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Acoustic Guitar players, How do you record your acoustic?

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Mate, I reckon getting an all solid wood guitar would do wonders, and it doesnt have to be expensive. Im a really big fan of Cort Dreadnoughts, their Earth 200 series are all solid wood sitka over mahogany and in my opnion sound great, and record really well. Here's a recording I did on my $200 Earth 100, which to my ears sounds warm, earthy and reflecting the tone of a decent acoustic.

 

Don't mean to be harsh, but I figured you'd appreciate honest, constructive feedback.

 

http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/song_details/6079567

 

 

With Bad A ss guitar playing like that, any guitar would sound good. Well Done! Enjoyed it!

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I have an archtop acous/elec that I use for leads, chuca-chuca, & is probably similar to yours. That is it's only job..... it will never sound like a rich all-wood acoustic, it was designed that way.

 

I like the sound of wood and don't have electronics in my acoustics. But, trying to locate a mic in just the right spot means a separate tone setup for each type of instrument; OM, slope shoulder, dread, jumbo, etc. Some acoustics record better through a dynamic vs condenser mic... a good mic & a/d converter are worth their weight.

 

Best wishes, this is a good topic.... keep them cards & letters coming.

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Lately I work as follows:

 

1. I plug in my guitar and my mic in my TC Helicon Voice Tone Harmony G.

2. I plug the TC Helicon in my Yamaha Stage Pass 500.

3. I record myself using a ZOOM Q3 videorecording device.

4. I post the video record in youtube without additional processing.

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At the end of the day it seems the mic is a very important part in getting the best acoustic tone.

 

This is why I noted the field recorders (not realizing that you were wanting to capture the sound with gear you already own). The quality-to-price ratio of some of these units is quite amazing, in large part because of the quality of the built-in mics and associated electronics. Still worth a mention in case anyone else is looking for options.

 

Best of luck with your sonic quest.

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This is why I noted the field recorders (not realizing that you were wanting to capture the sound with gear you already own). The quality-to-price ratio of some of these units is quite amazing, in large part because of the quality of the built-in mics and associated electronics. Still worth a mention in case anyone else is looking for options.

 

Best of luck with your sonic quest.

 

Yes I agree.

Part of me sees these people who are going direct with their guitars and gets rather jealous of the sound they are getting through thier guitars because I do the same *** far as I know and get something that sound exactly like the video I posted thinking WTF?!

THIS SOUND SUCKS!

 

Then EA comes along with a basic and cheaper setup BUT including a mic and he gets a great sound.

 

Yes yours is another option and I assume an unorthodox way of recording a acoustic guitar which is why I have not thought about it myself.

I would like to just go out and try every piece of tech which has been advised here but $ is the final reason to whether I can or not plus seeing other people appearing to get a great sound direct only to find I am missing out an integral piece to the sound they are achieving without the mic in front of the sound hole.

 

It is indeed worth mentioning field recorders may give the sound being searched for as it is not thought of in most cases.

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The best advice I can give is to use this google link and read the articles from Sound on Sound magazine in the search results.

 

SoS google search acoustric guitar

 

The room is everything when recording an acoustic. If the room is bad the recording will be bad. You can mic very close and use acoustic isolation / absorbsion panels (duvets / heavy blankets work quite well) to try and minimise the effect of the room.

 

As with any recording there are no hard and fast rules, if it sounds good, then it is. The above links cover standard mic placing and techniques etc.....

 

Sometimes record both the pickup and mic at the same time and mix so the pickup is lower volume than the mic. This can sound good.

 

One of the tricks you need to learn when mixing is how to use a multi band EQ to attentuate the volume of troublesome frequencies. This is used even in the best studios. If you have a particular ringing frequency you can drop it a bit and clean up the sound -- this usually affects bottom end frequencies which can contribute to a muddy sound.

 

Then onto mixing and effects, a small amount of compression is good, short delays are good (15ms), use reverb sparingly (increase reverb pre delay for a less muddy effect), if in your reverb plugin you can turn off the reverb tails, and just use reflections this can sound good. Practise and experiment and no one really has an excuse for DAW software with cockos reaper being free to try and so cheap.

 

Lots out there on the web, once you understand some basic principles and terms.

 

Sorry could have written a lot more, but have to get onto something else right now

 

Madman_Greg

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Yes yours is another option and I assume an unorthodox way of recording a acoustic guitar which is why I have not thought about it myself.

I would like to just go out and try every piece of tech which has been advised here but $ is the final reason to whether I can or not plus seeing other people appearing to get a great sound direct only to find I am missing out an integral piece to the sound they are achieving without the mic in front of the sound hole.

 

It is indeed worth mentioning field recorders may give the sound being searched for as it is not thought of in most cases.

 

I actually got the idea from a friend of mine whose opinion I highly respect. He had invested considerable time & money setting up his home recording studio (he plays solo acoustic guitar) and ended up with a pretty impressive array of equipment by the time he was finished. Later on, he ended up with a Sony field recorder to play with and comparing the end results he was very surprised by the sound quality of the little Sony unit . Compared to the expense and effort of using his rack of equipment, he found the field recorder to be a really great buy. It was like my homework had already been done for me.

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I recently picked up a Fishman Aura Sixteen. It s very nice. Being a singersongwriter is use a LDC for vocals and my j-45 via the aura, also the LDC picks up a fair amount of guitar. Maybe you could try one someday.

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Actually thats a very good point. If you are really keen on recording plugged in a Fishman Aura Sixteen or Aura Spectrum DI (what i use) provides a very mike like tone when plugged in. It works very well on UST type pickups, which I believe you have on the Washburn.

 

Here is a clip from some time back, where I think the guitar sounds very natural, running through a fishman matrix infinity UST pickup and the Aura Spectrum DI. Straight into a Marshall AS100D and then into a mixer and two house speakers hanging on the walls.

 

 

I recently picked up a Fishman Aura Sixteen. It s very nice. Being a singersongwriter is use a LDC for vocals and my j-45 via the aura, also the LDC picks up a fair amount of guitar. Maybe you could try one someday.

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mg.... thanks for taking the time on your write-up.... we're in the process of building a new acoustic daw after being daw-less for the past 4-5yrs. We've got a new computer, software, mikes, a/d converter, and now.... some tips on how to not be clueless this time around. Thanks again.

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I prefer using a mic to record acoustic guitar. Placement is very important to get the best overall sound. Typically micing lower front of the sound hole is good. I like the AKG 414 for acoustic.

 

+1 for me ... except I use the ol' "tried & true" Shure SM57 (plus a 58 up top).

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+1 also, I recently found a used Shure KSM32 on craigslist.... mazin difference in acoutic quality over my old dynamic SMs. I never thought my AJ could sound so good on a rhytmn track and then topped it with an OM lead, my son asked if that was me on the playback. It's one thing to talk about recording technology but this is the best place to kick around acoustic guitar recording.

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I use a Shure SM57 about 12" out from the 12th fret, and pointed back toward the sound hole. Good sound, but the key is to have a clean high-gain pre-amp with these classic dynamic mics. I run it into my iMac through an Apogee DUET.

 

I have tried some higher end condenser mics, like the Audio Technica 4021, but the condensers are so sensitive that room ambience and back ground sounds really affect the recording. They sound great, but you have to have a studio quality room.

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We have a recording system -- we call it the "pretty good recording system" -- with a much narrower goal. We are into vintage instruments, and we love the way they sound acoustically. Thus what we want to have is a system where when we record an instrument and then listen to the resulting recording, they sound the same. With such a system, we can present recordings that, given a high quality flat reproduction system, the listener's experience is "like being there."

 

What we use is a pair of large diaphragm condenser mics run flat into a digital recorder. The mics are placed about 4 feet from the instrument.

 

Here is the first recording posted from the system.

 

Here are subsequent demos for small and large guitars.

 

Let's pick.

 

-Tom

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As much as I admire Nuno's musicianship I agree that the sound quality lacks. I have never liked the sound of a guitar straight into the mixing board preferring to use a mic in recordings.

 

When I record, I use a AKG Condensor mic which I place at an angle 6 inches from the soundhole; the mic goes into a Beringher mixing desk, which works with the programme Logic on an Apple Mini Mac. I used to use recording studios up until about 2006/07, but never got the sound I wanted - I got Logic and of course an Apple Mac and haven't looked back.

 

The positioning of the mic can change the warmth I have found, but IMHO the most important variable when recording is a good set of strings, a good 'warm up' so I can make the guitar do what I want and my nails shaped and buffered (yep buffered!) so the tone is good and the guitar projects well. A good guitar helps too [thumbup]

 

Matt

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MadmanGreg got my attention with his thoughts on room acoustics.

I agree.... with the sensitivity of condensers, the sheetrock & hard floors need a blanket... mazin difference.

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I recorded the following tune with a cheapo Yamaha acoustic with a Shure SM57 mic aimed at the soundhole...In a very large room with high ceilings and hardwood floors. I really didn't play with placement very much and i'm quite happy with the sound I got from it. I did clean it up with some EQ in pro tools but thats about it i think.

 

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[thumbup][thumbup]

I recorded the following tune with a cheapo Yamaha acoustic with a Shure SM57 mic aimed at the soundhole...In a very large room with high ceilings and hardwood floors. I really didn't play with placement very much and i'm quite happy with the sound I got from it. I did clean it up with some EQ in pro tools but thats about it i think.

 

http://soundcloud.co...acoustical-tune

 

nice recording [thumbup]

 

Matt

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I recorded the following tune with a cheapo Yamaha acoustic with a Shure SM57 mic aimed at the soundhole...In a very large room with high ceilings and hardwood floors. I really didn't play with placement very much and i'm quite happy with the sound I got from it. I did clean it up with some EQ in pro tools but thats about it i think.

 

 

 

I think the sound fitted with the song. I have used an SM57 or SM58 for recording acoustic and you do not get the definition that you would get with a condenser mic, but that the name of the game with this sort of dynamic mic, its what it does and why it is so popular in micing electric guitar, sort of takes the sharp edges off.

 

If you want more clarity / defintion then you would need to try a SDC or LDC mic

 

Madman Greg

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I record onto mini disc with a Sony MZ-N707 Recorder unit and a Sony stereo condenser microphone and get really good results. I also run an FM transmitter out of the record unit and broadcast to a Bose Acoustic Wave radio and a Panasonic RF-888 FM radio placed strategically to add some ambient sound. This also enables me to use my Walkman radio and Bose earbuds as a monitor. It's kind of a jury-rigged set up, but I'm always amazed at the sound that my recordings capture out of my non-pickuped Advanced Jumbo. I may get a better microphone sometime, but for now it serves my needs really well.

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Thanks for your input guys.

I decided to go with a RODE NT1-A condenser and have not regretted it.

 

I run it through a Alesis Multimix 4 USB Mixer (not running through USB)which is line in to my Infrasonic Quartet sound card in my PC using Cakewalk Sonar PE 8.5.3

 

Recording with a flat eq on the mixer the sound is quite bright so turning down the treble helped a lot with reducing the amount of pick noise which was pretty much non existent DI into the mixer.

 

I have the mic about 6" away from the sound hole at the lower part.

The result is a warm sound which is great.

My guitar being a shallow body with a large oval sound hole doesn't project very well so having the mic relatively close to the sound hole was necessary.

Still I wanted more 'detail' to the sound for lack of a better word which going DI did but lacked any warmth.

So used both at the same time to record and have the sound I am looking for.

 

Will have the recording up in the near future for you guys to hear once the vocalist I am collaborating with over in the US is satisfied with her vocal recording before sending over this way.

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So used both at the same time to record and have the sound I am looking for.

 

You need to recognise that the signal from mic and the signal from the pickup will arrive at the workstation and be recorded at slightly different times.

 

This can produce a pleasing effect sort of phasing), but as the two signals will be out of phase time wise there can be some phase cancallation or comb filtering, which can affect the tone (quite drastically in some cases)

 

The fix is simply is that you time align the wave forms in your DAW

 

hope this helps

 

MadmanGreg

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Ah yes, phase cancellation sounds like when inverting vocals to cancel out the vocal in a track to get the instrumental.

Never thought about that potentially happening.

 

Haven't come across any of those problems yet as far as I can hear.

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Ah yes, phase cancellation sounds like when inverting vocals to cancel out the vocal in a track to get the instrumental.

Never thought about that potentially happening.

 

Haven't come across any of those problems yet as far as I can hear.

 

 

Not exactly like inverting. You need to examine the wav forms and time nudge them into line. Inverting will shift the phase by 180 degrees (i.e turn the wave form upside down), this is only going to be different by a short amount of time only.

 

You may not think you have a problem but it will make some difference

 

Madman_Greg

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