Home Recording Sound Sample - What do you think?

Edited: September 29, 2021, 9:59 AM · I have been using an iPhone to record violin-playing, and now would like a better setup. So I got myself an audio interface (Audient EVO 4) and 2 Mics (Audio Technica AT2050 and sE Voodoo VR2) and set them up in a mid-side configuration (VR2 as mid and AT2050 as side), 8-9 feet from player. No other processing apart from the MS-processing.

The room is a small-ish living room (bit of a "T" shape), untreated.

This is totally new to me, so would like to get some opinions. Too far, too close, too much echo, too shrill etc?

Tailpiece ยท Kreisler - Tambourin Chinois

Replies (13)

Edited: September 29, 2021, 11:00 AM · Today i have more free time than usual, so i loaded your sound file and analyzed it.

In my opinion, it has too much "side", relative to the mid content. The phase is a bit too much wide. It's distracting, at least to me.
And the overall level is low.

Then in my opinion there'a s bit of annoying peak between 1 and 2 Khz, and not much low end frequencies when needed. I wouldn't be so worried. It's really tricky to record at home. I know this very very well...... :)

I made 2-3 quick tweaks to your recording. Do you want to listen?......


September 29, 2021, 11:29 AM · I have to agree that it sounds quite wide. I think I can hear mainly a lot of mid frequencies and a fair amount of highs. I think it depends on whether you want the recording to sound like it's in a larger rom or a smaller one. I'd say iPhone recordings are in general quite good and capture the frequency spectrum well, but it certainly does sound quite narrow and focussed in on one small area.
Edited: September 29, 2021, 12:02 PM · Thanks Marco, Ella, for taking the time to have a listen and feedback.

A good thing about mid-side is that the stereo-width is quite customizable. The side mic is actually a bit more sensitive than the mid mic, and hence more "side" presence.

The high (and lack of low end) is probably due to the violin more than anything. This violin is quite lively so we like it for this Kreisler piece.

Here's another one done with a different violin (of different) character, and in this one, I have reduced the side gain (and increased the overall gain).

Tailpiece ยท Tambourin Chinois2
September 29, 2021, 1:01 PM · Only by listining from the pc, i like the second take much much better, to my preference.

> The high (and lack of low end) is probably due to the violin more than anything.

Mmmm...... in all of my home (and not only) experience, often the instrument itself has very little to do with these phenomenons....
Violins that project well are always troublesome when they are recorded in a small space, especially if not resonant.

I have lots of test recordings in which a very warm and deep violin sounds shrill and dry...... :)

I made a ton of experiment with mid-side recording, even recently.... and stereo recording (both matched and not)...... XY array, spaced, casual.... :) Cardiod, omnidirectional...... whatever....

The best results i ever got are made with 2 mics (of about 12) that are the last i bought: a FatHead (stock) made by Cascade or an Aston Element. In mono.

October 5, 2021, 11:28 AM · Marco, when you say best recordings you've made are made with 2 mics "In mono"- were they one at a time? Or both mics in use at the same time, but mono recording? What was your setup?

Your re-engineering of OP's recording sounds great!

Edited: October 5, 2021, 12:52 PM · It doesn't have much presence and I really hear the room you're playing in. I think you ought to mic closer, which removes the character of the room and gives you the freedom of dialing in your reverb in post. That will incidentally bring up your signal level and overall bodied-ness without having to pump gain, which adds noise.
Some high end sparkle in EQ wouldn't hurt either. And some blankets on the walls!

There's more noise in the right channel (sounds like it's picking up a fan or something). Is the AT2050 the right channel? I had bad experiences with the 2020 and 2035.

October 5, 2021, 2:27 PM · Cotton offers practical advice, but I would argue that the less you HAVE to do with software, the better.
Edited: October 5, 2021, 3:50 PM · @Tom Bop:

When i wrote about the "mono" recording, i meant "one only microphone a time".
I tested many times with some combined tracks taken at the same time in mono, but i saw that with violin it's counterproductive.

The results varied with time and with strings, bow, etc. Sometimes i like a mic location and a particular mic better than other times.

The results i liked more were with the (recent) Aston Element, with a Fathead Cascade (with a stock transformer), with a old '80s AKG Blueline with an hypercardioid capsule (CK93), with an Oktava mk012 (omni capsule, all stock).
With some background tracks i also liked an Audio Technica 2031. It captures a very airy sound.
I tried many times to record my violins with an AT4050, and i never liked the results (with other acoustic instruments i like it).

In the past i used a Roland UA25EX card. Now i'm mainly using a Soundcraft MTK12 mixer/audiocard, which feeds a linux laptop which runs an Ardour installation with lots of plugins.

October 5, 2021, 3:55 PM · I agree with Cotton that you seem to be picking up some strong room-resonance modes, particularly the E (first finger on the D string). There's another strong resonance, the C (third finger on the G string), but this is inherent to most violins, and probably is not attributable to the room acoustics.

The 329-ish resonance can be easily edited out with post-processing, if that's the route you choose to go, rather than finding a different space in which to do your recording, or finding a microphone position in the room where this resonance is less evident.

October 5, 2021, 4:54 PM · That is an unusual combination of mics for mid side. The mid is the center mic. It is usually cardioid. You stated that the voodoo was the mid. It is a ribbon and figure 8. I would have expected it to be the side.

How high are the mics off the ground? Where is the mid mic aimed? How close are the walls to the side? How far is the violinist from the wall behind them?

Sound dampening, coat racks, etc are worth experimenting with.

October 6, 2021, 8:18 AM · Marco, thanks! Your setup sounds very good. Your Soundcraft is nice!
October 7, 2021, 7:14 AM · @Cotton @David, thank you for your analyses and feedback! I will see if I can do some kind of treatment to the room, but will probably try a different location/distance/placement initially.

As for the AT2050, it was used as a side-mic, in figure-8 configuration. And the AC is to the right! (you guys really have golden ears!).

@Paul, agreed. My preference is as little post-processing as possible.

@Michael, the VR2 has better low-end response and flatter throughout the range. AT2050 (in figure-8 mode) on the other end, has a steeper roll-off in the high. The intention of using the VR2 as the mid-mic is to capture (as much as possible) the full range of the violin sound; and using the AT2050 is to reduce the chance of picking up any nasty peaks from the room. The mics are setup aiming straight at the player, about 5-feet up from the marble floor, and about 6-feet from each side of the wall. The player is in the "T-junction" of the room, so the distance to walls are not symmetrical, closes side wall is around 6 feet, furthest around 20 feet.

October 7, 2021, 1:47 PM · Regit, you might try just doing everything the opposite of what you did the first time, just for the most stark A/B comparison, then work towards what you like the best. If you record from the non-T side of the room, it could take the room acoustics out of the equation, especially if the mics are close to the violin. Try the mics above the violin, switch their functions. Big thing about recording is to try a lot of different setups, experiment with them, and see what works the best for your taste.

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