Guitar Techniques - - Talk Back -

I re­ally en­joyed Andy Saphir’s ny­lon- string ses­sion les­son in the June edi­tion of GT. There was a lot of use­ful con­tent in his short com­po­si­tion. One thing I’d like to ask is, how did Andy record the piece so cleanly? I’ve never had much suc­cess record­ing my ny­lon string gui­tar, com­pared to my elec­tric. Any tips would be grate­fully re­ceived… Keep up the good work. Your pub­li­ca­tion is much ap­pre­ci­ated. Si­mon, York, Eng­land Andy re­sponds… Hi Si­mon. Thanks for your com­pli­ments, I’m re­ally glad you’re en­joy­ing my col­umn. First off, I’ve got to say that I’m not a record­ing en­gi­neer, and my meth­ods are less about know­ing the sci­ence and tech­niques be­hind record­ing, and more just go­ing with what I think sounds good, based on trial and er­ror. My method for record­ing the acous­tic is as ba­sic as plac­ing a stu­dio mic ( I use a Rode) about six or seven inches from the sound hole, set­ting lev­els, and press­ing record! Af­ter I’ve recorded, I’ll nor­mally EQ the sound a bit by cut­ting some of the bass fre­quency to get rid of ‘ boom’, per­haps drop­ping a bit of mids and maybe boost­ing the high end for a bit of ‘ sparkle’ and then adding some re­verb. I think the main thing is to try to record the nat­u­ral sound of the in­stru­ment and play cleanly with a nice tone com­ing from your fin­gers. Then any cut­ting or boost­ing of rel­e­vant fre­quen­cies can be done post- record­ing, in or­der to let the gui­tar sit in the mix in a way that you like, and which works for your song.

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