Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Real Acoustic Guitar!

GUEST,Tunesmith 15 Dec 10 - 10:04 AM
Midchuck 15 Dec 10 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,Phil B 15 Dec 10 - 10:34 AM
theleveller 15 Dec 10 - 11:08 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Dec 10 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 15 Dec 10 - 11:33 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Dec 10 - 11:40 AM
Trapper 15 Dec 10 - 11:40 AM
Daver 15 Dec 10 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 15 Dec 10 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,erbert 15 Dec 10 - 11:55 AM
DonMeixner 15 Dec 10 - 12:05 PM
dick greenhaus 15 Dec 10 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 15 Dec 10 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,erbert 15 Dec 10 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Phil B 15 Dec 10 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Tedbelly 15 Dec 10 - 03:18 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Dec 10 - 03:35 PM
Will Fly 15 Dec 10 - 03:44 PM
Phil Cooper 15 Dec 10 - 03:49 PM
DonMeixner 15 Dec 10 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 15 Dec 10 - 06:11 PM
PoppaGator 16 Dec 10 - 04:32 PM
PHJim 17 Dec 10 - 03:40 PM
John P 17 Dec 10 - 08:11 PM
ollaimh 18 Dec 10 - 02:16 PM
Stringsinger 18 Dec 10 - 05:00 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 10:04 AM

How many folk artists play "real acoustic guitar" these days i.e. unplugged!
I would say that once "plugged" acoustic guitars are a very different animal than the unplugged variety.
Unplugged guitarists have to work long and hard at producing a great sound - both tonal and in volume, but not so with plugged-in players where the volume and tone can be shaped and controlled by pre-amps, amps and a battery on effects.
It amazes me that a great player like Martin Simpson will rave on about his marvelous Sobel guitar - and then plug in, and in doing so render much of the instruments natural tonal qualities redundant.
God bless Bob Brozman - and most bluegrass and flamenco artists!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: Midchuck
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 10:21 AM

In ideal acoustic settings - concert halls; coffeehouses which cater to people who come primarily for the music, and in which people who talk during the music are asked to be quiet, then thrown out if that doesn't work, and anyone whose cell phone rings during a performance gets scalding hot expresso poured down his/her neck; house concerts; one's own living room or back porch - I agree with you, wholeheartedly.

Problem is, 98% or so of musicians who play gigs don't get to play in such environments. They/we play in bars, restaurants, festivals and other outdoor gigs. Where people either don't come primarily to hear music, or are conditioned by rock music to have the music so loud that they can go right on gibbering like baboons and it doesn't interfere with other peoples' listening.

The choice becomes one of plugging in or not being heard. You can play into a mic, but it just doesn't work as well in terms of penetrating the background noise. And the degradation of the sound quality, while real even with the best pickup systems, is not noticeable in those environments.

That's my take on it, anyhow.

Peter


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: GUEST,Phil B
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 10:34 AM

Afraid its nesessairy to point out that the tonal quality of the instrument is of paramount importance whether or not one then plugs in. No pickup system in the world Including even magnetic (acoustic) pickups will render a naff instrument useable. Also ones technique does not alter one bit whether plugged in or not. No amplification of any kind can replicate the human touch I'm afraid. Martin is utterly justified in proclaiming the tonal quality of the Sobel, plugged in or not. Its essential!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: theleveller
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 11:08 AM

Phil's right about Martin and the Sobells, I've heard him play both with and without amplification and he and the guitars sound superb either way. He's done a lot of experimentation together with Stephan Sobell to ensure that he gets the best possible sound quality.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 11:17 AM

I can second what Leveller says.
And I agree with Phil, the addition of a pickup doesn't (or shouldn't) affect the way we play, and a great guitar will always sound better than a crappo one, whether played unplugged or plugged.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 11:33 AM

well I agree with tunesmith. I have noticed that many of the so called acoustic guitars that plug in, have this little wheel on the side. doubtless this plays the hard bits.

I have noticed they keep quiet about this.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 11:40 AM

LOL Al!

Can I have a little wheel on the side of my guitars please? I'd love to be able to play hard bits. :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: Trapper
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 11:40 AM

Dakota Dave Hull performed a house concert for us in Minneapolis a few weeks back, and played Real Acoustic guitar, with a tube-powered microphone and a tube-powered amp. It was an extremely warm sound, and we could not tell it was amplified at all.

- Al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: Daver
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 11:48 AM

Unless you're playing without any sound system, the guitar will be going through a microphone, preamp and amplifier. An acoustic guitar pickup is just a microphone which has been, hopefully, selected and positioned to get the best possible sound out of the guitar soundbox. An external mic is almost certainly not ideally positioned, and may not be really ideal for an instrument (usually vocal microphones are used). It's rare for a performer to get to play without a sound system, but it's usually well worth the effort to hear them when they do.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 11:49 AM

I didn't say you did it Backwoodsmen. But i reckon these chaps like Martin Simpson, who pretend to be really good - that's their secret - the little wheel.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 11:55 AM

As much as I agree it's nice to aspire to the best acoustic guitar sound;
It's clearly not often practicable in an amplifed band performance,
or even sonically appropriate when shaping the tonality of individual instruments and voices
to blend together harmoniously in the mix.
Especially on a studio recording.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: DonMeixner
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 12:05 PM

I don't have the equipment to be a purist anymore. While my guitars and banjo are still exceptional instruments and they sound wonderful I can't hear well enough anymore to hear them with out amplification and ear monitors. At home in the living room or in my shop I hear them fine but on stage with any amount of ambient noise and I am hopeless.

As long as my ear monitors isolate the audience/ambient sound away from me and I only hear what my guitars and voice produce I am fine.

I let others tell me whether I am good, bad, or so-so. Either I am pretty good most of the time or my audience and band mates are very kind in saying I sound pretty good.

A truly acoustic performance may be becoming a thing of the past.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 12:22 PM

And then there's the house concert...no mikes at all. Wonderful!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 12:36 PM

Of course, mics are required in big or biggish venues! But, mics are preferable to built in transducers of whatever, for the simple reason that the true sound of a guitar only emerges at a certain distance from the instrument.
And, maybe, other listeners don't/can't hear what I hear, because I hear some horrible synthetic guitar sounds from very well known guitarists.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 12:45 PM

Totally agree, there's absolutely no excuse any more for inflicting a crap shrill raw piezo pickup sound on any audience.
It's just ignorance of advances in even low cost acoustic preamps
and lazy inept gig sound crews letting it go unchallenged.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: GUEST,Phil B
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 12:53 PM

There is no such thing as the 'True Sound' of any instrument. Only what you, the individual, perceive it to be and no two people will ever, ever hear something in the same way. No two individuals will hear anything the same way. Every type of microphone, pre amp, input transformer etc places its own unique audio footprint on the 'sound' of an instrument. Basically there's no such thing as 'Flat response' even before you start to add in the nature of the P A System/Desk/Amplifiers/ room acoustics etc. In the process of professional performance the best we can hope to do is to provide something workable. 30 years ago my P A system cost £200. Now it costs £35000. its better, no doubt, but nowhere near perfect. Lifes a Bitch etc!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: GUEST,Tedbelly
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 03:18 PM

To be able to play in purely acoustic mode is a luxury that is virtually unobtainable when playing to an audience. Given this, one must settle for second best by striving to produce a sound that is processed to the minimum compatible with being plainly audible. All that hard work and time spent in developing a good acoustic technique will not be wasted because it will still in fact sound BLOODY GOOD! People will always talk during a performance, possibly just ordering drinks etc, but if you are good enough the majority will shut up and listen without being asked. Remember, these same people are paying your wages. The only way I can get a purely acoustic sound these days is to play in the bathroom, what's that you say? too much echo?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 03:35 PM

I've heard dogshit from "acoustic" guitars at respected festivals to the extent of afterwards having a word with the singer being accompanied.

However, it is nonsense to say that a player does not play differently when amplified. All sorts of things sound different, lighter touches leap audibly out, the need to hit harder reduces etc etc. I'm in no sense a guitar hero but to anyone who plays at all and who has compared playing totally bareback or on the other hand with either amplification or foldback surely the experience is very different.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 03:44 PM

I've actually almost stopped using the amplification built into my acoustic guitars (I have a Martin fitted with a Baggs iBeam and a custom guitar fitted with a B-Band). I started playing amplified acoustic guitar with the ceilidh band I currently play in. However, after two years or so of this, I've reverted to playing the music with my G&L ASAT electric guitar - and it sounds great. The band is fully amplified in any case.

Luckily, in the clubs and singarounds that I play in, people are quiet enough to allow me to play - either with pick or fingerstyle - without needing an amp. In any case, most of these venues are specifically acoustic anyway. At sessions, I tend to use a pick for volume - the custom guitar I play was made as a session guitar and has a huge bass response and projection (I call it the 'melodeon beater'...). I'm often one of 15-20 players at these sessions.

For recording, I've also now reverted to using either quality Shure mics or twin Zoom H2s which, if placed well, give an excellent sound.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 03:49 PM

I avoided getting internal mics to make my guitars plug ins for years. However after dealing with a lot of sound dudes at outdoor events that don't know how to mic an acoustic guitar anymore I finally got some. Since they're mics, I don't have to deal with the quacking sound.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: DonMeixner
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 05:30 PM

I hear people mention the "Shrill Sound of the Piezo Pick Up" quite often. Granted my hearing is problematic but the only time I hear a shrill sound from a piezo pick up is when they aren't used in conjunction with a pre amp between the guitar and the mixer. This true with any piezo pick up that isn't equalized at the guitar or the board.

D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 06:11 PM

I like to play a good transducer system through an acoustic guitar amp, then get it miked up. line outs from the acoustic amps are always shite.

that way - the sound is as big as a cows arse, and the PA man has a fair chance of locating it with his banjo.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: PoppaGator
Date: 16 Dec 10 - 04:32 PM

I play a nice old (1969) D-18 with no pickup installed. I get a LOT of volume with my two metal fingerpicks and one plastic thumbpick; I developed my technique years ago when performing (unamplified) on streetcorners. (I learned to sing pretty loud, too.)

I find myself practice-playing at home barefingered more often than I used to, but I still put on the picks to perform in in public and for at least some practice sessions. I get a wider range of tonal colors and better control using picks, while on the other hand can be a little more delicate and creative without them ~ I'll develop a new little wrinkle in an arrangement noodling around barefingered, and later learn to duplicate or approximate the same riffs wearing picks.

I'm not a working professional, and I am woefully audio-tech illiterate. My little monthly coffeehouse appearance involves two microphones (guitar and vocal), and the only thing I know about adjusting the sound rig is to turn the bass down and the treble up on the guitar-mic channel, to compensate for my instrument's bottom-heavy sound. Works for me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: PHJim
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 03:40 PM

I rarely use the pick-up; never when there are no drums or electric instruments. Even at festivals that cater to acoustic music, the sound men will often seem annoyed when they find out that I want to play through a mic. I like to be able to move close to the mic for solos and back off for rhythm.
I recall the first time I ever heard Doc Watson play with a pick-up. It was awful. He might as well play an electric guitar. I've heard him since and the sound has improved considerably. Either he's tweaked the EQ or is using a better pick-up.
A couple of years ago, I saw Steve Earl, John Sebastion , Country Joe MacDonald and some other folks play at Hamilton, Ontario's Festival Of Friends. Country Joe was the only one who played into a mic and his sound was mech better than any of the other musicians who played that day. Often the pick-ups tend to sound twangy and quacky.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: John P
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 08:11 PM

It all depends on the quality of the guitar, the quality of the playing, the quality of the gear and the quality of the soundperson. Bad sound anywhere in the chain means bad sound for a final result.

Learning to play with a guitar with a pickup is just another set of things to learn. If you can learn to play guitar competently you can learn to play an amplified guitar competently. Like anything else, you have to practice.

I agree that there are a lot of folks playing with awful sounding pickups. There are just as many playing with good sounding gear.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: ollaimh
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 02:16 PM

this is an issue i care about. when buskng--all across the world at one time or another--i have played accoustically almost exclusively. i toyd with a small amp for finger picking stuff but abandoned it after a few months. you really don't need the amplification. if you plat interesting music people respond. i can't tell you how many times a kid with his electric guiatr has been waiting for my spot and watched me make thirty forty bucks and hour(in good hours) while he's playing for cigatette monet and collecting welfare. they will be amazed but tey don't get it. play something beasutiful accoustically and people respond.

again when i played folk festivals(a dozen or so mostly on the west coast) the sound guys were a major problem. " oh you play the harp i can put on lots of reverb". i'd say no i want to sound like i sound now just louder. getting them to do that was hard. the guys at seattle folklife did understand that but most of them think they are the act and the performer is incidental.they want to destort the sound. i didn\t know enough about sound equipment to argue with them.

now ido think there are great things you can do with electromic music. i love a lot of it, i just don't want to play it.

there is an expectation now as well thas you have to have amps. i can't tell you the number of coffee houses and the like where they had a room that any good singer could ovewrwhelm if he wanted to but they have to have a sound system. i used to turn the sound system off and perform as i usually do. some are shocked and think theres something wrong but most realize you can do it with out amps, especially in a room with inder a few hundred people. with fifty to a hundred people if you can't project to the audience them maybe you should rethink what style of music you are doing.and if you are busking then you should know that the amped sound pisses off as many people as you entertain and maybe more.

in my life i've had thousands of people stop and tell me they only heard me as the stumbled on me but were so surprised and entranced that it changed their day from depression to joy. well that's what music should be about


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Real Acoustic Guitar!
From: Stringsinger
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:00 PM

Playing through a good condenser mic is the next best thing from playing live.

The guitar was built to be heard from the front through the sound hole. Pickups just
distort.

The most successful house concerts we have done have been live with no sound reinforcement.

We don't play clubs. People there are usually too drunk to appreciate good music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 21 June 10:21 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.