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Thread: Acoustic with capo sounds worse

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    Acoustic with capo sounds worse

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    Hi . I've never really managed to capture a guitar which sounds satisfactory . For some reason with a capo sounds even worse- kind of boxy brittle metallic pushy. Difficult to think of the right adjectives . Anyway is there a particular reason for this . Many thanks

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    What kind of capo are you using? Are you setting it right before the fret, almost touching the fret ahead of it? have you ever had success with a capo?
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    what does your captured guitar sound without the capo sound like? Are you using mikes or the guitar's transducers?

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    Post a sample of both.......your guitar with and without capo. Tell us what you like and don't like about what you hear in each. As you probably can guess......everything from the quality / sound of your guitar.....to the mic(s) used.....where they were positioned.......and the room it was recorded in can and will affect the outcome. And......sometimes.....we're so used to how our acoustic sounds without any amplification that it's difficult to "like" it otherwise.

    In addition.......the strings you use are factor of course.......especially their age. And lastly.......a capo....of course.....effectively shortens the sound range of the instrument.........making it "higher" sounding in tone overall and IMO requires a slight change to where you place your mic on the neck if you're using 2 mics. If you're capo is only one or two frets up.....no big deal.....but more than that and your neck mic placement becomes tricky.
    Last edited by Mickster; 07-20-2019 at 12:57.
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    Not to sound harsh, but you should be able to get a decent capture of an acoustic guitar with just a cell phone, so if your guitar sounds good and your recording chain is better quality than a phone(which you haven't described), you just haven't done the work yet.

    Some guitars sound better capo'd, some don't. Without a gear list and sound example the only advice i would give is to put on some good headphones, put the mic at guitar level when you stand with it strapped on and move in out and around while to learn the tones you can get. I will say that some mics are extremely poor at getting a decent sound with AG and some guitars can be more problematic than others but you should be able to get a good enough recording that a bit of eq will get you the rest of the way.

    I have found that even an sm57 can give a good sound if placed correctly for the arrangement- anywhere from two inches from the fretboard to eight inches from the body depending on the timbre you are chasing. Some will even put it over the guitar and/or over their shoulder aimed down at the guitar. So: move the mic til you get the timbre you are wanting
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    Are you recording the guitar with a mike or using a pick up? The 'brittle metallic' sound is very characteristic of earlier pick ups.

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    The strings are probably about a year so a new set of those first to eliminate that . Good point . It's still really a guide track to arrange around . I'm off the idea of double tracking guitar it just exaggerates bass and creates more general clutter even if its fairly tight overdubb . It might not be the capo . It's not fret buzz. Capo is sprung type not those Hairband type things or whatever . No not pick ups still using the internal mic on the dp008ex so in fairness I'm still not using the decent large diaphragm yet . It's more the fact that it's bad in relation to another song . Thinking about it it's probably not so much the capo that's only second fret it's more that some of the chord shapes are right up around the neck and it seems to alter the character of a guitar makes it sound like boxy garbage . Oh well onwards and downwards as they say .lol

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    The built-in mics in stand-alone recorders are not good for acoustic guitar - the whole plastic casing of the recorder can act like a transducer - and make it sound boxy. Even an SM58 plugged into the recorder will sound better.
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    Yes good point . I'll not worry about it too much til I do miked parts on the ldc

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    Acoustic guitar bodies will always resonate better, using the full length of the open strings. Capos and chords with no open strings will always somewhat reduce the quality of the sound your guitar is capable of producing. A guitar "tuned" to a chord will sound twice as full as just playing the chord. This fullness is what is reduced with a capo. If I'm recording a capod' guitar, I try to pick up more of the body with my mics. Acoustics are pretty hard to get right , "mic placement" is critical.. ms

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