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Thread: Over Shoulder Mic?

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    Over Shoulder Mic?

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    Anyone ever tried this? Condenser over your shoulder? I got some nice acoustic sounds out of it today, but it picked up alot of the plectrum. Maybe I'll raise it higher.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gummblefish
    Went out yesterday all day long and spent 125 quid on a bender (not literally a bender )

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    try this...

    Right Handed Guitarist:

    Mic 1 about 18" out and down to the player's left in front pointed at the Neck Body joint

    Mic 2 over the player's right shoulder pointed at the bridge (18" away), even with the gtr top plane extended upward

    this creates a very nice image of the guitar

    a modified version of this also works very well micing (overheads) a kit
    Last edited by K.P.; 10-29-2006 at 12:54.

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    I read something about micing over the shoulder on emusician once.

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    Yeah I'm gonna try it with two condensers, I guess the guitarists left shoulder will pick up on more of the treble, with the right shoulder picking up the bass. I dunno how well itd work for lead.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gummblefish
    Went out yesterday all day long and spent 125 quid on a bender (not literally a bender )

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    The "over the shoulder" thing works really well with drums and can work with a variety of other instruments except that you can end up with a bit more of "the room" in the mic that you may want.

    What is happening when you put a mic 'over the shoulder' is that the mic is hearing pretty much what the ear is hearing... except that the ear is able to distinguish between reflections as distinct events and a microphone does not have that capability.

    There is this phenomenon called the "Haas Effect" which states that human hearing will incorporate reflected signals under 19ms as part of the original sound and reflected signals over 19ms as distinct 'echos'. The ear while making this determination will separate direct from reflected sound, a microphone can not make this distinction which will often give your audio a more distant character than you will often want for things like an acoustic guitar sound.

    What I generally recommend for things like acoustic guitar sounds where you're looking for some added depth to the tone is to mic the guitar with two mics. The first I will generally put about a foot off the 12th fret aimed back at the guitar's soundhole. For a slightly darker tone aim the mic more toward the bass strings, for a slightly brighter tone aim the mic more toward the treble strings.

    To add the depth from a second mic one of my current favorite techniques is to use an omni pattern mic aimed at the bridge of the guitar about 6-12" in front of the guitar aimed up from a short stand around the player's feet. You may need to put the stand on some foam rubber or in a shock mount if the player taps their feet while playing.

    My current favorite microphone for this technique is the T.H.E. Audio KP-6M (sorry about the link back to the M-A site, I couldn't find the MFG's website) as it sounds very natural and usually very 'rich'.

    Once you have the two mics set up on the guitar check them in "one speaker mono" to listen for phase anomolies between the two mics. My usual method for placement is to get the mic off the 12th fret doing the lion's share of the work and move the omni mic by the player's feet until you get both the degree of clarity you're trying to achieve with the recording as well as the depth you're trying to achieve for the overall tone of the instrument.

    Best of luck with all you do.
    Fletcher

    R/E/P Professional Recording Engineer and Producer forums - serious hobbyists welcome

    SoundPure.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by TelePaul
    Anyone ever tried this? Condenser over your shoulder?
    i do it all the time with wonderful results. you need to have one mic out front as well as the one over the shoulder. often i put another mic 6ft or so out from the guitar for some depth.

    Quote Originally Posted by TelePaul
    I got some nice acoustic sounds out of it today, but it picked up alot of the plectrum. Maybe I'll raise it higher.
    yeah, it's ALL about placement as well as the type of pick used, so you'll need to experiment with both. too much pick noise can often be a technique thing too.

    Fletcher's got some great pointers also--to him you should listen. ensuring mono (phase) compatibility is crucial here.

    done right, IMO, this gives the best of two worlds--what the guitar sounds like from in front combined with what the guitarist hears.


    cheers,
    wade

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