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Production Review - 'Perpetual Motion' by Michael Koumbas

RP reviews a recording of acoustic guitar send in by Michael Koumbas. Pre-review comment - 'It's good!'...

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Here is a recording of acoustic guitar sent in by Audio Masterclass visitor Michael Koumbas. The piece is called 'Perpetual Motion', written by Niccolo Paganini.

Congratulations Michael! An excellent track.

There are no faults with your recording, so my comments are subjective and not to be taken as 'rules' of any kind.

Firstly, there is far too much reverb for my taste. If this were a whole album I would find it very tiring. Having said that, I have heard quite a few guitar recordings lately and a lot of them have similar levels of reverb.

It seems to me though that an acoustic instrument should sound like the actual instrument in a real acoustic, with perhaps a little enhancement.

Another issue for me is the imprecision of the stereo image. It is quite difficult to tell how many instruments there are. I'm guessing three.

If you space your mics when recording in stereo, this will inevitably happen. I would recommend experimenting with the coincident crossed pair technique. Even then, if the mics are quite close to the instrument then any movements the player makes affect the stereo image.

There is one tiny point that sounds like a mistake. I would have advised repairing that. Also, I would like you to listen carefully and ask yourself whether the playing has quite as much energy at the end as it does at the start. I'm not sure. Or maybe it should sound like that due to the nature of the piece.

The fade at the end is completely unnatural. The guitars need to die away, then the reverb needs to die away, and then fade.

Even so, this is excellent work. Congratulations again.

You can contact Michael Koumbas through Audio Masterclass

By David Mellor Thursday November 30, 2006
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