#1
I have achieved this but not with a guitar. With ukuleles. I miced a ukulele I bought for $20 at a pawnshop. And it sounded fine for rhythm and solos. I found that I like using the ukulele occasionally. So I bought a solid top spruce one with fishman pickup and preamp. I tuned it way down so that it was tuned like a guitar. The result was sweet. I've never had such luck using a steel string acoustic guitar though.
It always sounds like it's in a pipe when I Mike it. I use 57s. I put a Stratocaster pickup in it. You could tell it was an acoustic guitar but it sounded pretty bad.
I purchased a Dimarzio sound hole pickup. It didn't sound any better than Stratocaster pickup. I bought a piezo pickup and a cheap preamp. No luck it sounded as bad as the sound hole pickups.
I purchased nylon string classical guitar with electronics. It sounded spectacular even though it was cheap(300 bux) . The problem with that was the string balance was way off. I had to send it back. I got another, same thing sent that back got my money back.
I purchased it cheap Yamaha acoustical electric, steel string same price. The string balance was fine but it sounded absolutely freaking horrible it was ridiculous. I cannot stress how bad it sounded.
So in conclusion I guess you have to spend a lot of money to get a good steel string acoustic guitar sound recorded. Nylon strings seem to be more friendly to recording whether it's on a ukulele or guitar.

The acoustic guitar I have now I've had for a long time. It sounds okay. I bought it for $60 at a pawnshop,it is a Washburn. It had the side bashed in real bad but it did not affect the guitar in any way other than cosmetically. It's got one of the most stable necks I have ever experienced and it plays easy ,in tune and was expertly set up to boot .

I cannot spend hundreds of dollars to purchase a high quality pickup and preamp just on principle. I guess I will never get a good acoustic guitar sound recorded . Unless somebody can give me a clue.
Last edited by yope at Sep 6, 2015,
#2
Do you mind if I ask you a question? Do you play gigs somewhere? Church maybe? If not I'd recommend just getting a nice acoustic.

I've recorded myself playing using a webcam and it worked great. Not professional quality, but good enough for youtube.
#3
I get pretty nice acoustic recordings with this. Move it around a bit to find the best placement. Not a great solution for live performance though.

http://www.amazon.com/Zoom-Handy-Portable-Digital-Recorder/dp/B003QKBVYK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441569113&sr=8-1&keywords=zoom+h-1
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#4
I am about to purchase a RØDE NT-USB microphone that I can plug directly into my laptop and just play. I think this is the best way forward for me to get a nice acoustic sound. Using the inbuilt mic is totally out of the question as it's far too noisy, picking up fan noise from the laptop itself and not a decent mic to begin with.

I don't think you will ever get a good acoustic sound using pickups.
#5
Get a good quality guitar and a good quality microphone, play around with mic placement until you get a good sound. Consider eq'ing afterwards if you think you need it.
#6
Quote by TobusRex
Do you mind if I ask you a question? Do you play gigs somewhere? Church maybe? If not I'd recommend just getting a nice acoustic.

I've recorded myself playing using a webcam and it worked great. Not professional quality, but good enough for youtube.


a lot of bands a lot of different kinds of music for a very long time . I did a solo using an Ovation Celebrity and played a lotta gigs like than . I sequenced all my own backup and played half instrumentals and half vocals. I do not like singing very much. It's like I can do it but I don't like to so why do it. If you want to make money doing something that you don't like to do just get a job. I'm not a natural either, I could just do okay, if I carefully chose the material I sang .
My musical career, my specialty, learning the guitar parts to songs and improvise a nice solo to anything . That's what I loved and what I did. I played in some pretty bad bands some mediocre ones and a few really good ones. So no, I've never played in church. I can't say I have never played for free but not very often.

I could afford a used ovation celebrity I see them on craigslist once in a while. It was like about over 15 years ago that I was using one. I think they have a 25 1/2 inch scale which I tend to shy away from now. I'm getting a little arthritic in my fingers. I've had joint replacement in the middle knuckles of my forefinger and middle finger on my right-hand.
The arthritis has improved my music and playing. Before I was concerned with showing off. Now I'm more concerned with musical content and my recordings and playing are much easier to listen to. Also, as long as your fingers work a little bit it's mostly in your head.

If you read all this you've got a lot of patience. Sometimes I tend to ramble on, sorry.
Last edited by yope at Sep 6, 2015,
#8
Quote by TobusRex
Thanks for the reply. Good luck!

you're welcome
I have read all the replies here and the consensus seems to be to Mike it. I've tried that. I tried lots of Mike placement positions. They all sounded different and they all sounded bad. I think the best position I found, which sounded least bad was about 6 inches away from the guitar and about 6 inches away from the bridge, away from the sound hole. This, being the best result still yielded unsatisfactory results.

This is all academic though because I'm wont use headphones to record with anymore. 45 years of playing with bands and working some regular jobs in a loud environment did a number on my hearing.

Using headphones is uncomfortable and I want to retain the hearing I have left .

I can still hear okay but I have tinnitus and loud sounds actually hurt .

So here I am a musician with messed up ears and hands. Please try not to think of me as being crippled, because I am not. There are just certain things I can't do or should not do.
no bands or headphones. , No loud sounds . I still have a lot of fun playing. I do it every day.
#9
Quote by yope
you're welcome
I have read all the replies here and the consensus seems to be to Mike it. I've tried that. I tried lots of Mike placement positions. They all sounded different and they all sounded bad. I think the best position I found, which sounded least bad was about 6 inches away from the guitar and about 6 inches away from the bridge, away from the sound hole. This, being the best result still yielded unsatisfactory results....[ ]....
I'm still curious as to the exact model number of the "cheap" Yamaha. If this is an all laminate guitar, they're notorious for having an "all strings, no wood resonance" presentation.

Piezo pickups are constantly condemned for "quack". But the truth is, that's sometimes brought on by too much treble boost..

In any case, the room has a lot to do with with the overall sound, and most homes are as acoustically dead as a door nail, from carpets and too much padded furniture.

The trick there is, to feed some reverb into the board to mazke up for it.

So, fresh strings, roll the treble off a bit, don't over boost the bass, a solid topped guitar, and some tastefully applied reverb, tentatively, should give better results

Pretty much, "anything goes" when you're trying to cut through the mix and be heard with a band. But solo guitar, needs to be a bit more understated.

You can have "intimacy", without a deviant frequency EQ.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 6, 2015,
#10
Quote by Captaincranky
I'm still curious as to the exact model number of the "cheap" Yamaha. If this is an all laminate guitar, they're notorious for having an "all strings, no wood resonance" presentation.

Piezo pickups are constantly condemned for "quack". But the truth is, that's sometimes brought on by too much treble boost..

In any case, the room has a lot to do with with the overall sound, and most homes are as acoustically dead as a door nail, from carpets and too much padded furniture.

The trick there is, to feed some reverb into the board to mazke up for it.

So, fresh strings, roll the treble off a bit, don't over boost the bass, a solid topped guitar, and some tastefully applied reverb, tentatively, should give better results

Pretty much, "anything goes" when you're trying to cut through the mix and be heard with a band. But solo guitar, needs to be a bit more understated.

You can have "intimacy", without a deviant frequency EQ.

the Yamaha had a SOLID SPRUCE top that's one of the reasons I bought it .I thought even the live sound was wanting . The recorded sound via the pups Ive already said .

The classical guitar that sounded absolutely beautiful recorded was prolly plywood spruce cause they didn't advertise as solid .The lower strings wernt as loud was the problem w/ that . go figure .Ive got recordings of it before I sent it back . I wish we could post them here ,so you could see Im not kidding you .
#11
Quote by yope
the Yamaha had a SOLID SPRUCE top that's one of the reasons I bought it .I thought even the live sound was wanting . The recorded sound via the pups Ive already said
Well, everybody has a dud once in a while, even reliable Yamaha.

Quote by yope
The classical guitar that sounded absolutely beautiful recorded was prolly plywood spruce cause they didn't advertise as solid .The lower strings wernt as loud was the problem w/ that . go figure .Ive got recordings of it before I sent it back . I wish we could post them here ,so you could see Im not kidding you .
The way you're gushing over the sound of the classical, it seems like you're biased toward that sound. That and the references to a uke, enhance my suspicions.

As far as string balance goes, that can be mic pickup pattern or location. In the studio, if some experimentation with different mics and locations for them wasn't fruitful, they'd probably hang a parametric equalizer on the board and tune the imbalance out with that.

As far as steel strings go, they have a ton more spit in the high end, and a ton of dynamic range, which a gut strung guitar doesn't have. The moral here is, they're a bit harder to control. Sometimes people employ a compressor or limiter in the signal chain, to limit the major volume jump produced by just a small increase in pick attack.

I'm posting this cover of "Bonny Portmore" so you can hear what can be done in the studio with a mediocre guitar. The gentleman is playing an Ibanez AEL-10. I have one of these, and it's all laminate, and mediocre at best. I rarely play mine now that I've got an Epiphone EJ-200-SCE.

Although, Ibbys do have a good reputation for coming to life when they're plugged in.

Why don't you listen to this video, and give us your feelings about the sound he's getting out of the guitar. Her voice though, his completely beyond reproach!

Whoops, I forgot the video link, I'm putting it in now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHT6wYSaxTI
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 7, 2015,
#12
really nice, classy my compliments !

I like the sound Pat Methany has been getting in some of his latest work .His playing helps .

Deep ,rich ,vibrant clear without being twangy are words I might use to describe an acoustic I heard as we were walking down the street in St Augustine ,emminating from a bar . I wished I would have checked to see what he was using .I will always remember that sound .

Heres one I wrote using my detuned tenor uke experiment . Its called 4rthless cause there no 4rth in the chord sequence . I think it sounds like music at the end of a Woody Allen movie .
http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=13120438&q=hi&newref=1