[Ardour-Users] acoustic guitar tone

jonetsu jonetsu at teksavvy.com
Mon Mar 5 05:19:55 PST 2018

On Mon, 5 Mar 2018 10:22:58 +0000
Matt Keys <matt at mattkeys.net> wrote:

> I googled first and the general recommendation seems to be to use a
> single dynamic mic aimed just forward-left or forward-right of the
> sound hole, or a single condensing mic about 2 feet away. Is there a
> rule of thumb for what mic to use and placement of those mics for the
> tone you're going for? As an example, I would love to have tone like
> this: https://youtu.be/u7RLjNOael4 . It looks like he's using two
> condenser mics in opposite phase and maybe the pickup too. I'm lost
> on the purpose or intention of the components deployed in that
> configuration. Is he using the pickup because of the harmonics in the
> piece? Why dual condensing mics?

I'm certain that this sound cannot be obtained with only mics.  This is
a sound that is gotten very close to the strings.  It's a pick
up/transducer.  In the live in Berlin there's a wire that goes out of
the guitar.

Antoine produces demos for a DiMarzio pick up system.

You can basically forget about that tone if the sound does not come as
close as possible from the strings.  Mics will always pickup air.

I am certainly not a guitarist in the same league.  Here's the basic
sound I have:


I do not use any pickups.  Yet, at least.  I use two mics, each to
their own channel in Ardour (I actually use Mixbus32C).  I also use
Pulltec emulations on for each (and/or in busses, depends).  I use one
omni and one condenser.  Audio-Technica AT2020 and AT2021, from a
certain distance.  When too close I found that they pick up too much
fret noise.  People told me that fret noise is nice that's why it's an
acoustic guitar although I find it very distracting in recordings.

Both mics go through a MPA2 stereo tube preamp then to a VLA2 stereo
tube compressor and goes into Ardour.

Here's another example of the sound I get, one with much more
processing, this time also with acoustic bass guitar:


I'm looking at perhaps getting a Schatten Design transducer for the
guitar, to add to the mic(s).  The completely acoustic guitar I have is
a Shiraki, and has no holes, only a laser-cut filigrane patterns cut in
the wood.

On the subject of guitars in general Antoine uses a Spider capo which
is totally great. I absolutely like using one.  He's also very right
about the basic sound of a guitar.  I found that years ago.  Why play an
instrument that sounds bad when played openly without any fingering ?
Not only it sounds ugly, it does not make any sense at all.  It comes
from the 16th century or so and was some kind of a solution to some
problem.  I guess these people were way too immersed in that problem.
So years ago I started to make the guitar strings sound nice openly by
tuning them in such a way that they do.

And so far, to my surprise, no Chord Police Squad dropped by, I got no
tickets to pay, and since then it's fun to play guitar.  You just strum
the open strings and you got a tune, as Antoine says.


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