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-   -   Guitar direct in or through mic? (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=544530)

Lkristians 04-18-2019 02:46 PM

Guitar direct in or through mic?
 
Maybe a subjective thing, but I plugged my Taylor 314ce directly into my interface and it sounds (quality of audio, not the playing!) great to me, and wondering if more of a consensus would prefer playing acoustically through a condenser mic. Haven't bought one yet, so no chance to compare. Wondering what you recording gurus thin?
THANKS,
LarryK

Doug Young 04-18-2019 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lkristians (Post 6039905)
Maybe a subjective thing, but I plugged my Taylor 314ce directly into my interface and it sounds (quality of audio, not the playing!) great to me, and wondering if more of a consensus would prefer playing acoustically through a condenser mic. Haven't bought one yet, so no chance to compare. Wondering what you recording gurus thin?
THANKS,
LarryK

Mics are almost always preferable to pickups for recording. I'd say most people will find that the worst mic sounds better than the best pickup for recording. However, successfully recording with mics will require some experimentation to learn about mic positions, and if your room acoustics aren't good, that may present a challenge, too. Some people seem to just like the sound of pickups, so if it sounds ok to you, then maybe it will be fine for you. A lot depends on your goal for recording. If it's just for yourself, then sound quality may not matter anyway. If you want a more professional sound for sharing with others, then a mic would probably be a better choice.

Lkristians 04-18-2019 04:27 PM

Thanks, Doug!
 
Thanks, Doug. Good counsel. I am planning on buying the AT2020 for vocals, and will certainly do the blind taste test as well. I'll keep you posted!
LarryK

Doug Young 04-18-2019 04:32 PM

Depending on what you're recording, stereo almost always sounds better on acoustic guitar, so 2 mics is ideal. If you're adding in other instruments, then mono (1 mic) is generally used. For guitar+vocals, you'd want at least a vocal mic and separate guitar mic (if you record them at the same time), tho stereo on the guitar can still be nice.

Trevor B. 04-18-2019 04:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lkristians (Post 6039905)
Maybe a subjective thing, but I plugged my Taylor 314ce directly into my interface and it sounds (quality of audio, not the playing!) great to me, and wondering if more of a consensus would prefer playing acoustically through a condenser mic. Haven't bought one yet, so no chance to compare. Wondering what you recording gurus thin?
THANKS,
LarryK

Hello Larry,
I fall very firmly in the condenser mic camp. I've never heard a pickup in an acoustic guitar that compares to the natural sound of the guitar either live or recorded. Also, condenser mikes capture the natural sound better than dynamic mikes in my experience.
If memory serves you recently acquired a two channel Presonus interface so with a couple of decent condenser mikes and some mic placement experimentation you'll be off to the races.
I hope you're enjoying the process thus far.
Trevor

Hoyt 04-18-2019 10:53 PM

Todayís pickups sound surprisingly good recorded direct. But I prefer having miced and direct signals to mix. A good mixed acoustic is hard to beat, but you canít always get that GOOD miced sound.

Doug Young 04-18-2019 11:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hoyt (Post 6040213)
Todayís pickups sound surprisingly good recorded direct. But I prefer having miced and direct signals to mix. A good mixed acoustic is hard to beat, but you canít always get that GOOD miced sound.


Not sure I agree with this first part. All you have to do is skim the amplification section to see that almost everyone struggles to find a pickup that even sounds good live (there are a few exceptions, usually someone who's discovered a new pickup they are excited about - for a while). Almost no one I know claims a pickup is even marginally acceptable for recording, tho we've had one or two threads here lately by people who are recording with pickups and are happy (but it's rare). One possible way to get an acceptable recorded sound with a pickup is ToneDexter, but other than that, most examples people post with a pickup sound so-so at best.

But I agree with the second part, the key factor for most people trying to record with mics is that the room acoustics and noise situation has to be acceptable. That can be fixed in most cases without going to extremes, but it does add to the challenge and learning curve. It all depends on how important the sound quality is to you and whether you can spend a bit of time figuring out how to mic the guitar correctly and how to deal with acoustics and noise. Usually with a bit of help and suggestions, people are able to dial in a decent mic'd sound pretty quickly.

MikeBmusic 04-19-2019 08:34 AM

It's certainly easier to 'dial in' a good sound from a miked guitar than from a recorded pickup!

KevWind 04-19-2019 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lkristians (Post 6039905)
Maybe a subjective thing, but I plugged my Taylor 314ce directly into my interface and it sounds (quality of audio, not the playing!) great to me, and wondering if more of a consensus would prefer playing acoustically through a condenser mic. Haven't bought one yet, so no chance to compare. Wondering what you recording gurus thin?
THANKS,
LarryK

No "Maybe" about it ,,,,it is Totally subjective and there is no right or wrong . There is only I am going for this, or that, type of sound.
IF you are wanting to get as close as possible to unamplified in the room natural acoustic sound ,,, all else being equal, a mic will almost certainly get you closer.

That said there is nothing (repete nothing) inherently "wrong' with the sound of recording direct thru a pick up. It totally depends on what you are after

BigTim 05-01-2019 10:30 PM

I am kind of in the same boat as the OP. I have been recording for years but am just getting into the acoustic world of guitar playing and am learning as I go.

I own a pure acoustic Taylor GS6. I got a shure sm57 and if you care to take a listen this is just the Taylor with a little bass guitar and also a smaill fill lead type lick here and there. But I was pleasantly surprised at how good it turned out. This is also direct in without any post eq settings or any post compression either. just straight in recorded with an SM57 into the interface with protools.

Now since that recording I have installed an LR Baggs Lyric microphone into my Taylor. It has not altered the natural sound at all and I am well pleased with that. However, I did it because I wanted to add some effects live while I recorded. I am just better at plug and play than I am as a recording engineer.

anyways, I have not made a different recording yet with the Lyric pick up for a comparison for others to hear but I have messed with it a bit and am very pleased.

Again, this is just me making a little track and fooling around and I do not claim whatsoever to be a good guitar player and I am even worse on acoustic. However, you can at least get an idea of how my sound turned out with the shure sm57.

https://www.reverbnation.com/timh73

ljguitar 05-01-2019 11:55 PM

Hi all

Doug is a humble guy.

I don't think I know of anyone else on the forum who's writing arrangements for, and recording tracks for an Acoustic Guitar magazine, publishing books, video lessons etc.

He's recorded more pickups and than anyone else I've ever met (check out his website), and he's recorded and posted tons of high quality YouTube videos of his guitars.

And he has done a ton of product testing/demo videos for several companies. He also owns (and knows how to use) high end recording equipment, and I believe he recorded his last albumÖ

I say all this to just say I respect what he'd likely call his opinions, and he's helped me tremendously over the years. I take what he says pretty seriously.

Above all else if you go to YouTube and type "Doug Young Guitar" in the search bar, you can enjoy a great concert by just letting videos play one after the other.





lkingston 05-04-2019 11:55 AM

The pickup I use for recording (and playing live) is the Schertler AG6 with the added S-mic. My basic thing is about 10% mic live and the mic all the way up for recording. On recordings, all you hear is the mic. The S-mic is omnidirectional and feeds back if you turn it up too much live with any sort of monitoring, but if you are recording with headphones, turning it up all the way yields a sound that is very much like taping a small omni mic into the soundhole. You don't notice the magnetic pickup at all, but it is actually there augmenting the low frequencies. The advantage of this is that those low frequencies are where a mic would pick up a lot of rumble from your refrigerator and passing trucks. The S-mic is also amazingly isolated from physical coupling from the body of the guitar. I have no idea how they do it, but you don't hear noises from your clothes rustling against the instrument nearly as much as you do with a regular mic. I still prefer a good mic in the studio, but for home recording in a less than pristine environment, I actually like the Schertler pickup better than a mic on a stand.


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