Aaron’s Piano and Voice Duet Review

This project was probably the most challenging out of all of them. This was the first project we were able to do with the Neve board and many of the problems we ran into dealt more with  set up mistakes we were making or in this case problems that other groups created by mistake. We asked Dillon and Angelika  to be our artists for the session. In terms of set up we set the piano up in the middle of the room and used the two Neumann mics on the left and right side of the piano. We then placed an agobo between the piano and the vocal mic to prevent the bleeding into either mix. After fixing the channel mix and changing the output to Stereo Output we were able to get a signal from channels 9 and 10 on the board which is what prolonged us from being able to record.  Derisa and I coached Angelika on how where she needed to be in front of the mic and how to really more consistent in her phrasing because that plays a role in how a listener may perceive how good a recording sounds. For the vocal mic we used the Sennheiser 421 with a pop filter based on previous sessions ( My graduate school recordings). Dillon pretty much kept a balanced sound in both his left and right hands , however we had to make to adjustments to the gain on the board because one of the takes was very piano heavy especially with the right hand. The Overall set up of the piano and vocal mic was pretty successful because we got a balanced sound between the voice and piano. Due to time constraints of our musicians and the scheduling of the studio we were not able to try any other mics. This project further drove home the point that we as students really have to pay attention to what we are doing and even if we have issues we have to work through them effiecntly and quickly because the artist’s time and ours are very valuable.

Sources:

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PJkmNhbQyM
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XlN3kc1Hx0

Taylor/Daniel Duet Project

For my duet project, I recorded Carson Hall playing and original song, Columbias. He played an Alverez acoustic guitar with steel strings.

For the first take, we set up two microphones:

  1. Neumann KM184 on the acoustic guitar, positioned near the 15th fret
  2. Neumann M147 Tube with a pop filter for the vocals

 

The acoustic wasn’t getting as much articulation or body as we’d like, and the track as a whole was very ‘narrow’ and direct, so we decided to add another mic and pan the guitar mics hard left and right.

The mic we added for the second take was a Neumann TLM49, positioned at the body.

We also moved the two previous mics slightly back and away from each other to avoid uneven bleed between all the mics.

 

Both recordings have a little bit of compression and EQ on every channel. I found that I had to scoop a lot of lows (up to 80 Hz) out of the vocal channel, as there was a rumble of noise resonating down there. Aside from the noise, the vocals were a little boomy, but adding the low cut filter helped produce a clearer sound.

Daniel Hubert – Guitar and Vocal Duet Recording

Recording Partner: Taylor Neal

First Take:

In this recording, an Alvarez acoustic guitar with steel strings is played. Vocals and guitar were recorded simultaneously. The guitar is mic’d with a Neumann TLM 49 (FET) placed about 8 inches away from the body of the guitar and a Neumann KM 184 placed about 10 inches away from the 15th fret on the guitar. Both of these microphones are angled downwards to avoid picking up excessive vocal signal. The vocals are mic’d with a Neumann M 147 tube microphone. The vocal mic was placed directly in front of the singer and about 1.5 feet away. The sound is very atmospheric. The vocals sit nicely in the middle of the guitar signals, which are panned left and right.

 

Second Take:

In this recording, the same Alvarez guitar is played again. The vocals and guitar were also recorded simultaneously, but here, only one microphone was used on the guitar. The Neumann KM 184 was positioned about 1.5 feet away from the guitar’s 15th fret. The Neumann M 147 tube mic was again placed in front of the singer about 1 foot away. There is good separation between the vocals and guitar. The vocals are very clear and crisp sounding.

Adam Duo Project

For my duo project I recorded a 1964 Gibson C-1 nylon string acoustic guitar with a male vocalist. For the acoustic guitar we used a Neumann TLM 49 and pointed it at the 12th fret of the guitar about six inches away. For the vocalist we used a Neumann M147 tube mic placed about 6 inches away from him. During the mixing process I doubled the guitar tracks and panned one slightly left and one slightly right. I kept the lest guitar track natural and added a clean amp plugin the right. I then compressed and equalized each guitar track. For the vocals I equalized and compressed and added a slight reverb. I then went in and did some volume automation to each track. Finally I equalized and compressed the master track. The one error we made was we recorded the musicians too close together which caused quite abit of bleed from the vocal track into the guitar track.

 

Derisa’s Duet Recording

Piano and Vocal Recording

Piano: Dillion Acey

Vocalist: Angelika Robinson

After a few technical difficulties Aaron, Chris, and I were finally able to record the duet. We used two Nuemann 147 to mic the piano using the “Rock” technique. Then for the vocalist, we use Schennzier 421 with a pop filter. We placed a makeshift gobo in between the vocalist and the piano in an attempt to prevent excessive bleeding. While helping my group members run the sound board I was also in the next room catching the vocalist and pianist. I took the “Rule of Three” account and it worked much better in my favor than previous attempts. We did a total of three takes and we came to a consensus that Take #2 was the best. From an engineering standpoint in retrospect, I would have done the entire recording process differently. Although the 421 is a good microphone I would have used the TLM 49 with a pop filter for the vocalist because of the tambour of her voice as well as the style of the piece. The TLM is good at picking up lower frequencies which would been the most suitable. Secondly, I would have placed her a little further from the piano along with another gobo. Finally, I would have miked the piano using a different technique. The “Rock” technique was too percussive for the style. I fell like it would have been better suited if we did a wide stereo balanced technique instead. That way the sound can be warm yet detailed enough without the emphasis on the attacks that the “Rock” technique provides.

While mixing I wanted the piano to sound further away yet graceful and angelic so I used some reverb on the (Piano Right) microphone to capture the upper/mid register in that light. I also EQ both piano mics to turn dow the midi and cancel out unwanted high/low frequencies. On the vocalist after paying attention to the lyrical content I wanted her voice to sound like a broken record or a chord with electrical issues. So I added “bit crusher and overdrive to the voice” My vision was for the song to sound cold and as if there was a distance between the piano (supposed lover) and the vocalist.

  Sources

In the Studio: Close-Miking An Acoustic Grand Piano