Tales of simplicity.

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Droog, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    Thought I would start a thread about instances of the efficacy of simplicity. You know the times when plug and play actually worked great. Got a couple stories to share.

    Back when I was attending the engineering school I went to I had a session before I graduated. We had been tracking for 6 hours or so. Well rehearsed folky three piece. 2 Acoustic guitars, an electric violin (mic'd it anyway) and vox all tracking together in a nice room. Udu was over dubbed as were some back up vox. So we had done all of this in about 6 hours, pretty good imo, the musicians were really good, which made me look good. So the main musician is pretty much calling it a night when he starts messing with a bass line on his acoustic, but did not want to do because, well it was a guitar. So I said what if I get you a bass? Ok he says. So I run out and find this kid I saw packing around a crappy Hondo bass. He agrees. I get back to the studio, greated with a suprised look. I jack it straight into a Neve 1272 then into Manley Pultec EQ then straight to tape. He nailed it in one take and the song was all the better for it. In fact the instructers kept our tape to show as an example to other students.

    Ok, this one was more recent. A good friend of mine wanted to record a few songs of his with better than average production. I have pretty good in with a local studio so I scored us some free time. We tracked, Vox, Acoustic GTR, GTR, Drums and Bass all on a 8 track ADAT. When it came to bass he pulls out his old P bass and I run it right into a Telefunken V72 and then straight to ADAT. He still talks about that bass tone.

    Kinda long winded, but I would like to hear stories you guys have to share.
  2. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    About a year ago my band Ariel decided we needed an accoustic bass on a track instead of my Steiny. So I hauled my DB into the studio and we started checking out microphones. After maybe 15 minutes of pointing the bass and mic different ways, we finally got a deep, large, boomy sound (more what we were looking for, rather than definition) by sticking a Telefunken ELAM 251 in a corner and setting it to a figure 8 pattern. From the mic to a GT ViPre, into Pro Tools. At mixdown, it just sat right in the mix and did its job, no studio tricks, no EQ, no compression, just good, solid accoustic bass. As much as I love recording rock and metal, and all the effects and techniques involved, the simple moments where everything comes together and just sound good with almost no work are some of the best recording experiences I've had.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    1996. Dave LaRue was producing a country/rock demo for me at his home studio in Ocala. I was playing all the instruments except lead guitar and piano solos. So it came time to cut acoustic guitar. I had done sessions with my friend's Martin D-28 and we would do things like use 3 or 4 mics set at various distances away from the guitar, and I was thinking he would do something similar, especially considering that my friend had moved and all I had for acoustic was this cheap-ass plywood Epiphone from the 70's that I scored for $125 at a pawn shop and I figured it needed all the help it could get.

    Dave sets a Shure SM-58 about a foot away from where the neck and soundhole meet, pointed slightly away from the soundhole. I mentioned something about ambience mics, and he says, "Let's try this first, and if it doesn't work, we'll pull out a couple more mics." I listened to the playback, and it was the absolute best acoustic guitar sound I ever heard in my life! It rivaled some first-class state of the art recordings I've heard for quality of tone. Ever since then, a 58 a foot away is the only way I record acoustic guitar. I still have the Epiphone, too, and it still sounds like a Martin on recordings.

    OK, that's my boring simplicity story.
  4. i like the SM-57's :)
    i like to mic one about a foot away sort of near the bridge facing at the sound hole, or inline with the sound hole, and another one further up the fret board aiming at the 12th fret. i like an Opus 65 behind the guitar for some bottom end too