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Preamps for recording Godin & Taylor

Hi everyone, new to the forum!

I'm looking into buying a preamp that works well for recording both a Godin Multiac (just using the direct sound) and a Taylor 714ce. But for different reasons.

For the Godin, I'm looking for new colors. I want to have options for some bite, beef, or low end, as I play aggressive & syncopated riffs. I don't want it to sound like flamenco.

For the Taylor, I'm wanting to get more out of my direct line (Fishman Matrix pickup) as I like to blend it with a mic to create a stereo mix on my tracks.

So I'd say I'm going for a color preamp as opposed to a transparent one.

An internet search of 'best of' lists gave the Fishman Aura Spectrum the most hits, followed by BBE Acoustimax and Baggs Venue in second. I am open to your experiences with these since I've not tried any of them.

Other ones that got several mentions: Baggs Para, Behringer V-Tone AD121, Baggs Session, Radial Tonebone, and Grace Alix (looks that would be a wonderful option but it's a bit too expensive for me right now).

Comments

Boswell Thu, 07/30/2020 - 03:06
Hi and welcome!

Are you talking about a guitar-mounted pre-amp, an in-line pre-amp (inserted in the cable), or a quality audio pre-amp that's good at handling DI pickup outputs as well as a microphone?

You didn't say much about recording the Godin, other than "direct sound". I assume you mean through a microphone. If this is the case, the make and model of microphone, its positioning relative to the instrument, and the room acoustic all have a huge impact on the recorded sound. Are you constrained to a mono recording, or have you considered stereo?

Is this for solo guitar recording (maybe with a vocal line as well), or does the guitar have to slot into a sound stage with other instruments?

We've had some threads here in the past that dealt with the topic of time and phase alignment of pickup and direct (microphone) sound from an acoustic guitar. It might be worth your using the search engine to see if there is anything of interest for your situation.

The RO site owner, Chris (@audiokid), is an enthusiastic Taylor player. He might well have some more observations from his experience in recording his 914.

Tony Carpenter Thu, 07/30/2020 - 05:05
@popechop Welcome. I have several acoustic choices including a Taylor 6 and 12 string. I’ve used DI and mics. Most of my recording which I find very effective I do with 2 large diaphragm mics. One is a Rode NT2a in figure 8 and the other is a Audio Technica 4033a facing the guitar. With the two mic at M/S configuration which I’ve taken a photo of before on here, and in fact if you see my video under more lock down streams shows it.
Once you’ve recorded the two mics simply copying the NT2a on to a second track and reversing the polarity then left right respectively and balancing the results against the 4033a will give you a lovely sounding guitar.

For what it’s worth :).

Tony

popechop Thu, 07/30/2020 - 08:38
Boswell, post: 465082, member: 29034 wrote: Hi and welcome!

Are you talking about a guitar-mounted pre-amp, an in-line pre-amp (inserted in the cable), or a quality audio pre-amp that's good at handling DI pickup outputs as well as a microphone?

You didn't say much about recording the Godin, other than "direct sound". I assume you mean through a microphone. If this is the case, the make and model of microphone, its positioning relative to the instrument, and the room acoustic all have a huge impact on the recorded sound. Are you constrained to a mono recording, or have you considered stereo?

Is this for solo guitar recording (maybe with a vocal line as well), or does the guitar have to slot into a sound stage with other instruments?

We've had some threads here in the past that dealt with the topic of time and phase alignment of pickup and direct (microphone) sound from an acoustic guitar. It might be worth your using the search engine to see if there is anything of interest for your situation.

The RO site owner, Chris (@audiokid), is an enthusiastic Taylor player. He might well have some more observations from his experience in recording his 914.

Sorry, let me give more detail. The sound I'm looking for involves running direct out of the Godin into a DI. It's a solid-body nylon string. I'm looking at external preamps to further color the sound, as the onboard settings are quite limited. I like to record 2 takes of this and pan them L & R for a thicker and tighter sound.

And yes, it's to be mixed in with the whole nine yards (drums/bass/vocals/keys). I've attached a snippet of a song in progress with vocals & bass removed.

And, thank you, I will find the threads about phase alignment for the Taylor situation!

[MEDIA=audio]https://recording.o…
Attached files snippet 2.mp3 (893.4 KB) 

Boswell Thu, 07/30/2020 - 13:22
Thanks for the clip, as it illustrates well the way you are thinking - I would never have got that from textual description on its own.

In that example, you are taking a distinct pickup sound, and instead of saying "how can I make this sound like a real acoustic instrument?", you make a feature of it, and it works.

A nylon-string guitar is not easy to get a variety of tone from, as all you have for capture is sound and vibration, without the option of electromagnetic induction from metal strings.

In terms of a pre-amp, it's not going to be an easy choice if what you want is big character coupled with quality. The higher you look up the pre-amp ranking ladder, the more you get by way of subtlety of sound rather than outright character. I often use my ISA One pre-amp as an overkill DI box, as its transformer I/O architecture give the guitar a smoothness I just can't get with most other combinations. I can also use its second output to drive a Lexicon MPX550 effects unit, and take the L-R outputs of that as signals in parallel with the main pre-amp output. A touch of wide reverb gives a great stereo halo to an otherwise very mono guitar sound.
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