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  #31  
Old 02-23-2010, 07:15 AM
KevWind KevWind is offline
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Originally Posted by Bong Twang Ping View Post
Too right, I thought the learning curve was steep enough.... I might as well give up on recording and go climb Everest

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  #32  
Old 02-23-2010, 10:24 AM
Jack Orion Jack Orion is offline
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Well, to get away from the physics for a moment, there's a couple of things I always like to do when recording acoustic.

Firstly I try different miking positions and hardly ever just point at the soundhole. When we listen to guitar we don't just stick our ear by the soundhole, so I never mic there unless I want a really 'boomy' sound (which sometimes I do).

I've miked from over the shoulder, with the mic facing the wooden floor in front of the guitar and with a mic in an open cupboard about four foot from the guitar. I often hang duvets about in order to tame a little ringing in the less than perfect rooms I've been recording in.

I normally use a Rode NT1 (LDC) or a Rode NT55 (SDC, with omni capsule) but that's only because they're the only mics I've got!

I also change the pick I'm using, sometimes thick, sometimes thin, depending on what sound I get. For a lighter zingy sound, I like really thin picks, but more often use medium to thick picks and you get a bit more expression with them.

Once I've recorded the acoustic, in terms of treatment I try to limit it to eq and compression.

For EQ I'll put a high pass filter on as high as I can go without hearing anything I don't like. Due to the nature of the rooms I'm recording in, there's often a few little room frequencies that I'm not keen on, so I'll try to zero in on them and filter them out a bit. Sometimes I'll put a little high shelving on to add a bit of 'air' and sparkle, and I've been known to scoop the mids a little bit, which I find provides room for the vocals to sit in the mix.

For compression I generally only use it to bring down any aggressive strums by a few decibels, I wouldn't really recommend any heavy compression for acoustics.

All of this is only advice based on what I've learnt from recording myself (the music is on my myspace in my sig.) so take it with a pinch of salt, but I find it's served me well.
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  #33  
Old 02-23-2010, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Bong Twang Ping View Post
Too right, I thought the learning curve was steep enough.... I might as well give up on recording and go climb Everest
Science is useful, but I always liked the recipe for a good recording someone posted on gearslutz, which I think Fran Guidry shared with me. It went something like:

1. Record clean tracks
2. Turn knobs till it sounds good
3. Stop

Step 3's the hard part :-) What matters in the end is how it sounds, not how the math works out.
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  #34  
Old 02-23-2010, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
1. Record clean tracks
Record clean, pleasantly warm and balanced tracks. That is really what counts (but not all that easy). Get that right and very little if any post recording manipulation is needed (ok, almost always some reverb) for an acoustic guitar solo.
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  #35  
Old 02-23-2010, 11:39 PM
lppier lppier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
Science is useful, but I always liked the recipe for a good recording someone posted on gearslutz, which I think Fran Guidry shared with me. It went something like:

1. Record clean tracks
2. Turn knobs till it sounds good
3. Stop

Step 3's the hard part :-) What matters in the end is how it sounds, not how the math works out.
Hi Doug,

I've seen many of your video recordings for Acoustic Guitar magazine, and it always sounds great to me. Do you do any compression or eq-ing for these recordings? Even the Taylor baritone video with the H4n sounds really good!
I'm sure much of it comes from your playing but I would like to know maybe, how you did the eq-ing/compression, if any for maybe say, the Taylor baritone video.
How much a factor does the room in which you are recording in play?

Thanks!

Pier.
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  #36  
Old 02-24-2010, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by lppier View Post
Hi Doug,

I've seen many of your video recordings for Acoustic Guitar magazine, and it always sounds great to me. Do you do any compression or eq-ing for these recordings? Even the Taylor baritone video with the H4n sounds really good!
I'm sure much of it comes from your playing but I would like to know maybe, how you did the eq-ing/compression, if any for maybe say, the Taylor baritone video.
How much a factor does the room in which you are recording in play?
hi Pier, thanks. You know, on those AG videos, I try to do very little, generally nothing. They need to be honest, you know, unless I'm demoing something that's supposed to be processed. All the sound on the Bari demo is coming from H4n's mics, with no processing at all, other than making the sure the level was ok relative to my voice. I had the built-in H4n mics, and a single Schoeps above the screen for a vocal mic, all into the H4n. I seem to have deleted the project files already, so I can't double check, but I think I cut out the Schoeps during playing sections, so you're just hearing the H4's mics, and that's it. On the amp part, I just moved the H4 over in front of the amp. I had a bit of reverb on the amp. I actually may have compressed my voice on this, just to make it not sound so far away - I can't get the vocal mic very close without getting in the picture, but not the guitar.

Also, the funny thing is, I have this nice treated studio room, and I used it for some AG videos I did a while back, but I got tired of tripping over video gear in my music room, so the more recent videos, including the Bari-8 were shot in a completely untreated small 10x11 spare bedroom. I'm a believer in room treatment, but this untreated room's doing ok, at least for video.

If you want to hear what happens when you add some EQ, I just posted a performance video of that Bari-8 on You Tube earlier today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDbYbdd4Qn0

on this, I did a bit of stuff, since it wasn't for a review. You Tube's mangling the sound a bit, but it's close to the original, considering.

This was recorded in the same room, and again, I'm just using the H4n's mics, but I also added the pickup into an extra channel. I have this project, so I'm checking the details. There a tiny bit of compression on the mic track, I usually try to do it so I can't even see the meters move. Subliminal compression :-) There's a tiny high end boost (1.5 db at 12KHz), and a little midrange cut, -1db at 220Hz. The pickup track has a stereo expander on it, and a few db of EQ cut in the mids around 500Hz and a rolloff above 2KHz. The pickup is blended in 8 db below the mics, so its just a touch for some extra oomph. There's some reverb, and a light multi-band compressor over the final mix, just a sort of mastering step. If I was doing a recording to be professionally mastered, I would leave this off, and let the mastering guy do it if needed, but when I'm doing it myself, it just adds a little bit.

So there's a bunch of stuff there, but each one's pretty subtle. I can probably turn any single one of the processing modules off, and not really hear any difference, but they add up.

Again, this is just for my own stuff, not the AG demos.

Whew, that was long winded....
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  #37  
Old 02-25-2010, 06:29 PM
lppier lppier is offline
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Thanks for the detailed response Doug. Wonderful playing.
Currently I find that my room is boomy and I kind of have to struggle with positioning to get a clear sound - do you think I should get some bass traps to treat my room?
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  #38  
Old 02-25-2010, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by lppier View Post
Thanks for the detailed response Doug. Wonderful playing.
Currently I find that my room is boomy and I kind of have to struggle with positioning to get a clear sound - do you think I should get some bass traps to treat my room?
Sounds like a good idea. Room treatment is the most useful this you can do to get a better sound, I think.
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  #39  
Old 02-25-2010, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
If I was doing a recording to be professionally mastered, I would leave this off, and let the mastering guy do it if needed, but when I'm doing it myself, it just adds a little bit.
That's another good lesson learned, speaking for myself. When I did my first CD I first submitted tracks to the mastering engineer (Bill Wolf) with my own EQ and reverb and noise reduction - what was I thinking? One of the main jobs of the mastering engineer is to do all that stuff better than I ever could. So now I just do a mix, leave a "silent" header on each tune so the engineer can sample the ambient room noise and apply NR, and don't even think of touching the tracks with EQ, reverb etc. A good mastering suite is going to have room treatment and equipment a hundred times better than mine, and of course the right engineer is going to have ears and experience a hundred times better too. That's what one is paying for!

Doug, on a side note, are you fully cut over to Logic/Mac? I'm doing all my new stuff there now but still using Audition for any tricky audio cleanup (chiefly the wrist crack I will never get rid of!).
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  #40  
Old 02-25-2010, 11:21 PM
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A good mastering suite is going to have room treatment and equipment a hundred times better than mine, and of course the right engineer is going to have ears and experience a hundred times better too.
Yep, when Cass Anawaty mastered Anton Emery's CD, which I recorded (and Anton just received his CDs!) There were a couple of noise issues that I had trouble hearing even after he pointed them out to me. I eventually was able to hear and see the issues, so I know he wasn't making it up :-), but he said they were plain as day, with his ears and his environment, whereas for me, it was not something I'd have ever have noticed on my own. That's why you use these guys.

Quote:
Doug, on a side note, are you fully cut over to Logic/Mac? I'm doing all my new stuff there now but still using Audition for any tricky audio cleanup (chiefly the wrist crack I will never get rid of!).
yeah, I'm completely moved over. I'm using iZoptope RX for noise stuff, and it's pretty astounding - and it's the engine behind audition's stuff, so I don't miss that part. I found some nice visualization plugins from BlueCat that replace some of the phase and stereo image stuff in Audition. There are still some little annoyances, but all in all, it's working well for me. I was just messing with a multi-track thing with drums, bass,and overdubs, and there, it really shines. I would still like to find a nice wave editor for the mac for detail stuff. Peak seems really clunky, and that seems to be mostly what there is.
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