What effects should I use for acoustic music?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by robchittum, Mar 19, 2003.

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  1. robchittum

    robchittum Guest

    I know this is too broad of a question, but I am curious what effects I should use on my music - less is more in my opinion, but for folk music with a bluegrass flavor I usually put a little reverb on vocals and a little stereo delay on everything except bass guitar, bass drum. Anything that I'm missing to get a full sound. I think that EQ is the most important factor to get right first - then add the other sparingly. Am I on the right track?

  2. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2001
    Even EQ should be used sparingly. Try to alter mic positioning, type of mic and preamp to get as close to the sound you are after straight on tape.
    Especially with acoustic music, it needs to sound as natural as possible.
  3. tmix

    tmix Guest

    Less IS more with acoustic folk and the like.

    I record a lot of Celtic / Folk / etc. and basically try to get the most full and organic sound I can from good rooms / mic placement. Afterward I'll only use a little double tracking or delay on some guitar parts or vocals possibly a small ambient reverb.
  4. mixman77

    mixman77 Guest

    Hi all,

    Good advise Mark and Tom. You really do want to get your sound as close as possible going to tape, HD, etc. The double tracking is a good way to thicken the guitar sound, vocals, almost anything you can get away with doing it on. Again, good advise guys. Also you want to have unity gain throughout your console while tracking. Running your signal as hot as possible without overdriving it. With guitar I will use a little reverb and sometimes some chorus and/or delay to sweeten the sound a little. I will also use effects to create a effect like a repeating vocal in a certain part of a song. But only on mixdown not while tracking. and as Mark pointed out "keep it as natural as possible.

    And the less is more therory is so true. I wish more people would learn that. You want to create the feeling the listener is sitting there in their living room watching the band perform in front of them.

    I don't use a lot of anything coming from multi-track to two track except maybe a compressor/leveler. I only use a little compression as well. And some other secret recipes, haha. So yes my friend you are on the right track. :cool:

  5. Pez

    Pez Active Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Rob, yes you are on the right track. Reverb is about the only effect I use when recording bluegrass. I also like to use a 1176 on mandolin tracks to make them a little more punchy. Sometimes I'll use a Pultec if needed. Usually I'll pan the brighter instruments towards the outside and keep bass and lead vocal centered. A perfect vocal blend is essential. Be careful micing a D28 as they tend to get boomy. Listen to some of the Alison Krauss productions for reference.
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