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Thread: Tracking Acoustic Guitars

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    I live in Long Island New York
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    Tracking Acoustic Guitars

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    Hello, I started tracking acoustic guitar for a song ive been working on. Ive been using pro tools for a little over a year now, and with every song and session I do I try to improve a little bit more each time. Unfortunatley this time I notice my gut feeling guessing the sound im getting. Its not a bad sound but I keep telling myself it could be better. So I am going to tell you what Ive been doing and I was hoping for responses back with feedback input tips and tricks! anything with tracking acoustics will be helpful! Thank You

    Im recording through Pro Tools 8 and M Box 2 Pro. I am micing my Takamine through an MXL 992 condensor mic about 6-8 inches from the neck side. I have the phantom power and mono both off on my Mbox. I have the level of the mic on the mbox somewhere between a quarter and a half. I record one side of the guitar to the metranome then I record the other side to the side I just recorded. I hardly ever copy and paste. Once the guitar part is there I put the SSLEQ and SSLCOMP on one side and an SSLEQ and DIGi Compressor Limiter on the other one. I have one of the EQ's set to the left mid and low freq and the other one the right mid and high freq. My SSL Comp I put the thresh all the way to the left the gain all the way to the right, the attack either 1 or 4 and the release auto, The rate I put somewhere to the right, Analog on. The Digi compressor I just put the acoustic guitar preset on maybe raise the gain a bit.

    Now I no in that somewhere something im doing has to be right, but i know there is alot wrong and I want to see my mistakes and hear other possibilities and options from other musicians and engineers.

    Any help, info, tips, tricks, presets, feedback would be great!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Miking acoustic guitars can be tricky...not every mic works well...the room is also a big part of it.

    For miking, check out the "Acoustic Guitars 101" sticky in the Recording the tips to what you are doing.

    For songs that are all about the sound of an acoustic guitar...miking is probably the best way to go, and the better the room, the better the guitars will sound.
    For more of a backing rhythm acoustic guitar in a more electric/denser mix...I opt for one of my Dean Markley ProMag wooden sound hole pickups. I run it into a passive DI box and then from there into a preamp.

    You don't get all the natural air/harmonics coming off the guitar's surfaces with the ProMag...but, it's easy to get a solid acoustic sound that fits into a more electric/denser mix where you probably don't want all the overtones and added harmonics of an acoustic...rather you want just the fundamental tone of an acoustic, and there's none of that too boomy/too thin battle you sometimes fight when miking.

    So...find the best setup for your intent.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Atlanta, Georgia
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    Im not familiar with that MXL model but is it a non phantom powered condenser?

    "I have the phantom power and mono both off on my Mbox."

    Doesn't really help anything you are asking about, it just struck me as a little odd.

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