Microphone placement

What’s a good, online preferably, starting reference for learning about microphone placement? After reading Tom’s comment that he will fix EQ via mic placement rather than changing the EQ I’m wondering if I could benefit from knowing what this is all about.

There is a bit here in the Recording Acoustic Guitar tutorial ;

( Select the Tutorials category first , then Recording Acoustic Guitar )

No serious discussion of the rudiments of recording can occur without reading every word in this thread (47 pages of sage advice and wisdom)… at least once:



Hahahahaaaaaa No not that again, priceless :laughing:

Well that is rather entertaining, thanks for that link :slight_smile:

Nice! Kind of reminds me of this classic …


Ok I’ll read that.

Edit: omg I couldn’t get past page 1. :laughing:

But now I should clarify. I meant more for vocal recording, since my instruments are doing DI.

google “John Eargle”

Ah, the great man himself :laughing: There’s even t-shirts out there bearing his name :laughing:

For me there’s 1 single rule for microphone placement: move your ear and when you hear the best sound, place the microphone where you ear was.

If you want someone singing into your ear :smiley:

I’ll take it any day instead of the guy with Marshall stack, that “goes 11” :stuck_out_tongue:

WHAT!!! :laughing:


since my instruments are doing DI

Even guitars? I quite like the guitar rack, Line6 POD and UX2, guitar rig etc. but they’re no match for a little valve amp with ANY reasonably good microphone pointed roughly in the direction of it’s 12" Tayden Alnico speaker. Mmmm… :stuck_out_tongue:

Even guitars. My Seymour Duncan single coil at the neck on the strat + my Mindprint EnVoice MKII tube compressor / preamp + Kuassa VST = win.

Go to http://music.shaven-goodness.info and listen to Grad Student Blues in the Kind of Blue(s) collection. Go to the Made with Cubase subforum and listen to Crickhollow Stomp too. If you can ignore the horrid vocals (to be fixed soon), the rhythm and lead guitars were done this way.

For vocal recording, I audition a few mics that I think may sound good.

Some of my considerations when I am getting the sound:

–I usually start by pointing the mic toward the upper lip.
–I place the mic 8-12" away (I have a dry vocal booth)
–If the mic is multi-pattern, I will try every pattern.
–Omni mics retain tonal balance a bit better than cardioid, especially if your singer moves around. Distancing a cardioid helps keep things even. Omni mics tend to be more “open sounding”. You need a treated or good sounding room for omni.
–Play with proximity effect. (nearer to source usually equals more low end and creates a more forward vocal sound)
On/off axis to the singer will adjust the forwardness of the top-end since high frequencies are more directional.
–Singers usually don’t sing straight out of their mouth. Watch their lips when they are singing.
–I spend more time with height and angle (vertical) and less on the lateral/horizontal movements.
–Pop screen using fabric are the ones I use. Metal ones are probably good too, but I have never used them.
–I have the singer sing a cappella to get the overall tone of their voice to make my microphone audition selection.
–I eq and compress with outboard gear going in.
–Watch pointing down a singers throat because depending on the singer, the throat’s sound may adversely affect the overall tone and frequency balance due to its resonation. Keeping the mic a little ways back usually balances this out.

hmmmm… what else…

The latter statement, I think is my biggest issue. I no longer use a pop filter (I have a few fabric ones) to allow me to get closer and thereby have more presence on the track. But when I’m 4-6" away I can’t see the lyrics so I tend to turn my head to the side a bit.

Since, by your statement, high frequencies are more directional that explains why I got a lot of mids when I did this. When I finally memorized the vocals I was able to sing into the mic (on axis) and, as a result, got a much clearer sounding take.

This was done yesterday when I redid the vocals for a new dinner jazz piece that I’m doing (with piano by Doug and sax by Wim).