great article in this months Sound On Sound magazine about recording an acoustic guitar sample library - there's a wealth of good advice in there as well in terms of getting a pristine recorded sound.

Good luck!
Old 6 days ago
  #24
Gear Head
 

I'm a classical guitarist myself. Flamenco is quite different, but I think the best way to go about classical and acoustic music in general, from full orchestra to chorus to single guitar, is to strive for realism.
I have struggled for quite a long time to get a natural sound out of classical recordings, ending up with binaural being the best way to achieve naturalness and realism.
One can always tweak the sound after it is recorded accurately, if need be, but getting realism after the sound has been recorded by two or more microphones placed at various distances from each others is impossible, in practice.
If a binaural microphone is not at hand, a spaced omni pair with some sort of baffle is the next best thing. Use a spherical shaped baffle like a dodge ball, 6 inch diameter, rather than a Jecklin disk, if possible. This is to create a first approximation of the human head. Place the capsules right up against the ball, where the ears would be.
Careful with any post processing if you want to maintain the true character of the instrument. Personally, I avoid compression as much as possible.
Better to record from 10 feet or more than to have to try to tame the nail clicks with compression and still maintain naturalness.
Old 5 days ago
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sax512 View Post
...I think the best way to go about classical and acoustic music in general, from full orchestra to chorus to single guitar, is to strive for realism...
i'm with you on that: my goal in MIXING classical/unamplified/acoustic music is to represent a listener's perspective - one question is who's perspective, so at what distance: the conductor's position, 5th row, middle of the hall/venue or even the soloist's position?

i'm not convinced that a binaural mic setup is the best RECORDING option to represent all those different positions though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sax512 View Post
...getting realism after the sound has been recorded by two or more microphones placed at various distances from each others is impossible, in practice...
i think it can be achieved, but it takes experience, taste, time, the necessary gear and knowledge how to adjust - is this worth the pain? imo yes, if you want to have the option to decide on/change the perspective while mixing.



(as a side note: i have assisted jürg jecklin for many years: you might be surprised to hear that he hardly ever used his own invention/technique, almost never on smaller ensembles and i can't remember just a single situation with a solo instrument/voice other than demonstrations in lectures)
Old 5 days ago
  #26
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i'm with you on that: my goal in MIXING classical/unamplified/acoustic music is to represent a listener's perspective - one question is who's perspective, so at what distance: the conductor's position, 5th row, middle of the hall/venue or even the soloist's position?
i'm not convinced that a binaural mic setup is the best RECORDING option to represent all those different positions though.

So much about recording is about personal taste that I really can't fault your way of looking at it. In the end, if you like the sound you get, that's really all that matters.

But being a purist about these kind of things, I can say that shifting the listener's perspective and maintaining a representation of the specific character of the instruments you're recording, in the specific place you are recording them in, just by employing some tracking/mixing tricks, is impossible.
I doubt one can represent any listening position, in a really realistic way, even for a single instrument, once the sound pick up is done in places uncorrelated to each other such as close/room mics and the likes.
This is due to the strong correlation of the sound that reaches your left/right eardrums when one is actually there to hear the performance (the Head Related Transfer Functions). This correlation can only be encoded in a recording by using a binaural microphone.

That's not to say that standard recording techniques can't sound great or bigger than life. And that's what all the Naxos (and any other) classical music recordings sound like to me: pleasurable approximations of the real sound.
It also seems like this type of sound is what the majority of people are (unfortunately, IMHO) going for, so I'm not going to try to convince anyone to change their personal taste. Just wanted to share my very personal, purist way of going about recording classical/acoustic music.

About the Jecklin Disk, I think the diffraction of sound of the disc border is the main reason of what causes issues in the recordings. That's why I prefer a sphere as a baffle.
Old 5 days ago
  #27
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much of our discussions here is about taste: i don't like some of the more traditional approaches to both recording and mixing classical music either and i do favour a specific approach too, but imo there is no single best way to achieve 'realism'. each technique has it's flaws and advantages...
Old 5 days ago
  #28
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
much of our discussions here is about taste: i don't like some of the more traditional approaches to both recording and mixing classical music either and i do favour a specific approach too, but imo there is no single best way to achieve 'realism'. each technique has it's flaws and advantages...
Realism is the sense of playback sounding just like (or as close as possible) the real performance can only be achieved by binaural recording technique.
realism (lower case, for me) in the sense of 'that sounds about close enough to a ....' can be achieved in many other ways.
Old 5 days ago
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sax512 View Post
About the Jecklin Disk, I think the diffraction of sound of the disc border is the main reason of what causes issues in the recordings. That's why I prefer a sphere as a baffle.
Are you talking about Version 1 (16.5 cm) or Version 2 (36cm) of the Jecklin Disc ?

"Zwei Kugelmikrofone sind mit einem gegenseitigen Abstand von 36 cm angeordnet und durch eine mit Schaumstoff belegte Scheibe von 35 cm Durchmesser akustisch getrennt"

I'd predict the greater distance would substantially reduce the edge diffraction effect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jecklin_disk
Old 5 days ago
  #30
Gear Head
 

The closer the distance, the stronger the diffraction effect. That's for sure. But I was talking about edge diffraction in general.
16.5 cm, regardless of the diffraction, is what I would probably use if I HAD to use a Jecklin disk, because that distance is closer to the distance between ears. I look at the Jecklin Disk as an attempt at approximating the head shadow effect, so realistic distance between microphones is preferable, from that point of view.
But it is such a raw approximation of the head that we are more in the realm of creativity rather than realism. So I don't see any problem with experimenting with other distances as well, if realism is not high in one's priority list.
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