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Zeno Phobia

How do i make my acoustic sound proffessional?

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Hi im new to cake walk and using daws 

When i record my acoustic guitar through my condensor mic connected to audio interface i dont get that studio sound which is found in other youtube covers so i want to know how do i edit or eq my acoustic recording and make it sound proffessional 

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You need a good mic for starters. you didnt mention which mic you are using. i use a RODE NT1000 for acoustic guitars. It has phamton power and adds warmth. The second element is the mic pre amp itself. For acoustics i use a Focusrite ISA one.

What kind of mic ?

what kind of pre amp are you using ?

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Posted (edited)

Im using a bm800 mic with an audio mixer/interface which has phantom power

Edited by Zeno Phobia

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If that is BM-800 which can be bought in Germany for €25 (€13 in China), including stand, pop filter, cables and USB audio "adapter" (or phantom power adapter)... you probably can get better result by using a mic in your mobile phone.

My noob tip: record e-guitar instead. If not an option, use some acoustic guitar pickup.  At least you do not need studio like environment in this case (== special room without noise and reflections) to get "studio like" sound.

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Posted (edited)

Most acoustic guitar problems relate to the room you are recording in. This is because when miking an acoustic guitar, the actual output sound is low and depends so much on room reflections. The enemy is primarily reverb rather than frequencies. If your in a very large room or one with lots of wood in it, this is not so much an issue. Most bedrooms are not like that, the wall is too close behind you so you need to deaden that sound coming off the wall behind you into the mic. Hanging a Duna behind you as you play can work wonders. The next thing is mic placement. This depends on what acoustic sound you are trying to achieve. If you just want background strumming to be part of a more complex mix, putting the mic about 6-12 inches from where the neck joins the body and aiming it at that joint will be a good starting point.

If you want a fuller sound where the guitar may be the only instrument or one of a few and/or your playing a finger plucking type sound then try concentrating on the base side of the guitar, the body, between the soundhole and the bridge. You want to avoid micing directly at the sound hole as this will be too boomy. Sometimes, when people complain they are not recording the sound they hear, it is because the mic is not positioned where your ears are.  I've found good results for a bigger, fuller more realistic sound by micing the guitar over your shoulder so it is over the top of the guitar facing down to a space about 1 inch off the soundhole (bridge side). This approximates what you are actually hearing as you play.

You have to try different things depending on what sound you want. You should be able to get a reasonable sound, even with that microphone.

If you have 2 mics, you can put a pencil on the neck side and the condenser on the bass side and record in stereo, just need to make sure the mics are the same distance from the guitar.

For EQ on the way in, again that depends on the sound you want, if you just want strumming in a big mix, then you can knock off up to 100khz straight away but for fuller sound you might only want to knock off 40-80khz.

A full waveform is good, then compress and eq in the track as necessary. You can then add reverb to taste.

If you have some decent isolating headphones, you can move the mic around and hear in realtime the difference in sound. In a studio, another person will move the mic around to test. You probably don't have these. You can line up 20 tracks in Cakewalk and then record for 3 minutes on each one, each time moving the mic in a different position.  Just say "this is with the mic 6 inches from the neck joint" etc give a verbal description of what you are doing which is recorded on the track. Then, when you've done 20 tracks moving the mic around. Sit back and listen. Chances are that you will find what you are looking for.

Of course, better mics will get a better sound but you may find that even with your cheaper mic, a particular position might suit it fine.

 

Edited by Tezza
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Nevermind the tips about gear. Tezza's advice is what you need. Gear is the least critical regarding your question.
Eliminate as much room reverb as possible when recording.
Learn eq and compression. Then you can add a controllable reverb.
I have made recordings on acoustic guitar both on expensive and more affordable mics. The technique is allways more critical than the price of the mic.

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I have to respectfully disagree with my fellow members who think gear is not an issue when it comes to making a quality acoustic guitar recording.

I agree within reason, but using a 14 dollar microphone isn't going to get you the same quality as...

14 hours ago, Zeno Phobia said:

i dont get that studio sound which is found in other youtube covers

Most You tube users there days are using high quality mic's and pre amps, the others are using IPhone audio and mixing it in after the fact (and its obvious) That itself is largely depending on room sound. Close  mic'ing an acoustic guitar at a 1 inch range over the sound hole is not a great idea and is sure to cause your hand to hit it frequently.

Mic'ing from a 4-6 inch range (away from the sound hole) will produce a combination of body and string (fret board) tones and not cause room problems. Unless your playing in a bathroom.

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Even an SM57 will produce better results than the BM800.

I do agree with the use of EQ and compression is key, but haven't we all had a horrible acoustic guitar track that we have tried to dress up/mask with EQ but no matter how hard we tried, it was still horrible ?

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Posted (edited)

The BM800 isn't rubbished on reviews and forums, should be able to get a decent sound. I think it's best to work with the gear that the OP has and give him advice on that, he is just starting out by the sounds of it. The simple way  is to set up the right mic position that sounds good, record directly into the audio interface and not worry about EQ cuts, then after it's recorded use a low shelf to cut off the boom if/as necessary and then run a parametric with a narrow Q boost across the midrange to find the ugly frequency(s) and pull those down 3-6db. That should get him in the ballpark. This can be done with the pro EQ in Cakewalk. Then experiment with compression/reverb, start with the presets. Can also use some saturation to brighten it up a bit and give it some grit.

https://www.audio-issues.com/music-mixing/acoustic-guitar-eq/

https://www.musicianonamission.com/approach-equalization-two-types-eq/

 

Edited by Tezza
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Does the guitar have the kind of sound you're after?

Also, good recordings of acoustic guitar are often made with more than one mics - for example one for the foot of the neck and one for the body.

Talking about the rewievs on the BM-800 , one needs to remember that "excellent budget mic" or great value for money"  does not mean it's an excellent or great mic.

My (and friends) experiences of the cheap chinese mics have also taught me (us), that their quality is not consistent.  The one that you buy isn't necessarily as good as the one  rewieved.
(I don't know if the rewieved gadgets are randomly from the shelf, or sent to the rewiever by the manufacturer).

I've also struggled a lot to get that full and juicy sound of acoustic guitar. Not there yet :o/

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Good acoustic guitar, Neumann U87, RME audio interface...and you've got it.

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This was recorded with two LDC condenser mics, One was a KSM44a, the other an Audio Technica 4044a.  Interface- Presonus Firetube Studio. No longer have it and use a Focusrite now.Nothing special. 

Used one of the less expensive Martin Guitars. A Martin DX series. Recorded in spare room studio no sound treatment. Mics L and R about 18" on either side from guitar.  Necessary to roll off the low mids as will mostly be the case in  smaller room studio. Valhalla reverb.

Due to the low mid issues I mentioned earlier I now use a pair of sE sE8 SDC mics . These aren't exactly Behringer but neither are the high end mics. 

The really inexpensive mics tend to have a lot of self noise. The LDC mics can be used with guitar but they aren't the best because of their tendency to pick up  low end hype in small spaces. Can be done with the right distance from mic, the right gain, and material that isn't musically aggressive..

 

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Hey Group--

I have to chime in here because I had an experience that I think is worth mentioning.

I submitted my work for online evaluation and heard the critiques of it in real-time. Ouch, yes, but helpful. You see, I had recorded the acoustic position of my Godin LGXT electric guitar which uses saddle pickups. They are top-of-the-line, but multiple (lots) of people listening to the track noticed it was a DI and not a mic'd acoustic and the responses were unfavorable.

One comment was that a $100 acoustic guitar mic'd would sound better than acoustic saddle pickups using DI. Lesson learned, and I now mic my acoustic guitar.

I also want to add (and if someone mentioned this I missed it) that mic placement is important too. As a noob, I thought I wanted that mic right in front of the sound hole. Not so much. That's where all the noise and thuds come from. You want it near the hole, but not right in front of it. There are many articles on mic placement, but this one is fairly comprehensive overall.

Keep trying! None of us sounded great doing anything at first--I promise you that. In fact, I would say that if many of us could go back and listen to our first few works, we would say they suck by today's standards, and probably the standard of the day when they were recorded. That's how you get better. You try new stuff.

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Does the guitar sound good to you while you're playing it?  When you sit in a certain position (guitar tight against you, ear again the body, while sitting up straight as examples) does the guitar sound better than when you sit in a different way?  Does the guitar sound better if you're facing an open doorway, in a big room versus a small room?

My point is, get yourself and the guitar in a position where it sounds good to you.  Then place your microphone close to your ear or over and in front of your head pointing toward the guitar so the microphone will pick up what you hear.

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I have a simple recipe for good acoustic guitar sound:

- Good room
- Good acoustic guitar, tuned, new strings
- Good performance
- Good arrangement

After that I can put 'any' mic in front of the guitar and it will sound good. Usual choices are KM184, U87, MD441, MD421 and Manley Reference Cardioid.

Usually I use 4 mics for acoustic guitar:

- Close mic near neck's 12th fret
- Close mic near body
- Stereo ambience mics.

Good room + ambience mics = natural sounding acoustic guitar sound which does not need much processing.

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My acoustic guitar is yamaha fs100c it sounds great and has good daddario strings 

I want to learn to eq the guitar yes it sound good raw but when recorded the ressonence or u could say the natural reverb is lost in recording 

 

Mic is good enough for me too i dont know much about audio interface but in my interface i have put my gain to full peak to half and low hig frequency in mid 

 

Any tips or source on how to eq the guitar?

20200110_110106.jpg

Edited by Zeno Phobia
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Post up a sample of the recording of the guitar, that will tell us a lot about what the problem could be. :) 

Just looking at that last photo, if that's where you're doing the recording, I would be looking very closely at trying this in a different/bigger room before you do anything else.

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I understand and agree with the comments in regard to having a "good recipe". Same could be said about just anything else. Want  to catch fish?

 All you need is  fish sonar, a nice boat and all of the right fishing gear, the right time of year, the right location and you will catch fish. 

Unfortunately people don't have and can't obtain all of the things that people  who make these recordings every day for money have or have access to..

Neither can we " Make a silk purse out of a sow's ear"......sorry, old American saying. The answer lies somewhere in between. As you heard on my recording  I managed to make half decent recording using basic mics and interface, cheap guitar. FYI I am primarily a pianist,  intermediate violinist.  I "play at" playing the guitar.

So here would be my advice to a budding acoustic guitarist who only has basic stuff to record given the most common scenario.

- Small bedroom or dorm situation

- Inexpensive  but well tuned and good sounding guitar

-Basic audio interface. No high end converters.

- Mid range mic capable of capturing music with a fairly flat frequency response. Keep in mind, most mics have some frequency hype here and there, even the good ones.

Common room sizes for bedrooms tend to hype or amplify standing waves in the low to low mid frequency ranges. In order to minimize this effect one needs to reduce those frequencies. Usually in the 300-500 range but not always and of course the lows get rolled . Mics are not close to sound hole. Use of a dynamic EQ can be very helpful. I would not bother with attemtp to pick up small room ambience. If the mics are close you pick up less of the room and add reverb later after you record it. SDC mics are more desirable but not a requirement due to this issue. Experiment with mic locations to get best results. You should be able to capture a decent recording. Mixing is another subject which will affect your sound as well. It is possible to mix crappy and have everything sound "boxy".

Here's a plugin I sometimes use that is made for acoustic work.  Tonespot express

Edited by Starise
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