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Help me achieve the sound I'm seeking Dynamic Microphones
Old 12th August 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Help me achieve the sound I'm seeking

I record a fingerstyle acoustic guitarist and I have tried and tried to produce a recording that I'm happy with, yet they always fall short of my expectations.

The sound I'm looking for is something you'd hear from an acoustic guitarist's album, such as Tommy Emmanuel. Those types of albums sound like the guitar is amped while at the same time sound like microphones are being used to capture the intricacies of the fingers brushing across the strings. That's the sound I'm after.

I've tried applying reverb as well as delay to a miked recording using a variety of the techniques suggested around her, but they always sound too digital to my ears. I've tried miking an amp, and that lost all the details I was after. I've tried applying minimal effects to a miked recording and that sounds too bland. I've recorded in rooms big and small with flooring from laminate to carpet to tile.

Any recommendations to achieve the sound I'm after? I know I'll never get it sounding perfect with my current equipment or room options, but I was hoping I could get some tips on how I can get recordings I'm more satisfied with.

My equipment:
  • Steinberg MR816X
  • Peluso CEMC6 pair
  • Shure SM58
  • Cubase Pro 9.5
Old 15th August 2018
  #2
Gear Guru
 

give parallel compression a try

make two copies of the guitar track and put identical compressors on each

dial one track "smashed" (high ratio, low threshold) and the other with perhaps some gentle limiting on the peaks. Bring the smash track in a little at a time until you have the sustain and detail you want, but not to the point of overwhelming the articulation of the finger picking.

some plugin compressors have a "mix" or "blend" control, so you can get the parallel right there within the plug - without duplicating the track. Do a search for "parallel" and also "NY trick" here and you will find all sorts of ideas and variations.
Old 16th August 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 
CJ Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
I record a fingerstyle acoustic guitarist and I have tried and tried to produce a recording that I'm happy with, yet they always fall short of my expectations.

The sound I'm looking for is something you'd hear from an acoustic guitarist's album, such as Tommy Emmanuel. Those types of albums sound like the guitar is amped while at the same time sound like microphones are being used to capture the intricacies of the fingers brushing across the strings. That's the sound I'm after.
The first thing you have to do is get the sound as close as you can before recording it. The 'main' sound you record, is the 'main' sound you will mainly have at the end.
So if you cannot get close to the sound before it reaches the DAW or tape, then there is no hope.

So try mix placements and different spots in your room. this can take all day, but you need to find the perfect spot in your room that can get you as close as possible to the sound you want. Maybe your room needs treatment, as rooms effect sound bigtime!!

Also, the sound you are trying to copy, do some research and find out:
What type of strings he uses
What type of guitar he uses
What mic's he uses
How many mic's he used.
Any gear he used
what kind of room he was in

CJ
Old 16th August 2018
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

The recordings that you like normally use high end preamps or high end consoles. Most guitarists prefer tube preamps, me included. Borrow one and experiment.
Old 16th August 2018
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Hi FinsMagic,

What kind of guitar are you using?

The instrument can have a huge impact on the tone and quality of the recording, as can the player.

With your current setup it may be hard to create the tone you’re looking for, maybe find a local studio and book 3 hours to test out microphones.

Have you tried the Lauten series of Microphones?

Check out this quick video showing off the Atlantis on Acoustic Guitar, notice he’s also using a pre amp.

YouTube
Old 17th August 2018
  #6
Gear Nut
 
eternalsound's Avatar
From my experience I've never heard anything but a high-end conversion based audio interface sound good. The lower end units always seem to have that thin brittle sound in the ultra high frequencies.

You can try maxing out your sample and bit rates and see if that helps.
Old 17th August 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
 
CJ Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by eternalsound View Post
You can try maxing out your sample and bit rates and see if that helps.
???
Changing the bit depth and/or sample rates to their max will not change your sound and will not get the sound this guitarist is after. He prob is already recording in 24bit, so there is nothing higher than that that you can Record in anyways. also the lowest sample rate, which is 44.1 in most cases is CD standard and its good quality. Having him change the sample rate and bit dpeth will not change his sound to the artist he want to sound like.

More headroom will not achieve the sound he wants and will not change the sound from ware it is to sound like a certain artist.
and moving form 44.1 to 96kHz will not make it sound like this artist also.
FYI: Changing the Sample rate and Bit Depth will not do that. Its not how this stuff works.
Quote:
From my experience I've never heard anything but a high-end conversion based audio interface sound good. The lower end units always seem to have that thin brittle sound in the ultra high frequencies.
The run of the mill audio interfaces can produce professional sounding mixes and music.
You do not need a hi end interface. Any $100 to $600 interface can produce excellent sounds.

How you do it is with this:
Its recording techniques, knowing how to work with the tool you have, your room, understanding of audio engineering and mixing, and emulating and copying what the other artist used.
Old 17th August 2018
  #8
Gear Nut
 
eternalsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
???
Changing the bit depth and/or sample rates to their max will not change your sound and will not get the sound this guitarist is after. He prob is already recording in 24bit, so there is nothing higher than that that you can Record in anyways. also the lowest sample rate, which is 44.1 in most cases is CD standard and its good quality. Having him change the sample rate and bit dpeth will not change his sound to the artist he want to sound like.

More headroom will not achieve the sound he wants and will not change the sound from ware it is to sound like a certain artist.
and moving form 44.1 to 96kHz will not make it sound like this artist also.
FYI: Changing the Sample rate and Bit Depth will not do that. Its not how this stuff works.

The run of the mill audio interfaces can produce professional sounding mixes and music.
You do not need a hi end interface. Any $100 to $600 interface can produce excellent sounds.

How you do it is with this:
Its recording techniques, knowing how to work with the tool you have, your room, understanding of audio engineering and mixing, and emulating and copying what the other artist used.
Interesting: My Computer Science degree must have swept me astray. ??

1) 24 is a bigger number than 16.
2) Computer sees 24 bits and says "hey ...we have 8 bits more to make things even "cooler!"."
3) Same applies to sample rate: More pictures equals "a movie that even looks better!"

If he is at 24 bits then, yes, it is not going to make a difference.

OP: I'm not saying this WILL solve your issue, and even if it did it's not ideal or exactly ..practical. You may give it a try though. It could be like I said, your converters.

Old 17th August 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
 
CJ Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
nteresting: My Computer Science degree must have swept me astray. ??
i guess it did, if you are suggesting to the poster that changing his bit and sample will make his mix sound like that bands mix he is referencing too. That is what you are ensuing when you said that.
Quote:
If he is at 24 bits then, yes, it is not going to make a difference.
if he was at 16bits, it will not make a difference either. It doesnt make your mix sound like someone elses mix and that is what he is asking
Old 17th August 2018
  #10
Gear Nut
 
eternalsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
i guess it did, if you are suggesting to the poster that changing his bit and sample will make his mix sound like that bands mix he is referencing too. That is what you are ensuing when you said that.

if he was at 16bits, it will not make a difference either. It doesnt make your mix sound like someone elses mix and that is what he is asking
It's quite obvious I'm addressing: "but they always sound too digital to my ears."


So ... you too.
Old 18th August 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by eternalsound View Post
Interesting: Computer sees 24 bits and says "hey ...we have 8 bits more to make things even "cooler!"."


My computer doesn’t say enthusiastic things or high five or anything like that... sad.

I do (I think) hear a difference between recording at 44.1 and higher rates, especially if you later EQ or process anything involving very high frequencies. Things seem to get coarse-sounding at 44.1, but the same processing to an 88k recording will sound smooth and bring out detail.
Old 18th August 2018
  #12
Gear Nut
 
eternalsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
My computer doesn’t say enthusiastic things or high five or anything like that... sad..
Quite sad, I say - You have to install the "Virtually Optimistic" Pack that I don't believe Microsoft provides via download anymore. You also need the "High-Five" USB hardware kit that clips to the top of your monitor, and that is unfortunately no longer available either. :(

Such is life.

Old 18th August 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by eternalsound View Post
You have to install the "Virtually Optimistic" Pack that I don't believe Microsoft provides via download anymore. You also need the "High-Five" USB hardware kit that clips to the top of your monitor, and that is unfortunately no longer available either. :(


Wow... thanks! I’ll search eBay and Reverb for those items used.
My studio badly needs some strong false positives when we have the mandatory state happiness screenings. If you don’t live in California or Colorado you probably don’t have to pass those.
Old 18th August 2018
  #14
Gear Nut
 
eternalsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
My studio badly needs some strong false positives


Ahhh yes ...in psychology it's none-the-less ...a POSITIVE INDEED!!
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