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Author Topic: New microphone in the house - Cliff Mics RM1 - recordings within  (Read 3421 times)
ST
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« on: October 03, 2014, 09:27:33 PM »

Larrivée C38 recorded with RM1 - sample 1

Larrivée C38 recorded with RM1 - sample 1

Both of these recorded at about 12" with Cliff Mics RM1 aimed midway between sound hole and 12th fret

And this one is unusual and not something you would normally do.
Big Jazz box through a Kemper Profiling Amp to a Bose L1® Model II recorded by the Cliff Mics RM1.

L5 Kemper Profiling Amp to L1 recorded with RM1 (short clip)

L5 Kemper Profiling Amp to L1 recorded with RM1 (long version)

I'd be interested in your impressions.  Thanks!
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abalone at last
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2014, 01:41:11 PM »

Hi ST, I listened to your older samles as well, and though they were played on the LS and OMV, I thought the new samples sounded better. To put into words, clearer, warmer and louder . Almost like you added a tube preamp to your sound.
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2014, 03:55:44 PM »

Hi abalone at last,

Thank you for listening and for your input. I'm really enjoying what I getting through this new microphone. The older recordings were done with large and small condenser microphones. Mostly, good ones. I haven't listened to those recordings in some time. They were mainly for testing technical ideas rather than capturing the music. Maybe it's time to clean the closet.

I haven't done much recording at least in part because I was never really happy with the tone that I was getting from the guitar. I've done more recording in the past few days than I have in years.

Thanks for listening!

Hi ST, I listened to your older samles as well, and though they were played on the LS and OMV, I thought the new samples sounded better. To put into words, clearer, warmer and louder . Almost like you added a tube preamp to your sound.
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2014, 04:16:30 PM »

ST:  Sounds great!

Now after visiting the Cliff's site, you have me jonesing for one of these mics!  I love Cliff's engineering mindset and the beautiful engineer-focused industrial design.  However, I did a 'price-check' - whoa!

Not for the average consumer of course.  But still a beautiful product.  I recommended that he get advertising in Guitar Aficionado.
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2014, 04:23:01 PM »

ST, I think it would be cool and of great interest to the recording nerds here, if you did one giant shootout with all of your unique microphones and transducers.

I remember being very impressed by the C-ducer samples you posted a few years ago.  Do you have the recording capability to do a simultaneous recording of all of your various mics and pickups?  I have yet to hear any of your recordings which sound poorly done, btw.  Your playing skill and mic placement are top drawer.

-Scott
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2014, 07:03:10 PM »

Hi Scott,

Thank you for listening. I appreciate that.  And thank you for your kinds words about the recordings.

Here's a little something to listen to while you're reading.  These are simultaneous recordings that I did in the middle of the night a few hours after the RM1 arrived. I just set up the RM1 and the MTG UMT70S side-by-side,  picked up the Morgan and hit record.  I did the second guitar part on a whim. For me, double tracking my own stuff is boring, but I did it this time to see if it would work.

A Cry Out for Love Cliff Mics RM1
Notes about this microphone Cliff Mics RM1

A Cry Out for Love MTG UMT70S
Notes about this microphone Microtech Gefell UMT70S

Recording Nerds? Hmmm.

One of the reasons that I don't record much is that I'm all about the live show. Last night I found myself fronting a band of 20 somethings at a big private party, outside on a couple of acres. The band members were huge fans of Frank Zappa, and they had the chops to prove it. We knew each other by reputation and when the host asked us if we could do something together - well why not.

We rocked out a wild jam set of esoteric arrangements of lesser known Indy, R&B, Blues, and originals. There was nothing band couldn't follow and support. A beautiful night. The energy was over the top on stage and we were buoyed by the audience (mainly 20-30s) doin' what youngun's do when they are riled up. Would I have wanted a recording of that - no. You just had to be there.

Over the past few years I've sold off most of my largely-unused recording gear to fund things that I could use live. The Kemper Profiling Amp is one of the more interesting acquisitions. And that's a whole 'nuther conversation.

Quote

Do you have the recording capability to do a simultaneous recording of all of your various mics and pickups?

I've just picked up a Steinberg UR22 USB 2 Audio Interface two channel interface so that's about it for simultaneous recording. When I saw your post I picked up the keys and got half-way to the door. I seriously considered running back to the store to get the 8 channel interface that I had considered before getting the Steinberg. Last week when I went shopping for interfaces it was specifically for something USB powered and small enough to throw into a case with my Surface Tablet to do some recordings of local musos with the RM1. Just single mic stuff for posterity and fun.

Fun in that sense would be single-take, direct to track, no post-production. The RM1, being a ribbon microphone is bi-directional. Rather than double tracking, I would put the a couple of performers facing each other with the RM1 in the middle. I tried that a few days ago with a buddy, but I got mesmerized by what he was doing and I forgot to play. We'll probably try that again next time we're together. I want the whole rig to be small enough that it's not a big deal to do a field recording.  So I put down my car keys.

If I had to take a rack unit out to do recordings, I probably wouldn't do it. So for the time being, I'll stick with the little two channel interface that I've got.

The recording above was heat-of-the moment - "let's see how this thing sounds". Aaaah.

It had been a very long time since I just stood in front of a microphone hanging in the air 18-24" away and just let 'r rip. When I play live I always use a vocal microphone in my face and use the pickup in my guitar.  The balance of vocal and guitar is easy that way. Using a single microphone is both liberating and yet more demanding as you get to produce the mix in the air as you sing and play.

So what you're hearing in the recordings above is just me and the Morgan. I set up the two microphones side by side, checked the levels so they were even and hit record. I split the tracks into separate files so that I could listen to them later.

What do you think?
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2014, 11:23:28 PM »

I will check it out later.

You know, you can do mid side method using the Cliff and the Gefell (set to cardioid pattern), right?  With Cliff's description of it's non-standard figure-8 pattern, I think this might make for a glorious mid-side as it would emphasize the L/R highs differences even more than a typical figure 8 mic.

I used to have a Cascade Fat-Head ribbon mic (knock a zero off the price of the RM-1), and it required too much gain and had quite a bit of self noise.

Now, to do mid-side proper, you need a way to 'decode' the signals into L/R.  Here's a description at B&H Photo: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/audio/tips-solutions/recording-mid-side-microphone-configuration

My DAW is Tracktion and I built a 'rack' in tracktion to decode M/S recorded signals, though I don't have a figure 8 mic any longer.

Do you still use the C-ducer?
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2014, 04:37:39 AM »

Hi Scott,

I hadn't gotten around to trying Mid-Side, but since you mentioned it, here you go.

Mid-Side Test - MTG UMT70S with RM1 (for side)   - careful - this is louder than the previous recordings.

Unfortunately the new interface died just before I hit record. So I had to use my older interface and it's a little noisy. But this will give you a sense of how mid-side works with these two microphones.

Details.

1999 Larrivée LS05 (dead strings sorry)
Mid - MTG UMT70S
Side - Cliff Mics RM1

Distance 12"
Mid aimed at mid point between sound hole and 14th fret.

I'm using Audacity.

There's plenty of clean gain in the RM1 because it has a built-in preamp.

 
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2014, 05:21:31 AM »

Hi Scott,

Since the Microtech Gefell can do a figure 8 pattern I did this too.

Mid-Side Test - RM1 mid MTG UMT70S side

Details.

1999 Larrivée LS05 (dead strings sorry)

Mid - Cliff Mics RM1
Side - MTG UMT70S

Distance 12"
Mid aimed at mid point between sound hole and 14th fret.

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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2014, 05:34:12 AM »

Nearly forgot -

Mid-Side Test RM1 Mono

I removed the "side" tracks so now we're hearing only the RM1. I did this to compare to the mid-side stereo version (same link as in previous post).
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2014, 03:28:57 AM »

Hey there,

If you're still listening - thank you!

It's amazing what you hear when you've got a decent microphone. I was playing these tracks back later and I heard a rough spot on one of my fingernails so I had to  re-do the recordings above. The links are still the same.

To get all the relevant links into one post here is the latest mid-side recording with the Larrivée LS05

Mid Side Test RM1 LS05 1999 Englemann / Mahogany

Since everything was set up and I was feeling pretty confident about the process did these just for interest's sake.

Mid-Side Test RM1 Morgan Concert 1994 Sitka Spruce / Maple

Mid-Side Test RM1 PS10 1994  Englemann / Brazilian

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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2014, 04:02:49 AM »

Hey, I will take a listen soon - with phones, not the crummy desktop speakers I have in front of me.

Which of the mics did you use as the figure 8 pattern and which as the monaural/cardioid pattern when you said one was 'mid' and the other 'side'?

Did you do the decoding to L/R as mentioned in the Sound on Sound article?

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« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2014, 05:21:26 AM »

Hi Scott,

Yes, I did the decoding as described in the Sound On Sound article.

In first recording 1. Mid-Side Test MTG UMT70s-RM1 (vocal and LS05)
I used the
Microtech Gefell UMT70S as the mid (Monaural/Cardioid)
Cliff Mics RM1 for the side

While this was interesting for the stereo effect, I missed the warmth of the RM1 up front so for all the other recordings I did this.
Cliff Mics RM1 as the mid (Monaural/Cardioid)
Microtech Gefell UMT70S for the side (it also has a figure-8 mode).

I'll list the recordings as again so you don't have to go hunting through the previous posts.

2. Mid Side Test RM1 LS05 1999 Englemann / Mahogany

3. Mid-Side Test RM1 Morgan Concert 1994 Sitka Spruce / Maple

4. Mid-Side Test RM1 PS10 1994  Englemann / Brazilian

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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2014, 03:33:38 AM »

OK, I got a chance to listen through my in-ear monitors - which serve as headphones as well as isolating from extra noise in the room.

Did you know that you can play with the width of the stereo field with M/S recordings simply by changing the relative levels of the mono and figure 8 mics?  Before you throw away use of the RM1 as the side mic, you might want to go back and try playing around with the relative levels between the two original tracks.

I would recommend getting a recording/editing software that is easier to use than Audacity.  You are dropping major coin on gear, spend a little bit of coin on your editing software.  For example, should you ever want to do multiple tracks; one after the other, Audacity is nearly impossible to use for that purpose.  That has been my experience.  It has no built-in latency compensation.

I use Tracktion - which is only $60:   http://www.tracktion.com/
If you think you'll do audio and video editing together, a cheap but very useful software is MixCraft: http://www.acoustica.com/mixcraft/

Then there's Studio One from PreSonus clocking in at $100-$400
and a raft of others.

Nearly any audio interface will also come with some basic level of recording/editing software that will run circles around Audacity.
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« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2014, 08:28:42 PM »

Hi Scott,

Thanks for the suggestions about the software. The Steinberg interface came with Cubase AI. Unfortunately the Steinberg interface died just as I finished setting up the microphones for the Mid/Side experiments. Cubase won't recognise my other interface. 

I'm off to the store to get another interface this afternoon, and it seems that they all come with software.   I used Audacity because I already had it, and for what I've been doing up to this point, it was fine, but I take your point, there are lots of options.

I did try raising/lowering the side tracks and depending on the music, I would do that more creatively.

Now that you've heard the clips - what did you think of what you heard?

Here's another quick track. Mid Side Test AKG C451E RM1
For this one I used an AKG C451 E for the cardioid in the mid position and the RM1 for the side.

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