Recording acoustic guitars
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Old 17-04-2012, 11:01 AM   #1
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Recording acoustic guitars

Hi all

I am interested in recording my acoustic guitar into a few of my tracks and I was wondering which way was better in overall quality and sound:

- Directly connecting my electronic acoustic guitar into my interface and recording that way

or

- Using a mic and pre-amp

What, in your opinion, has a better over all sound and why? Thank you all!

I am new to recording live instruments

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Old 17-04-2012, 11:31 AM   #2
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Re: Recording acoustic guitars

Mic and preamp, imo.
It's called an acoustic guitar for a reason, imo.

Built-in mic/contact mic/pickup is good when playing live (at higher volume on stage).

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Old 17-04-2012, 11:34 AM   #3
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Re: Recording acoustic guitars

You could always record both and decide afterwards or blend the two.
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Old 17-04-2012, 11:35 AM   #4
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Re: Recording acoustic guitars

A tricky one. Generally speaking, miking an acoustic guitar will sound a lot better than using a piezo pickup. Now, if you've got a nice Taylor with the expression system, that might be different, but most under saddle pickups just don't sound that great compared to a nice acoustic, nicely miked.

Having said that, getting a good recording with a microphone takes a lot more work and practice. Do you have a good microphone? Do you have a nice sounding space to record in, or at least somewhere not too small. Recording over a hard surface is often used for acoustic guitars to get some reflections from the floor.

If you do go down the pickup route, one thing that can help is a fingerprint eq, something like Voxengo's Curve or Bias' RepliQ. You can take the audio of an acoustic guitar track that you like the sound of (the first few bars of Pink Moon, say), capture the fingerprint, then apply it to your recorded track. A pedal such as one of the Fishman Aura series uses a similar technique I think.

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Old 17-04-2012, 11:38 AM   #5
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Re: Recording acoustic guitars

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Originally Posted by MeshNation View Post

If you do go down the pickup route, one thing that can help is a fingerprint eq, something like Voxengo's Curve or Bias' RepliQ. You can take the audio of an acoustic guitar track that you like the sound of (the first few bars of Pink Moon, say), capture the fingerprint, then apply it to your recorded track. A pedal such as one of the Fishman Aura series uses a similar technique I think.
Thanks for sharing that.
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Old 17-04-2012, 11:39 AM   #6
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Re: Recording acoustic guitars

DI for acoustic is mainly for live or when you have a massive spill issue. A great mic for acoustic guitar is the AT4033, certainly my favourite. But many types of condenser will do a good job. If you are using one mic start position it 6 inches from where the neck meets the body and make a few test recordings. For stereo (my preferred choice for ac.guitar) put second mic 6 inches from body a couple of inches behind the bridge. Make some adjustments and you will be set, have fun.

(check the phase of this mics in mono or using stereo tool from FLUX or Voxengo Span)

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Old 25-04-2012, 09:53 PM   #7
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Re: Recording acoustic guitars

I'm using an AKG condenser mic, just sat infront of the soundhole, then EQ for a warm feel. It's the lazy way but sounds just as good as doing it the 'proper way' (directional condenser over the shoulder (aiming at the neck), omni directional just off the soundhole, sat on a stool while on a wooden floor). Any cheap condenser mic will do, but if you got the money, then it's a good investment!

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Old 25-04-2012, 11:25 PM   #8
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Re: Recording acoustic guitars

For a nice stereo effect, you can record your song in mono recording only different sections or riffs at a time, then do another recording and play the exact same thing. In your DAW, put the first recording on track 1 and pan it hard left. Take the 2nd recording and put it on track 2 and pan it hard right. Because you will play each section slightly different, you'll get a nice stereo effect when you have them playing at the same time.

Last edited by Syllix; 26-04-2012 at 04:54 AM..

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Old 26-04-2012, 04:22 AM   #9
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Re: Recording acoustic guitars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syllix View Post
For a nice stereo effect, you can record your song in mono recording only different sections or riffs at a time, then do another recording and play the exact same thing. In your DAW, put the first recording on track 1 and pan it hard left. Take the 2nd recording and pan it hard right. Because you will play each section slightly different, you'll get a nice stereo effect when you have them playing at the same time.
Putting names on it:
The recording technique is called dubbing, aka double tracking.
The "stereo effect" is called stereo chorus.

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Old 26-04-2012, 04:53 AM   #10
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Re: Recording acoustic guitars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evelon View Post
Putting names on it:
The recording technique is called dubbing, aka double tracking.
The "stereo effect" is called stereo chorus.
Thanks Evelon, didn't know that. This is why I love these forums.

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