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Thread: Vocal vs Acoustic guitar recording

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    Vocal vs Acoustic guitar recording

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    Hi Everyone,

    From what I have read it is best to record vocals dry, in the sense that we should not be picking up much of the sound of the room.

    The opposite has been said about acoustic guitar though and that the room makes a big difference to the sound of the recording.

    Is my understanding correct or have I missed something? Why would we record vocals as dry as possible and not acoustic guitar?

    Cheers

    Dave

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    Ultimately it's personal preference whether you take advantage of your environment or not but, I expect, the advice you've read relates to bad or untreated environments.

    It's common advice to suggest recording everything as dry as possible, as a great percentage of home recordists do not have a desirable sounding environment.


    Bottom line :
    If your room sucks capture everything as dry as possible, or treat the room.
    If your room's nice, choose when to use it and when not to.
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    ^^^+100^^^ What Steen said. Good room, no issues how you want to do it. Bad room, take it out of the equation.

    Recording 'dry' typically means no FX being used on the input chain so that they are permanently recorded. 'Wet' is the opposite, meaning there ARE FX (outboard hardware or VST) recorded permanently on the track.
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
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    Ok thanks guys thats cleared it up :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by evilbiskits View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    From what I have read it is best to record vocals dry, in the sense that we should not be picking up much of the sound of the room.

    The opposite has been said about acoustic guitar though and that the room makes a big difference to the sound of the recording.

    Is my understanding correct or have I missed something? Why would we record vocals as dry as possible and not acoustic guitar?

    Cheers

    Dave
    FWIW- I record acoustic guitars in a place in my home that has 14' vaulted ceilings, and is a part of pretty large great sounding room. The guitars record wonderfully in this room. I used to record vocals there too, until I had a problem with 1 recording where the vocal tone just stunk, and no amount of processing could fix it. As a result, and out of desperation, I decided to make some moving blanket portable gobo's and I re-recorded the vocal track. I've been recording this way ever since.

    For some reason instruments seem to record well in a "wet" good sounding room with natural reverb, while vocals seem to respond better recorded in an area that is free of reflections, and natural 'verb.

    So yes, my experience reflects your OP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evilbiskits View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    From what I have read it is best to record vocals dry, in the sense that we should not be picking up much of the sound of the room.

    The opposite has been said about acoustic guitar though and that the room makes a big difference to the sound of the recording.

    Is my understanding correct or have I missed something? Why would we record vocals as dry as possible and not acoustic guitar?

    Cheers

    Dave
    I haven't heard that or at least in the sense that one should record acoustic guitar wet but vocals dry. It depends on the situation. If the room sounds bad you don't want to commit to something that is ultimately going to make your recording sound bad. If you are unsure record it as dry as possible so you have more flexibility in the mix stage. But if you have a good source in a decent sounding room it might not hurt to experiment and see what you can come up with.

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    I love using nice sounding rooms when I can. I recorded a blues guy with his acoustic in a pretty sounding room, with a Royer Sf-1 on the guitar, a Rode Ntg-2(excellent rejection on their null sides) on the vocals, and two Naiant omnis in the room. Also went through Tape. Sick sound!Servin the Lord 1.mp3
    I like to Ride the Waves...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    Ultimately it's personal preference whether you take advantage of your environment or not but, I expect, the advice you've read relates to bad or untreated environments.

    It's common advice to suggest recording everything as dry as possible, as a great percentage of home recordists do not have a desirable sounding environment.


    Bottom line :
    If your room sucks capture everything as dry as possible, or treat the room.
    If your room's nice, choose when to use it and when not to.
    This is very well stated.

    In addition, you might want to consider doing all vocal/acoustic recordings dry so you have control over their presence and amount of reverb after. Once you record live, it's pretty much how it's always going to sound. IMO the control and quality of plugins nowadays makes this the best option in nearly all cases.
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