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DAGGILARR



Joined: 22/09/10
Posts: 654
Loc: Exeter, Devon.
New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar
      #1024518 - 16/12/12 09:37 AM
I have had conflicting advice on this. I wonder what the prevailing opinion is ? The strings on my Guild GAD40c are a bit tired and my ear is saying time for a fresh set of D'Ads, but then then a voice, I think from here, says noooo not if you want to record.. fresh string are a nightmare.

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Shambolic Charm



Joined: 13/07/05
Posts: 954
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: DAGGILARR]
      #1024519 - 16/12/12 09:45 AM
Depends whether you want that new string 'zing', personally I'm not keen on it.

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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4473
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: DAGGILARR]
      #1024520 - 16/12/12 09:56 AM
Might have been me...New strings are almost always too bright, zingy and rattly. This goes away as the strings are played in...I think it may be because the windings flatten slightly onto the frets. I thought it might be oxidisation but I have tried leaving new strings out of the their packets for weeks, pulling them through my palms etc to try to prevent this problem. It didn't work. There's a window after the strings have been played for a few days and before the intonation goes off when they tend to be best for recording. It's the same on electrics and terrible on bass. All that said, a picking part will be less obviously problematic than strumming, some guitars will be worse than others, and of course it very much depends on your aesthetic. If you're after a very bright, shimmery sound, rather than a woody tone, then it may work fine.

J

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Dynamic Mike



Joined: 31/12/06
Posts: 1973
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: DAGGILARR]
      #1024539 - 16/12/12 12:21 PM
I actually quite like the tone of fresh strings, but I find it increases finger noise too much for recording. I generally try and change a couple of days before recording to reduce the amount of squeak & to allow the tuning to settle. But my main problem recording with older strings is that it's difficult to match the tone if I want to drop in any changes later.

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Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the poster by the time you read this.


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caveman82



Joined: 30/01/06
Posts: 1290
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: Jack Ruston]
      #1024540 - 16/12/12 12:21 PM
I've done quite a few recordings with solo acoustic guitar, and the age of strings is massively important.

If they are brand new, they sound too bright and zingy. Also for new strings they can take a bit more time to settle in for staying in tune too.

If they are too old then they can have problems with tuning (I use a lot of open tunings, string lifespans consequently are a lot shorter).

What I found is that at times when new strings are mandatory, some brands of strings are better than others. I find some D'addario strings (80/20 EJ12,36 & PB 26/38) last a longish time but sound too bright to begin with. I've found some Martin Guitar strings although M175 80/20's to be dull in the long run but sound better at 6-48 hours old than D'Addario strings. I've tried many other brands though, but these are two

My general observation of sorts, is that cheaper strings sound 'fresh' for less time and consequently are often better for recording than more expensive strings than often last for longer. It's a generalisation of the strings which I have tried and due to the almost infinite number of different brands of strings, I can't account for all strings; they might be some brands which sound perfect for recording straight away....

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Herman Grimme
member


Joined: 28/10/03
Posts: 20
Loc: Groningen, NL
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: DAGGILARR]
      #1024721 - 17/12/12 04:21 PM
Maybe the dilemma can be solved by using coated strings; they cost a little more, but last much longer. More importantly: even when they're brand-new they don't have the ultra-bright, 'zingy', rattly quality of regular, uncoated strings. i.e. the difference between old and new strings is less big. Works for me.


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DAGGILARR



Joined: 22/09/10
Posts: 654
Loc: Exeter, Devon.
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: Herman Grimme]
      #1024728 - 17/12/12 04:40 PM
I have never got on with coated strings, though to fair have only tried them once, Elixir I think they were. Took them straight off they sounded to me ....well.. coated... I use D,Addario EJ19's.

It will be a couple of weeks before I have another bash at recording properly again so I think a re-string an play em in is what I will do. (may do a quick experimental track or two with the fresh sound for comparison)

Though I may just try a set of coated at some point, any recommendations ... The EJ19's are 12<>56 so fairly weighty

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darrylonguitar



Joined: 13/12/06
Posts: 36
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: DAGGILARR]
      #1024756 - 17/12/12 08:02 PM
The D'Addario coated strings have more of a traditional string sound than the Elixer in my experience. The D'Addario coated also seem to have the most consistent tone across their life span of all the strings I've tried over the years and are now my string of choice both acoustic and electric. Still, they too suffer from new string thwack. Don't know that there's any way around it.

I prefer to record with stings at least a couple days old and really only change the strings once intonation and tuning problems set in. With the coated strings that happens before the tone is dull, especially if the guitar is stored in a hard shell case between sessions.


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Magic Matt



Joined: 17/09/10
Posts: 141
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: DAGGILARR]
      #1024799 - 18/12/12 01:30 AM
Quote DAGGILARR:

I have had conflicting advice on this. I wonder what the prevailing opinion is ?




Recording is as much about capturing the sound you like as anything else. Do whatever gives you the sound you like. When you get down to it, it's your sound, your playing, your material, so play it the way you want it to sound. If that means replacing the strings with elstic bands then so be it. What other people like is their sound, not yours!

Personally I prefer the sound and feel of strings once they've been played for a good few hours... but that's just my preference.

Edited by Magic Matt (18/12/12 01:32 AM)


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Davedave93



Joined: 21/04/10
Posts: 110
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: DAGGILARR]
      #1024895 - 18/12/12 01:56 PM
I love new strings, but yes, they do increase string noise and are perhaps over-bright for recording. I like to put new strings on a day before I record, provided I play a decent amount in that time.


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Johnny Stecchino



Joined: 19/03/07
Posts: 591
Loc: Roma, Italy
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: Magic Matt]
      #1025271 - 20/12/12 12:53 PM
I know better the violin than the guitar, but the issue is similar.
In your case, I would put new strings, play them for few days and then record. You get the best of the two worlds combination...that's my 2 cents on the topic.
Best of luck!

I just notice you actually wrote a second time, and mention:

Quote DAGGILARR:

It will be a couple of weeks before I have another bash at recording properly again so I think a re-string an play em in is what I will do. (may do a quick experimental track or two with the fresh sound for comparison)



Good. so in case you didn't do it already yourself just play the strings for 3-4 days and only then record for compare.
Always wish you best of luck!



Edited by Johnny Stecchino (20/12/12 01:05 PM)


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Bossman
active member


Joined: 30/09/02
Posts: 1616
Loc: UK
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: Magic Matt]
      #1025299 - 20/12/12 02:09 PM
Quote Magic Matt:

...replacing the strings with elstic bands...




might have to try that..

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www.Lozjackson.com


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DC-Choppah



Joined: 20/07/12
Posts: 329
Loc: MD, USA
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: DAGGILARR]
      #1025513 - 21/12/12 10:37 PM
For acoustic guitar, the strings are a key part of the sound. Personally, I always want fresh strings that have been broken in. Guitarists get used to the sound of their old strings, but are always pleasantly surprised how much they like the sound and feel of new strings, even if the old ones are relatively fresh.

If you record the same acoustic instrument and player with a fresh set of the same strings, the sound will match. Not so with older strings.

Some players don't know how to stretch their strings to get them to stay in tune right away.

If the instrument sounds too bright with new, stretched strings, it may be that the strings should be changed to a mellower set and the instrument setup changed. Again, I think players get used to the sound of their worn strings, so by comparison think the new strings are too bright. When in fact, the way the instrument sounds with fresh, broken in strings is its natural voice that you can record consistently. Just MHO.


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Tartaruga



Joined: 04/09/10
Posts: 217
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: DAGGILARR]
      #1025741 - 24/12/12 09:35 AM
Hi Daggilarr

I’m with ‘DC Choppah’ here…Usually,what can the ‘most',can the ‘less’ but not the other way around.
New strings are more stable,fuller,and richer in harmonics.If the ‘zing’ from it’s ‘newness’ annoys you,you can just cut it with an EQ.On the other side,you can’t had something to a sound that wasn’t there in the first place.Tuning stability shouldn’t be a problem 'at all',just set your strings correctly and you’re good to go.
When I can,every time I record or have a recording session,I put new strings.’On tour’,usually,for each concert=new set of strings.
For me,new strings are always,always,a real a joy,be it for guitar or bass.
Cheers!
(And Merry Christmas to all of you!)

Pedro


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Shambolic Charm



Joined: 13/07/05
Posts: 954
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: DAGGILARR]
      #1025753 - 24/12/12 10:32 AM
....but if your guitar doesn't sound the way you like it, your performance may be compromised. Bear in mind it's a two way experience. Your guitar inspires you as well as you bringing inspiration to the guitar.

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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4473
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: Tartaruga]
      #1025756 - 24/12/12 10:38 AM
Quote Tartaruga:


If the ‘zing’ from it’s ‘newness’ annoys you,you can just cut it with an EQ.

Pedro




Not possible sadly. Unfortunately the 'zing' is a sort of shimmery rattle of the strings against the fret. If you cut top end you're just cutting wanted brightness. The nasty stuff exists in the same space as the nice. I thing that what may happen is that as you play the guitar the strings, especially the wound strings, deform against the frets. It's as if they become almost like a flat wound at those contact points, but less extreme. It may be that there are several effects occurring at once, of which that is one element. I've tried all sorts of things, uncluding going up and down the guitar, fret by fret, string by string and pressing the new strings against the frets. It seems to help but it's hard to keep perspective on how zingy they really are.

Certainly for me, the best sounds are always the ones where the guitar and the string are both reasonably woody sounding, and not too bright...And I'm adding top end with eq rather than taking it away.

J

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www.jackruston.com


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Tartaruga



Joined: 04/09/10
Posts: 217
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: Jack Ruston]
      #1025845 - 25/12/12 09:15 AM
Hi Jack

Never had the problem you mentioned…Only when the guitar is not good shape or bad set-up.
Maybe Zen Guitar could suggest some advices…

Cheers!


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matt keen



Joined: 07/01/06
Posts: 1851
Loc: Northants, England
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: Tartaruga]
      #1028286 - 12/01/13 04:46 PM
Quote Tartaruga:

Hi Jack

Never had the problem you mentioned…Only when the guitar is not good shape or bad set-up.
Maybe Zen Guitar could suggest some advices…

Cheers!





Excuse me???

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Matt
www.krcollective.org


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Sam Spoons
active member


Joined: 23/01/03
Posts: 1148
Loc: Manchester UK
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: DAGGILARR]
      #1028328 - 12/01/13 09:49 PM
I remember reading an article (in SOS, I think but can't find it) interviewing a Nashville producer and he said "if the guitar player hasn't fitted new strings for the session, I give him a set and deduct the cost from his session fee". Personally I prefer brand new strings, if the guitar buzz's or rattles it ain't set up right :-) but I find D'Addario coated strings a good compromise for gigs (I find Elixir's less when bright box fresh and I had a few problems with wound thirds breaking). Each to his own I guess


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Scouser



Joined: 04/10/04
Posts: 575
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: DAGGILARR]
      #1028562 - 14/01/13 03:09 PM
Depends what kind of sound you want to capture, I guess. New strings for me are a little too bright. A couple of weeks old = mellow

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Kaw-Liga
member


Joined: 15/10/03
Posts: 420
Loc: Norway, Oslo
Re: New strings or not for recording acoustic guitar new [Re: DAGGILARR]
      #1029669 - 22/01/13 07:25 AM
If the guitar doesn't sound good or doesn't tune well anymore, the first thing to do is to change strings. There are different kinds of strings, and you should ask for strings that don't sound very fresh.

As for me, I like the changes in guitar sound, and rarely revisit recordings. Know exactly enough what you want to do, write it down, rehearse it well, – then record it correctly and quickly, would be my advice. If you split up writing, arranging, rehearsing and going for the sublime recording into four different modes, the last mode shouldn't take forever. Use the DAW or whatever throughout all these phases as you like, but know when you go for the ultimate take.


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