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Using oktava 012 pair in an untreated room Condenser Microphones
Old 18th September 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
Using oktava 012 pair in an untreated room

Could I use a pair of oktava 012 s in an untreated room to record acoustic guitar and get reasonable results? I'm a hobbiest putting together a home studio but I'm renting the house I'm in so I can't do much treatment to the room.
Old 18th September 2011
  #2
Gear Nut
 
Jan1973's Avatar
How big is the room? What furniture is in there?

I see no reason why you wouldn't get decent results. Not stellar, but decent. Also try just one mic. Double tracking for stereo or just one track in mono...
Old 18th September 2011
  #3
Gear Maniac
The room is rectangular, dimensions are 14 by 10 feet. The floor has very thick shag carpet, but other than that walls are flat and no furniture in the room yet (although the 5 amps, 12 guitars count for something i guess).

Just out of curiosity why only use 1 mic and not 2? I had my eye set on a matched pair for micing acoustic guitar
Old 18th September 2011
  #4
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Oldone's Avatar
The best acoustic track I have recorded was with a pair of the 012s. It was a combination of the right spot in the room and the right mic technique. If I remember correctly I spaced them 3 feet apart, 1 foot out behind the bridge and the the 12th fret. Just a touch of room ambiance was coming through but when I ran it through a bit of reverb, it was a beautiful thing. I experimented with various X/Y approaches but for this guitar and room, the parallel approach worked out best.
Old 18th September 2011
  #5
Gear Maniac
Was the room you recorded in anything like the one I will be in or was it in a studio?
Old 18th September 2011
  #6
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Oldone's Avatar
It was my living room approx 25 x 20 with a vaulted ceiling, wood floors, drywall on all sides including the ceiling. The only absorbing factor was a couch.
Old 18th September 2011
  #7
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doncaparker's Avatar
 

While room treatment certainly has an effect while tracking, the "good/bad" dynamic (i.e., having room treament is good, not having it is bad) is more applicable when mixing. You can get a good recording of an acoustic guitar in all sorts of rooms that are simply unacceptable as mixing spaces. The eccentricities of the room you are tracking in can sound great on a recording of an acoustic guitar, while playing back a great recording of an acoustic guitar in a lousy mixing environment leads you to make bad mixing decisions, due to not hearing the playback accurately. I hope that difference makes sense (not sure I am explaining it well).

So, track away in your untreated room. You might need to deaden some spots and liven up others in order for it to sound good, but that's not too hard to do. The Oktavas are great mics for acoustic guitar, and you can position them to minimize (or accentuate, if it sounds good) the sound of the room. But, when it comes time to mix those recordings, be aware of how the room is going to mess with the accuracy of the playback.
Old 19th September 2011
  #8
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by doncaparker View Post
While room treatment certainly has an effect while tracking, the "good/bad" dynamic (i.e., having room treament is good, not having it is bad) is more applicable when mixing. You can get a good recording of an acoustic guitar in all sorts of rooms that are simply unacceptable as mixing spaces. The eccentricities of the room you are tracking in can sound great on a recording of an acoustic guitar, while playing back a great recording of an acoustic guitar in a lousy mixing environment leads you to make bad mixing decisions, due to not hearing the playback accurately. I hope that difference makes sense (not sure I am explaining it well).

So, track away in your untreated room. You might need to deaden some spots and liven up others in order for it to sound good, but that's not too hard to do. The Oktavas are great mics for acoustic guitar, and you can position them to minimize (or accentuate, if it sounds good) the sound of the room. But, when it comes time to mix those recordings, be aware of how the room is going to mess with the accuracy of the playback.

Thanks for this. I guess missed the forest through the trees with the whole treated room thing. I've been reading about acoustic treatments a bit and I thought it pertained to both mixing and recording. Good to know. Appreciate the info
Old 19th September 2011
  #9
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Old Goat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fender4593 View Post
Thanks for this. I guess missed the forest through the trees with the whole treated room thing. I've been reading about acoustic treatments a bit and I thought it pertained to both mixing and recording. Good to know. Appreciate the info
If you want to hear some acoustic well-recorded in untreated, and often unusual places, check out member Unclenny's SC page. He might set up in a living room, hall, or staircase, and has a very distinctive sound.

The M-012 is my guitar mic of choice, also. I might use two, one on the bridge or lower bout and one at the 12th, or one of them and an AT 4050 in M/S. Good mics.

My experience from before I got a nice room--closer mic=less room. Hope this helps.
Old 19th September 2011
  #10
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doncaparker's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fender4593 View Post
Thanks for this. I guess missed the forest through the trees with the whole treated room thing. I've been reading about acoustic treatments a bit and I thought it pertained to both mixing and recording. Good to know. Appreciate the info
Well, it does apply to both, but in different ways for different reasons and to different degrees. Here is what I mean:

Forget for a moment about what your mixing environment will be. Let's say that you will mix at a studio with a great control room. You just want to make a great sounding recording of an acoustic guitar. Well, there are lots of tastes out there about what "great" means. You can set up baffles that deaden sound, you can set up other baffles that provide something for sound to bounce off of, you can do all sorts of things to a room to make it so that the acoustic guitar sounds good to you for the particular song. There are few rules as to what is "right." If it sounds good, it is good. Acoustic treatment plays a role in how you set that room up. You just deaden here and liven there until you get the sound that works for you.

Shift gears to the mixing stage. If your arrangement to mix at a location with a great control room falls through, and you have to now mix in the same room where you tracked the acoustic guitar, NOW you really need to pay attention to what you are doing about acoustic treatment. There is a right and there is a wrong; the closest you can get the room to giving you an accurage playback, the better off you are. Making mixing decisions when the room is not giving you an accurate playback is inherently problematic. Acoustic treatment helps you get the room to the point where it gives you an accurate playback.

Now, here is what I do, and what I think most one-room hobbyists have to do: I try to make the best mixing space I can make within a hobbyists' budget. The recordings I track in that same space will probably be on the "dead" end of the spectrum (fewer reflections), but they won't sound bad. If something sounds lifeless, I can always lean some pieces of plywood against the walls and liven the room up for tracking. But, I always start with the fact that this is the mixing space first and foremost, and it gets doctored a bit (as needed) to be a tracking space, too.

I hope this helps.
Old 19th September 2011
  #11
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by doncaparker View Post
Well, it does apply to both, but in different ways for different reasons and to different degrees. Here is what I mean:

Forget for a moment about what your mixing environment will be. Let's say that you will mix at a studio with a great control room. You just want to make a great sounding recording of an acoustic guitar. Well, there are lots of tastes out there about what "great" means. You can set up baffles that deaden sound, you can set up other baffles that provide something for sound to bounce off of, you can do all sorts of things to a room to make it so that the acoustic guitar sounds good to you for the particular song. There are few rules as to what is "right." If it sounds good, it is good. Acoustic treatment plays a role in how you set that room up. You just deaden here and liven there until you get the sound that works for you.

Shift gears to the mixing stage. If your arrangement to mix at a location with a great control room falls through, and you have to now mix in the same room where you tracked the acoustic guitar, NOW you really need to pay attention to what you are doing about acoustic treatment. There is a right and there is a wrong; the closest you can get the room to giving you an accurage playback, the better off you are. Making mixing decisions when the room is not giving you an accurate playback is inherently problematic. Acoustic treatment helps you get the room to the point where it gives you an accurate playback.

Now, here is what I do, and what I think most one-room hobbyists have to do: I try to make the best mixing space I can make within a hobbyists' budget. The recordings I track in that same space will probably be on the "dead" end of the spectrum (fewer reflections), but they won't sound bad. If something sounds lifeless, I can always lean some pieces of plywood against the walls and liven the room up for tracking. But, I always start with the fact that this is the mixing space first and foremost, and it gets doctored a bit (as needed) to be a tracking space, too.

I hope this helps.
This is very helpful. You just answered about 8 questions I was going to have and didn't even know it yet! thanks
Old 19th September 2011
  #12
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mcgruff's Avatar
 

You can take out most of the room if you get in close. A mic at the standard neck-body position, as close as you can get without any nasty proximity effect, may be your only option - but experiment and see what you get.

This is why you want to record in a good acoustic space: to be free to experiment with other mic techniques. Stereo mics will work best if they've got a little bit more room to breathe.
Old 19th September 2011
  #13
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TurboJets's Avatar
In a 14 x 10 room absolutely. it's a good idea (if you have any) to put a few pieces of plyboard on the floor under you to get some reflections going. XY is a nice config for the 012's as is close mic'ing if you have the omni caps.

Another thing that helps when you're in an untreated room (14 x 10 isn't that small BTW) is to amp 012's with the Electro Harmonix 12AY7 pre. The 012 loves that pre on vocals and AC guitar.
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