Cheapest way to record Classical guitar?

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Crundles, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Crundles

    Crundles SS.org Regular

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    So I've started going to classical guitar lessons.

    Apart from getting a very unpleasant reminder of what it is to be a complete beginner on an instrument, I'm finding it really hard to concentrate on both proper posture, playing the right things, and getting a nice, even sound with my right hand on top of it all.

    So I figure, why not record myself and hear what is going on. But... how do? I have a yamaha thr10x which I use as an audio interface when recording electric guitar, and presumably if I get a mic, it would need to be either USB, or my yamaha-compatible?

    I read through Delcamp's forums, and they seem to agree on a cheapy digital recorder, like these:
    Tascam DR-05 V2 or Zoom h1n

    But I also found a Thomann-branded SM57 clone for 31 euro and whatever a The t.bone Ovid System CC 100 is (condenser mic?), which actually sounds pretty good on the Classical guitar audio example on the page.

    So... how do?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Defyantly

    Defyantly SS.org Regular

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    You have a multitude of different options for this. Mic'ing can be very helpful in the long run and can be used for multiple applications. For this I would go with a decent mic that you like the sound of and get a budget usb interface (also very handy in the long run). Focusrite 2i2 or solo are both solid choices. I have even used a behringer umc202 (I think? the one with 2 inputs) with good results.

    Another option is to get either a piezo pickup or acoustic pickup that goes on your guitar and you can plug it in just like an electric. These range from $20 to $100+ just look at reviews so you can get the best thing for your application. Hope this helps.

    Also the hand recorders that you mentioned are also nice to have when you don't want to be tethered to your computer.
     
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  3. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Any kind of acoustic guitar, a condenser is almost always the way to go. Some sort of condenser that can be run via USB is probably your best bet with your existing setup, but honestly in the long run just buying an affordable 1-2 channel interface with at least one mic preamp with phantom power, and buying a non-USB condenser, is probably a better use of your money - if you continue recording and get more serious with it over time, even a fairly cheap condenser is something that you'll probably find yourself using at least on occasion for years to come. These days my go-to mic for acoustics is a sE Electronics SE4400a, which (IMO) sounds phenominal on an acoustic, but I still have a sub-$100 MXR (V67, I think?) that I'll pull out on occasion.
     
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  4. Lindmann

    Lindmann SS.org Rectangular

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    What about using you cell phone?
    It will inevitably sound garbage but who cares?
    As long as it is good enough so that you can hear what you're playing.
    Might be worth a quick test maybe.
     
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  5. Lemonbaby

    Lemonbaby SS.org Regular

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    I'd get a really cheap condenser mic, if you want to record with your PC. Even the Samsons forf50 bucks aren't that bad. I own a Zoom H2n (old version) and the sound quality is actually really good for the price.
     
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  6. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire schadenfreude

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    i just use my cellphone. obviously it won't be as good sounding as a dedicated mic but that's really not necessary if you're just using it for practicing.
     
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  7. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire schadenfreude

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    double post cyka blyat
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  8. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    If you want super simple, I'd say one of the Zoom recorders with mountable condensers. I believe some of them could also be used as audio interfaces if you decide to get more technical later.

    You could even go with something like a Boss Micro BR or BR-80 used for about $60-$100. They're fantastic units for the price with built in condenser mics that will do well on acoustic guitar.

    I wouldn't go solely acoustic piezo pickup - there is a certain cold plastickiness to the sound that is definitely unpleasant. It could be blended, but I wouldn't use just that for the tone.

    If you have an iPhone you could also possibly get a condenser mic interface for iPhone and use N-Track app or similar on the phone to track to.
     
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  9. Crundles

    Crundles SS.org Regular

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    Hey lads, thanks for the replies!

    My phone is a 5-year old Xiaomi, so the video and audio quality is... not stellar. Of course it will do for purely practice purposes, but I would like to eventually be able to record and post songs online, even if at a completely amateur level. Also I live in Eastern Europe, so prices and availability are quite different than in the us.

    Checking online, it does seem like I can use my Yamaha thr10x as an interface for a mic, but there's not much information, so I might have to email Thomann and ask them. If it can be, it seems the best option is a cheap condenser like this Thomann-branded one?
    https://www.thomann.de/gb/the_tbone_ovid_system_cc_100.htm

    Either that, or one of the cheap Zoom digital recorders, which would also enable me to record outside, should I choose so?
     
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  10. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly Contributor

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    When I first started recording classical guitar I started with the same kind of setups you are describing. First, was the cheap condenser into a decent audio interface with a terrible mic preamp. It did not sound good to the point it scared me. Next, was the Zoom Q2 (I think) which was both an audio/video recorder. It was kind of a flawed product because the video camera needed to be further away to do its job but the built-in microphones needed to be much closer to do their job. The one true benefit of the Zoom was the audio could be recorded in stereo. Solo classical guitar is recorded in stereo. Please trust me on that because you will save money and some sanity. Eventually I moved on to stereo pairs of microphones. The Zoom applied generous amounts of compression and limiting which was not optional, so I recorded birds and what not with it.

    Try the Tascam. It records in stereo, it is inexpensive, and is simple to use from the looks of it. It should do what you need it to do. When your recording needs venture past practicing, invest in what you need. It will be expensive but you will save money in the long run. Good luck! ;)
     
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  11. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    This, so much, lol, and this is something that probably should have occured to me - I mostly record multi-tracked compositions where generally a single mono track or two seperate mono performances panned left and right works better in a dense mix...

    ...but if you're recording a solo guitar performance, you're going to want to do it in stereo. Great point, great post.
     
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  12. Crundles

    Crundles SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, seems I'll order the cheapy Tascam DR-05 and an Ergoplay Tappert from Thomann and be done with it for now. Will probably post a sample once I get them, in case someone runs into this thread at a later point and is curious how it turned out.

    Thanks a ton lads!
     
  13. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly Contributor

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    Ergoplay's are really good! Wise choice! :coffee:
     
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