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.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Spaced out, again

After playing with a Jecklin Array for a couple of months I've decided to go back to using a spaced array. I admit that the Jecklin allows me to create incredibly realistic recordings. If you listen to some of the raw recordings with headphones when I'm getting the guitar out of the case or walking to the mics you would swear someone was actually in the room with you. However,
there are a couple of drawbacks to the Jecklin Array for a home recordist like me:
  • Even with a treated room that is fairly large by home standards, the reverb of a normal home sized room is not up to major league standards. My studio is is about 20 by 35 feet and has a high peak ceiling. Sounds ok...doesn't sound great.
  • The studio isn't sound proof, and there is always noise somewhere...TV, barking dogs, motorcycles; I need less room, not more. I need close mics.

Spaced Array -

The spaced array has a 'hyper-realistic' sound that I really like. It may not be what a listener hears in a performance setting, but it comes closer to what I hear while I'm playing.

I find the ear-canal Etymotics make finding good mic positions a lot easier. Isolation for these headphones is very, very good, particularly in the mid and upper frequency range where the 12-string puts out most of its sound; you almost forget that the room sounds and music are not coming directly to your ears, but rather from the microphones to the "Ear-canal" phones.

I've been working on the Tremolo Study, now called "Ascension" and a recording of the latest version, using a spaced array, is on SoundClick. I added reverb, maybe too much.

Reverb -

Since the microphones for my spaced array are very close - about 6 to 9 inches away - there is barely any room sound. I wanted to get a nice space around the music so I processed it through a Delay plugin and the FreeVerb Version 3 plugin. The Delay is from Tom's Audio Plugins and is set to 43 ms and 47 ms about 4.5 db under the dry signal. The Freeverb plugin is set to a large room size, almost maximum width and very wet. Probably too wet. I'll have to listen to it on some other systems to be sure.

Update April 29 - yeah, I way overdid the verb. New version uses just delay. Each channel is delayed about 1/16th note. I swapped the delayed channels and dropped the volume about 7.5 dBs. The delay was still a little too edgy...kind of a tizzy sound, so before the final mix I ran it through the Audacity Eq with the AM preset. This one strips out highs and lows. Sounded kind of nice at this point, but by the time it was converted to a 128 bit mp3 it no longer sounded so great. Oh well, posted it anyway.

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