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Opinions...acoustic guitar

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by freelight, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. freelight

    freelight Guest

    I am currently looking for a new condenser mic for stereo micing my acoustic guitar (Jean Larrivee), in my isolation booth. Presently, i record with an SE2200a and an MK012, through a DBX 386. It seems i'm lacking the natural and open sounds i'm looking for. I've tried many gimmicks, like stereo panning hard Left vs. hard Right and plenty of reverbs, this does create a "wide" sound, however still not quite as natural and thick as im hoping for.

    i really like the sound artists like Dallas Green or Sufjan Stevens have...

    Do you have any recommendations as to what i should be micing with? Keep a realistic budget in mind...

    i had my eye on a Groove Tubes Am30 (front address FET)...does anyone know anything about these?

    thanks a bunch
  2. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you're looking for the sound Mid-Side technique provides.

    http://www.paia.com has a mid-side mic that's very cheap but you have to build it yourself. It has 3 capsules and does all the work for you. I fell in love with one a few months ago that I borrowed so I ordered one last week. Just hit their website.

    Another mic I love on my OM-16 you'll find here http://www.scotthelmke.com

    The single capsule version (The Alice) is freakishly accurate and the stereo version is very impressive. He's also working on a Bluegrass mic that should be amazing but it's not available yet.
  3. vividsonics

    vividsonics Guest

    You also may try switching to a mic preamp that is more detailed and natural sounding than the DBX 386 before shelling out for more mics. A nice clear sounding preamp could make your mics really shine on a great acoustic guitar like you have. Since you're thinking of a budget preamp maybe something like this would do:

    (dead link removed)
  4. freelight

    freelight Guest

    CoyoteTrax, you seem like a mad scientist or something...haha
    those stereo mics you built look nice, good job
    it would make an interesting hobby, but i don't really have the time or the patience to do that type of work..

    thanks for your input, good luck with your fabrication endeavors!
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I would look to the preamp as an option also. While I have nothing personal against FMR or any of their boxes, there are many other pres that will do the job. The intention of that post was to use a micpre whithout a lot of artifacts to it and let the true sound of the instrument really come through. Perhaps there is a dealer nearby who rents pres.....? I dont have experience with every pre but for acoustic guitars my go-to pres in the last couple of years have been the True Systems P2 Analog and the Hardy M1. Good luck!
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey Freelight!

    Check out the links on this recent post of mine.

    (Dead Link Removed)

    The mics I used on this will probably be a surprise to many. I still haven't "spoiled" the surprise from that post though, so I'll let you listen and see if you can tell which mic(s) I used.

    If you like the sound, I can certainly tell you the approach I used.

    If you hate the sound, well, that's okay too. It's a bit big and open - mainly because it's a solo guitar album.

  7. freelight

    freelight Guest

    wow Cucco, that is a beautiful sound you've captured. So natural and bright and warm - jack of all trades... I sounds like a pretty tight compression, though, i'm probably wrong...

    it's a very nice tone, however, i do a lot of full-on strumming, and i don't think my type of application would work all too well with your setup, but it's worth a try.

    i just bought a CAD e300^2 last night...it seems to be doing wonders, but i think you guys were right about my preamp...i don't think a tube amp is what i want, it seems to render my highs quite metallic and leaves the lows too muddy, i love my 386 for vocals, don't get me wrong, but I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for a nice solid-state unit, i love the Cranesong line, but that's a little steep for my budget...maybe you guys know of something..?

    thanks alot, take care
  8. ShellTones

    ShellTones Guest

    How do you get a natural, open sound when you are recording in an isolation booth? That seems counter-intuitive to me, but maybe I'm just ignorant.

    I use an MC012 and a Marshall MXL603s 12" - 18" from the guit in XY or OTRF through a $200 M-Audio DMP3 in my 12x12 room w/high ceilings and it is pretty easy for me to get a natural, open sound.
  9. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey Freelight -

    Thanks for the nice words.

    I'll spill the beans about some of the processes I used. First, there was actually very little compression. I dialed in a rather steep ratio of 4:1 (give or take a bit) but only at a threshold of -11 dB - so I really only compressed heavy transients. I used a makeup gain of only 2.5 dB which was all that was necessary to recover any lost sound.

    The sound you hear is going through 2 tube preamps and 1 solid state.

    I used a Gefell M296 through a True Systems Precision 8 and then the other two mics were Audix SCX-25s through Summit 2BA-221s with the tube gain dialed in about half way up.

    The recording itself was done in a rather small room but the mics did a great job picking up what little ambience there was to be had. Using it, I was able to help it out a little with a IR Reverb in Sequoia.

    If I were going to change anything at all for a "lighter" more casual sound, I would take away the Gefell. That is where the massive depth came from. The Audix mics alone would do a fantastic job of throwing up a wide soundstage with all the detail you could ever want.


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