Live gig video - acoustic guitar recording

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Live gig video - acoustic guitar recording

Post by Agamemnon »

Hello all! Long time away, but I would be grateful for a bit of advice on the following.

I've started to do a some videos of small-ish 'acoustic' live gigs, and I want to get the best possible recorded acoustic guitar sound (mostly fingerpicked), given a few constraints.

As I don't play well when fixed in one position, a mic on a stand isn't an option.
I also switch between a two (or more) guitars, for different tunings. Each guitar is fitted with either a Baggs M1a or a piezo.

I own an ancient AG Stomp, which it seems may yet be the best option. Is there anything more modern which does a significantly better job?

I've also been looking at clip-on options like the DPA Core 4099G or ATM350, to blend in with the pick-up sound, possibly just going to the recorder and not used for the PA, to avoid feedback problems, but not sure if physical noise is going to be a problem with something attached to the guitar, and might be a bit cumbersome.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts,
Dave
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Re: Live gig video - acoustic guitar recording

Post by Sam Spoons »

The best acoustic guitar sound I've heard was with a 4099 on a very nice guitar but positioning is critical. If you are very mobile then it might get in the way. Second best is with a piezo UST and a Tone Dexter preamp

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/au ... tonedexter
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Re: Live gig video - acoustic guitar recording

Post by Drew Stephenson »

ToneDexter was my initial thought as well. I've got some nice acoustic sounds using a Cortado Zepplin contact mic but if you're moving the cable a lot it picks up that noise. I have an idea about making a pouch for it to sit on a guitar strap but I haven't experimented that far yet.
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Re: Live gig video - acoustic guitar recording

Post by zenguitar »

But we are still awaiting the reworked ToneDexter II to be released. The original is no longer in production thanks to chip shortages.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Live gig video - acoustic guitar recording

Post by Sam Spoons »

Yes, the TD2 looks like a significant upgrade on the, already brilliant, original. Not available until autumn apparently but definitely worth the wait IMO.
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Re: Live gig video - acoustic guitar recording

Post by Sam Inglis »

Are the performances just solo guitar, or are there also vocals or other instruments? And do you want the recordings to capture the 'live' feel and the ambience in the room?

Depending on the answers to those questions, I think my preference would be to have a single point stereo mic somewhere at the front of the stage, maybe two or three feet in front of you. Put it in Blumlein mode and it will also serve to pick up the audience response. Assuming it's not too close that will allow you to move around a bit, and it should be possible to position it such that the stage monitor is in the null below the mic.

I'd also record the pickup to a separate track. Then you can balance the two to taste at mixdown.
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Re: Live gig video - acoustic guitar recording

Post by Agamemnon »

Generally, I sing as well, plus the normal line-up would be with bass and percussion, and possibly flute. The fingerpicking is not very loud on its own, so I thought any mic would have to be close, but its an interesting point to have a more distant mic arrangement as Sam suggested, and possibly treat the whole band as more pure acoustic, or classical even. Food for thought.

The ToneDexter II looks very interesting, though I am not sure I am patient enough to wait.
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Re: Live gig video - acoustic guitar recording

Post by shufflebeat »

I’m another happy TD user. Other IR based solutions are available, like the Mooer Radar (great) and the Sonicake Sonic IR (not used one but planning to buy one “for a friend”.

All IR quality dependent, including the TD.

However, if you are recording the audio separately and have the option of multitrack recording then the acoustic guitar (and fiddle, etc.) piezo signals can be treated with IR tech later with results as good if not better than doing it at the time.

On a different tack, for fingerpicking I’ve had great results from the AKG c411pp. Similar to the Cortado you mentioned, which I haven’t used.

On balance I think the separation offered by a piezo solution might prove very important with your line-up unless your band are very sympathetic players.
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Re: Live gig video - acoustic guitar recording

Post by MarkOne »

First off, I'm not a guitarist and writing as a keyboard player, so feel free to take this with as much salt as possible but:

This sounds like something that's crying out for a plug-in - Record that dry piezo signal and run it through some kind of plugin that has a library of IRs to generate the body resonance of your choice
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Re: Live gig video - acoustic guitar recording

Post by Sam Inglis »

Agamemnon wrote: Mon Jun 05, 2023 10:40 am Generally, I sing as well, plus the normal line-up would be with bass and percussion, and possibly flute.

Ah, in that case using mics could be a lot more challenging. I think I'd probably just record the DI output and then use something like the Tonedexter or an equivalent plug-in to process the signal after the fact. Either that or set up a gig specially for recording where you have time to mic everything and do proper sound checks.
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Re: Live gig video - acoustic guitar recording

Post by Agamemnon »

Thanks all for all the comments. I must admit I hadn't considered IR solutions, and after doing a little research on the web, my head is now spinning! The ToneDexter II looks to be the bee's knees, so maybe I'll make do with the AG Stomp until that is available. Maybe.
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Re: Live gig video - acoustic guitar recording

Post by Sam Spoons »

shufflebeat of this parish has been known to use his AG Stomp to good effect...
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Re: Live gig video - acoustic guitar recording

Post by zenguitar »

Sam Spoons wrote: Mon Jun 05, 2023 6:32 pm shufflebeat of this parish has been known to use his AG Stomp to good effect...

I always regretted not grabbing one 20 years ago. Very useful piece of kit indeed.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Live gig video - acoustic guitar recording

Post by sonics »

I've had great sound from the L.R.Baggs Anthem system. I've also mixed a few guitarists using blended systems with an internal mic and a piezo, but don't recall the maker(s). Body mounted mics (esp DPA) can sound excellent, too.

The hardest thing is to fix the sound of a bad pickup after the recording. It can take some work to remove the "plasticky" sound quality. As ever, go for the best quality source recording you can get!
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