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TrapezeArtiste says

Hey guys,

I’m looking for a bit of recording advice, I want to record acoustic guitar and vocals at the same time.

I have a Neumann Tlm 103 with an SE Reflexion Shield for vocals and an SM57 for the acoustic.

My questions are, do I need to buy a better instrument mic and also should I buy an outboard compressor to balance the signals?

I play and sing with a lot of dynamics so need to be able to deal with soft singing aand then belting it out in the same song.

Also should I use more than two mics and do I need another Neumann for the acoustic? If money were no object how would you do it?

Thanks for any advice!

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DanHoodMusic says

With what you have, I would definitely borrow or buy a small diaphragm condenser mic for the acoustic… OR, does the TLM 103 have figure 8 capability? a fun trick is to get another figure 8 mic and point the null regions at 90degrees to each other… 1 null pointed to the acoustic, 1 null pointed the vocal… put the mics close together almost like an XY pattern to help with phasing…

OR turn you reflexion filter sideways to shield the guitar sound from the vocal. definitely compress the vocal to help with dynamics… software or hardware…

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permian says

The simplest advice: you’re not obliged to record vocal and music simultaneously.

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TrapezeArtiste says

Cheers guys!

Yeah I know I can overdub everything but I’m looking to capture live performances by playing and singing at the same time.

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FxProSound says

Try with dynamic microphone like sm58 behind reflection filter for vocal and good pick up for guitar. It may give you best separation for corrections and save ‘live’ feel in your music

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JHungerX says

There might be known tricks like what Dan was saying about the figure 8’s (sounds cool – I will try it someday if I ever have the proper mics), but I think regardless of what you do you’re going to get bleed into the mics and lose some amount of control and separation.

So I’d start with considering a better mic for recording the acoustic. It may be that the SM57 is reducing some of the bleed from the vocal, but for recording acoustics it’s not as suitable as an SDC (of which there are many good ones at varying price points, and probably another topic altogether, but some suggestions are a Shure SM81, Oktava MK012, Rode NT5, all at around 200-350 USD).

I think compression is a great help for both vocals and guitars, and I do sometimes use an outboard compressor, but good ones aren’t cheap and it might be better to see if there’s a software compressor that will suit your needs before laying down the big bucks, and with software demos you can try before you buy. If you really want to go with an outboard model, check out the FMR Audio RNC.

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permian says

(offtopic, as usual) Hola, Joel! What mics do you use for recording your acoustic guitar things? And for you personally, is this really a better solution, comparing to DI-recording (considering the level of nowadays amps/cabs modeling soft) ?

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JHungerX says

Looking back at my answer, I guess I didn’t really add much help to the simultaneous recording issue, did I :)? I guess my thought was that you’re going to get bleed anyway so you might as well use a a better mic, but that’s probably not very good advice for the problem at hand. DI would certainly solve the separation problem like Robert said, but in my experience (albeit with subpar pickups) DI has never sounded that good for acoustic, or at least a mic always sounds better. Really very much my opinion, though, and maybe with the right pickup/guitar I’d feel differently.

I’ve done simultaneous recording using a SM7b for vocals and an SDC for guitar. The SM7B I actually don’t think is the greatest for my voice but will isolate the voice better than LDCs. For steel string I prefer the mics I mentioned above (SM81 or Oktava), and for uke or classical I like a brighter mic like a C451b or KM184.

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permian says

Thanx ;)

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TrapezeArtiste says

Cheers guys!

I’m not massively worried about bleed as I know it’s part of recording that way, I’m more interested in how to get the best overall sound.

I am definitely going to get an outboard compressor, I just sold a Focusrite trackmaster as it was rack unit size and a bit too big for my home set up, is there anything you guys could recommend that is a smaller size?

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