Miking Techniques with Blue Microphones and Cameron Webb

How to Mic Vocals, Acoustic Guitars and Pianos

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Producer Cameron Webb reveals secrets to choosing the right microphones and positioning them to professionally record your performance.

Producer-engineer Cameron Webb’s A-list client roster speaks to his studio skills. Having worked with acts ranging from Kelly Clarkson to Motorhead, he possesses deep, real-world knowledge of how to capture great-sounding performances.

Musician’s Friend joined Cameron and singer-songwriter Marié Digby at Blue Microphone's headquarters for a series of sessions demonstrating time-tested miking techniques that’ll give your recordings a professional edge. 

How To Record Vocals and Acoustic Guitar Together

Cameron demonstrates how to capture Marié’s vocals and acoustic guitar as a sonically well-balanced performance. He explains how the performer's attack and volume influence mic positioning and isolation. Using a Blue Bottle Rocket microphone on her voice and Blue Dragonfly mic on Marié’s guitar, Cameron demonstrates how her playing and singing styles influences mic placement. He explains ways to isolate the voice and instrument from each other as well as optimal positioning of each microphone. Cameron also touches on the importance of using headphones during recording and preventing bleed from one mic into the other.

Recording Acoustic Guitar with Two Microphones

Cameron focuses on recording an acoustic guitar to bring out the performance and the instrument’s character. Using a Blue Dragonfly mic, he demonstrates the sweet spot by positioning the Dragonfly between the soundhole and neck to create a pleasing balance between the instrument’s bass and treble ranges. A second mic, the Blue Bluebird is placed in the area of the bridge to bring out the body’s “woody-ness.” An approximate mix of 70% Dragonfly and 30% Bluebird achieves a good balance. Cameron also talks about dealing with mic positioning for performers who tend to move during recording. He also stresses the importance of critical listening in the space with the performer before heading back to the control booth.

How-To Mic a Piano in Mono and Stereo

Recording the piano’s wide dynamic range is a challenge for many home studio owners. We asked Cameron to demonstrate miking techniques that best capture that range. In his demo, he stresses the importance of isolating each mic’s contribution to the mix in establishing placement. He positions two Blue Baby Bottle mics, one over the bass strings, the other over the treble strings, to illustrate the process of judging the mix. To enhance the width of the sound stage he recommends panning the mics left and right.

Although the mics have pads, he recommends using them as little as possible, instead experimenting with optimal positioning. Cameron also demonstrates stereo recording of the piano using the same two mics with one placed further from the instrument to capture more room sound. In this scenario, he councils using the room mic’s rolloff switch to deal with any ambient noise such as the rumble or the hum of an air conditioner. Again, it’s important to isolate the signal being captured by each mic in arriving at a recording mix.

Shop Musician's Friend for the widest selection of Blue microphones

From Blue studio condenser and dynamic mics to home-studio friendly USB/iOS microphones, you’ll find the entire lineup of Blue microphones at Musician’s Friend. We also carry a comprehensive selection of Blue microphone mounts and cables as well as Blue headphone models designed for recording and personal use.

Tags: Recording Microphones

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