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  #1  
Old 01-24-2020, 09:40 AM
Ray175 Ray175 is offline
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Default K&K for DI recording from my Martins - your experience

I'm starting to get into the realms of home recording and am considering installing pickups on my 2 acoustics - Martin JM (old road series, with spruce top and mahogany back/sides), and the J12-16GT (yes, more mahogany....) with a view to direct injecting into my Zoom-U44, then pc (Reaper).
I've watched a of videos to try to narrow down the choice - within the sound quality simites that online videos have, and read quite a few reviews.
I'm giving serious consideration either to
the K&K Pure Mini as a starter system, coupled either with the Pure preamp, or the Pure XLR preamp, or
The K&K Trinity Solo mini (essentially a Pure Mini with an added gooseneck), plus Preamp as above, or
go the whole hog and get the K&K Trinity Pro Mini System including Pure pickups, gooseneck and preamp all in one
For the 12-string, I would naturally go for the 12-string version of this kit.

For those who have experience of these different systems, could I ask for their views and experience of these 3 different possibilities? Remember, this question is about direct injection as opposed to microphone-based recording - I'm covering that question elesewhere.

PS : At this stage I'm not looking for alternative suggestions ,telling me that Fishman, Meyers or Schertler... are better
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2020, 02:04 PM
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min7b5 min7b5 is offline
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Some people like to use a pickup along with microphones for recording for a certain something, though most don't. You're not gonna find too many folks that use pickup-only for recording, which is what it sounds like you're asking about. I think for the price of the K&K and a preamp you could probably get one or two inexpensive Chinese made condenser microphones to go into your Zoom and it would sound dramatically better. Watch this video a few times to get more solid idea of a good path towards quality home acoustic guitar recording https://youtu.be/2b6E20BwSdU
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Last edited by min7b5; 01-24-2020 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:23 PM
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You're unlikely to get a recording from any pickup directly that sounds as good as using the least expensive mic you can find. Unless you like the sound of a guitar thru a pickup, which most don't. They work OK for live use, but in a recording, the sound of a pickup is painfully obvious to most. The best option you have if you really want to do it is to use ToneDexter, which will make your K&Ks sound much closer to an acoustic sound. It probably still won't fool anyone, but it would be an improvement.

I did a series of experiments to see what kinds of recordings I could make with a K&K quite a while back, using different techniques. You can see here:

https://soundcloud.com/doug-young/se...-a-pickup-demo

(Warning, none of these are very good...). This was done before ToneDexter existed. I should probably update this to include some ToneDexter examples.
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:46 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
I did a series of experiments to see what kinds of recordings I could make with a K&K quite a while back, using different techniques. You can see here:

https://soundcloud.com/doug-young/se...-a-pickup-demo

(Warning, none of these are very good...). This was done before ToneDexter existed. I should probably update this to include some ToneDexter examples.
I've never used the ToneDexter but I was able to improve on the pickup sound by using the UAD Sound Machine Wood Works along with the Sonible smart:EQ2 set to "Acoustic Guitar." It was still inferior to using microphones but it was better than the quacky pickup.
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:57 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
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OP - when you say home recording, is this for the purpose of making demos and the like to review your playing or composing?

In that case, what you propose will work fine, with the caveat that the sound will never be particularly high fidelity.

If however you have plans to release/distribute recordings, then you'll quickly find your tone does not measure up to the marketplace. The current bar for a decent acoustic guitar tone involves a microphone at the minimum.

(That may change over the next decade.)
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Old 01-24-2020, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
I've never used the ToneDexter but I was able to improve on the pickup sound by using the UAD Sound Machine Wood Works along with the Sonible smart:EQ2 set to "Acoustic Guitar." It was still inferior to using microphones but it was better than the quacky pickup.
The woodworks plugin is one of the things demo'd in my long list of recording experiments in the link I posted. It worked very poorly for me, I suspect it depends a lot on the guitar you're using, since unlike ToneDexter, it's not trained for the specific guitar. It had a lot of the weird chirpy sounds that I often hear from Aura pedals, which I think stems from the same problem.
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Old 01-24-2020, 09:51 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
The woodworks plugin is one of the things demo'd in my long list of recording experiments in the link I posted. It worked very poorly for me, I suspect it depends a lot on the guitar you're using, since unlike ToneDexter, it's not trained for the specific guitar. It had a lot of the weird chirpy sounds that I often hear from Aura pedals, which I think stems from the same problem.
The Woodworks alone wasn't great on a piezo type pickup. In combination with the Sonible smart:EQ2, I thought it was much better, but as I said, still not as good as mics by a long shot.

I suspect you're correct about it working better with certain pickups. I tried it with the Taylor Expression System and the results were poor.

You can hear the results of what I did here. There's some kind of artifact from the Woodworks that's phase-y sounding and might be improved with subtractive eq. I didn't try to do that at the time.
https://soundcloud.com/user-61622685...c-guitar-sound
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  #8  
Old 01-24-2020, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
T
I suspect you're correct about it working better with certain pickups.[/URL]
I'm not sure it's just the pickup. The whole benefit of ToneDexter is that you train on not only a specific pickup, but a specific guitar. The issue we've seen since the Aura is that both matter. Someone who sends their guitar, with say a Fishman Matrix in it, into Fishman to have a custom image made, gets good results. But you take that same image and use it with a Fishman Matrix in your guitar, even the same model, and maybe it works, or maybe it doesn't. I've tried the same thing with ToneDexter. Train guitar A with a pickup, then try that image on guitar B that has the same pickup - maybe it sounds good, maybe it doesn't.

With the woodworks thing, as I recall, it had both issues. I couldn't even set it for "OM with K&K", you just had whatever it was, a dial with 10 choices or something. Sounded weirdly chirpy and resonant on most settings for me, which I think you can hear on the sample I posted (and that was the best option). it must work better for some pickups, or I suspect they'd have not released it.
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  #9  
Old 01-25-2020, 08:36 AM
Ray175 Ray175 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
You're unlikely to get a recording from any pickup directly that sounds as good as using the least expensive mic you can find. Unless you like the sound of a guitar thru a pickup, which most don't. They work OK for live use, but in a recording, the sound of a pickup is painfully obvious to most. The best option you have if you really want to do it is to use ToneDexter, which will make your K&Ks sound much closer to an acoustic sound. It probably still won't fool anyone, but it would be an improvement.

I did a series of experiments to see what kinds of recordings I could make with a K&K quite a while back, using different techniques. You can see here:

https://soundcloud.com/doug-young/se...-a-pickup-demo

(Warning, none of these are very good...). This was done before ToneDexter existed. I should probably update this to include some ToneDexter examples.
Thanks Doug, the ToneDexter may be something I move to at a later date - for the moment I'm building my first setup, so budget is tight - working desk, active monitors, monitor stands, SM57 and T.bone SC1100, mike stands and clamps (for fixing directly onto my Deluxe's frame).....
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:39 AM
Ray175 Ray175 is offline
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Thanks Gordon - I don't intend to commercially distribute my music. Now that I've retired, this will be one of my hobbies.. which of course won't preclude me from upgrading at a later date
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray175 View Post
I'm starting to get into the realms of home recording and am considering installing pickups on my 2 acoustics - Martin JM (old road series, with spruce top and mahogany back/sides), and the J12-16GT (yes, more mahogany....) with a view to direct injecting into my Zoom-U44, then pc (Reaper).
I've watched a of videos to try to narrow down the choice - within the sound quality simites that online videos have, and read quite a few reviews.
I'm giving serious consideration either to
the K&K Pure Mini as a starter system, coupled either with the Pure preamp, or the Pure XLR preamp, or
The K&K Trinity Solo mini (essentially a Pure Mini with an added gooseneck), plus Preamp as above, or
go the whole hog and get the K&K Trinity Pro Mini System including Pure pickups, gooseneck and preamp all in one
For the 12-string, I would naturally go for the 12-string version of this kit.

For those who have experience of these different systems, could I ask for their views and experience of these 3 different possibilities? Remember, this question is about direct injection as opposed to microphone-based recording - I'm covering that question elesewhere.

PS : At this stage I'm not looking for alternative suggestions ,telling me that Fishman, Meyers or Schertler... are better
No I have no experience with those systems BUT honestly
Your exact goal for your pick up DI needs is still not really clear.

You explained you are specifically looking for a pick up and DI option (check)
And you stated you are covering mic recording elsewhere (check)
So can we assume you understand that mic recording, is best method to get the most natural unplugged right there in the room acoustic sounding recording ?

So if we can assume your goal with DI is not specifically attempting to replicate the unplugged acoustic sound and more for the convenience aspect of DI ??? Then the question becomes WHY those specific systems ? Why not the simplest most convenient DI system/s ?
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:44 AM
Ray175 Ray175 is offline
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Fair questions - and yes I understand that miked recordings will produce a sound nearer to the pure acoustic original. I've been gifted a T.bone SC1100 (for acoustic recording) and a Shure SM57 (for miking my ToneMaster Deluxe Reverb) as starter kit from some musical friends.... I also want to explore XLR and DI recording as a method - both for acoustic instruments and also from my ToneMaster Deluxe.....

Reasons?
  1. Essentially as a journey of learning in what I hope will be a long retirement (but see 3 below).....
  2. I tend to move quite a lot when I play, so I want an alternative to putting half of my concentration on sitting still and the other half on playing in front of a mike.
  3. In the unlikely event that I start playing out again (my ongoing cancer treatment precludes this for the moment), I want some kit that will take me close to a natural acoustic sound

Why those specific systems? Principally for the ability to play out on rare occasions without DI and because I like what I have heard coming out of that specific kit. As I've said, I don't want to use this thread for a debate on alternative systems..... there are plenty of other threads that do that already.

I hope this gives you a better insight into my motivations.

Last edited by Ray175; 01-25-2020 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 01-25-2020, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray175 View Post
Fair questions - and yes I understand that miked recordings will produce a sound nearer to the pure acoustic original. I've been gifted a T.bone SC1100 (for acoustic recording) and a Shure SM57 (for miking my ToneMaster Deluxe Reverb) as starter kit from some musical friends.... I also want to explore XLR and DI recording as a method - both for acoustic instruments and also from my ToneMaster Deluxe.....

Reasons?
  1. Essentially as a journey of learning.....
  2. I tend to move quite a lot when I play, so I want an alternative to putting half of my concentration on sitting still and the other half on playing in front of a mike.

Why those specific systems? Principally for the ability to play out on rare occasions without DI and because I like what I have heard coming out of that specific kit. As I've said, I don't want to use this thread for a debate on alternative systems..... there are plenty of other threads that do that already.
Ah that explains and clarifies things a lot

I have not used any of those so I will simply say I'm guessing which ever is the simplest to install and use would be my choice, and Fair winds on your journey
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Old 01-25-2020, 10:05 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Quote:
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I also want to explore XLR and DI recording as a method
Unless there's something out there I've never heard of, XLR isn't a method. XLR is a type of connector.
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2017 Circle Strings 00 bastogne walnut/sinker redwood
2015 Circle Strings Parlor shedua/western red cedar
2009 Bamburg JSB Signature Baritone macassar ebony/carpathian spruce
2004 Taylor XXX-RS indian rosewood/sitka spruce
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  #15  
Old 01-25-2020, 10:43 AM
Ray175 Ray175 is offline
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Quote:
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Unless there's something out there I've never heard of, XLR isn't a method. XLR is a type of connector.
Indeed - the DI connection options available to me are XLR and line-out.
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