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Nylon acoustic guitar sound

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Nylon acoustic guitar sound

Postby Jorge Carrega » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:44 pm


I would like to hear some opinions about how achieve this nylon acoustic guitar sound please:

Tino Izzo - Youtube

I know Tino Izzo had an Ovation 1713 Classical, probably used it DI and mic, but not sure about that.

I record my Alhambra guitar with two mics (AKG and Audio Technica) and processing with a little compression and reverb, but the sound is always more thin, doesn´t have that "body" and "warmth".

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance
Jorge Carrega
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Re: Nylon acoustic guitar sound

Postby buggymusic » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:05 am

tube pre-amp ?
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Re: Nylon acoustic guitar sound

Postby Sam Inglis » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:32 am

Perhaps we have different ideas of what warmth is, but I have to say that recording doesn't sound unusually warm to me. There's a fair amount of top end and the transients are quite prominent, so pretty sure that a condenser mic would have been involved. It also sounds as though there's some fairly serious mix bus compression going on, which I think is bringing up the (already large) amount of reverb.
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Re: Nylon acoustic guitar sound

Postby Phil O » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:34 am

It might simply be a case of that is how the source sounds. I recorded a Flamenco guitarist with a very similar tone and much of this was down to his playing and a very expensive custom instrument with excellent 'warm' tone woods. IIRC, we used a single Neuman U87 Mic.
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Re: Nylon acoustic guitar sound

Postby grab » Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:31 am

I suspect the raw tone though is just in the fingers. I think there's lots of rest strokes going on there.

In the mix that sound is about a long-tail reverb with quite a lot of reflections. Maybe they've dialled the high end down a bit too.

But I do wish he didn't have all those fret squeaks on the steel-string guitar in the backing - it's quite distracting.
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Re: Nylon acoustic guitar sound

Postby Jorge Carrega » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:31 pm

Thank you for your replies.

@ buggymusic
Any ideas about the tube pre-amp?

@ grab
What do you mean "they´ve dialled the high end down a bit too?" EQ or other technique?

Like Sam Inglis said, i believe there is some serious compression.

What do you think about a sidechain send to the reverb, could improve it?

Jorge Carrega
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Re: Nylon acoustic guitar sound

Postby The Elf » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:17 pm

The body and warmth is 'borrowed' from other elements in the mix IMO. If I was aiming for this type of sound I'd be getting an LDC close in at the body/neck joint and hitting the compression with enthusiasm.

I like my MXL V69 for this type of work, since it gets sparkle without sounding scratchy. I'd also consider a U87 if the mids were getting lost. I'd choose a pre that adds a little extra weight, maybe a 1073, or 1081 (in my case that would be an emulation from my Liquid Channels). I'd be looking for a sound that can hold its own in the mix - not necessarily something with delicacy, low noise or fidelity.

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Re: Nylon acoustic guitar sound

Postby bequick_x » Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:01 am

I don't want to sound like I'm pointing out the obvious but I think it could be down to your fingernail length and/or shape or plectrum. If your nails are long and squared they can sound very thin and harsh. A good tone for this style of playing requires some flesh of your fingers for 'warmth'. Again, using a plectrum could sound thin depending on thickness, but it's worth experimenting with different pics. I also think the reverb on some of the tracks sound quite 'sharp' that's just my opinion.

Nice track though!, hopefully it will help me get to sleep tonight:D
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Re: Nylon acoustic guitar sound

Postby Jorge Carrega » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:58 am

@ The Elf
Thank you for your informed considerations.

Well, there´s no doubt that the player technique has a great impact on the tone of the guitar track.
I don´t use plectrum at all, I play fingerstyle guitar.
I´ve made some tests using a flamenco "picado" style and the tone it´s better now.
Of course, the quality of the instrument and the room acoustics are very important too.

My initial question was about essentialy on the mixing stage.

Thanks to all.
Jorge Carrega
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