[Video] Two Mic Placements for a Single Instrument

Sometimes when recording, you need to record one instrument in different ways.

Depending on how you play the instrument in various sections of the song, different mic placements may actually work better for the different sections.

Check out today’s video for an example of where I used two mic placements for a single instrument on my latest EP.

Ever done this? Leave a comment below!

6 Comments

  1. Alex,

    Absolutely agree with the philosophy “Get it right on recording day”. It is worth the few minutes it will take to make a few quick recordings with the mic in different places and listen back for which placement was best suited for what you were going for. It is even worth it to try a couple of different mics (if you have them) while your at it, if you don’t it is even easier.

    I know with my own projects (song a month), I have gotten to the point where I even front load certain Compressor and EQ settings on the input chain for all my vocals. I never use to do this – “Always record dry” and then add……..well……… This is now an integral part of the template I created that easily saves 15-20 minutes of set up time for every song I do, and now I barely touch the vocal outside of effects and automation. There are certain sounds that I want from my drum set and bass guitar (both virtual) 90% of the time, so the effects chains are already loaded. When I write or play the part it sounds almost exactly the way I want it to sound in the finished version. Basically, if I have performed the parts well, there is little “fixing” that happens at all, just sweetening.

    All of these choices of course are subjective and others may totally disagree with the sounds I have chosen for any number of reasons but setting up a template for your recording sessions and testing mic placement is definitely a time saver in the end.

    Maybe I got a little of topic here but maybe someone else will find it valuable,

    Thanks so much for the video and community,
    Josh

    • Yeah man. The more you can get right on recording day, the better. And the more you record yourself, the more you can start front loading even more of the process. Like EQ, Compression, etc. I personally haven’t gotten to that point yet, but I definitely can see the benefits.

      Thanks Josh! Your thoughts are always very interesting and helpful. And inspiring. I would love to get to the point where I’m producing a song every month. I might have to give myself that sort of challenge one of these days…

      Thanks!
      Alex

  2. Agreed. Mixing should be just that – mixing the instruments together so they sound good together. Get the tone you want and record that tone, then only process it so it fits with all the other instruments. Thanks!

    • Yes indeed! Sometimes messing around with different sounds and effects can be fun. Nothing wrong with that. But doing your homework and getting things to sound how you want them on the way in definitely has lots of benefits :)

      Alex

  3. This is exactly how it was done before multi-track recording. When they did not have the luxury of recording to separate tracks, they had to arrange the mics around the room in a way that made the mix when recording directly to two or three track. If an instrument was too loud, you moved the mic back a few feet.

    You put the louder instruments at the back of the room, further from the mics and the softer ones at the from of the room.

    Look at the way every orchestra is still arranged today. Big booming kettle drums all the way in the back, violins and piccolos right up front. With a stereo pair of mics, the orchestra mixes itself!

    The tried and true methods are timeless and will always make music easier to mix if you stick with what has been done for decades.

    • Definitely! I feel like the digital recording age is great, but it makes it far too tempting to just throw a mic in front of something, record a bunch of takes, and then hack away with plugins to turn your recordings into good sounding music. In reality, a little bit of up-front work can make a big difference :)

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