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  #1  
Old 08-07-2013, 09:21 AM
DoryDavis DoryDavis is offline
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Hi, I am trying to record fingerstyle pieces, and struggling. I have some money to invest, and like everyone want the best bang for the buck.

I don't have particularly great ears. I need equipment that is sometimes called 'tough to dial in a bad sound". (Much like my Deluxe Reverb amp for electric).

Again, like many I like the sound very very much Tommy Emmanuel gets. YES I know that is 99% in his playing. And I saw a short video about his recording technique. Some nice expensive mics and preamps. AND he plugs his Maton in direct as well, and uses a little of that in the mix.

I have A Maton TE, and a 314ce. Apogee Duet. Mac computer, so far using Garageband, and am fairly proficient. AT 2050 LD mic.

Opinions please- what would be a good next purchase. Preamp? (or are the pres in the Apogee good enough). Matched pair of mics? (or add another for mid-side effect)
Upgrade to Logic?
Thanks very much for your opinions, this board hasn't failed me yet. Much appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 08-07-2013, 09:43 AM
GregEL GregEL is offline
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You have great equipment. An Apogee Duet and a Mac is a match made in heaven. Duet pres are excellent. I think your search for a good sound should be elsewhere.

How are you recording right now? Just the one mic? Some options are to use the output of the Taylor into one of the inputs of the Duet and the mic into the other. Another option is to get another mic and record with two mics (that's what I do). There's a ton of internet advice on mic placement which is the single most important factor in getting a good sound.

By the way Logic has just been upgraded if you want to try it. I use a little older version. Solo fingerstyle guitar is a comparatively simple recording process so you won't be using much of Logic's capabilities but so what? Garageband is no slouch either and for what you're doing it's really all you need.

I use two mics in a spaced pair configuration (use headphones when placing mics to fing the "sweet spot"). Record clean onto two tracks. You can add a little reverb, compression, limiting, etc. to taste later. Up to you how you want it to sound.

Good luck!
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:50 AM
DoryDavis DoryDavis is offline
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Thanks for that advice. I agree the Apogee seems really good and clean, easy to use too. I've been a Mac user since the git go. Huge fan.
The AT 2050 has the 3 different pickup patterns. In retrospect that was probably a mistake in a way- just not sure how to get close to a good sound. I am just recording in my smaller office.I don't hear much in the way of reflected sound- should I be using the omni, closer in, the figure 8, or the cardiod a couple feet from the neck joint. No luck so far with any of those methods.

The Taylor, direct, actually sounds real good, the idea of combining it with a mic seems intuitively good.
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  #4  
Old 08-07-2013, 09:55 AM
softballbryan softballbryan is offline
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Tommy combines pickup and mic. I'd start there.
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  #5  
Old 08-07-2013, 10:11 AM
GregEL GregEL is offline
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Use the mic and the pickup, when setting recording levels even out the inputs. Also you want to set the EQ knobs on the Taylor flat (to start) and EQ (shouldn't need much) in your DAW. On the Taylor set the volume level just backed off a bit from max.

Use the cardioid setting on the mic. A couple of feet away is too far. Common wisdom is to place the mic about twelve inches from the twelfth fret to start. I usually set mine closer.

I want to stress the importance of using headphones when placing the mic. If you don't have some get some. I use AKG K240's but there's plenty of good ones. Here is where you can spend some money.

When setting the input level for the mic wear the headphones and move the mic around until you find the "sweet spot". You'll know it when you hear it. Sometimes just an inch or two in any direction can make a huge difference. Spend some time doing this - it's the make or break of your recorded sound.

Again, good luck!
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  #6  
Old 08-07-2013, 10:11 AM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
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Which near field monitors are you using?

How is your room treatment?
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  #7  
Old 08-07-2013, 10:18 AM
GregEL GregEL is offline
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sdelsolray has a good point - your monitors are important and is another place to spend money. For a small office 5" monitors are fine. I use Yamaha HS 50m's and are happy with them. They've just been upgraded with a different model name but you can find them easy enough.

If you're using the guitar pickup and a cardioid mic fairly close in with a quiet room you probably don't need to mess with room treatment. Just sayin'.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:24 AM
DoryDavis DoryDavis is offline
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Thanks for the advice on mic placement. OK I will try that. My headphones I think are decent- SONY MDR 7506. They say "Studio Monitor" on top so that must mean something (ha).

On the (good) questions about the near field monitors, and the room. The room I have done nothing to. I record in the middle of it. Hardwood floor, perhpas 10x10 foot space. All hard surfaces, just posters on the walls.However, for whatever reason, it seems pretty dead.
I have an option on that- we have a living room with hardwood floors, and a little natural reverb. It sounds nice down there, do i want that or add reverb in the mix?
On the near field monitors, that is where I am falling down. I just have the Klipsch consumer system, with sub. It sounds great for cd's and files off computer. Definitely not designed for mixing, I realize. If I got, say an active pair of monitors, which would be a good buy? Also, how do I hook them into the system, do I need a mixer for that? I DO understand their positioning, the isoceles triangle idea, and keeping them out of the corners...Thanks again everyone
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:26 AM
DoryDavis DoryDavis is offline
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Whoops, posts crossed in the ether. I'll check intto he Yamahas thanks
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:38 AM
GregEL GregEL is offline
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Your headphones should work just fine. Record clean and add reverb later. With the direct input from the Taylor (which won't pick up any room sound) and the cardioid mic relatively close to your guitar you won't get much of the room reverb most likely.
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  #11  
Old 08-07-2013, 11:28 AM
GregEL GregEL is offline
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Forgot to add: there are outs on the Duet you use to hook up the monitors.

Easy-peasy!
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  #12  
Old 08-07-2013, 12:50 PM
DoryDavis DoryDavis is offline
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Oh I see, yes I noticed the outs- got it, that is easy
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  #13  
Old 08-07-2013, 12:51 PM
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I heard good reviews on the Equator D5 monitors; I'm considering getting them.

I don't have pickups in my guitars. I prefer to use 2 mics in a spaced pair arrangement. Right now I'm using an Octava MC-012 and a FatHead ribbon. I'm considering getting a pair of ADK A6's. It takes some experimentation to find the right mic configuration and positioning.
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  #14  
Old 08-07-2013, 03:45 PM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoryDavis View Post
Thanks for the advice on mic placement. OK I will try that. My headphones I think are decent- SONY MDR 7506. They say "Studio Monitor" on top so that must mean something (ha).

On the (good) questions about the near field monitors, and the room. The room I have done nothing to. I record in the middle of it. Hardwood floor, perhpas 10x10 foot space. All hard surfaces, just posters on the walls.However, for whatever reason, it seems pretty dead.
I have an option on that- we have a living room with hardwood floors, and a little natural reverb. It sounds nice down there, do i want that or add reverb in the mix?
On the near field monitors, that is where I am falling down. I just have the Klipsch consumer system, with sub. It sounds great for cd's and files off computer. Definitely not designed for mixing, I realize. If I got, say an active pair of monitors, which would be a good buy? Also, how do I hook them into the system, do I need a mixer for that? I DO understand their positioning, the isoceles triangle idea, and keeping them out of the corners...Thanks again everyone
I would suggest a pair of nearfield monitors first. Along with that, you would need to put them in an appropriate configuration (equilateral triangle with the two monitors and your head as the three points of the triangle). That might require a studio table or something similar.

Second, you might want to get a second microphone.

Third, you could look into making about half a dozen 2' x 4' x 4" bass traps using Dow Corning 703 sheets and burlap fabric to cover them.
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  #15  
Old 08-07-2013, 04:10 PM
DoryDavis DoryDavis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdelsolray View Post
I would suggest a pair of nearfield monitors first. Along with that, you would need to put them in an appropriate configuration (equilateral triangle with the two monitors and your head as the three points of the triangle). That might require a studio table or something similar.

Second, you might want to get a second microphone.

Third, you could look into making about half a dozen 2' x 4' x 4" bass traps using Dow Corning 703 sheets and burlap fabric to cover them.
Thanks, if I made the bass traps, would it be best to use those in the living room or in the smaller office?
Or does it matter? I think I am going to get some near field monitors. I checked out the Yamahas' suggested above, they look good. Any other suggestions? Thanks again.
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