Critique my acoustic tone

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by jrf, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. jrf

    jrf Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    Figured I'd get more input on the recording side of things by asking it in this section. I'd like some feedback (no pun intended:p) on the acoustic guitar in this recording. It's a cover of John Farnham's Burn For You. You can isolate it by panning all the way to the right. Signal chain is as follows:

    Cort Earth 200 with K&K Pure Mini - LR Baggs Para DI - Mbox 2 - Reaper. Reverb and delay (quavers at 97 bpm, treble rolled off at 800hz) added during post processing.



    EDIT: My guitar's panned hard right, the original artiste's recording is on the left. I just layered my guitar over it and split them left and right.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  2. swartzfeger

    swartzfeger Member

    Messages:
    87
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    I'm not a fan of electric acoustics or the tone. Would rather hear it miced up, just my taste. Electric acoustics seem so John Tesh-y, Windham Hill-ish slash pleasantly non-descript. For what it is, sounds ok.

    I'd say skip my opinion or that of acoustic 'purists' and if you like your sound and what you hear, go for it.

    What's important is the playing, and your fingerpicking is great.
     
  3. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

    Messages:
    16,415
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    Maineville, OH
    Mike it... imho...
     
  4. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,907
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Location:
    Bloomington, IL
    Mic it and use the K&K and blend the two to taste.

    Check out the recordings here... Good friend of mine I do guitar work for.

    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/davidberchtold

    Most of those guitar tracks are a K&K Pure Western Mini + L.R. Baggs Para DI (or a K&K Preamp, he uses both interchangeably.) and a Condenser mic on two separate tracks blended to taste. (A couple of tracks maybe otherwise.) I think that his acoustic tone is quite nice for a simple recording setup.

    The right channel on that recording is a bit loud v.s. the rest and a little bright and maybe a little dominant. I'd like to hear it lowered in vol a bit when the vocal comes in.

    Playing is nice and The vocal is really good could be punched up a bit more though. Are you adding any compression?
     
  5. 5cent

    5cent Member

    Messages:
    354
    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto
    count me in with the "acoustics get mic'd" crowd. i don't like the sound of pickups, and though they are a necessary evil for some live playing, i have no idea why someone would use a pickup on an acoustic for recording.

    but to each his own, and if you like it, then go for it!
     
  6. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,907
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Location:
    Bloomington, IL
    You can use it to get some nice sparkle in the tone by adding some to a mic'd track without needing to EQ the treble end of the spectrum. It's far from useless in a recording situation as it's an easy way to get a duplicate performance with an alternate source.

    When I saw Jackson Browne's Solo Acoustic show last year (Phenominal show BTW.) He had at least 20+ acoustics on stage and ran each with a pickup and a Mic... Absolutely the best live acoustic tone I've heard to date.
     
  7. jrf

    jrf Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    I don't currently have a mic, or a good room at my place to record the acoustic. I do agree on micing up; I've recorded this guitar with a an AKG 414 and Sterling ST51, and it does sound far better. Was just wondering if this tone would be usable for acoustic recordings in a pinch. Imo it does sound warmer and a little woodier than your standard undersaddle piezos.

    The vocal is the original recording by John Farnham. I just added my acoustic guitar track over it and panned it hard right. The original guitar can be heard on the left channel, it sounds... Very typically piezo-ish. Works for this song I guess, though I was aiming for warmer, woodier tone with my own track. Besides the mild delay and reverb, I have a little compression on the guitar just to even out the plucking dynamics. Tried my best, but the chord transitions were still a little tricky.
     
  8. jrf

    jrf Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    @3dognate: That is indeed very nice acoustic tone. A little thin for my taste, but that's personal preference. The string dynamics really do shine through better with a well placed mic or two.
     
  9. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    27,318
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    In a pinch, it's fine. That plugged in thin sound didn't stop Eric Clapton from having a multiplatinum "unplugged" album after all.

    However, like you said, getting an acoustic miked up is the best, even if it's just one mic placed right and in the mix futzed with to spread the signal width.
     
  10. odd

    odd Member

    Messages:
    932
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    What is your approach here?
     
  11. FFTT

    FFTT Member

    Messages:
    28,403
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    I mic'd my electric acoustic all the time for home recording.
    I just had to turn off the air handler and make sure no major appliances
    were running.

    If you want to boost the signal, you can patch a mic through almost
    any pre amp including a guitar processor clean channel.

    A condenser is best, but an SM58 or 57 will do in a pinch and still
    sound more natural than D/I
     
  12. Rex Anderson

    Rex Anderson Member

    Messages:
    4,782
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Too much finger on string squeak when you slide. Hard to EQ out but worth a try. Try to control it, lube your fingertips/strings a bit.

    May sound gross, but I have oily skin-I just run my finger tips on my forehead to get a bit of that natural oil/lube and run it up and down the stings until I can slide smooth with no squeaking.
     
  13. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

    Messages:
    3,536
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Yes, in a pinch it's good enough. The digital processing/feel sort of gets to me - it's "syrupy" to my ears and the intro just feels unnatural due to the faux stereo. Also, I don't know about anything else, but the panning to the right bit just ****s with me. I don't know if I can really be objective as such - it's so weird to have vocals on left and guitar on right.

    Yes, I'd agree. I've found a lot of techniques through the years - rubbing your finger down the side of your nose can work too! Mostly for me, it's changing brand/type of strings. For example, I cannot play phosphor bronze John Pearse strings - they squeak for me like nothing I've ever heard! But I can play almost any other brand of phosphor bronze without much trouble.
     
  14. jrf

    jrf Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    I panned it to the right cos it was just meant to be a guitar cover. I don't sing:p So I panned them apart so people could isolate it if they wanted to hear what I played. If course I don't pan actual recordings like that... Unless I'm trying to be funny. :p

    Agreed on the finger squeak. The strings were near band new D'addario phosphor bronze 12s. Sounded even noisier when I played at church the following day. I've considered coated strings (Elixir's nanowebs come to mind) to deal with it but I can't get over the slippery feeling. Makes holding complex chords difficult when your fingers slide around the place. Is there a solution that is a little nicer that facial oil? Haha. These D'addario's get a little quieter once they age for a few days though.
     
  15. SK Guitars

    SK Guitars Member

    Messages:
    84
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Ok.....that sounds direct and processed, which is not the sound most people want in an acoustic guitar tone. I record acoustic by stereo micing. I have a couple of stereo matched Octava's...but stereo matched mics are not necessary to record in stereo.

    Get a couple of decent mics. A couple of decent preamps. If you want recommendations I can give you some but first, go here

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=946299

    ...and listen to the opening acoustic of "The Man at the Art Store". That's a good example of a stereo mic'd acoustic.
     
  16. doublee

    doublee Member

    Messages:
    4,449
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    The Hudson Valley
    Sounds very good to me...
     
  17. 5cent

    5cent Member

    Messages:
    354
    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto
    Thanks for the explanation.

    Personally, I still maintain that a well mic'd (nice sounding) acoustic guitar will destroy a pickup'd acoustic (or blend thereof) any day. Live, of course, one sometimes needs to have the security of a pickup.

    If anyone cares to post examples of great pickup sounds, I'd love to check 'em out!!
     
  18. FFTT

    FFTT Member

    Messages:
    28,403
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Tom Petty's Face In The Crowd is one of my favorite acoustic tone references.

    Anything on Full Moon Fever or The Traveling Wilburys is a good reference.
     

Share This Page