Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Guitar and panning

Last response: in Home Audio
Share
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 2:38:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Heya,

I've noticed this in a few acoustic guitar tracks before -- some songs
will do this thing where the low E string will be panned hard left, the
A string will be not quite as hard left, the D maybe 20% left, G
center, B 50% right, and the high E hard-right.

How would I go about doing this? I would be very suprised if it were to
mic each string individually, but that just doesn't seem right. Has
anyone done this before?

Regards,
Matt Carpenter

More about : guitar panning

February 12, 2005 3:43:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Maybe it's just stereo EQed with highs on one side and lows on the
other, giving you that effect.
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 8:08:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Producing Acoustic Guitar


The acoustic guitar is very much in style today. Crossing between
folk, pop and rock genres. While the acoustic guitar remains one of the
most simple instruments, it also remains one of the hardest to get a
great sound on in the studio. It's really not that difficult though, if
you follow a few basic rules.

The sound you get has a great deal to do with the quality of the
player.
Choose an appropriate type and gauge of string for the instrument and
for the kind of sound you're after and make sure that the guitar's
action is set up correctly so that it plays without buzzing. There are
many different types of steel-cored wound string, all of which have
subtly different properties. The most commonly used types on acoustic
guitars are bronze, phosphor bronze and nickel wound. An instrument
with lighter gauge strings (perhaps an 11 to 50 set) will generally be
easier to play, but the sound will be thinner and low in volume. On the
other hand, very heavy strings (perhaps a set beginning with a 15-gauge
top E) can sometimes sound tubby and lacking in overtones on the wound
strings. The best compromise is usually the heaviest set of strings
that are still comfortable enough for the guitarist to play. Usually
starting with medium gauge strings will give you a decent sound.

The size of the acoustic guitar has a lot to do with the frequency
range that it projects. The bigger the guitar, the more low end it'll
provide. These guitars are most effective with strumming chords in the
open position. These "jumbo" guitars are normally strum with medium
to heavy gauge strings that are capable of producing more resonance due
to the larger amount of wood that will resonate sympathetically. A
medium size guitar will sound tighter and project the sound quickly,
which makes it great for soloing.

There is also the nylon-string guitar or better known as the classical
guitar where the top three strings are nylon. This type of guitar
produces a mellow and a very harmonically even sound. It obviously does
not contain the same amount of mid-range and high frequencies that
steel-string guitars have. Nylon guitars are becoming more popular in
pop music due to their capability to produce harmonic content in a
frequency range that will not affect the lead vocal. A great example of
this is in the music of Sting. In a song like Fragile the nylon guitar
can be mixed tighter to the lead vocal for it is not encroaching in the
presence frequency range of the lead vocal. If Sting were to use a
steel-string instead, he would have to lower the overall level of the
guitar because of the high frequency encroachment produced by the
steel-string guitar in comparison to the lead vocal. That would lower
the musical harmonic content of the guitar whereby it would separate
the vocal melody from the harmonic accompaniment provided by the
guitar.

The 12-string guitar is the grand piano of the guitar family. Usually
played in a strumming fashion with a pick and chords in open positions.
The 12-string guitar works most effectively by itself or with little
accompaniment for it takes up a lot of the frequency and musical range.
If you already have a basic 6-string performance and you feel you need
a brighter guitar in addition try changing the 3 low strings with
lighter gauge and tune them up an octave (Nashville tuning). Try to
avoid capos', because they tend to choke the sound of the guitar. If
the guitarist is using a pick, it is always worth trying one of a
different thickness. With strumming you will tend to get a more even
sound with a medium to light gauge pick. With soloing a thick or medium
gauge pick works best for incorporating dynamics.

Another thing to bear in mind is that the sound of acoustic guitar
recordings can depend a great deal on the environment in which the
instrument is played. Acoustic guitars thrive on live acoustics, and
insufficient natural reverb is a common problem when recording them in
small home studios. While artificial reverb can be used to liven up the
sound of a dead room, getting a sympathetic natural acoustic always
produces better results, even if you want to add more artificial reverb
later.
To get a more live sound out of your room, try to position the
guitarist so that the instrument is played close to some reflective
surfaces like hard floors, doors and solid furniture. If there is
carpeting on the floor of your recording room try placing a sheet of
plywood on the floor and get the guitar player the take off his/her
shoes. Be prepared to have an additional pair of socks in case of gross
air pollution.

Most studios will have a broad range of different mics to choose from,
there are few dynamic mics capable of doing justice to the acoustic
guitar. It is best to use a small-diaphragm condenser mic for its
greater high-frequency accuracy, and one with an omni polar pattern for
a more transparent sound and removing any proximity effect. If the room
has bad acoustics you will need to use a cardioid to minimize the
influencing characteristics of the room.

Capturing a natural sonic balance from the guitar is very important.
There are different sounds coming from different places on the guitar
that are important in contributing to an overall natural sound. If a
mic is used too close to the guitar, the direct sound from that part of
the guitar the mic is nearest to will dominate the sound from other
parts of the instrument and from the room. You risk miking up only a
part of the instrument when what you're really after is the bigger
picture. Opposite if your mic is too far away from the guitar. You can
end up with a lot of room ambience, leaving the original sound distant
and unfocused. As for the specifics of mic placement, position your ear
as if it were the microphone while somebody else is playing the guitar.
Move your ear around to find the "sweet spot". A common approach is to
set up the mic around 6-8" from the guitar, with the capsule aimed
between the sound hole and where the neck joins the body. This will
usually produce a well-integrated sound. The levels of direct and
reflected sound will be about right and the sound hole's contribution
will be controlled because the mic doesn't point directly at it. If you
need more low-frequency content move the mic position closer to the
sound hole. If you need a brighter sound move the mic closer to the
12th fret. This is where the first series of harmonic overtones
originate that contribute more high-frequency content to he overall
guitar sound. If you have a pair of enclosed headphones that are very
accurate to a reference point that you have established, you can easily
experiment with tweaking this mic placement while listening for the
best sound. If you find a promising sound in this way, remember to
check it out on your monitors before committing yourself. Headphones
can sometimes be rather misleading. If you find a good position but
feel the sound is too dead try switching the pattern to omni and if the
opposite occurs switch the omni pattern to cardioid. Be careful to not
get too close for this will create an unnatural balance from the
guitar. If you are working with a studio musician they will most likely
have a custom-made guitar. Ask them where the "sweet-spot" is on
their guitar for the performance they are playing. If the guitar player
is soloing and moving up the neck try placing the mic closer to the
sound hole to give you a fuller sound of the guitar. This will
obviously compensate for the lack of low-end that the guitar can
produce when used in a soloing fashion.




Selecting a microphone depends on the size of the guitar, if the
player is playing open chords or soloing. If the player is strumming
with open chords use a pencil condenser. If they are soloing, move to a
large diaphragm condenser. Dynamic mics simply don't cut it.

A guitar with a built-in pick up and a microphone will undoubtedly
create some phase problems. Experiment with moving the mic closer and
further away from the guitar. That will affect the phase relationship
of the two sound sources. Phase, he can be a tricky bugger. This will
work effectively if the guitar player is also singing whereby
minimizing the vocal leakage into the guitar microphone. If you are
cutting a track in a studio with drums try using the direct pickup only
and replacing it with an acoustic pickup in an overdubbing stage. Even
though direct pickups on acoustic guitars have come a long way I have
yet to discover one that sounds as good as a microphone pickup.

Stereo miking works well for solo applications. The XY technique is
good but still falls short due to its lack of direct sound access. It
will give you more of a big cardioid pickup but with less high-end than
a single mic. Placing a mic over the 14th fret and another just
slightly off-center from the sound hole provides a good starting point
for stereo pickup. Make sure both mics are pencil condensers, the same
model and miked with the same distance from the guitar. Also
incorporate a slight off-axis pickup.

The main challenge when using a stereo technique is to make sure that
all the different signals are in time with each other when mixed; if
there are delays between signals this could cause phasing problems.
Some prod/eng's get around this problem by placing all the different
mics at exactly the same distance from the guitar's sound hole and this
can be successful.

As with any studio recording, the composition of the cue mix you feed
to the guitarist will be extremely important, so be prepared to take a
little time in preparing it given the sensitivity of the mics
traditionally used in acoustic guitar recording, it's easy to pick up
unwanted leakage from the headphones. Solo the recorded track to check
for this and if there's a lot of leakage coming through (from a click
track, in particular) then consider turning down the overall headphone
mix level or using a different pair of headphones. Closed-back models
are obviously best in this application and reduce the possibility of
feedback.

Recorded acoustic guitar sounds will usually benefit from a little
processing. This should be kept to a minimum while recording, so that
you leave your options open for the mix. In recording roll-off any
problems in the low-end such as rumble by inserting a high-pass filter.
As always stated, it's always safer to leave EQ and dynamic processing
until the mixing stage.

Equalization of the acoustic guitar is very common but used very
subtly. The first thing to try is just rolling off some boominess bass,
if there is some, using a high-pass or shelving equalizer at 60-80Hz.
This can prevent the compressor from working too hard and maintaining
an even harmonic balance. It can make a big difference, for example, if
other sounds in the mix have strong low mid-range components and if you
listen carefully to rock or pop mixes that include acoustic guitar,
you'll notice that the low end is quite even. Most acoustic guitars
performing in a strumming or fingerpicking style have a mid-range
and/or high frequency boost. With the mid-range use a wide Q centered
anywhere between 3-7K. If high-end is needed, try a shelving EQ from
8-12K which will produce a silky top-end sound. Be aware of making the
acoustic guitar brighter than the lead vocal, if it is mixed at a loud
level. If you need musical body, boost in the 600Hz-1.5K range with a
medium Q. With acoustic solos you might need to enhance the low end
between 100-200Hz to add more body to the performance especially if the
guitarist is soloing high up on the neck.

With compression for strumming a ratio of 2:1 - 4:1 with a medium
attack and medium release should be used, if required. Remember that
the transient sound of using a pick identifies the rhythmic component
of the performance. If the attack time was too quick it would create
the illusion that the guitar player is playing behind the beat. For
soloing you might need to limit the transients slightly, then EQ and
then compress. With processing on an acoustic guitar it should be done
with transparency in mind.










If the guitar performance is continuous strumming, there will most
likely be no need for reverb. Reverb may be needed if the recording was
made in a small room or studio. Mono recording can also be given a
sense of space and width by adding a little stereo reverb. Ambience
settings with pronounced early reflections are particularly effective
in adding life and realism to the acoustic guitar. With strumming use a
short pre-delay of 30-50ms and a bright reverb with a 1-2 sec decay
time. With a guitar solo use a pre-delay of 100-150ms with a warm
reverb with a decay time of 2-4 seconds. De-ess the send to the reverb
if there is a lot of high frequency finger noise.
Extra Attack To Rhythm Guitars
Related resources
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 1:34:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

For a 'real' guitar, I would try a close XY with the flat plane of the
mic bodies perpendicular to the direction of the neck. Put another way:
stand the guitar straight up, and XY fairly close in (6"?), probably
where the neck meets body. Plane of mic bodies parallel to ground. Now
rotate everything to accomodate the non-horizontal guitarist.

Mikey Wozniak
Nova Music Productions
This sig is haiku
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 2:42:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Matt, I've heard guitar samples that are panned exactly like that. I
bet that's what you're hearing. Neat effect if it's just an
arpeggiated chord. But if you need a real guitar performance it
doesn't work very well.
Cheers, Rick.
P.S. Tons of good info in Matrix's post, although it doesn't even try
to answer Matt's question. Obviously a cut and paste, but from where,
and why? Wassup Kevin? R.N.
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 3:39:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 11 Feb 2005 23:38:19 -0800, mattcarpenter@gmail.com wrote:

>Heya,
>
>I've noticed this in a few acoustic guitar tracks before -- some songs
>will do this thing where the low E string will be panned hard left, the
>A string will be not quite as hard left, the D maybe 20% left, G
>center, B 50% right, and the high E hard-right.
>
>How would I go about doing this? I would be very suprised if it were to
>mic each string individually, but that just doesn't seem right. Has
>anyone done this before?

If it's an actual acoustic guitar, and not a really good sample, it
could be a hexaphonic pickup which has individual outs for each
string. Not impossible to do, but a real pain in the ass to wire.
jtougas

listen- there's a hell of a good universe next door
let's go

e.e. cummings
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 3:40:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 12 Feb 2005 05:08:21 -0800, "Matrixmusic"
<kevindoylemusic@rogers.com> wrote:

>The sound you get has a great deal to do with the quality of the
>player.

Doh!
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 5:56:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Matrixmusic" <kevindoylemusic@rogers.com> wrote in message
news:1108213701.958580.118600@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Producing Acoustic Guitar

<major sniappge>

Is this an auto-post of some kind? I noticed yet another post under the drum
thread once the subject line was changed slightly, and it looked to be the
identical post as before.

Quick, someone put up a thread entitled "recording violin" to see if he has
one for that, too.

Neil Henderson
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 6:14:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <kOoPd.29331$wi2.15796@newssvr11.news.prodigy.com> neil.henderson@sbcglobal.netNOSPAM writes:

> "Matrixmusic" <kevindoylemusic@rogers.com> wrote in message
> news:1108213701.958580.118600@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> > Producing Acoustic Guitar
>
> <major sniappge>
>
> Is this an auto-post of some kind?

I think he wrote a Recording for Dummies book. Anyone who has a method
for everything can make more money selling books than selling studio
time.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 6:48:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Jeez, more stuff I don't do... Should I feel like a failure?

--
Dave Martin
Java Jive Studio
Nashville, TN
www.javajivestudio.com


"Matrixmusic" <kevindoylemusic@rogers.com> wrote in message
news:1108213701.958580.118600@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Producing Acoustic Guitar
>
Snip
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 9:18:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Dave Martin" <dmainc@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:UypPd.10026$oO.2162@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
> Jeez, more stuff I don't do... Should I feel like a failure?

Yes, absolutely... quit immediately & send all your gear to me. :D 

Neil Henderson
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 9:18:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Neil Henderson wrote:

> "Dave Martin" <dmainc@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:UypPd.10026$oO.2162@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>
>>Jeez, more stuff I don't do... Should I feel like a failure?
>
>
> Yes, absolutely... quit immediately & send all your gear to me. :D 


Post your mailing address and I will send you the SM-81 I've used on
fingerpicked guitar. It's probably ruined.
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 10:27:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Matrixmusic wrote:

> Producing Acoustic Guitar

You're way past just starting to lose it.

--
ha
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 10:27:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Dave Martin wrote:

> Jeez, more stuff I don't do... Should I feel like a failure?

Look at the room and the kit around you, then decide.

--
ha ha ha
February 13, 2005 5:41:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Some acoustic guitars with built in pickups can do this.I had a yamaha 12
string that was able to do this years ago.It was a stereo guitar.....very
cool sounding.



<mattcarpenter@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1108193899.136499.142820@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Heya,
>
> I've noticed this in a few acoustic guitar tracks before -- some songs
> will do this thing where the low E string will be panned hard left, the
> A string will be not quite as hard left, the D maybe 20% left, G
> center, B 50% right, and the high E hard-right.
>
> How would I go about doing this? I would be very suprised if it were to
> mic each string individually, but that just doesn't seem right. Has
> anyone done this before?
>
> Regards,
> Matt Carpenter
>
Anonymous
February 13, 2005 9:46:13 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

mattcarpenter@gmail.com wrote:
> Heya,
>
> I've noticed this in a few acoustic guitar tracks before -- some
songs
> will do this thing where the low E string will be panned hard left,
the
> A string will be not quite as hard left, the D maybe 20% left, G
> center, B 50% right, and the high E hard-right.
>
> How would I go about doing this? I would be very suprised if it were
to
> mic each string individually, but that just doesn't seem right. Has
> anyone done this before?
>
> Regards,
> Matt Carpenter

The only way that this can be done is with pickups with individual
sensors on each string.

I have seen Ovations built with EDB on one set of pickups and AGE on
the other this way and when fingerpicked, the effect is really
interesting. I suppose that one could rewire for indivilual output on
each pickup.

I have a Gibson Chet Atkins that has individual volume controls on each
sensor, however the output is mixed to mono.
Anonymous
February 13, 2005 3:48:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I suspect that the Roland MIDI guitar setup could do this -- it has
separate pickups and feeds for each string.

><mattcarpenter@gmail.com> wrote in message

>> I've noticed this in a few acoustic guitar tracks before -- some songs
>> will do this thing where the low E string will be panned hard left, the
>> A string will be not quite as hard left, the D maybe 20% left, G
>> center, B 50% right, and the high E hard-right.
>>
>> How would I go about doing this? I would be very suprised if it were to
>> mic each string individually, but that just doesn't seem right. Has
>> anyone done this before?
>>
>> Regards,
>> Matt Carpenter
>>
>
>

Willie K. Yee, M.D. http://users.bestweb.net/~wkyee
Developer of Problem Knowledge Couplers for Psychiatry http://www.pkc.com
Webmaster and Guitarist for the Big Blue Big Band http://www.bigbluebigband.org
!