Hello, and welcome

Friday, October 27th, 2006

Howdy, and welcome to my acoustic guitar/recording blog. I am not a guitar expert, nor am I a recording expert, but I enjoy both. My guitar playing is almost exclusively Hawaiian slack key, and my recordings are almost exclusively my own solo acoustic guitar projects. As a result, I know nothing about overdubbing, and my use of effects is pretty limited.

I’m a big fan of Doug Young‘s playing and recording skills, and we’ve experimented together with mics and microphone techniques, as well as other aspects of recording. One of the observations he often makes is that there is relatively little information directly related to fingerstyle acoustic guitar recording. I’ll try to do my part to add a little to the information on this topic, based on my own experiences.

I’ll also share what I learn about sound reinforcement for live performance from a player’s point of view. Once again, I’m no expert in this area, but my mistakes and learning experiences might save you a little time and trouble, or stimulate some new ideas.

Fran

 





About the Blog

    Howdy, my name is Fran Guidry and this is my Homebrewed Music blog.

    I play Hawaiian slack key guitar and recorded my solo acoustic CD at home. Most of the recording information I find on the internet seems focused on bands, drums, multitracking, and so on but my main focus is recording solo acoustic guitar. Lately I’ve been enjoying video recording along with audio, so that shows up in the blog as well.

    I’m also a guitar nut. I love big ones and little ones, handmades and factory guitars, cheap ones and expensive ones. So I’ll be sharing the fun of exploring guitars as well, along with the challenges of amplifying acoustic guitars for live performance.

    Welcome!

Philosophy

    My recording philosophy is pragmatic, skeptical, not super critical. After all, the performance is by far the most important component of a track, and every aspect of any recording is a matter of taste.

    But I do like to know “about stuff.” Back in hifi days I learned about double blind testing. I learned that we humans can easily hear differences that don’t really exist. The more I’ve learned about our human auditory system, the more I’m skeptical of what people say they hear, especially if they claim that a particular microphone or preamp or cable has some magical property.

    I’ve only been recording since 2001, and when I started I found the usual places on the internet. I sought advice and accepted it, thought I would improve my recordings by using more expensive equipment. It didn’t work.

    Two things that did seem to lead to better recordings were experience and room treatment. Getting an appealing sound is the combination of many small details, and learning those details only comes from experience. Amd the sound of the recording space is obviously a big factor.

    I’ve only recorded seriously using digital technology, but I remember trying to record rehearsals and gigs back in analog days. I don’t have any nostalgia for analog recording and playback systems at all. I think even low end digital systems can capture marvelous recordings. So when I look at gear, I look for good specs: low noise, broad flat frequency response, wide dynamic range, low distortion. I’m not interested in colorful components, mics and preamps with a sound, I want the sound to be the sound of my guitar.

    But the last word is that I’m just learning and I hope you find something useful in my posts.