Tips, Techniques, Examples about my favorite musical instrument, the Twelve-String Guitar.

If you play guitar check out Playing Technique, or Strings / Setup. There are also some interesting posts about guitars at, you guessed it, Guitars.

If you want to spread your musical talents around, you will find some good info at Recording.

Marketing - meh - I'm probably the world's best bad example. Although you could find funny stuff there.

I've made some music videos through the years, and you can find them and other interesting music at Music I Like, Music I Play.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Great Outdoors

After hiding from the whomp by lowering the tuning a semitone, I tried, as promised, some outdoor playing. It's still kind of cold in the mornings, so with stiff fingers amidst bird calls, school buses, and other traffic, I recorded a bit using the same wide-spread AB mic configuration. The result is here.

The guitar sounds very brittle, very crisp. Very little bass. The lack of room effects is very noticeable. The microphone configuration that I was driven to primarily to get rid of the whomp, does not sound very nice. Here is the same piece
(played almost as badly) played inside. There is a lot more bass, although it sounds kind of muddy. Comparing the two clearly shows the room effects, and I don't think they are good effects.

Apparently I need a lot more room treatment. We already have 3 sound absorption panels, each 2 feet by 4 feet and 4 inches thick, placed in 2 corners. We also have another 2 inch thick panel that I put on the side of the room where I'm playing. But it is a big room and using some online calculators I estimate we need about 400 dollars more for acoustic insulation to damp down the reverb to studio specs. Maybe a more immediate, and cheaper, solution would be to make a little 'booth' of acoustic panels. Theoretically the panels absorb sound more or less depending on the frequency. I picture a wall of panels that will collect the guitar sound that does not go directly to the microphones so the sound never reaches the walls. This is what I've been doing most of the weekend.

The 'booth' is now completed. The recording location is on the other side of the studio, up against a brick wall. The 2 inch panel is on the wall and some furniture-moving blankets are stuffed up there also. The rest of the booth is enclosed with the 2 by 4 foot, 4 inch thick panels, with a small opening to enter. The guitar sounds much cleaner. So much that I went back to the Jecklin Disk array microphone configuration, and tuned the guitar back up the semitone I had lowered to to avoid the whomp. This adds some real low-end because the room doesn't muddy things up as much. I don't need the microphones to be spaced so extremely far away from the sound hole. The guitar is now tuned a minor third low, which is what it was designed for. You can here the results here.

I am encouraged enough by these results to search around for a local source for more acoustic material. The booth is barely 50% isolated - there are plenty of potentially reflective areas I can see when sitting in the recording position. I would like to eliminate all of those, and also make more traps for the corners to minimize room mode effects.

No comments:

Post a Comment