Hi Everyone,

I get a lot of questions regarding my recording setup here at Savage Classical Guitar.  Apparently, I get a nice clean sound that everyone seems to enjoy.  That’s always cool to know.  So, here’s my very simple recording gear and setup.

  • I use 2 AKG C1000S mics at the bridge and sound hole.  About 6″-12″ away on a boom stand.
  • I also use a Lauten Audio Atlantis FC-387
  • Good mic wires (obvious but important) to a
  • Saffire Pro 26 PreAmp and Converter ( I write a little more on the new mic and converter below).
  • Firewire to a high end PC or iMac with tons of storage, massive memory and video memory.
  • Logic Pro 9  for audio processing or Studio One, which ever I feel like at any given time.
  • Straight recording, no edits (except for master prints), no additional processing of any kind.
    • Reason is that I want the guitars to be represented accurately.
    • 10% reverb on a 100% dry signal. 
    • Sometimes an amplification normalization if one mic was weaker than the other (lately I don’t need to do this as the sound is very good overall).
    • This clean reverb setting was the hardest part to tweak.  I didn’t want it to sound like an empty church, but also, not like a carpeted room. Just enough wetness to widen the listening experience.
  • Print to wav, convert to mp3, upload to site.  Done. 

Now, why do I offer sound clips?

Really?

This seems a silly question, but look a bit deeper, and it is a fair one.  Some sites do not offer sound clips.  They say, “the sound files are enhanced by microphones and engineering”, etc?  That may be correct, if you change the settings or overlay tons of engineering, once the clip is recorded.

I say that they do not offer sound clips, because it’s too much work.  Laziness.  Time.  Effort.  Etc….I record as I say above.  The mics, especially the Lauten (which is freakin’ awesome) are very representative of the human ear.

Where other sites say, ” clients are usually disappointed in the actual guitar vs. the recording they heard on other sites”, I get the exact opposite.  The guitar “sounds better” than the sound file.  So, maybe it is a function of taste, or more likely laziness.  But then again, I list the guitars, I photograph them, I measure them, I discuss them from the heart when I play them and write about them the way I perceive them.  I do this 24/7  It’s what I do.  My way.

So, maybe, where I’m concerned, laziness is not an option.  LOL  Best…Rich

PS …. I’ve updated and upgraded the recording equipment, having moved to a Saffire Pro 26 Converter and a Lauten Audio Atlantis FC-387 microphone, which is added to the 2 already great mics being used.  The sound is SO clean.  I love it.

Speaking of recording, we were amazed at the pure clarity and ambience of the microphone, the Lauten.  This sound is not even EQ’ed.  There’s nothing on her, except to gauge the distance of the mic and the gain on the pre-amp.  The converter is clean and quiet, the mic is the same, and bang, I have exactly what I want; an accurate representation of the guitar in the room it’s being played in.

Importantly, I highly recommend listening thru an excellent set of headphones, or, at the very least, a set of excellent studio monitors or speakers.  Enhance the EQ the way you see fit, but I use a gentle curve of moderate bass, to fairly even mids, to a slightly higher highs.  The music is recorded absolutely flat, with zero enhancement to the levels.  I try to record in exactly the same position every time, within certain obvious tolerances.  Playing thru your phone speaker, or your pc is not going to give you anywhere near the same effect.  These are high fidelity studio recordings and should be listened to on the best equipment you have at your disposal.  (saying that, when you look at the videos on my site or go to my YouTube Channel, make certain that the videos are playing at as high a resolution as you can manage.  They are recorded at 1080P, and they look great and sound great.  If it looks grainy, you don’t have a high resolution set.  Click the little gear at the bottom right of the video and select 720 or 1080).

People say, oh, well, the recordings amplify the quality of the guitar.  First, that implies that I have bad guitars here.  Ha.  🙂  Sorry, but no way, not possible.  I am the filter for what is offered here.  One guitar after the next is superior to the other.  If it’s not, it does not have a home here in my shop.  Period!  Secondly, and my deep apologies to those who have no clue about recording and or equipment, setup, etc, but audio enhancement or equipment is needed to help a bad guitar or recording sound good.

Sorry, but I’m too anal to allow that here in my shop.  Believe me, I’m playing or recording a guitar and it doesn’t sound good to me, I look at it like a puppy dog hearing a funny sound.  Head turns sideways, I start looking at it very closely, and then finally, it goes back in its case with a note….”send back to luthier or customer” slapped on to the guitar’s case like a piece of meat on the counter.  Don’t believe me?  Send me a bad guitar.  You’ll have it back faster than the herpes sore flaring up on your girlfriend’s lower lip.  Try me  LOL

I can honestly say, I’m really happy with the result.  Very accurate, little to no processing, print to MP3 and upload.  Saves me time, hassle and headache.  Whabang, baby…good to go.  Lovin’ it.   The 1986 Nicholas Ioannou is the first recording with only the new equipment.  Trust me, that’s the single mic, the converter, straight into the Mac, ProLogic for mixing (which none was needed except for gain levels) and I put her on the server.  Gotta love that.  Peace…

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