Recording acoustic guitars

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by swervinbob, Sep 8, 2020.

  1. Brillig

    Brillig TDPRI Member

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    That is true.

    But there is also the case of getting ideas down. I find that if I have mics set up for quick recording I do that much more often. When you're going more for capturing than you are for a polished final idea.
     
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  2. still_fiddlin

    still_fiddlin Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Glad you figured out a solution!

    I'm lucky in that my wife let me take over what had been one of the kid's old bedroom and have my way with it :). I figured out after about a year that just having a mic stand up with a mic plugged into the interface, and a preset template project in the DAW let me start recording without any excuses. I eventually added a short boom attachment on the stand so I could have 2 mics ready to go, e.g., to record guitar and vocal at the same time, encouraging my laziness by not requiring any additional movement on my part!

    If your DAW supports adding notes to the project or tracks, you might try to get in the habit of typing in any changes to the basic template, e.g., if you use a different mic, or move things around.
     
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  3. LoveHz

    LoveHz Tele-Holic

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    PZM Mic.jpg This is an interesting thread for me since gigs for the 'plugged in' band were all called off about five months ago and I've spent much of my time on acoustic matters, particularly informal recording sessions with friends. And the simpler the system for 'recording a performance' the better.

    An expedition into the deeper recesses of the music den produced a pair of Pressure Zone Microphones (PZM) I hadn't used for at least 25 years. A type of Boundary mic, these inexpensive devices were often used to record business etc meetings, being plonked in the middle of a large office table. But they can be used to make very natural recordings of acoustic music performances, used either singly or, better still, in pairs. Depending on the size of the room they can either be hung directly onto a wall or fixed to a decent sized piece of wood and placed wherever you like. Mine are fixed with Gaffa tape to 3ft square sheets of mdf board. They have a little battery box with an on/off switch and a jack (not xlr) connection.

    The onus is on the player(s)/singer(s) to learn how to balance their overall sound as the mics just pick up everything, but I don't think this is a bad thing at all. I've tended to use one slightly higher than the other to balance the vocal with the instruments -- the overall sound is remarkably natural. Of course there's no reason why these devices couldn't be used to record an electric band's rehearsals -- you'll soon find out who needs to turn down!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
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  4. still_fiddlin

    still_fiddlin Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    It seems like it would record an awful lot of the room. I mean, it might work in some spaces, but it's got the same problem all omnis have, in that they record everything. That generally works well when you've got something like a studio, i.e., the only thing they "hear" is what you want to record, and not the gurgling toilet flushing next door, etc.

    But, I'd love to hear your recordings!
     
  5. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    That's what I've got. I hated recording acoustic tracks before I got it, but now I don't mind it at all.

    - D
     
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  6. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Holic

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    I’ve been doing a lot of testing the last few days. Not sure whether it’s my ldc, my room, or my guitar (Taylor 214ce black deluxe), I can’t seem to get that good of a sound. Tried moving all around and can only get meh at best.

    Tried the 57 and had to dime the input. Bought a Cloudlifter and put it between the 57 and interface and, for just strumming parts to add layers, I’m getting very usable sound. If I was doing solo fingerpicking I’d find a better place, but for just adding a strummed guitar part to a song, it’s working great. And I’m still just sitting at my desk.
     
  7. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    I've tried so many ways to record acoustic guitars.

    I've found 2 major differences:

    - If you are recording solo acoustic guitar (and only acoustic guitar), use the best mic you can find. (Big studios use very high end condenser or ribbon mics.)

    They use close and distance mic set ups, and mix/blend the 2 till they get what they want.

    Solo acoustic guitar usually, in my experience, requires a bigger/fuller sound with great string definition. And, normally more effects.

    If its solo guitar with vocal, often some of the mids are attenuated on the guitar so the vocal can sit in the mix at those frequencies

    - If you are recording acoustic guitar to be mixed in with other instruments, usually a thinner/brushy sound is required. Using some eq, make sure it sits in the mix so it doesnt interfere with the frequencies of other instruments.

    Dropping some low frequencies. and mid frequencies, leaves you with a brushy/picky sonic quality that we hear on many recordings.

    Along with this, panning left or right helps keep it away from the other instruments/vocals.


    This has been my experience in the studio.
     
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  8. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Meister

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    I don't know much about recording them, but I can see where Rand Z's post makes a lot of sense. I'm always sort of baffled by how much the difference in sound is on acoustic guitar tracks in songs. Like for sure when it's a strummed acoustic with a bunch of other stuff going on it's just a very thin sound but adds something. It might be that the bass and other stuff is covering up the bass of the acoustic, but it does seem like less of that is in the actual acoustic track. But then when it's an acoustic song, where there isn't much else going on it's such a bigger sound.
     
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