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Author Topic: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques  (Read 5015 times)

xonlocust

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your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« on: September 02, 2005, 09:50:17 AM »

hey all-
i'm doing a session this weekend that's mostly acoustic gtr singer/songwriter sorta stuff and was interested to hear everyone's favorite techniques so i might try something new i hadn't thought of. the gtr also has a line out avail.
thanks.
nk

Fibes

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Re: your facorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2005, 10:07:59 AM »

I'm a big fan of omni patterns on acoustic. Mono, double tracked, ORTF, jecklin... Unless the guitarist snorts and breathes heavy then I opt for figure 8 with the head in the null...

Tey one mic by the guitarists right ear and one out front of the guitar. Try ortf  pretty close in and move back...


I just got a duo of Bova Ball mics and i am completely hooked. They freaking rock.
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j.hall

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2005, 10:09:53 AM »

earthworks TC-30k pointed at (like it matters, it's omni) the 12th fret, about 4' back.

takeout probably has some cool ideas, he's cut some awesome sounding acoustic stuff on a few projects we've done together.
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NelsonL

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2005, 11:18:12 AM »

I did a song recently, live take of acoustic guitar and voice, no overdubs.

We put up a pair of Royer 121s in blumlein in front of the guitar, and a 4050 higher up for voice-- possibly phase inverted, can't remember.

Anyway, the Royers had a really dark, appealingly thick quality that benefited from the slight amount of sparkle added by the LDC.

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TheViking

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2005, 12:04:23 PM »

I've used my Royer SF-12 as a great stereo ac gtr sound, but the problem I always have with it is that I have to crank the pre to get it where I need it.   Sometimes, when my gear is cooperating it is the best sound I've ever gotten.

My 'always works' sound is a pair of Earthworks SR71 cardiods through my Langevin AM-16 pre's.

Sometimes, if your going for something really over-the-top and you have a decent sized recording space, try using the cheapest mic you have, like a 57 or some radio shack POS mic on the guitar mono from a pretty good distance (say 4 to 5 feet) and use like an RNC or a DBX with the Over-Easy setting and crank it up.   Mess with the mic placement...   move it around until it sounds 'crazy'.   I've found that can sometimes sound really good and cool depending on what the project is.

Good luck
Kevin
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NelsonL

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2005, 12:24:11 PM »

Yeh, noise is an issue.

FWIW we used a TG2 and it was acceptable for that track.

And I forgot, there was also a room mic in the corner which eventually fed the Wendy Carlos plate in Altiverb, 100% wet, low-passed, and squeezed a little with the BF76. Blended in under the tracks a good many db down from everything else.

I guess it'd be interesting to try with an ultra clean modern pre w/ the Royers, although in general those don't interest me.

One other thing--- I had a Blue Kiwi through a BAE API pre up for FOK one day and the singer happend to strum an acoustic guitar on the other side of the room-- it sounded amazing. Unfortunatley the gear had to go back to the rental house and we never got to actually track acoustic guitar that way.
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drumsound

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2005, 03:16:12 PM »

I really like AT Pro37R in XY around the 12th fret.  When I?m doing solo Singer/songwriter I use a multi pattern LDC in figure 8 with the null pointing to the guitar so I have some freedom in the vox track.  Recently I did a whole record like this and I added the Tape Op ribbons in Blumlein about 8-9 feet away and 5 1/2' feet high.

The whole record on five tracks.  I reused the tape by rewinding in sections and using the low tracks, then the middle tracks, and then the high tracks.
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xonlocust

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2005, 03:16:17 PM »

great suggestions everyone - thanks!

it's great to refresh your mind of all the options before going in...

xonlocust

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2005, 01:55:58 AM »

gringos-

well, i'm done - sorta - thank god. dude wants to come back in spring for real mixing (just rough mixes tonight) and maybe fixing whatever needs to be fixed.  (long story with our respective schedules)

a lot of bed tracks used my nevaton 51 in omni over the rt ear and a ksm 141 in omni pointed at the 12 fret at roughly 4 ft or so (both roughly equidistant from the 12th fret), and i really liked that as a base point to work from.  panned L-R for a pseudo stereo. also rocked the ORTF which was decent. it sounded good to me, im not sure i'm good enough yet to notice the difference btw that and XY - maybe if i heard them side by side... also used an oktava 52 ribbon up close for one song which was real nice - to take off the edge. not great for everything, but for one song it was perfect.  

the studio got a loaner LA-4 in which i used on practically everything, that was cool. i love how good compressors just work instead of hearing them work ya know?  

overall, i think i used different combinations of AT 4051s, the nevaton, ksm 141 and the oktava.  oh yes, the nevaton was my 2nd choice after my first pick of gefell um 70. that is a sorta noisy mic i found, not the greatest on real quiet sources. i've used it many times before on louder things and loved it though.  preamps were either 2 hardy channels or stock sony 3036 console channels.

fortunately all the gtrs were separated from vocal takes.

yeah - thank you all for suggestions.


takeout

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2005, 11:24:42 AM »

I'm not a huge omni fan, mainly because I've yet to work with a guitarist who could keep random noises to a minimum.

*bumpscraperubetc...*

The last good luck I had was a Rode tube LDC > 1272 > PT, 12" away or so, located at the 12th fret but pointed back at the soundhole (~45 degree angle).  Nice and direct, detailed, decent amount of body without the squeaks or woofiness.  Probably wouldn't work for a bed track though.
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Jules

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2005, 05:36:23 PM »

I helped a band out I was producing a few years back. They were having trouble nailing acc gtr.. So they said it was cool if I played it.

I nominated a band member to be 'engineer' and told him to press record & play when I gave him the signal from the live area.

He asked "what do I do after that"?

I said "press stop at the end of the song, I won't be stopping!"

Very Happy

Beyer 201 into Helios mic pre has a nice 70's vibe... Cool



Curve Dominant

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2005, 10:51:27 PM »

I just recorded/produced a whole album of songs w/guitarist playing acoustic guitar as bed tracks.

1) SM57 pointed at the 12th fret @ 45/angle (rear of mic pointed away from guitarist), about 5" from the axe
2) LDC hung above the lower body of the guitar, pointed down towards the sound hole, about 12" from the axe
3) Panned hard L/R

Everyone very happy with results; YMMV.

My brother Kurt was the guitar tech on the Godsmack acoustic EP, and related this tip:

1) Hang LDC as described above, panned centre
2) Hang two ribbon mics (Royer 121, 122, et al) above the guitarist's shoulders, panned L/R

I haven't tried that one yet, but hanging the LDC mic ABOVE, not below or in front of, the guitar seems the status quo for good sonics. I know I've experimented with LDC placement in front of acoustic gtrs, and it seems the only sound I ever like is when I've got the LDC above the guitar by about a foot or two, pointed down at the sound hole.

Happy hunting...

Beezoboy

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2005, 07:46:50 AM »

I have gotten a cery cool rock guitar sound with a 414 in hyper out from the 12th fret off axis in the direction of the sound hole, and a Shure 545 off axis from the sound hole pointed in the direction of the 12th fret. Panned hard. I think a dynamic and condensor combination gives a nice contrast and makes the soundscape cooler due to the differences in sound characteristics.

The re-15 can be cool on strummed acoustic guitar too.

Beez

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josh

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2005, 07:57:06 AM »

KEL HM-1 about a foot away aimed at the 12th fret marker

Oktava MK-219 (modified , you pick your favorite lush-sounding mic) aimed at approx. the bridge of the guitar to the guitarist's right, 4' or so away, 4' or so off the ground.


totally rough and unprocessed sample

http://www.prophetsandpoets.com/josh/mp3/KEL_Okt_Acoustic.mp 3

Fig

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2005, 08:20:00 AM »

Howdy,

I know its late for your session (how'd it go - BTW?), but we had great results with a KSM141 up close and C12VR in the air, both in cardiod (see photo).

Blend to taste.  Pan a bit in the mix, if you like (we did!).

We tracked a direct as well, but did not use it, preferring the "acoustics" of the acoustic Razz

Normally we would employ in-ear isolating earphones (E4s are the new favorite at my place), but the artist in question wasn't into it - thus the cans.  It was a soft track, so bleed wasn't stupid loud - NTTAWWT.

Seems the "hardest" part is keeping the player in the same spot and their breathing out of the track.  Oh yeah, and a stool that does not squeak is essential!

Osci-later,

Fig index.php/fa/1570/0/
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Tim Halligan

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2005, 10:34:19 PM »

OK. I'm a bit late but...

A cool trick - depending on the style of playing - is to get a small lavalier like a Tram TR-50, Sennheiser MKE-2, hell even a Sony ECM77...whatever you have floating around and tape it in the soundhole. Let the actual capsule swing - not that it will swing that much - about an inch and a hal ffrom the soundhole lip.

Spank as necessary.

Use in combination with your usual setup and blend to taste.

Certainly adds warmth....


Cheers,
Tim
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Dave Martin

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2005, 10:19:22 PM »

Tim Halligan wrote on Wed, 14 September 2005 21:34



A cool trick - depending on the style of playing - is to get a small lavalier like a Tram TR-50, Sennheiser MKE-2, hell even a Sony ECM77...whatever you have floating around and tape it in the soundhole. Let the actual capsule swing - not that it will swing that much - about an inch and a hal ffrom the soundhole lip.



That was pretty common in Nashville when I moved here in the mid 80's - at least in the cheezy studios I was playing in. In those rooms, only the drums and the singer were in iso booths, so the acoustic player was out in the room with everyone else. If I remember right (I wasn't engineering then, just playing bass), a guy named Joe Mills built these little lav type mics that were what everyone used. You apparently had to EQ the crap out of the signal to make it useable, but it worked.
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GoobAudio

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2005, 09:14:24 AM »

I recorded my hundred dollar Yamaha last week with four mics.

One SM81 pointing at the 12th fret angled from the sound hole toward the head of the guitar.

One Studio Projects about 8 inches off the hole

Two Marshall 602s which are spaced about 3.5 feet apart on my drum overhead bar pointed at the guitar about 10' away.

you can hear the sounds for strumming, slide and lead here.

The drum overheads stayed pointing away from the drums when I recorded the drum track. We were going for a far away drum sound.

Click Hall of Fame  on this page if you want to hear it.
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wwittman

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2005, 09:09:40 PM »

I like ONE great large diaphragm, usually tube, condenser placed carefully.
That tends to sound better to me than multiple mics.

GOOD U-47's are my favourite followed by Gefell UM-900's as a close second.

An RCA BA-6A compressor completes the picture for me.
That seems to make an acoustic guitar sound bigger, and just BETTER -  no matter what the genre or any other variable.
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Dave Martin

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2005, 10:26:09 PM »

I'm still sold on a pair of KSM 44's - one about a foot from the 12th fret, and one about head high pointed at the body of the guitar and a couple of feet back - get the phase right and go.
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TheViking

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2005, 06:13:38 PM »

wwittman wrote on Sun, 25 September 2005 21:09



An RCA BA-6A compressor completes the picture for me.
That seems to make an acoustic guitar sound bigger, and just BETTER -  no matter what the genre or any other variable.


I strongly agree.   Last year I had a good friend of mine come in and track some singer/songwriter type demos with me.   All live, just him singing and his buddy on guitar.   I used the BA-6 with one TLM103 on the acoustic guitar and it was pretty sweet.

My BA-6 never ceases to amaze me in many situations - the thing is really the best piece of equipment I own right now.   If you have the means, I suggest picking one up.   Wink
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Lee Knight

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2005, 10:14:11 AM »

A band I'm producing brought in an old 1940's Washburn (didn't know that went back that far). Anyway, they hand it to me and say, "you're playing this". F-holes. My regular technique of a SDC 12" away at the 12th fret was not cutting it.

After several different stabs at it I settled on a GT33 Midsized DC at about eye level, 12" out in front of me pointing at the floor?!?! Well... alright then.

I blended in an ORTF pair from 10' away and it sounded old timey good. Not honky, but warm and mellow.
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bloodstone

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2005, 11:34:32 AM »

A pair of AKG 414BULS.  About 6-8" off the guitar.  One aimed at the 12th fret.  One off axis aimed at a point above the sound hole and toward the bridge saddle.  Cardioid pattern.

An Oktava ML52 through a Drawmer 1969, aimed at a point above the sound hole and toward the bridge saddle.

I double track acoustic a lot.  Neil Young's After the Gold Rush has some good examples of double-tracked non-identical performances on acoustic.

The best acoustic sound I ever got was my Taylor 710 into an AKG Solidtube through a Drawmer 1969.  I was wearing headphones and adjusted the guitar instead of adjusting the mic until I heard something I liked through the phones.  I was pretty close, the guitar was within about 3" of the mic.  Pretty weird, as the Solidtube wouldn't have been my first choice.  It was up as I was doing vox.

Another thing I've found to amaze is an AKG C1000S through a Langevein DVC.

For singer/songwriter types tracking all at once, I like a pair of figure 8 patterns set up to reject the voice and guitar.  Usually use a pair of 414BULS, but have used a pair of Oktava ML 52.
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mikepecchio

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2005, 01:20:20 AM »

If it isn't the primary instrument I am often amazed by how good an EV 635a can sound on acoustic guitar.  for a more up front sound I love the powerful low end of a coles, but the top needs lots of EQ. And I'll second the beyer 201 suggestion. those mics are fantastic.

mike p
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6x2

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2005, 06:55:36 AM »

Check out the Ac gtr thread in 101 of the MARSH.

http://marsh.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/8354/?SQ=047fa8b687 6c3cf1ba8b826eac019698

6x2
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j.hall

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #25 on: November 14, 2005, 02:16:54 PM »

a great round (no high end) sound can be achieved by placing a pair of head phones over the body and running them to a DI box.

ends up blending in kinda cool on more vibey tracks.
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scottoliphant

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Re: your favorite acoustic gtr techniques
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2005, 12:09:40 PM »

sm81 at 12th fret
akg 414 out for room, or 2 414's for stereo room sound blended with the 81

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