Old 13th August 2008
  #1
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Question Basic EQ tips for acoustic guitar-

I hope this is the right place to post this, as it seems to make the most logical sense.

Was hoping I could get some starting points to help fatten up a fairly skinny sounding acoustic guitar.
My acoustic plays well, but is not really a great tracking guitar. However, I'm convinced with a little eq'ing it could be adequate for basic overdub tracks on demos... Especially for extra rhythm passes & simple guit/vox demos for songwriters.

Using basic eq plugins (I'm mainly using Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4), what is a good starting point for adding some warmth, while still staying tight?
Meaning... Obviously it's one of those "use your ears," things... But I'm hoping some experienced mix & master guys could give me some ideas on what frequency ranges to start with. Obviously, I don't want it to sound boomy, and I'm a total newb when it comes to using EQ plugins.

For an idea of what type of tone I'm getting with my rig, you can download the folder called "acoustic guitar tests" at jaysonchance.com. They are raw wav form samples of me trying different pre-amp settings & mic placement, recorded at 24/48k.

Hopefully, a trained ear can hear what I've got, and tell me what it needs in terms of frequency boosts and/or cuts.

Thanks in advance for the help!
Old 13th August 2008
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Mr.HOLMES's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JChance View Post
I hope this is the right place to post this, as it seems to make the most logical sense.

Was hoping I could get some starting points to help fatten up a fairly skinny sounding acoustic guitar.
My acoustic plays well, but is not really a great tracking guitar. However, I'm convinced with a little eq'ing it could be adequate for basic overdub tracks on demos... Especially for extra rhythm passes & simple guit/vox demos for songwriters.

Using basic eq plugins (I'm mainly using Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4), what is a good starting point for adding some warmth, while still staying tight?
Meaning... Obviously it's one of those "use your ears," things... But I'm hoping some experienced mix & master guys could give me some ideas on what frequency ranges to start with. Obviously, I don't want it to sound boomy, and I'm a total newb when it comes to using EQ plugins.

For an idea of what type of tone I'm getting with my rig, you can download the folder called "acoustic guitar tests" at jaysonchance.com. They are raw wav form samples of me trying different pre-amp settings & mic placement, recorded at 24/48k.

Hopefully, a trained ear can hear what I've got, and tell me what it needs in terms of frequency boosts and/or cuts.

Thanks in advance for the help!

Hi, yes it is one as everything in audio "use your ear things".
Listen is the best thing you can do.

If I where you I would try to track the guitar in a way that you will need in the end no or just little EQ. A small move with the mic is changing the whole sound of your guitar.

For guitars at home I always use a couch as absorber.... works good.

By the way if your guitar is sounding thin and has no balls when you track it I guess a EQ will not make your day.

So get it for your ears right at the recordng stage....

my 2 cents
Old 13th August 2008
  #3
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 
allencollins's Avatar
 

it's all mic placement more than eq. If you don't like the sound move the mic.
Eq on acoustic is usually only a high pass to dump the lows if you mic near the hole maybe some cuts in the mud around 200 - 300. Maybe a boost in the mids 3-5k or some sparkle up top at 10. It all depends on mic placement.
sometimes a high shelf. A cheap acoustic will need some more tlc on the eq

I usually start w/ a mic around the 12th fret w/ no eq or rolloff. If its too thin I move closer to the hole. but it could depend on arrangment though. If its strumming Im gonna do one thing if it's a picking part it's another approach

There is definitely a formula but you need to add all the variables. picking?strumming? fingerpicking? What type of gtr? Dreadnought? one of those boring thin Taylor or Martins? distant micing for more ambience? Nashville tuning? too many variables to really suggest anything concrete.

If you post some samples I'm sure someone could steer you.
Old 13th August 2008
  #4
It's too sensitive to position really. I have to avoid getting that lovin feeling when I'm trying to track accoustic because the slightest move will change the sound, even at a suprising distance from the mic.
Old 13th August 2008
  #5
Gear addict
 
Timothy Lawler's Avatar
 

The freq ranges around 300 Hz and 3-4 kHz have a big effect on ac gtr. Less is more though if you want it to sound natural.

Also, and even more effective IMO... a multiband compressor to boost the low-mids a couple dBs while reducing the dynamics there a couple dBs at peaks, leaving the rest of the freq spectrum unchanged. That can give you a thicker sound without it sounding boomy or woofy in louder spots. Waves linear multiband is good.

Blockfish by Digtal Fishphones is good for thickening the sound without making it sound artifiicial if you leave the compression turned off and just use the limiter (output knob). Try chaining a couple of them together.
Old 14th August 2008
  #6
has all the gear he needs
 
Unclenny's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
it's all mic placement more than eq.
Totally agree.

Sometimes, however, a little boost at 100 can fatten up a thin Martin. Do the high pass thing as suggested by AC and the kick up the shelf at 100.


Sugarland Rain
Old 14th August 2008
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Sigma's Avatar
 

180 hz is the devil
Old 14th August 2008
  #8
Actually, 666 Hz is the devil.

I've not used EQ on acoustic guitars in some time. Maybe it's because of the quality of the instruments, the players, the mics, the placement, the wire, the preamp, the converter or all of the above. Most of the time when I used EQ on an acoustic guitar in the past it was a corrective EQ. I was EQ'ing out the colors and losses of the recording chain. I no longer need to do that.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 14th August 2008
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Phrygian's Avatar
 

Rarely using EQ myself. I recently finished tracking my album and it came down to mic placement and different combinations of mics, preamps and guitars. Performance obviously played a part as well. I'm really trying to let my signal chain, placement and performance be my EQ across the board these days.
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