Great recordings of solo artist with a 12 String and vocals?
Thanks for reading. I'm trying to record a few songs solo style, with just a Guild F512 and my voice. I can't seem to find a good way to record my 12-string. I've experimented with different mic placement techniques and mics, EQ, etc. I've gotten something interesting sounds but I don't yet have that "YES! IT SHOULD SOUND LIKE THIS!" feeling just yet. The guitar sounds great in the room, so I figure the blame is on me.
But, now that I think about it, all the 12-strings I can remember hearing in pro mixes were mixed in with a full band. Can you guys point me toward some great recordings of a 12-string guitar and a vocalist, and nothing else? Especially if the 12-string is being used for rhythm playing? It would be nice to have a target to shoot for.
er, vintage recordings of Leadbelly probably aren't what you're after I guess.
Have a listen to Serious Sam's stuff. I'm not sure I'd call them "great" recordings by Gearslutz standards, but they are honest recordings, and capture what he does perfectly. (He's an Americana singer from the north of England - plays bluesy Woody Guthrie-ish stuff on a 12-string. Really good live):
Thanks for the tip about Serious Sam. I don't like the production on his stuff from what I've heard so far, cool song writer though. Now I can compare and think like, well, it sounds a little better than that, ha ha ha.
It's hard, because a 12 string can start to sound like a set of car keys dangling in front of the mic. The Guild has a wonderful warmth to it in person that I just can't seem to capture.
As for Leo Kottke, nothing about his is dopey :-) I can't really use him as a target because he's just so much better than me. Where I mostly strum chords in a quick, ska-like percussive style, Leo is flying all over the fretboard and making it sound easy. He is the God of the 12 String.
Thanks for all the videos. What do you guys think of this? I think I'm getting closer. The guitar isn't quite as big as I would like it to be, but then again, singer songwriter stuff like this is supposed to be all about the voice, right?
This is VERY rough, just something I threw together to see how the mix would sound. I don't usually have sour notes in final versions of songs, ha ha ha. I'll probably add some hand percussion like a tambourine or something too.
Fred Neil, Karen Dalton, Tim (not Jeff) Buckley. Most of the early Village Voice players that hung in the Fred Neil circle played 12 string, the style is unmistakable and it mostly derives from Fred's playing.
Where you going to run when the worlds on fire?
Donovan (Leitch) did some very nice solo folk stuff with a 12 string. He was rather influential on Led Zep (Page and others were session musos for some of his studio stuff), and they couldn't have helped hear his albums. He influenced The Beatles too (taught them folk stuff when they all went to India). The Beatles used a lot of acoustic 12 string, not just electric 12 string.
Paul McCartney used a 12 string Ovation to good effect in the Wings years.
Samurai - I actually think you could get your 12-string sounding much better by adding more high end. The whole point of using a 12 string, imo, is to get more harmonics from the extra strings. Your recording sounds like a 6 string. Try shifting the mic placement and/or eq differently.