Monthly Archives: November 2013

Tips for recording better acoustic guitar

Whether you are a seasoned pro or an absolute beginner when it comes to recording acoustic guitars, here are 10 snippets of advice that will help you get a better recorded sound. You can find that tone you always dreamed of if you take some time out to do it the right way

1. Try a different guitar

Whether you choose from your extensive collection, or you borrow a guitar from a friend, it’s worth trying at least a couple of different guitars when recording: they can sound radically different.

2. Practice makes better

This is obvious. If you know what you’re playing and you’re playing it confidently, it will sound better by default. If you don’t, it won’t and all the tonal ‘trouble’ you’re having will snowball.

3. Be aware of reflections

What’s beneath you, to your sides and above you when recording? For example, you’ll notice that recording on a hard floor sounds very different than when you’re on a thick carpet, because of the reflected sound (or not) coming back to the mic. Experiment, listen, learn – you don’t have to kill the reflections, but you do have to be aware of what they’re doing.

4. Sometimes, lo-fi works

Jez Williams, Doves: “Sometimes, in the studio, I like the [acoustic] guitars to sound quite trashy, like an early Bowie sort of sound, and you can get that by using dictaphone microphones, and blending it with an expensive mic signal. It puts a load of middle crunch on it.”

5. Try a different pick

If you’re layering a strummed rhythm part, try using a thin PICK (plectrum). Different thickness picks can have a remarkable effect on tone, so before you stampede for the EQ knobs or buy that expensive mic, first try shelling out 79p on a thin pick.

6. Try an X-Y crossed pair

A step on from basic mic techniques, take two cardioid mics close together, around 90-degrees to one another, around a foot from the guitar. Point one towards the neck/ body join, the other towards the soundhole: a classic Nashville recording technique. Rode makes a single mic for the job, the NT4.

I have placed another blog posting showing different configurations of mics that may help you out. The little things sometimes make the biggest changes.

 

7. EQ gently

If you find you’re needing to EQ things radically, you probably have a fundamental issue with mic choice and placement. Get that right in the first place and you’ll save yourself a great deal of work. But…

8. Cut bass

You might like your acoustic all fat and bassy. It can be good when solo, but it’s a problem in a band mix because the acoustic may clash with the bass. Try rolling off frequencies below 100Hz, creeping up to around 350Hz to taste. Notice how mixing just got easier? Remember to use your EQ a little bit at atime. You should not have to be to drastic as you think. I am all for experimenting but you do not want to make something to booming then you have no headroom in the rest of the mix.

9. Flock of seagulls?

If you’ve ever tried to mic up a guitar with brand-new strings, you’ll know all about finger noises: we call them seagulls. To avoid them, get a good few hours on the strings before recording. Coated strings (such as Elixir Poly- or Nanoweb) can reduce squawks too.

10. Just feel it

The most over looked yet most important factor is if your not into it your not going to make it sound good. Just relax maybe take a break. If it is somehting for someone else see if you cannot do something to make it your own or find something in the song that is cool. Just chill. if your not into playing the acoustic and your head is not in it, walk away and try it again later.

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Copyright what is it and who needs it?

You need to copyright your music if you are trying to do anything with your music. If you are trying to get music placed with in Film and TV, played on the radio, or performed by some of the biggest or smallest stars in the music industry. By having a copyright for your music or written works it will protect you and your works from those who will want it for free so they can profit off of your work.

I can tell you that when I first started I did not know much about it and did not even really think it mattered. Then as I started to understand things I had someone tell me I can make a poor man’s copyright. This is a myth in the music industry that the old-fashioned fix of recording a song, placing it in an envelope and mailing it to yourself then guaranteed copyright protection. The post date on the stamp was supposed to serve as proof of the date of origin of the song, provided the envelope remained sealed.

However, this method didn’t stand up in various court cases and has since been discredited. Some folks will tell you it works but who is to say that an envelope’s seal cannot be carefully unsealed and resealed. So if you r going to take the time to do that why not do it right? Do you not consider your work valuable? You think it is priceless yet you will not spend $35- $40 to register it with the US Copyright office or office in your country that handles it?

WHAT is a COPYRIGHT?

Under international law, copyright is the automatic right of the creator of a work. This means that as soon as you write down a song or make a recording, it’s copyrighted. In order to enforce the copyright, though, you’ll need to be able to prove your ownership. In the US, that means you need to register your song with the U.S. government’s copyright website. This will make it much easier to assert your rights if your copyright is infringed. Read on to learn more about how to protect your song with a copyright.

A cool tip I found!!

As a songwriter, composer, artist writer, author it is important to keep track of every song or work you have written, when you wrote it, and who you wrote it with, whether or not you register it with the copyright office. A useful and free tool we recommend is a website such as “MyWerx” www.mywerx.com. There, you can create a free account and log every song you create to help protect your intellectual property rights!

If you want to copyright online (the recommended method):

Visit copyright.gov

At the top of the page, it says there are several link options. I recommend you choose “eCO Tutorial.” and “HOW TO REGISTER a WORK.” This will bring up a pages that walk you through the steps of copyrighting your materials online, which includes creating an account on the website and logging in. The account itself is entirely free of charge, but remember that there are filing fees.

Copyright Office forms and information circulars are available from:
Register of Copyrights
Copyright Office
Library of Congress
Washington, D.C 20559-6000
(202) 707-6787

Fees for
Copyright
Registration:
Basic: $45
Online: $35
www.loc.gov/copyright

Whether you want to copyright online or by mail, go to http://www.copyright.gov/eco. Eco stands for electronic copyright.

If you want to copyright by mail:

At the bottom of the page, it says “Alternate Methods” and gives you a list of alternate ways to copyright your materials and the steps necessary to complete those.

It is very important that you begin the process as fast as you can. If you are wanting to make money off your work or protect it YOU are the one who needs to do it. No one cares more about your work than YOU. Always remember that.

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