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Recording acoustic rythm guitars without too much trouble

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by sander_8, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. sander_8

    sander_8 Guest

    Is in fact possible ;) But not with an acoustic guitar! Just take your electric guitar, place a microphone close in front of your strings, the closer to the point where you hit the strings, the better (I used a SM57 with some pretty convincing results), set your amplifier on a clean sound and start recording!

    This way the position of the microphone is far less important for the sound, because the real "warm" sound comes from the amplifier on the background, while your strings give you the acoustic touch. Don't bother playing with a plectrum, this makes too much noise, instead play with your fingers only. For extra tweaking and mixing afterwards you could choose to place an extra microphone in front of your amplifier too.

    This appears to work the best with a set of new strings. Here is a file with a track in which I used my electric guitar to create acoustic sound:
  2. trippinblly

    trippinblly Guest

    i must say i was very skeptic reading your post....but you proved my doubts to be incorrect...that had an decent acoustic sound coming from an electric. did you add any effects to it after recording???
  3. sander_8

    sander_8 Guest

    I forgot to mention, I didn't add any effects to the acoustic sound, no EQ either.
  4. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    OK, that is freaky. :?
  5. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Excellent! it's true you can learn something every day. Thanks for the tip, it sounds GREAT.
  6. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Now THAT's creative recording at it's best! Sounds like an acoustic guitar through a nice ribbon mic. Thanks a million for sharing that one Sander.

    It's also the test of decent craftmanship of the guitar itself. What kind of guitar are you using? i.e., make and model...
  7. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    holy bass!
  8. sander_8

    sander_8 Guest

    Thanks for all the positive feedback!

    Some more facts about the recording
    The guitar I used is an Gibson Les Paul Studio, with the rythm element selected. At the moment of recording I used new D'Addario strings 9mm. I recorded it with a good old fashion SM57 as mentioned in my post.

    I played through a Line6 Spider II, with the amplifier model in the red twang, without effects, with a little more bass and less treble to make it a little more warm-sounding. The volume of the amplifier was low, but still audible.

    The amplifier was on estimate 1,5-2 meters away from the microphone. I placed the microphone as said earier close to the strings, and turned it so that it pointed to the point where I hit the guitar.

    Oh and I doubletracked it, but that's pretty obvious ;)
  9. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    I assume the effect is even more convincing on tape using 11's instead of 9's.

    I've always loved the acoustic qualities of my Strat but I play with 11's for a much more robust tone.

    Just a thought.

    Sander I think you just saved a lot of guitarists a lot of money by not having to go out and pop a couple hundred dollars on a cheap chinese acoustic for just 1 or 2 cuts on their demo or EP.

    Maybe Dave will make this thread a sticky for it's intrinsic value
  10. sander_8

    sander_8 Guest

    The reason I tought of this was actually just that, the lack of a good sounding acoustic guitar. I borrowed our bassguitarist my Aria, and after he did to it wat, well, bassguitarists do the guitar had an e-string replaced by a D, wich basically disables you to produce anything decent.

    I was actually a little bit suprised by the way it sounded, and after some other guitarists judged the sound who could not hear the difference between this and "the real thing" I figured this could be handy for studio-recordings.. Perhaps even live-performance because it eliminates the possibility of a microphone that starts singing in the body of the acoustic guitar. And it's ofcourse somewhat less expensive than a Line6 Variax acoustic..

    As for the 11's, I have a set here wich I'll use to replace my current strings, and I'm definitely going to experiment some more with them. One would indeed expect the tone to be more sustaining, and probably also relatively louder, wich could contribute a lot to the sound.
  11. sander_8

    sander_8 Guest

    And here it is, my first acoustic track recorded with 11-strings. It sounds a bit warmer, more convincing than with the 9-strings. This time a little bit of EQ is applied to make it fit with the rest, and an almost unnoticable delay is added to it.

    The song may be familiar to some of you ;)
  12. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Nice job, Sander. Great tune. I REALLY like the singer; a great clear, unaffected sound to her voice. Any info on her, and what you're doing with her voice? Is this her CD or is she guesting on it for someone else?
  13. sander_8

    sander_8 Guest

    Actually it's my sister and we recorded this for the 50th birthday of our father :) I recorded her with 2 microphones, so you have some kind of "natural" stereo-effect, added a little reverb, and some delay (apart from the selective "shadow"-delays that belong to the song itself).

    It's more of a hobby project, I'm in no way a professional studio-engineer or whatsoever.

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