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ELITE GUITARIST, Online Classical, Flamenco & Jazz Guitar Lessons and Repertoire Tutorials.
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Aug 18, 2018

Performance recording help


Noob question here: What is the most efficient way to make recordings for posting, i.e., what hardware/software do you recommend and is getting a YouTube account the first step? Any help appreciated - thanks.

Mohsin Zizou
Aug 20, 2018

Hi Kevin,

Firstly I would like to say that always ask questions, that is how we improve in life. Having said that I only started recording myself in February and I don't know if I am the most reliable source but I am happy to share with you what I have learnt in relevance to recording.

1. Record in a room which has a good "acoustic" quality and not a room with an echo.

2. Record with two mics, if possible, one parallel to the 12th fret of your guitar around 30/40 cm away and the other towards the side of the guitar. Make sure to place a rug under the mics also. If you don't have two mics, just use one in front of the 12th fret as suggested earlier. A cheap option of an all in one mic and recorder is the "Zoom H1". It will give you a good quality audio for a cheap price.

3. Once you have your mic set up, you can use a camera or your phone to record the video.

4. To sync the audio and the video, I use: GarageBand and iMovie on my Macbook. After I plug in both the audio from the Zoom H1 and the video from my phone and have the files on my computer, I edit the sound (usually only adding a little reverb) and then I proceed to syncing the audio and video on "iMovie". 5. You can easily make a YouTube account using your email address and then proceed to uploading the video onto your channel. I hope that was helpful.


All the best.



Aug 20, 2018

Hi Noob, thanks for your question and thanks Mohsin for sharing your recording options.

For my recordings I use a pair of Oktava Microphones Mk012 modded by Michael Jolly, the Duet Apogee interface. For cameras I use Canon 80D DSLR photo cameras. It's a bit more involve but it still a pretty simple setup. For video editing I synchronize everything in Final Cut Pro (a video editing software made for Mac computers).


However, when I just want to record something quickly, I just use my Phone and the recording quality has come a long way and is quite impressive on those little devices. Don't get too hung up on gear; set up a YouTube account and start uploading videos. Don't worry too much about the comments you receive on your videos. Take the encouragement and ignore the rest. Chew the meat and spit out the bones! (I hope I have not offended the vegetarians and vegans among us.)

Aug 21, 2018Edited: Aug 21, 2018

Mohsin & Tavi

Thanks for the quick response! You both gave me some good options to consider. As a beginner I will opt for a quick and cheap way to do this. I have a long way to go before I attempt to record as I can't even get through a piece without making several mistakes and having to start over. When I put the iPhone in front of me, to attempt a recording, it gets worse. Strange because I have the song, e.g., Lagrima, memorized, but for some reason, when I attempt to record, its horrible. In any event, thanks again for your help.

Mohsin Zizou
Aug 24, 2018

Hi Kev, Take it from me my friend, it happens to all of us. I remember my first recording, I recorded it maybe 15 times before I was comfortable playing in front of the camera. Then, I had to record it another 15 odd times to get it right, and this was a piece with which I had been very comfortable. It is like anything new, it takes time. Now, that I have recorded several pieces, I am a little more confident and am able to record an entire piece in a few tries. It got easier with time and perseverance. Be patient with yourself and learn from your mistakes.

Aug 24, 2018

Mohsin - hey this is very encouraging! Thanks again for such a quick response and sharing your experience.

Jun 14

I have a Zoom Q2n-4K. It is specifically made for recording Video and Audio of music instruments. Wide angle lens and two microphones which cross in a X pattern. Both video and audio are of very high quality. I hooked it up to a seperate monitor so I can see finger placement etc. when I practice.

New Posts
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  • Mohsin Zizou
    Oct 4

    Hi all, I hope that my message finds you all in good health. I'm writing this to share my experience with you in relevance to my recent guitar purchase. So, a few months ago I decided to sell my guitar because I have always been drawn to a deeper/darker sound, which my spruce "Torres" model didn't deliver. It wasn't that the instrument lacked anything, it had been an awesome companion in my journey thus far but maybe it was something which I lacked and I was searching for. Nevertheless, I travelled from China to England visiting Brighton, Kent and London to test guitars and hopefully find that missing something. I'll write below the instruments I tried and a short review of what I felt about them. I spent three full days playing and replaying many instruments, so writing a review for each of the guitars would be a very big job, I will however provide information on the instruments I feel were most appealing to me. It is important to understand that this is only my opinion, which is highly subjective and would probably not be the same for everyone. Juan Hernandez Maestro- New (GBP2800): Specs - Top: Canadian cedar. Nut width: 52.5mm. Back and sides:  Cocobolo. Varnish:  Nitro Lacquered. Fingerboard:  Ebony. Scale:  650 mm. I really liked this instrument from the first time I lay my hands on it. The construction of the instrument was first class, with high quality woods from all over the world and a very tidy finish. One of the reasons I liked it almost instantly was because of the ease in playability due to a well shaped neck and a great set up. The instrument was also very loud but with sublime control. The bass did not overpower the trebles and the notes had great sustain. My only issue with the instrument was the it was a little too big for my liking and I wanted an instrument, which to me was perfect from the get go. If you don't mind a slightly larger instrument, I would seriously recommend the Hernandez Maestro. Overall score 4.5/5 Pablo Requena- Second hand (GBP 2000): Specs - Top:  Cedar. Nut width: 52mm. Back and sides:  Indian Rosewood. Varnish:  French Polish. Fingerboard:  Ebony. Scale:  650 mm. Nowadays, Pablo's guitars go for over 4000GBP brand new so this seemed like a bargain. Having said that, after playing the instrument and considering the price I thought that it was not worth it. In my opinion the Alhambra 10p is much better in terms of value for money. Don't get me wrong, it was a good instrument. The balance of the instrument as well as sustain and playability were good but for the same price one could buy a similar instrument with a case and a year's warranty. Overall score 4.0/5 Stephen Hill 2A- New (GBP 3000): Specs - Top:  Spruce. Nut width: 52mm. Back and sides:  Wenge. Varnish:  French Polish. Fingerboard:  Ebony. Scale:  650 mm. I don't see what all the fuss is about. The instrument was no more exceptional than most guitars in the 1500GBP-2000GBP category. Again, I'd like to stress that it was not that the instrument was not good, but for the same price one could buy an instrument with higher quality woods and tuners. The workmanship was great as would be expected from a maestro luthier but for me the price of the instrument and what it delivered were not on par. The Hernandez was head and shoulders ahead of it in terms of power, balance and sustain, but the playability of both instruments was similar. Overall score 4.0/5 Amalio Burguet 1a- New (GBP 2300): Specs - Top:  Cedar. Nut width: 52mm. Back and sides:  Indian Rosewood. Varnish:  Lacquer. Fingerboard:  Ebony. Scale:  650 mm. This instrument was very enjoyable to play. I found that even as a new instrument, it had maturity and balance across the fingerboard and strings. I spent quite a long time playing this instrument because I think that for the price it was a very good deal. It had power and sustain, doing a lot of work for the player and making it a very good companion. However, it was missing something, maybe it was me but I felt that I hadn't found what I was looking for, so I continued my search. Overall score 4.2/5 Jose Ramirez 1a 1967- Second hand (GBP 5000): Specs - Top:  Cedar. Nut width: 54mm. Back and sides:  Brazilian Rosewood. Varnish:  Lacquer. Fingerboard:  Ebony. Scale:  664 mm. The best instrument I've ever played. I had heard that the old Ramirez were very difficult to play because of the action, the size of the instrument as well as the scale length, but it just goes to show that one shouldn't believe something because someone said so. The guitar was very easy to play, the size was not big and the scale length was not noticeable. But oh my, the sound. The notes had a piano-like quality and an extra-ordinary balance. For once Segovia's words mades sense. "The guitar is like an orchestra looked at by the reverse side of the binoculars. It is a little orchestra". And that it was. It had something within it that spoke without words, things within me I had not known. If I had the money I would have bought it instantly. Overall score 5/5 Pappalardo S2- New (GBP 2900): Specs - Top:  Cedar. Nut width: 52mm. Back and sides:  Indian Rosewood. Varnish:  Lacquer. Fingerboard:  Raised / Ebony. Scale:  650 mm. I loved this guitar. In terms of playability, it was the best out of all the guitars I tested. It was highly responsive and a low action made the difficult passages very simple to play. The volume was the same as most large guitars but there was an unusual control even when one strikes the strings without control. All this, added to the raised fingerboard made it a players dream. An example of this ease in playability is the B section in Satie's Gnossienne No. 1, which goes up to an A on the high E string. On this guitar it was really easy to play that usually awkward note. Having said all of that, it lacked the piano-like notes on the high E string, which I heard on the Ramirez 1a. A little thing like that made sure that I kept at it. Overall score 4.6/5 Yulong Guo Chamber- New (GBP 3000): Specs - Top:  Cedar. Nut width: 52mm. Back and sides:  Santos Rosewood. Varnish:  Lacquer. Fingerboard:  Ebony. Scale:  650 mm. Armrest. This instrument was a strange one. After playing the Pappalardo for almost 30 minutes I picked up the Yulong Guo and I put it straight back down. I really disliked it. It was bright even when I played tasto or tried hard to create a darker sound. And honestly it felt like no matter how much I tried to colour a piece with different tonal variances, I seemingly got the same response. The guitar was however loud and easy to play. Again, this may just be me and my preference of sound but for the asking price it was not worth it. Overall score 3.8/5 Manuel Adalid Membrana- New (GBP 2800): Specs - Top:  Cedar. Nut width: 52mm. Back and sides:  Pau Ferro. Varnish:  French Polish. Fingerboard:  Ebony. Scale:  650 mm. It was between this instrument and the one I chose for the final showdown. It has everything, power, balance, control, sustain and fantastic playability. Before playing this instrument in terms of tonal quality my favourite had been the Hernandez Maestro and in terms of playability it had been the Pappaladro, but the Membrana had a bit of both worlds and a little more. I really enjoyed playing it and it seemed like this was going to be the one until... Overall score 4.8/5 Mengual y Margarit Luthier- New (GBP 3500): Specs - Top:  Cedar. Nut width: 52mm. Back and sides:  Indian Rosewood. Varnish:  Lacquer. Fingerboard:  Ebony. Scale:  650 mm. I played this. This was it. From the first note I played, it captivated and held my attention. Legend has it that the Stradivarius instruments have something within them that only the player feels. Tests on frequency and pitch have shown that they are no different from most modern instruments but then what is it that gives them their charm and mysticism? Maybe there is something innate within the player, which they find within their instrument. A bond that can't be described but only felt. I felt this instantly with my guitar and now it is here with me, in China. Overall score 5/5
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    Sep 23