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Old 12-13-2019, 03:29 PM
Ncbandit Ncbandit is offline
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Default Guitar audition for recording

I just wrote a new song and I am very excited about it so the recording process begins again. I don't know about you guys but I am OCD when it comes to the finished project.

I first record just the guitar part, then add vocals, midi drums, midi strings, bass and what ever else seems to fit.

The guitar candidates were the Eastman ES11-CLA-LTD, Alvarez MD60BG, and the Alvarez parlor MPA66SHB. The song starts with a flat picking intro which eases it's way into the main strumming rhythm.

To see which guitar would be the one I did a scratch take of all 3 using a thick pick, thin pick, and fingers only. The outcome was surprising. The Eastman was the best sounding on the flat picking intro using a thick pick, the MD60BG won on the main rhythm section using a thick pick, but the parlor was a close second on the main rhythm using just fingers.

Anyway, now the real work begins. I see many late night hours trying to perfect this beauty.

Does anyone else go through this insane process or do you just plug in and do a few takes. done!!

Last edited by Ncbandit; 12-13-2019 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 12-13-2019, 05:42 PM
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The song starts with a flat picking intro which eases it's way into the main strumming rhythm.

To see which guitar would be the one I did a scratch take of all 3 using a thick pick, thin pick, and fingers only. The outcome was surprising. The Eastman was the best sounding on the flat picking intro using a thick pick, the MD60BG won on the main rhythm section using a thick pick, but the parlor was a close second on the main rhythm using just fingers.

Does anyone else go through this insane process or do you just plug in and do a few takes. done!!
While I do consider and have in my mind which guitar I might want to use. I usually do not audition multiple, others .

But since you came up with your audition results already , what about using the Eastman for the intro and any lead riffs or fills you might want to add, and also use the 60 or the parlor for the rhythm strum. You can use automation to fade out of the flat picking and fade into (bring) the rhythm up from underneath the intro ??
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Old 12-13-2019, 06:24 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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I usually stick with the guitar on which I wrote the song. The inspiration came in part from that place and the only reason I'd go to a different instrument is if the song were easier to play on another guitar for some reason.
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Old 12-13-2019, 06:37 PM
Ncbandit Ncbandit is offline
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While I do consider and have in my mind which guitar I might want to use. I usually do not audition multiple, others .

But since you came up with your audition results already , what about using the Eastman for the intro and any lead riffs or fills you might want to add, and also use the 60 or the parlor for the rhythm strum. You can use automation to fade out of the flat picking and fade into (bring) the rhythm up from underneath the intro ??
Absolutely, that is the plan. There is enough of a slight pause between the intro and main rhythm where that won't be a problem.
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Old 12-13-2019, 06:42 PM
Ncbandit Ncbandit is offline
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I usually stick with the guitar on which I wrote the song. The inspiration came in part from that place and the only reason I'd go to a different instrument is if the song were easier to play on another guitar for some reason.
I hear ya! I actually composed it on the Eastman and it is easier to play on the Eastman with the shorter scale and narrower nut, but it just sounds better recorded on the Alvarez.
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Old 12-13-2019, 09:00 PM
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Sometimes I'll switch too, but usually I'll record with the guitar that created the inspiration for the tune.
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Old 12-13-2019, 09:26 PM
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I'll do quite a bit of auditioning between several guitars (3). I also find new "stuff" in a song I'm composing if I use different guitars. somehow a different guitar will just reveal some stuff I'll use, that didn't arrive with another guitar. It's probably my mood, but for whatever reason I employ this approach ahead of my decision on which guitar to record with. Ease of play, the key in which it's played in and how it sounds on a particular guitar, the strings used,also contribute to these decisions.
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Old 12-14-2019, 01:45 AM
Ncbandit Ncbandit is offline
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Originally Posted by islandguitar View Post
I'll do quite a bit of auditioning between several guitars (3). I also find new "stuff" in a song I'm composing if I use different guitars. somehow a different guitar will just reveal some stuff I'll use, that didn't arrive with another guitar. It's probably my mood, but for whatever reason I employ this approach ahead of my decision on which guitar to record with. Ease of play, the key in which it's played in and how it sounds on a particular guitar, the strings used,also contribute to these decisions.
It's funny how different guitars will bring out something new in the same song. I'm finding this to be especially true between my Eastman and Alvarez dreads. I think I can attribute it to the different scale length and nut width between them.
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Ncbandit View Post
....I first record just the guitar part, then add vocals, midi drums, midi strings, bass and what ever else seems to fit.....

Does anyone else go through this insane process or do you just plug in and do a few takes. done!!
Well, I don't obsess over which guitar to use, but it certainly takes more than "a few takes. done." You're actually using "midi drums" and midi strings? I usually lay down a non-midi audio drum track first, and use the Motif for any additional voices. For solos, I might do several takes, then cut and paste the best parts into the piece. Multitracking these days is great fun!
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Old 12-14-2019, 09:08 AM
Ncbandit Ncbandit is offline
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Originally Posted by DCCougar View Post
Well, I don't obsess over which guitar to use, but it certainly takes more than "a few takes. done." You're actually using "midi drums" and midi strings? I usually lay down a non-midi audio drum track first, and use the Motif for any additional voices. For solos, I might do several takes, then cut and paste the best parts into the piece. Multitracking these days is great fun!
Yes, midi drums, strings, bass, and some flute too. The drums I use are MTpower drumkit II. https://www.powerdrumkit.com/download76187.php. Even though the samples are in midi format the actual sounds were recorded from real drums.

I usually find a sample that fits the song and adjust the beats per minute so it fits my guitar timing. Then I will add intros and fillers for the changes. If I can't find one they provide I will add the filler from my midi keyboard. It is a time consuming process but I like the end results.

The strings, flute and bass I play on my midi keyboard using vst plugins.
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Old 12-14-2019, 09:33 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Originally Posted by Ncbandit View Post
I just wrote a new song...
Out of curiosity, when you say "song," are you talking about an instrumental piece or a song with lyrics?

I can see where the choice of guitar becomes much more critical in an instrumental piece. For me, it's much less so in songs with lyrical content. For an instrumental piece, the voice of the guitar is the most important element. For a lyrical piece, the singer is the most important element, the quality and efficacy of the lyrics is second, and the tonal property of the guitar comes in third, imo. If you're adding additional instrumentation, the guitar tracks will have frequencies rolled off to make room for other things. That would make issues you might have with some guitars less critical to the final mix.
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Old 12-14-2019, 09:46 AM
Ncbandit Ncbandit is offline
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Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
Out of curiosity, when you say "song," are you talking about an instrumental piece or a song with lyrics?

I can see where the choice of guitar becomes much more critical in an instrumental piece. For me, it's much less so in songs with lyrical content. For an instrumental piece, the voice of the guitar is the most important element. For a lyrical piece, the singer is the most important element, the quality and efficacy of the lyrics is second, and the tonal property of the guitar comes in third, imo. If you're adding additional instrumentation, the guitar tracks will have frequencies rolled off to make room for other things. That would make issues you might have with some guitars less critical to the final mix.
These are complete songs with vocals, drums, and bass at minimum added, and I agree with your point depending on the song.

For this song the guitar rhythm is the backbone of the song and has parts where it is solo, like the intro, pre-chorus etc. For this reason it really needs to stand out as quality and be warm, full, and clear.

I'm going to continue experimenting with mic positions today.

Last edited by Ncbandit; 12-14-2019 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 12-14-2019, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ncbandit View Post
I just wrote a new song and I am very excited about it so the recording process begins again. I don't know about you guys but I am OCD when it comes to the finished project.

I first record just the guitar part, then add vocals, midi drums, midi strings, bass and what ever else seems to fit.

The guitar candidates were the Eastman ES11-CLA-LTD, Alvarez MD60BG, and the Alvarez parlor MPA66SHB. The song starts with a flat picking intro which eases it's way into the main strumming rhythm.

To see which guitar would be the one I did a scratch take of all 3 using a thick pick, thin pick, and fingers only. The outcome was surprising. The Eastman was the best sounding on the flat picking intro using a thick pick, the MD60BG won on the main rhythm section using a thick pick, but the parlor was a close second on the main rhythm using just fingers.

Anyway, now the real work begins. I see many late night hours trying to perfect this beauty.

Does anyone else go through this insane process or do you just plug in and do a few takes. done!!
I just finished reading my current issue of Tape Op, and you might find an answer by reading the Greg Laswell interview.

https://tapeop.com/interviews/134/greg-laswell/
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Old 12-14-2019, 10:25 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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The Parlando Project is designed to have varied music, most of which I need to come up with. Some pieces just have solo acoustic guitar and the vocal, others have a larger multipart orchestras. There are also tracks the use an indie rock band, but most of them don't have acoustic guitar on them.

I'm the engineer, producer, utility session man, and tea boy for all the recordings and the composer for most of them.

There are others here who are much more accomplished recordists, but to my taste I find that there's often an inverse relationship between the quality of a guitar listened to from the playing position in a room played solo and what fits in an arrangement with other instruments. Big, full, deep-toned, overtone-rich guitars seem to need to get EQ'ed out of their glory. Crisper guitars need less EQ and seem to fit in better.

For example I have nice sounding rosewood b&s dreadnaught that rarely gets used for recordings. My old Seagull Folk (maple-ish laminated cherry) gets the call a lot. I have another small bodied guitar with Elixir Polyweb strings on it--a string set that a lot of folks don't care for when they play their guitars, but I do like the reduced string squeak when that becomes an issue.

When I decide which to use, I try to decide quickly (my production schedule is insanely fast), but often when I'm playing the part if it has important bassy-register notes I'll choose a smaller guitar with a tight bass so that I can more easily bring those out in the mix.

Nice to hear that others are making use here of the range of colors that VI and MIDI allow. I often use bowed strings in my arrangements triggered from my electric guitar with a MIDI pickup or a cheap little plastic keyboard. And my personal nostalgia zone gets triggered when I use the inauthentic but flavorful Mellotron VI instruments out there.


I'll sometime spend more time on the drum/percussion section that any other track. Even when one uses MIDI drum patterns it's kind of nice to mix in small hand percussion. I've even have a ride and crash cymbal that I'll mic and play with MIDI drums. As to patterns, I kind of like how Logic's drummer instrument can be coaxed into doing what you want my manipulating the parameters including the "follow" feature which lets you use another track that the bass/snare will react to (and that track can even be muted, just something you want to use to "conduct" the drum groove).
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Old 12-14-2019, 10:57 AM
Ncbandit Ncbandit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
I just finished reading my current issue of Tape Op, and you might find an answer by reading the Greg Laswell interview.

https://tapeop.com/interviews/134/greg-laswell/
Good read and a lot of useful information. Thanks!!
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