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Fix it in the mix
Old 6th August 2020
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Fix it in the mix

I've got a guitar part I'm unable to re-record any time soon.

Its an acoustic guitar recording that is somehow nasally, shrill, and muddy all at the same time. I've gotten it a little better with EQ cuts, soothe2, reverb, and compression but its a very careful balance and still doesn't sound nice, each EQ cut just brings out another quality that isn't all that nice.

Any fix it in the mix tips for a harsher nasally guitar recording?

Its a background type sound, a simple repetitive loop to up the vibe in sections. So it just needs to have a "nice" feel to it to add some lushness to the track. Is this impossible? Should I just find someone on the net to re-record it for me (my acoustic guitar is on the other side of the country right now.)
Old 6th August 2020
  #2
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edva's Avatar
Yes.
Quality in = quality out.
And the reverse is equally true.
IMHO. Good luck.
Old 6th August 2020
  #3
You’ll spend forever on that and never get it to sound as good as just getting it re-recorded or even using a VST for the job if it’s far enough in the background. There are probably loops out there that you could cut up and paste with the chords you need.
Old 6th August 2020
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Yep that's what I thought.

I hadn't thought of a VST, but its just a 5 note pattern on two strings so that might actually work here. I somehow have purist tendencies towards guitar even though I'm an electronic pop producer who's entirely ITB outside guitar and vox.
Old 8th August 2020
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
I've got a guitar part I'm unable to re-record any time soon.

Its an acoustic guitar recording that is somehow nasally, shrill, and muddy all at the same time. I've gotten it a little better with EQ cuts, soothe2, reverb, and compression but its a very careful balance and still doesn't sound nice, each EQ cut just brings out another quality that isn't all that nice.

Any fix it in the mix tips for a harsher nasally guitar recording?

Its a background type sound, a simple repetitive loop to up the vibe in sections. So it just needs to have a "nice" feel to it to add some lushness to the track. Is this impossible? Should I just find someone on the net to re-record it for me (my acoustic guitar is on the other side of the country right now.)
You could. You could also try to find somewhere near your location where you could use a good guitar and mic to record the track.
Old 8th August 2020
  #6
Lives for gear
 

That's another good idea, I'm sure I could find a spot that'd let me come in for an hour.

I tried a plugin first, layered that with the old recording, which gave clarity to the fact that I was looking for the higher frequency acoustic guitar string metallic sound and pluck to top off something fuller sounding, so ended up going with a wall of sound approach with acoustic guitar and keys, and it sounds really nice for the mix!
Old 8th August 2020
  #7
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bowzin's Avatar
Poorly recorded acoustic guitar is one of the hardest things for me to "fix in the mix," absolutely brutal. Elec guitar is easier.

Having said that, eq boosts and cuts alone NEVER get me there. Especially clean eq's. Some broad eq correction is probably necessary, possibly at more than one stage of the chain, but also work in some saturation and/or reverb to shape the tone (use em like eq's basically).

That will actually be something harmonically additive to the original signal, vs chasing your tail with eq moves and not changing the underlying issue. Saturation and reverbs can throw a curveball and actually alter the underlying tone.

Try using either a multiband saturation like FabFilter Saturn2, or duplicating parallel tracks and use filters to zero in on certain freq bands and then using saturation. Basically for acoustic, you can use perhaps a surprising amount of saturation, but it can start to sound audibly distorted if certain freq's have too much saturation, usually bass freq's will do that earliest for me. I'll use lighter saturation settings or a different style on the bass, and do more in the mids and highs. Tape emulation plugs can also be useful and are basically saturation plugins. Maybe try layers of saturation plugins vs one plugin with heavy saturation. Console emulation plugins like Neve channel strip, that would be a good choice for the eq work, too, with color eq and preamp saturation all contributing.

Reverb is helpful, too. Try a short room or plate reverb plugin, and maybe try it BEFORE some saturation or tape plugins... usually as guitarists we think never use reverb before distortion, but in this case try a short room or plate reverb for shaping the tone and also maybe somewhat mimicking a recorded room sound, being recorded into a tape machine (reverb before saturation...). Feel free to use another reverb at the end for shaping space or putting in a place, etc. If the recorded acoustic guitar sound sucks, no need to be precious with it.

Just some thoughts, good luck.
Old 10th August 2020
  #8
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grannis's Avatar
Was it recorded with piezo or mic(s)?
Old 10th August 2020
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grannis View Post
Was it recorded with piezo or mic(s)?
A blueberry mic, about 8 years ago. Wasn’t a great sounding guitar to begin with, and i only have a post ITB processing recording so some errors could have been made there.

Thanks for the saturation and reverb suggestions @ bowzin , a short reverb before saturation could indeed fill out the spectrum quite a bit. The fuller harmonics are essentially what i accomplished layering up with some keys.
Old 10th August 2020
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

If you're really struggling maybe try 3 Sigma acoustic IR's.
Old 10th August 2020
  #11
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
I see you already went for something else but you could try Zynaptiq Unfilter. It can perform miracles!



Alistair
Old 10th August 2020
  #12
Lives for gear
at this point, find someone to replay the part on acoustic and record it well. Saw a YouTube on a guy going on Fiver to find drummers for his song, and looked at $15-$200. Not surprisingly, the $200 sounded great.

Can you post a clip of the acoustic so we can a) hear what you're talking about, and b) help gauge the difficulty of recreating it?
Old 11th August 2020
  #13
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grannis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gixertrix View Post
If you're really struggling maybe try 3 Sigma acoustic IR's.
they are great on Piezo recordings - I'm not keen on them for mic recordings.

Sonible Entropy might help. It can separately EQ noise and music. A small amount on acoustic guitar can notch out string noise without affecting the musicality as much as a traditional EQ.

I got it a few months ago free with a purchase from Plugin Boutique. I've grown to like it more than what I actually paid for!
Old 11th August 2020
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannis View Post
they are great on Piezo recordings - I'm not keen on them for mic recordings.

Sonible Entropy might help. It can separately EQ noise and music. A small amount on acoustic guitar can notch out string noise without affecting the musicality as much as a traditional EQ.

I got it a few months ago free with a purchase from Plugin Boutique. I've grown to like it more than what I actually paid for!
Sounds useful - will check it out
Old 11th August 2020
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nedorama View Post
at this point, find someone to replay the part on acoustic and record it well. Saw a YouTube on a guy going on Fiver to find drummers for his song, and looked at $15-$200. Not surprisingly, the $200 sounded great.

Can you post a clip of the acoustic so we can a) hear what you're talking about, and b) help gauge the difficulty of recreating it?
I appreciate this much help!

I've paid a guitarist over Fiver before for something I couldn't pull off technically with the emotion I wanted behind it, and it went well.

I've gotten my chops up since then and with a few days practice can pull of nearly anything I have in my head, to where it sounds like a great performance and not a guy trying to make it though the part without messing up. Huge difference there in feel to me.

This one is solved for now, no need to post for more feedback. In the future I'll make sure to use a better guitar to begin with, and will make sure to preserve the original recording without the ITB chain. This is an old track from 8 years ago so working with what I've got.
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