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Author: Subject: Suggestion for improving oud recording quality
volaya
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[*] posted on 2-23-2021 at 05:41 AM
Suggestion for improving oud recording quality


Hi

I have recorded a small taqsim, and would like to see if anyone can give me advice about how to improve the sound quality.

You can find it here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/c687q3rkznlvwwo/taqsim.mp3?dl=0

My recording equipment is very basic, just a 40 USB mic, and the oud itself is rather cheap as well. I will be interested in hearing ideas about :

- How to improve the taqsim already recorded (EQ, effects, compression...)
- How to improve future recordings (suggestions about the risha technique or about how to place the oud in front of the mic, etc)

Of course, comments about the taqsim itself are also welcome :-)

Thanks in advance!
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rojaros
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[*] posted on 2-23-2021 at 06:33 AM


Hello, I'm not in a position to comment on the taqsim, I can only say that I liked the mood.

As to the recording I think it's basically OK. I would see to it that the balance between right and left is more equal. Is it mono mic?

There are some free or very cheap audio programms where you can work on this:
https://www.audacityteam.org/

Or look for Studio One Free Version

Or Protools First...

These all are excellent software, though the learning curve with Protools is steep. Studio One is very intuitive and has some good plugins included. Audacity is open source and offers a lot of third party open source plugins.

The microphone placement is crucial for good recording. It's difficult to generalize because it all depends on the equipment you use as well as the room you are recirding in.

As a rule of thumb: Don't put the mic too close: you get a lot of string and risdha noise and an unnatural, too detailed sound (similar to somebody who has put hos ear too close to the top...)

- A good starting point is maybe something like an arms length away, a bit higher than and with diaphragm of the mic not parallel to the top (to avoid standing waves).
- Use a small carpet on the ground between mic and you to minimalize floor reflections.
- Don't play too close to plain walls or windows.
- Look for the place in your room where you sound best.
- if you use processors, always think less is more. If you easily hear the difference, it maybe too much. Thiis is true for EQ, compressors and reverbs as well...
- Don't try to impress with unnatural sound, rather try to convince with a natural sound...

Good recording is an art in itself and no wonder people who have mastered it can ask big bucks for their services.

Good luck!
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volaya
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[*] posted on 2-23-2021 at 10:59 AM


rojaros,

thanks for your reply.

I have used audacity, and I know how to use the software, but I guess i don't have the knowledge to correctly apply its functionality. I tried applying some EQ and didn't get anything better than the original result. Same with other stuff. As you said, less processing is better, specially when you dont know how to use effects (as it is my case)

Your advice for recording isreally helpful. I placed the mic rather closed to the oud holes, with the diaphragm parallel to the soundboard, and at the same height...so not really a correct position :-) Will try with your suggestions.

Many thanks again!
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rojaros
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[*] posted on 2-23-2021 at 02:33 PM


It is really a matter of some experimentation; every microphone, every instrument and every room may require slightly different approach.

But as I wrote: find the right distance, so that you get a more integrated and less overdetailed sound, some room sound (if it is good) and as little reflections from the floor or windows or walls as possible. Try to adjust the level of your recording so that you never reach 0db (digital) but also do not saty too low with the level, as you would loose dynamical resolution. It is good to gave the peaks somewhere around -12 to - 6dB if you record in 24bit, otherwise more between -6 to -3dB if you record in 16bit.

The microphone should NOT be placed in front of the sound holes, rather mor to the mein surface of the top, maybe slightly towards either the neck-body joint or towards the bridge (try both and see what you prefer).

Good luck!
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