Saturday, November 6, 2010

Chris Champion on Acoustic Guitar

The first secret to capturing a great recording is to start with a great musician, and we were lucky enough to begin working with the hugely talented Chris Champion in our Studio Sessions class on Friday.

Chris is a phenomenal jazz guitarist who recently moved to the area from Arizona.  He played an interpretation of "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise" with multiple layers of overdubs that ended up sounding like an acoustic trio.

It was great to put some of our techniques into practice, including mic placement, setting proper levels, routing a headphone mix, and multitrack editing in Pro Tools.  We are looking forward to working much more with Chris in future sessions!


  1. I see 3 mics being used, as well as a line-in connection. Why 3 mics? What was the purpose in using both of these methods (line-in & mics)?

  2. Great question. We started with the two Audio-Technica "Pencil" mics (small-diaphragm condensers) which proved to be a nice match for the acoustic guitar. I also added the second AKG mic on the body of the guitar to experiment with adding a different "tone" to the stereo image. For example, if I use only one Audio-technica mic for one side (for example, panned right) and then used the AKG panned left, I get a different effect from using two different mics. In general, I liked the sound, but I would describe it as being more "enhanced" rather than "natural" with the AKGs.

    As far as the direct connection, Chris requested this in case he wanted to add some effected tracks later. He simply wanted the option to use it in the future. My general rule of thumb is that it does hurt to experiment with extra channels as long as it doesn't hinder the performer. The challenge can come in the mix when you have to make decisions about which mics to utilize and which to throw out. I find that I need to be very organized so that I have a purpose for every mic that ends up on the final mix.


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