The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Guitars for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Folk strumming acoustic tone Condenser Microphones
Old 27th May 2018
  #271
Lives for gear
 
Rockabilly69's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieD009 View Post
Hi all,
Just wanted to leave an update on this thread. I've been experimenting with a lot of the advice I got on here, and have had some good results re: strings and acoustic guitar choice...

1) I have found that coated strings are working better for folk strumming, particularly the D'addario EXP's (I use mediums), as I find them to be less harsh/bright than the Elixir's, especially when first applied. After a few days when they settle down they have a great tone and playability on a number of my acoustics. So glad I tried the EXP's - a great way to get closer to the tone of "old strings" without having to play rusty strings

2) I picked up an Alvarez Yairi (DY94), sort of on a whim, and have been pretty happy with the sound of that guitar for folk strumming (which is surprising because I had read a review of a guy who felt it was better for fingerpicking). Anyway, for a newer (2004) dreadnought it has a more "plucky" sound to it. It doesn't have the bass and power of a Martin dread, but for this purpose that is a good thing. I think the Mahogany back/sides give it a bit warmer/subdued tone, but it still cuts enough in the mid-range to be a good strummer. Incidentally, the Alvarez has the most comfortable neck I've played vs. Gibson/Martin/Guild/Yamaha/etc. Speaking of Yamaha, the FG-300 I have also sounds pretty close to the Dylanesque folk strumming, and has also benefited from a set of the D'addario EXP17s. It too has a great resonant tone, but not the power/bass of a Martin or Gibson. I'm starting to wonder if that's just a Japanese thing? Maybe they don't go for boomy/bassy acoustics there? Maybe not, because my Yamaha 336SB (laminate mind you) still has more punch than any Martin I've played. Anyway, when selecting a dreadnought for this purpose, I think it's better to have something that isn't quite so boomy.

Still have yet to get a smaller body acoustic, but it's on my list. Maybe one of those LG-1s I've been looking at.

In conclusion:

2 ways I've found to get closer to this tone, but without having to shell out for vintage equipment and having to deal with the issues of an older guitar are 1) Coated strings and 2) A modern acoustic that fits the bill (in this case an Alvarez Yairi DY94)

Hope that helps someone searching for a sound. Now off to experiment with some recordings will post soon. Thanks!
I’m also a fan of the EXP17s which I learned about while recording a guy in my studio who had an almost identical sounding to mine HD28.
Old 29th May 2018
  #272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
No one said the mic's were "lo fi", but the recordings, by today's standards of fidelity, were lower - all anyone has to do is play a recording from then to hear it.
No. A typical 44.1/48k recording is "lower fidelity" than a 15 ips tape recording. let alone a 30 ips recording.

If you hear different you "expectation bias" is fooling you. Use an oscilloscope and a frequency analyzer.

Not a digital plugin that's crippled by the Nyquist cutoff in your DAW, a real analyzer.
Old 29th May 2018
  #273
Lives for gear
 
Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
No. A typical 44.1/48k recording is "lower fidelity" than a 15 ips tape recording. let alone a 30 ips recording.

If you hear different you "expectation bias" is fooling you. Use an oscilloscope and a frequency analyzer.

Not a digital plugin that's crippled by the Nyquist cutoff in your DAW, a real analyzer.
You're simply wrong - objectively speaking, no expectation bias necessary - the oscilloscope and frequency analyzer will show you that - what goes into a digital converter, comes out the other end EXACTLY the same.

Not to mention we aren't talking about listening off the master tape, or the two track tape dub from the master, we were referring to vinyl here, which has mono bass, high levels of distortion, surface noise, tracking errors, wear, wow and flutter, and an RIAA curve to artificially "restore" some semblance of frequency response.

Please don't turn this into another 40 pages of nonsense, the guy's happy with what he's found - try and stay on topic.
Old 29th May 2018
  #274
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
No one said the mic's were "lo fi", but the recordings, by today's standards of fidelity, were lower - all anyone has to do is play a recording from then to hear it.
No. A typical 44.1/48k recording is "lower fidelity" than a 15 ips tape recording. let alone a 30 ips recording.

If you hear different your "expectation bias" is fooling you. Use an oscilloscope and a frequency analyzer.

Not a digital plugin that's crippled by the Nyquist cutoff in your DAW, a real analyzer.
Old 29th May 2018
  #275
Lives for gear
 
Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
No. A typical 44.1/48k recording is "lower fidelity" than a 15 ips tape recording. let alone a 30 ips recording.

If you hear different your "expectation bias" is fooling you. Use an oscilloscope and a frequency analyzer.

Not a digital plugin that's crippled by the Nyquist cutoff in your DAW, a real analyzer.
You're simply wrong - objectively speaking, no expectation bias necessary - the oscilloscope and frequency analyzer will show you that - what goes into a digital converter, comes out the other end EXACTLY the same.

Not to mention we aren't talking about listening off the master tape, or the two track tape dub from the master, we were referring to vinyl here, which has mono bass, high levels of distortion, surface noise, tracking errors, wear, wow and flutter, and an RIAA curve to artificially "restore" some semblance of frequency response.

Please don't turn this into another 40 pages of nonsense, the guy's happy with what he's found - try and stay on topic.
Old 29th May 2018
  #276
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
No one said the mic's were "lo fi", but the recordings, by today's standards of fidelity, were lower - all anyone has to do is play a recording from then to hear it.
You are wrong. People do not spend tens of thousands of dollars for mics from that period because they are "lower fidelity". They spend the big bucks because those mics are some of the highest fidelity mics ever built, surpassing all but a very few "modern" mics. This isn't a matter for debate, it simple fact as anybody who actually knows anything about microphones will tell you.

Quote:
This is a fact, it's not subjective (some like the sound of earlier recordings - that's fine, but they're objectively lower in fidelity than what's available today).
This is total, ignorant nonsense, as any real microphone expert will tell you - unless he's trying to push his own product, in which case he's no better than any other cheap salesman.

Most modern microphones are unnaturally "hyped" to appeal to people whose tastes have been shaped by the poor mixing and mastering practices of the modern "loudness wars" era - it's like having a "smiley face" EQ curve built int your mic. In fact it IS having a "smiley face" curve in your mic, that's EXACTLY what it is.

Quote:
There's more to the record making process than the mic. There's the desk, the tape (in Columbia's case, it was telephone lines transmitting the audio to the uptown studio in the earliest days), the cutting lathe, the vinyl and the whole RIAA curve
And you don't understand the first thing about any of it. To begin with, like most young people who think that everything before they were born is undifferentiated ancient history, you're confusing the relatively primitive technology of the '40s and early '50s with the high fidelity technology that started becoming common in the mid '50s and was ubiquitous by 1960, which is the period we're discussing here.

Have you ever even seen a cutting lathe or known a real vinyl mastering engineer? I have. Do you know anything besides what you're read on the internets and in modern gear mags about the cutting process? I do. Do you understand the difference between a roll-off and a brickwall filter? Probably not. Do you understand that printed specs are generally +/- 3dB but the, without the presence of a brickwall filter such as is used in digital recording, actual useful response can extend as much as several octaves about the published spec? Do you understand the difference between the roll-off curves of a one-pole, two-pole, or four-pole filter? I doubt it. Do you understand that extremely steep filters such as used in digital recording creating ringing around the cutoff frequency?

Do you understand what the RIAA curve does and what it's for? I don't think so. It's there to compensate for the physical deficiencies of the medium by retrieving information that falls outside the area of flat response and returning it to original level. which extends useful frequency response. Similar curves (EIA and CCIR) are used on tape machines to extend response beyond the limitations of magnetic tape. A professional tape machine can have retrievable response up to the neighborhood of 50kHJz. Did you know that? Professional consoles often have response above 100kHz.

Did you know that broadcast radio transmitters still use tubes - because solid state devices burn out very rapidly trying to reproduce a high frequency signal with any serious amount of power? Tubes have inherently higher bandwidth than transistors. Your microwave oven uses a tube to generate microwaves.

Quote:
- in fact, many mic's of that period were designed to be a little bright just to be heard over the din. It's worth noting the popularity of the big Neumann's was due, in part, because they had greater fidelity than the ribbons of that period - extending well into the 18-20k range.
You have it backwards. Most mics of TODAY have a hyped top end to cut through the din of modern over compressed recordings. Many classic mics are considered slightly "dark" by modern standards because they have relatively flat response. The fact is that it's a lot easier to produce a hyped mic than it is a truly high fidelity mic and in today's market it's easier to sell one because ignorant people with untrained ears have a tendency to confuse treble boost with "detail" and it's a lot more expensive and difficult to produce a truly detailed mic capsule than it is to design a treble boost into the electronics.

It is true that the classic Neumanns and AKGs have greater fidelity that the ribbons that had dominated in the US prior to the mid '50s, although the RCA 44s and later versions of the 77 had better HF response than the published spec might suggest, albeit below the -3dB point.

That's why by the early '60s the Neumanns (and AKG C-12s and Telefunken/AKG ELA-Ms) had mostly taken over many of the big studios.

It's interesting to note that the very early pictures of Dylan in the studio posted earlier in the thread show an RCA B-77, whereas the one's I've seen taken during sessions for the 2nd and 3rd album show Neumanns. Does that indicate something in the level of Columbia's commitment to the artist?

Quote:
I don't know why you find this hard to accept, to the point where you've said it twice now.
I don't accept it because it's essentially FOS. You're basing your statements on distorted, revisionist internets/gearmag hearsay. I'm not.

Quote:
Columbia recordings, the studios, the mic's, and recollections by the people who worked there, are probably the most thoroughly documented in history - anyone who's interested can read up - or simply look at the wonderful photos of so many famous sessions.
You're right about the photographic documentation. About the printed stuff, well, you have to be selective. You have to understand that almost anything that is published for consumption by the general public is likely to be inaccurate to some varying degree, due to the efforts of both the interviewers and the editors to craft something they believe ther audience might be interested in reading, which often involves telling them what they think they want to hear. Also, quite often an interviewer or editor will have his own axe to grind for whatever reason and may bend or distort "facts" in support of his point. This has been fairly common in the digital age. Am I saying that many digitally-oriented pundits are liars? Yes, I am. And there's a lot of honestly inadvertent misinformation around. Sometimes people don't remember accurately. Sometimes a person will have told a story over and over so many times, perhaps embroidering on it a bit each time, that he doesn't remember what actually happened.

Quote:

There are many great mic's available today at many prices, but none of them will sound like anything but **** unless the room is right, and the performers and instruments are at a high level.
Not entirely true.

First, there are very, very few truly great mics available new and those that are are quite expensive. Not as expensive as the vintage mics, but still is the $5,000 and up range. There are only a handful I can think of. There are solid reasons for this, in particular the amount of hand labor required to built a truly great capsule and the fact that some materials are now unobtainium due to environmental regs.

Second, the room is far less important for tracking than the insulation pimps would have you believe. If an instrument or voice sounds good in the room there is NO REASON that it should not sound equally good on the recording. The usual reason it might not is the microphone - it's not the room sounding bad, it's the crappy off-axis pickup of the mediocre mic that MAKES the room sound worse than it is. And the vast majority of mics sold today have less than stellar off-axis response, because it is devilishly difficult to get a directional mic to sound equally good off-axis as on. It has to do with the physics of what makes microphones directional and it generally involves machining to a very high degree of precision.

I don't get my microphone information from spec sheets or reviews. I get a good part of it from people like David Bock, Klaus Heyne, and the late Oliver Archut, who are (were) all internationally acclaimed authorities on microphone design. If the names aren't familiar Google is your friend.

Where having the room "right" is important is the CONTROL ROOM, especially if your CR is going to be used by outside engineers who expect a certain standard of constancy.

What's universally important is the performance. You can't do much of anything to "fix" a bad performance except to do it over.
Old 29th May 2018
  #277
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
You're simply wrong - objectively speaking, no expectation bias necessary - the oscilloscope and frequency analyzer will show you that - what goes into a digital converter, comes out the other end EXACTLY the same.
No, it isn't, not if we're discussing delivery formats. On a CD there is NOTHING above 18-20kHz because of something called a brickwall Nyquest filter, necessary to prevent aliasing. Aliasing occurs when the frequency of the signal exceeds 1/2 of the sampling frequency (The Nyquest frequency) and it sounds really nasty because it produces sum and difference frequencies that are not harmonically related to the signal. (The effect is similar to running the signal through a ring modulator. Because filters are not perfect, and top provide a bit of safety margin, the actual frequency of the filter cutoff is typically between 18k and 20k for a 44.1 kHz PCM digital recording (CD format). Other commercial digital formats are worse due to lossy encoding.

Now, if you're talking DSD which samples in the megahertz region the problem doesn't exist, but there are no commercially available DSD format recordings that I know of.

Quote:
Not to mention we aren't talking about listening off the master tape, or the two track tape dub from the master, we were referring to vinyl here, which has mono bass, high levels of distortion, surface noise, tracking errors, wear, wow and flutter, and an RIAA curve to artificially "restore" some semblance of frequency response.
Actually the delivery format of choice for many, if not most audiophiles of the time was 1/4" analog tape. And many would transfer a new vinyl to tape and put the disc away for safe keeping.

Second choice was the monophonic microgroove LP, which was and is demonstrably better than stereo.

Stereo was regarded as a marketing gimmick, and a very successful gimmick it was.

Furthermore, you've probably never in your life heard a quality vinyl pressing played on been decent quality equipment. Very little, if any real quality vinyl is being sold today - with the present fad the pressing plants are all overloaded and quality control is in the toilet, That's not the fault of the format. As to vintage records, most of them are worn out to some degree, and of those that aren't many were made from worn stampers.

Believe it or not, a cutting lathe equipped with one of the microtip styli intended for quad recording could cut signals as high as 40 kHz, although that's not germane to '60s folk recordings. It does, however, indicate what the medium is capable of.
Old 29th May 2018
  #278
Lives for gear
 
Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
On a CD there is NOTHING above 18-20kHz because of something called a brickwall Nyquest filter, necessary to prevent aliasing. Aliasing occurs when the frequency of the signal exceeds 1/2 of the sampling frequency (The Nyquest frequency) and it sounds really nasty because it produces sum and difference frequencies that are not harmonically related to the signal. (The effect is similar to running the signal through a ring modulator. Because filters are not perfect, and top provide a bit of safety margin, the actual frequency of the filter cutoff is typically between 18k and 20k for a 44.1 kHz PCM digital recording (CD format). Other commercial digital formats are worse due to lossy encoding.

Now, if you're talking DSD which samples in the megahertz region the problem doesn't exist, but there are no commercially available DSD format recordings that I know of.



Actually the delivery format of choice for many, if not most audiophiles of the time was 1/4" analog tape. And many would transfer a new vinyl to tape and put the disc away for safe keeping.

Second choice was the monophonic microgroove LP, which was and is demonstrably better than stereo.

Stereo was regarded as a marketing gimmick, and a very successful gimmick it was.

Furthermore, you've probably never in your life heard a quality vinyl pressing played on been decent quality equipment. Very little, if any real quality vinyl is being sold today - with the present fad the pressing plants are all overloaded and quality control is in the toilet, That's not the fault of the format. As to vintage records, most of them are worn out to some degree, and of those that aren't many were made from worn stampers.

Believe it or not, a cutting lathe equipped with one of the microtip styli intended for quad recording could cut signals as high as 40 kHz, although that's not germane to '60s folk recordings. It does, however, indicate what the medium is capable of.
Before you argue with people you don't know, instead of making assumptions, you should check out their profiles and or bios.

Don't tell me what I've heard and haven't heard - I worked at the old Warner Brothers studios in LA in the mid 80's, I sat right there and watched the masters being made.

I never said anything about microphones of the 50's/60's having lower fidelity - I was talking about the overall process of recording, there's no argument here - fidelity is the highest it's ever been - NOW.

If you're over 60, you don't hear squat above 12k, and I'm going to guess, because you're a guitar player, you're deaf above 10k. But, have fun finding that extra 30k, that very few if any commercial mics of the 50's/60's in use at the time could record.

Last edited by Sharp11; 29th May 2018 at 11:56 PM..
Old 30th May 2018
  #279
Lives for gear
 
TurboJets's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Actually the delivery format of choice for many, if not most audiophiles of the time was 1/4" analog tape.
Dude, there's nothing like listening to "Rumors" on 1/4".
Old 30th May 2018
  #280
Gear Maniac
 

sorry, only made thru to post #114 ... only one reference to flat wounds up till now.

YOU WANT THE FLAT WOUND SOUND.
...look at old photos from the era of 1960s... flat wound allover the place!
it gives a great percussive fast-dying tone. You can add vintage style eqs (Pultec!) and parallel compression for a vast array of colors to fit your arrangements.

Pyramid Flat wound are wonderful! Often i use very little eq with the flats.
(Actually i use compression more as eq.) Mic it a foot away. I have had great results combining LDC (highs) with a ribbon (mids) to a mono signal.

Also, an old 1970's SM57 has been used on loads of my ac/flats recordings into a Great River ME-1 and sounds absolutely bad ass. NO EQ! just parallel comp.

I searched and searched... it was the flats man.

Last tip... the Neil Young/Buffalo Springfield Nuclear option. Stick the mic aiming right up close to the sound hole (what everyone says not to do) and whack off all the bottom end with eq. Instant 60s. The SM57=air in the box...totally artificial but warm, immediate and "echo-y"...sounds great played hard with heavy celluloid pick. Almost a gut string sound, play back by the bridge for solos... friends have refused to believe a 57 can sound that good.

good luck!
Old 30th May 2018
  #281
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieD009 View Post
Hi all,


2016 Martin D-28
1969 Yamaha FG-300

- The Yammy is definitely closer to the "vintage" vibe I'm going for, but I still feel that the strings are too "metallic" sounding, even after having been on the guitar for a few months. The Martin is a fantastic guitar, incredible sustain - which is good for the most part, but when I'm folk strumming it I find it's just too much. Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks!
You should be able to get this tone with the D-28. It's what a lot of folkies used. When you say you've tried other strings, have you experimented with bronx vrs phosphor bronze?


My recipe for this is a Martin D-28. HD-28 or D-35 with older strings. It really takes some time for the strings to break in. Play them for some time everyday. I would also experiment with different materials for picks. go for something really traditional like a fender medium or heavy. There weren't a hundred options back then. You could also try a thumb pick.

How you mic the guitar is really important! For a lot of that stuff they weren't spot miking the guitar. they had a vocal mic that the acoustic guitar was picked up by. This means the guitar was more distant from the mic then others believe. The angle was also different that what people often think. Look for old pictures of Dylan in the studio.

The mic of choice was often a tube condenser. So, if you really want that sound, try placing a tube condenser where you would for capturing a singer of that time, use old strings on your D-28, a tube mic pre like a UAD 610 and a tube compressor similar to a Fairchild. UAD plugins can work well too.

You would be surprised how much the mic position alone makes the sound.
Old 30th May 2018
  #282
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasyr View Post
sorry, only made thru to post #114 ... only one reference to flat wounds up till now.

YOU WANT THE FLAT WOUND SOUND.
...look at old photos from the era of 1960s... flat wound allover the place!
it gives a great percussive fast-dying tone. You can add vintage style eqs (Pultec!) and parallel compression for a vast array of colors to fit your arrangements.

Pyramid Flat wound are wonderful! Often i use very little eq with the flats.
(Actually i use compression more as eq.) Mic it a foot away. I have had great results combining LDC (highs) with a ribbon (mids) to a mono signal.

Also, an old 1970's SM57 has been used on loads of my ac/flats recordings into a Great River ME-1 and sounds absolutely bad ass. NO EQ! just parallel comp.

I searched and searched... it was the flats man.

Last tip... the Neil Young/Buffalo Springfield Nuclear option. Stick the mic aiming right up close to the sound hole (what everyone says not to do) and whack off all the bottom end with eq. Instant 60s. The SM57=air in the box...totally artificial but warm, immediate and "echo-y"...sounds great played hard with heavy celluloid pick. Almost a gut string sound, play back by the bridge for solos... friends have refused to believe a 57 can sound that good.

good luck!
Interesting suggestions. I still haven't tried the flatwounds, but have some that I ordered so will give it a try soon. Also like trying unorthodox mic techniques, and I can imagine that giving the effect you're describing. I'll give it a shot. Thanks!
Old 30th May 2018
  #283
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by litepipe View Post
You should be able to get this tone with the D-28. It's what a lot of folkies used. When you say you've tried other strings, have you experimented with bronx vrs phosphor bronze?


My recipe for this is a Martin D-28. HD-28 or D-35 with older strings. It really takes some time for the strings to break in. Play them for some time everyday. I would also experiment with different materials for picks. go for something really traditional like a fender medium or heavy. There weren't a hundred options back then. You could also try a thumb pick.

How you mic the guitar is really important! For a lot of that stuff they weren't spot miking the guitar. they had a vocal mic that the acoustic guitar was picked up by. This means the guitar was more distant from the mic then others believe. The angle was also different that what people often think. Look for old pictures of Dylan in the studio.

The mic of choice was often a tube condenser. So, if you really want that sound, try placing a tube condenser where you would for capturing a singer of that time, use old strings on your D-28, a tube mic pre like a UAD 610 and a tube compressor similar to a Fairchild. UAD plugins can work well too.

You would be surprised how much the mic position alone makes the sound.
Thanks Litepipe,
I have been getting some good sounds with the D-28, especially since I put the D'Addario EXPs on it - sounds more natural now.
I have seen a lot of pics of Dylan recording - you have to take them with a grain of salt because some of them were staged back then and you can't be sure it's the actual recording setup. However, the one that I've seen that looks the most authentic appears to have a ribbon on his vocal and 2 pencil condensers on the guitar - one on the back of the body and one more at the 12th fret position. But I see what you're saying - I've tried some one mic stuff with a condenser but ultimately wasn't happy with the sound and being unable to mix/proxess the guitar/vox separately (more separately anyway) on the back end. Thanks again!
Old 30th May 2018
  #284
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieD009 View Post
Thanks Litepipe,
I have been getting some good sounds with the D-28, especially since I put the D'Addario EXPs on it - sounds more natural now.
I have seen a lot of pics of Dylan recording - you have to take them with a grain of salt because some of them were staged back then and you can't be sure it's the actual recording setup. However, the one that I've seen that looks the most authentic appears to have a ribbon on his vocal and 2 pencil condensers on the guitar - one on the back of the body and one more at the 12th fret position. But I see what you're saying - I've tried some one mic stuff with a condenser but ultimately wasn't happy with the sound and being unable to mix/proxess the guitar/vox separately (more separately anyway) on the back end. Thanks again!
Yes, a lot of those photos of that time were staged. However, it was standard to just have one mic at the vocal. The picture you're referencing was most def later. I'm talking the Free Wheelin' Bob Dylan Era. Def no pencil mikes on that one. That's the one tube mic method.

That's the tricky thing with tracing an artist like that especially of that time period. the techniques and technology were changing fast. I think everyone has a different mile marker for an artists sound like Dylan. For me, "Girl From The North Country" is such a glorious sound and the one I associate with Dylan the most. But, again he's had a long career. And by the time he recorded Blood on the Tracks, things were different.
Old 31st May 2018
  #285
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by litepipe View Post
Yes, a lot of those photos of that time were staged. However, it was standard to just have one mic at the vocal. The picture you're referencing was most def later. I'm talking the Free Wheelin' Bob Dylan Era. Def no pencil mikes on that one. That's the one tube mic method.

That's the tricky thing with tracing an artist like that especially of that time period. the techniques and technology were changing fast. I think everyone has a different mile marker for an artists sound like Dylan. For me, "Girl From The North Country" is such a glorious sound and the one I associate with Dylan the most. But, again he's had a long career. And by the time he recorded Blood on the Tracks, things were different.
I see what you mean and I agree - it's nice to do it that way. But I think it takes a pretty fine mic and signal chain to get that to the kind of sonic detail I'm hearing in those early recordings. I dunno, I'm sure it can be done to some extent with lesser equipment, but for the "enthusiast" level gear I'm working with, I think it's best to separate the two. But looking at some of those images from Freewheelin' makes me want to try some mic placements like that - seems like the idea is to capture the perspective of the performer, which is something I've always wanted to do (i.e. capture what I'm hearing and feeling from right behind the guitar). Thanks again!
Old 1st June 2018
  #286
Gear Head
 

Have listen at this guitar: https://www.thomann.de/se/luna_guita...r_mahogany.htm

I would say it's alot about the guitar body. It's not about expensive vintage. Cheap is probably more to your advantage.
Those dreadnought and big size Martin and Yamaha guitars you have are never going to give you that cheapo sound.
Look for something in the flee markets for 5 bucks or buy some cheap from Thomann or similar.

Then the mic position is going to make a differens. Not too close and you loose some of that brightness.
Old 4th June 2018
  #287
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZooTooK View Post
Have listen at this guitar: https://www.thomann.de/se/luna_guita...r_mahogany.htm

I would say it's alot about the guitar body. It's not about expensive vintage. Cheap is probably more to your advantage.
Those dreadnought and big size Martin and Yamaha guitars you have are never going to give you that cheapo sound.
Look for something in the flee markets for 5 bucks or buy some cheap from Thomann or similar.

Then the mic position is going to make a differens. Not too close and you loose some of that brightness.
Thanks ZooTooK,
I see your point and I do agree to some extent - I have had smaller body guitars in the past - an LG-0 which I liked but eventually sold it as it was starting to have age issues. I bought a parlor a while back off of Reverb and it had issues so I sent it back, but I did like playing it for the time I had it. I'm pretty good on Dreadnoughts at this point, so I'm sure the next guitar I get will be of a smaller body. Would love to know what a 00 Martin feels/sounds like, but there just aren't any around where I'm at.

As far as new - I was looking at a company called Zager that makes custom acoustics - was checking out their parlor, seem like pretty decent guitars, but I don't like the glossy finish and their nuts are at 1 3/4" which is a bit wide for me.

I think the Luna you point to has some of the characteristics that I'm searching for, but I find it to be an inferior guitar for a professional player. I think those are marketed to beginners - nothing against them or you, just don't find that to be a quality instrument. I don't really blink an eye at an acoustic under $1000 anymore, because I know the difference, and I know you simply can't build a pro level acoustic guitar for any less. To be clear, it is NOT a cheapo sound that I'm after, nor was Bob Dylan - he was playing guitars that would be in the $10,000 range today. I think you're right about the smaller body, but getting a 00 pre-war Martin is not going to be cheap by any means lol

thanks!
Old 4th June 2018
  #288
Gear Head
 

OK, the guitar i linked to was just an example on the type of sound. I have no clue about the playing quality.

I have no deeper knowledge about these kind of guitars. My main experiences with these smaller "folk" guitars are primarely from seeing them (and trying them out) hanging on the walls in peoples homes as decoration in the 60-70s. I've never seen or tried a quality version of that model. It never struck me they were made in "quality" grade. My bad.
Now listening on the Thomann site on the more expensive folk guitars, they sound too good, to my ears compared to the video above. Dylans first album however sounds more like some of the quality folk guitars on Thomann, like this Guild https://www.thomann.de/se/guild_m_20e_nat.htm or this Larrivee https://www.thomann.de/se/larrivee_p_09_parlour.htm

The Zager Parlor doesn't seem right to my ears. Too little mid range, too balanced and warm sounding. Probably a great guitar but not early Dylan style to my ears. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qctS5stDoiA
Old 4th June 2018
  #289
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
Before you argue with people you don't know, instead of making assumptions, you should check out their profiles and or bios.

Don't tell me what I've heard and haven't heard - I worked at the old Warner Brothers studios in LA in the mid 80's, I sat right there and watched the masters being made.

I never said anything about microphones of the 50's/60's having lower fidelity - I was talking about the overall process of recording, there's no argument here - fidelity is the highest it's ever been - NOW.

If you're over 60, you don't hear squat above 12k, and I'm going to guess, because you're a guitar player, you're deaf above 10k. But, have fun finding that extra 30k, that very few if any commercial mics of the 50's/60's in use at the time could record.
First, it wasn't you claiming that the classic condensers had lower quality, it was somebody else.

About my hearing:
You can guess all you want, my test gear says different. Yes, I have some age degradation - but when I was young I could hear 22k. I'm also blessed with abnormally volume resistant ears, why I don't know. Good Genes? Maybe because I've always been smart enough to not expose myself to close up high frequency transients like cymbals*? Maybe because in my younger, louder days as a player I mostly played bass? Maybe because I never abused my hearing by driving racing cars**? A combination of the above? Who knows? Note that I didn't say my hearing is "flat" to up there or even +/- 3dB, but I do have response much higher than the average for my age.

U47s, U67s, C12s and ELA M251s all have measurable response up to the 50k region. It may not be +/- 3dB but it's there, as anybody who has spent much time with mics and a quality analog oscilloscope can attest. Just because response is down 10 dB does not mean that nohting recoverable is there and that it's not important.

It's nice that you "watched" masters being made in the '80s. I also sat in on mastering sessions, watching Paul Stubblebine cutting vinyl at SF's The Automatt in the late '70s. At the time I was a tech working for Sandy Pearlman and Bill Graham's FM Productions audio department.

With all due respect I do believe that somebody who has worked extensively on the technical side - for which there are no awards at all and little recognition for most - knows just a wee bit ore about the techical aspects of the gear than even an Emmy winning composer.




* - one of the dirty little facts about noise damage are that the guidelines are greatly, and misleadingly, simplified. High frequency transients (AKA impulse noise), such as those produced by loud cymbals, screaming high pitched lead guitar, or in a metalworking factory are MUCH more damaging to hearing than lower frequency signals of relatively constant amplitude. Think about it - beating on something with repeated sharp strokes is far more damaging that sustained heavy pressure. The ear obeys the same laws as any other mechanical system. But the people who set the guidelines ignore this because it would be too difficult to measure or legislate, and most of them don't really understand the field very well.

** - Brian Johnson, lead singer of AC/DC, lost his hearing not from performing with the band but by driving racing cars according to his audiologist. High frequency impact noise from the exhaust.
Old 4th June 2018
  #290
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZooTooK View Post
OK, the guitar i linked to was just an example on the type of sound. I have no clue about the playing quality.

I have no deeper knowledge about these kind of guitars. My main experiences with these smaller "folk" guitars are primarely from seeing them (and trying them out) hanging on the walls in peoples homes as decoration in the 60-70s. I've never seen or tried a quality version of that model. It never struck me they were made in "quality" grade. My bad.
Now listening on the Thomann site on the more expensive folk guitars, they sound too good, to my ears compared to the video above. Dylans first album however sounds more like some of the quality folk guitars on Thomann, like this Guild https://www.thomann.de/se/guild_m_20e_nat.htm or this Larrivee https://www.thomann.de/se/larrivee_p_09_parlour.htm

The Zager Parlor doesn't seem right to my ears. Too little mid range, too balanced and warm sounding. Probably a great guitar but not early Dylan style to my ears. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qctS5stDoiA
Agreed about the Zager, was just an option I was looking at as a modern build. I've mentioned here before that one thing I don't like about getting these old guitars is that they often are in need of neck resets (the equivalent of buying a car that needs an engine overhaul), etc. Those guitars from the 50s/60s that were "vintage" 20/30 years ago are REALLY old now, so you have to be careful when buying them - or have a good luthier which we don't where I'm at. I'll check out the Larivee - I've had Guilds and never been impressed with them, although I believe Nick Drake played on them quite a bit so if it's good enough for him...

If you search Bob Dylan's guitars you can find a list of his guitar choices throughout the years. In the early days it seems pretty agreed that he was playing 00 Martins and small bodied Gibsons. It makes sense, because those are the only acoustics I've played that have the tone I'm hearing on those early records. Next big purchase I think :D
Old 4th June 2018
  #291
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZooTooK View Post
Have listen at this guitar: https://www.thomann.de/se/luna_guita...r_mahogany.htm

I would say it's alot about the guitar body. It's not about expensive vintage. Cheap is probably more to your advantage.
Those dreadnought and big size Martin and Yamaha guitars you have are never going to give you that cheapo sound.
Look for something in the flee markets for 5 bucks or buy some cheap from Thomann or similar.

Then the mic position is going to make a differens. Not too close and you loose some of that brightness.
Dylan played mostly smaller Gibson guitars from the '50s in his early period. While they were the inexpensive models of the Gibson line they were NOT "cheap guitars" by any means. Remember that $200 in 1960 was equivalent to around $2,000 now. The materials and build quality were top notch, although some of them did use ladder bracing rather than fan or X bracing.

A cheap modern guitar will never give you the kind of sound that Dylan got from those old Gibsons.

Note that while a cheap modern guitar might sound "pretty good" now, a guitar made out of laminated wood (plywood) will NEVER age in and improve in tonality like one made of quality solid tonewoods. It will always be what it is - "ok" but mediocre.

Last edited by John Eppstein; 5th June 2018 at 02:37 AM..
Old 4th June 2018
  #292
Lives for gear
 

Personally I am a huge fan of the Martin 0015M but of course if you like that kind of roosty sound. They are very expressive, you can strum them hard , play arpeggios or slide and it sounds fantastic. The only thing with them is to try them in the store as some of them sound much better than others. Last but not least they are not very expensive guitars.
Old 5th June 2018
  #293
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZooTooK View Post
OK, the guitar i linked to was just an example on the type of sound. I have no clue about the playing quality.

I have no deeper knowledge about these kind of guitars. My main experiences with these smaller "folk" guitars are primarely from seeing them (and trying them out) hanging on the walls in peoples homes as decoration in the 60-70s. I've never seen or tried a quality version of that model. It never struck me they were made in "quality" grade. My bad.
Now listening on the Thomann site on the more expensive folk guitars, they sound too good, to my ears compared to the video above. Dylans first album however sounds more like some of the quality folk guitars on Thomann, like this Guild https://www.thomann.de/se/guild_m_20e_nat.htm or this Larrivee https://www.thomann.de/se/larrivee_p_09_parlour.htm

The Zager Parlor doesn't seem right to my ears. Too little mid range, too balanced and warm sounding. Probably a great guitar but not early Dylan style to my ears. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qctS5stDoiA
If it was hanging on the wall as a decoration it probably was not a player's quality instrument.

Quote:
I have no deeper knowledge about these kind of guitars.
Exactly.
Old 5th June 2018
  #294
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieD009 View Post
Thanks ZooTooK,
I see your point and I do agree to some extent - I have had smaller body guitars in the past - an LG-0 which I liked but eventually sold it as it was starting to have age issues. I bought a parlor a while back off of Reverb and it had issues so I sent it back, but I did like playing it for the time I had it. I'm pretty good on Dreadnoughts at this point, so I'm sure the next guitar I get will be of a smaller body. Would love to know what a 00 Martin feels/sounds like, but there just aren't any around where I'm at.

As far as new - I was looking at a company called Zager that makes custom acoustics - was checking out their parlor, seem like pretty decent guitars, but I don't like the glossy finish and their nuts are at 1 3/4" which is a bit wide for me.

I think the Luna you point to has some of the characteristics that I'm searching for, but I find it to be an inferior guitar for a professional player. I think those are marketed to beginners - nothing against them or you, just don't find that to be a quality instrument. I don't really blink an eye at an acoustic under $1000 anymore, because I know the difference, and I know you simply can't build a pro level acoustic guitar for any less. To be clear, it is NOT a cheapo sound that I'm after, nor was Bob Dylan - he was playing guitars that would be in the $10,000 range today. I think you're right about the smaller body, but getting a 00 pre-war Martin is not going to be cheap by any means lol

thanks!
A small Martin will give you a "lighter" and more delicate sound than a small Gibson. It's too bad you didn't keep your LG-0 and invest in bringing it up to snuff - no new guitar can give you what a real aged and broken in guitar can and a comparable new Gibson runs around $3,000, which is a bit outrageous IMO. A new Epi acoustic is not comparable - too much plywood.
Old 5th June 2018
  #295
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
A small Martin will give you a "lighter" and more delicate sound than a small Gibson. It's too bad you didn't keep your LG-0 and invest in bringing it up to snuff - no new guitar can give you what a real aged and broken in guitar can and a comparable new Gibson runs around $3,000, which is a bit outrageous IMO. A new Epi acoustic is not comparable - too much plywood.
I agree John - I know there will be other old Gibsons/Martins in my future. I think the next one will be a step above the LG-0, so I'm sure it will be worth the wait. For what it's worth, I'm pretty happy with the new D-28 - the more I play it the better it sounds - probably because I'm getting used to the feel/sound of it more, and finally getting some strings I like on it. Definitely not that old vintage tone, but it has a fairly "dark" sound and has the power I like in the bottom end. But yeah, would love to have a J35 or something like that - I'm almost at the point where it makes sense to invest that kind of cash in a guitar... almost :D Thanks!
Old 5th June 2018
  #296
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by numero6 View Post
Personally I am a huge fan of the Martin 0015M but of course if you like that kind of roosty sound. They are very expressive, you can strum them hard , play arpeggios or slide and it sounds fantastic. The only thing with them is to try them in the store as some of them sound much better than others. Last but not least they are not very expensive guitars.
That does look like something that would be up my alley. I'm def interested in a solid mahogany guitar. I dunno though, it just seems like any new acoustic I play isn't up to snuff - but again, like I mentioned before, not a lot of shops where I'm at, and definitely none stocking high quality acoustics or vintage acoustics that are worth looking at. But this might be another option for a new instrument that can get closer to that sound I'm searching for. I'll check 'em out if I come across one. Thanks!
Old 5th June 2018
  #297
Lives for gear
 
doorknocker's Avatar
Here's a few things that personally got me much closer to the 'dry sparkle' acoustic guitar sound that is my ideal:

- Practice

- A single AKG D19c (they are all different, I got lucky with one that has a much wider range that other D19s I owned in the past). I also had great results with a Sennheiser MD 409, not a mic you typically see on acoustic guitar but I think it's fantastic for that. Small condensors like the KM84 or AKG 451 can also be great but it's a much more hifi and 'beautiful' sound and I tend to use those mics more for solo work or specific overdubs. That's also the only time I would (occasionaly) mic in stereo.

- Gibson acoustic guitars: I own a '59 LG-2 and a more recent J-185. Hope to buy a Hummingbird at some point. Of course Martins are also great for either more Stephen Stills-type sounds or Blue-/Newgrass. But a good Gibson just has that warmth without getting boomy. No need to notch out low mids.

- I bought the Waves J37 Tape Saturation plugin because it was on sale without expecting much. This thing is KILLER on acoustic guitar!! Check it out and thank me later!

- I use regular Phosphor Bronze strings, either D'Addario or Gibson J-200 strings for the J-185. Especially in the summertime, the strings lose their brightness pretty quicky under my hands. So I don't believe in 'vintage strings' or anything that is already dead sounding on arrival.....

Compression can be your friend, just experiment. Don't believe the 'purists', a lot of the great classic acoustic guitar sounds we all love are not 'natural' at all. Often those sounds are heavily compressed or filtered. None more so than what you hear on early Cat Stevens records. I believe that was a Pye compressor in action and the Waves plug-in is not bad at all. (Of course I never used an original, though I was very close to buying one quite a few years ago).
Old 5th June 2018
  #298
Lives for gear
 

If you look it up there a few Red Hot Chilli Peppers tunes where John Fushiante recorded with one of those. Also look up Valerie June on Youtube as she uses one as her main instrument.
Old 5th June 2018
  #299
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieD009 View Post
That does look like something that would be up my alley. I'm def interested in a solid mahogany guitar. I dunno though, it just seems like any new acoustic I play isn't up to snuff - but again, like I mentioned before, not a lot of shops where I'm at, and definitely none stocking high quality acoustics or vintage acoustics that are worth looking at. But this might be another option for a new instrument that can get closer to that sound I'm searching for. I'll check 'em out if I come across one. Thanks!
I've been a fan of the small mahogany Martins since high school. They're a bit darker than the other Martins, which I like.
Old 5th June 2018
  #300
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
Here's a few things that personally got me much closer to the 'dry sparkle' acoustic guitar sound that is my ideal:

- Practice

- A single AKG D19c (they are all different, I got lucky with one that has a much wider range that other D19s I owned in the past). I also had great results with a Sennheiser MD 409, not a mic you typically see on acoustic guitar but I think it's fantastic for that. Small condensors like the KM84 or AKG 451 can also be great but it's a much more hifi and 'beautiful' sound and I tend to use those mics more for solo work or specific overdubs. That's also the only time I would (occasionaly) mic in stereo.

- Gibson acoustic guitars: I own a '59 LG-2 and a more recent J-185. Hope to buy a Hummingbird at some point. Of course Martins are also great for either more Stephen Stills-type sounds or Blue-/Newgrass. But a good Gibson just has that warmth without getting boomy. No need to notch out low mids.

- I bought the Waves J37 Tape Saturation plugin because it was on sale without expecting much. This thing is KILLER on acoustic guitar!! Check it out and thank me later!

- I use regular Phosphor Bronze strings, either D'Addario or Gibson J-200 strings for the J-185. Especially in the summertime, the strings lose their brightness pretty quicky under my hands. So I don't believe in 'vintage strings' or anything that is already dead sounding on arrival.....

Compression can be your friend, just experiment. Don't believe the 'purists', a lot of the great classic acoustic guitar sounds we all love are not 'natural' at all. Often those sounds are heavily compressed or filtered. None more so than what you hear on early Cat Stevens records. I believe that was a Pye compressor in action and the Waves plug-in is not bad at all. (Of course I never used an original, though I was very close to buying one quite a few years ago).
Thanks Doorknocker,
This all sounds like it's worth trying, I'll keep it all in mind - thanks for the examples. Yeah, an old Gibson is in my future I think I just picked up an outboard compressor specifically for my acoustic channel, so gonna see what kind of sounds I can get with it. I'm imagining just a touch of compression, but who knows, might get creative and see what comes of it. Thanks again!
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump