EQ/Effects suggestions for 12 string acoustic with passive pickup.

ejb

New member
I am failing to get a decent recording of an acoustic 12 string guitar with passive pickup. I cannot use a mic. I cannot plug it directly to the audio interface, I cannot use main out signal. It is a live performance recording and channel insert (one click) is the only signal I have to feed the audio interface. So far it is a disaster. The fine sounding guitar is not coming through to the recording but does sound very good over the sound system.

Can you suggest a preset EQ/Effects or anything in GarageBand modeling that can take such a pitiful signal and get good sound out of it? Post recording EQ/effects applied are not getting it, or I have not found a good combination. I understand junk in and junk out, but experimenting with other instruments I have found near miracle plugins that make them sound really good, but I can't find such for this high-end 12 string...with passive pickup. I suspect the signal is too weak for processing? Maybe add a preamp?

It is plugged to a channel with a Hi-Z boost button on, yet I'm getting this thin, boxy, hollow, nasty playback yet it sounds great over the PA. Does Hi-Z boost, affect the output power of the insert one click method?
 
I am failing to get a decent recording of an acoustic 12 string guitar with passive pickup. I cannot use a mic. I cannot plug it directly to the audio interface, I cannot use main out signal. It is a live performance recording and channel insert (one click) is the only signal I have to feed the audio interface. So far it is a disaster. The fine sounding guitar is not coming through to the recording but does sound very good over the sound system.

Can you suggest a preset EQ/Effects or anything in GarageBand modeling that can take such a pitiful signal and get good sound out of it? Post recording EQ/effects applied are not getting it, or I have not found a good combination. I understand junk in and junk out, but experimenting with other instruments I have found near miracle plugins that make them sound really good, but I can't find such for this high-end 12 string...with passive pickup. I suspect the signal is too weak for processing? Maybe add a preamp?

It is plugged to a channel with a Hi-Z boost button on, yet I'm getting this thin, boxy, hollow, nasty playback yet it sounds great over the PA. Does Hi-Z boost, affect the output power of the insert one click method?
For me, and I know this probably wont help. Go into your bathroom and mike it up inside. The 12 string loves the resonance of the bath and the bog. You may think I am crazy but it works xxxx
 
For me, and I know this probably wont help. Go into your bathroom and mike it up inside. The 12 string loves the resonance of the bath and the bog. You may think I am crazy but it works xxxx
Can't move the guitar player to a bathroom. This is a signal from a passive pickup to a mixer board.
 
Can't move the guitar player to a bathroom. This is a signal from a passive pickup to a mixer board.
Oh ok. Right, a passive pickup so you have a signal. What is the sound like? Is it a bit muddy? You can totally clean and enhance the sound with DAW plugins
 
Oh ok. Right, a passive pickup so you have a signal. What is the sound like? Is it a bit muddy? You can totally clean and enhance the sound with DAW plugins
Yes, that is what this post is about. I'm trying to find a needle in a virtual haystack of what can make this signal pep up in the DAW. If the Hi-Z boost does not go through to the insert one click out signal...then I'm out of luck. Maybe I should have just asked that. Does Hi-Z boost make it to insert one click out? I'm getting a very thin as if out of a box, no tone, mud sound.
 
Yes, that is what this post is about. I'm trying to find a needle in a virtual haystack of what can make this signal pep up in the DAW. If the Hi-Z boost does not go through to the insert one click out signal...then I'm out of luck. Maybe I should have just asked that. Does Hi-Z boost make it to insert one click out? I'm getting a very thin as if out of a box, no tone, mud sound.
I am really sorry, this is above my knowledge, I am sure there are a lot of people that will help you here though xx 👍
 
I'm not familiar with your "one click out" term.
That's when you plug into the insert jack half way to get the direct out without interrupting the signal to the channel strip of the mixer.

Essentially, he is recording a live concert off the soundboard. He needs to know how to make the signal from the pickup sound listenable.

That is hard to do without hearing what it sounds like. If it sounds like the bridge pickup in most acoustic guitars, you need to get rid of the "quack". Try backing off 800hz and see if that helps a bit.

No matter what you do, it will not sound like a mic'd acoustic, but you can get it to sound better and fit in the mix.
 
That's when you plug into the insert jack half way to get the direct out without interrupting the signal to the channel strip of the mixer.

. . .
Aha! I've used that before but never heard it referred to as such. Thanks!
 
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If it's got to go guitar to mixer in for the show - why don't you just use a DI box, and take the mic output to your interface?
 
I'm wondering why it sounds great through the PA but the other signal does not. I would try Rob's DI box suggestion. I would also try using a signal splitter and sent one to the mixer and the other to the interface.
 
Does it sound great out of the PA just because it's louder and you are hearing the sound interact with your room? Is it actually the same dry signal you are recording into your DAW? can you play your recording back out through the PA and that would be something that sounds good to you?

You can probably get quite close to what you want to hear by using impulse responses, there are thousands of different types out there, possibly your DAW has a bunch already. I believe a lot of them are designed to be used with a passive pickup recording to breathe depth back into it.
 
The sound coming out of the pa is going through the eq, any compression and the crossover. You are taking the signal before that.

If the pa is set up like we used to, the pa is bottom heavy, so you have more headroom on the board. That will make anything recorded from the board sound thinner.

I'm not sure what difference splitting the signal and going into the interface would make. Tapping the insert on the mixer should be the same.
 
Off topic, reminds me of one story from the recording of Rumors by Fleetwood Mac. The sound engineering / production staff couldn't get a good sound Buckingham's acoustic guitar for "Second Hand News." They tried everything they could think of. Finally, the sound engineer just started moving dials on the board before finally discovering a good sound all full open. This story reflects the difficulty sometimes of getting something we often assume as listeners is just how it sounded.
 
I don't quite get the 'fully open' bit. Care to explain a bit? Probably one of the UK vs US things, but I don't think I've ever heard the term before? I wonder what they meant?
 
I'm not sure what difference splitting the signal and going into the interface would make. Tapping the insert on the mixer should be the same.
Yes it should be the same but the direct signal shouldn't be "pitiful" and awful sounding as the OP explained. Splitting the signal would be a test to see if in fact there is a difference between insert and direct. If there is no difference then it would suggest that the OP just doesn't like the sound of the passive pickup.
 
I don't quite get the 'fully open' bit. Care to explain a bit? Probably one of the UK vs US things, but I don't think I've ever heard the term before? I wonder what they meant?

Generic word use that is vague because I don't fully know what he meant. The interview online I think said he turned every nob to 10 and that caused the console to really open up in sound. I am not sure I fully believe that would fix the problem or if he really meant to imply every nob to 10.

I am not a professional.
 
Ah - sounds like something you'd say in an interview to non-technical folk. Sounds like impressive and totally wrong talk to impress! A b it like Spinal Tap's turn everythiung up to 11, because it's one more than ten.
 
Generic word use that is vague because I don't fully know what he meant. The interview online I think said he turned every nob to 10 and that caused the console to really open up in sound. I am not sure I fully believe that would fix the problem or if he really meant to imply every nob to 10.

I am not a professional.

"It took a particularly long time to record the acoustic guitar for "Never Going Back Again." To achieve such a bright, brilliant guitar tone..."

I think this is the article link I was referring to:



And here is another interesting article:
 
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