#1
Hello everyone

I was wondering how you can achieve that bright acoustic background rhythm sound on a recording like you can hear in many alternative rock songs, or even pop songs

So I mean this kinda sound:
Coldplay - strawberry swing (from 2:33)
Radiohead - Karma Police (from beginning)
Coldplay - A message (from beginning)
Oasis - All around the world (from beginning)

I love how the acoustic kinda fills up the tune...

So can you give me some tips on how I can achieve that sound?
Microphone placing etc?


And a second question, when I play acoustic guitar the sound of the pick strumming the strings kinda overwhelmes sometimes... What pick thickness should I use to avoid this?

THanks in advance
#2
I can't listen on this computer, but a few general comments.....

A bright guitar sound is made with a bright sounding guitar. That's the first step. From there, it is usually just some compression and EQ to finish it off. Of course, if you choose a mic with a little bit of a presence peak, that might help.

Another thing that helps is to have a proper room. If your room has kind of a "boxy, woofy" quality to it, the sound of your room will be fighting with everything else that you do right.

One way to minimize pick noise is to use a thinner, lighter pick, yes. Another way is to move the mic back a bit.

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#3
Though really, if you want a REALLY bright guitar sound, then DI. It actually gives you a brighter sound than is natural and then you can tone in down to taste.
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#4
EDIT:
Quote by ChemicalFire
Though really, if you want a REALLY bright guitar sound, then DI. It actually gives you a brighter sound than is natural and then you can tone in down to taste.

If by bright u mean more trebly...well not defacto.

When Di-ing you actually get a more pronounced upper mid tone, and on cheap pickups (dunno actually how it is on really expensive ones) do not pickup the tonal balance well, so u might get a weird overpowered plucky bass sound, or too much of a overly lowish resonance.

That being said I think it might depends on the Pickup system used. I can Imagine a piezo or pole piece unit be more accurate then a general cheap mic inside the soundhole.

----------
I only listened to the oasis song, but in that song most of the mid range comes from the electric guitar dub and production sounds.

I think what you mean is just the the sound of the strum?

When Ac. gui. is used in full mixes then they usually place the mic at the 12th fret or even higher at like the 7th fret. Then you just have the thin sound which sounds boring and empty on it's own, but in a mix sounds awesome.

Music is psychological and ur mind just fills in the rest of the acoustic gui. when you hear just the strum...In a full mix that is.

This is basic principles, and you can also just record over the sound hole and put High pass filter on it at a 1k - 3kish cut. This off course is basic principle and it depends on the other sounds in the mix.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jun 2, 2013,
#5
Thanks, and when you record from the 12th fret or 7th, are the most common used mics small condensers? and do people ever pan the ac guitar left and right in full mixes? or just when the acoustic guitar is the main instrument in a song?
#6
guitar choice is key in this situation. If you don't have a good sounding guitar you are fighting a loosing battle no matter how you mic it.
#7
Quote by radkins2
guitar choice is key in this situation. If you don't have a good sounding guitar you are fighting a loosing battle no matter how you mic it.



This is not true..., but your response is quite vague. If by good sounding u mean properly set-up with fresh strings then yes. If u mean a guitar over 1000 bucks or so..then no.

If there's only solo acoustic guitar, well then yes, cause there's nothing else to focus on, and every frequency of the guitar is audible.

In a Mix however, even a lo/mid range(300-600 bucks) guitar wouldn't be (life-changing) noticeable.

Quote by Knackworst1
Thanks, and when you record from the 12th fret or 7th, are the most common used mics small condensers? and do people ever pan the ac guitar left and right in full mixes? or just when the acoustic guitar is the main instrument in a song?

^^ and yes guitars get panned left, right, compressed, filtered, layered and the whole shbang.

Sometimes it's needed, and sometimes it's not. Basing decisions on when or when not too use those edit functions depends entirely on your experience.

Small condenser mic should theoretically be ideal for just a mixed guitar, but big condenser mics have been used as well.

If it's solo guitar, sometimes people like too use 3 mic for different spots of the guitar/room and mix those to get the sound they want, or mix some DI signal in.

You just need to listen to ur recording, and find out what you don't like, or what you're missing. If you've done this, u can always make a new thread to find out how to get the sound with what appropriate hardware.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jun 6, 2013,
#8
With bright guitars there's sweet bright and there's harsh bright. Get a good balanced tone with the initial tracking. Then to get the kind of sound you're asking about run the acoustic through a pair of LA3As. Just kidding. Like any of us have those in our studios. Run the acoustic track through several chained limiters, each doing a couple dBs of gain reduction. Then adjust EQ balance for the brightness you want. Blockfish limiter is good for this. Also the BF76 Limiter that comes free with Pro Tools.
Last edited by Tim Lawler at Jun 6, 2013,
#9
An LDC at the bridge and an SDC at the 12th fret. Mix levels to taste, add a little EQ and some reverb and you're done.
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#10
Coldplay - strawberry swing: 12 string or multiple tracks of 6 strings, including some in nashville tuning

Radiohead - Karma Police : Sunrise pickup
see Letterman performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlQhgdVsuI4

Coldplay - A message: a jumbo acoustic

Oasis - All around the world: 12 string

See a common factor ?

You can achieve bass fullness and definition through mic placement (7th fret, 12th fret, bridge) with condensers and amsall diaphragms like a Rode.

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