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Micin' an Ovation
Old 27th September 2004
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Micin' an Ovation

Any tips?
I've been trying to mic my CS257, ultra-shallow bodied guitar (w/ the funky soundholes on the top half of the soundboard) with no luck at all.
At my disposal are:
Shure KSM44, w/ selectable patterns
Rode NTK (I'm pretty confident that this isn't the right answer)
and AKG CS1000S (again, pretty sure this is wrong.)

My only preamps are an Aphex 207, and the internal preamps in my Aardvark q10.

But I think my problem is how to hide the Ovation from sounding like a plastic guitar.
Any tips?

Thanks,

Stephen
Old 27th September 2004
  #2
Lives for gear
 
djui5's Avatar
 

It all starts with the player and the room......how does it sound in the room?
Old 27th September 2004
  #3
Lives for gear
 
subspace's Avatar
I think in this case it all starts with the guitar. I had an Ovation "Glenn Campbell" 12-string for years, and it always recorded like a sald bowl. The shallow body must be even more of a challenge, good luck!
Old 27th September 2004
  #4
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I got the best results by either miking it right up in the hole or else getting back two or three feet. Not my first choice for an acoustic sound.
Old 27th September 2004
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Yeah...'Not my first choice'

When budget permits, of course I'd love to replace the thing. But until then, I'll try and make it work. It'll probably be good for me in the long run. Build character, and all that.


Oh, Randy. It sometimes sounds OK in the room, but very rarely. I mean, it generally sounds like a plastic guitar. It doesn't help that I'm using Elixir strings. I used to play guitar at church with it, so I got in the habit of putting them on there...

Thanks for all suggestions,
:-)



-Stephen
Old 27th September 2004
  #6
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Re: Micin' an Ovation

Quote:
Originally posted by Elsteve9

But I think my problem is how to hide the Ovation from sounding like a plastic guitar.
Any tips?
Give up all hope.

It's made of plastic.

Yeah, it's always gonna sound like a salad bowl.

Embrace it and make it cool or get a real guitar. I'd try a mic and DI, mix the two and add some delay or sprinkle lightly with FX. In other words, don't try to make it sound natural.
Old 27th September 2004
  #7
Lives for gear
 
doorknocker's Avatar
I always hated the looks ans sound of Ovation guitars with a vengeance, only to find out that one of my all-time favourite recordings, John Mc Laughlin's 'My Goal's Beyond', was done with a, you guessed it, Ovation.
It's the player!

Andi
Old 27th September 2004
  #8
Lives for gear
 
djui5's Avatar
 

I tracked an ovation......it's on a song I posted on here a while back if you wanna listen to it. I think it came out really nice.......the player was quite good too.....so that helped a lot.

I used a pair of 4051's in "ORTF"...sorta....one was facing the fret board...the other facing the holes....

I also had a 414 B-ULS Transformer Less off to the left (if looking at the player) to pick up some of the lower end and make it sound fuller.....

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showt...threadid=15259

There's the link to the thread....

It's a rough mix......waiting on client money to finish it.....

Wish I had a picture of it but I don't.

I also tracked the same guitar with a Royer 121 and the 4051's.....and the Royer sounded amazing on it.....the player wasen't as good though...so it didn't come out as well....
Old 27th September 2004
  #9


I actually played an Ovation that I would try on a recording. It was an upscale model with a solid spruce top that was about 25 years old. The strings were on the heavy side and were a bit old.

It sounded phenominal!

But, back to the shallow body with funky holes...

I'd use the KSM and set it back about 3 feet with the guitar facing a dead corner (make one with matresses and rugs if you have to). Then be prepared to use a parametric EQ on it until you get it sounding good. If you want that typical over-crisp high-end that seems to be popular for acoustic guitars in a lot of popular songs, you'll have to get that R0DE close to the strings where the neck meets the body.

Maybe you'll need to use two mics. Remember to offset the tracks to compensate for the two distances of the mics.


-tINY

Old 27th September 2004
  #10
Lives for gear
 
sdelsolray's Avatar
 

Try a different guitar. That's the easiest thing to do, and the most likely fix.
Old 27th September 2004
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Telecastr's Avatar
 

I agree with sdelsolray. you gotta try a different guitar. i've never liked ovations. if you used to play it at church, you've got to know someone there with a taylor. at least that's how it is at my church. i mean all Christians play taylors. they're not always my favorite guitars, but MOST of the ones i've played have recorded well too.
Old 27th September 2004
  #12


So, I'm a heathen for having a Martin D-28?

"...this train don't carry no 'Vations, Yamaha's, Martins, or Washburns.... This train is bound for Taylors, this train...."


-tINY

Old 28th September 2004
  #13
LTA
Gear Addict
 
LTA's Avatar
 

I was going to tell you to ask djui5, but he was here already.

The ovation he tracked on that song sounds like no ovation i've ever heard before. We had a talk about it on a different board a while ago. I think it came down to having a great player first and foremost. By great, i mean one of those people that could make a guitar out of a shoe box, a paper towel tube, and a few rubber bands and make it sound like a martin.

I'm still skeptical that the guitar randy recorded was really an ovation. I believe him, but it just doesn't have that characteristic ovation vibe that was referred to earlier as "plastic."
Old 28th September 2004
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Telecastr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by tINY


So, I'm a heathen for having a Martin D-28?

"...this train don't carry no 'Vations, Yamaha's, Martins, or Washburns.... This train is bound for Taylors, this train...."


-tINY

it's just a joke that a bunch of my musician friends and i from church joke about. martins are great guitars, but let's face it you can't get into heaven if you're not rockin a taylor on sunday morning. and don't even think about bringing a larivee around. haha. i hope the sarcasm is thick enough for you all to know i'm making a joke.
Old 28th September 2004
  #15
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by tINY


So, I'm a heathen for having a Martin D-28?

Nah, but only if it sounds good.

I've got an Alveraz knock-off of a Martin. Picked it over a couple of Taylors which shocked me. It's not quite as big or deep sounding as a Taylor 400-500 but I dig the midrange articulation and spank that it has.

Ovation's suck. Get a real guitar made from wood.

Old 28th September 2004
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Yeah, I've noticed that Taylors are more consistently seen with christians than bibles, too...
Not really sure why. I know most of the big-name worship guys play'em. I can't imagine that accounts for all of it, though.

Hm.
I'm not sure that I like taylor better than my ovation. Ew!
Ok, they're not THAT bad, but I'm not a particular fan of Taylor.


-Stephen
Old 28th September 2004
  #17


Taylors always sounded pretty good, but I could never get used to playing that funny neck they have.... That's why I got the Martin last time around. The only problem with the D-28 is that it really wants the medium strings (cables). With anything less than meduims, the sound is good, but it looses that big bottom.

The older Takamine F360 I had (early 80 production) was pretty sweet. But they went downhill in the late 80's and I haven't tried one recently.

But, some of the older Ovations with the solid spruce on top sound good. A lot of the cheaper ones and the newer ones don't sound all that great acoustically. They usually have a good sound through one of those "acoustic" amps, though as the pick-ups and electronics are well designed.

So, you might try plugging in that shallow body for the recording. Mic the amp or use a DI output....



-tINY

Old 30th September 2004
  #18
Gear Addict
 
Jeff A. Roberts's Avatar
 

Ill suited at best....

Ovations are for cheesey live gigs or playing guitar in the shower. Or maybe the're O.K. around the campfire.

They should never, I repeat, never be used in the recording studio.

If it ain't wood it's no good.
Old 30th September 2004
  #19


I'm sure your Chineese-made Montana and Hondo guitars sound much better...


-tINY

Old 30th September 2004
  #20
Gear Addict
 
Jeff A. Roberts's Avatar
 

Hey there tINY,

I'm not sure if I'm the guy that you're ripping for having Chinese guitars, but I don't have any....

I've got an 60's Gibson 12 string acoustic that used to belong to Leo Kottke, a 65 Fender Mustang, and a '72 SG.

Everything I know about acoustic guitars was learned when I worked for Leo Kottke (in a previous life).

Leo taught me that a strong guitar does not sound good. He told me that wood and braces should be thin. Braces should be scalloped. A guitar should be just strong enough to hold together and not rattle, and then you just might get some serious tone out of it.

Leo never mentioned that plastic or fibreglas contributed to tone. In fact, in the 70's Leo was a major advocate of ripping pickguards off of guitars. I witnessed him prying the pickguard off of my sister-in-law's Gibson with a butter knife before she could could muster up the courage to stop him, and that guitar sounded much better without the pickguard.

In any case, that's why I don't like Ovations in the studio. And I've never gotten more than a barely adequate sound out of one.

Ovations should be seen and not heard.
Old 30th September 2004
  #21
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally posted by tINY


So, I'm a heathen for having a Martin D-28?

"...this train don't carry no 'Vations, Yamaha's, Martins, or Washburns.... This train is bound for Taylors, this train...."


-tINY

My 1959 Martin D-28 is probably one of the worst guitars I have to record. My 000-18 is a much better recording guitar, less boomy
Old 30th September 2004
  #22
Quote:
Originally posted by Jmess
My 1959 Martin D-28 is probably one of the worst guitars I have to record. My 000-18 is a much better recording guitar, less boomy


When recording, you've gotta keep the mic out of the line of fire of the sound hole. A bassy guitar is usually best mic'd 3 feet back or so if you are tracking (but you have to have a good room).

A lot of the bigger Blugrass names have a guitarist playing a D-28 and they tend to work the mic with a small condenser pointed more at the upper bout. Recordings I have done from the board sound good with the more experienced guitarists.


-tINY

Old 1st October 2004
  #23
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally posted by tINY


When recording, you've gotta keep the mic out of the line of fire of the sound hole. A bassy guitar is usually best mic'd 3 feet back or so if you are tracking (but you have to have a good room).

A lot of the bigger Blugrass names have a guitarist playing a D-28 and they tend to work the mic with a small condenser pointed more at the upper bout. Recordings I have done from the board sound good with the more experienced guitarists.


-tINY

Good info. Next time he record's Steve Earle I'm sure he's going to try that. You mean near the fretboard right?

Old 1st October 2004
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Steve Earle uses a d-28?


What do you guys like to record? I mean, if you were going to buy a general purpose acoustic to record, what would you get?


When I worked in a music store, I didn't care too much for most gibson acoustics...however, once, there was this (new) hummingbird...man. It was great.
(But I didn't try to record it, or anything)
-Stephen
Old 4th October 2004
  #25
Gear Nut
 
waxnsteel's Avatar
 

Steven Stills' Treetop Flyer, I think that was an ovation, but it sounded like it might've been played through an amp and the amp mic'd. I have zero reading on the topic, just the sound I have in my head of what they sound like after hearing lots of different guys playing them live. Granted, It's not gonna be a great strum sound, but you may want to try sending it to an amp and micing it. W/ respect to Taylors (huge fan) those necks are the most comfortable for me, period ended. Funny enough, I played more acoustic than electric for a LONG time, then discovered how much PRS necks felt like those Taylors to me (newer 22 fret ones at least). As far as comfortable goes, they are where it's at. If nothing else, listen to treetop flyer. It's really cool. Don't mic the ovation, plug it in. Guitar amp, acoustic amp, even a small PA. I think you'll like that sound more than you'll like the "acoustic" sound of an Ovation.
Old 5th October 2004
  #26
Lives for gear
 
djui5's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Elsteve9
Steve Earle uses a d-28?


What do you guys like to record? I mean, if you were going to buy a general purpose acoustic to record, what would you get?


A Taylor...
Old 6th October 2004
  #27
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Elsteve9
What do you guys like to record? I mean, if you were going to buy a general purpose acoustic to record, what would you get?
Probably something with a 000 or concert body. Go out and play a bunch of 'em. Better yet, have someone else play while you listen. Be prepared to spend some cash. There's a lotta nice guitars in the $500-1000 range, especially true if you look at used stuff.
Old 6th October 2004
  #28
Lives for gear
 
sdelsolray's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Elsteve9
Steve Earle uses a d-28?


What do you guys like to record? I mean, if you were going to buy a general purpose acoustic to record, what would you get?

-Stephen
This is the golden age of acoustic guitar making. There are over one hundred makers out there now that make good to incredible instruments. If you think the nuances of recording equipment can make your head spin, try getting into the details of acoustic guitars - body shape, wood combinations, bracing, tap tuning, etc.

That being said, there are many guitars that will do well in a studio for a general purpose instrument. Ironically, the high end instruments are more difficult to record than the mid-level guitars (stay away from low-end guitars).

Decent all-purpose guitars for the studio would include (in no particular order):

1) Larrivee OM-05, L-05 (or OM-03, L-03). Mahogany back and sidess, sitka spruce top. Very nice build, excellent balance and sonics. There are rosewood models too.

2) Taylor x14. Various Taylor guitars do well, although a bit souless.

3) Martin 16 Series. Excellent value with the Martin sound.

These instruments all run in the $800 to $1,200 range street.

There are plenty of others.
Old 6th October 2004
  #29
Gear Nut
 
waxnsteel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by sdelsolray

2) Taylor x14. Various Taylor guitars do well, although a bit souless.

There are plenty of others.
I have to stand up for my guitars. (412,514,614,655,914)Soulless? Totally depends on the player. A guitar has no soul til you give it one. In general, I've never really enjoyed Martin guitars. (I've liked maybe 2 out of 50) I probably don't have a Martin soul. Larivee's feel and sound similar to Taylors in my opinion, though in general, don't look as cool. Play something that inspires you. But it will be hard to find a guitar EVERYONE would totally get down with. Something that feels great, and has the LOOK AT ME factor will probably do a great job.
Old 7th October 2004
  #30
Lives for gear
 
sdelsolray's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by waxnsteel
I have to stand up for my guitars. (412,514,614,655,914)Soulless? Totally depends on the player. A guitar has no soul til you give it one. In general, I've never really enjoyed Martin guitars. (I've liked maybe 2 out of 50) I probably don't have a Martin soul. Larivee's feel and sound similar to Taylors in my opinion, though in general, don't look as cool. Play something that inspires you. But it will be hard to find a guitar EVERYONE would totally get down with. Something that feels great, and has the LOOK AT ME factor will probably do a great job.
Looks like you like Taylors. Many (perhaps most) do. I don't. OK, they have their moments, and once in awhile I play one that I like. Most of the time they're like I said - souless. Kinda like an AT 4050 mic - nice, but.... That's just my opinion. Doesn't mean anything.

As far as pure acoustic guitars go (not considering recording issues), I like both the Martinesque camp and the Modern camp. In the Martin vein, I own a Tippin and a Collings, and really like Borges, Huss & Dalton, Santa Cruz and McCallister. In the Modern camp, I own 2 Webbers, a Goodall and a Larrivee, and I completely enjoy McCollum, Ryan and Lowden. All of these luthiers (with the exception of Larrivee) are high end builders. Taylor and Larrivee are not, although they occasionally kick out high end instruments. Martin hits the mark more often, but often they don't - they have just too many models in too many price ranges.

Ironically, most high end guitars are very difficult to record well. They are too nice, offer too much and are very difficult to capture well.
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