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Acoustic Guitar help!

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by mannyr, May 22, 2012.

  1. mannyr

    mannyr Active Member

    This is making me the most frustrated. I cannot get my acoustic guitar bit to sound good, it sounds like I'm recording it into my embedded laptop microphone, is it my playing? Here's some details:

    I used a Rode NT2 into the blue robbie into apogee duet 2, turned out weak (and all i could hear was the atonal sound of the pick)
    I tried a TLM 102 into the Blue Robbie into Apogee Duet 2, turned out worse, murky and unclear.

    I placed it where the bridge meets the body, not exactly in a live room however. I'm using a new Taylor guitar that I bought for 600 dollars.. I forget the model name, model names aren't on guitars, correct? I'll try to look it up for you guys, but can you at leas tell me where I went wrong?

    EDIT: Im pretty sure its the 210
  2. GZsound

    GZsound Active Member

    Doesn't the Apogee have preamps built in?

    I would try the shortest, most simple signal chain first. Go from mic to the Apogee, make sure you have phantom power turned on and make sure you have given the mic enough gain.

    Something is wrong in your signal chain, not your guitar.
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Although the 210 series are not the top-of-the-range, those Taylors are great recording guitars. You should find the model number on the label visible through the sound hole.

    The NT2-A is a high-output mic and the Duet2 has a huge amount of gain available (75dB), so there is no reason not to get sufficient signal level. You need to have the NT2-A set to cardioid pattern for this application.

    I would take GZ's advice and leave the Blue Robbie out of it until you have got everything working correctly just using the Duet. You can then evaluate the sonic differences between using the Duet's pre-amps on their own and the chain of the Blue Robbie pre-amps into the Duet's pre-amps. You'll need to keep the gain low in the Blue Robbie, as the Duet can handle only +20dBu max, and it would be easy to overload it. Make sure you turn the phantom power off in the Duet when you daisy-chain it with the Blue Robbie.

    Just a quick question: have you checked that you have the front of the NT2-A microphone (has the gold dot) facing the guitar?
  4. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Try a different mic placement. Start by aiming the mic at the point where the neck meets the body, about 6" - 8" away and angled down at the neck at about 20 degrees. This should give you a clearer sound, with less pick noise. Then adjust this placement as necessary to achieve the best tone. Point a little more toward the body for a fuller, more bassy tone, or point slightly up the neck for a more trebly tone.

    Depending on how this guitar is to be used in the mix, you may want to try recording with two mics: one placed the way I described above, the other placed aiming at the body of the guitar just below the bridge. Pan the neck mic to the right and the body mic to the left. This is good when the acoustic guitar comprises the main harmonic & rhythmic element of the mix.

  5. mannyr

    mannyr Active Member

    Thanks guys, I don't have the NT2-A I have the NT2, it was a rare rode mic that was only available for a short time.. I've heard the Robbie makes guitars sound great? I don't understand why your telling me not to use it? would the tlm 102 be better suited?
  6. mannyr

    mannyr Active Member

    by the way, its not a 210.. its a 110 :(
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    You started this thread because you are trying to solve a problem. Both GZ and I suggested you get things working with just the Duet before you put the Blue Robbie back in the chain.

    By all means try the TLM102 as well as the NT2. Neither of those mics is necessarily "better suited"; both should work well. You should decide whether you prefer the sound of one or the other working with that sound source in that acoustic environment and with the particular pre-amp(s) you want to use.
  8. GZsound

    GZsound Active Member

    Yeah...the point is to use the shortest signal chain to see what works and what doesn't. Running a preamp into a preamp isn't the best choice.

    You should be able to get a good clean guitar signal without an outboard preamp.

    You claim that the sound is murky and not clean. So....start with the most simple signal chain and work from there. By using two different mics, you have removed the microphone as the culprit. Next would be your preamps. Try different cables. Try moving the mic and the guitar to different places in your room. In other words, try everything using what you have.

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