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Acoustic Guitar (or other acoustic string instrument): How are you recording them?
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Lokeyfly
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Joined: 07/06/2012 08:31:19
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Hey all.
Wondering what ya'll are using:

1. Acoustic Guitar (favorite, not your whole line-up)
2. Means of recording: Mic, Contact pickup (Brand & Model), built in Pickup (that comes inside)
3. Comments: How you like what you're using, or what you would like to use. Upsides/downsides, preamps? Noisy environments forcing you to record without mics? etc.
Finally, are you happy achieving success with your acoustic recording setup? If not happy, what would help?

Perhaps we can learn something from our ideas, experiences when recording acoustically into Studio One.

Happy picking!!!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 08/06/2014 14:41:34

In the words of the late great Graucho Marx "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member"

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jBranam
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at open mic night in Jay's livingroom... but seriously my michael kelly has a p/u but my mic sounds better... mainly use my MXL 910 about 2 ft in front of hole.
Jay


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cristofe
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I like to record my Alvarez Yairi with a combination of mics and pickups. For mics, I always put up a pair of Golden Age
FC4s......one one the soundhole, one at the 12th fret:



I also sometimes will use my CAD Equitek E-200 for room ambience:



The Yairi has no piezo pickup,(which I don't care for anyway.....too plastic and quacky IMHO), but I will use my Schertler Basik
contact mic and/or my Dean Markley Pro Mag soundhole pickup. I'll record separate tracks for all these sources and process
them with various VSTs, pan them and mix a stem....or not.




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matthewgorman
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Usually 2 mics, one pointed somewhere near the body/ fretboard intersection. The other over the shoulder kinda getting the strumming hand from the top. Usually a pair of sdc, but sometimes an ldc or ribbon on the fretboard mic.

Keep in mind i am primarily working with acoustic guitars/mandolins/banjos within the context of a band, very rarely if ever are they solo instruments
Matt

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LMike
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Agree with all the above, 2 mics, maybe an LDC on the hole and an SDC on the neck.

If you have a really good room, maybe also add an ambient omni-directional mic or two (clean class A pres cranked up) a few feet away for some optional real ambiance. The best thing about ambient mics is that if you don't like what it adds to the sound, you can just delete the tracks, but if you do like it, it's probably because it sounds better than digital verb.
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ricstudioc
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Gotta picture around here somewhere, but having to host it online somewhere is such a pain....

It's a picture of the "hell chair" - a simple kitchen chair surrounded by 6, 7, 8 mics - typical soundhole/body stuff, mic shooting down the neck from the headstock, mic behind and over the shoulder of the player, boundry mic a few feet out - you get the picture. Oh - and a DI line for any onboard pickup.

This IS after all digital recording - track counts are immaterial. I place mics in any position that I feel could yield promising results, and record them all. Afterwards I begin auditioning the individual tracks, and combinations thereof - usually it's 2 or 3 that end up being kept, the others I archive or toss.

Note that this is done only for "critical" (solo) acoustic work, if we're just tracking a backing strummer any of the above will do.

edit - "other acoustic stringed..." - for several years lived w/a conservatory-level violinist, in working with her it became obvious that close micing was a no-no, way too much bow. Overhead SDC's about 3 to 4 feet out seemed to be the sweet spot where the "note" balanced with the "bow". Much further out and attack started to suffer, much closer and the rosin overpowered the fundamental.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 08/06/2014 19:15:49

Ric

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rikfrlng
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I.ve just about given up on recording with a mic. I don't have a nice sounding room and it's never quiet enough, wtih traffic and neighbours etc.

I'm using a Yamaha THR5A acoustic amp that has some very nice mic modeling in it and ithas a usb connection so recording my acoustic guitars has become a whole lot easier. Mind you, I'm just an amateur so my recordings are largely for my own pleasure.


Rik

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 10/06/2014 10:23:33

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dgkenney
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You've got the general consensus from the above posts. 2 mics either 1) sound hole and 12th fret or 2) sound hole and over the shoulder. The second technique has the advantage of capturing what the player is hearing and "self-adjusting" to at the moment.

I'm the odd man out on this but was never really fond of "stereo" recording of acoustic guitars. A single decent LDC or ribbon mic in a decent room about 12-18 inches away from the player and let it go.

Dan
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Julia B
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Direct (LR Baggs) > Fishman Aura.

Direct

otherwise there are dog barks, sirens, lawnmowers, children, etc.
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Tarekith
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I go direct as well, from my 814ce into my pedal rig:



From there into my Hilo. The raw tone from the 814 is actually a lot better than I expected, there's enough harmonics there that the pedals have something to work on, but it's not overly harsh. The onboard preamp helps.

Downside (sorta) is that the output on the 814ce is balanced mic level, so converting to something the pedals can see isn't as ideal as I'd like. The new 814 has preamps that output a normal instrument level signal, much more convenient.
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mrpicholas
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Julia B wrote:Direct (LR Baggs) > Fishman Aura.


The Aura is pretty awesome, I've got to admit, but I still mic 'em up with a couple of SDCs.
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Lokeyfly
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Good stuff!
Noise can be a factor in my house as well, so it's either I go to the basement Studio, to mic, or find an internal pickup as a work around.
Studio mics: Rode NTK, SP C1, or B3. No complaints micing with condesors and it's the most natual sounding way. Still, I'd like to find a pickup alternative.

Piezo contact pickups arent bad, and they typically cut through a mix, though the duck bill quacking is a minor drawback. I'm looking into an internal mic pickup option. Don't care for sound hole mounted pickups as they all sound very un acoustic like.

Internal Pickups in mind:
Looking into the L.R. Baggs Lyric. It's their latest and sounds pretty natural.
Mic Modeling:
Thinking of going with either the Fishman Aura or the Yamaha THR5A.
The THR5A sounds great. Has a very SPX stereo & reverb like feel.
The Aura has a huge library of recordings of so many guitar & Mic arrangements. Good to target your setup as best as you can. Both of these units have a blend control to capture a nice balance between pick-up and model. Recording acoustics is getting better, but still not up to miking, but we all have and know about such trade-offs. We do what we can do and get away with.


This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 09/06/2014 17:29:47

In the words of the late great Graucho Marx "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member"

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jBranam
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my j60 has the fishman presys in it. it's not all that bad... but i still like either my MXL 910 or RODE NT1-A and i am leaning toward the MXL910. i picked me up a pencil condenser by CAD a couple months back but yet to try it as stereo like some do by pointing it at the neck. will let you know Jim if i like it or not... but you already heard the MXL910 by itself when i got the maple Kelly.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 09/06/2014 11:39:03

Jay


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Most great things American came out of American garages. That fact alone bums me out 'cause I don't have a garage! ~Knot Hardly

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I am normally recording an acoustic for the purpose of setting it in a mix rather than solo, so a "rich, full" sound is not exactly what I am after. I generally use a single SDC pointed to the 12th fret - about 12" away. On occasion I will point it to the bridge for a different tonal quality. If the guitar has a pickup I will often take that at the same time into another channel then blend/pan the two as the song requires.

IMO, recording from a pickup alone rarely works no matter how nice the pickup is. One of my favorite parts of an acoustic track is the percussive attack of the pick, and that gets lost without a microphone.

If I am recording something where I want a fuller sound I will swap the SDC with an LDC.
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Lokeyfly
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I do remember Jay hearing your MXL 910 and commenting at that time that I liked the captured sound. To this day, a Mic is going to excel in realness. That's not to say every method has it's own advantage for each user. Like guitars themselves, it's a matter of preference. It's all good, and I find each method you all choose interesting! Some great recordings can be had recording acoustic instruments.

To Tarekith: Curious, why the pedal setup? I suspect this is necessary for your live setup? Or perhaps a distinctive sound you have going on.

On the subject of the 814ce. I get your point about the new 814 with better impedance matching. Makes sense, though that would be the only advantage over the old 814. I played at least 5 new 814ce's at same & different stores with the hopes of buying one, and I am appalled at the crap out of an 800 series from the new line-up this year. The 814 was their golden goose up to last year, and after they sold the first 200 of this "new edition", they are crapping all over their lawn. I truly believe the new angled bracing, fish protein glue, etc. is ten steps back. Why wreck a perfectly good thing? Taylor claims they want to show they are not sitting back. I say, they FV&#@D up.

I guess the only advantage it has is it's new 3 way piezo setup on the saddle. Who knows. I was so disgusted after playing it straight acoustically, I played it through a Bose PA, and lost interest in the guitar itself to care what that pickup did.
Poor decision fixing what worked for them.

Don't get rid of yours.
In the words of the late great Graucho Marx "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member"

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