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Old 08-09-2019, 03:47 PM
Lkristians Lkristians is offline
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Default Recording acoustic direct vs amped

I'm guessing this has been beaten to death, but thought I'd ask anyway. Messing around with Garage Band, I play my Taylor 313ce with an AT2020 mic, through the USB 96. Sounds pretty good, although I'm still learning mic placement. Then I played the guitar through an amp with the mic placed strategically. The quality seems to sound better, but I can't put my finger on it. Is this purely subjective?
I submitted a song on "show and tell" (Can't Find My Way Home), Direct to mic, no amp. Any thoughts? THANKS!
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:12 AM
catdaddy catdaddy is offline
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I listened to your rendition of Can't Find My Way Back Home on the Show and Tell sub-forum. Sounded good! If you prefer the amped sound, and want some input regarding relative merits of each, why not submit a version where you record the song again using your amp? If further input isn't a priority, then I'd suggest you just stick with whatever method you prefer.
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:16 AM
Lkristians Lkristians is offline
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Default Amped

Now that's a great idea. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll work on that!
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:39 AM
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KevWind KevWind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lkristians View Post
I'm guessing this has been beaten to death, but thought I'd ask anyway. Messing around with Garage Band, I play my Taylor 313ce with an AT2020 mic, through the USB 96. Sounds pretty good, although I'm still learning mic placement. Then I played the guitar through an amp with the mic placed strategically. The quality seems to sound better, but I can't put my finger on it. Is this purely subjective?
I submitted a song on "show and tell" (Can't Find My Way Home), Direct to mic, no amp. Any thoughts? THANKS!
In general YES ..... The phrase "The quality seems to sound better" besides being a bit vague and prone to ambiguity, is usually purely subjective

Being more specific will result in more specific and "better" replies

To clarify: a "USB 96" is what exactly, a PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 ?
And "an amp" means what exactly ?
And "placed strategically" means what exactly

Because the specific details of these general phrases will in fact impact the ability to perhaps move the general subjective " sound better" more towards the objective.

Also note that the title "Direct vs Amped" is somewhat vague .... To clarify the term "direct" in recording parlance means direct from the pickup on the guitar straight into a DI (direct input) (either outboard or on the digital interface or mixing console) and there is no "mic" or Guitar amp" involved in recording "Direct ".

It sounds to me like you are saying you personally ( subjectively) like the sound of mic'ing your "guitar amp" over mic'ing your guitar ,,,,, Yes ?
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:53 AM
Lkristians Lkristians is offline
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Default Yes and Yes

Thanks, KevWind for the thoughtful response. It is a Personus USB 96. And I did mean to say micing the guitar (not directly plugging guitar into the interface); I placed the mic app 18 " around the last few (high) frets. When I tried a different song by placing that mic in front of the amp (a small VOX), it seemed to my ear deeper/fuller. Used a minimum of efx (slight reverb/chorus). I guess I need to take more time to experiment. Again, I thank you for taking the time!
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Old 08-10-2019, 01:58 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lkristians View Post
Thanks, KevWind for the thoughtful response. It is a Personus USB 96. And I did mean to say micing the guitar (not directly plugging guitar into the interface); I placed the mic app 18 " around the last few (high) frets. When I tried a different song by placing that mic in front of the amp (a small VOX), it seemed to my ear deeper/fuller. Used a minimum of efx (slight reverb/chorus). I guess I need to take more time to experiment. Again, I thank you for taking the time!
Larry K.
It's a lot easier to mic an amp than it is to mic an acoustic guitar.

Recording acoustic in mono comes down to mic placement and distance. You have to find the sweet spot at which to point the mic and that can be pretty much anywhere on the body or the neck depending upon the sound you're after. Some places will be too muddy, others too thin.

Recording in stereo adds another wrinkle: technique. There are a number of recording techniques (X/Y, spaced pair, mid-side, etc.) from which to choose. During a performance, a mic and the amp are stationary. Neither will move around and get out of position once you set them in place. An acoustic guitar doesn't remain so still because the player is in constant motion. You'll often have to deal with phase issues to get a fuller sound.
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
It's a lot easier to mic an amp than it is to mic an acoustic guitar.
Hi jim1960

What is harder for you about recording an acoustic versus recording (mic-ing) and amp?



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Old 08-11-2019, 12:00 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi jim1960

What is harder for you about recording an acoustic versus recording (mic-ing) and amp?
I explained it in my post but I'll expound upon it a little...

When recording an electric, the mic and amp are stationary. Neither moves during the process. When recording acoustic, only the mic is stationary. You can set up a mic in the spot you think is best but if the artist rotates a bit, or shifts a few inches, you're no longer aiming at what you though was the best spot. So there's that.

The other thing that easier with an amp is dialing in the right spot. An amp doesn't give you many options. Even if you have a 15 inch speaker, you're still only looking for the right spot within a 7.5 line. On an acoustic guitar, you have a much greater area to search for the best sound.

My own preference is to mic an acoustic in stereo. But how I approach that is not going to be the same in all cases. So some time is often taken to see what works best given the circumstances.

How soft or loud an acoustic player plays makes a difference as well. If the player plays soft you may have to move the mics in closer but not so close that you'll get proximity effect issues.

I just find there's a lot more to consider and account for when recording acoustic guitar. Anyway, this need not be a point of contention. No doubt others, perhaps yourself, may feel differently and I take no issue with that.

And if I can go askew a tiny bit, recording an electric direct and using an ITB amp model yields much better results than trying the same thing with an acoustic, especially if the acoustic has a piezo pickup as many do.
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Old 08-11-2019, 01:26 AM
ManyMartinMan ManyMartinMan is offline
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In the end what you should be looking for is the final sound. Don't look for easier just what sounds better to you. If you dial in the sound you want with effects and coming through an amp - then record that. If you prefer the sound coming directly from a mic at the 12th fret, do that. There's no right or wrong. A lot of your question comes down to equipment. Mic'ing the guitar directly will result in completely different results with different mics so again it comes down to the using the equipment you have at your disposal to the best result you can achieve.
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:57 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Another thing not yet mentioned in this thread about miking a guitar - the room! At 18" with a sensitive LDC, you are picking up room reflections which may, or may not, enhance the recorded sound. Most rooms in our houses that we use are not particularly great for acoustics. Acoustic treatment of the room (bass traps - rockwool or compressed fiberglass, not foam) in corners, or movable gobos on the other side of the mic from you will stop a lot of the first reflections from the opposite wall that then bounce to side and rear walls and back towards the mic.
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