03 September 2013
The bedroom recording session
In varies recording websites and magazines you can find general rules about where to locate a microphone to get a good sound from violin, viola, cello and so on.
This info can often be a good starting point and explain some general rules and the theoretical back ground of instrument recordings.
My article will be based on a real recording session I had a couple of weeks ago.
I have a duo consisting of me playing the violin and viola and my good friend Rasmus playing guitar and mandolin.
We had to make a high quality recording for a project and had only a couple of hours to do it. So we decided to do it in my home with what gear I had.
We chose the bedroom in my apartment. Because it had a bed and a closet that could tame a little of the room reflections.
I had my Macbook running Garageband and a Focusrite Saffire audio interface. We used a GA projects ribbon mic running into the AEA Trp preamp for the violin and a Neumann TLM 102 and a Bartlett Fiddle Mic running into two Art tube MP preamps for the guitar.
As you see no fancy high end gear, but well chosen components that compliment each other.
For instance the ribbon mic and Trp preamp combination for the fiddle was chosen because ribbons attenuate the aggressive highs of the fiddle. In the mix the highs are then added to bring the sparkle back.
For the guitar we choose the omnidirectional Bartlett mic set really close to the instrument and the TLM 102 with a little distance to the instrument. The Bartlett pointing at the neck 12th fret the TLM 102 at the body.
Our basic idea was to get a one take recording with us both playing at the same time. This would give the most dynamic and tight recording and we did not have the hassle of much editing.
In such a setting bleed is of course a problem so copy/paste editing is not a possibility, so you have to play what you want the listener to hear.
We knew that mixing could be a problem so we decided to use 15 mins of a professional sound engineers time to do some EQ, reverb and multi band compression for a more finalized sound.
Here is the finished mix: