mixing acoustic guitar?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by rod horncastle, Nov 18, 2005.


  1. rod horncastle

    rod horncastle Member

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    Hey guys! just wanted to get your opinions on acoustic guitar e.q. ing. I used to always try to capture these huge beautiful smooth acoustic sounds but the more I listen to bands with acoustic guitars in the mix it seems that big beautiful Martin acoustic gets mixed down to sound like a thin $200 yamaha to fit better in the mix????

    I've been listening to Blue Rodeo/Eagles/Bob Dylan.....those are some pretty thin sounding guitars. Wouldn't it be easier to just grab a thin sounding Yamaha to record with as opposed to those nice thick Martin's & Gibson's that you have to thin out later. Just curious what you all think on the science of the subject?
     
  2. melondaoust

    melondaoust Member

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    Well, my theory is that "You can take away, but you can't add..."

    If you hear a Yamaha out of a Martin through eq'ing, it's one thing. But, no amount of eq'ing will make a Yamaha sound like a Martin when you need the Martin.

    Generally, when I mix acoustic, I do remove some of the lower frequencies so that it does sit better, but try to keep it rich in the mids and highs. I don't have a formula - every track calls for something different, so I go by my ears. A parametric eq works best for this sort of stuff.

    Don't forget also that panning is just as vital as eq in the mix. You can pan the acoustic with a full range into it's own pocket in the mix, but still be carefull that it doesn't muddy up something else in the mix (particularly in the lows.)

    Plenty of articles floating on the net that talk about mixing in general. You can probably Google some.

    Just my $0.02.

    Good luck dude!:D
     
  3. Mondoslug

    Mondoslug Supporting Member

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    you could start by dumping a bit around 100hz or thereabouts.
     
  4. Greggy

    Greggy Member

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    When mixed in with an assortment of competing instruments, I always have to cut the low end, and thus thin out the sound. Recording only an acoustic and voice leaves more room for the low end in the mix. I have a buddy who sends me tracks of his acoustic (various Martins, he owns 5 or so models) and voice, I like how I can leave the lows in the mix without thinning the tone down.
     
  5. rod horncastle

    rod horncastle Member

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    Thats kind of what I was hoping you would say. THANKS
    I'm gonna have to find some of those articles on the net...
     
  6. mccreadyisgod

    mccreadyisgod Member

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    Mixing an acoustic guitar into a rock band is certainly a challenge... when you put an electric guitar, electric bass, and a rock drumset into the mix, there ain't much room for an acoustic to sit. Just to be heard, you need to EQ the acoustic to be thin-sounding, but within the mix, you don't miss that warm body tone (since the electric guitar and electric bass fill in those frequencies).

    When you strip the instrumentation down, it gets easier... with a single acoustic guitar and a single voice, there's a lot more room for warmth and body. Add some minimal acoustic bass and some light jazzy drumming, still a lot of room. Acoustics are meant to be full-range instruments, but trying to fit that with a rock band means muddy mixes and boomy low-end. It varies from case to case...

    Like melondaoust said, panning can open up your options a lot. And if you notch out some low-mid frequencies in the electric guitar and bass (somewhere around 400 Hz) you can get a little body in the acoustic in that range.
     

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