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Is this a workable approach to tracking an acoustic guitar with an EV664?

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by jmm22, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    I am looking for a way to get a decent sound for acoustic guitar. I have tried a few different techniques that might be considered standard methods, without success. The sound is not appealing to my ear.

    In my random experimental efforts, I tried something that seems unconventional. I pointed an EV664 at the body of the guitar, about 3" behind the bridge, at a distance of about 7". I really like the middle and the high end, but the bass is shy. I needed a broad 15db boost on the low end (like a ski hill) to get the low end. I like the completed sound very much, but the EQ setting seems extreme to my naive and very limited understanding of how one might actually use EQ.

    So, I am curious to hear from others. Does this sound like a viable setup? Is this amount EQ extreme, and if so, what kind of problems might I encounter from using it?
     
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If you like it then it's viable. What you are describing is why acoustic guitar is often recorded with two mics-12th fret and bridge frequently-or with a stereo mic and a card on the 12th fret. You only have one mic so you have to make compromises. It's always easier to boost bass than add in non existent high freq's in my opinion.
     
  3. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    Sorry, I should have clarified that I do have multiple mics, two EV676's one 664, and really inexpensive large diaphram condenser, an Apex 415. The USB 6 has two ins. I suppose I could try adding another mic to see if I can capture some bass somewhere, hopefully without ruining the middle and high end, which is alarmingly good, aside from being very bass shy. I appreciate the insight from your last sentence. That is one of those fundamental observations that can be very helpful to a novice like me.
     
  4. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    Incidentally, I will apologize in advance if my questions start to proliferate significantly. Now that I actually have a workable DAW and an interface, I may finally be able to get some recording done, which might mean a steep learning curve thus requiring the knowledge of those with some expertise.
     
  5. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    The 664 seems to be a bit thin up close on guitars, which violates the usual trend of proximity effect. Perhaps it the arrangement of phasing ports that make it directional. I think it's worse on larger sources (guitar bodies) than smaller sources (mouths). Try putting your cheap LDC right next to it, getting the diaphragms as close as possible, and record both to separate tracks and see if you can get the bass from the LDC. Or just go ahead and eq as needed. If it sounds good it is good.
     
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I think you should start by trying to double mic the guitar. If the position you like were moved closer to the guitar and pointing towards the bridge or angled inward to the hole slightly and then point another mic about the 12th fret towards the wood just that side of the hole, I think you'll have better luck. Normally you get your highs from around the fretboard and the lows are usually from the body. Read this. Notice how close the mic's are to the guitar. Now of course they are using the highest end of microphones but the principals are pretty general.
     
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    BoulderSoundGuy gave some good specific advice about those microphones. I haven't used any of those particular EV microphones so there you go. The proximity effect is what I was shooting for on the bridge mic.
     
  8. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    I will try another mic soon, but in the interim, I just tried using my Seymour Duncan Magmic guitar pickup in conjunction with the mic, with some minor success. It does not seem to have the same punch or presence as the 664, and it tends to diminish the punch and presence, but it's a start to adding the bass.
     
  9. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Try putting a LPF on the pickup and/or inverting the polarity. You might also need to nudge the pickup track a little to the right to get them more in phase, perhaps something around half a millisecond. Note that the Magmic has a mic in it, so it may (or may not) make sense to adjust the blend all the way to the pickup side.
     
  10. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    Thanks for the reply. How do I put a low pass filter on the pickup? Do you mean use the EQ to create one? Bear in mind I am really still a novice.

    I did try a 676 near the soundhole, with much better success in filling out the bass. Not perfect, but much more natural than the magmic. 90% of the recording I want to do is acoustic guitar, mostly blues, or acoustic rock of sorts, and my gut feeling is once I find a sound I like, I will go to it exclusively as a signature sound. I really like the 664 close on the body. It is ultra sensitive to position, but it is getting me 80% of the sound I want, and that is the punchy middle. I am mixing in the cans at the moment, but I can tell there are just too many liabilities with this. I am getting a pair of KRK rokit 5's this week.
     
  11. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Now put one of the other mic's at the 12th fret pointing to where the fingerboard just starts to cover the body. That should get you your high transients.
     
  12. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    Aha! A trick suggestion. I only have two ins, so the 664 will have to do the middle and the highs, which seem very good and punchy behind the bridge, and the 676 can take care of the bass at the soundhole. The raw sound on a few quick trials was good, and with tweaking, I think I will like it even more. It will not have the sparkle without the highest transients, but I think the core sound suits the acoustic blues/rock genre reasonably well.
     
  13. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Got it. Two mic's is what I meant anyway.
     
  14. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    You've probably already moved on to other things, but...

    What are you recording to? Pro Tools has low pass filtering in their stock eq.
     
  15. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    Cubase LE4. However, my Saffire USB 6 comes with Abelton Live light, although I have yet to install it. Maybe it has LPF's, or other goodies that my LE4 does not.
     
  16. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Google GVST. Download the whole shebang. That will fix what I guess is a stripped to the bone fake DAW. You might as well be using Audacity as Cubase LE. I'd upgrade to full Cubase if it were me.
     
  17. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    GVST looks interesting. Thanks. I will download it shortly, but I am going to give myself another few days of familiarizing myself with all of the plug ins that IIRs recommended, just so I do not get bogged down in too many to trial. I loaded the Abelton live lite today, but the GUI is very different. I think it might be a steep learning curve.
     
  18. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I think it is a mistake to switch to another light program. You would be better off with a full version of Cubase or just download Reaper. It's trial IS a full version. Anything light is just going to keep limiting you. That is the purpose, to get you to buy the full version.
     

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