classical guitar

Hello…Im using a custom built computer with Windows 10 64-bit...Zedi 8 usb mixer Ive been using Audacity for a while and have the basic process down…Im recording classical guitar and a little steel string music. Through trial and error Ive learned the basics of editing…Im getting some pretty clean recordings at this point but I still use a little noise reduction..Im not really sure what Im supposed to do after that..generally I normalize the track this point I was using some equalization how ever it sounds pretty good without it...I have been applying compression at this point but I dont know what Im doing with regard to the end I apply a very small amount of reverb All the tutorials Ive seen are different…is there an accepted basic procedure for editing these types of recordings ? Sometimes I don`t do anything which often will sound ok.

Your description sounds like you are doing the right things.
Perhaps you could post a couple of short samples - about 10 seconds each in WAV format (see:
One of the samples being an unprocessed recording - no effects at all.
The other sample being your “mastered” (fully edited and processed) version (preferably from the same recording as the first sample).

The hard part with acoustic guitar (or almost any solo acoustic instrument) is that it’s very dynamic (loud and quiet parts) and the quiet parts make it hard to get a good signal-to-noise ratio.

Im not really sure what Im supposed to do after that…generally I normalize the track …at this point I was using some equalization how ever it sounds pretty good without it…I have been applying compression at this point but I dont know what Im doing with regard to that…at the end I apply a very small amount of reverb.

You shouldn’t have to do much, especially if you have a good recording of a good instrument and a good performance, etc…

In your other post you I believe said you’re using an SM57. In a recording studio, condenser mics are used for almost everything and they tend to be “brighter” (a little boosted in the high frequencies). So, you might want to try boosting the highs with the Graphic Equalizer, but don’t over-do it! The idea is for the recording to sound natural like the live guitar. And, boosting the highs will boost any background hiss in the recording. (The SM57/58 is a fine microphone, and probably every pro studio has a few, and it’s one of the few dynamic mics you’ll find in pro studios. They commonly use them in front of a guitar amp or on a snare drum.)

Dynamic compression (and limiting, which is a kind of fast-limiting) reduces the dynamic range by making the quiet parts louder and the loud parts quieter. In practice it’s mostly used to make “everything loud” or “everything louder”. This is a judgement call… Classical music is usually very dynamic and most listeners want to hear those dynamics in the recording so usually little or no compression is used. (IMO - A lot of popular music is over-compressed and boring and the constant-loudness makes me want to turn it down, or turn it off!)

But there are a couple of issues with leaving the full-original dynamics - Even if you normalize (AKA “maximize”) the peaks tend to be short-duration so they don’t “sound loud” to the ear. The listener might not like having to turn-up the volume, and then get blasted when they the play a “normal” recording. Or their stereo might not go loud enough, or the stereo might distort on the peaks, etc. And… This shouldn’t be a big problem with a solo guitar, but with a full orchestra the loud parts can be too loud for casual listening or for playing in the background while conversing, and if you turn it down the quiet parts can’t be heard over the background noise in a car, etc.

Since compression tends to bring-up the quiet parts, it also increases the background noise.

The Limiter effect is easier to use than regular compression. There are fewer settings to mess with and you are less-likely to get unwanted side effects. It should normally be used with make-up gain to bring-up the volume (or you can Normalize or Amplify after limiting).

With regular compression there are several settings to “play with” and there are lots of 3rd-party compressor plug-ins available so there’s no easy way to use it and you just have to experiment and learn…

…Don’t confuse dynamic compression with MP3 file compression. MP3 is lossy and it can affect the sound but it does NOT damage the dynamics.

Some reverb is probably a good idea, but again don’t go too crazy with it. If you are recording in a “nice sounding” music room you can position the mic to pick-up a good balance of direct and reflected sound. Or, you can set-up a separate mic to record the room sound/reverb. But usually you don’t want the same amount of “room sound” in the recording that sounds great live in a music hall. That much reverb usually sounds unnatural coming from a pair of speakers in your living room.

Most modern recordings are made in “dead sounding” studios and any reverb is added artificially.

Some people add reverb until it’s just noticeable and then back-off to where you don’t really notice it, but “something’s missing” if you remove it completely.

Again, there are lots of settings and lots of different reverbs and if you are wearing the “producer hat” it’s your artistic choice.

The 1st is with now effects
the 2nd minimal noise reduction---->normalize---->limiter [default settings ] —>amplify----> minimal reverb
I don`t hear a difference

I dont like using a lot of reverb but Im not exactly Segovia and normal I would add just a little more
I have a Sterling dynamic mic but Ive never gotten results with it..I cant get a strong signal into audacity with it…not sure what I`m doing wrong…I might try to use it for reverb like steve said…that sounds like a pretty good idea

#1. IMO doesn’t need Noise Reduction.
#2. It’s mono. So could use pseudo-stereo, rather than reverb.

Voxengo’s Stereo-Touch or Acon’s Multiply are two free plugins which can do that.

Stereo-Touch on “Guitar space” preset is a too wide, IMO, but OK for purposes of illustration, (can adjust width to taste).

It is very easy to overdo reverb. In my opinion, you’ve got enough reverb in “test 6.wav”.

I like that test6 is a bit brighter (more treble) than untitled.wav. “untitled.wav” sounds a bit dull to me. In the long term it may be worth considering getting a “studio condenser mic”, but other than that you’re on the right track. Keep playing and keep recording - it’ sounding good :slight_smile:

totally get it about the too loud part…I can’t listen to popular music…it all sounds the same

Im still looking for the moment Im recording with a Sure-57 thru an Allen and Heath 4 channel mixer…keeping the mic right on the lower part of the top of the guitar seems to sound pretty good with the bass turned all the way down and treble up…then applying add bass/treble effect…nothing else…so far so good