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Natural Sounding Acoustic Guitar Recording

posted on #1
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Hi, I'm a new kid on the block here, this is my first forum post so hope I'm posting this in the right section...

I was looking for advice on getting a more natural sound when recording acoustic guitar. I'm looking for a softer, less harsh sound suitable for vocal accompaniment recordings. I've been using a sound hole pickup on my Ovation and although convenient for eliminating outside or surrounding sounds while recording it's really not the tone or sound I'm trying to get. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm using Sonar Home Studio as my DAW so any tips on recording settings and mixing etc. I'm sure will help.
posted on #2
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Use a mic---play in your closet thats full of clothes plus use the pickup
and record on two tracks --then mix those two together to get the sound you want---also you can use the DAW's acoustic simulators--with the built in EQ ect....
posted on #3
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Hi! I have a ton of acoustic recordings in my profile and often get asked how I did it.
Micing is often the answer. You will want a one directional cardoid lile a Rhodes or Sure Sm57.

I know exactly what you mean " softer less harsh".

Placement is everything. For a soft sound try the bathroom and place one mic by the soundhole but here is a trick....slightly point it toward the neck as well so its half picking up the soundhole, half the neck. This will eliminate boominess. Ill post a sample . You can also check out member Arnosolo who is also very good with acoustic micing.I do two mics usually but that will get you started. Ill post a good sample....

#141207

#127834 - was recorded two sure sm57s in the bathroom . one at soundhole aimed slightly toward neck and second one above it pointing downward.
Edited by LeftTheLoops9-18 on August 14 2018 00:51
posted on #4
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GemmyF wrote:
Use a mic---play in your closet thats full of clothes plus use the pickup
and record on two tracks --then mix those two together to get the sound you want---also you can use the DAW's acoustic simulators--with the built in EQ ect....



The best results I've had so far are by recording on two tracks, panning one left and one right and nudging one back slightly but I recorded with a pickup so I'll try it using a mic as you suggested, Thanks for those tips Jim, I'll give them a try. Think I need a bigger closet though lol! I appreciate it
posted on #5
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hjuy8`
Relativity wrote:
Hi! I have a ton of acoustic recordings in my profile and often get asked how I did it.
Micing is often the answer. You will want a one directional cardoid lile a Rhodes or Sure Sm57.

I know exactly what you mean " softer less harsh".

Placement is everything. For a soft sound try the bathroom and place one mic by the soundhole but here is a trick....slightly point it toward the neck as well so its half picking up the soundhole, half the neck. This will eliminate boominess. Ill post a sample . You can also check out member Arnosolo who is also very good with acoustic micing.I do two mics usually but that will get you started. Ill post a good sample....

#141207

#127834 - was recorded two sure sm57s in the bathroom . one at soundhole aimed slightly toward neck and second one above it pointing downward.




I have one Sure sm57 mic so will take your advice re directing it towards the neck slightly so

thanks for all your advice...I'll listen to those tracks this evening for sure, thanks for taking

the time, I appreciate it:)
posted on #6
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I did a sample of just a guitar mic'd with one mic and played various technics -- I never when I pan, pan all the way left or all the way right---and I like to have them move as the music moves---on this recording I kept basically one Track in the middle stereo ---the track I put reverb on I panned around as I felt it helped the music
[wl]144259[/wl]

Also I did use the suggestions of Joe(Relativity) but when I was finger picking I brought my guitars sound hole closer to the mic.....

I put a description in the track 🤩

One of my favorite "RECORDING ARTIST" is XTC in one article Andy Partridge states that when he's playing electric guitar he puts a big diaphragm mic on his neck as the notes are so clear there and they add them to the amps they use--Their production is Stellar!

I moved my position maybe 12 inches closer or further away by leaning back and pivoting my torso to keep from over powering the mic when playing hard and getting the sound hole right on the strings when I WAS FINGER PICKING
Edited by GemmyF on August 14 2018 02:46
posted on #7
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That's some really good advice Jim, thanks so much for that demonstration track, it really helps. My Ovation doesn't have that full body tone that your Gibson has but I have Martin Sigma that does so need to restring it and try some of those suggestions...thanks again
posted on #8
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bluvation wrote:
GemmyF wrote:
Use a mic---play in your closet thats full of clothes plus use the pickup
and record on two tracks --then mix those two together to get the sound you want---also you can use the DAW's acoustic simulators--with the built in EQ ect....



The best results I've had so far are by recording on two tracks, panning one left and one right and nudging one back slightly but I recorded with a pickup so I'll try it using a mic as you suggested, Thanks for those tips Jim, I'll give them a try. Think I need a bigger closet though lol! I appreciate it


You could open your closet up and have your mic in there or depending on the size you could pay at the door---main thing is the soft sound absorbing behind the mike as the sound of your guitar passes past it and into the clothes ---but you should try joes way to get that tile bounce as well that might work really great for you too
Edited by GemmyF on August 14 2018 05:25
posted on #9
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For post processing to further soften a hard acoustic I will often run an eq on the acoustic track . Ill often drop around 315-325 hz about -12 db. This will clear any boominess or mix mud on the acoustic or any other instrument for that matter.

Then I will run a multiband compressor or a limiter on the track to even it out volume wise. You would be surprised how doing that cleans up the aound nicely to the way you actually heard yourself. I use c3 compressor and Molot limiter.

I also run the acoustic thru a preamp saturator called Density mk3 which i am a huge fan. Density has some presets that will smooth and slick the acoustic nicely.Equing post recording may be something to explore.
Edited by LeftTheLoops9-18 on August 14 2018 07:07
posted on #10
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Some really great advice from you both, thanks again for your help, if I can get even close to the sound of your acoustic recordings I'll be happy. Thanks again guys, I really appreciate it.
posted on #11
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Relativity wrote:
For post processing to further soften a hard acoustic I will often run an eq on the acoustic track . Ill often drop around 315-325 hz about -12 db. This will clear any boominess or mix mud on the acoustic or any other instrument for that matter.

Then I will run a multiband compressor or a limiter on the track to even it out volume wise. You would be surprised how doing that cleans up the aound nicely to the way you actually heard yourself. I use c3 compressor and Molot limiter.

I also run the acoustic thru a preamp saturator called Density mk3 which i am a huge fan. Density has some presets that will smooth and slick the acoustic nicely.Equing post recording may be something to explore.


I downloaded Density Mk2 (free download) thanks for telling me about it, it's really a great plugin!:W
I couldn't find a link for the mk.3 download Is there much of a difference?
posted on #12
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bluvation wrote:
Relativity wrote:
For post processing to further soften a hard acoustic I will often run an eq on the acoustic track . Ill often drop around 315-325 hz about -12 db. This will clear any boominess or mix mud on the acoustic or any other instrument for that matter.

Then I will run a multiband compressor or a limiter on the track to even it out volume wise. You would be surprised how doing that cleans up the aound nicely to the way you actually heard yourself. I use c3 compressor and Molot limiter.

I also run the acoustic thru a preamp saturator called Density mk3 which i am a huge fan. Density has some presets that will smooth and slick the acoustic nicely.Equing post recording may be something to explore.


I downloaded Density Mk2 (free download) thanks for telling me about it, it's really a great plugin!:W
I couldn't find a link for the mk.3 download Is there much of a difference?


No i probably made a typo. The presets rule on that. You can run it on your final mix. I use "glueing" " non linear amp" abd " pinning " alot . it will beef up your mix nicely and smooth it out.You got the right one. I run it individually each instrument and also entire final mix.
Edited by LeftTheLoops9-18 on August 15 2018 01:09
posted on #13
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Relativity wrote:
bluvation wrote:
Relativity wrote:
For post processing to further soften a hard acoustic I will often run an eq on the acoustic track . Ill often drop around 315-325 hz about -12 db. This will clear any boominess or mix mud on the acoustic or any other instrument for that matter.

Then I will run a multiband compressor or a limiter on the track to even it out volume wise. You would be surprised how doing that cleans up the aound nicely to the way you actually heard yourself. I use c3 compressor and Molot limiter.

I also run the acoustic thru a preamp saturator called Density mk3 which i am a huge fan. Density has some presets that will smooth and slick the acoustic nicely.Equing post recording may be something to explore.


I downloaded Density Mk2 (free download) thanks for telling me about it, it's really a great plugin!:W
I couldn't find a link for the mk.3 download Is there much of a difference?




No i probably made a typo. The presets rule on that. You can run it on your final mix. I use "glueing" " non linear amp" abd " pinning " alot . it will beef up your mix nicely and smooth it out.You got the right one. I run it individually each instrument and also entire final mix.


Can't believe it's a free download, I can tell already it will be getting a lot of use, thanks again.

Do you have a favorite preset you use? The default is a good starting point but I liked the final mix PS and some of the others.
Edited by bluvation on August 15 2018 02:20
posted on #14
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bluvation wrote:
Relativity wrote:
bluvation wrote:
Relativity wrote:
For post processing to further soften a hard acoustic I will often run an eq on the acoustic track . Ill often drop around 315-325 hz about -12 db. This will clear any boominess or mix mud on the acoustic or any other instrument for that matter.

Then I will run a multiband compressor or a limiter on the track to even it out volume wise. You would be surprised how doing that cleans up the aound nicely to the way you actually heard yourself. I use c3 compressor and Molot limiter.

I also run the acoustic thru a preamp saturator called Density mk3 which i am a huge fan. Density has some presets that will smooth and slick the acoustic nicely.Equing post recording may be something to explore.


I downloaded Density Mk2 (free download) thanks for telling me about it, it's really a great plugin!:W
I couldn't find a link for the mk.3 download Is there much of a difference?




No i probably made a typo. The presets rule on that. You can run it on your final mix. I use "glueing" " non linear amp" abd " pinning " alot . it will beef up your mix nicely and smooth it out.You got the right one. I run it individually each instrument and also entire final mix.


Can't believe it's a free download, I can tell already it will be getting a lot of use, thanks again.

Do you have a favorite preset you use? The default is a good starting point but I liked the final mix PS and some of the others.


If i am happy with overall raw signal and just want some depth, I use " non linear amp". If I have something like a bass that I maybe wabt to push slightly back ill use pinning. Pinning kind of squashes down the middle of the track. I may use Big Picture or Larger then life to make a Big Tall mix. Glueing i use alot to blend a singer into my original mix once I get the volume level correct in mono.It blends everything slightly.
Ill reply with some other good ones when I get home. Density is a great one.
posted on #15
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I've become a big fan of this guy's videos. Here's one that may be relevant to this thread! [youtube]lfEgKbPOKV0[/youtube]
posted on #16
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GrooveEnth wrote:
I've become a big fan of this guy's videos. Here's one that may be relevant to this thread! [youtube]lfEgKbPOKV0[/youtube]

I guess that's the difference between a home studio and a professional setup:D
posted on #17
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Isn't that what your walk-in closet looks like? :-P
posted on #18
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My clothes are like a compressor, and my mic is like a tin can, my guitar is like a cheap Sears and Roebucks mail order, and my playing is Amateur in the face of the Recording Session Player ---Thanks Neil!
posted on #19
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Joined: 02.06.18
Relativity wrote:
bluvation wrote:
Relativity wrote:
bluvation wrote:
Relativity wrote:
For post processing to further soften a hard acoustic I will often run an eq on the acoustic track . Ill often drop around 315-325 hz about -12 db. This will clear any boominess or mix mud on the acoustic or any other instrument for that matter.

Then I will run a multiband compressor or a limiter on the track to even it out volume wise. You would be surprised how doing that cleans up the aound nicely to the way you actually heard yourself. I use c3 compressor and Molot limiter.

I also run the acoustic thru a preamp saturator called Density mk3 which i am a huge fan. Density has some presets that will smooth and slick the acoustic nicely.Equing post recording may be something to explore.


I downloaded Density Mk2 (free download) thanks for telling me about it, it's really a great plugin!:W
I couldn't find a link for the mk.3 download Is there much of a difference?




No i probably made a typo. The presets rule on that. You can run it on your final mix. I use "glueing" " non linear amp" abd " pinning " alot . it will beef up your mix nicely and smooth it out.You got the right one. I run it individually each instrument and also entire final mix.


Can't believe it's a free download, I can tell already it will be getting a lot of use, thanks again.

Do you have a favorite preset you use? The default is a good starting point but I liked the final mix PS and some of the others.


If i am happy with overall raw signal and just want some depth, I use " non linear amp". If I have something like a bass that I maybe wabt to push slightly back ill use pinning. Pinning kind of squashes down the middle of the track. I may use Big Picture or Larger then life to make a Big Tall mix. Glueing i use alot to blend a singer into my original mix once I get the volume level correct in mono.It blends everything slightly.
Ill reply with some other good ones when I get home. Density is a great one.



Thanks...I appreciate it :)
posted on #20
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Posts: 46
Joined: 02.06.18
GrooveEnth wrote:
I've become a big fan of this guy's videos. Here's one that may be relevant to this thread! [youtube]lfEgKbPOKV0[/youtube]



Thanks, that's a really great informative video, I can see my mic placement is off from the opening few minutes...I was directing it at 45degs to that same spot at the end of the fret board but in the opposite direction...
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