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Acoustic guitar sound
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Acoustic guitar sound

Hi,

I think my acoustic guitar sound is not good enough to make a acoustic cover for my favorites songs (am I wrong?)
I want to upgrade my gear and I don't know what to upgrade my guitar, mic or audio interface (what is the most important? my budget is 2600$)
I know a good mix start with perfect "sources" (audio files).

Here's a sample of my acoustic guitar (Dry):
*Recorded with SM81 between 12-14 frets

https://drive.google.com/file/d/13Is...ew?usp=sharing

My gear:
Guitar: Takemine GN-20
Audio Interface: UR242
Preamp: WA273
Microphones: SM81 (SM57, SM7B, SM58, MXL 770X)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
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andychamp's Avatar
Just imagine what a $2600 guitar would sound like with this mic/pre combo...
THAT would be improvement at the source.
Takamines aren‘t bad, but they‘re a bit limited to that „zingy“ thing.
Try maybe a darker instrument, with more wood in the tone. Not necessarily bigger or fuller, like a dreadnought or jumbo would be.
It also depends if the guitar wil be solo, featured, or one instrument in a band.
A spectacular-sounding guitar isn‘t necessarily easy to mix, quite often the opposite is true.
Dollar for dollar, a great instrument will be the the bigger improvement in the long run, than a new mic or preamp.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
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bash's Avatar
 

Sounds perfectly workable to me. Balanced, not too bright/not too boomy, pick transients aren't spiking out. I'd be fine with that as a starting point.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
Just imagine what a $2600 guitar would sound like with this mic/pre combo...
THAT would be improvement at the source.
Takamines aren‘t bad, but they‘re a bit limited to that „zingy“ thing.
Try maybe a darker instrument, with more wood in the tone. Not necessarily bigger or fuller, like a dreadnought or jumbo would be.
It also depends if the guitar wil be solo, featured, or one instrument in a band.
A spectacular-sounding guitar isn‘t necessarily easy to mix, quite often the opposite is true.
Dollar for dollar, a great instrument will be the the bigger improvement in the long run, than a new mic or preamp.
I think I will buy a Taylor guitar 400/500 series.
I'm also want to upgrade my mic to U87/U67 before I update my audio interface.
I really love my pre amp it's a great NEVE 1073 clone.
Also I will upgrade my acoustic treatment soon
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Guitar sounds OK. I would work on my capture, mic positioning, etc. I would NOT be in a rush to spend money. Why not learn as you go and, by extending your experience, learning more about what you want out of your guitar and ways to get it with what you have? As you experiment and experience different approaches, you will enhance your understanding of what you want and how to get it -- and that can inform any future purchase decisions.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Guitar sounds OK. I would work on my capture, mic positioning, etc. I would NOT be in a rush to spend money. Why not learn as you go and, by extending your experience, learning more about what you want out of your guitar and ways to get it with what you have? As you experiment and experience different approaches, you will enhance your understanding of what you want and how to get it -- and that can inform any future purchase decisions.
I think a better mic and much better guitar can save a lot of time in processing.
Also I don't love my Takamine "sound color"
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorrok View Post
I think a better mic and much better guitar can save a lot of time in processing.
Also I don't love my Takamine "sound color"
Here's my thinking: the OP seems to feel a bit unsure of himself and his process.

[EDIT: Oh WAIT -- YOU'RE the OP! LOL, jokes on me! Pardon my buffoonish error! But I guess my thinking below holds or doesn't, regardless of that fact.]

Why should he rush out to spend money on stuff if he doesn't know it will help him do things the way he will end up wanting to do them? And, in my experience, there can be a lot of variegation in the way people end up wanting to do things once they've been around and felt out their process.

I'm not saying don't buy quality gear, I'm just saying don't rush or let oneself get rushed into making decisions based on others' (certainly well-meaning) advice, advice that might be perfect for their process and approach, but might not fit with how one eventually ends up wanting to proceed.

(If I'd never read scores of regretful posts about less-than-ideal choices, I wouldn't bring it up, but I have.)

Of course, there are those who just like the 'thrill' of buying new gear -- and if one has the economic resources, there's certainly no better way to learn gear than by using it.

Admittedly, it's different than it was 30 or 40 years ago when some of us old-timers started. Back then studio gear was so expensive those interested in recording at home often ended up with TASCAM 16 tracks/inch formats (or worse)... of course, back then, a TASCAM 85-16 16 track on one inch was a 'bargain' at $10,500. In 1981, that $10K was worth about $30,000 in TODAY's money. Consider that.

I started learning the gear of my era in a community college program in 1980 and continued learning the whole time I freelanced. Working often with punk/new music or art-damage bands, the budgets were often knuckle-scraping low, but if you worked it, you could carve out some experience with a range of gear.


UPDATE: Sounds like you know your own thinking on this (and your guitar) better than I was thinking, so, you know, take the above with a grain of salt and do what you feel.

Last edited by theblue1; 2 weeks ago at 11:18 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
I don't mean to be unkind but the most significant area of improvement needs to be the playing in this case. The main thing that will hurt you is the execution...the actual performance. I know you're just strumming random chords and playing little things to test the tone...but I can tell that the playing is average at best. Subjective, yeah. But there you go. You could have that exact chain capturing a highly skilled acoustic guitar practitioner and it'd be a totally different ballgame.

I know, coz when I started recording acoustic guitar I soon realized how naked preamps/ mics leave your crap playing. No amount of preamp mojo or microphone investment can hide it. You have to play well.

My flame suit is on...so...you know...sorry in advance if my point of view offends...

Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
I don't mean to be unkind but the most significant area of improvement needs to be the playing in this case. The main thing that will hurt you is the execution...the actual performance. I know you're just strumming random chords and playing little things to test the tone...but I can tell that the playing is average at best. Subjective, yeah. But there you go. You could have that exact chain capturing a highly skilled acoustic guitar practitioner and it'd be a totally different ballgame.

I know, coz when I started recording acoustic guitar I soon realized how naked preamps/ mics leave your crap playing. No amount of preamp mojo or microphone investment can hide it. You have to play well.

My flame suit is on...so...you know...sorry in advance if my point of view offends...

Yeah I agree with you, the player is the most important thing when you record a instrument specially acoustic guitar

Player - Guitar - Mic - Preamp
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
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vernier's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorrok View Post
Hi,

I think my acoustic guitar sound is not good enough to make a acoustic cover for my favorites songs (am I wrong?)
I want to upgrade my gear and I don't know what to upgrade my guitar, mic or audio interface (what is the most important? my budget is 2600$)
I know a good mix start with perfect "sources" (audio files).

Here's a sample of my acoustic guitar (Dry):
*Recorded with SM81 between 12-14 frets

https://drive.google.com/file/d/13Is...ew?usp=sharing

My gear:
Guitar: Takemine GN-20
Audio Interface: UR242
Preamp: WA273
Microphones: SM81 (SM57, SM7B, SM58, MXL 770X)
Sounds good, I wouldn't change a thing.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorrok View Post
Hi,

I think my acoustic guitar sound is not good enough to make a acoustic cover for my favorites songs (am I wrong?)
I want to upgrade my gear and I don't know what to upgrade my guitar, mic or audio interface (what is the most important? my budget is 2600$)
I know a good mix start with perfect "sources" (audio files).

Here's a sample of my acoustic guitar (Dry):
*Recorded with SM81 between 12-14 frets

https://drive.google.com/file/d/13Is...ew?usp=sharing

My gear:
Guitar: Takemine GN-20
Audio Interface: UR242
Preamp: WA273
Microphones: SM81 (SM57, SM7B, SM58, MXL 770X)
This sounds fine. You just need a little eq and a wide stereo image. It just need to be opened up


Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorrok View Post
Yeah I agree with you, the player is the most important thing when you record a instrument specially acoustic guitar
Player - Guitar - Mic - Preamp
The pick is a big part of the sound. For strumming use as lite pick as possible.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
The pick is a big part of the sound. For strumming use as lite pick as possible.
I don't own any picks lighter than a Fender Heavy. Found a medium in the dryer the other day; must've been my kid's.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I don't own any picks lighter than a Fender Heavy. Found a medium in the dryer the other day; must've been my kid's.
Try a light pick, it really smooths things out. Lite strings are helpful as well.
The less metallic and rigid, the better IMO. Of course it is situational but more often that not it works.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
Try a light pick, it really smooths things out. Lite strings are helpful as well.
The less metallic and rigid, the better IMO. Of course it is situational but more often that not it works.
Yeah, it all depends on what one is going for. Light strings and a floppy pick means a wimpy sound with no bite. But that could be just perfect depending on the song.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
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chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u87allen View Post
Yeah, it all depends on what one is going for. Light strings and a floppy pick means a wimpy sound with no bite.
to the contrary, light pick means less resistance, which will yields more harmonics which results in a bigger tone
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
I don't mean to be unkind but the most significant area of improvement needs to be the playing in this case. The main thing that will hurt you is the execution...the actual performance. I know you're just strumming random chords and playing little things to test the tone...but I can tell that the playing is average at best. Subjective, yeah. But there you go. You could have that exact chain capturing a highly skilled acoustic guitar practitioner and it'd be a totally different ballgame.

I know, coz when I started recording acoustic guitar I soon realized how naked preamps/ mics leave your crap playing. No amount of preamp mojo or microphone investment can hide it. You have to play well.

My flame suit is on...so...you know...sorry in advance if my point of view offends...

I agree, focus on your playing before spending any more money. It's easy to get stuck in the frame of mind that the gear will make you sound better. That's an ugly (and expensive), rabbit hole to get stuck in. Give a beginner a $10,000 guitar and see if he sounds any better
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrod View Post
It's easy to get stuck in the frame of mind that the gear will make you sound better.
The raison-d'etre of this site being... what?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
The raison-d'etre of this site being... what?
This whole site only exists to make you use wafer thin picks.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
This whole site only exists to make you use wafer thin picks.
Pronounced "wah-fare"
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Shannon Adkins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
to the contrary, light pick means less resistance, which will yields more harmonics which results in a bigger tone
Light pick = more attack, less body
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
The raison-d'etre of this site being... what?
Lol!

I know, I know. Silly me... what was I thinking! .

I should start my own site "GearPrudez".
Old 2 weeks ago
  #22
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon Adkins View Post
Light pick = more attack, less body
I don't like the "baseball card in the spokes" sound thin picks tend to produce.

I loved the sound as a kid though. It made me feel like Evil Kenevil
Old 2 weeks ago
  #23
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andychamp's Avatar
In short: have at least one pick of each Jim Dunlop Nylon gauge - from white through to black - available at all times when recording acoustics.
Choose depending on which one gets you closest to the desired sound.
The right one will become obvious.
Mix-n-match, trial-n-error, rock-n-roll.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #24
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Shannon Adkins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrod View Post
I don't like the "baseball card in the spokes" sound thin picks tend to produce.

I loved the sound as a kid though. It made me feel like Evil Kenevil
For me it just depends. If I want a really fast, choppy sound, I'll use a light pick... Usually one of the Dunlop .60 mm or sometimes even a .46. If I want more body I'll use something heavier.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #25
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bash's Avatar
 

FWIW, I love thin-as-communion-wafer picks for that added high hat sound. I rotate them about 90 degrees (need more meat on the strings). If your rhythmic strumming is interesting it can really bring it out. Of course, mic choice is important to balance tone and transient properly. Like recording two instruments for the price of one. :D But I also use mediums/heavies when I want an aggressive sound, particularly with acoustic down-strumming (chopping?).
Old 2 weeks ago
  #26
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
In short: have at least one pick of each Jim Dunlop Nylon gauge - from white through to black - available at all times when recording acoustics.
Choose depending on which one gets you closest to the desired sound.
The right one will become obvious.
Mix-n-match, trial-n-error, rock-n-roll.
And then buy a Blue Chip pick and re-learn how to play with a pick.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #27
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
Sounds good, I wouldn't change a thing.
I essentially agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
Dollar for dollar, a great instrument will be the the bigger improvement in the long run, than a new mic or preamp.
I agree with that as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I would NOT be in a rush to spend money. Why not learn as you go and, by extending your experience, learning more about what you want out of your guitar and ways to get it with what you have?
I definitely agree with that.

I'm feeling quite agreeable today, it seems.

If you feel a need to spend some money, possibly as a way of fortifying your intention to improve, or if you just aren't happy with your essential sound and feel as though something has to change...go out and play some new guitars until you get to smiling. You can't go wrong spending money that way.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #28
Gear Addict
Using a light pick with a light touch (key being light touch) and moving the mic in a little closer than you normally would can yield a deceptively fat acoustic tone that differs in the way a thick pick makes the guitar sound. Something about the initial attack and bloom.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #29
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soldat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorrok View Post
Also I will upgrade my acoustic treatment soon
This. Its a little lively for me, I'd prefer it to be a bit more 'present'. So treatment would be my first stop. I have four large 4" thick rockwool panels I can move around. Usually one behind the mic(s)... and the others? Trial and error around the playing position.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #30
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post

If you feel a need to spend some money, possibly as a way of fortifying your intention to improve, or if you just aren't happy with your essential sound and feel as though something has to change...go out and play some new guitars until you get to smiling. You can't go wrong spending money that way.
I wasn’t even really looking for a new guitar but a Martin CEO 9 that I played yesterday got me to smiling so much that I went back this afternoon and snapped it up before someone else heard it.
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