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Recording acoustic jazz guitar Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 30th January 2015
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
wolfhound's Avatar
 

Recording acoustic jazz guitar

Hey guys,

I have a session coming up where I want to record an acoustic f-hole jazz guitar very much in the style of Freddie Green/Basie band. It's a rhythm part, no solos.

Was thinking of using either my RCA 77 or U47. Any thoughts on placement? Would you do anything special for it, beyond your usual acoustic guitar micing?
I tried looking for pictures of the Basie band in the studio but couldn't dig up any of the guitar setup.

Thanks!
Old 30th January 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Two great mic's. While neither would necessarily be my first choice on acoustic guitar I'm sure you could get great results running them both together. Try a couple of different setups like both mic's right next to each about a foot off the f hole and also as spaced pair panned to taste. The 77 should give you some silky smoothness and rally capture the woodiness of the instrument while the 47 will give you plenty of presence and midrange bite .
Old 30th January 2015
  #3
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madgansound's Avatar
 

In addition to the typical mic setups, I would run a piezo from the soundboard/top of the guitar for another tone to have on hand when mixing.
Old 30th January 2015
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
wolfhound's Avatar
 

Thanks guys. Yeah, the mics aren't what I'd typically use on a modern acoustic, but I'm going for an actual recreation of that 1960s Basie and Sinatra and Capital studios sound. (Not just something "inspired by.") I'm just guessing that there weren't any small caps on the guitar and that it was most likely a 77 or a 44. I've just never recorded an f-hole acoustic before--if you can believe it! I do also have the Cloud version of the 44...do you guys think that would be better than the 77? (The RCA is in good condition, haven just been restored by Wes Dooley).

Thanks!
Old 30th January 2015
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfhound View Post
Thanks guys. Yeah, the mics aren't what I'd typically use on a modern acoustic, but I'm going for an actual recreation of that 1960s Basie and Sinatra and Capital studios sound. (Not just something "inspired by.") I'm just guessing that there weren't any small caps on the guitar and that it was most likely a 77 or a 44. I've just never recorded an f-hole acoustic before--if you can believe it! I do also have the Cloud version of the 44...do you guys think that would be better than the 77? (The RCA is in good condition, haven just been restored by Wes Dooley).

Thanks!

You've got a great selection of mic's there. If the guitarist doesnt object, I would take 10 minutes or so and run through a couple of different setups. I would definitely suggest throwing 2 or more of those mics up and then using your faders as EQ as each mic will have its own definitive frequency response. I know the 44 is a favorite on stand up bass, but really 10 minutes of experimenting hands on will provide way more useful information that what you will get here.
Old 30th January 2015
  #6
Gear Head
 
stvnm's Avatar
 

Freddy green sound

The acoustic archtop guitar is very directional and percussive and needs space to project the sound. I would pay attention to player technique and instrument (heavy string, high action heavy strumming with ghosting and voicing etc) and would give placement the most importance. I'd probably start with the RCA at 6-8 feet and move around.

More than an acoustic guitar, I would conceptualize the role of archtop in a big band as an an harmonic extension of the snare with counterpointing role in the tenor/baritone register.

To push it one step further in the direction of an organic sound if you have good rhythm section (guitar, drums and bass -piano if any) and good room, i'd try to record the section as one single instrument.

Hope it helps,
Steven

Last edited by stvnm; 30th January 2015 at 07:27 PM..
Old 30th January 2015
  #7
Lives for gear
 

This is good advice and I agree about giving the archtop some space especially if the room is a good one. And even recording the band together less isolation for a more retro vibe but I would still have one mic closer to bring out the immediacy and texture of the guitar if needed.

Again everything depends on what you are after and how the guitar parts are intgrated into the song but experimenting in my opinion till it matches what you have in your head makes the most sense if it is feasible.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stvnm View Post
The acoustic archtop guitar is very directional and percussive and need space to project the sound. I would pay attention to player technique and instrument (heavy string, high action heavy strumming with ghosting and voicing etc) and placement the most importance. I'd probably start with the RCA at 6-8 feet and move around.

More than an acoustic guitar, I would conceptualize the role of archtop in a big band as an an harmonic extension of the snare with counterpointing role in the tenor/baritone register.

To push it one step further in the direction of an organic sound if you have good rhythm section (guitar, drums and bass -piano if any) and good room, i'd try to record the section as one single instrument.

Hope it helps,
Steven
Old 30th January 2015
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
wolfhound's Avatar
 

Thanks guys, some god advice!

Maybe I'll try one mic closer and one farther. I've got the right player, instrument, and music covered...the room is not perfect.

Interesting report from a man who was there at the sessions--apparently it probably was a 47 on guitar.
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