Guitar sound on Shins "New Slang" guitar/mic/pre

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Guitar sound on Shins "New Slang" guitar/mic/pre

Post by skiltrip » Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:06 pm

Does anyone know or can anyone listen to New Slang by the Shins and get an idea of what mic (or what type of mic) was used for the acoustic guitar?

It's very 'woody' sounding for lack of a better term. I think a lot of this might be the guitar itself.

Anybody wanna take a shot at what gear was used to capture that guitar sound?

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Post by Barry Jive » Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:04 pm

I recall his Tape Op interview saying the only mic he had was a SM 57, and maybe some kind of RODE towards the end. Or maybe the RODE on "Chutes Too Narrow"? I can't quite remember. In any case, nothing too fancy, based on the tone I'm guessing the 57.

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Post by cgarges » Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:09 pm

A 57 can be a very cool acoustic guitar mic. It's one of the few things I really get into using a 57 for on occasion.

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Post by skiltrip » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:59 am

Maybe I'll give this a shot with my SM58.

Any tips on mic placement when using a dynamic like that? Anytime I'm messed around with a dynamic on acoustic it's just always sounded incredibly thin and cold.

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Post by nordberg » Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:30 am

if it's thin and cold try moving it a little closer. i almost always play acoustic much quieter when i record. that has seemed to help me get better acoustic sounds, unless you're going for something like the gorillaz 5/4. in that case, strum the shit outta that thing.
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Post by skiltrip » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:14 am

nordberg wrote:if it's thin and cold try moving it a little closer. i almost always play acoustic much quieter when i record. that has seemed to help me get better acoustic sounds, unless you're going for something like the gorillaz 5/4. in that case, strum the shit outta that thing.
Yeah, I've found that a bit of restraint goes a long way in getting a nice sweet acoustic sound. I tend to be heavy handed when I'm playing in a non-recording situation.

But in any case... that Shins "New Slang" guitar sound... to me, it sounds like older , deader strings too, am i wrong?

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Post by nordberg » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:25 am

i agree. i sounds like old dead strings on a pretty small guitar, played quietly with a thick pick.
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Post by skiltrip » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:18 am

nordberg wrote:i agree. i sounds like old dead strings on a pretty small guitar, played quietly with a thick pick.
Good call about the smaller guitar. Now I kinda wanna pick me up one of those Little Martin's. They are like $279. I'll just play it like crazy for a few months till the strings are lifeless. lol.
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Post by oldguitars » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:40 pm

dead strings and thick pick for sure!!!! Start there.
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Post by skiltrip » Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:19 am

Ok, we seem to agree on the dead strings, thick pick thing. And perhaps a smaller bodied guitar.

As far as type of pre and type of mic, what do we think?

Does this sound like a warmer/darker tube pre? like a 610 type of deal?

condenser mic?, or could it possibly be some other type.
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Post by nordberg » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:09 am

well if it's true that they only had a 57 and a rode, i'd start with my NTK at the 12th fret a few inches out facing toward the body a bit. and yeah, a 610 sounds like a good start too.
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Post by skiltrip » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:25 pm

Some seem to think this sounds like a Martin 000-15. And I think James Mercer plays that one live. what do you all think?

I think a LOT of that tone is the source (as is usually the case). Mics and pres can vary and you can still get that tone if your guitar is making it.
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Post by skiltrip » Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:14 am

I'm still on the hunt for this sound, but now I'm going for the source. Looking for the right guitar.

The 000 body size seems to be a good start. I've been reading about the Martin 000-15 a lot, but I don't have any local stores that carry it, so I can't even try the thing. Anyone ever play one or something similar that can comment on it, and if it's nice and dark and woody, sort of like that tone on New Slang?
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Post by earth tones » Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:27 am

I have been playing a 000-15S for a few months. Played both the 000-15 and 000-15S before deciding. They are both pretty nice guitars, however the wider fretboard of the 15S felt better to me. Very rich sound, but, as mentioned by a few of you previously, this guitar sounds much better (to me) when played light. Sure...I would say this guitar has a slightly "darker" sound than the other guitars I have played, but anyone else might have a different opinion - and string selection will make a difference as well.

Currently, I have light strings on this guitar, as these smaller body guitars tend to lend well to fingerstyle (which it does). However, I am as equally likely to play with a pick, and would like to hear what heavier guage strings sound like. The lights sound a little "loose" or "messy" when played with more force using a pick.

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Post by Barry Jive » Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:46 pm

I really would not be hunting for this one based on a specific model of guitar. You're going to drive yourself nuts and, in my limited experience, most acoustic guitars played with old dead strings sound remarkably similar recorded. I'm not saying there aren't subtle differences, there certainly are, and I suppose I have no idea what you're working with at the moment.

But goofing around with placement, where you're recording (room wise this sounds pretty dead to me), and, most importantly you're playing style and vibe. Maybe I'm wrong and you're one guitar away from that sound, but boy howdy, I would not place money on it.

And in the end if you're generally in the ball park but not exactly James Mercer that's probably fine. You're you, why not celebrate it? Best,

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