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  #1  
Old 04-03-2019, 12:39 PM
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Default Recording acoustic played w/ Flesh and Nail

I've been gearing up to record some acoustic based songs and I've been having a hard time getting the sound recorded that I hear when I play with my fingers in the room.

With no picks, just flesh and nail the low end can be woofy and undefined, if you try to cut that out you can brighten the attack, makes it sound unnatural.

Recording a variety of small body guitars, Waterloo WL-12, Martin 00-15m, John How LBC, a Resonator,, Pono parlor 12,...

A friend suggested a AT 4031 for a mid priced pencil condenser for the neck joint area and by it's self, it's not there so I've been trying to find a dynamic to balance the sound from the body. What I've evened up buying w/ some research was a Shure 57a beta.
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Old 04-03-2019, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenT View Post
I've been gearing up to record some acoustic based songs and I've been having a hard time getting the sound recorded that I hear when I play with my fingers in the room.

With no picks, just flesh and nail the low end can be woofy and undefined, if you try to cut that out you can brighten the attack, makes it sound unnatural.

Recording a variety of small body guitars, Waterloo WL-12, Martin 00-15m, John How LBC, a Resonator,, Pono parlor 12,...

A friend suggested a AT 4031 for a mid priced pencil condenser for the neck joint area and by it's self, it's not there so I've been trying to find a dynamic to balance the sound from the body. What I've evened up buying w/ some research was a Shure 57a beta.
This looks like a rather odd mic placement. A sample file of what you're getting would allow the best feedback. Also, what's the style? Solo guitar, guitar+vocals?

In general, I go for getting the right sound going in, with mic placement, and so on, not relying on EQing afterwards. If it's solo guitar, stereo can make a big difference in opening up the sound and getting rid of that "woofy" sound. Usually this is done with a pair of similar mics, tho your 57 might be ok with the 4031, but I'd suggest different mic placement.
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Old 04-03-2019, 01:23 PM
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You might post a sample recording.

Selective frequency cuts with an equalizer can be more effective than a simple high pass shelf.

Microphones that close to a barrier often creates unnatural artifacts.
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Old 04-03-2019, 02:55 PM
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I don't have the experience level of Doug or Rick, but I recently started using a pair of AT 2035 (large condensers) with a High pass at 60 and low pass at 20k to take out the rumble and buzz in my eq, along with other eq'ing. A sample of a recent recording is in my signature. When you shop for mics, keep an eye on the self noise. My AT 2035s are at 12.
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Old 04-03-2019, 03:00 PM
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As per Doug and Ric a sample would be good.

Confused by exactly what you mean by
"the low end can be woofy and undefined, if you try to cut that out you can brighten the attack, makes it sound unnatural."

How does cutting the low end brighten the attack ? Cutting lows should have no effect on the highs. More detail on exactly what you are doing would be good.


Undefined low is usually either mic placement or room reflection build up (BTW the foam will do little if any low end absorption)
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Old 04-03-2019, 03:13 PM
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I should have said I was overjoyed with the sound I'm finally getting. I've done the large condenser, OK playing w/ picks, not for flesh and nail.

As to the unusual mic placement, 4031 pointed to the 12th fret or thereabouts, 57a on the body seems pretty logical. I've found I can adjust my seating position to accommodate different guitars. I position about two feet away from the mics.

I'm recording just acoustic guitars w/ this set up. I've been working w/ my Waterloo WL-12 on this particular track.

I've done one test recording, I'll see if the guitar part is consumable, not a keeper by any means, if it is I'll post later tonight.

Thanks Doug,..

getting good picked acoustic sound have never been an issue for me. again, playing w/ fingers only is a completely different animal to record in my experience and talking w/ my engineer buddies, that's been their experience as well.

I'm am using the mics in stereo, it's lovely. 4031 center and the 57a to the right wide is quite nice.

Last edited by stephenT; 04-03-2019 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 04-03-2019, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenT View Post
As to the unusual mic placement, 4031 pointed to the 12th fret or thereabouts, 57a on the body seems pretty logical. I've found I can adjust my seating position to accommodate different guitars. I position about two feet away from the mics..
Maybe the photo angle is making it look odd. A typical spaced pair setup looks more like this:

Screen Shot 2019-04-03 at 2.21.02 PM.jpg

but obviously this is shot from a different angle. As with all things musical, whatever works for you works, but since you're saying you don't like the sound you're getting (I think?), mic placement is the first thing to question.

note that if you're going to be adding other instruments, stereo may not even be the best choice for guitar. Maybe... I like stereo, but usually in a mix with other instruments, people use mono
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Old 04-03-2019, 03:49 PM
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I'd suggest you back the foam panels off a foot and a half or so. I've done that myself but always ended up with strange things like comb filtering or phasing.
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:47 PM
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I think the angle must have made it look strange and i see in the photo the 4031 is pointing in the wrong direction,...

but no,.. I said I'm finally liking the sound I'm getting, true to the guitar. No phase cancellation, just the right amount of room, couldn't be happier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
Maybe the photo angle is making it look odd. A typical spaced pair setup looks more like this:

Attachment 21064

but obviously this is shot from a different angle. As with all things musical, whatever works for you works, but since you're saying you don't like the sound you're getting (I think?), mic placement is the first thing to question.

note that if you're going to be adding other instruments, stereo may not even be the best choice for guitar. Maybe... I like stereo, but usually in a mix with other instruments, people use mono
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenT View Post
I think the angle must have made it look strange and i see in the photo the 4031 is pointing in the wrong direction,...

but no,.. I said I'm finally liking the sound I'm getting, true to the guitar. No phase cancellation, just the right amount of room, couldn't be happier.
Ok, I’m totally confused. You love your sound. What are you asking about?

EDIT: hope I didn't sound snippy here, I was typing on my phone. Home now. Seriously, if you have the sound dialed in, and it's true to the guitar, it sounds like you're 100% there? That's what most people strive for, so I think you're in good shape.
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Last edited by Doug Young; 04-03-2019 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 04-03-2019, 07:36 PM
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I didn't state my position very well at all, I apologize. It was late, after a gig and a beer.

Wasn't asking for help, it was a "hey, this worked for me" post. My attempt to be helpful.

The 57a on the body of the guitar to my ear is less clinical than a condenser. The 57a has a wider frequency response than a traditional sm57 w/ a bit more gain. So the two together, the AT 4031 and the sm 57a capturing different details of the sound is a great combination for me. Wasn't hugely expensive either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
Ok, I’m totally confused. You love your sound. What are you asking about?

EDIT: hope I didn't sound snippy here, I was typing on my phone. Home now. Seriously, if you have the sound dialed in, and it's true to the guitar, it sounds like you're 100% there? That's what most people strive for, so I think you're in good shape.
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Old 04-03-2019, 07:41 PM
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OK, I think we all focused on your statement of:

"I've been having a hard time getting the sound recorded"

I guess you meant "I *was* having a hard time, now I'm not" :-)

Congratulations. It'd be great to hear the sound you're getting!
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