Acoustic Guitar Recording 101

thanks...nothing like a great acoustic sound...I just got a fantastic sound with an AKG C414 right in front of the 12th fret into a greatriver pre and a little RNC compression...sounding so sweet, crisp, and organic...
 

mojowrkn

New member
Great job WhiteStrat! Would love to hear more about your sweetening process with the multiband.

PS - Those Seagulls are great. I have yet to pick one up that I didn't think "WOW!"
 

bigtee

New member
thanks for this post...fantastic..i always did stereo on my acoustic stuff but never took it that extra step..what a difference..i even went ahead and tried it for a mandolin part in a full band piece and it sounds great..again thanks:)
 

WhiteStrat

Don't stare at the eye.
Great job WhiteStrat! Would love to hear more about your sweetening process with the multiband.

PS - Those Seagulls are great. I have yet to pick one up that I didn't think "WOW!"

Thanks! What would you like to know about the MBC? I'll dig up the Cubase project I used in this post and have a look at my settings. The Seagulls are great, huh? They consistently play and sound like guitars 2 and 3 times their price. I've since added a Seagull 12 string to my collection that I love as well.

thanks for this post...fantastic..i always did stereo on my acoustic stuff but never took it that extra step..what a difference..i even went ahead and tried it for a mandolin part in a full band piece and it sounds great..again thanks:)

I don't have a mandolin--but it's on the short list! I'd love to hear your recording!
 

metaljoseph

Dedicated Member
I think the real key to picking up the "soul" of the guitar,is definately the black cables. Any other color cableand I wouldn't have even paid attention to this thread.:spank:
 

tombuur

New member
Thanks for the audio clips and tutorial. Though I mainly came for the clips to listen to the NT5's, the tutorial was great too. Particularly because it showed me what the NT5's sound like in stereo, with doubling and processing too. Great sound, indeed.

Thought I would get me some KM 184's, but researching I came across the good sounding NT5 in the Flatpick Magazine shoot-out. And following that path I ended here. Does anyone know if the NT55 sounds similar to the NT5? Same capsule, but somewhat different electronics. I would like the low-cut and omni capsules, but not if it doesn't sound as good as the NT5, of course.

Addition four days later: I bought the Neumann KM 184, anyway. Probably a waste of money, since I could hardly tell the difference between these and the NT5's in the Flatpick Magazine test. Nevertheless, it seems that KM 184 is some kind of studio standard, though many believe Oktava 012 can be modded to sound the same way etc. But to remove any future doubt about my choice I shelled out more money than probably needed. If you dislike wasting money, just get the NT5's. WhiteStrats recording show how good these can be.
 
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sendittokeith

New member
This is troof! I certainly didn't mean to gloss over the need for a great guitar sound before you even hit the red button. I bought mine with recording in mind (don't play out much at all) and didn't have tons of money at the time. I spent over 4 months researching and playing guits. I like the Seagulls because they'll sacrifice the bling to get a great sounding guitar down to a lower price point. Since then, I've thought of upgrading, and believe me, I've looked. I have found numerous $2,000 and $3,000 that play as well--and certainly look better--but none that sound any better. So I've not bought another one.

I'm pretty sure I got lucky--they can't all sound that good. But every time I pick it up--it passes the smile test. (And FWIW--I haven't recorded a ton of other acts, but I've only had one that didn't use my guitar after hearing it tracked.)

Yep...gotta have the sound first.
I am right there with you. Ive only found 1 guitar (a 5k Martin) that sounds as good as my $700 Seagull, so im in no hurry to update. Its def not the prettiest guitar but the best sounding for the money that i could find - and i VERY RARELY have to tune it. LOVE IT!

Also, just wanted to add, thank you very much for the post and the links to the audio - it would have not meant much if i couldnt hear the results - my goal is to record something that sounds nearly as good :-)
 

WhiteStrat

Don't stare at the eye.
I am right there with you. Ive only found 1 guitar (a 5k Martin) that sounds as good as my $700 Seagull, so im in no hurry to update. Its def not the prettiest guitar but the best sounding for the money that i could find - and i VERY RARELY have to tune it. LOVE IT!

Also, just wanted to add, thank you very much for the post and the links to the audio - it would have not meant much if i couldnt hear the results - my goal is to record something that sounds nearly as good :-)

You're welcome--and thanks for the props. Good luck on the recording--as you can see, it's not as hard as it seems.
 

tombuur

New member
Nice summary of recording acoustic guitar. Just got some nice results with my new stereo set of KM 184 ...

I have one addition to the above. It says, use closed headphones for recording to avoid spill from the click track. Now, I have several sets of closed can headphones. So I tried just standing silent in front of a microphone as if recording a vocal. All of the closed headphones gave an audible click track in the vocal track under usual recording conditions. Then I switched to some in-ear phones, and the spill almost disappeared completely! After this I will only use in-ear phones during recording.

The ones I use are Etymotic ER-6. I really don't like them for listening to music, the treble is awful. But they isolate very well with the foam tips, and with some EQ I get a sound that is good enough during the recording process.
 
I wanna record an acoustic song soon. It's gonna be acoustic guitar...all the chords in open position...G, Em, D, C...all that kind of thing...maybe have some light drumage, an inconspicuous bass possibly played in a high register, vocals and some acoustic guitar licks...anyway I just want to ask a question...about mic'ing the acoustic when playing all those open chords: I want to avoid boom. I want the chords to be light...so my playing style will have to have this in mind...a light touch....also I'll avoid the soundhole and I think I will put one mic back a couple of feet and another a tad closer than that...any tracking tips with all that in mind?

thanks
 

WhiteStrat

Don't stare at the eye.
I wanna record an acoustic song soon. It's gonna be acoustic guitar...all the chords in open position...G, Em, D, C...all that kind of thing...maybe have some light drumage, an inconspicuous bass possibly played in a high register, vocals and some acoustic guitar licks...anyway I just want to ask a question...about mic'ing the acoustic when playing all those open chords: I want to avoid boom. I want the chords to be light...so my playing style will have to have this in mind...a light touch....also I'll avoid the soundhole and I think I will put one mic back a couple of feet and another a tad closer than that...any tracking tips with all that in mind?

thanks

The way I mic'd my guitar in the tutorial at the beginning of this thread is designed to avoid the boom of the soundhole. And both my mics are up pretty close--since I don't play real aggressively, and I like a very detailed sound.

Mic #1 is at about the 12th fret (8" to 12" away from the guitar) pointed in at an angle towards the soundhole.

Mic #2 is behind my strumming hand (also about 8" to 12" away from the guitar) also angled in towards the soundhole.

Having them angled in towards the soundhole lets them pick up the depth without getting overwhelmed like they might right over the sound hole.

How close the mics are to the guitar depends on the sound your going for. Like I said, I like nice and "up close." And how much they're angled towards the soundhole depends on how much "boom" they pick up.

Let 'er rip!
 
Gotcha...actually now that I think about it I'm gonna have to do something about the small tiled floor room I have as a recording area. I strum an acoustic guitar anywhere in my unit it sounds tinny and ticky...devoid of warmth. I got nothing diffusing anything really.
 

Daniel Grenier

New member
Well, WhiteStrat, this is my very first day on this site and this is the 1st thread I read. I am a complete, 100% newbie to this recording "business". I have a Taylor 414ce, a Fishman SoloAmp w/Fishman effects and a JamMan loop pedal. I have ordered a Fostex MR8 and a Shure SM57 mic to record myself (getting that tomorrow). Anyway, all this to say that I enjoyed your post and I think I'll learn a lot from this Forum. Thanks for your tips & tricks - sounds terrific!
 

WhiteStrat

Don't stare at the eye.
Well, WhiteStrat, this is my very first day on this site and this is the 1st thread I read. I am a complete, 100% newbie to this recording "business". I have a Taylor 414ce, a Fishman SoloAmp w/Fishman effects and a JamMan loop pedal. I have ordered a Fostex MR8 and a Shure SM57 mic to record myself (getting that tomorrow). Anyway, all this to say that I enjoyed your post and I think I'll learn a lot from this Forum. Thanks for your tips & tricks - sounds terrific!

Hey, thanks for the props. And welcome to the site!
 

clayfeet

New member
Hi everyone, yet another newbie here. This is a great start-up guide- but I'd need a bit more help figuring out acoustic guitar recording.

I'm using a condenser mic (T-Bone SC600); I was experimenting with a lot of different settings, and had to realize that the mic IS really good, insofar as it magnifies all the acoustic shortcomings of my bedroom. There always seems to be way too much natural reverb on the guitar - I'm guessing this is normal in an untreated room, but until I fix that, I was playing around with an expander plugin in Reaper to try to get those ringing loose ends a bit tighter. But so far, not much success; any tips on that?

The other thing - I wonder if anyone else ran into this problem as well - I realized that ever so often a soft but annoying, mysterious click appeared on the tracks. I thought at first it was just some odd strumming or string noise, but finally I figured out it actually was the joint in my wrist clicking on some staccato chord changes... Is it normal that you can even hear things like that on a recording, or do I have my levels set up all wrong?
 

WhiteStrat

Don't stare at the eye.
Hi everyone, yet another newbie here. This is a great start-up guide- but I'd need a bit more help figuring out acoustic guitar recording.

I'm using a condenser mic (T-Bone SC600); I was experimenting with a lot of different settings, and had to realize that the mic IS really good, insofar as it magnifies all the acoustic shortcomings of my bedroom. There always seems to be way too much natural reverb on the guitar - I'm guessing this is normal in an untreated room, but until I fix that, I was playing around with an expander plugin in Reaper to try to get those ringing loose ends a bit tighter. But so far, not much success; any tips on that?

The other thing - I wonder if anyone else ran into this problem as well - I realized that ever so often a soft but annoying, mysterious click appeared on the tracks. I thought at first it was just some odd strumming or string noise, but finally I figured out it actually was the joint in my wrist clicking on some staccato chord changes... Is it normal that you can even hear things like that on a recording, or do I have my levels set up all wrong?

That's the nature of the mic. Before I had a decent space, I was still able to get decent acoustic guitar recordings without too much room in 'em. For starters, how far is the mic from the guitar? The closer you are to the guitar the less "room" you'll pick up. But the more "everything else" you'll pick up--string squeaks, wrist pops, etc. So if you move the mic in nice and close to the guitar, you bring the gain on your preamp down.

If your room is real sparse, you can try recording in a more populated room. I used to get decent results by just recording my acoustic in the family room instead of my old "studio." The wannabe studio was a square room with no furniture--nasty, nasally waves going everywhere. The family room was bigger (and rectangular) with lots of furniture, area rugs, bookshelves, etc. Made a big difference.
 
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