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Acoustic Guitar Tracks.

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by matman14, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. matman14

    matman14 Tele-Meister

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    Getting some acoustic recordings done yesterday and this morning.
    It's always an adventure getting the best for an artist with acoustic instruments but it helped that she showed up with this:
    [​IMG]
    Martin 000-15. Nicely balanced not so big and boomy like a dreadnought, easier to control in a recording space.

    Walked around the room strumming some chords until we got the best sounding spot, marked the floor with a frog tape X, and then quickly set up a few gobos, in addition to the broadband acoustic panels and diffusers that are already installed, to fine tune the sound in the room.

    put up an SDC about 6 inches off the neck/body joint to get the string sounds and an LDC about 30 inches off the bridge, angled toward the sound hole, to get the body and bloom of the sound.
    [​IMG]

    Then the secret sauce that often works for me on acoustic guitars, an old ART Pro VLA 2 compressor.
    [​IMG]
    Faster attack/release on the SDC and only a small, maybe 3-4 dB, compression effect, and both channels with the makeup gain 4 or 5 clicks north of unity gain.
    Something about this unit, beyond just the compression, sits acoustic tracks in a mix for me. Maybe it's the crappy Ruby tubes or some flaw in the circuit but there's a slight rounding of transients and smoothing of highs that just works. I have probably used it 3 or 4 times in total on non acoustic guitar tracks, but I'll usually at least drop it into the tracking chain to see if the magic happens when an acoustic shows up.

    Anyway onward and upward, I've got a weekend's worth of 6 Nations Rugby to catch up on.
     
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  2. cobaltu

    cobaltu Tele-Meister

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    With that micing setup - do you ever get problems with phasing?
     
  3. matman14

    matman14 Tele-Meister

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    Any time you have more than one mic (or source) you introduce a phase relationship.
    Is it a problem? Depends if you like the sound or not. I move the mics 'til I like what I hear in the monitors in terms of phase and time relationships (or more simply, do I like this, is it what will work for the song?). So I never consider it a problem even though the phase alignment isn't, or may not be perfect.
    It's a way of EQing the sound at the mics.

    Basically if you add an EQ, you are adding "phase problems", since EQ is essentially deliberately phase shifting to filter a specific frequency range.

    Plus with a DAW you can line up the phase later if you want, but it never seems to sound as good as setting up the sound you want at the source.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
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  4. cobaltu

    cobaltu Tele-Meister

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    Thanks, I was just curious. I've never seen someone mic a guitar quite like that.
     
  5. matman14

    matman14 Tele-Meister

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    I don't think it's an uncommon approach.
    Depends on what you need of course but I find that in a lot of pop/rock stuff, acoustic guitar is almost tuned percussion, especially strumming stuff.

    This set up gives you a lot of string attack in the SDC and plenty of sound board in the LDC that you can blend as needed for a lot of flexibility.
    You can also do some cool stereo placement in sparse parts of a mix because the listener's ears are going to follow the first transients, which will be the string attack. So place that where you want the guitar to seem to be but spread the body of the sound, even opposite panned, while it still feels that the guitar is in the spot where the string attack is placed.

    Fun stuff.
     
  6. Mr. St. Paul

    Mr. St. Paul Tele-Meister

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    The first time I worked with a producer in a proper recording studio, he used the same micing techniques for my acoustic parts. I had never done that before, nor would it have occurred to me. But after listening to the playback of his work, I became an instant convert.
     
  7. loudboy

    loudboy Tele-Meister

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    I've been doing A Gtr using M/S recently, if it's a featured instrument.

    Using a KM-184 and a Royer R-121, it works really well - you can get a tremendously realistic track, go for the 6' wide super-acoustic, or anywhere in-between, all with minimal phasing issues and great mono-compatibility.
     
  8. Masmus

    Masmus Tele-Meister

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    I love these mics, I don't own a 121 but I've used them extensively in studios including my favorite version a 122v (a vacuum tube ribbon)
     
  9. jspartz

    jspartz Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Nice pair of Speck EQs in the Martin 000-15 photo! I’ll have to try my ART VLA on acoustic to see what happens. Thanks for sharing Matman14.
     
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  10. matman14

    matman14 Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, Specks are a nice clean, uncolored, surgical SSL style EQ. Good for fixing duties or when you don't need the sizzle from a more colorful piece of gear
     
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