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Live acoustic guitar + vocals- 1 person club setting- Zoom H4N + 2mics or???

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jim bachalo
Live acoustic guitar + vocals- 1 person club setting- Zoom H4N + 2mics or???
on Jul 9, 2012 at 2:44:19 pm

Hi
I want to record great audio for an upcoming concert for an acoustic guitar and vocals(1 person).

My understanding is there are 2 options for this type of situation

1) Use line outs from the PA mixer but you lose control of the audio yourself

2) mic it yourself


I DO have a zoom H$N and am experienced in using lav mics with it. My thinking is that I could use 2 lav mics as well as the 4 channel mode. Use the built-in stereo mics to record audience ambience for 2 tracks, and the other 2 tracks would be used for 2 lav mics, 1 for vocals and 1 for guitar.

A good solution?

Local is the new global


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Peter Groom
Re: Live acoustic guitar + vocals- 1 person club setting- Zoom H4N + 2mics or???
on Jul 10, 2012 at 11:14:19 am

Yes that would not be a bad solution.

Would you rather use the internal pickup of the acoustic (or does it even have 1) and are you sure a lav is best mic choice for the guitar or vocals. You might get a lot of PA spill on a lav.
I think id consider a second recorder to give a choice between mic and pickup on the guitar , and then have a good vocal mic (maybe a split of the pa's mic if its good)
If only 1 recorder then id still prefer a vocal mic and then its just a choice between pick up or mic.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Al Bergstein
Re: Live acoustic guitar + vocals- 1 person club setting- Zoom H4N + 2mics or???
on Jul 10, 2012 at 12:15:08 pm

Why isn't the board feed good enough? Thenuse the zoom for ambience.

Al


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Peter Groom
Re: Live acoustic guitar + vocals- 1 person club setting- Zoom H4N + 2mics or???
on Jul 10, 2012 at 1:03:08 pm

Id only want that as a last resort personally. itll be mixed and eq'd for the performance space, not the recording needs, and the levels will be far from the biggest concern of the house mixer.
Not my pref. id want ALL parameters to be mine until the mix
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Al Bergstein
Re: Live acoustic guitar + vocals- 1 person club setting- Zoom H4N + 2mics or???
on Jul 10, 2012 at 4:01:10 pm

Understood. Then you don't have the right mics to do the job, I'd say. The Lavs will only get you so far. That's why Shures are still a standard everywhere on stage for vocalists, for example. I shoot acoustic guitars and mandolin a lot, (I have played both for years) and you need something other than lavs for those. Routinely I record professionals who bring $1000+ mics to record vocals and acoustic instruments. It's just a totally different game than when you use an amplified instrument. My personal mic for my mandolin is a $350 Sennheiser evolution (which was the mic used by our recording engineer when I recorded a CD in 2006). It has to be close mic'ed to get a decent sound. By that, I mean inches from the sound hole. The lavs range is too limited for this work, IMHO.

I have found that unless you are getting paid big bucks, at which point you should simply hire a sound pro and get them to mic and run the levels correctly, that the board mix, while tuned for the hall and the audience, will get you much closer to an accurate portrait of the sound than what you are talking about doing, in most club situations. It's not that you can't make this work, but I think it will be substandard to your ear. I do all EQ after the fact with the board feed, as do the sound guys that I hire on occasion. I blend my camera mics with it to achieve presence. Sometimes the board sound is not correct, but usually it is. I recently had problems with the addition of an accordian to the stage, which was mic'ed too far back to be any good.

You can hear examples of my work at markpearsonmusic.com as all the videos there were recorded by me, with a sound engineer present. Here's one I recently rolled out.

Controlled studio like setting in a big hall. We used neumann's for guitars and shure's for the vocals. Also on vimeo my channel has a long list of lower budget live recorded acoustic music, some of which are recordings of some of the top mandolin and guitar players from Brazil.

Believe me, they understood recording their instruments. The live work for them was done with board feeds, and EQ'd after the fact. It's all about budget. If you have it, then I'd hire a pro, if not, then like me, you go with the best you can get, which is usually a board feed.

Al


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