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Please Help!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by JamesG, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. JamesG

    JamesG Guest

    Ok.... I've been trying to record an acoustic guitar track. My friend and I have a Rode Nt-2a, an AKG c 200B, 2 57's, 2 smason c02s, and a Shure KSM 27. I've tried many diff mic placements with many diff mics. The problem is when we go to record we get terrible string buzzing, the acoustic is a Martin DM Mahogany Dreadnought. Any ideas on how to get the strings to stop buzzing? It is mainly the low string that causes the most problems. How do people like Jason Mraz and Dave Matthews get their acoustics so sweet sounding?
  2. Vaylence

    Vaylence Guest

    There are only two buzzes I'm familiar with out of an acoustic.

    1. The low strings have to physically move further to produce the same volume of the highstrings, because of they are playing a lower pitch. That extra movement may cause the string to hit a fret on the fret board making a BZZZWONG kind of sound. I'm thinking the Martin does not have a truss rod, if it did it would be accesable on the headstock of the guitar. Turning the truss rod would change the warp on the neck so that he strings sit higher up or lower down to the fret board, depending on which way you turned it. I dont think Martin has those because they feel it is cop out and sign of an inferior guitar design. A real guitar should be able to withstand the stess of the strings with out the neck warping, so corrective measures like the truss rod are not needed.

    If this is indeed the prob tell hendrix jr to play with a little more finesse and turn up the gain on your pre to compensate. If you cant do that then another guitar maybe in order.

    by the by Martin carries a lifetime warrentee, back to that quality product I was talking about, so if it is buggered up, you may be able to have them fix it. Like putting a new neck on, might want to have a pro look at it first though just to be sure its not being played too aggresively.

    2. Here we are at buzz number 2. The ever embarrasing guitar fart. This is caused by not pressing your fingers down hard enough on the string to properly fret the note. The string is played and kind of jumpes up and down off the fret making V V V V V T kind of sound. I find this is typically of newer players attempting to play bar chords and G chord but not putting enough ass on their fingers. Probably because they dont have the callouses and it hurts to press on wires.

    my fingers hurt. Yeah well now your backs gonna hurt, cause you just pulled landscaping duty!

    This also usually come from the lower strings. Fixing this one is a hell of a lot easier, PRACTICE!! :)

    If neither of those are the problem repost with a more indepth description of the string buzz. ie does it do it to both of you on the same fret/chord/string. Something about you describing it may help us understand it. then we can help you understand it

    hope I fixed more than I broke

  3. JamesG

    JamesG Guest

    thanks, i think we'll be taking the guitar to the shop :D
  4. hueseph

    hueseph Distinguished Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Maybe a bandaid solution but using a heavier guage string may temporarily allieviate th problem. Either that or install a new bridge saddle and adjust it so that it sits a little higher than you have it now. I think a heavier guage will probably solve the problem though. What guage string are you using?

  5. Don't be surprised if the shop guy hands it back to you and says to sit in your bedroom and practice more. Buzzing strings is a classic "I haven't been playing long" symptom. You're not squeezing the thing hard enough I'd bet.
  6. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Distinguished Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    Can anyone tell me how to get these sounds with my guitar? :-?
  7. dwoz

    dwoz Guest

    I have to chime in here and violently disagree with this. Guitars are made out of wood, there's a wide range of different string gauges available, there is simply no way to make a guitar out of "just wood" that is able to withstand the stress of the strings without moving.

    A truss rod is NOT a "corrective measure", or engineering afterthought.

    Try owning a guitar in a location that has a change-of-seasons. Then you'll understand why its ridiculous to say "a Real Guitar doesn't need a truss rod".

    Or, try switching to light gauge strings, from heavy. How about now?

    A truss rod is not a cop out, its a mechanism for adjusting to the changing conditions a guitar is subjected to.

    Wood is an almost-miraculous engineering material...but its only able to do what it can do.


  8. Holy Christmas, I missed that part when I read this the first time. Does nobody around here know how ANYTHING works? DANGEROUS fuckin information goin on over here, guys. Seriously, be careful.

    Martins don't have truss rods because it's a fix for a bad design. Suuuuure, and, um...the Golden Gate bridge is cambered up because they mis-measured the gap and made it too long to start with, right? So they just BENT it to make it fit, right?

    What a maroon.


  9. Reggie

    Reggie Distinguished Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Thanks Mr. Knowledge Policeman. Many lives were saved this day because of you. Make sure spankings are doled out appropriately :roll:
  10. hueseph

    hueseph Distinguished Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I do believe many of the early Martins were built without truss rods. At least that's the info I was given by a local luthier. Lately Martin does build truss rods into their design.
  11. dwoz

    dwoz Guest

    So...you've never actually touched an old Martin yourself, and yet you still offer this? Have you checked it out, or just assumed it was gospel?

    Many old guitars (regarless of manufaturer) were small, short scale, and were meant to have gut strings. Now, why would that be significant?

    In fact, the guitar as a species had to be completely redesigned when steel strings came around. (talking turn of the century here) The bridge, the bracing, the scale, the neck/body joint, the TRUSS ROD, the tuners, the shape, in fact they even had to invent some new GLUE. Not to mention the frets!

    When steel strings came along, Martin went to a truss rod. First a simple ebony bar inlaid inside the neck, then to a steel T-bar, then to a square tube. This progression pretty much followed the gradual narrowing, shallowing, and lengthening of the neck. Less and less wood, doncha know. Only from about the mid 1980's was the Martin truss rod actually adjustable. So, Martin has been using truss rods for about, oh, 100 years or so.

    I guess that qualifies as "lately".

    Plug that into your equation, and then remind me why whether or not MARTIN used a truss rod in early (PRE 1900) guitars has to do with instrument quality?

    I myself have personally built a bass with no truss rod. Bitchin'! It does, however, have a carbon-graphite shell on the neck. Since graphite has a modulus of elasticity of approx. 19 million psi, with less than 1 percent stretch at breaking point, you can literally lever a house off its foundation using this bass neck. At least, that's what the structural engineer's equations say...I haven't actually tried that yet. String pull...360 psi.

    hope this clears things up a bit.

  12. GregP

    GregP Guest

    I don't find Dave Matthews' acoustic to sound particularly sweet. It IS, however, a sound well-suited to his playing style. :D

    Just a note about truss rods-- I don't know Martins intimately, but it's also common for truss rod adjustment nuts to be located at the OTHER end of the neck, just inside the soundhole. So, you could have a look there, too, and see if you see something that looks like a nut.

    In extenuating circumstances with really bad action (with Martin, I wouldn't imagine it'd be horrible, though) you'll need to have either the nut or the saddle re-cut and/or shimmed. I doubt you'd have to do this, though.

    All that said... I agree that it's probably technique. Nothing makes a guitar buzz more than under-developed fretting technique.

  13. dwoz

    dwoz Guest


    re-cutting a nut or saddle is a common requirement when switching string gauges. There's a reason that they're not, for the most part, glued in...

    Now, re-setting the neck/body joint with shims is something that I would call extenuating...but it does happen..


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