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Author Topic: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....  (Read 9473 times)

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Offline Mike Brosnan

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Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« on: May 10, 2009, 10:36:41 AM »
So I've done a fair amount of research into this, but I'm just seeking current opinions/experience from anyone who wants to share.
The two guitars I'm lookin' to amplify are: my '36 Trojan and my Blueridge BR-163 (both can be seen/heard at the link below).
I like the hotplate idea, cuz I don't wanna mess with the Trojan too much... But I've heard some varying opinions about the tone these things produce...
I've heard a lot about Fishmans for flat tops... I'd like to spend less than $300 on the Blueridge, but I guess I'd spend more for better tone.
I'm a total novice in this area, so any input is much appreciated. Thanks.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2009, 11:24:20 AM »
I don't know if its just me but I've never heard a pickup that i thought didn't seriously compromise a good guitar's sound and homogenize it into something totally different sounding than its acoustic incarnation. A decent mic seems to do less sonic harm than pickups do and having a mic stand and external mic isn't THAT much of an inconvenience. Thats how I'd go if capturing the sound of the guitar is important.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
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Offline Mike Brosnan

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2009, 12:38:09 PM »
I hear ya Mr. O...  One guitar mic and one vocal mic definitely does all I need, but sometimes it might not be practical.  I'd like to start busking at a lot more of the street fairs that happen in the summer here in Portland.  The streets get flooded with people.  Vendors and musicians all over the place (Including loud drum circles and some techno shite that made me wish I had an ax handy).  Dogs, kids, drunks and stoners stumblin' around every which way you look...  And last time we were precariously balanced on a hillside where mic stands would've presented quite a challenge. 
Pick ups are a compromise.  No doubt about it.  That's why I'm willing to shell out more cash to get a better sound.  But no matter what...  Bare fingers on a totally acoustic guitar in a perfectly quiet wooden room will always be my ideal. 

Offline waxwing

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2009, 11:59:06 AM »
Hey Mike, I've gone back and forth on this issue a lot. Right now I'm in the mic only frame of mind. But you might be interested in this link:

http://www.fingerpick.com/pickups.htm

If you want to spend a lot of money you can even send your guitar off to Fishman and they will model a setting on the Aura to produce a sound that seems like your guitar. Sorta.

I also thought the Shertler DYN-G might be interesting, but I haven't tried one. Pricey also, but you can move the one pickup from guitar to guitar in seconds while chatting up the fans.

All of the reasonably priced options pretty much seem to rob the guitar of its true tone. Also, any top percussion, on purpose or inadvertent, can become a problem, depending on what kind of pup you get.

My feeling is, if you're gonna blow off the acoustic tone, why not get a cheap electric guitar and amp. That way you can actually play around with quite a range of tone. And, to tell you the truth, I don't think 99 percent of your audience will care if you play MJH on an electric. Sure, you'll have to learn to play a new instrument, right hand wise, but I think you'll end up with fewer issues. And they're a hell of a lot more durable for those raucous situations where you feel you need the pup 'cause of all the drunk rowdies who aren't listening anyway.

Wax
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Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2009, 12:10:24 PM »
That sounds like good advice to me.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
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Offline uncle bud

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2009, 09:00:36 PM »
And if you're going to buy an electric guitar, you could buy some kinda old beaten jazz box, satisfying not only amplification requirements but GAS as well. I like this line of thought.  :D

Sorry, can't offer any actual pick-up advice.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2009, 09:47:58 PM »
What are you plugging in to? The house PA, or an onstage amp? That's important to know.

Sure you can get good tone out of an under saddle transducer pickup like a Fishman or Martin Gold Plus, but probably not if you're going direct-in to a 'dry' board, unless the sound person is au fait with the issues and knows how to deal with the 'rubber band' effect with EQ and reverb, it isn't that hard.

I'm completely unimpressed by the Aura system, apologies to wax, just my impressions, sounded like total new-age crap to me but that might have been the demo setup I was playing through. A lot of good people swear by them, but from what I've heard to date I would swear at them.

A single mic, condenser, is wonderful if that's all you need, and you're a pretty loud, upfront player and could probably make it work really well. If you at some point need more than two open mics on stage for an ensemble setup you (or the house) are going to have to manage feedback and generally will end up having to turn everything down; max gain before feedback is reduced significantly every time you add one more mic. So installing a pickup, magnetic or transducer, in the guitar might be a good 'swiss army' option if you can get it sounding right. Plugging that into a good 'acoustic' amp (nice oxymoron that) on stage as a monitor, with a feed from the amp to the house board, either pre- or post-EQ, is a really good flexible way to go, IMO
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 09:58:07 PM by Rivers »

Offline waxwing

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2009, 12:40:23 AM »
Hey, I was just parroting the promo, "sorta", Riv. But did you check out that link. There are probably a couple hours of video reviews of quite a variety of pups on that fingerpick.com site. A pretty good education in the full range of options (but only reviewing the top contenders) and some good info on EQing.

But thanks for the experiential info. I'm continuing to assess this myself.

Wax
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
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Offline GhostRider

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2009, 08:58:27 AM »
Greetings:

The best sounding amplified acoustic instrument I ever heard was Mary Flower's L-00. It really has a good acoustic sound amplified. She uses (used?) a Highlander undersaddle pickup.

Alex
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 09:00:20 AM by GhostRider »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2009, 04:31:16 PM »
That is interesting, Ghostperson of the Apocalypse.

Yeah Wax I checked that page and what a great job, though I get the impression there's some kool-aid drinking going on re the Aura. I love Fishman products, and as I said maybe my demo setup was flawed. I understand it's designed for going direct to the board and I never do that.

I think actually trying to get an amped acoustic guitar to sound like a giant acoustic guitar is doomed to failure. I gave up on that mission years ago when I realized there's a different dynamic in play, what with psycho-acoustics and all that jazz. Experimenting with it and dialling-in what actually sounds good, rather than 'realistic', is more fun and rewarding.

Another mistake people make I think is discounting reverb from some kind of purist impulse. Everything has reverb, we need it to hear things properly. All you're doing is increasing that natural reverb to remain in proportion to the primary source. A lot of people trash transducers because they run them too dry, of course you can hear the granularity! A touch more reverb and judicious EQ-ing would probably fix it.

Offline Mike Brosnan

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2009, 12:15:49 AM »
thanks folks.  i'm just beginning to realize how ignorant i really am about all this stuff.
i've thought about the fully electric option, but i'm not ready to go there yet.  i live in a one room shack and i really need to get rid of some guitars, not acquire another one... 
ghostrider... thanks for the tip about mary's guitar.  i agree that it does sound excellent.  i'm pretty sure she uses the same luthier i do (kerry char), so i'll talk with him some more about all this when i get the time...
been workin' too much... still haven't had the time to absorb all the replies here, but tomorrow's my friday, so....
thanks again!
mike

Offline TX_Songster

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2009, 05:05:58 PM »
Brosna,
I, for one, am interested to find out what you learn from your luthier about Mary Flower's p/u system.  Please keep us posted.

I've been thinking about this myself for open mics.  Seems it would take some of the pressure off just to plug in and go.

I've got to ask though, do you really need a pickup on the Trojan for busking?  It seems these guitars already have great volume for that application.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2009, 07:15:13 PM »
Thats what resonators are for. Besides you don't want to have to shlep an amp around when you're busking.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Online Norfolk Slim

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2009, 04:29:29 AM »
I'm probably not going to help much... but the best sounding amplified acoustic I've heard by some distance, was that played by Homesick mac.  He told me what the set up was, but I'm afraid I dont recall.  He put a huge amount of faith in his pre amp and the overall sound he got was fantastic.  You might do worse than check his website / drop him a line.

I'm interested in this stuff because I was always frustrated during my relatively short time in a band, that even with an expensive pickup, my Martin just sounded like another twangy takamine...  Also because I kind of agreed to take part in a busking day in a local town in 10 days time, and have spent the last week trying to learn to play with picks so i can be heard!

Offline Mike Brosnan

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2009, 05:03:02 PM »
well, i finally got a hold of my luthier.  he said mary flower has been using a highlander for a long while, but just recently started trying out a k & k pure western.  i was amazed to hear this since the k & k is so much cheaper.  i decided to give the k & k a try.  i'll let y'all know how it works out...

Offline Richard

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2009, 01:42:51 PM »
NS  get a recording of yourself  :)
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline Dave in Tejas

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2009, 07:03:35 PM »
Brosna,
I've installed a lot of pickups in acoustic guitars, and think the K&K is the best natural tone. You don't have to carry around a lot of gear inside either. Unless you are really going to amp up, no preamp necessary. My favorite.

You're not going to drag that Trojan around all those stumbling drunks, are you?!

Offline Mike Brosnan

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2009, 09:12:42 AM »
Talking about Alvin's guitar in the Kokomo thread just reminded me that I never gave an update on all this....   
I have K & K Pure Western Minis installed in Alvin's archtop, my S and P Parlor, and my Blueridge OOO.  For $86 a piece I couldn't be happier.  I've had my luthier install them all for a moderate additional charge. 
I'm sure Highlander's would blow me away, but I can't afford 'em. 
I'm definitely happy to have one less mic around when I'm playing out.  An L.R. Baggs Para-acoustic D.I. does all the EQ I need and it solved the major volume difference between the S and P and the Blueridge. 
I also got a National Hot Plate for the Trojan which I couldn't be happier with. 

Now here's the funny Mary Flower K & K story.... 
I had mentioned that Mary and I go to the same luthier and that he told me she was trying K & K's and apparently liking them.  That was the status when I got my first K & K in the Blueridge.  When I brought the S and P in for a pick-up, Mary Flower walked in right after me.  After exchanging a few brief words I agreed to let her go first (she's Mary Flower!).  She had brought in a Goodall that had a K & K installed in it.  She was complaining about the tone the K & K was producing and wondering what could be done about it.  Someone had suggested removing the center pick up head, so Kerry did that and quickly reinstalled it.  Apparently this experiment was not successful.  Kerry (my luthier) said he installs more K & K's than any other pick-up, but every now and then he installs one that doesn't quite sound as good as the others.  He didn't seem to think it was the pick ups themselves in these cases, just that the pick ups didn't work so well in certain guitars...   Such was apparently the case with Mary's Goodall.  I don't think Highlander has to worry about losing her endorsement!

Offline Deerbridge

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2009, 06:48:32 AM »
Hi Brosna,

to achieve a true acoustic sound the K&K always is my first choice. It starts with the "pure western", can be upgraded with the "PrePhase" preamp and -as the cream of the crop - combined with the "fantastick" undersaddle pickup as "powermixpure".

You won't find anything which gives you a more natural, more woody tone.

Martin

Offline Mike Brosnan

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2009, 05:50:27 PM »

So as I've said here... I've got K & K Minis in all my non reso 6 strings. Just got my new ladder braced 12 string back from my luthier. I had asked him to install a K & K Standard since that's what the company recommends for 12 strings. Somehow or another he got the idea that I was asking for a Dual Head K & K instead of the normal 3 head ones. So that's what I got now. They are the larger sized heads, but there's only two of 'em. I've been playing it for a minute and diggin' it, but I'm wondering what kind of difference that third head would make. I figure I'll call K & K tomorrow, but I thought some folks over here might have some input regarding all this.  After the Mary Flower story, I'm not sure if I'm better or worse off with two heads vs. three...
http://www.kksound.com/acousticguitar.html

Offline Deerbridge

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2009, 10:18:06 AM »
Hi Brosna,

with the normal 3-head Pure Western you have a sensor for each pair of bass-, mid- and treble strings.

I never istalled a 2-head system in a guitar, but I guess you will have the bass and treble a bit emphasized, that might be great for 12-strings...

Would be great to know how satisfied you are with the sound over the time...

Martin

Offline RevGeo

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2009, 08:19:31 AM »
I have no pickups permanently mounted in my flat-tops. I prefer a good mic - Shure Beta 57A - but when I do plug in I use a George-L soundhole pickup. Sounds as good as any undersaddle or bridge-plate mounted pickup I've heard. Lot's easier as well.
You can do the busking thing really easy that way and still use a mic set up when that is feasable.
That's my take on it, anyway.

Rev George
Never stop playing if a fight breaks out, unless you have to shoot somebody....Chuck West

Offline Mike Brosnan

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2010, 04:09:34 AM »
Just made a vid comparing pickup/mic vs. acoustic.  The pickup sounds much better in person, but I thought I'd post this here anyways. 

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2010, 07:52:38 AM »
The sound you're getting from the combo pickup/mic is pretty good, I'd say, if one can judge such things on a YouTube video. The nice touch on the picking helps, of course.

Offline TX_Songster

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2010, 01:37:20 PM »
Brosnan- I always enjoy your vids and your playing.  I'm curious about the National Hot Plate you mention above.  Do you have any vids of this set up?  Specifically curious if you use the pickup jack on the cover plate, or if you have it in the body of the guitar.  I've heard you can set it up either way.

Offline Mike Brosnan

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2010, 02:36:14 PM »
'Preciate that, TX!  I've been meaning to post a vid showing the Hot Plate, but, no, I don't have any yet.  I'll try to work on that.  I plug straight into the jack on the cover plate.  I didn't know there was any other way to do it with the Hot Plate.  Have you seen the vid Mike Dowling just did with NRP about the Hot Plate?

Offline TX_Songster

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2010, 02:59:48 PM »
No, I hadn't see the Mike Dowling video.  Thanks for sharing that.  Regarding the pickup jack, I just learned that today when I spoke with a guy as Artisan guitars.  I guess I would prefer not to drill into the guitar so I would use the jack in the cover plate if I ever get one.

Did you do the install yourself?  It looks pretty straight forward unless I'm missing something.

Offline Mike Brosnan

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2010, 05:25:58 PM »
I had my luthier install it cuz my ol' '36 Trojan had some issues with the coverplate screw holes.  Someone had messed with 'em over the years, and I didn't want to make it any worse.  He had to insert some brass doohickeys to compensate for some stripped holes.  If I had a new NRP or a vintage Nat that was in better shape I would've installed it myself without hesitation.  Not sure how the screw holes line up with other brands of resonators, but I think I've heard about folks using Hot Plates on other brands.   

Offline TX_Songster

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2010, 07:35:43 AM »
Thanks for the thoughts on that.  I've got a newer Nat Estralia (in the pic).  If I get the go ahead from my wife, I'll probably go for it.  I like the idea of being able to keep the plate if I ever sell or trade off the Nat.

Do you use any sort of pre amp, or can you plug straight in?

Offline Mike Brosnan

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2010, 09:30:16 AM »
If I'm just messin' around at home, sometimes I plug straight into my amp.  If I'm playing out I use an L.R. Baggs Para-acoustic D.I. to give me a little more control.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2010, 08:30:39 PM »
Just thought I'd bump this thread, Mike I was wondering which way you went with pickups versus mics.

Offline Mike Brosnan

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #31 on: November 06, 2010, 04:45:08 PM »
Hey Rivers,
Well... I definitely prefer the sound of a good mic, but I'm also incredibly impatient with feedback and such.  So I'm pretty much all pick ups all the time.  Every time I've messed around with mics, I get more feedback.  I'm sure I could get better at that, but...  That whole patience thing. 
I haven't played out since July and have been dragging my feet about getting out there and marketing myself... But the last time I played out was my first real solo show (we're not gonna count that Applebee's thing).  My favorite part was being able to just plug in and go.  Brief vocal mic sound check and that was it.  I tweaked the rest with my L.R.Baggs preamp as I changed guitars. 
Sound checking with my old band always included more feedback and more time and more of me sitting there chomping at the bit.  I definitely DON'T miss that!
Assuming I do stop procrastinating and I actually start booking some gigs...  I'll still be using my K & K's and my National Hot Plate.  If I get good enough to book shows at places that aren't crappy sports bars...  Maybe I'll try to get better with the mic/feedback stuff.
In the meantime... I just need to get out there!

Offline Rivers

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #32 on: November 06, 2010, 06:35:04 PM »
I know what you mean. There always seems to be so much else going on that I forget my instrument mic'ing technique, such as it is. Would sooner just plug & play, less stress all round.

However my current #1, a Guild F3R, is pickup-less and is staying that way since it sounds so great I would never risk impacting the tone with a transducer under the saddle. I'll take my other Guild when I play plugged-in.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #33 on: November 06, 2010, 08:14:56 PM »
Forgive my ignorance but why is feed back STILL a problem? I mean ...Man on the Moon, Artificial hearts, Pengys on the Tele and STILL Bleeping feedback?
It stands to reason that there's gotta be a way, no?
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline Rivers

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #34 on: November 06, 2010, 08:44:08 PM »
Well there are digital f/b eliminators that auto-sense and attenuate ringing frequencies, like a notch filter with a sensor on the front end. I tried an early incarnation that had a built-in mic if I recall correctly. It sort of worked but not before everyone had gotten an earful. I imagine they have improved, but to sense the ringing freq it had to sound, which would be OK for a soundcheck, and if you are the only one using it, unless it had storeable profiles you could recall.

So then the room fills with people (or "water bags" as Mr. Dave calls them) and the room response changes utterly, and your previously dialed-in notch filter is probably set in entirely the wrong place.

Researching this I see DBX among others have what looks to be a pretty sophisticated unit that sits in the signal chain after the house board and all other processing, detects peaks occurring as they happen within very narrow freq bands and attenuates on the fly. http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-DBX-AFS224-LIST

Sounds good if it works and doesn't adversely impact the sound. It would all be down to fine tuning, quality DSP chips and speed I guess. Feedback is sneakier than a Benares temple monkey.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2010, 09:09:41 PM by Rivers »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #35 on: November 06, 2010, 09:17:36 PM »
Forgive my ignorance but why is feed back STILL a problem? I mean ...Man on the Moon, Artificial hearts, Pengys on the Tele and STILL Bleeping feedback?
It stands to reason that there's gotta be a way, no?

I think this may be part of the problem:

Well there are digital f/b eliminators that auto-sense and attenuate ringing frequencies, like a notch filter with a sensor on the front end.
Researching this I see DBX among others have what looks to be a pretty sophisticated unit that sits in the signal chain after the house board and all other processing, detects peaks occurring as they happen within very narrow freq bands and attenuates on the fly.

 :D

I think the above is probably excellent advice. But god knows what it means.  :P :P

Offline Rivers

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #36 on: November 06, 2010, 09:30:59 PM »
Or to put it another way, "why do we still need sound engineers???" :P

We've come 360 degrees, that's why I use a pickup. I can control my guitar, can't control the room boosting certain frequencies. Would always prefer to mic it though if the room and sound person were right. BTW kudos to the sound guys in Austin, live music capital of Travis County, they are generally amazing I have to say, best I've ever seen.

Also wanted to add that venues can analyze and treat their rooms physically. Basically involves playing pink noise (equal energy in each freq band) through the PA and listening to the room using an audio spectrum analyzer. The resulting frequency response curve (graph) would theoretically be flat in a 'perfect' room. Never is flat of course, there are places where it drops and places where it peaks. Find the problem freqs (the biggest peaks) and install various types of acoustic treatments (not egg cartons!) designed to absorb, trap or diffuse that band. Test again, repeat until line is flat enough that a single freq does not tend to ring.

If the room still sounds like shit, get a bulldozer.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2010, 09:47:18 PM by Rivers »

Offline frankie

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #37 on: November 07, 2010, 07:35:28 AM »
I'm not sure what I'm doing differently than you guys with mics (or maybe my standards and expectations are just that much lower!), but while feedback is always a potential problem, it never seems to totally prevent us from getting a decent sound with enough volume for the venue...  when I have my own PA (nothing fancy - just an old peavey combo mixer/poweramp with built in reverb that's going progressively more microphonic  :( ), I just make sure the mains are placed so they aren't putting a signal back into the mics...  for mics, it's a beta-58 for my vocal and sm57s for everything else (and kim sings through the fiddle mic)...  it all works out.  there are occasional feedback moments, but it's usually just a moment and is usually caused by proximity.

Large diaphragm condenser mics make performance a little more natural feeling, but you can't treat them like dynamic mics at all, either from a performance or setup perspective.  I can perform using a lg diaphragm condenser, but I'm not as confident setting up the whole PA with them in mind, so when I'm on my own to do the setup, I'd rather work with dynamic mics....  if there's a soundman at a venue and they have LD condensers that they're used to working with, I'll go with those and defer to the soundman.

All this is not to say that our live sound couldn't be better than it is - I'm sure it could, but we do the best we can with what we got.  I like the sound we get from mics, even if it means we have less control in some situations.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2010, 09:48:15 AM by frankie »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #38 on: November 07, 2010, 10:24:28 AM »
Experience counts for a lot, and knowledge of the gear. When you're playing out regularly, in rooms you've played before, which I'm not, you get to be able to anticipate the problems and solutions. In my case understanding the theory helps but I simply don't do it often enough to be much good at it.

So I play the percentages, I know I can reduce the odds of feedback a good deal by reducing the number of open mics, since theory states that "gain before feedback" reduces by 3 db for each open mic. That may not sound like a lot but actually it's very significant, especially to the poor sound guy/gal. Without going into the math don't forget decibels are an exponential / logarithmic unit of measure.

Hence the pickup. Works for an amateur like me. There was a trend a couple of years back for bluegrass bands etc to work with only one LD mic, the soloists / lead singers stepping forward and back into the sweet spot. The few acts I've seen doing this looked great and sounded great. Why does it sound so great? Because the house can really crank the board, which increases the dynamic range, since the gain before feedback level is so high. Plus you can get a better mic, if you only need one you can spend more money on a Neumann or something.

I realize this single-mic configuration would not work for a string band playing our kind of music, generally speaking. I mentioned it to illustrate the issues with having multiple open mics - less headroom, less available dynamic range, less available gain, lower feedback threshold. Which are basically related or even the same thing. It all adds up to a system that is harder to run and capable of getting away more easily on a single loud note.

Another reason the single mic thing sounds good is that you are using only one primary channel, and maybe another couple of channels for effect returns, on the board, thereby also lowering the noise floor = more dynamic range, pristine sound.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2010, 10:57:47 AM by Rivers »

Offline Mike Brosnan

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Re: Seeking Pick-Up Advice.....
« Reply #39 on: November 07, 2010, 01:26:05 PM »
The more I think about it, the more I have to admit....  If I could start all over again, I'd buy a good mic and try to be more patient.  But since I got all these pickups now...

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