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How Does This Acoustic Guitar Sound?
Old 16th June 2009
Here for the gear

How Does This Acoustic Guitar Sound?

Hey everybody. I've just gotten my first microphone recently so over the past couple of days I've been trying and researching different mic techniques and this is the best I've gotten in my house so far...

This is only a snippet of a well done chord progression so please forgive the sloppy playing. I just wanted to post this really quickly to get some feedback as to where I need to go before my head explodes. I am about to start recording demos in an attempt to sell some country songs (we will see how that goes) so I am trying to go for a nice, generic acoustic sound if that makes any sense.

And FYI... I'm playing a Garrison G-41-CE acoustic (a really dark guitar I've noticed) into a studio projects C1 into a studio projects vtb-1 mic pre into my e-mu 1212m into cubase where all I added was a bit of compression via a classic compression plugin. There is no Eq applied yet. Any advice definately appreciated.
Attached Files

AcousticGuitarSample.mp3 (377.3 KB, 152 views)

Old 16th June 2009
Gear Nut
IsleBeatUDown's Avatar
Sounds good - watch the bass bump

There is Nashville trick where they take off the 3 low strings and use thin strings to do a higher octave of the E A D. If that makes sense. That is expressly to avoid the bass bump you hear.

So you have a nice enough sound. Try locating that resonant bass range by using a narrow Q boost and sweeping up and down the frequencies between say 100hz and 350hz. Boost hard (+9 or more). All you want to hear is the bass. At some point it will jump out at you horrifically (don't turn your speakers up for this). Then use that as your center and cut it hard (-6 to -12 approx) still with the narrow Q. Adjust the cut depth and the Q width until the boom is gone, but the guitar still has its balls intact.

Then watch out for the pick sound and generally the attack. It sounds great now, but if you boost highs, it could get obnoxious. In the future, you can try dealing with the boom and the attack by aiming the mic more towards the neck (maybe 12th/14th fret ...), but the danger there is that you lose definition.

Your compression sounds good at the moment. it will also affect your picking sounds.

All this could change once you add vocals. Do it now and make them play nicely together.

Good luck,
Old 16th June 2009
Here for the gear

Cool man. Thanks for the advice. I have heard of the Nashville tuning before. It might be something I'll play with later. Do you know of a good free eq vst to use to accomplish what you are telling me to do? The ones I have found are mostly too simplistic to acomplish that it seems. Thanks again.
Old 16th June 2009
Lives for gear
john caldwell's Avatar
I don't think you're particularly far off from a workable sound. Rob's advice coincides perfectly with my own experience, only to add that you may need not only the 200Hz (approx) mud-notch eq that Rob describes sweeping for, but also a high pass if the production will involve elements with LF content such as bass, perc or keys. HP at 80 Hz to 140 Hz are ball parks there. If vocal is the only accompaniment, you may be fine leaving the HP out.

Moving your cardioid mic further away from the guitar may also permit a more balanced sound capture. I've used up to 3 feet when there was trouble taming boom and mud, but your room will be more prominent in your sound with that sort of distance.

Vacuum tube preamps have generally not been as good as solid state units have in my hands, but I'm pretty sure good ac guitar recordings were made before we had transistors.

The high strung guitar can be a great flavor to add to a production. I've never used high strung as a solitary guitar in a stripped down track, rather as a seasoning when other guitars are holding down the track. Normally I just replace strings 4, 5 & 6 with gages appropriate for an octave-up tuning: 4>.015; 5>.024 and 6>.034. Replacing 3 with an .008 could also be an option which leaves you with a traditional 12-string octave set.

Good luck,

Old 16th June 2009
Here for the gear

Ok. Thanks guys. I tried the cut in those frequencies and I see what you are talking about. The -8 seems like a bit much because I prefer some of the bass of the acoustic but it really is a lot more muddy than it sounded to me originally. I think I'm gonna try to move the mic a bit more towards the neck and I will post that if I get better results but now that I have some idea of what sound I am going for.

Also, are there any recomendations for tones via recordings that I can shoot for that sound kind of - ah - radioish?

Any good free eq vsts out there?

Thanks again guys.
Old 16th June 2009
Here for the gear

Oh yeah, and I am avoiding using the tube blend on my pre and I love the doctor dre reference if that was one.
Old 16th June 2009
Gear Nut
EminentAndrew's Avatar

Its a great start. All I can say is a little more gain would be good and some brighter sounding tubes would hit the money. Also the low end sounds a bit noisy. Great overall sound though.
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