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quality sounding DI acoustic for recording?
Old 21st September 2019
  #1
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trock's Avatar
 

quality sounding DI acoustic for recording?

Hi Everyone

I am a singer songwriter mostly, and I mic my acoustic. however there are times now where I need to DI an acoustic in and cannot mic.

I have been looking at some such as the Godin, the Fender etc and watching clips

I also know that the sound is usually very different than a mic'd acoustic but with this need I was wondering what you guys have come across where you are pleased with the sound of a DI acoustic?

I will run it into an Apollo MKII

into Cubase 10

thanks so much for any feedback
Old 21st September 2019
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Look into the ToneDexter. I know a lot of people who are trying to use it as a fix for piezo-ness in a live setting. As a substitute for a mic when recording, though, it might actually work pretty well.
Old 22nd September 2019
  #3
I would never "DI" an acoustic for recording if there was any conceivable way to avoid doing so.

That being said, I have an LR Baggs Anthem setup in my J-200 and a Seymour Duncan Mag-Mic in the sound hole of my Guild D-40.

The Anthem sounds a lot more like a real acoustic guitar. It would do a decent job for a live performance recording with a band where it would be difficult to impossible to mic the guitar properly. This is the pickup system Gibson installs in their top shelf acoustics. It consists of an internal PZM mic with and undersaddle piezo that is used only for low end to avoid the LF Ffeedback problem that most acoustics have with internal mics. The two sources are mixed via an internal crossover circuit. It has controls for volume on a thumbwheel pot and balance, which uses a screwdriver adjust trimmer.

The Mag-Mic is a magnetic soundhole pickup with a built-in electret mic you can mix in to make it sound less electric. It still sounds magnetic, but in a good way. Ben Harper uses this pickup on a couple of his guitars.

Both of them are much better than the typical piezo pickup that most companies build into their guitars.
Old 22nd September 2019
  #4
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TurboJets's Avatar
Live or direct I always like the sound of the Dean Markley ProMag.

I also like the sound of the bill Lawrence A300. Not sure why more people don't talk about them.
Old 22nd September 2019
  #5
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
I also like the sound of the bill Lawrence A300. Not sure why more people don't talk about them.
They don't advertise a lot. And it's more of a jazz box/blues sound. I have its "grampaw" from the 70s and it's cool, but not acousticky.
Old 23rd September 2019
  #6
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TurboJets's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
it's cool, but not acousticky.
That's why I like it.
Old 7th October 2019
  #7
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 

I’d rather record an acoustic guitar with my phone than with a DI. That’s how much I hate the acoustic guitar DI sound.

Get an IK Multimedia iRig Acoustic Stage. It’s £100 and you just clip it into the sound hole. It’s not a KM84 but it sounds better than most cheap mics, and better than any DI ever. It even has a jack output if you need to pretend it is.
Old 7th October 2019
  #8
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JayTee4303's Avatar
I am not a fan of DIed acoustic guitar recordings, because a few minutes, a good room, and a coupla-three well placed mics give you SO MUCH MORE TO WORK WITH, but...

I definitely recognize the value of DIed "placeholder tracks" on the way to a finished recording, and so...

I use Markely soundhole pickups for 3 primary reasons.

1. Cheap. $50.

2. Properly processed, they sound GREAT thru the live room mains, even though they still suck in the control room on playback, compared to mics.

3. Decent gain before feedback.
Old 7th October 2019
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayTee4303 View Post
I am not a fan of DIed acoustic guitar recordings, because a few minutes, a good room, and a coupla-three well placed mics give you SO MUCH MORE TO WORK WITH, but...

I definitely recognize the value of DIed "placeholder tracks" on the way to a finished recording...
I also recently learned the value of treating those DI tracks somewhat seriously and getting them as dialed in as you can, even if you have no intention of keeping them. Had this band in who plays live all the time, had the arrangements down cold, all that. It turns out that they'd spent so much time shaping the rest of what they did around the sound of that DI guitar, that when they took the tracks elsewhere and tried to swap in a "properly recorded" acoustic, everything fell apart.

I'm hearing this second-hand, not a participant. And I'm sure there's a good chance that it'll get finished with the miked guitar in spite of all that. But I hope not.

I can't post any of it because it's not released. Wish I could, some of it's brilliant.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
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monkeyxx's Avatar
I guess I like the LR Baggs M1 "OK" but I kind of wish I had a Fishman soundhole magnetic pickup since I like the sound better in demonstrations.

Piezos don't tend to work out for me.

You can also shove an electric guitar pickup in there and that's a cool/quirky sound with a real character. For example, the Kurt Cobain "Unplugged" album sound. You can do this with one of your $100 beater guitars, anyway I did and it's a fun instrument when duty calls.

The trick is balancing the unwound strings. I just glue coins over the pole pieces of the top two strings to balance the pickup's sound to acoustic strings (which are different than electric strings, in terms of metal types used).
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
The trick is balancing the unwound strings. I just glue coins over the pole pieces of the top two strings to balance the pickup's sound to acoustic strings (which are different than electric strings, in terms of metal types used).
Not all acoustic strings behave the same with magnetic pickups (and why should they be expected to?) I have a Baggs M80, very similar to your M1. After a few failed experiments I found Martin Marquis strings, which the pickup hears very evenly. They're also, as strings go, dirt cheap.

On my M80, btw, it came from the factory with the E-string pole piece screwed all the way down and the B-string pole piece absent (but in the box).
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Not all acoustic strings behave the same with magnetic pickups (and why should they be expected to?) I have a Baggs M80, very similar to your M1. After a few failed experiments I found Martin Marquis strings, which the pickup hears very evenly. They're also, as strings go, dirt cheap.

On my M80, btw, it came from the factory with the E-string pole piece screwed all the way down and the B-string pole piece absent (but in the box).
Cool I'll have to look at the M80. I don't gig acoustically as much as I used to.

What I was talking about, in case it wasn't clear, is trying to get an electric guitar pickup, like a Dimarzio humbucker or something, a lipstick danelectro pickup, etc, to work in an acoustic guitar.

They are designed for 100% magnetic alloy strings, as you would normally find on a stratocaster, les paul, etc. Acoustic strings use a lot of bronze which is not magnetic. Therefore those strings are quieter when used with a magnetic pickup. But the unwound strings are always 100% magnetic so they end up being louder.

My "coin trick" is my hack to make this work.

Putting acoustic guitar strings on an electric guitar can be fun too. I wouldn't recommend it. But it gets a weird unique sound. You have to play with the pickups a lot to get the sound right after the string change.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
Cool I'll have to look at the M80. I don't gig acoustically as much as I used to.
If you don't like the M1, you won't like this either. It's just an M1 for people who whack the guitar body and want the pickup to hear it. I shoulda gotten the M1.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
What I was talking about, in case it wasn't clear, is trying to get an electric guitar pickup, like a Dimarzio humbucker or something, a lipstick danelectro pickup, etc, to work in an acoustic guitar.
I'm actually surprised nobody makes a soundhole adapter/holder for this purpose. Or maybe someone does. I'd buy one.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
If you don't like the M1, you won't like this either. It's just an M1 for people who whack the guitar body and want the pickup to hear it. I shoulda gotten the M1.
I like the M1 all right. I just think ultimately the Fishman is a little closer to the sound in my head. I gigged for years with the M1 and it held up very well.

By the way, the M1 will pick up body tapping very easily. Is the M80 supposed to be even more than that?

That's another thing about the Fishman little pickup it doesn't do this at all.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Both my LR Baggs Anthem and my Duncan Mag Mic will pickup up taps since both have a microphone component.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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scrubs's Avatar
 

I've used my Fishman Aura Spectrum for scratch tracks when I didn't want to set up a mic, or the room acoustics were bad. It works ok with the blend set to 100%. In a dense mix, you could probably get away with it, but I wouldn't recommend for a sparse vocal/acoustic track.

I've also tried the Mooer Radar with an acoustic impulse loaded, but that added a lot of noise.
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