Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Acoustic recording  (Read 1176 times)
johnirace
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 2




Ignore
« on: March 20, 2012, 09:14:12 AM »

Hello there,

I'm a bit of a technophobian and yet decided to try and record myself in my flat. Now that I finally got cubase, my question is does anybody have any tips and insights regarding the best way to record acoustic guitar? (which plug in should I use, which frequencies to raise/cut etc). of course I realise it depends on the sound I want to get, but if you can give me few advises i'll try them for a start until I find my own sound.
Thanks!


John

















--------------------------------------
"Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all"
John F. Kennedy
presbyopia
tel aviv apartments
Logged
rockstar_not
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2313


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2012, 01:17:16 PM »

 welcome,

Well, before getting into plugins, EQ and what not -  the first step is to get a signal into whatever it is you are going to record with.  Since you have Cubase, I'll assume you have a PC of some type.  Now, how about the audio interface - what are you using?

Also, if you are going to be mic'ing the guitar, you should really choose some locations in your flat where you can control the reflections of the sound from the guitar.  An ideal location is to find the largest clothing closet or wardrobe that you have in the flat, ensure that it has lots of clothes hanging in it, open the doors, and put the mic there in front of the clothes.

It's also very useful to have a set of isolating in-ear headphones of some type.  These will let you monitor the signal coming from the mic, with minimal bleed through the phones so that 'you hear what the mic hears'.  This will help you choose where to place the mic relative to the guitar.

Playing standing up vs. sitting down?  Choose whichever you do where you are more comfortable not moving the guitar.

You can make very nice recordings with very cheap microphones and a decent mic pre-amp (assuming your audio interface has relatively clean pre-amps on board).

Do you know how to monitor your input levels in Cubase?  Set the gain of your audio interface so that for each track you record, you are perhaps -3 to -10 dB from zero.  Choose 24 bit depth if your interface is 24 bit.  The extra file size is insignificant compared to the extra headroom you will gain before the quantization noise (that lowest level where the interface has to choose between zero and one when converting analog to digital audio).  Doing this will give you the best signal to noise ratio for each track you record.

Play with double tracking.  Record the same sections, phrases, etc. more than once and use both, panning each track to a different location in the stereo field.

Note that we haven't talked at all about EQ or plugins yet....... 

You will find that you likely won't need to do much EQ, except to perhaps remove room mode frequencies - which will be unique to your own recording space.

Post some files here after you've done this, and then we'll see about plugins and EQ.

-Scott



Logged

2000 L-03-E
2012 Epiphone Nighthawk Custom Reissue
1985 Peavey Milestone
2004 SX SPJ-62 Bass
2008 Valencia Solid Cedar Top Classical
2015 Taylor 414ce - won in drawing
2016 Ibanez SR655BBF

My Sound Cloud
GGBB
Senior Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 375




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2012, 08:55:58 PM »

Which version of Cubase do you have?  I use Cubase 6 and it actually has some built-in settings for acoustic guitar.  These won't necessarily be perfect for your purposes but they will get you started.

The new project wizard has a setting for acoustic guitar and voice.  The acoustic guitar track uses the VST Dynamics (compression) and Chorus plug-ins.  The chorus is set a bit heavy for may tastes so you might want to dial it down a bit or just turn it off altogether.  You can of course add any other effect plug-ins if you like - personally I find that I just like acoustic guitar with a bit of compression and reverb.  You don't actually need any plug-ins of course, but many find that bit of nice stereo reverb adds a lot to just the guitar alone.

There are also eq presets for acoustic guitar - 3 that I've spotted, 1 for fingerpicking and two for strumming.  They didn't work very well for me when I played direct through my iBeam pickup, but I suspect they would sound better if the guitar is miced.  You can adjust them of course so they might be a good place to start from if flat eq is not doing it for you.
Logged

Gord

Larrivée C-09 | DeArmond M-75 | Squier '51 (modified) | Ibanez AF105 | Takamine EF360SC | Yamaha BBG5S (modified) | Rockbass Corvette Classic 5 Active
jpmist
Senior Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 608




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 12:40:38 AM »

my question is does anybody have any tips and insights regarding the best way to record acoustic guitar? (which plug in should I use, which frequencies to raise/cut etc). of course I realise it depends on the sound I want to get, but if you can give me few advises i'll try them for a start until I find my own sound.


Dunno Cubase, but I have to assume you have some kind of graphic equalizer, start with that only. I love the sound of an acoustic guitar so I don't like to tart up a solo guitar with vocals with chorus, reverb and compression, but that's just me.

I started in earnest a couple of years ago trying to record my own stuff and did a bit of googling and found a few things there was a consensus on.

1 Using the equalizer, pull down anything under 50hz. A guitar has nothing of value that low.

2 There's a frequency anywhere from 125hz to 200hz that makes a guitar sound boomy, so pull that down as well. I have a "G" frequency at 195hz that blooms about 20% louder than the rest of the notes so I try to filter that down.

3. You can brighten up a sound using the higher frequencies around 4K or higher.

The rest is so individual, it's really up to you to figure out

If you have an frequency analyser in your software, that's probably what you can learn from the most. Play a favorite acoustic recording with the analyser and see how the pro's balance the highs and lows so you can try doing that yourself.

A lot of the process is training your ear. Used to be my two different mics sounded the same, months later I hate one of them for guitar but it's fine for vocals.

A common way of positioning a mic for guitar is about 6" to 10" away aimed toward the 12th fret, start there and experiment.

Good luck with it!


Logged

Larrivee OO-05
Larrivee OOV-03 MT SB
Taylor 322ce
Recording King ROS-16
Various Strats

Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/jpmist
johnirace
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 2




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 08:19:54 AM »


Thank you so much guys, I really appreciate your help!

I will try some things with the help of your tips and get back for updates.  I'm using cubase 5, by the way. and yeah, I do record while sitting down.

Thanks again for all this helpful information,

Regards,
John













--------------------------------------
"Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all"
John F. Kennedy
presbyopia
tel aviv apartments
Logged
rockstar_not
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2313


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2012, 05:00:37 AM »

I did a few demos to demonstrate stereo micing and double tracking with some very cheap microphones and no EQ over at this thread:

http://www.larriveeforum.com/smf/index.php?topic=39074.0

note that I'm just recording into a normal room, mics are each under $50, but since they are cardioid dynamic mics, there's very little 'room' that gets into the recording - something to be careful with when using condenser microphones.

The preamps were those that were built into my Tascam US-800 interface, which I picked up for $100 on a Musician's Friend deal.

So.  Moral of the story is not to get all caught up in plugins.  Get a clean recording first, then put the icing on the cake later with EQ and whatnot.

-Scott
Logged

2000 L-03-E
2012 Epiphone Nighthawk Custom Reissue
1985 Peavey Milestone
2004 SX SPJ-62 Bass
2008 Valencia Solid Cedar Top Classical
2015 Taylor 414ce - won in drawing
2016 Ibanez SR655BBF

My Sound Cloud
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to: