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Acoustic guitar solo over dense mix - help!

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Morgan C, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. Morgan C

    Morgan C MAX LOUD PRESETS¯\(°_o)/¯

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    I'm mixing a song at the moment that has an acoustic guitar solo, over a fairly dense mix - not many instruments, but phat drums/bass/strings. No other guitars though, thank god.

    Anyway, the recording wasn't great - the guitar itself was quite twangy, noise environment, very reflective, I suck, etc. so I'm trying to make it work. I'm really struggling to get every note coming through without making it sound really compressed like acoustic guitars often do.

    Anyone got any advice, or some clips of a similar scenario, so I can hear what's possible?

    Clip: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/324723/acosutic.mp3
     
  2. Nimvi

    Nimvi Member

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    Just throwing in some ideas, altough you may have already tried those:

    Have you tried sidechain comp on the conflicting elements? or automating those elements down in volume for the duration of the solo.

    Some saturation could also help to make it stick out a bit more. But I think you are going to have to automate the pre-fx volume of that solo no matter what. Especially the faster notes seem to be barely there. Having a more even performance would make setting a comp to reasonable levels much easier.

    I'm not in my studiospace right now so I find the volume and EQ of the thing a bit hard to judge, but I like to check balance/eq of vocals/solos vs rest of mix in mono. I usually like it best when the vocal/solo sits just on top of the snarevolume, but that's relative to my own mixes ofc.
    Checking EQ in mono is awesome too. Just let the solo run, together with drums and bass, and then unmute the synths. You will probably hear some point of the spectrum being overlapped right away. EQ that part away a bit on the conflicting element until it doesn't sound bad anymore in mono. When you switch to stereo now, it should sound great.

    I also can't tell from this place if there is any panning on the synths/solo. If they are both dead centered, you could try a tiny bit of stereo spread on the synths, or pan them/the solo just a couple of ticks right or left for the duration. Often works much better than I expect.

    EDIT: from what I can tell from my livingroom, there seems to be a spike at 440hz on the acoustic guitar. When I notched that out, it already sounded much better. Give that a try :)
     
  3. Plankis

    Plankis Member

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    I'd start with making it a little louder. Tried parallel compression?
     
  4. FIXXXER

    FIXXXER ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    make it louder, turn the synths down in this part, the synths cover up everything...
     
  5. 006

    006 Member

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    Basically what others have said, automation is your friend in this situation, automating the synths down during the acoustic solo section should help a lot. Turn synths off completely first, get the level of the solo that you want with bass/drums, then turn the synths back on and automate them down until it's good.
     
  6. Kita

    Kita Member

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    This and automation.
     
  7. Morgan C

    Morgan C MAX LOUD PRESETS¯\(°_o)/¯

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    Thanks guys. I tried parallel compression but it sounded weird. I notched at 440hz (good ears!), ducked the synths a bit and did some quick, automation. It already sounds much better. Just a little more and it'll be fine I think:
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/324723/acosutic2.mp3

    It does still sound a little choked. It seems to be either choked sounding or way too dynamic. I can't get rid of the dynamics without choking the tone. This is something I've noticed a lot in pro productions though, it seems to be an inherent difficulty with acoustic guitars.
     
  8. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

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    can U post the acoustic track on its own? or PM it to me?
     
  9. ratsapprentice

    ratsapprentice God can gtfo

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  10. Fox Mulder

    Fox Mulder The Truth Is Out There

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    Tried using a pitch-tracking EQ? Or maybe this? - http://www.phy.mtu.edu/~suits/notefreqs.html
     
  11. Morgan C

    Morgan C MAX LOUD PRESETS¯\(°_o)/¯

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    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/324723/Audio 2#31.mp3

    That's raw. Not great. Need some serious high passing, and boost of the mids. I didn't have my headphones with me, at someone elses house, so I was half-deaf in terms of judgment.
     
  12. Nimvi

    Nimvi Member

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    Not really related to the technical issues of the mix, but I think that part would sound pretty cool with some stereo delay on that guitarsolo :) Maybe giving it that will make it sound less flat/dull.
     
  13. Fox Mulder

    Fox Mulder The Truth Is Out There

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    That's some horrible shit going on there. I'd re-track. Those semi-dead/inconsistent notes won't cut through no matter what. I'd also try blending this with a DI, if one's available.
     
  14. Kita

    Kita Member

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    Put the song on loop record and play through it 10 times, then comp the shit out of it.
     
  15. xTomx

    xTomx Member

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    Re-track the guitar with emphasis putting the mic around the 12th fret.

    You want much more high-mids poking out, not the rumble from the sound hole.
     
  16. Morgan C

    Morgan C MAX LOUD PRESETS¯\(°_o)/¯

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    Have you got a pic of what you mean? I did have another mic set up around there, but it sounds way too distant, almost like a room mic:
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/324723/Audio 1#31.mp3


    I'll see if I can re-track it, then I'll bump this thread (probably only in a week or two).
     
  17. nosgulstic

    nosgulstic Member

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    That background noise is really distracting. Would be better if you end re-tracking it, you put some acoustic panels around it if its at a house again
     

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