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Audio Recording Techniques

Using the spaced pair configuration


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Audio Recording Techniques

with Bobby Owsinski

Video: Using the spaced pair configuration

Here's another stereo microphone configuration that's pretty easy to set up but is actually a lot harder than it seems. In this movie, I'm going to show you how to set up and use the spaced pair configuration. With the spaced pair technique, two identical mics are played several feet apart aiming straight ahead towards the instrument or musical ensemble. The mics can have any polar pattern, but an omni- directional pattern is the most popular for this method. The greater the space in between mics, the greater the stereo spread, although it's usually somewhere between 3 and 10 feet.
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  1. 5m 28s
    1. Welcome
      2m 11s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      1m 22s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 29s
    4. Listening to this course
      26s
  2. 6m 39s
    1. Setting up your monitors
      4m 17s
    2. Using a basic listening technique
      2m 22s
  3. 25m 29s
    1. Exploring different microphone types
      5m 16s
    2. Microphone directional response basics
      2m 43s
    3. Hearing different directional patterns
      4m 58s
    4. Exploring how the proximity effect works
      3m 55s
    5. Explaining microphone controls
      1m 49s
    6. Reviewing microphone accessories
      3m 3s
    7. Exploring direct boxes
      1m 9s
    8. Exploring amplifier emulators
      2m 36s
  4. 24m 32s
    1. Explaining the microphone preamplifier
      3m 59s
    2. Choosing a preamp
      1m 35s
    3. Setting up the mic preamp
      1m 39s
    4. Setting the record level
      2m 29s
    5. Using proper gain staging
      1m 46s
    6. Knowing what to do if distortion occurs
      2m 0s
    7. Using the compressor during recording
      2m 58s
    8. Using the equalizer (EQ) during recording
      2m 24s
    9. Using the high-pass filter during recording
      1m 4s
    10. Exploring the principles of EQ
      47s
    11. Avoiding latency
      3m 51s
  5. 15m 40s
    1. Finding the best place in the room to record
      2m 44s
    2. Choosing the right mic
      2m 24s
    3. The secret to mic placement
      2m 12s
    4. Understanding phase cancellation, the sound destroyer
      2m 29s
    5. Checking polarity
      3m 9s
    6. Checking the phase by listening
      2m 42s
  6. 54m 29s
    1. Finding the right placement in the room for the drums
      1m 48s
    2. The keys to a great drum sound
      2m 2s
    3. Tuning the drums
      2m 19s
    4. Tuning tips and tricks
      2m 26s
    5. Miking the bass drum without a front head
      2m 15s
    6. Miking the bass drum with front head port
      1m 5s
    7. Miking the bass drum with a front head
      1m 12s
    8. Using a subkick microphone
      1m 31s
    9. Miking the snare drum: Technique one
      3m 2s
    10. Miking the snare drum: Technique two
      57s
    11. Adding a bottom snare mic
      1m 45s
    12. Miking the hi-hat
      2m 14s
    13. Miking the toms
      2m 24s
    14. Miking the cymbals
      3m 14s
    15. Miking the overall kit
      1m 25s
    16. Using room mics
      2m 2s
    17. Getting the drum sound
      2m 47s
    18. Getting the correct drum mix balance
      2m 50s
    19. Checking the drum phase
      2m 18s
    20. Panning the drums
      2m 25s
    21. Tweaking the drum sound with EQ
      3m 10s
    22. Using the one-mic drum recording technique
      2m 37s
    23. Using the two-mic drum recording technique
      1m 5s
    24. Using the three-mic drum recording technique
      1m 45s
    25. Using the four-mic drum recording technique
      1m 26s
    26. Tips for drummers to use before recording
      1m 15s
    27. Tracking a solo drum part
      1m 10s
  7. 27m 31s
    1. Finding the right placement in the room for the guitar
      1m 24s
    2. Miking the amplifier: Technique one
      1m 58s
    3. Miking the amplifier: Technique two
      1m 30s
    4. Miking the amplifier: Technique three
      1m 54s
    5. Using the Marshall cabinet miking trick
      1m 30s
    6. Recording the electric guitar direct
      6m 51s
    7. Prepping for recording acoustic guitar
      58s
    8. Recording the acoustic guitar with one mic
      2m 46s
    9. Recording the acoustic guitar with two mics
      1m 46s
    10. Recording the acoustic guitar with three mics
      1m 19s
    11. Exploring stereo acoustic guitar miking techniques
      1m 31s
    12. Recording the acoustic guitar direct
      1m 14s
    13. Using a limiter when recording acoustic guitar
      1m 39s
    14. Tracking the guitar part
      1m 11s
  8. 14m 0s
    1. Finding the right placement in the room for the bass
      57s
    2. Recording the bass using a direct box
      1m 44s
    3. Miking the bass amplifier
      2m 13s
    4. Using a limiter when recording the bass guitar
      3m 8s
    5. Miking an acoustic bass: Technique one
      3m 4s
    6. Miking an acoustic bass: Technique two
      1m 43s
    7. Tracking the bass part
      1m 11s
  9. 20m 47s
    1. Finding the right placement in the room for vocals
      53s
    2. Recording a scratch vocal
      1m 24s
    3. Exploring vocal mic placement
      3m 2s
    4. Using a limiter on vocals
      2m 7s
    5. Recording in the control room
      1m 35s
    6. Setting up the vocal headphone mix
      2m 26s
    7. Doubling the vocal
      2m 52s
    8. Getting the best from a singer
      1m 16s
    9. Exploring background vocal mic placement
      2m 53s
    10. Layering background vocals
      1m 5s
    11. Recording the lead vocal part
      1m 14s
  10. 10m 49s
    1. Recording a solo grand piano with one mic
      2m 14s
    2. Recording a solo grand piano in stereo
      1m 8s
    3. Close miking a grand piano with one mic
      3m 10s
    4. Close miking a grand piano with two mics: Method one
      1m 39s
    5. Close miking a grand piano with two mics: Method two
      1m 25s
    6. Recording the piano part
      1m 13s
  11. 13m 57s
    1. Finding the right placement in the room for horns
      1m 18s
    2. Recording a solo sax: Technique one
      2m 40s
    3. Recording a solo sax: Technique two
      2m 30s
    4. Recording a solo brass instrument
      3m 20s
    5. Recording a horn section: Technique one
      2m 27s
    6. Recording a horn section: Technique two
      30s
    7. Recording the horn section part
      1m 12s
  12. 7m 30s
    1. The key to miking any acoustic instrument
      1m 3s
    2. Recording an acoustic string instrument
      2m 25s
    3. Recording a dobro
      1m 36s
    4. Recording the dobro part
      1m 13s
    5. Recording the string section
      1m 13s
  13. 2m 36s
    1. Recording drum percussion
      1m 19s
    2. Recording hand percussion
      1m 17s
  14. 5m 23s
    1. Recording electric keyboards
      1m 58s
    2. Recording acoustic instruments with a pickup
      2m 11s
    3. Recording the synth part
      1m 14s
  15. 12m 4s
    1. Understanding the idea behind stereo recording
      1m 14s
    2. Using the X/Y configuration
      3m 21s
    3. Using the ORTF configuration
      2m 27s
    4. Using the spaced pair configuration
      3m 16s
    5. Using a stereo mic
      1m 46s
  16. 20m 26s
    1. Setting up for a tracking session
      4m 17s
    2. Setting up a talkback mic
      1m 27s
    3. Using sound leakage to your advantage
      1m 36s
    4. Setting up the headphone mix
      2m 31s
    5. Setting up a click track
      2m 11s
    6. Setting up for overdubs
      2m 17s
    7. Recording the rhythm section in the studio
      6m 7s
  17. 48m 47s
    1. The keys to a great rough mix
      4m 55s
    2. Setting up the effects
      3m 47s
    3. The rough mix of Simply Falling
      35m 35s
    4. The final mix of Simply Falling
      4m 30s
  18. 1m 2s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 2s

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Audio Recording Techniques
5h 17m Beginner Oct 24, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Discover the industry secrets to recording crisp, rich instrument tracks and vocals in any type of recording environment. Join renowned audio engineer Bobby Owsinski as he walks through the process of miking and tracking a complete song by Underground Sun recording artist Iyeoka and A-list session musicians in a top-of-the-line studio—in a way that is applicable to any recording space and musical genre. Learn how to select the correct microphone and polar pattern for each instrument, with hundreds of revealing listening examples for drums, acoustic and electric guitar, piano, keyboards, and more. These professional techniques offer critical insights for those just getting started in the recording process, and a trustworthy reference guide for more seasoned engineers. Bobby also demonstrates how to monitor and sculpt EQ settings, why and when to process your input signal, and how to choose the right outboard gear for the track. This course employs 360-degree, 3D visualizations that provide an unprecedented perspective of the equipment, players, and microphone placements discussed. Plus, with the raw audio files provided, you can critically listen to every recorded example at home with your DAW of choice at full 24-bit resolution.

Topics include:
  • Optimizing your listening environment
  • Listening to how different microphone types affect recording
  • Choosing the right microphone for the right recording application
  • Positioning microphones for a wide variety of recording scenarios
  • Utilizing proper gain staging, preamps, and direct boxes
  • Avoiding phase cancellation
  • Using a compressor, equalizer, and high-pass filter during recording
  • Setting up a headphone mix
  • Adding the right amount of compression or equalization
  • Capturing great sounds from drums, guitars, basses, keyboards, pianos, strings, and vocals
  • Creating a great drum set sound
  • Getting the best out of any singer
  • Dealing with microphone leakage
  • Utilizing a variety of stereo miking techniques
  • Setting up and producing a recording session
  • Creating a rough mix in any digital audio workstation (DAW)
Subjects:
Audio + Music Music Production Recording Techniques Audio Foundations Audio Engineering Microphones Studio Setup
Author:
Bobby Owsinski

Using the spaced pair configuration

Here's another stereo microphone configuration that's pretty easy to set up but is actually a lot harder than it seems. In this movie, I'm going to show you how to set up and use the spaced pair configuration. With the spaced pair technique, two identical mics are played several feet apart aiming straight ahead towards the instrument or musical ensemble. The mics can have any polar pattern, but an omni- directional pattern is the most popular for this method. The greater the space in between mics, the greater the stereo spread, although it's usually somewhere between 3 and 10 feet.

This may seem like such a simple setup, but getting the spacing right is actually pretty difficult. If the spacing between mics is too far apart, the stereo separation seems exaggerated. On the other hand, if the mics are too close together, there will be an inadequate stereo spread. To set this configuration up, first set up two identical mics about 3 feet away from instrument or ensemble and 9 feet apart. Make sure that the instrument or ensemble is in the middle of the two mics. While a spaced pair is usually used when recording an ensemble, you can use it for recording single instruments as well, as we've done here with an acoustic guitar.

Bring up the level of both mics so they're identical. Pan them hard left and hard right, have the players or players play, and listen. (music playing) Pan each channel to the center to check how it sounds in mono.

(music playing) Sometimes combining both mics and mono causes phase cancellations to occur at various frequencies which can become exaggerated as more instruments are added or the music becomes more complex.

Return the panning to hard left and hard right. Now move the mic so they're about 12 feet apart. (music playing) As you can hear, the stereo image becomes exaggerated and unnatural.

You also start to hear what seems to be a hole in the middle where the phantom image isn't as prominent as it was before. As you can see and hear, the spaced pair stereo miking technique is easy to set up and sounds great if you get the distances right. It's difficult to say what the correct spacing is since every situation is different, where if the mics are too close together your stereo sound field won't be as wide. If they're too far apart, you get a hole in the middle. With that said, placement is relatively easy, so don't be afraid to experiment.

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