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Tips & Techniques:Acc Gtr - Vocal separation

To get good separation when tracking a live acoustic guitar/vocal performance, you can use two figure-8 mics. Position the vocal mic so that the performer is singing into it at a slightly upward angle, and the bottom of the mic (the bottom null of the figure 8 pattern) is pointing at the guitar. Position the guitar mic slightly above and in front of the guitar angled down towards the strings, with the top of the mic (the top null point) facing the singer's mouth.

The mics will form an L with the singer facing towards the left vertical line and the guitar below the bottom horizontal line.

This technique works best with ribbon mics, as they yield much less off axis coloration than a condenser mic . This gives you a bit more freedom in positioning the mics for best separation without adversely effecting tone.

Contributors: mw, Joe Porto
Created by Joe Porto, 12th January 2008 at 09:45 AM
Last edited by mw, 27th March 2012 at 03:05 PM
Last comment by dogslayeggs on 3rd October 2009 at 06:45 PM
6 Comments, 20,835 Views

(6) Comments for: Acc Gtr - Vocal separation Page Tools Search this Page
Old 12th January 2008
Am I right in thinking that the vocal mic's best off axis "rejection point" is pointing at the guitar and the guitar mic's best off axis "rejection point" is pointing at the vocals?

Is there more to the science of the figure 8 polar patterns that make this sound nice?

Anyone care to go in depth about the off axis mic signals audio qualities..

In other words WHY does this sound better than just pointing a cardioid pattern at the signers mouth and at the guitar..?

I'm a believer - I just want to understand more..

Old 12th January 2008
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Joe Porto's Avatar

Thread Starter
Hey Jules,

I failed to mention what may be the most important part, at least regarding the off axis response, in that I use this technique with a couple AEA R84 ribbons mics, which have very little off axis coloration. Using standard condensers would bring off axis response into the equation, and so would bring a lot of tonal variables as well. I will edit the post.

Old 22nd January 2008
Gear addict
thedoner's Avatar

I'm doing an CD with an artist who insists on recording GTR & Vox simultaneously at the end of Feb. I just ordered a Cascade L2 stereo mic, and I'm looking forward to try it using this technique. I'll post the results when I've got em.
Old 4th February 2009
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SANDS's Avatar

Is there any pics you know of so I can see a visual of this?
Old 30th April 2009
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Fran Guidry's Avatar
Old 3rd October 2009
Gear interested
dogslayeggs's Avatar

Thanks for the suggestions. I gotta try this now.

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