1. avatar belezabaub
    Basically I want to start playing open mic nights. I have two acoustics, one a battered turd that has a pick-up that makes everything sound awful (or perhaps thats just my guitar playing, lol).
    Or I have my very nice Alvarez which has no pick-up but which sounds like the most amazing acoustic when miked up with a little behringer pencil condensor. Would the sound man at a open mic night tell me to go get a life if I turned up with a condensor mic to pick up my guitar? I intend to put a pick up in my Alvarez at some point but right now just isn't feasible due to severe lack of fundage.
    Please feel free to make fun and laugh at me if this is stupid, my experience of playing live is strictly with electric guitar and the ole acoustic does sound amazing miked up.
  2. avatar savoy truffle
    'Would the sound man at a open mic night tell me to go get a life if I turned up with a condensor mic to pick up my guitar?'

    Nope. Do it.
  3. avatar stevie j
    [quote:c905d189c0="belezabaub"]
    my experience of playing live is strictly with electric guitar and the ole acoustic does sound amazing miked up.[/quote:c905d189c0]

    If you have only played electric live, how do you know it sounds great mic'd up?

    As long as you're not an arse about it it should be fine, but don't expect much in your wedges because those wee pencil mics are prone to feedback, especially when used on acoustics because of the low volume playing typical from singer-songwriter types.
    Also be prepared for him to stick an SM57 on it instead of your condensor.

    If you have the time, bring the guitar with a pick-up in it and give it a shot, acoustics are strange, and with some of the cheaper models, the ones that sound crap acoustically don't sound too bad with the pick-up and vice-versa.
  4. avatar Recycled Alien
    As far as the soundman is concerned, it's just a channel into the PA whether it's a microphone or a DI from a pickup. Connecting it up is really no additional bother.

    But feedback may be an issue depending on the reception pattern of the microphone, so it's usually a little easier to get volume (if that's what you need) from an acoustic instrument if it has a pickup.

    Actually, as a soundman, I'd be more sympathetic towards a performer who brings along a microphone and knows what he wants than somebody who doesn't have a clue.
  5. avatar thesacredhearts
    If im not mistaken ive a dvd of Cat Stevens using a pencil mic on acoustic.

    Only problem id imagine is that in a noisy bar the condensor is going to pick up a lot of the background noise and if the monitors are up too loud, feedback all over the shop.
  6. avatar belezabaub
    Thanks for all the advice everyone. Fast Fude frickin rocks, some real cool people, I never feel afraid to ask. Someone asked how come I know it sounds good through my condensor mic? I've done a little bit of recording with it here at home and it came out really well (it actually made me sound good).

    Thats what I was worried about was feedback. I get feedback depending on where my mics are placed with the speakers in my room. Certainly worth a go though, I don't really know what I'm doing like, I'm sure a sound guy would have a better idea with mic/speaker placement.
    My old acoustic sounds fine when it isn't plugged in, it actually has its charms but when you plug it in, it sounds tinny and freakin' horrible, not to mention I hold in my 9 volt battery with blu tac. Lets just say it has been used and abused.
  7. avatar unplugged
    not a good idea. maybe in an intimate setting it would work well. i run an open mic night and if someone turned up with a condenser it would be a no no, although not through being a bastard, for practical reasons.
    its hard enough to get a cracker vocal sound without the Sm58 picking up millbags sitting to the side of the desk without condensers.
    they will cause feedback for the volume you will require in a small noisy-ish bar. plus youll need to bring and have room for another stand for the mic.
    plus there is that other singers are waiting behind you and setting up condesners that will start feeding back will use up time and might not even work out as planned.

    i bring a vintage electro acoustic along which has a great plugged in sound that i can get nice on the desk, and if anyones acoustic dont have a pickup/shit pickup/brings along a condenser id just hand them that. for for a open mic night to me its a bit wankery to bring a condenser, i can see why you would do it to get the true acoustic sound for to make you sound at your best, but in reality most soundmen at an open mic just will say no.

    watch and see. although as Recycled Alien says it would impress me that you botherd to bring it on, but the sound i can get through my wee spare vintage with the Fishman Prefix Plus fitted through the bars PA, you would hear yourself that a condenser isnt required.

    Do you mind me asking what make your electro acoustic is?
  8. avatar exitonline
    [quote:1eaa7c1acf="unplugged"]not a good idea. maybe in an intimate setting it would work well. i run an open mic night and if someone turned up with a condenser it would be a no no, although not through being a bastard, for practical reasons.[/quote:1eaa7c1acf]

    From a sound engineer perspective...I dont see what the problem is of using a condenser mic on an acoustic guitar or other instrument in any setting if the artist requires it. Most condensers are very directional and they will have good rejection off-axis. If feedback is a problem its simply a case of turning down the amount of the mics signal going into the monitors. The best vocal microphone I have used in a sound engineering capacity was actually a condenser mic, a Neumann KMS 104. For acoustic guitars DPA microphones have released a new clip on goose-neck condenser microphone which is great.

    If your worried about feedback being an issue some acousic guitar pickups actually create the same type of feedback problems as using a microphone would if your too close to the monitor speakers.

    If I was the sound engineer at an acousic gig I would actually prefer it if the artist came with his/her own mics. I never could understand singers who are happy enough just to use someone else's microphones. Altough, bringing a condenser for an acoustic guitar may be out of the ordinary these days since most acoustics have pickups. But, if the instrument sounds better mic'd up then I dont see what the problem is, it would take a minute to rig it up. On the other hand some instuments may not have picups i.e. banjos etc will more than often require you to mic them up. So using a condenser mic is perfect for this function. Most sound engineers use condeners to mic up parts of a drum kit live so there's no real difference using one to mic up an instrument.

    But overall, respect to you for knowing what you want and being willing to bring your own mics. Most people with electro-acoustics dont even bring their own guitar lead, which baffles me everytime.
  9. avatar Captain Kennedy
    Get yourself a Soundblaster for the acoustic. Helps stop unwanted feedback. Or make your own out of a few beer mats and some gaffa tape!
  10. avatar tinpot anto
    That only works with the pickup on an electo-acoustic, not with a mic'ed up instrument.

    The main prob with micing up the guitar for live work, is that you have to be constantly aware of your position in relation to the soundhole and the mic. Either you stay perfectly still and do not move, or you spend years practising with various techniques and use the pallette of sounds to your advantage.

    Either way if you are anyway prone to spontaneous nonsensical movement when playing and singing, as I am, then a mic becomes a terribly stifling ball and chain of a thing. I have an oul Seymour Duncan Woody that I am selling for about 20, the points on the jack input could do with a wee bit of a resolder, but otherwise it's in good nick.
  11. avatar unplugged
    anto is right. some of the magnetic pickups (i fucking doubted them bigtime unitl i heard my 160 Fishman rare earth) but some of them sound more acoustic than the internal preamps can give. honestly.

    its passive (ie not battery active powered) but the wee woody pickup isnt bad, especially if you cant stretch to the rare earth. Especially for a mere 20 off anto.

    All you do is desolder the existing pickup for the preamp and solder the wires of woody to the input jack and then clip on the pickup. 5 min job. If you aint sure ill do it for you for a few beer

    it will give you a better sound if you have a shit preamp. but using a condender unless you are playing to a hush crowd at the waterfront is a bit of a wanky idea. especilly at an open ,mic where the soundman is under P already and there is a orderly queue waiting to get up to sing.

    get your acoustic sorted or indeed buy a new one if you are anyway serious about unplugged tone.

    I have a Cool Tube preamp in my takamine limited edition Storm model and my Tan10c and it utilises a real vacumn tube to warm up the tone of the already fantastic pickup. Its prob the best pickup system available for acoustics at the moment. It sounds fuckin top notch. but you have to pay for it. The preamp alone to change is over 200 alone for the plug in insert for existing takamines but its worth it.
    My storm was 1400 and my Tan was 800.
    I hated parting with it but those guitars go to every gig and session with me and ill have them for life, until some cunt either steals them or i die. :lol:

    better than spending a lifetime buying a chain of wanky 200 acoustics with piezo brittle preamps.

    thats my 5 pence worth hope it helps.
  12. avatar belezabaub
    Again thanks for the input everyone. In many ways it is sounding as if the condensor mic idea is probably not a great one. It is probably a nice idea in theory but in practise wouldn't be very practical.

    Might be interested in that pick-up Anto, could I pay it off by installments say 2 a week for the next 10 weeks, lol. I'm only joking like but times are tough. Thanks Unplugged for the offer of sorting out the pick-up for me too if I do get the pick-up I might just take you up on the offer.

    I bought my acoustic without a pick-up precisely because I wanted to eventually get one fitted and be able to pick what sort of pick-up I wanted. I see a pick-up as a seperate entity to the actual acoustic guitar. The one fitted in the acoustic I like might not be the pick-up I want.

    The acoustic in question is an Alvarez PD85SAV, check it out http://www.birdlandmusic.net/product.php?productid=3116 . I bought it for $200 from a company in the US that specializes in repairing damaged and factory second guitars (check out www.marksguitarstuff.com if your interested). Cost me in total plus delivery, duty and tax 170 to my door. It really is a beautiful guitar, I'm biased but it IMHO it is the best acoustic I have played low end Taks, Seagulls and top of the line Tanglewoods and this guitar blows them away, IMHO.

    My old trusty elctro acoustic, lol isn't great. A Vintage (as in the make) EG something or other. I got it about ten years ago for 220 for a birthday present. The pick-up on it is a remarkable piece of work. If you like a your acoustic ran through a fuzz pedal with the added joy of squelching feedback if you touch the controls past halfway this is the guitar for you. I doubt she likes me holding in the old 9 volt battery with blue tac.

    It isn't actually that bad when it isn't plugged in, it is a little tinny but it is a joy to play, it plays like an electric and with new strings on her you'd like her a lot. You wouldn't marry her but she'd do for a poke when the proverbal TV is broke.

    I suppose the best thing is to save and do a little practising (God knows I need it).
  13. avatar Recycled Alien
    What everybody has ignored is what I said about the microphone reception pattern. There is no such thing as "a" condensor microphone. Different models may be cardioid, super- or hyper-cardioid, or even omidirectional.

    I have a couple of ones with a cardioid pick up pattern, and have used them on acoustic instruments, for example, flute and violin, in loud rock bands* with plenty of volume coming through the monitors. Feedback hasn't been a problem when the microphone is properly positioned and aligned.

    I do admit that Anto "tourette de guitar" does have a point about needing to stay relatively still. Cellists and harpists sit down, which is handy.

    [size=7:4043c7ff18]*Yes, I have worked with freaks who use instruments other than guitar, keys and drums. Not tomorrow night though - see you at McHugh's for Oxjam.[/size:4043c7ff18]
  14. avatar belezabaub
    I would have intended one of the behringer c-2 that I got in a pair.
  15. avatar exitonline
    [quote:e2c36bb6d1="Recycled Alien"]What everybody has ignored is what I said about the microphone reception pattern. There is no such thing as "a" condensor microphone. Different models may be cardioid, super- or hyper-cardioid, or even omidirectional.

    I have a couple of ones with a cardioid pick up pattern, and have used them on acoustic instruments, for example, flute and violin, in loud rock bands* with plenty of volume coming through the monitors. Feedback hasn't been a problem when the microphone is properly positioned and aligned.[/quote:e2c36bb6d1]

    Yes exactly. Mic technique and know how goes a long way. There's too many wanna-be "sound engineers" who havent got the first clue. Its simply a case of I got a mixing desk, a few mics, a compressor, now I'm gonna make money doing sound for bands, easy money. By the way, im not pointing any fingers at anyone in saying that.

    I was going to mention the microphones pickup pattern and I did touch on it. I assumed we were talking about a cardioid or hyper-cardiod mic when I stated that a good condener will have great rejection off-axis. But yeah if you use Omni, figure 8 etc pattern condensers then you will get feedback city as the microphone is as sensitive at the rear as it is at the front.

    [quote:e2c36bb6d1="belezabaub"]I would have intended one of the behringer c-2 that I got in a pair.[/quote:e2c36bb6d1]

    Yes these microphones are fine to mic up an acoustic guitar in a live setting. They have a Cardioid response pattern, so they have a pattern similar to the typical SM58 and as such they will not be as sesitive to feedback when used properly. When you say they came in a pair this just means that the two of them are a "matched" pair designed to have the exact frequency responce etc. Although on budget condensers like these this may not be completely true. But for live work they are fine. Matched pairs and sonic quality only really come into microscopic detail in a studio environment.

    If you do use them live just make sure the sound guy remembers to turn on phantom power for the microphone. It wouldnt be the first time ive seen a sound guy scratching his head wondering why there's no sound coming out, only to find he didnt turn on phantom power for the microphone. :lol: