#1September 27th, 2007 · 01:41 PM
49 threads / 42 songs
493 posts
United Kingdom
Acoustic Tone

This song is not in a battle

This is something that I literally recorded in half an hour, so don't expect anything stunning musically it's just an improv.

However, have you ever quested for that sparkly acoustic guitar tone on your recordings? Some of you will know all this stuff already, but for those who are new to recording acoustic guitar I thought I would upload this quick experiment I did and post an explanation as to how it was recorded.

Me ->
Yamaha FG730S dreadnought acoustic (solid top)->
Elixir Nanoweb *Phosphor Bronze* acoustic strings->
Condensor Mic about 1m away->
ART Studio V3 Tube Mic Preamp->
BBE MaxCom outboard Compressor with Sonic Maximiser->

The main chords were recorded twice and panned about 70pc either side. A recurring lead part was recorded, doubled, and panned about 90 pc to either side. The lead was recorded and hit dead centre, and had a bit more of Sonic Maximiser for bite through.

Production was relatively simple, mainly EQ work to differentiate the different parts, although I did add a little more light compression to fatten and tighten.

The track was then mastered.

Now, I know that this isn't 'perfect' acoustic tone. It is just a half-hour recording session with some new gear that ended up being a sum of its parts. I thought it would be nice to post some info for those who are curious as to what gear can help in the recording process for acoustic guitar.

A decent sounding acoustic. Trust me, sit in the shop and play them all. You can find a gem at $600 that beats alot of $1000 guitars.
Get decent strings. The elixir phosphor bronze sound miles ahead of anything ive ever bought.
If you are serious about recording acoustic guitar, a respectable mic pre and condensor mic will cost you a minimum of $200 each, but are well worth the investment. A simple dynamic mic can also record nicely such as the Shure SM-57, but you must position the mic carefully or it sounds nasteh.
Learn to use compression. Plugins are great; outboard gear means you cant adapt after recording but saves CPU time and can sound better.
Pay careful attention to EQ.

Anyway, good luck with your recordings and if you have any comments or criticisms of this short clip please feel free to say. Yes, I'm aware it is very 'bright', but that was the tone I was after for this particular style.


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#2October 1st, 2007 · 11:45 AM
64 threads / 13 songs
669 posts
United States of America
I agree, the tone is too bright, but if that's what you're going for then it's very clean.  The recording quality is great.  While composition wise it was a bit sloppy, I like the way you've recording the 3 tracks of lead.  Again, I disagree with your wide panning, both on the backing lead and rhythm, because when you stop, the entire sound scape collapses because it's too empty.

How are these strings in playability?  Are they, or do they get sticky easily?  And with about 2 to 3 a day, what kind of life should I expect?
#3October 2nd, 2007 · 06:47 PM
49 threads / 42 songs
493 posts
United Kingdom
Thanks for the comments. Yes guitars are panned fairly wide to give a nice wide sound with room for a vocal if anyone wanted to sing along a little with the chord progression. Strings are great to play, and last much longer than regular strings.

And PS if it was a composition it would be sloppy; however it was just an improv over a simple chord progression
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