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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, I am interested in recording myself using my laptop and a Garageband kind of software. When asking at the music store I didn't really get a great answer, but the gyst was if I have a good guitar (I do, a Taylor GSRS) I wouldn't want to use a pickup as I would essentially be turning it into a "cheap" electric and I should go all out and get some installed (No, I would have opted for the expression system if that's what I wanted) or use a mic and various other things to record myself. Again, this is just for fun, to maybe create some rhythm tracks to play over etc. So what do you guys think? Mic or pickup? AND while I'm at it what is a good software that's fairly user friendly?

Cheers!
SB
 

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if you were to mic it, you would probably be best with a condenser mic I guess...then you would need a preamp thing that has phantom power. That could be a bit expensive...
I have a dean markley soundhole mic for my guitar, and it works ok. Probably not up to par for professional recording or anything, but its functional. Plus it was only like 50$

audacity is good software, at least for me. Plus it is free haha
 

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I also have a Taylor GSRS and I have installed a K&K pick up system. It's a combination of a transducer pick up and microphone..I have recorded with it and got some great results. You should also look at some Audio Technica condenser mics, many of them are reasonably priced and do a great job in the recording department.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys.. now at least I have a starting point.. It was around the time the salesguy at the store went on and on about phantom power (isn't that a Hip album :smile:) and audio interfaces that he lost me...

SB
 

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hope this article helps

Good condenser microphones for acoustic guitar recording include the Oktava MC012 ($99), Groove Tubes GT55 ($250), or the RODE NT1 ($199). The reason you want a condenser microphone rather than a dynamic microphone is very simple; condenser microphones have much better high frequency reproduction and much better transient response, which you need for acoustic instruments. Dynamic microphones, like the SM57, are great for electric guitar amplifiers which don't need as much transient detail.


Microphone Placement
Take a listen to your acoustic guitar. You'll find that the most low-end build-up is near the sound hole itself; the higher-end buildup will be somewhere around the 12th fret. So let's look at the two types of microphone placement I mentioned earlier.


Single Microphone Technique
If using just a single microphone, you'll want to start by placing the microphone at about the 12th fret, about 5 inches back. If that doesn't give you the sound you want, move the mic around; after you record it, you might want to give it extra body by "doubling" the track - recording the same thing again, and hard-panning both left and right.


Two-Microphone (Stereo) Techniques
If you have two microphones at your disposal, put one around the 12th fret, and another around the bridge. Hard pan them left and right in your recording software, and record. You should discover that it's got a much more natural and open tone; this is really easy to explain: you have two ears, so when recording with two microphones, it sounds more natural to our brain. You can also try an X/Y configuration at around the 12th fret: place the microphones so that their capsules are on top of each other at a 90 degree angle, facing the guitar. Pan left/right, and you'll find that this gives you a more natural stereo image sometimes.
 

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Hi there,

Well I agree that a good mic setup is the optimal way to record acoustic guitar. However, there are lots of reasons why that might not work - if you are recording in a less-than-optimal environment (home with ambient noise or imperfect sound setting) and you just want to lay down some decent background tracks, you might want to go straight in with a pickup.

It sounds like you want a non-invasive pickup (ie. one that does not need permanent installation). I was in the same position and I found a great article that taught me as much as I ever need to know about this. It is from a cool website called fingerpick.com, and I highly recommend you check it out:

http://www.fingerpick.com/pickups.htm

Based on the tests and video demos on this website, I tracked own and purchased the DiMarzio DP139, which is a killer, natural-sounding removable soundhole pickup - it was around $120.

Best of luck,

Blair
 

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i use audacity for my home stuff.. isnt the greatest but it does the job and it is free!! id just mic the acoustic guitar... i just got some cheap computer mic and he does alright not great well far from it but it works for me just to play around with
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It sounds like you want a non-invasive pickup (ie. one that does not need permanent installation). I was in the same position and I found a great article that taught me as much as I ever need to know about this. It is from a cool website called fingerpick.com, and I highly recommend you check it out:

http://www.fingerpick.com/pickups.htm

Based on the tests and video demos on this website, I tracked own and purchased the DiMarzio DP139, which is a killer, natural-sounding removable soundhole pickup - it was around $120.

Best of luck,

Blair

Hey you hit it right on the money. I have 3 acoustics and I want to utilize all of them cause they all sound very different. I'd like to get more bang for my buck so to speak + I don't want to monkey too much with them. Thanks I'll for sure check it out.
 

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There is a Canadian manufacturer of acoustic pickups in Kitchener, On. called Schatten Design.These things are world class. The owner of the company was a luthier and a bluegrasser. If you know bluegrasser's, you will also know they hate anything but a microphone for amplification to try to capture the true sound of the acoustic instrument.
Schatten are not the cheapest pickup available but they do the best job I've seen in natural reproduction of an instruments sound.

As above threads point out, a good condenser mic is probably the truest of all in sound reproduction. Nice flat response from 20 -20KHZ.
I've also used the Rode NT3 condenser mic that has provisions for battery power on board and that mic does a great job. They are fairly pricy as well.

Steer away from stuff like the Shure SM-57. Despite it being the instrument mic standard for many years, the frequency response is somewhat adequate in range but it is about as flat as the Rocky mountains in freq. vs. gain
resulting in a couple of really hot frequencies and considerable skewing of natural sound produced.
Hope this helps
 

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Acoustic Pick-ups

For a permanent/semi permanent installation, I consider the K&K Trinity system to be the best sounding pick-up system I've worked with. Schatten, Schertler, Fishman, Highlander, LR Baggs, B-Band, Pick-up-the-World, and many others have always disappointed me. The K&K currently has my vote. I installed one in my Laskin last year - the first time I've ever installed a pick-up in my own guitar EVER!
The other choice would be a Sunrise, or M1A LR Baggs. If you can find a Sunrise, they are very cool - A great natural sounding sound-hole pick-up.

For recording, get a mac and just use the free GarageBand. You'll be glad you did.

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