Why my Zoom Q8 and Studio Projects B3 mics aren't capturing it, a comparison...

Winfred

Member
I agree with Keith regarding that used (or counterfeit) mic. Forget about it.

Let's get back to how YOU are recording.
Why are you recording with the mics in OMNI? You realize that doing that means the mic picks up all the room reflections? Some of these will be out of phase, and unless you are recording in a nice studio room with the appropriate acoustic treatment, it ain't gonna work well!
Then, you are also recording vocals at the same time. Your voice is very soft. The vocal mic is picking up the guitar, too (more phase issues?) so your voice is drowned out.
Recording a nylon string guitar guitar can be trickier than a steel string. Usually you want the mic to be 18-24" away from the guitar so that the sound has a chance to 'bloom'. Experimenting with different placements is always advised - just set up your gear, hit 'record', then try different placements while recording, noting (by speaking on where/how you are in relation to the mic) the placement.

As to that girl's video. Pretty sure she is lipsynching (hence the earbuds she's wearing). The vocal has a reverb on it that is NOT on the guitar. She may be recording the guitar part while lipsynching the vocal - or not,because you can't see her playing fingers

Hi Mjbphotos!

You have remarkable powers of observation as you picked out details that reveals Keiko's lip or guitar playing sync arrangement that fooled me ha! When I moved the mic away the guitar dropped way off but should just be better at adjusting the gain. I never thought the earbuds mean she's lip syncing too, wow! I see the tip of her microphone in lower left, however she could have an overhead boom mic off camera too for her voice. I am at least aware of that phase problem when mics are too close together. I learned that 17 yrs ago when I last used the same mics when I recorded two solo acoustic piano albums, and get rid of it by keeping them on omni. I also keep the high/low filter at a flat line the way it was when I was recording piano as I play both very low and very high notes in my open C tuning. I'm also very fortunate to have a phenomenally quiet room in the far corner of the 131 apt high-rise I live in and having them on omni is no problem with interfering sounds. If you have time take a look at my post #13 to Keith and #18 to Rob, and if you might have any input on that... but fully understand if you don't have time. Thanks very much for your cogent and lucid observations!

Kindest Regards,
Winfred
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
Its not imperative that you actually record the video live with the audio. Here's a perfect example of what you can do with some thought. This was recorded in his home studio, shot on an I-phone, and edited with free video software.

I Made a Music Video!

Once you get the audio recorded, you could sit outside on the step and play along with the track with trucks running past and sirens wailing. It won't make a difference in the final product.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Can you clarify something? I re-read your posts, but it didn't clear it up.

One mic doing voice and guitar, or one for guitar and one for voice? You mentioned using the pop shield for the guitar? They're for wind problems, and of course, no wind from a guitar.

Realistically if you really want to use the zoom and go straight to YouTube, you have problems if you want a contemporary sound - which is usually rich, processed and warm sounding. You have a habitable space, but it sounds like a compromised space for recording. We're NOT talking about sound-proofing, but sound-control. You have all the bad things. Hard wall surfaces, but thankfully carpet at least to remove on of the 6 problem surfaces. You need to think about audio terminology. We rarely work in spaces that have an echo - which is where if you clap, you hear a second clap, shortly after the first. We have reverberation. The single clap is a series of delayed claps which blur the original clap into a 'longer' one. In real buildings you tend to actually get silence immediately after the clap, then the series of delayed returns. Each one less in level. In a cathedral of gothic style, you get a very long silence, then lots of returns, and each of these has it's own silence period while that portion of the sound travels to the next hard surface. The result is a beautiful reverberation lasting over a second to die away, that makes church music sound wonderful, and makes listening to a voice conducting a service almost impossible to understand. In small and mid size spaces, you find these reflections bounce back and forth from the parallel walls, and they sound like a box to our brain, different to the church which sounds like a church. In these rooms we put in lots of absorption - even duvets hung over microphone stands to reduce the box-like sound work to a degree. Then we put back in musically appropriate reverberation.

Your direct to Youtube system means the ONLY thing you have is mic position, so they have to be close in, perhaps closer than idea, but you don't have the facilities to then adjust the EQ of the voice and guitar. Your actually using a 50s recording technique, but without the 50s studio to control the sound.

Frankly, there's no way to get the contemporary sound without a computer. In the video we can't see the guitar, so that's on track because there's no need for it NOT to be, but despite her good lip-syncing, note how she does what you do at some points, she turns her head and the sound remains close and intimate.

You simply cannot replicate this without assistance. I appreciate you want to keep it simple and 'real' - so that means getting the mic in close to your mouth, and hearing what you are recording while you are doing it. Then the same with the guitar mic. That will be the best you can do. Nowadays, all kinds of people have discovered the amazing differences technology brings - even choral, classical, opera and string quartets use the technology available to fix things. I'm currently editing a string quartet playing baroque instruments in a period piece, and I'm snipping, pitch correcting and EQ'ing just like a pop piece, because I can fix those timing glitches, and slight mis-pitching. I can tame the one less nice instrument. I can make the first violin a little more prominent - and I can get rid of the horrible squeak the chair makes. A stereo pair would have mean loads of takes, for a less good recording.
 

Winfred

Member
Can you clarify something? I re-read your posts, but it didn't clear it up.

One mic doing voice and guitar, or one for guitar and one for voice? You mentioned using the pop shield for the guitar? They're for wind problems, and of course, no wind from a guitar.

Realistically if you really want to use the zoom and go straight to YouTube, you have problems if you want a contemporary sound - which is usually rich, processed and warm sounding. You have a habitable space, but it sounds like a compromised space for recording. We're NOT talking about sound-proofing, but sound-control. You have all the bad things. Hard wall surfaces, but thankfully carpet at least to remove on of the 6 problem surfaces. You need to think about audio terminology. We rarely work in spaces that have an echo - which is where if you clap, you hear a second clap, shortly after the first. We have reverberation. The single clap is a series of delayed claps which blur the original clap into a 'longer' one. In real buildings you tend to actually get silence immediately after the clap, then the series of delayed returns. Each one less in level. In a cathedral of gothic style, you get a very long silence, then lots of returns, and each of these has it's own silence period while that portion of the sound travels to the next hard surface. The result is a beautiful reverberation lasting over a second to die away, that makes church music sound wonderful, and makes listening to a voice conducting a service almost impossible to understand. In small and mid size spaces, you find these reflections bounce back and forth from the parallel walls, and they sound like a box to our brain, different to the church which sounds like a church. In these rooms we put in lots of absorption - even duvets hung over microphone stands to reduce the box-like sound work to a degree. Then we put back in musically appropriate reverberation.

Your direct to Youtube system means the ONLY thing you have is mic position, so they have to be close in, perhaps closer than idea, but you don't have the facilities to then adjust the EQ of the voice and guitar. Your actually using a 50s recording technique, but without the 50s studio to control the sound.

Frankly, there's no way to get the contemporary sound without a computer. In the video we can't see the guitar, so that's on track because there's no need for it NOT to be, but despite her good lip-syncing, note how she does what you do at some points, she turns her head and the sound remains close and intimate.

You simply cannot replicate this without assistance. I appreciate you want to keep it simple and 'real' - so that means getting the mic in close to your mouth, and hearing what you are recording while you are doing it. Then the same with the guitar mic. That will be the best you can do. Nowadays, all kinds of people have discovered the amazing differences technology brings - even choral, classical, opera and string quartets use the technology available to fix things. I'm currently editing a string quartet playing baroque instruments in a period piece, and I'm snipping, pitch correcting and EQ'ing just like a pop piece, because I can fix those timing glitches, and slight mis-pitching. I can tame the one less nice instrument. I can make the first violin a little more prominent - and I can get rid of the horrible squeak the chair makes. A stereo pair would have mean loads of takes, for a less good recording.

Hi Rob!

I'm using one mic for voice and one mic for guitar. In the video the guitar mic is in the lower left. I reply with quote because I think that's the only way you get alerted to come back to this thread, right? If that's true then in the future I'll always reply with quote. If there's a way around it and still alert the other person then I'll save space and reply without a quote. It is phenomenally quiet recording in that corner of the basement. Twice when pool players came and I had to immediately stop recording, to be social I played both times so far totaling 2 or more hours. Many times I of course heard the pool balls crack and I can say at least with that sound there's no echo.

I just stopped typing this and went down to that rec room. I walked around the room, clapped my hands and also said loudly "test! test!". If one listens very closely you can hear a kind of effect where the sound might for milliseconds seem to create the effect that if you had your eyes closed you could "hear" the sound not quite going to abrupt silence. There's not even close to being an echo there, yet there is that non-abrupt silence if I'm making sense. The false ceiling is that sound proofing about 3 1/2 ft by about 2 ft maybe an inch thick very light drop-in-place ceiling panels. It's about 3 ft below the concrete floor to the second floor. I should not call it a basement floor as it is actually a ground floor. In the past I had both mics on omni to avoid that phase problem as my vocal and guitar mics are only less than 3 ft apart. Does being on omni also negate the type of condition I describe with the "non-abrupt" kind of delay of sharp sounds? Do you think that is enough to cause in effect two sounds and confuse the digitizer, my Zoom Q8 and therefore create that kind of muddled sound with my guitar?

At least to me my guitar in the video has a kind of muddled sound and not really representing how beautiful my cedar top with rosewood back and sides Takamine nylon string guitar really sounds. Am I too fussy? Do you think my guitar sounds muddled in the video? To me my video's audio, my guitar, should be recording at least somewhat like Kieko's Taylor guitar, only hers is a steel stringed guitar, and also others saying her recording has been mastered, and I also can hear a slight reverb with her voice. Is there a trick where I can, since I'll not use the pop screen between my guitar and the mic, maybe swivel the screen back behind the mic instead to stop any doubling of sound in the room that maybe is what muddles my guitar sound? Maybe I could duct tape a coat hangar modified to hold a small drapery of thick cloth and create my own sound deadening hood. Would that work?

Maybe I already have good audio and only need some experienced engineer to master it, right? Do engineers "master" recordings that were recorded with video and audio together, or do they need a recording that is with the video and audio recorded separately? My sprained wrist is better and no pain typing now, but still not normal and thinking of trying to finally start riding my bike again and playing guitar on about Sunday, maybe Saturday... If all I need is mastering, then maybe I'll ask for a refund of the $35 I paid ahead through PayPal to that recording studio. In a way I feel bad as I spent all that money on a Zoom Q8 camera, the pop screens, extra $35 camera battery and $35 battery charger etc. and not getting the quality I was hoping for, yet learning a lot from all the great people here, including your help!

Thanks Again!
Winfred
 
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rob aylestone

Well-known member
Mastering is AFTER it's been well recorded. and is a final polish. You've recorded poorly, plus you have no control over tone, balance, and effects. Yesterday I was sent a piece recorded elsewhere. To my ears, the voice and piano were obviously recorded in two spaces - the piano recording nice, and the vocal nasty. The balance in places poor. With EQ I made the whole sound nicer, and I added some reverb to the voice making it better, but not enough - I couldn't add more because the piano didn't like it!

This is your problem - your workflow is compomised by you being unable to do the studio work. If you recorded your voice totally left and the guitar totally right - somebody in a studio could balance, blend and treat them. A stereo recording is fixed.You are trying to use a recorder designed to capture a perfect sound, and your sound is not perfect. You need separation, and you cannot compare what you are doing with that other guitar piece. It's recorded properly. I don't think the room is in any way the problem. Have you actually tried recording with the pop shields gone? Depending on your voice, they might be esential, or pointless. Experimentation is the key.

Frankly, you need to re-evaluate. The studio did their best with a poor product - you cannot expect miracles, so forget the money you paid.

Do you want a studio sound, or do you want a live, in-the room sound? That's what your present equipment allows. It will never sound very much different used in the press record and it's done if you made no mistakes mode. If you want a high quality, contemporary, polished sound, then you NEED at a minimum, a computer, software and a pair of decent speakers. You also need time to really get to grips with recording.

I think you are expecting too much at the moment.
 
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mjbphotos

What?!?
Hi Mjbphotos!

You have remarkable powers of observation as you picked out details that reveals Keiko's lip or guitar playing sync arrangement that fooled me ha! When I moved the mic away the guitar dropped way off but should just be better at adjusting the gain. I never thought the earbuds mean she's lip syncing too, wow! I see the tip of her microphone in lower left, however she could have an overhead boom mic off camera too for her voice. I am at least aware of that phase problem when mics are too close together. I learned that 17 yrs ago when I last used the same mics when I recorded two solo acoustic piano albums, and get rid of it by keeping them on omni. I also keep the high/low filter at a flat line the way it was when I was recording piano as I play both very low and very high notes in my open C tuning. I'm also very fortunate to have a phenomenally quiet room in the far corner of the 131 apt high-rise I live in and having them on omni is no problem with interfering sounds. If you have time take a look at my post #13 to Keith and #18 to Rob, and if you might have any input on that... but fully understand if you don't have time. Thanks very much for your cogent and lucid observations!

Kindest Regards,
Winfred

Ok, some thoughts:

That big rec room you are using is NOT ideal acoustically. Yes, bigger is better, but I'm afraid to tell you that you are not 'hearing' it correctly. There is no way a room as you describe doesn't have some built-in slap-back echo/reverb.
You have also mistaken the 2 mic phase issue - this is primarily when using 2 mics to record the same source, one mic should be 3X the distance from the source as the other one, if they are not at the same distance from the source. I think your idea of using the mics in omni is just adding all that room sound into the mix so you don't hear any possible phase issues.
Before schlepping all your gear down to that room again, experiment with your mic positioning with the guitar in your apartment. With the (single) mic in cardiod pattern. For a nylon string, I would recommend you try it with the mic out from the 12th fret, but angled slightly towards the soundhole, and start with it about 12" away, then try 18", and 24". I was surprised when I started miking my nylon string guitar that my usual 6" position for steel string guitars didn't work as well - someone here mentioned that giving the sound space to 'bloom is what's needed.
Lastly, using the Zoom camera to record is never going to give you the separation of voice and guitar needed for a mixing engineer to do the best job possible - yes it can be done, but there will always be mic bleed and the fact that your voice is very soft compounds the issue. 59 takes? Even on my worst recording days many years ago (when using a stand-alone digital recorder), I would keep it to under 20 takes! Practice first, record second. As already mentioned - by the time you've done a song a dozen times you are fatigued - both playing and singing.
 

Winfred

Member
Mastering is AFTER it's been well recorded. and is a final polish. You've recorded poorly, plus you have no control over tone, balance, and effects. Yestarday I was sent a piece recorded elsewhere. To my ears, the voice and piano were obviously recorded in two spaces - the piano recording nice, and the vocal nasty. The balance in places poor. With EQ I made the whole sound nicer, and I added some reverb to the voice making it better, but not enough - I couldn't add more because the piano didn't like it!

This is your problem - your workflow is compomised by you being unable to do the studio work. If you recorded your voice totally left and the guitar totally right - somebody in a studio could balance, blend and treat them. A stereo recording is fixed.You are trying to use a recorded designed to capture a perfect sound, and your sound is not perfect. You need separation, and you cannot compare what you are doing with that other guitar piece. It's recorded properly. I don't think the room is in any way the problem. Have you actually tried recording with the pop shields gone? Depending on your voice, they might be esential, or pointless. Experimentation is the key.

Frankly, you need to re-evaluate. The studio did their best with a poor product - you cannot expect miracles, so forget the money you paid.

Do you want a studio sound, or do you want a live, in-the room sound? That's what your present equipment allows. It will never sound very much different used in the press record and it's done if you made no mistakes mode. If you want a high quality, contemporary, polished sound, then you NEED at a minimum, a cpmputer, software and a pair of decent speakers. You also need time to really get to grips with recording.

I think you are expecting too much at the moment.

Hi Rob!

It seems like you are an actual sound engineer with real clients! I never realized that! This is your bread and butter and you are so kind to spend your precious time on wannabe me! If you don't have time for this post I fully understand and maybe someone will pick it up or tune into it. I couldn't play on Monday in that studio you mention and canceled Sunday evening because I sprained my wrist badly. The $36 for one hour I paid in advance I think he'll give me credit for, or I might just resolve my curiosity and still maybe go there to record and use up my paid time and compare the differences to my own recording. That studio does not do videos, so if I use their recording I'll have to figure out how to do the lip sync part of it...

Just today, around 12 AM I carefully started playing some since my injury. I've played in two sessions, also quietly in my apartment, within the past 4 hrs. The walls are very thin here in this Senior Citizen high-rise and the gentleman next door is very sensitive to sounds. Hearing my practicing would be depressing, and he has banged on the wall a couple of times. I play very softly and I think I'm fine, but it's not the same when I can play with my full voice and full range of my nylon string non-amplified guitar when I'm in that isolated and very quiet rec room. I'm not going to be myself yet for a while as pain returned after my attempts today. I also commute 100% by bike and that's a problem for exacerbating my injury.

On the positive side it is amazing how that void or down-time period has caused me to ease back and give more "space" around my notes as Gecko zzed brought up a few days ago. My first video, the actual song time span, was about 6:45. I was told it was far too long, so then with the video you saw I was trying hard to compress it all and made it about 4:12. I have learned thanks to all here. I'm setting my expectations with my in-experience and lower grade equipment too high when I compare it to Keiko's fine professional recording and her phenomenal performance. She's so talented she probably has a "record company" or something professionally behind her and able to get professional grade recordings as it seems she's actually of the tiny percent of songwriters/musicians that probably have an agent and tour and are full professionals. It just seemed she was "at home" and playing in her own room when really that was probably the way the studio set it up so it would look casual and in a home setting... at least that's my guess. Now I'm aware of more thanks to the great insights from you and all here. I'll try to make my video/recording "better" but realize where both my talent level, poor technical abilities, and equipment limitations, lie.

That's interesting what you advise about left and right separation. I have only what you see, the Zoom Q8, my Studio Projects B3 matched pair of condenser mics, nice cables, tripods, and that's it. I have the free version of Reaper. I went through, word by word, a tutorial on how to use Reaper and typed careful notes, then gave up. With my original video I actually posted on YouTube, I only used the YouTube editing which is very basic. Their set-up only allows you to cut out a piece or cut the beginning and end pauses off. To be realistic about myself... I can't really do the precise left and right separation you advise. I will try with the pop screens off. I'll also try instead of using omni try cardioid and figure 8 to see what happens too. It's hard to adjust gain as the screen is very tiny and the camera, to get to it, I have to walk around my mics and adjust at the camera only a little at a time, but can't do so while I'm in position and playing, a big handicap... I think you thought the video I presented here was recorded in that studio and it wasn't. It was recorded by myself. Thanks again for all!

Top of the Day!
Winfred
 

Winfred

Member
Its not imperative that you actually record the video live with the audio. Here's a perfect example of what you can do with some thought. This was recorded in his home studio, shot on an I-phone, and edited with free video software.

I Made a Music Video!

Once you get the audio recorded, you could sit outside on the step and play along with the track with trucks running past and sirens wailing. It won't make a difference in the final product.

Hi TalismanRich!

Very nice of you to take the time and also include a very nice video example. To me he attained a professional level of recording and he's also a very good singer/musician! Maybe I wasted my money on the Zoom Q8 and should've used, and it's still in the box since January due to my indecision, is a bran new Scarlet 2i2. Maybe the 2i2 can make better sound quality than the Q8. Since I have the Q8 I could just do like you say, record at home and lip sync and play anywhere. Since I paid that studio $36 for an hour and had to cancel because of a wrist injury maybe once I'm better I'll go there and record then make my video anywhere. If I make it outside then I think all will be able to tell I'm lip syncing, so I might just do the video in that rec room here. I don't want to wear headphones when I make the video, so I'll maybe play the recording over my laptop.

Thanks again for your patience and help!

Top of the Day!
Winfred
 

Winfred

Member
Ok, some thoughts:

That big rec room you are using is NOT ideal acoustically. Yes, bigger is better, but I'm afraid to tell you that you are not 'hearing' it correctly. There is no way a room as you describe doesn't have some built-in slap-back echo/reverb.
You have also mistaken the 2 mic phase issue - this is primarily when using 2 mics to record the same source, one mic should be 3X the distance from the source as the other one, if they are not at the same distance from the source. I think your idea of using the mics in omni is just adding all that room sound into the mix so you don't hear any possible phase issues.
Before schlepping all your gear down to that room again, experiment with your mic positioning with the guitar in your apartment. With the (single) mic in cardiod pattern. For a nylon string, I would recommend you try it with the mic out from the 12th fret, but angled slightly towards the soundhole, and start with it about 12" away, then try 18", and 24". I was surprised when I started miking my nylon string guitar that my usual 6" position for steel string guitars didn't work as well - someone here mentioned that giving the sound space to 'bloom is what's needed.
Lastly, using the Zoom camera to record is never going to give you the separation of voice and guitar needed for a mixing engineer to do the best job possible - yes it can be done, but there will always be mic bleed and the fact that your voice is very soft compounds the issue. 59 takes? Even on my worst recording days many years ago (when using a stand-alone digital recorder), I would keep it to under 20 takes! Practice first, record second. As already mentioned - by the time you've done a song a dozen times you are fatigued - both playing and singing.

Hi jmbphotos!

This is great! I was using omni based on 17 yr old memory for when I recorded my solo acoustic piano albums! Then I had one source, the piano. Now I have 2 sources, my vocals, and my guitar! Maybe that's it! I played last night and today first time since my injury and pain started getting higher again so it is going to be a while. Maybe I'll just go down to that rec room late maybe tomorrow and record for only one attempt and 10 minutes of playing on cardioid and see what happens! Someone else advised to have the mic right near where neck meets body and I'll try that. With the pop screen I had it about 10 inches away (real tight fit) from just below my saddle or bridge, and also tried at the sound hole and different gain settings etc, but now it will be interesting to try around the 12th fret and at the different distances. In face I'll bring my measuring tape. I did 59 takes as that's what the file number was that the Q8 counts. I even had shorter ones never counted I deleted too... but that was over a period of time, maybe 8 trips down to that rec room to record. I have to record there as the walls are too thin in my apartment. I load up my laundry bag cart with tripods, lights (old desk lights ha), camera, even a couple of sandwiches ha! I have to admit I'd in one session be there for 3 hours and sometimes at odd hours of the night as I don't know how other residents in my Senior Citizen high-rise might react as I'm doing something out of the norm. I've had all those takes even though I do practice, I just get fussy and I guess irrational at times and trying to do better and figure out what I can change. Thanks to all here I'm better off now... at least with my flat learning curve ha! Really in my recording I posted here I was very tired and it was who knows, maybe 2AM ha!

Carpe Diem!
Winfred
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I'd try a few things. Stick just the guitar mic in, and do what mob says above with the mic on cardioid, but remember that cardioids have a null in the rear. Plug in a pair of headphones and listen as you move it around to get 'your' guitar sound. When you get it, stop playing and sing. Can you hear your voice? Loud or quiet? How quiet? Can you adjust the guitar mic position to get less of the voice, but still sound good when you play guitar? Hopefully there will be one magic position where guitar sounds good and voice is almost absent. Then you do the same with the voice mic. The ideal place might be rubbish for the video image and the best video position useless for audio. Can you find the place where guitar is minimal, audio is optimum and warm sounding, the video is acceptable and there are no pops or blasts from your voice?

This is your assignment, if you choose to accept it - hopefully it won't self-destruct.

I honestly think you can do much better, but it is a big step up. The headphones are ESSENTIAL to get the balance as good as you can, and the positioning optimum. Let your ears do the work.
 

Winfred

Member
I'd try a few things. Stick just the guitar mic in, and do what mob says above with the mic on cardioid, but remember that cardioids have a null in the rear. Plug in a pair of headphones and listen as you move it around to get 'your' guitar sound. When you get it, stop playing and sing. Can you hear your voice? Loud or quiet? How quiet? Can you adjust the guitar mic position to get less of the voice, but still sound good when you play guitar? Hopefully there will be one magic position where guitar sounds good and voice is almost absent. Then you do the same with the voice mic. The ideal place might be rubbish for the video image and the best video position useless for audio. Can you find the place where guitar is minimal, audio is optimum and warm sounding, the video is acceptable and there are no pops or blasts from your voice?

This is your assignment, if you choose to accept it - hopefully it won't self-destruct.

I honestly think you can do much better, but it is a big step up. The headphones are ESSENTIAL to get the balance as good as you can, and the positioning optimum. Let your ears do the work.

Hi Rob!

Thanks again for taking the time! I'll have to order an extension cord for my headphones as the camera is too far and the chord seems 6ft long. I feel my wrist is finally back to almost normal. I will before when I have everything set up (I have to set up and tear down every time) I actually to record just do tests where I move the camera close so I can use the headphones, set the mics right, then take the headphones off, move the camera back, and record. That's a great idea and appreciate your advice and everyone's here.

Top of the Evening!
Winfred
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Get a pair of cabled or bluetooth in-ears, pop them in and you can hear the recording. Doing in by guesswork is really restrictive. You get to the end, and discover you kicked the stand!
 

Winfred

Member
Can you clarify something? I re-read your posts, but it didn't clear it up.

One mic doing voice and guitar, or one for guitar and one for voice? You mentioned using the pop shield for the guitar? They're for wind problems, and of course, no wind from a guitar.

Realistically if you really want to use the zoom and go straight to YouTube, you have problems if you want a contemporary sound - which is usually rich, processed and warm sounding. You have a habitable space, but it sounds like a compromised space for recording. We're NOT talking about sound-proofing, but sound-control. You have all the bad things. Hard wall surfaces, but thankfully carpet at least to remove on of the 6 problem surfaces. You need to think about audio terminology. We rarely work in spaces that have an echo - which is where if you clap, you hear a second clap, shortly after the first. We have reverberation. The single clap is a series of delayed claps which blur the original clap into a 'longer' one. In real buildings you tend to actually get silence immediately after the clap, then the series of delayed returns. Each one less in level. In a cathedral of gothic style, you get a very long silence, then lots of returns, and each of these has it's own silence period while that portion of the sound travels to the next hard surface. The result is a beautiful reverberation lasting over a second to die away, that makes church music sound wonderful, and makes listening to a voice conducting a service almost impossible to understand. In small and mid size spaces, you find these reflections bounce back and forth from the parallel walls, and they sound like a box to our brain, different to the church which sounds like a church. In these rooms we put in lots of absorption - even duvets hung over microphone stands to reduce the box-like sound work to a degree. Then we put back in musically appropriate reverberation.

Your direct to Youtube system means the ONLY thing you have is mic position, so they have to be close in, perhaps closer than idea, but you don't have the facilities to then adjust the EQ of the voice and guitar. Your actually using a 50s recording technique, but without the 50s studio to control the sound.

Frankly, there's no way to get the contemporary sound without a computer. In the video we can't see the guitar, so that's on track because there's no need for it NOT to be, but despite her good lip-syncing, note how she does what you do at some points, she turns her head and the sound remains close and intimate.

You simply cannot replicate this without assistance. I appreciate you want to keep it simple and 'real' - so that means getting the mic in close to your mouth, and hearing what you are recording while you are doing it. Then the same with the guitar mic. That will be the best you can do. Nowadays, all kinds of people have discovered the amazing differences technology brings - even choral, classical, opera and string quartets use the technology available to fix things. I'm currently editing a string quartet playing baroque instruments in a period piece, and I'm snipping, pitch correcting and EQ'ing just like a pop piece, because I can fix those timing glitches, and slight mis-pitching. I can tame the one less nice instrument. I can make the first violin a little more prominent - and I can get rid of the horrible squeak the chair makes. A stereo pair would have mean loads of takes, for a less good recording.



Hi Rob!

My wrist is close to normal, enough I can play okay. I'm 66 so maybe I created a bit more arthritis with my injury. Also my own self-imposed low morale came into play ha! I let diffidence creep in on me once again, so a few days have passed in that regard too. I'm close now to leaving for that basement room to attempt recording just as a test. I have to admit, I'm trying to avoid having to lip sync as I feel I won't be very good at it.

Does it mean if I record MOV/WAV, what I have been doing, which I think means audio and video at the same time, that then it is not possible to master the audio? In order to have the very best audio must I then record audio separately, so then it is inevitable that I must lip sync, right? I didn't know until your quoted email above this message that you do mastering. How much would it cost to master my recording of "Both Sides Now"? I feel it is very important I have nice sound quality that represents the nice rich sound of my "new" guitar as it is my debut on YouTube. I chose to record a renowned song to draw attention to what will be my original songs. Really I've banked a lot on self-recording my music. It's the people from the open mics and their liking my music a lot over the last 2 yrs that gave me confidence. Really someone my age isn't taken up by the recording industry and I guess it's in a way part of my bucket list to leave something behind that I feel good about, my original songs.

Really there's 4,000 CD's of my solo piano music I home recorded in 2003 and 2004 that are out there. I have a lot of nice cards and letters I've posted on my apt walls as positive affirmations, but somehow with YouTube many more might hear my music than ever before. Also my videos (I think) will remain online for maybe decades to come, beyond my life-span. So on my limited budget I spent a lot, $716 on my Zoom Q8 camera, and some other necessary accessories, and even $1,000 of my $1,200 stimulus money on a "new" guitar I bought online. Previous to that I had the same $10 Salvation Army store find classical guitar since 1980! Really my new guitar is a very nice sounding Takamine classical guitar from 1986 that shows evidence it was almost never played and made out of very nice wood that professional guitars that cost $3,000 plus have now days. It also, once I put new strings on it, sounds like a pro level acoustic guitar. It seemed divine intervention that I'd found that guitar! I already recently paid in advance $35 to a local recording studio that charges $35 an hour. I canceled as I had sprained my wrist the day before my appointment. I don't know if I should ask for a refund as I'd asked the owner a lot of questions before, so I'm holding on that. I also still might see what I can do in one hour's time in his studio. He said he doesn't do videos, so it's audio only and means lip syncing that I wish I didn't have to do but might find that there's no choice if you tell me I must record audio separately from video.

Because of my delay with all of this I'm also out of practice. Tonight I'll just pull the camera up very close, just use the 6 ft cord my headphones have, set the mics for my voice and guitar the best I can, move the camera back, then record. I'll be sure to have both of my Studio Projects B3 mics on cardioid. I'll keep the hi/low filter at the flat horizontal line which I think means no filtering, not have a pop screen in my guitar mic, and give it a try. Doesn't that cover all the bases that you mentioned?
It's harder as I must take everything down and reset it up each time I play, but at least by memory I'll be able to reset things the same way for my sessions. I replied with quote as I know that increases your chance of knowing I'm sending this your way. Thanks for all the help and to all here at my thread! Here I would have spent a lot more money and bought maybe those ATK mics I didn't really have to buy and also thanks to help here learned that guy was selling counterfeit ATK mics... and realize I have nice enough mics as it is. Thanks very much for any advice, from you or anyone else too who happens to read this.

Top of the Evening!
Winfred
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
One issue with your previous recording was that it was essentially mono. Both channels were blended together which means there's no way you can make any adjustments to the vocal or guitar separately. Recording as MOV + wav allows you to record each channel separately. Now you can adjust the balance of each channel as needed and mix them back together with the video file. Make sure that you have the setting of the Stereo Link to OFF. Its on pages 15-16 of the manual. You want separate channels!

For the B3s, yes, keep them on cardioid and leave the roll offs in the flat position. We can always apply a roll off it need be in the mixing process. You can set all this up before you set up in the basement. Get it all lined up before you start and things will go a lot smoother.

After you get it all recorded we'll look at the files on the SD card and make sure you have the settings right.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
You can't solve poor technique afterwards. To record with clarity you need to follow the advice people have given. You seem, to want a modern polished product without using any of the modern techniques. You don't want to use any technology to make it better,Mao it is what it is. Miming requires more computer work to produce the track to mime to, so for you that is out. Your ONLY solution for your press record, upload to YouTube requirement is mic positioning for separation. More than that you can't do.
 

Winfred

Member
You can't solve poor technique afterwards. To record with clarity you need to follow the advice people have given. You seem, to want a modern polished product without using any of the modern techniques. You don't want to use any technology to make it better,Mao it is what it is. Miming requires more computer work to produce the track to mime to, so for you that is out. Your ONLY solution for your press record, upload to YouTube requirement is mic positioning for separation. More than that you can't do.

Hi Rob!

Thanks very much for responding! "Your ONLY solution for your press record, upload to YouTube requirement is mic positioning for separation. More than that you can't do." Do you mean not to do the "modern techniques" and just reposition my mics? I did record last night with mics on cardioid. I also now have the camera closer so I can reach it. I thought I had to have it farther back but discovered that with the wide angle lense the Q8 has it's fine at arm's length. I was better at more accurately setting the gain for both mics. With the size of my mics and limitations of the tripods I couldn't have my guitar mic at the area just below where the fret board meets the guitar body, meaning toward the sound hole. I had to have the guitar mic pointing just below the saddle. I did get the guitar to dominate in the guitar mic and the voice to dominate in the voice mic. I only did it as a trial as I'm out of practice after my wrist injury. It's still painful at times, and worse playing above the 12th fret as I like to do for one of my variations with my debut song. I commute by bike which can be hard on the wrists too, but trying to balance things out. The guitar sounded much better now I have made those changes, my voice is stronger too. It was a big change with the advice I appreciate so much. What does "Mao" stand for? I'll look more at pages 15 and 16. Thanks for your advice!

Top of the Evening!
Winfred
 

Winfred

Member
One issue with your previous recording was that it was essentially mono. Both channels were blended together which means there's no way you can make any adjustments to the vocal or guitar separately. Recording as MOV + wav allows you to record each channel separately. Now you can adjust the balance of each channel as needed and mix them back together with the video file. Make sure that you have the setting of the Stereo Link to OFF. Its on pages 15-16 of the manual. You want separate channels!

For the B3s, yes, keep them on cardioid and leave the roll offs in the flat position. We can always apply a roll off it need be in the mixing process. You can set all this up before you set up in the basement. Get it all lined up before you start and things will go a lot smoother.

After you get it all recorded we'll look at the files on the SD card and make sure you have the settings right.

Hi TalismanRich!

Thanks so much for your response! I accidentally thought your response was from the same person that I just responded to below. Take a look there as I mention going to pages 15 and 16 but said it to the wrong person. I recorded last night and you'll see what I mention in that post just below. I can't get the guy's name as I'm afraid I'll lose this message, but you'll see. Thanks again for all!!!

Top of the Evening!
Winfred
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
Did you manage to get separate audio files for the two channels? You need to get that point so each channel can be adjusted as needed before mixing back together.
 

Winfred

Member
Hi TalismanRich!

Thanks very much for responding. No, night before last I was only trying to test out the audio quality by for the first time switching my large diaphragm condenser mics from being on omni to cardioid, also keeping the camera arm's length away so I could reach to adjust the gain for both mics, and the placement of the mics. I was hoping the result would be where the voice mic would have my voice dominant and the guitar mic with guitar dominant. I wasn't careful listening on the headphones right away through the camera on playback to see if then there would be good separation effect for stereo. (I set up my equipment in another location that is very quiet in the basement of my high-rise apt bldg.)

Once I returned to my apartment and downloaded the sessions to my desktop and listened on my desktop speakers and my headphones I disappointingly found my voice and guitar exactly the same in both speakers and on both sides of my headphones, just like I'd recorded in mono, strange. I also when adjusting gain carefully watched so the amplification did not go into the red or flat-topping.

Once I listened on my desktop my guitar did not sound good, just like it was flat-topping. My guitar sounds twangy like it did before I tried this new advised way. I was recording only in MOV/WAV and not separately yet in MOV + WAV where its I guess recording the audio separately from the video so then mastering must be done. I have to admit I might not do mastering and hire someone to do it if I have to. I don't trust myself using Reaper yet. Just with all said, shouldn't I have had so far a much better result just by mic placement, keeping the camera close for better gain adjustment, and having my mics on cardioid? It sounds to me exactly the same as before.

I will transfer my recording to the "Google Drive" so I can post it here. For some reason that's what it takes to post a video here, only it takes about 2 hours or more to transfer my video to Google Drive as I have an about 8 yr old computer with 2.0 USB. I also might follow through with the $35 for one hour I paid in advance to a recording studio, although that will mean lip syncing which I'll have to try if that's what it takes going that route. I don't know what I can achieve in a recording studio in one hour with my 5 min on the average song.

In regards to playing... I decided to slow down my tempo because before I was trying to do too much in attempt to make it 3 minutes. I'm also not performing as well with my wrist injury, but mainly wanting to look ahead to see how my present efforts would do for audio quality. 17 years ago with my 2 solo piano CD's I did much better tech-wise. I used ProTools, the same mics on omni, and M-Box by DigiDesign. The engineer I paid to master the result said he was "blown away" by my quality. I had a nice quiet sound floor (as I feel I do now) but also the piano notes sounded nice and rich and dynamic. I guess it must be that it is easier with one sound source as compared to two now, also maybe the Zoom Q8 camera is not as good with audio quality as the old M-Box was. Since January I've had my Scarlet 2i2 still sealed in the original box as I'd bought it, because I changed my mind in going the route with the Zoom Q8. I keep it factory sealed as I might have to sell it on Craigs List, but still hang onto it just in case. Have you heard if the Q8 is lacking in audio quality? It's of course when something goes wrong it's me ha!

I will probably let the video upload to Google Drive later today as it takes a solid block of uninterrupted time to do so, 2 or 3 hours for my short 5 min session. Then I'll post my troublesome result here. Also I'm not sounding as good as a musician in the video, but sound quality result so far is the main thing I wanted to post at this point... Thanks for your patience! I am grateful!

Carpe Diem!
Winfred
 

bouldersoundguy

Well-known member
Winfred, are you familiar with the 3:1 rule of thumb? It's a guideline on how to place multiple mics on multiple sources in a way that keeps each mic picking up its source and not the others. For example, for the vocal mic the distance to the guitar should be at least 3x the distance to your mouth, and for the guitar mic the distance to you mouth should be at least 3x the distance to the guitar. The closer you place each mic to its source the less leakage you'll get.

With side address studio mics sometimes it's hard to tell which side is the active one. On your mics point the side with the logo at the desired source. You're probably already doing that, but it's something that has happened in the past so it's worth a check.
 
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