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how to achieve this kind of acoustic strumming sound

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how to achieve this kind of acoustic strumming sound

Postby kinglouis » Tue May 14, 2019 4:21 pm

https://open.spotify.com/track/1Dq9gpTa ... NIIcArMUVw

Hi all,

How does this get done?! The guitar strumming is far more percussive than melodic - I guess you need a thin pick, and obviously be a MEAN rhythm guitarist, but anyone got any ideas as to how to record the guitar so the actual notes are very much second fiddle (haha) to the strumming sound?

Hope that's clear, many thanks for any help!

Alex
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Re: how to achieve this kind of acoustic strumming sound

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue May 14, 2019 5:12 pm

I like this a lot. I'd say a thinnish (not too thin) pick and heavy, new, strings.
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Re: how to achieve this kind of acoustic strumming sound

Postby kinglouis » Tue May 14, 2019 5:22 pm

Thanks, will try that. Any tips on micing? I doubt its anything too outlandish!
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Re: how to achieve this kind of acoustic strumming sound

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue May 14, 2019 6:03 pm

Sorry no, not really, just try the usual places and your ears. First priority is to get the guitar sound you want.
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Re: how to achieve this kind of acoustic strumming sound

Postby BJG145 » Tue May 14, 2019 7:09 pm

It's common to mix "skinny" acoustic rhythm guitars; I should think the engineer's EQ settings are a significant part of it. I'm not sure about going too thin on the pick because you still need plenty of clay to make a sculpt, as it were...but, yes, not overly thick for sure.

(As you say, you can hardly hear the chords at all, so there might be a lot of palm-muting going on.)
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Re: how to achieve this kind of acoustic strumming sound

Postby blinddrew » Tue May 14, 2019 9:18 pm

If I was after that kind of percussive sound I'd start with an SDC pointing at the fretboard around 12-14th fret, fairly close in.
Here's a convenient video: https://youtu.be/9YinM0hJlfw?t=158 that should hopefully start at the right time. :)
EDIT - then high pass it heavily obviously, you'll probably find you can push it surprisingly high up the spectrum and still capture the percussion of the instrument.
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Re: how to achieve this kind of acoustic strumming sound

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue May 14, 2019 9:26 pm

I'm struggling to find out who the guitar player was on that album, maybe to was Phil Cunningham himself on the CD, but he'll be A list folk guitar royalty playing with them and seriously accomplished. But BJG has probably got it nailed, especially don't fall into the trap of using a super thin pick as it'll just sound thin and clicky (which is not what I hear).
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Re: how to achieve this kind of acoustic strumming sound

Postby kinglouis » Tue May 14, 2019 10:28 pm

That is extremely helpful, thank you all. Have ordered some thicker strings! Will let you know how I get on.

Yes it is fantastic eh? Am also listening to Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill which is equally beautiful in my opinion.

Cheers!

Alex
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Re: how to achieve this kind of acoustic strumming sound

Postby BJG145 » Tue May 14, 2019 10:56 pm

BJG145 wrote:palm-muting

...fret-hand, I meant.

Went to Colchester to see Flook the other day with Ed Boyd playing guitar in that style. Great band - well worth catching on their current tour if you get the chance...

https://youtu.be/_2j3lJvoXWo?t=199

https://flook.co.uk/tour-list/
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Re: how to achieve this kind of acoustic strumming sound

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue May 14, 2019 11:07 pm

Ah, yes, like Gypsy Jazz rhythm..... It can be almost totally rhythmic with the chord barely sounding at all. But we use thick picks and lightish strings (10-46 or 11-47 but on a 26.5" scale). It doesn't sound like that is what's happening here though.
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Re: how to achieve this kind of acoustic strumming sound

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue May 14, 2019 11:41 pm

The guitarist appears to be Jenn Butterworth, with whom I’m unfamiliar.

Sounds like she’s using Elixir Phosphor Bronze Nanoweb 13’s with something like a Dunlop Tortex .73......... nah! I wouldn’t know, but you can read her gear list here: http://www.jennbutterworth.co.uk/equipment/ ;)

Personally I think the guitar tone is destroyed - but for good reason and I can see where the producers are coming from. In the context of that mix, the call has been made that the guitar should occupy only the higher frequencies of the rhythm section only - particularly important when the piano comes in. Related is that Phil’s left hand appears to be absent, covered by a somewhat woolly bass and piano when it comes in.

For that guitar sound I think a single mic around the 12th fret with copious subtractive EQ would get you there.

Regarding that style of guitar accompaniment of Scottish Traditional music, it was inspired by the great Willie Johnson who was a peer of the Shetland fiddler Tom Anderson, who was himself a mentor for Aly Bain. Have a listen to this track https://open.spotify.com/track/6ztSgiLaWNK7QOPElPfNc6?si=rWCWMTsXSIuo2OyJXvH3fw (Mr Spoons will like that!)

The story goes (as I remember it) that Willie got a guitar somehow, but had no idea how to play it, so he tuned into radio and heard tracks being played by Django Reinhardt - so he thought that was how you played guitar.

Bob
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Re: how to achieve this kind of acoustic strumming sound

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue May 14, 2019 11:50 pm

I do indeed like that.... And it is a quite Djangoesque at least as far as the rhythmic style is concerned. Not sure he didn't know how to play though, that bass line he's playing is definitely way past beginner standard (however good he is on other instruments).

Having just read JBs gear list, and been playing an acoustic with a Wegen BG pick and 12-52 Elixer strings I reckon she could well have been using that combination. Combined with LH muting that could certainly give the flavour of that sound.
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Re: how to achieve this kind of acoustic strumming sound

Postby Dan LB » Wed May 15, 2019 12:36 am

kinglouis wrote: .....also listening to Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill which is equally beautiful in my opinion

Absolutely - if not more so!!!! I have worked with them on several occasions - as a duo and with The Gloaming - and I'm always blown away by their performances. Martin is a true virtuoso
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Re: how to achieve this kind of acoustic strumming sound

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed May 15, 2019 12:55 am

Sam Spoons wrote:Not sure he didn't know how to play though, that bass line he's playing is definitely way past beginner standard.

He practiced heaps...... not much else to do in Shetland ;)

Bob
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Re: how to achieve this kind of acoustic strumming sound

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed May 15, 2019 12:59 am

:D :D :D
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Re: how to achieve this kind of acoustic strumming sound

Postby kinglouis » Wed May 15, 2019 9:57 am

Bob Bickerton wrote: Have a listen to this track https://open.spotify.com/track/6ztSgiLaWNK7QOPElPfNc6?si=rWCWMTsXSIuo2OyJXvH3fw (Mr Spoons will like that!)

Ah but that's fantastic! Thanks Bob, tons of helpful information there and some lovely music I've not heard before. I'd not thought to try a gypsy strumming style...


Dan LB wrote:Absolutely - if not more so!!!! I have worked with them on several occasions - as a duo and with The Gloaming - and I'm always blown away by their performances. Martin is a true virtuoso


Wow, I'm very jealous! That kind of feel is infectious and rare, what a treat to work with them.


This is why I demo up tracks weeks if not months before the hand-in date - gives me ages to try out different techniques! I'm much indebted to your collective wisdom as always, thank you.

Alex
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