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Acoustic. What does that mean?

GUEST 28 Jul 13 - 09:17 PM
Joe Offer 28 Jul 13 - 10:23 PM
Little Hawk 28 Jul 13 - 10:45 PM
Larry The Radio Guy 28 Jul 13 - 10:54 PM
Sandra in Sydney 28 Jul 13 - 11:49 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jul 13 - 01:01 AM
Will Fly 29 Jul 13 - 03:47 AM
Richard Bridge 29 Jul 13 - 03:59 AM
Mr Happy 29 Jul 13 - 04:25 AM
JHW 29 Jul 13 - 05:17 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Jul 13 - 06:00 AM
Pete Jennings 29 Jul 13 - 07:18 AM
Sandra in Sydney 29 Jul 13 - 10:15 AM
Richard Bridge 29 Jul 13 - 10:23 AM
Tootler 29 Jul 13 - 11:09 AM
GUEST 29 Jul 13 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,PeterC 29 Jul 13 - 11:53 AM
GUEST 29 Jul 13 - 12:25 PM
Uncle Tone 29 Jul 13 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,highlandman at work 29 Jul 13 - 01:35 PM
Tattie Bogle 29 Jul 13 - 02:50 PM
cooperman 30 Jul 13 - 04:15 AM
MGM·Lion 30 Jul 13 - 05:07 AM
Musket 30 Jul 13 - 05:22 AM
Acorn4 30 Jul 13 - 05:36 AM
banjoman 30 Jul 13 - 06:08 AM
Brian Peters 30 Jul 13 - 06:56 AM
Uncle Tone 30 Jul 13 - 07:10 AM
Uncle Tone 30 Jul 13 - 07:17 AM
cooperman 30 Jul 13 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,JHW 30 Jul 13 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 30 Jul 13 - 08:47 AM
Mr Red 30 Jul 13 - 12:53 PM
greg stephens 30 Jul 13 - 03:44 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 30 Jul 13 - 04:38 PM
Uncle Phil 30 Jul 13 - 10:29 PM
PHJim 30 Jul 13 - 11:24 PM
GUEST 31 Jul 13 - 02:43 AM
Uncle Tone 31 Jul 13 - 04:48 AM
Musket 31 Jul 13 - 04:53 AM
Big Al Whittle 31 Jul 13 - 05:43 AM
Musket 31 Jul 13 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,Triplane 31 Jul 13 - 08:15 AM
Will Fly 31 Jul 13 - 08:17 AM
Pete Jennings 31 Jul 13 - 10:17 AM
Big Al Whittle 31 Jul 13 - 01:59 PM
Uncle Tone 31 Jul 13 - 02:16 PM
cooperman 01 Aug 13 - 04:12 AM
Pete Jennings 01 Aug 13 - 10:33 AM
Big Al Whittle 01 Aug 13 - 12:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Aug 13 - 08:31 PM
Uncle Tone 02 Aug 13 - 03:50 AM
GUEST 02 Aug 13 - 03:55 AM
Will Fly 02 Aug 13 - 04:00 AM
Green Man 02 Aug 13 - 04:25 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 02 Aug 13 - 04:32 AM
Musket 02 Aug 13 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 02 Aug 13 - 07:58 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 02 Aug 13 - 08:13 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Aug 13 - 09:08 AM
GUEST 02 Aug 13 - 06:16 PM
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Subject: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 09:17 PM

Forgive me if this has been done before, but I am watching a BBC documentary about rock bands going acoustic, yet they are still using microphones and plugged in guitars.

So, are they really acoustic?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0141myx/When_Rock_Goes_Acoustic/

Incidentally Mike Radcliffe is not a bad presenter when he's reading a script, but then we could all do that couldn't we?

Tone


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 10:23 PM

I wish these BBC programs would broadcast in the U.S. After all, we Americans tend to be more enthralled by the Throne, than the Brits are...

I really hate to argue about definitions. I suppose that pure acoustic music is untouched by electrons, heard live in a symphony hall, a pub, in church (sometimes), or around a campfire. If you hear it on a recording, then it really isn't "acoustic," by this definition.

But lately people call music "acoustic" that is produced by non-electronic means and not altered electronically except by being amplified. I guess I could accept that definition.

And following that, then "electric" music would be that which is electronically produced or modified. When they complained about Dylan going electric, they weren't just bitching about his singing through a microphone.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 10:45 PM

Guest: It's perfectly simple: an "acoustic" guitar is a guitar of the traditional type...hollow body, so that the sound is produced acoustically, whether or not that sound is then further amplified by microphones or electronic pickups.

An electric guitar is a guitar with a solid body, and the sound is not produced acoustically to any very noticeable extent, but ONLY through electronic pickups.

Then, to split hairs, you have some acoustic electric type guitars which are sort of a compromise between the 2 above: they have a shallower hollow body or partially hollow body with some acoustic sound, and they also have pickups, but they are almost always played using the electronic amplification provided by the pickups.

If a "rock band" goes "acoustic", then it means that they are playing on acoustic guitars, not electric guitars. Whether or not there are pickups in those acoustic guitars is not the point...the body type of the guitar is the point.

Acoustic guitars sound quite different from electric guitars, they look quite different and they feel quite different to play...you need more force to press down the strings on an acoustic, so the technique is quite different from playing on an electric.   Acoustic guitars are larger in the body, much lighter in weight, and warmer in tone than an electric guitar. Either type can of course be amplified to any level of sound you want, if you use electrical accessories to do it.

Many of Dylan's purist folk fans in '65-66 thought a folksinger shouldn't be playing an electric guitar at all...they considered it to be a commercial "sellout" at the time...the act of a "traitor" to the folk ethic! ;-) Times have changed. There were hardly any of them who knew he had greatly enjoyed fronting electric rock bands in high school, and was simply returning to something he'd done before. Why? Because he felt like it at the time, that's why. He enjoyed doing the electric music, and he had gotten bored with the solo folk thing after about 4 years of doing it intensely. He must have been "sick of all this repetition", to quote a line from one of his songs.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 10:54 PM

I've actually had a similar question. I've no problem with microphones and plugged in acoustic guitars that sound acoustic in all respects.

Bus so often see a reference to somebody performing 'unplugged' or acoustically...and what I'm hearing sounds like an electric guitar, but played slightly softer than normal.

So I'm wondering if, just like the concept of 'cover' keeps expanding to include everything that the performer didn't write, if the concept of 'acoustic' is being used to describe anything that isn't ear splitting.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 11:49 PM

My folk club is famous for it's superb acoustic hall, & famous singing audience but this month we went electric. We advertise as being fully acoustic! no mikes! no amplification!

Last year the Council spent 6 months fixing the leaks & water damage, renovating & restoring the historical character of our hall & totally stuffed the acoustic. We've struggled with it for months, & moved the "stage" around but still couldn't hear properly. Last month our singer/songwriter/comedian wondered why those of us sitting in the 3rd row weren't laughing at his jokes.

I asked a friend who is a musician & soundman if he could help & he worked out what was what & where's where & we could all hear! It looked odd to see 2 huge speakers beside the old Victorian fireplace & 3 rather odd-looking mikes on the floor. But we could hear. Ralph is a folkie who makes his living from folk music & we were lucky he was free that night, but he will be working on 3rd Saturdays the rest of the year, but another member has a small sound system & we can probably cope if necessary.

We weren't the only group affected - the Council has lost bookings for a choir, a group of classical musicians & at least 3 other groups so have asked an acoustic expert to check it & sort it out.

If it's not done by our next booking we can use the other, modern hall which we used while it was being restored.

One day soon we'll be back to being fully acoustic in the best acoustic space in Sydney!

sandra


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 01:01 AM

Sandra has a real point about the room where the music is performed. It's such a pleasure to sing without amplification in a room with good acoustics. It's like playing a fine instrument.
And hey, it makes a singer sound terrific!
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 03:47 AM

"Acoustic" - to me - implies that there is nothing between you and the performer and his or her instrument except air. I think the term "unplugged" - used so much these days for rock programmes on TV - is a misnomer. A mic is just another transducer of sound - amplifying an instrument or a voice, but in a different way from an electrical pickup.

I suspect the adjective "unplugged" has become a kind of shorthand for, intimate, relaxed, cool...


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 03:59 AM

IMHO "acoustic" as a term precludes the use of amplification. At all. Not that I mind amplification, and indeed at a festival in the near future I will probably be playing an electric guitar-type mandolin (the same sort of idea as a mandocaster but not in fact a mandocaster) - but I wouldn't call it "acoustic".


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 04:25 AM

Nor me.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: JHW
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 05:17 AM

Yes to me 'acoustic' means straight from the horse's mouth or instrument, what you see is what you hear.
An 'Acoustic Night' though is much more likely to involve a PA. vis Open Mic Acoustic Night.
An electric band 'Unplugged' is unlikely to mean near silence.
'Unpigged' means Kermit the Frog solo.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 06:00 AM

It's hard to define but easy enough to recognise when you hear it!


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 07:18 AM

I'm with Joe and LH here, although Richard is fundamentally accurate. The problems of no amplification are highlighted by Sandra and it's a shame the repairs spoiled the acoustics in Sydney.

I can sing reasonably well (within my not-so-great range!) but without a microphone my lack of projection would mean that very few people would hear me, except in a really small room, never mind the Club tent at Cambridge...


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 10:15 AM

this month our booked acts were from interstate & 3 of the 4 had performed here before. Two of them hadn't been with us since last century but remembered the experience of singing in the perfect acoustic space.

They'll all be back next year & I hope the sound experts have modified the hall by then cos we don't want to lose our reputation & turn into "just" another amplified venue.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 10:23 AM

The old Miskin was great for that too.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Tootler
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 11:09 AM


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 11:34 AM

We can split hairs about what "Acoustic" means, and get into dictionary definitions, but we all know that when it is applied to rock bands it means husky faux-soul vocals and stodgy ballads strummed in A minor.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 11:53 AM

Fairport Convention used to do a short 'Fairport Acoustic Convention' tour each autumn. What that really meant was that they (a) had no drummer, and (b) used microphones instead of pick ups, so they had to sit down to play!


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 12:25 PM

Without the electro acoustic aspect acoustic guitar would not be used by rock bands. The amplification of acoustic guitars has so much improved since ovations.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 12:38 PM

I've just tried to start an acoustic singaround club in a pub in York. Unfortunately, although the pub has great 'acoustics' the customers are not appreciative at all. The louder we sang, the louder they shouted over us.

The management suggested that we use amplification. I told them, if we diid that we wouldn't be an acoustic singaround club, would we?

We are now seeking a quieter venue.

Tone


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 01:35 PM

I respect the hard-liners' definition of 'no amplification,' but I think a better working definition is that acoustic music employs instruments (voice included) that produce their sound by primarily acoustical means, and if amplification is used to reinforce the volume it is used in such a way as to be as faithful as possible to the natural sound. Of course this is strictly speaking impossible, but you know an honest attempt at it when you hear it.
I am ambivalent about built-in pickups in acoustic guitars. I am sure that if one spent enough money one could get a faithful acoustic sound, but most of the piezo ones IMHO sound ghastly. The way a pickup frees you from being tied to a six-inch circle of space on the stage is an advantage, though.
To me the amplification/no amplification divide is not so much about the sound, but about the intimacy with the listeners that is enforced by the limitations of the instruments au-naturel. Related but different.
-Glenn


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 02:50 PM

I'm in the "pure acoustic" camp: no mikes, amplification, electronics of any sort: that's what acoustic means to me and my one working ear.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: cooperman
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 04:15 AM

I agree with Pete J. You need a PA in all but the smallest of rooms and with a band it allows you to get the right sound balance on the different instruments. It doesn't mean it has to be excessively loud. A mic can stop you straining your voice if you are struggling to be heard. Electro acoustic guitars sound very different to solid body electrics and give a different feel to the music. I'm ok with that.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 05:07 AM

Probably worth remembering one [perhaps now defunct] connotation of the concept of 'acoustic':-

Some years ago [30+ iirc], Karl Dallas started a journal he called Folk News; deciding after a few issues that this title didn't quite cover all the aspects of the music the journal addressed, he changed the title to Acoustic Music. The genre seemed thus to be defined by the non-electric nature of the accompanying instruments expected in its performance. (Tho I suppose he covered the work of such as Fairport, Steeleye, Trees, Pentangle, Mr Fox, et al, who had all been going for 10 years by then.)

Anyone else remember this particular use of the term?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Musket
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 05:22 AM

Lewis Carroll needs to be introduced here.

We can look in a dictionary and get all electrons versus air pressure till we are blue in the face.

Acoustic is whatever people want it to be. Here in The 21st Century, it is a musical genre. Dick Gaughan playing an electric guitar singing Crooked Jack is available on a collection of acoustic music, for instance.

I loved it when Vin Garbutt was plugged in to record a live album, when "unplugged" was making good music and good money for MTV. He called the album "Plugged."

I often plug my Rainsong in when doing anything other than folk clubs, and yes, a bit of presence on the voice, (it is a fact that singing without a microphone in the right room adds depth that is missing if you use a p.a. and don't "put it back") Yet I would still call my style "acoustic." It could also be classed as being in the "folk" genre, even if I don't give a tuppenny toss about 1954.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Acorn4
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 05:36 AM

I struggled when the "unplugged" thing started as they all seemed to be plugged in until someone explained to me that it actually means "sitting down".


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: banjoman
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 06:08 AM

All of my banjos have pick ups installed. However I find that sound engineers, with very few exceptions, don't seem able to produce a real banjo sound, rather a metallic hard noise which I hate. I usually do my own set up now but still prefer to play "Acoustically"


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 06:56 AM

"Electro acoustic guitars sound very different to solid body electrics and give a different feel to the music."

Yes, but they also sound very different to acoustic guitars, and give a different feel to the music. That's why I still use a tie-clip mike inside the soundhole, as recommended by Martin Carthy many years ago - it makes the guitar sound like itself. Agree with highlandman there.

Any PA at all also gives a different feel to the music, from the sheer volume aspect (systems often get turned up pretty high), to the presence of the mike between performer and audience. That doesn't necessarily make it better or worse, but it does take away the back-porch feel.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 07:10 AM

From: banjoman - PM
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 06:08 AM

"All of my banjos have pick ups installed."

Is that legal?

Tone


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 07:17 AM

Would it be fair then, to sum up by saying that acoustic music is produced on acoustic (non electric) instruments, but can be amplified by external means?

Thus the voice will always be an acoustic instrument?

Tone


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: cooperman
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 07:41 AM

Good points Brian P. I guess it's about what are acceptable compromises for the average audience.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: GUEST,JHW
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 08:13 AM

The Drill Hall at Whitby and St Marys Hall at Malton are wonderful rooms to sing in as no PA is needed and you can revel in the way it sounds.
But one year at Malton they put the stage half way down one side. I struggled to hear what I was singing into a dead space above the murmur from the audience sat where the stage should have been.
One year at Whitby they put a PA on the FLOOR of the Drill Hall, facing the stage, to try and defy the natural acoustic!


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 08:47 AM

Well, I would guess that rock guitarists, who they play predominantly amplified instruments, would produce a weak sound/tone on a truly "unplugged" instrument.
I remember years ago, the great Clarence White saying that it took him ages to get his powerful acoustic guitar sound back on track after his "electric days" with The Byrds.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Mr Red
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 12:53 PM

How many acoustic nights have you seen where the words "mic & PA available" can be seen?

I can think of several "Folk" clubs where they have discovered amplifiers and don't understand volume and frequency response.

Let us get it clear. Aural acuity diminishes with volume. This has been known since the Fletcher-Munson curves were published. 1933 ish (to my knowledge). a wiki article on volume


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: greg stephens
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 03:44 PM

Well it all depends on context. But to me acoustic in general ought to mean unamplified. Music with no obstructions or equipment between source and ear. This is not a moral judgement, nor should it be a source of anger. I play amplified sometimes, acoustically other times. Simple.
I would make an excerption for term acoustic guitar. That is clearly a technical term, distinguishing it from the electric guitar, and it will still be an acoustic guitar if its got a pickup
Unplugged ought to mean unplugged (you might naively think). Though of course it actually means plugged in. That is a curious anomaly.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 04:38 PM

Well, I'm pretty sure the most natural/authentic sound from an acoustic guitar, when amplified ( for concerts, recordings etc) are achieved using an external microphone.
Plugged in "acoustic" guitars - using whatever amplified system - to my ears never sound "right"... but it doesn't seem to bother almost listeners!


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 10:29 PM

I've heard, and believe that it is true, that the characteristic sound of so-called electric music is based on sustain; the sound of so-called acoustic music is based on decay.
- Phil


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: PHJim
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 11:24 PM

I prefer the sound of an acoustic instrument through a mic if some amplification is needed, and it usually is, but it seems that bluegrass festivals are the only place you'll see this these days. I remember the first time I saw/heard Doc Watson plugged in. I hated it. It sounded like he was playing an electric guitar. As "acoustic" pick-ups improved, Doc eventually sounded like the old Doc Watson.
At most venues these days sound techs will say,"Why are you using a mic? Don't you have a pick-up?"
I now have pick-ups in all of my guitars. One has a first generation Fishman under-saddle that used to have a "quacky" sound, but these days the sound techs seem to be able to EQ it.

Someone above put guitars with pick-ups into three categories: solid body electrics, hollow, or semi-hollow body electrics and acoustics with pick-ups. Better categories would be guitars with magnetic pick-ups (the electric guitar sound) and guitars with piezo (or whatever they use nowadays) which give the "sorta acoustic" sound. An acoustic flat top, like the D-28 Gabor Szabo used with a magnetic deArmond pick-up, sounds like an electric guitar, while a solid body Godin with an "acoustic pick-up" on the bridge gives the "acoustic" sound. Because I agree with the purists to some degree, I have tried to use quotation marks around the word acoustic when I mean amplified acoustic.

I would love to play with only a mic all the time, but when others are plugged in, the balance is never right unless I too, am plugged.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 02:43 AM

some people install a sonar mic in a guitar. Anybody know about these and how they work?


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 04:48 AM

"I've heard, and believe that it is true, that the characteristic sound of so-called electric music is based on sustain; the sound of so-called acoustic music is based on decay."
- Phil

How true. Except for 'natural' sustain in vocals.

Tone


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Musket
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 04:53 AM

Technology being what it is, the Martin Carthy solution may have been accurate when he said it, but some of the pick ups these days are stunning.

I have an L R Baggs "Elementis" in my Rainsong. All other sections of the p.a. being equal, that (almost..) is worth the extra money it cost over the standard Fishman they also offer.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 05:43 AM

To me - a cou stick is the stick you play cou sticks with

Cou sticks is a variant on the game of Poohsticks.

If your coustick floats under the bridge last - we kill you.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Musket
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 07:28 AM

Surely Al, acoustick describes someone who doesn't believe in cousticks?


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: GUEST,Triplane
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 08:15 AM

Isnt A coo stic something one prods a bovine with to make it move


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 08:17 AM

No - that was A Coo Stark.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 10:17 AM

LOL.

BTW I use Highlander pickups in both of my Martins. If their good enough for Martin Simpson...


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 01:59 PM

Highlander cattle have most to fear from an improper user of a cou stick,

For years I was acoustic. the doctors tried everything. god was so unkind . i was born with the body of a Gibson J200. But inside, I knew that I felt myself to have a stratocaster trying to get out. I went in a private clinic and had a transducer fitted.
Look I've got a big knob - you can increase the volume with the touch of a finger. I would say.
But i was fooling no one.....

Big Al (still in the twilight zone)


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 02:16 PM

.... but only when it's plugged in!

Tone


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: cooperman
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 04:12 AM

I propose that no electonics or amplification whatsoever be called harcoustic (the posh version). That would clarify it!!


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 10:33 AM

Was it an under-saddle transducer, Al?


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 12:59 PM

No I just walk funny....


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 08:31 PM

"Thus the voice will always be an acoustic instrument?"

Unfortunately that is no longer strictly true, what with electronic pitch correction and voice enhancers and so forth.

The real problem with going down the electric route is that it can so easily get impossible for musicians to just turn up and play together wherever it happens to be. My son was in a small band that did pub gigs, and the amount of stuff they had to cart around was terrifying. And back breaking. A house PA with one or two mikes that anyone can use is fair enough but much more than that and it turns into hard labour. And unless there's a pretty good sound wizard twiddling the knobs it's only too likely to sound pretty ropy, albeit loud as well.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 03:50 AM

"Thus the voice will always be an acoustic instrument?"

"Unfortunately that is no longer strictly true, what with electronic pitch correction and voice enhancers and so forth."

But only when amplified remotely. You can't plug in the voice.

Would you say this is an acoustic performance?

‪James McMurtry "We Can't Make It Here"‬

Tone


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 03:55 AM

There are bifg arguments in the claasical world as to whether classical players should be amplified in concert. This is particularly the case with guitar players where the classical guitar has a small voice in a concert hall but may be sufficient in a church. For purists all amplification is anathema even if the people at the back cannot hear.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Will Fly
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 04:00 AM

One of the great things about an acoustic session is that it's just that - acoustic. No wires, plugs, amps, or volume controls gradually easing up to compete.

A local open mic which I attend occasionally is quite a good night - but there can be wearisome moments while performers change, leads are plugged in, sound levels got right...


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Green Man
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 04:25 AM

We run a festival which is acoustic. We don't use P.A's and all the venues are quite small. The quality of performances is usually very good and audience participation is the norm.

We had a very good venue with a sound stage which was also very good, but the best bit of the festival even when we did have that facility was 'The big sing' in a circular room with a domed roof with no mikes. The harmonies would raise the hairs on your head and bring tears to your eyes in the most enjoyable way.

When the local council decided to sell the land to developers to build yuppy homes on they closed the Greig centre and it has stood for three years unused despite being a great venue.

We changed our main venue to a hotel and consequently downsized all of the concerts with the result that we don't need amplification although occasionally we do see a portable amp.

Acoustic as regards music is usually understood to mean un-amplifed and we now promote ours as a truly acoustic festival.

Its not for everyone but we like it.

GM


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 04:32 AM

Interesting to note that on The Madcap Laughs a lot of Syd Barrett's acoustic guitar is actually and unplugged Telecaster played into a microphone.

I saw The Acoustic Strawbs a few years back and my ears were aching for days. I especially liked their use of e-bows which can be played on acoustic guitars.

I was once (or twice or even thrice) criticised by a self-styled purist (is there any other sort?) for my use of an electric shruti box in an otherwise acoustic setting. I must add I eschewed the use of the house PA that night...

Saw Hesperion XXI in a packed largish venue at the York Early Music Festival last summer - no PA.

A good device for singers is the Boss Vocal Performer VE-20 on which you can add harmonies, loops & delays etc. Here's a link to Long Lankin recorded at a recent gig we did at The Musician in Leicester. The sound-man at this gig was especially thorough, which was a delight. My violin is going through a Line-6 delay modeller & a harmoniser peddle.

https://soundcloud.com/rapunzel-and-sedayne/long-lankin


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Musket
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 04:40 AM

Syd Barrett's The Madcap Laughs" is a weird album in many ways, and thanks for mentioning how the guitar was achieved, just had the album on listening to it for the first time in years.

No wonder they sang "Shine on You Crazy Diamond."


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 07:58 AM

I've always loved that record. I've spent the last few weeks learning to love it all over again & maybe a little bit more, though I still might wonder why the masterful 'Opel' was omitted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch3BfpZp8PI

*

Of all the means of musical production over the last 50,000 years, throughout all the eras & epochs & genres & idioms & fads & phases the one thing that has remained constant is The Ear. The Ear always perceives things acoustically & without it there would be no music anyway. So, how so e'er we vibrate the air, all would be silence without the ear.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 08:13 AM

Re, classical guitar. Most of us get our daily dose of classical guitar via recordings, and thus via microphones, and, of course, most of those recordings have their sound "enchanced"!


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 09:08 AM

If you have been medically diagnosed as acoustic - there may be a self help and support group active in your area.

In fact I am the group treasurer for England. Send your donations to me. Stop the suffering now.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic. What does that mean?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 06:16 PM

This is my brother, Graham's take on the discussion. He plays both acoustic and electric guitars in Portsmouth based bands:

Acoustic = No electronic amplification of any kind
Miked acoustic = Acoustic instruments and vocals are miked through a PA, which is adjusted to get the most natural sound in a particular venue

As soon as the natural acoustic sound of the instrument is electronically modified, it is no longer acoustic. This includes acoustic instruments with pick-ups. A pick-up can never reproduce what comes out of a sound hole or the sound that air makes when it is disturbed by the sound board. The bridge or string vibrations that a pick up detects can be modified to sound similar to the acoustic sound of the instrument but it won't be a truly acoustic sound. A good remote mike comes closer to doing that, because it responds only to the sound waves coming from instrument.

Most listeners these days have been spoilt by hi fi sound recordings. They also expect something similar at concerts, so even 'acoustic' performances are heavily tweaked.


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