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Thread: Acoustic recording

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    I know that recording an acoustic guitar with one mic close to the sound hole and another mic in the background gives a great mixed sound. The problem is, I am just entering the acoustic recording zone and don't have two mic's or a mic preamp. My question is, can I get a decent acoustic sound recording if I just use an acoustic "sound hole" type pickup? This will also need a pre amp to boost the signal won't it?
    Unleded Super.

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    I have a Seymore Duncan Woody II sound hole pickup. I use it for live performances, but not for recording. It sounds too electric and lacks that full sound of a miked acoustic. I've found that using an sm 58 about 3-4 inches from the soundhole works way better. I'm sure a lot of folks could point you toward a better mic, but that's what I have. Two things are important to this method. 1) keep it as still as possible, there's some rule that mic level decreases exponentially the further it gets from the sound source. 2) Record in a closet, bathroom, or some other narrow space, it fills out the sound. the 58 is a unidirectional mic, i don't know if an omni would sound even better in these circumstances, never tried. As for the pre-amp, Don't know what to tell you I plug direct into a tascam 424 which has them built in. Good luck.

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    No, you should never record acoustic guitar with a pickup. What are you recording in to?
    If it's a multitracker it should have mic preamps of some sort built in and some kind of trim/gain control. A condenser mic of some sort would do. Audio Technica makes some great ones for around a $100.00 , I used to use a radio shack lapel mic ($30.00) that sounded pretty good. These mics can sound great placed about 6-12 inches away (they are sensitive and produce a clean crisp sound). If you have a dynamic mic of some sort like an sm57 then put it right up to sound hole. What I learned from pro engineers is to use a mic for the sound hole and mic the neck to pick up the brighter tones. But like I said one great condenser a foot away is all you need.

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    Here's the technique that I get awesome results from....
    I use a pick-up AND a mic.
    I use a Dean Markley acoustic pick-up and line straight in to one channel, then I mic the guitar and go into a second channel. MAKE SURE TO TRIM BOTH CHANNELS TO MATCHING LEVELS!!
    After recording the acoustic part, I pan each of the paired channels out a bit from eachother. I then e.q. the pick-up channel to get all the mids and crispy "highs", and e.q. the miced channel to get the mid to "lows". The results are, IMHO, quite excellent.
    The fact that I'm using an AKG C3000 mic and a digital recorder is also an important factor, but you can still get nice results from a smaller analog unit and a dynamic mic.
    You just have to remember to keep still when recording with a dynamic mic. Moving from side to side will make the signal dip significantly.
    Keep experimenting though... you just might find the exact sound you're looking for.

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    Never use the word "never" when experimenting. While I wouldn't use a direct acoustic pickup for everything, it can be a valuable tone (or some would say lack of tone) in your sonic arsenal. Play around with different combinations of mics and placements until you find something that sounds nice. Isn't that the whole point of having your own studio?

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    Yes, I agree , experimentation is key. Working in the studio for me is like painting a picture. And sometimes you need to mix things up to find the right color. It just sounded to me that the topic starter had limited resources. And you would all agree that a mic/direct combo or mic only is better than a direct(pickup) only recording?Right? My philosophy on recorded acoustic is that when I hear it back it should sound like my acoustic guitar being played by me, as if I'm right there in front of you playing. Nothing captures this better to the ears than a mic. Sometimes , especially with new technology, we end up spending hours on stuff in the studio just because we can, not because we have to. What's really important is the music, and the performance energy. Everything thing is else is just fancy stuff. A lot of great albums have been made with very simple approaches and not the greatest mics or anything.

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