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Folk strumming acoustic tone Condenser Microphones
Old 25th April 2018
  #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieD009 View Post
Cool, thanks again - I'll check 'em out and report back here.
Got a lot of ideas from this thread, even after it descended into a beginner's recording thread lol No matter, I welcome any and all advice and, for what it's worth, I take it all into account.
Thanks all!
Hey, thanks for your patience there, Stevie.

I guess the best we can do is soldier on here.

I looked around for a sub-forum on this site where I could start a thread about the psychoacoustic phenomenon whereby some folks can "hear through" the electrical/electronic gear and into the sound of the instrument itself (better than do others), but to no avail; I could not find a "proper" place to start a new thread about it. (Anybody know where such a thread would belong?)

And sure, I guess it would be a whole lot less confusing if there were somehow a way for us to link to a real instruments instead of youtube videos (but of course, that's not really possible).

To understand what I'm on about here, consider that Enrico Caruso's voice was instantly recognizable from his recordings by those who had heard him sing in the real world (despite the fact that those recordings pretty much sucked by today's standards).

...And hey, I'm NOT trying to downplay the importance of electronics in getting a guitar sound (far from it).
(After all, most of Caruso's fans agreed that the recordings did not do him justice.)
I'm just pointing out that (especially) when dealing with acoustic instruments, there is really no substitute for getting the sound from the instrument first (and then capturing it).

...And also that no matter how brilliant (or farked up) a recording may be, the original tone of the instrument comes through.
Old 25th April 2018
  #122
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The guitar is definitely an X braced O 45 built for steel strings. I think it had steel strings in that video as it normally would.
Old 25th April 2018
  #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teleharmonium View Post
The guitar is definitely an X braced O 45 built for steel strings. I think it had steel strings in that video as it normally would.
What guitar are you talking about?
.
Old 25th April 2018
  #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
What guitar are you talking about?
.
The one in the video we've been talking about, of course ?




Old 25th April 2018
  #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teleharmonium View Post
The one in the video we've been talking about, of course ?




Well, we've had a few videos posted on this thread (and talked about 'em all)...

...But as I look at what you have just posted, I'm inclined to agree that that's indeed the guitar that Bob is using there in that video!

Hmmm...

...But isn't that a ladder-braced guitar?
.
Old 25th April 2018
  #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post

...But isn't that a ladder-braced guitar?
No, that whole series like most Martins are all X braced (albeit in a few different flavors of X). Martin was an early adapter to X bracing, they were doing that back in the mid 1800s.
Old 25th April 2018
  #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
... isn't that a ladder-braced guitar?
It's about the bracing on the top, not the back. And if my 016NY is X-braced, I think it's a safe bet that the O-45 is.
Old 25th April 2018
  #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I've gotten more interested in this than I really ought to, and listened a lot. Lots of stuff on the first couple albums. Looked at a bunch of photos, too.

Several different vocal mics, some of which would hear a lot of guitar while others wouldn't. A couple different SDC's on the guitar, sometimes pointed straight down to reject the vocal and especially the harp, sometimes not (on non-harp songs, maybe.)

Throughout all these different miking setups, the guitar sounds pretty much the same from song to song. And most of the photos have the same guitar in them. Which leads me to believe the main things are the instrument and the player.

As for the player, lots of attention has been paid to strings and picks and picking style. But another thing I've noticed is his left hand. It's wimpy. Whether due to actual wimpiness or by design. Meaning the notes never really ring out, they sorta half-die. And I'm changing my mind about the strings in the Newport video. They're steel, but his left hand is choking them.

And not terribly on topic, but back to the photos... even in the vast acreage of Columbia 7th Ave., it's a little bit ridiculous to mic a vocal and guitar with those ginormous Starbird stands. Like using a hook and ladder truck to water your lawn.
The thing that remains consistent is you’re listening to recordings - from the 60s, not the guitar. Listen to wrecking crew recording from that era and you’ll hear much the same general tone on acoustics.

The 30 st Columbia location was super busy doing cast albums and large groups; they wedged Bob in there in- between dates; whatever was out on the floor was what they used.
Old 25th April 2018
  #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
It's about the bracing on the top, not the back. And if my 016NY is X-braced, I think it's a safe bet that the O-45 is.
Hmmm...
I understand.

...But I've heard people call This "x-bracing", too:
Is this what you mean?
...Or better yet, do you have a photo of the innards of that guitar?
.
Old 25th April 2018
  #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
Hmmm...
I understand.

...But I've heard people call This "x-bracing", too:
Is this what you mean?
...Or better yet, do you have a photo of the innards of that guitar?
.
I don't think I've ever seen bracing quite like that. I suppose you'd call that A bracing.

X bracing always has the crossover point of the X above the bridge. The idea is to reinforce the top where it is most needed, to counteract the tension of the strings trying to bend the top and pull the bridge off of the top, while otherwise stabilizing the top as little as possible which allows it to be a louder instrument.

Here's a guideline
Guitar Bracing

| C.F. Martin & Co.
Old 25th April 2018
  #131
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There are lots of good images of various Martins here:

Building a 00-17: Pre-war Bracing
Old 25th April 2018
  #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
I guess it's in the category of ladder since it has the horizontal "rungs" but still seems a bit weird to me.
Old 25th April 2018
  #133
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Ok, from a little googling, the above is called H braced and was used in two different variations by Gibson for a couple of years in the 20s.
Old 25th April 2018
  #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blotto View Post
I haven't heard this before. Interesting because I feel I'm always fighting a metallic/aggressive sound. I'm using rme ff800. I bought this one used because the reviews were very good. Would you consider these cheap converters?
As others have said, one of the reasons you've not heard it is because it's nonsense. There is no "metallic" sound imparted by today's DA converters. I've tracked stuff for a major sample library through a Focusrite Scarlett; but even if I hadn't, I'd know that it was nonsense. Your converters are absolutely fine.
Old 25th April 2018
  #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
Hmmm...
[INDENT]I understand.

...But I've heard people call This "x-bracing", too...
And New Jersey's license plates say "The Garden State." But that doesn't make it true.
Old 25th April 2018
  #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teleharmonium View Post
The one in the video we've been talking about, of course ?




I read that Joan Baez lent him that guitar for the show. Maybe I can pick one up for $10,000 and see if that does the trick
Old 25th April 2018
  #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
The 30 st Columbia location was super busy doing cast albums and large groups; they wedged Bob in there in- between dates; whatever was out on the floor was what they used.
Judging by the photos, it looks more like their other studio uptown. But I take your point about using whatever was handy. Looks like they took the second record a little more seriously.
Old 25th April 2018
  #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen L T View Post
As others have said, one of the reasons you've not heard it is because it's nonsense. There is no "metallic" sound imparted by today's DA converters. I've tracked stuff for a major sample library through a Focusrite Scarlett; but even if I hadn't, I'd know that it was nonsense. Your converters are absolutely fine.
I tried to quell the converter debate, but it rose up anyway haha. Thanks Owen
Old 25th April 2018
  #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
And New Jersey's license plates say "The Garden State." But that doesn't make it true.
Never underestimate the staggering drawing power of the Garden State
Old 25th April 2018
  #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieD009 View Post
I tried to quell the converter debate, but it rose up anyway haha. Thanks Owen
Yes, as I read further I saw your efforts ... and that they were in vain!
Old 25th April 2018
  #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
The thing that remains consistent is you’re listening to recordings - from the 60s, not the guitar. Listen to wrecking crew recording from that era and you’ll hear much the same general tone on acoustics.

The 30 st Columbia location was super busy doing cast albums and large groups; they wedged Bob in there in- between dates; whatever was out on the floor was what they used.
What we're trying to get across to you is that, although we realize we're listening to recordings from the 60s, when you listen across a variety of live/studio applications with a variety of mic setups, quality, etc. etc. and you still hear the same basic characteristics of the guitar tone, you can deduce that it is in fact the guitar/player etc. that is effecting that tone the most. See 12's comment above about us special people who have the superhuman ability to hear beyond a recording. Guess you're born with it, and unfortunately you weren't Sharp
Old 25th April 2018
  #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen L T View Post
Yes, as I read further I saw your efforts ... and that they were in vain!
Not a bad thing to revisit - saved me a few grand last time $$$ :D
Old 25th April 2018
  #143
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I don't know if this will help any, but it's gotta be more useful than talking about converters! When I was after a smaller guitar for tracking at home (I had a Simon & Patrick dreadnought that was just uncomfortably big for me, and really didn't need the full-bodies sound) I spent a while looking for reviews, and found a youtube channel where they record consistently high-quality audio examples of many different guitars - often in the form of head to heads.

I found their videos incredibly useful in narrowing down my choices and that they gave a really good idea of what the guitars sounded like in real life - particularly in highlighting the differences between various makes/models. In my case, I narrowed it down to a Taylor GS Mini vs a Martin Dreadnought Jr, and opted for the Taylor when it came down to it.

The Youtube channel is Acoustic Life TV: YouTube
Old 25th April 2018
  #144
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One thing's fer DAMN sure:

If ya get the right sound from the guitar itself, ya won't have to use other gear just to get the sound you were lookin' for in the first place (or worse yet, using even more gear to fight against the wrong sound).
.
Old 25th April 2018
  #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieD009 View Post
What we're trying to get across to you is that, although we realize we're listening to recordings from the 60s, when you listen across a variety of live/studio applications with a variety of mic setups, quality, etc. etc. and you still hear the same basic characteristics of the guitar tone, you can deduce that it is in fact the guitar/player etc. that is effecting that tone the most. See 12's comment above about us special people who have the superhuman ability to hear beyond a recording. Guess you're born with it, and unfortunately you weren't Sharp
The setups weren’t that wide - if you listen to just about anything from back then you’ll hear essentially a similar guitar tone. This isn’t the first time we’ve had a thread about this, and it won’t be the last ...
Old 25th April 2018
  #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
And New Jersey's license plates say "The Garden State." But that doesn't make it true.
...Or maybe it just depends on what exit?
.
Old 25th April 2018
  #147
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieD009 View Post
Yeah, looks like it - but you do agree that there are steel strings strung on it, right?
HAH!!!

That is NOT a nylon strung guitar - that's an old fashioned Martin parlor guitar (00 body, 12 fret neck, slotted peghead) that is built for light gauge steel strings. How you can tell (if you don't already know the model) is to look very carefully at the diameter of the shafts on the tuners. They are thin, the same size as the pegs on a regular steel string; if the guitar was built for nylon they would be thick - about a half inch - and made from a bone colored material, not metal.

Not all slotted head guitars are nylon strung.

If you check out THIS PAGE in the online Martin catalog you will find guitars with a similar headstock.

It appears to be very similar to the current Limited Edition Model SS-041GB-17.

Next question?
Old 25th April 2018
  #148
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieD009 View Post
Why didn't you guys tell me about flatwound strings :D Seriously, I've never tried them, sounds like they might possibly get me closer to the sound I'm looking for. Gonna try the Martin Retros as well as recommended, I'll report back if any of these solutions work out. Thanks again!

P.S. I use a pick a lot less than I used to these days - partly because I like fingerpicking chords to add some arpeggio interest, rather than just strumming them out. Having said that - ditching the pick isn't really an option when you're playing Dylan style folk - you just can't get that kind of attack/tone with the flesh of your thumb, and personally it will tear my thumb up. The point of this is getting the tone that Dylan and the likes got, and he and his crop all used picks when strumming those bass line / chord strumming patterns.
No. Not flatwounds on an acoustic flat-top. Flatwounds were mostly used by jazz archtop players.

A lot of people back then used Black Diamonds which were kinda horrible sounding deadish strings for the simple reason that they were the only ones available in a lot of places, but people like Dylan, Baez, Buffy St. Marie, and others who were part on the Greenwich Village folkie scene were more likely than not playing D'Angelicos, which were mostly preferred in those circles. I started out playing guitar as a folkie in the early '60s and subscribed to the old Sing Out! magazine, which was more or less the bible to the Village folk scene - when Dylan wrote "Positively 4th Street" those are the people he was aiming at. I even got my dad to take me to the legendary Fretted Instruments, the guitar shop run by Marc Silber next door to The Folklore Center which was pretty much ground zero for that scene, where we bought a guitar.
Old 26th April 2018
  #149
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieD009 View Post
Listen to a pre-war Martin next to a new Martin and you'll see that it isn't just the recording. Anyone with a discerning ear can take into account what is happening in the recording and still draw a conclusion that these guitars sounded different back then. It's the guitar, strings, player, etc.

Having said that - you're right, I don't expect my modern D-28 to sound like a pre-war parlor guitar, because even Martin is making their instruments sound brighter for a modern-minded consumer
Even the guitars that are more or less built the same way aren't the same because the materials are different - you can't get many of the same woods and even when it's the same species the old growth stuff is gone. Also things aren't as hand made as they used to be.

Quote:
. And yes, I'm not going to hear myself through a 1950s recording (by the way, I don't agree with your lo-fi statement, that Dylan video has some pretty hi-fi mics on him). All I'm asking is for ideas/ways to dampen the sustain and brightness of the guitar I have. That has nothing to do with the recording process. Thanks for your input.
The whole "LO-FI" thing is just modern bullshytte!

The mics used in the studios where Dylan, Baez, etc recorded are the same mics I referenced in my earlier post that now command prices in the $20,000 range. U47, U48, ELAM250 and 251, C12, all those are holy grail mics these days. Processing was generally a lot simpler, but when your mics are good enough and your technique is pure you don't need processing - but what was around commands the big bucks today, just like the mics. Look up the selling price of an original Fairchild compressor some time! Or an RCA BA6. Or an original '50s Pultec EQ (which was considered an "inexpensive" unit at the time.

The BS floating around about how "Lo-Fi" tape was/is is spread by people whose experience with a tape machine is limited to broken consumer grade machines that haven't been serviced in 40 years and have worn out heads.

Remember that Dylan recorded at Columbia (CBS) Studios in NYC, which was NOT a cheap studio - it was one of the best available, often used for serious orchestral dates.

You also need to be aware that the mics you see in live performance shots from back then are NOT the kind of mics used for recording for the most part.
Old 26th April 2018
  #150
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Does anyone think the guitar used in the reference songs the OP listed is a 40's J45? Dylan's main dreadnought at the period of those recordings looks like a J45 with mahogany top to me. The tones you hear on those recordings seem dark/woody and that's how the J45 has always sounded to me. Slap on a mahogany top and you're there IMO.

50 Years Since the Release Of Bob Dylan's First Album Photos and Images | Getty Images

Last edited by TurboJets; 26th April 2018 at 02:07 AM..
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