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

rob aylestone

Well-known member
It's easy to get confused with who is saying what. You have a computer that is connected to the internet? Have you tried to get the files from the Zoom onto the computer? You can use the free audacity software on even quite slow computers with just a few tracks. You would then be able to apply tonal adjustments, and maybe a bit of panning and even a bit of reverb in a fairly trouble free way. Then you could try some 'sweetening'. Your technique at the moment is all guesswork, and you only know at the end of the song if it was OK. Remember that not only do you aim the most sensitive angle at the wanted source, you also orient the mics so that the unwanted sound from the other source is minimise in the null at the rear.

If the miming thing is a bit scary - why not do a half-sync. Record the guitar part on it's own, then sing live to the prerecorded guitar track. This will give you total separation and only guitarists might notice your fingers - everyone else looks at lips! If your hands are a bit dodgy, this might also save some pain.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
BSG, I think the issue here is that when recording in MOV, both the internal and external mics are mixed together in a stereo file. I have his original posting of Both Sides now and while it has a stereo track, the two channels are basically the same. The cancellation by reversing the phase of a mono mix is pretty massive I'm sure that if you were to look at the mixer screen on the Q8, the pan knobs on the external mics would probably be centered. I'm guessing the differences are that the internal mics are picking up slightly different sound fields.

In MOV+WAV format, you get 4 separate files, the MOV file, a stereo WAV file from the internal mics, and two mono WAV files for the external mics.

There should be no issue with the Q8's audio quality, its ALL in the setup. The tools are there, but he needs to get them set properly.

BTW, while listening to Both Sides Now, I really wouldn't say that the guitar sound is in any way "tinny" and its certainly not anything that couldn't be tweaked a bit.. There may also be an issue with the monitoring chain. I don't know his monitoring situation. Even on my little JBL 305, the guitar sounds pretty decent.
 

bouldersoundguy

Well-known member
BSG, I think the issue here is that when recording in MOV, both the internal and external mics are mixed together in a stereo file.

Yeah, that would be a problem. The low effort solution might be to turn the gain down on the internal mics and pan the external mics, but the right solution would be to use the +WAV option. Aside from mixing in the onboard mics, audio embedded in a video file might be somewhat degraded compared to the separate audio file.
 

Winfred

Member
Hi!

It's been a while and thought I should check in. I keep playing and think about you all here. I haven't gone to that pro studio yet as once the weather here is warmer then I'll go. It's 2 1/2 hrs by three city buses to get there and 2 hrs 35 min to ride my bike one way (saving energy and out of shape ha) to get back. Really I should, like talismanRich says, take an Uber taxi. I might do that, although 99% of the people don't know that Uber, as I've read, is not fair to their drivers etc. so I'll boycott and take the bus system, so 5 hrs round trip! It's very important to get my debut song out. I lost the email address and don't exactly remember the name of the lady at Sony Music in NYC who said to post it and they will monetize it. I think she really meant they will monetize if my cover does well. I had to clear it with Sony as that's where I was told to go for Joni Mitchell's music. Another seasoned musician said that was a big deal Sony is letting me do that and not charging me a lot of money. I'm thinking maybe they forgot about me at Sony by now. It sounded like they notify YouTube about me, so hopefully that stays in the YouTube system when I post.

Why the big time gap here? I also let some diffidence creep in, a bit of a theme in my life. With no open mics I find myself not writing as much music, although I have 107 fragments of songs and also practice runs on my Tascam DR-05. When I was in the hospital 2 weeks ago I reviewed a lot of those, about 50 recordings, and found three songs I like a lot. If I don't record right away I lose the melodies, just like one does when first waking and remembering a dream. If I don't catch it soon I lose it. I figured long ago I have 2 1/2 hrs of music if I lined my original songs up. Just out of the expense of pro recording, I'll just have to rely on my Zoom Q8 and my Studio Projects mics, which someone here said is a setup that should get very nice results. I just need to review what I'm doing wrong. Buying that Takamine No.10 guitar used from ReVerb Nation with most of my stimulus money, I mean buying a $1,000 guitar that I didn't play first, in the end, once I put new strings on it, it sounds amazing! That was divine intervention right there! It was made in 1986 and from careful look-over I swear it was played very little, was in storeage basically for 34 years! The way the contact points with the original strings I could tell were the only strings ever put on it! I can hardly believe I have such a nice guitar, and a big change from the old $10 guitar I played since 1981. I love that guitar too.

I always thought the applause from listeners when I attended concerts and open mics as a listener for years, that it was a more superficial temporary positive for the songwriter/musician, but since I decided to go public with open mics I realize now with covid19 isolating how lasting that expression of appreciation is. When I was doing open mics I started to feel that I was writing for someone besides myself. I picked up the energy and it stays with me, but I must admit with isolation etc I fell into a big motivational songwriting loss. I need to rejuvenate. The studio minimum is 2 hrs at $50 an hour and the owner said my about 3:30min song, a cover, Both Sides Now, by Joni Mitchell, would probably all together take 3 hrs. I never imagined that! I have some Christmas, Birthday, and Stimulus money saved so I can do it! Even though I take the city buses I still end up about 3/4ths of a mile from the studio. I also need to feel I'm "ready" as during my diffident phase, also a reticent phase added in, I held back. The weather got worse too. I have been reading the posts again in several of my threads as the advice is lasting input I am very grateful for. Thanks for your patience with me! I hope my journey with this is helping others too.

Carpe Diem!
Winfred
 

bouldersoundguy

Well-known member
If you post a cover on YouTube, there's a good chance the algorithm will recognize it. If it does, the usual result is that YT monetizes the song (puts ads on it) and shares the revenue with the rights holders. Very rarely a song will be taken down, but I've posted quite a few covers and none have been removed. A few have slipped through the algorithm and not been monetized. So don't worry, just post it and let YT do its thing.
 

Winfred

Member
Hi All!

I hope you all are doing okay with the pandemic! I had CoVid19 last November 2020. I had what I consider a moderate case for 3 days that never effected my lungs as far as lung capacity. I had coughed some for 2 weeks, but not the severe respiratory problems many my age, over 65, had. The odd thing was 14 days after I thought I was over it and okay to take city bus I went to get tested. I even felt good enough I rode my bike 25 miles to get home. So the next day the message came I had tested positive! I never heard of that happening! My doctor said isolate 7 more days, so I isolated a total of 21 days.

I can't find where I posted here in this thread what happened once I posted my home recorded video on YouTube. In about July 2020 I posted it. In 2 1/2 days I got 104 hits, 3 subscribers, 7 very nice comments, and about 5 of those from people I didn't know. I had mentioned here I was going to post, so thanks to those who commented and listened. Other musicians at the open mics I went to said 104 hits was very good. I took my video down because I thought other YouTubers would see a poor score and skim past my video thinking it was a waste of time. I also took it down because I thought it sounded tinny and not deep and natural like others who post on YouTube like Keiko Necesario
singing the same cover song I planned to sing, "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell. I don't mean to come across that I hope to be as talented as Keiko ha! No way! I just want to leave something behind in my life that others can hopefully enjoy.

I wanted to, as my debut to the YT world, sing a popular folk song to attract listeners, then later follow with my original folk songs. Others gave good advice that they think Keiko wasn't recording at home, but had recorded in a pro studio then later lip synced it. I found a pro studio and the owner said $50 an hour and it would take 3 hours for a 3:30 minute version. I trimmed down from 6:48 which might have driven away listeners too. I ended up never going to that studio as I let diffidence creep in as all too often the usual case with me. I want to try again. I'm wondering, even if the record quality isn't like Keiko's I can save, plus I don't own a car and the studio is according to Google Maps 25.9 miles by bike and 2hrs 20min, but I remember my test ride without my guitar on my back was almost 3 hours! It's another reason to try recording at home again. Any advice is much appreciated.

I emailed the owner of the studio last May 2021 and he never answered. Maybe he's no longer taking me seriously, sad. I never made an appointment with him in the summer of 2020, just emailed, so I didn't break any rules of proper etiquette that way. Maybe he is angry with me. I'll try again but still holding back before I do so.

Carpe Diem!
Winfred
 
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rob aylestone

Well-known member
The thing is any studio that tells you how long something will take 3 hours for a 3:30 is making a guess. How many mistakes before the clock is running down and they say - yes, thats the one - and it isn't?

You sort of missed the point a bit about the lip-syncing. Miming is no longer a crime and doing video AND audio means there's more to go wrong so instead of taking twice the time, it probably takes 4 times as long. In your original post we listened to, the tone of the guitar is very mellow and dark - it's also so loud your quiet singing style means I doubt you'll be able to record both at the same time. As you can also see in that video - you are reading, and every time your face moves to the left, it has to pop back again to presumably grab the next line of the lyrics? For your voice, the mic placement is very important and the best place for the mic probably will be wrecked by the guitar - so record the guitar first, and you can probably do a decent job yourself. You just need to play, record, listen - move the mic. Over and over again till it sounds like you want. Then you record your voice, over and over again. You need to then merge the two in a computer - add the appropriate EQ and reverb. Do you have this facility, or are you doing a one shot picture and two mics because that is all you have?

If you go into a studio, they'll record the guitar after fiddling with a mic/2 mics and then play that back while you sing to it. When you have the track done - you could sing and play to it if your ability to replicate what you sang and played is working and record the picture, playing in the track to the recorder, rather than it's mics. Most people would rather have good quality audio than nice pictures and poorly done audio.

The track you clearly like is mega processed - listen to her voice - the whispiness, the clarity and the processing and reverb. As we cant see her fingers she's probably not evben playing the guitar - i doesn't matter!
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
Welcome back, W. Sorry to hear about your bout with C-19. Glad to hear you pulled through it ok.

One clue that the video is mimed is that she is wearing earbuds. For a simple guitar/voice recording, there's really no need for earbuds or monitoring at all.
 
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