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Acoustic A string louder than others


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Hey guys,


I am recording one song now, and the beginning of it is a "only acoustic guitar solo", so no other instruments are playing behind it. It's a high notes solo with few low open E and open A string bass notes playing with the solo. But here's the thing. When I play everything, like the high notes and open E string, except the open A string, the audio level is something around -18 dB, but when I play the open A string with the same power as the others, the level is somewhere around -6 dB to -3 dB, and sometimes it's even clipping. The same is happening when I play A note on E string, so it's something with the A note, not the string.


Do you have any idea why is this happening?


I use Rode NTG3 (for better capturing high tones) and MXL R77-L together and it's doing on both.


Tuning is in 432Hz (but in 440Hz it's no big change).

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At 432 you are of course rattling the universe. But honestly, this 'sounds' like a either faulty A-string, or a or a room or a guitar that has a strong resonance around 430-440 - and since you say that the same happens when you play A on the E string, it's not the string.

If it is the room, then any (acoustic) guitar will 'sound' like this, if it is the guitar, then this effect should happen in any room, even a dead one.

So, to find the cause, what you need is another room (preferrably acoustically treated against resonances), and another guitar (known to be consistent across the board).

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I have no data to back this up, but I have noticed that A1 and A0 (110/55hz) seem to jump out in recording situations. I have found this in my last two studios which had very different dimensions, monitors and wall treatments. This is the open string on both guitar and bass... but I've heard it elsewhere as well. I thought it was just me... but maybe there is some rattling or resonance in the universe.. ;)


I just did a test recording a sine wave generated by EXS24 of both C2 and A1 (same velocity etc) and then bounced it to check the level. They both had the same level as checked by the audio editor. Yet, to my ears, the A sounds louder.


Here is a bounce of the two notes.. First C2 then Aa.. see if you hear a difference https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Xt4RwPXfaF-fi81_jTBinXbYYyeJ-1oc/view?usp=sharing

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Where are you placing the microphone? That can make all the difference.




I have tried hundreds of set ups, like MXL at hole, Rode on neck, vice versa, etc.. I ended up with both mics on hole, mxl on the left side and rode on the right side, slightly on the end of the fretboard, and have the best results I could possibly get I guess.


It's probably the instrument, I tried it in other room, it was the same (just more reverb because of absence of diffusers). When I play it without mics and just listen to it by ear, It's interesting that the volume of the A string is same as the E, but it's making much more bass vibration of the instrument. It's probably not rattling the universe, but just the guitar.

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Detune the guitar a whole tone, if the problem is now with your B string then it’s the guitar body resonance, maybe a crack in the body or loose back or the resonant frequency.


If it’s on the A string only then check for a loose tuner, check the contact points of the A string (nut and bridge), clean them up and make sure the string fits in the grooves well. You could also try a lighter gauge A string, it will be slightly thinner.

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