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Acoustic guitar boominess

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Knobs, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Knobs

    Knobs Active Member

    I recently purchased a Blue "Bluebird" mic for about $300.00 and it does a great job on recording fiddles and banjos into my Tascam Neo2488, but I have a really nice old Martin 00-28 and I'll be darned I can't find the sweet spot for recording this guitar.

    I've tried it at the 14th fret about 12" away and even over the bridge about 24" away along with several other positions. No luck. Once I go ahead and record, I can add mid and highs in the mixer and get the guitar sound acceptable but not until. I intend to purchase a mic pre eventually.

    Any ideas in the meantime? Thanks in advance.
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    big mics pick up a lot of room. small mics pick up less room. is your recording area treated?

    i like a small digiaphgram cardioid condenser pointed at the neck of the guitar where it joins the body 9 to 12 inches away. if it's a good sounding room maybe a big room mic
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Yeah, a couple of SM57's. Stop screwing around with the condenser microphones in lousy sounding rooms. And that's what you learn as a location recording/broadcast engineer, real fast. I've made absolutely luscious and gorgeous sounding acoustic guitar recordings with a couple of 57's/58's. Also taking the direct from the acoustic guitar, perhaps with 1 ms of time delay. And in that way, the microphones will be more prominent than the direct because the direct is delayed in time. But not by enough time so as to be noticeable. No slap for instance. And then you still get the beautiful articulation from the strings. Along with all the fat sound you want from the 57/58's. It's a great way to record acoustic guitar. Screw the condenser microphone crap. And if you can't find the sweet spot, for that microphone, don't use that microphone. Now wasn't that simple?

    I'm simple. I like simple. Simple is good.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    but i like my akgs
  5. Knobs

    Knobs Active Member

    Oh, for land's sake, I never even thought of trying my 57's in spite of the fact that I use them a lot in live performance.
    Thank You.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    The nice thing about using 57/58's, is that they have a slightly narrower bandwidth. Along with their tight polar pattern, reducing extraneous outside interference. It all comes together to work for you. Those AKG C-451/452's are also excellent acoustic guitar condenser microphones. Extremely bright sounding, which doesn't always cut it. I like that 17,000 Hz rolloff that a 57/58 has. Quite useful actually. Broad banded recordings do not need to be 100% broadband. Guitars and keyboards, along with vocalists are certainly not broadband sources. So why record crap, you don't need? Most folks, over 40 can't hear beyond 15,000 Hz anyhow. Even if they can, they don't know it. They don't get regular broadband hearing tests, like we do. Most hearing tests don't go beyond 8-10 kHz. And I think my almost 89-year-old mother can still hear 8 kilohertz? Maybe not? She has nerve deafness that invokes a loss of clarity and consonants. I think when she was still in her 60s, I checked her out to 10,000 Hz? But that was over 30 years ago. I know what she can't hear today and it's most everything except for Opera. LOL.

    Nab clip gore snick blather. Mom are you listening to me? I did not tell you where to stick your brush.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  7. Knobs

    Knobs Active Member

    I recorded a standup bass today for 5 different tunes. I did all the recording with my Shure 57 wrapped in foam and wedged in under the tailpiece with just the top of the mic sticking out just as though I was playing live at a venue somewhere instead of at my home studio. I was very pleasantly surprised at how it captured the low-end frequencies so well.

    I now think that when it's time to record my 00-28 Martin, the 57 will do just fine. Thanks again, everyone who responded.
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Standup, upright basses really do sound quite nice with that 57, doesn't it? And that's because of its high and low frequency bandwidth limitations. I keep trying to explain this to people that all think that they need 20-20,000. Now you just discovered that ain't necessary. It's great when the microphone doesn't go much lower than 50 Hz, and nothing really needed above 17,000 Hz. This same concept can be said, and compared to People Who drive, Mini Coopers, MB Smart Cars to commute to and from work. Instead of large Cadillacs, SUV's and large Chevy/Ford vans. All that extra space is nice, but at what cost? What's the necessity? Though I must say, my Chevy Van, it is a lot more fun and a lot more comfortable at the drive-in movie theater. Yup. We have one of the last in the country with the largest screen in the USA, in Baltimore, Maryland. I park it backwards and lay down in the queen sized bed in the back of the van. Can't do that with a Mini Crapper or a Smartass Car.

    $3.91 per gallon today for regular. OMG! Not going to too many more drive-in movies, I think?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  9. Knobs

    Knobs Active Member

    It's day two and I still can't get over it. What an incredible mic the 57 is on my standup! Thanks again. There's a drive-in movie sight in Elizabethton, TN. I go by it a couple times a week when I'm playing Bluegrass over that way.:)
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    The one in Baltimore is great. It's called the BENGIES Drive-in Theater. On the far east side of Baltimore, a few miles outside the Beltway, behind Martin State Airport, where the last of the A-10 Warthogs can be seen sitting on the tarmac. We use a very nice, actual, broadcast FM transmitter and a cinematic Dolby stereo movie theater playback processor at 106.9 FM stereo and 840 AM, which I helped to maintain. I used to live three blocks from the place. When I was 18. Still family owned, and now a historic Baltimore landmark. I actually went to some Baltimore County Council meetings on behalf of the theater which was trying to be displaced for a shopping center. There is only about 300 left in the country, where there was 4000. When we were kids. This places been in business since 1956, and it's right on the waterfront.

    We were having some interference problems from another radio station. But there is no 106.9 radio stations within 100 mile radius. So I had to find out what station was interfering. It turned out to be a radio station from Hampton Virginia, near Portsmouth, Virginia beach area. That's farther away from the movie theater than 200 miles. FM is supposed to be line of sight as its VHF. I was even getting it in stereo. This is on one of those little toy battery-operated receivers without a speaker and only an earphone jack. That fits in a shirt pocket. I figured because the theater was right on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay, the signal is coming up through the water. It's not often you can get FM skip. It flies in the face of physics. It was fun. When I called the station and talked to the Chief Engineer, he was really amazed. These things just don't happen at these distances on those frequencies. It's a good classic rock station rather automated though.

    I think we have another one somewhere outside of Richmond Virginia or is that Winchester? Much smaller I've been told. And this really truly is a piece of Americana. I remember going to see FRITZ THE CAT, when I was 15, on my bicycle, sitting on the road next to the drive-in movie theater. I've got good hearing so there was no problem listening to everybody's little speaker on their Windows. It was the first full-length feature animated film, RATED X. I finally got a copy of it, a couple of years ago. But they won't play good old-fashioned X-Rated movies at this Baltimore landmark theater. So we just watch movies. Great snack bar. The best ever.

    If you're ever in Baltimore folks, check out the BENGIES drive-in theater. Either take your kids or be one yourself. Tell them Remy sent you, then they'll say " who?" D. Edward Vogel, is the guy who owns it, runs it and is not only the projectionist, he does all of the announcements. He's an absolute blast, and we all go back to the projection booth behind the snack bar. After the movies are all over to stand around and kibitz with him for nearly an hour. It's one of the most enjoyable pieces of American history, one can still take advantage of today. And he always plays all of the top feature films, three on Friday and Saturday nights and two on Sunday for nine bucks per person. Special dusk till Dawn shows on the Memorial and Labor Day weekend's. It's awesome! Check them out on the Internet. They've got multiple sites. Sign up, and you will be e-mailed every Thursday. They operate until early November. They start up the first peak of spring.

    I can't say enough about them, but I think I have?
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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