Author Topic: preamps for acoustic guitar?  (Read 52 times)

biffjefferson

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preamps for acoustic guitar?
« on: March 04, 2019, 01:20:40 PM »
Hoping to get thoughts on the usefulness of a preamp when recording acoustic fingerstyle guitar.  Or perhaps some confirmation about whether or not I'm overthinking the entire thing.

I'm using a SM-57 to record fingerstyle acoustic guitar. After struggling to get a decent sound, I realized it was the room I was recording in. I am now recording in a much better space and it's making a big difference.

My concern is that I am getting such a weak signal from my fingerpicking. I'm picking at a reasonable volume, not super quietly, but I'm not Leo Kottke either. When recording I have the mic/line input cranked all the way up, and I'm barely getting any read on the meter.

However, I can still hear things just fine through my headphones when overdubbing, as well as on the monitors.

Should I consider a preamp for my acoustic guitar to boost the signal? My concern is just making the final product decently loud. Obviously it's going to be a quiet recording overall , but if it can be remedied somewhat with a cheap preamp, it seems worth it?

Jason

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Re: preamps for acoustic guitar?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2019, 10:50:20 AM »
Hey man, I've had decent results with Mike's classic choice the Art Tube MP. It's so cheap, it's worth a shot.

mike

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Re: preamps for acoustic guitar?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2019, 04:28:37 PM »
Oh, heck, yeah, you can try the ART for sure.

Also, what about a condenser mic?
Mike

biffjefferson

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Re: preamps for acoustic guitar?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2019, 05:17:58 PM »
Appreciate the input. ART looks promising and it is so inexpensive I may just pick one up to experiment.

I ended up popping into a local music store and getting a Mackie Onyx 1220i mixer (I'm saying that as if I know anything about mixers, haha...) it was one of two mixers they had available and I got it for only a couple hundred bucks.

It's really done the trick! Definitely more functionality than I currently need for simple guitar based stuff, but I can grow into using all the other features, and will be useful for drum machines, etc. It's got more than enough gain to boost my fingerpicking up to where I need it.

As a total n00b this is probably obvious, but having a mixer seems so essential to me now, I wish I'd gotten one sooner.

Also, condenser mic is definitely going to be my next purchase...

Jason

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Re: preamps for acoustic guitar?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2019, 07:10:32 PM »
Sweet man. Good to hear you got something that works.
Yeah, I had never used a mixer at all before this year. I usually just did everything straight into my interface into the computer and it's sort of revolutionized my recordings. It's such an easy fix! Nice work.