I have a quick question about getting a string section sound with 1 violinist and 1 cellist. I have been very happy with our single string instrument sound or string quartet sound when tracking. I get in trouble when I'm wanting to double or triple the parts to try to get that string section sound. Whenever I do it, it sounds very synthesizer like and fake and stop doing it.
Here's my process and my gear and maybe someone can tell me where my weak link is.
First my room of recording is treated pretty well. It's very dry but not dead so as to give the instrument a little bit of life.
I'm recording into the Blue Baby Bottle Mic into a trident S20 pre. This is going into the focusrite pro 40 interface. I don't have any other DA/AD converter outside of my interface.
I mic the instrument about 2 feet away from the bridge. This is the best most natural spot I found and have played around when just tracking the single instrument. If the mic is closer I get too much bow/string contact and gets too scratchy so have to give a little more space to find the richness and dark sounds I want.
Again when I track this way I get a really good sounding single instrument. When I try to double the parts it sounds really bad and unusable.
I have some different gear options but in my A/B of mics and pres I actually really like the Blue Bottle with the S20 pre. I could use an AKG 414 and a UA 6176 but these are too bright for what I'm looking for in my estimation. I have a few other options, but not worth mentioning for strings at least.
I don't know where my weakness is coming in. It's not the playing as I'm the cellist and have toured around the world as a classically trained musician and am hired a ton for studio work. Other engineers have gotten great string section sounds with me so that's not the factor. It's not the instruments as my cello is worth $40K along with the violinists and love the sound of both instruments.
I'm wondering if it's a gear issue, or if it's the mic placement. Lastly, what's the best process for mixing this string sound. I'm doing a project and really want the string section sound that is in Damien Rice's song Amie.
If you want to hear my single instrument recording to see where my starting place is you can go listen to a few instrumental tracks I've done at clocksandcloudsmusic.com/epk
Sorry my question is so long and vast. Hopefully I can get a quick answer as I need to track this part this weekend.