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Acoustic Guitar Live Looping Set-Up using Ableton


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#1 Polytrix

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 01:19 PM

How is this done if you can't directly send a line out from an acoustic guitar without a pickup into an interface?

I've got a Zoom H4N microphone (which only really has a headphone output to monitor from so not the best for live) which I presume I could set up better with a stand etc and then live play and monitor back using Abelton as the virtual looping pedal (I think Ableton has audio fx to do this like a pedal would) - anyone have experience of doing this?

Or best to replace the Zoom as the mic out and get a newer condenser mic to record/monitor from more directly? Mic advice?

I just want to easily record and loop my playing to build tracks like when you see people playing with traditional looper pedals.

Cheers!!!

#2 mcbpete

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 01:58 PM

I think the only real issue with using the H4n is that it'll pick up everything else going on with every loop making each pass noisier and noiser. As for doing it in Ableton yeah there's a native looping device for exactly this sort of thing:



#3 sheathe

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 02:42 PM

Don’t let the noise deter you, though. I’ve made some of my best loop stuff with just headphones and internal mic.

A little midi pedal helps, especially if you have it on soft surface and wear socks.

You could also buy a contact mic and rig it to your guitar. You can put it anywhere. Just tape it on.

Or spend a few hundred on a decent condenser and interface with clean 48v.

You would have to spend thousands on pedals to approach the looping potential that ableton offers.

#4 Polytrix

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 03:15 PM

Thank you.

I also think if I live monitor from the zoom headphone out it's not the best quality as it's not a real line out 44.1/24bit signal. I might be wrong but I don't think it's as strong a signal or something...

I've got a focusrite 6i6 with the phantom power button thing so I think I just need a better mic to directly record guitar (not a condenser then?!) and then just a footswitch and mic stand.

Makes sense?


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#5 sheathe

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 11:30 PM

I think you’re gonna want a condenser. Dynamics require A really loud input level. I’ve been recording with an sm57 that sits on my desk, because I’m lazy and want something I can throw around, but my recordings are noisey for it.

Also consider getting an electric guitar.

I’ve been eyeing squire jaguar or jazzmaster. Very affordable sub $300 guitars.

#6 Polytrix

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 02:26 AM

Thanks man. I've got an electric actually but want this for acoustic guitar use.

Yeah agreed, surely an acoustic needs a condenser? I think with the Zoom I can run it with a software eq enabled at the point of recording so that might help with low end rumble noise removal. I suppose each stem can be processed in post too but that's kind of not really the point.

Would prefer not to have to buy another mic so will experiment with the headphone out as the main out from the Zoom.

There's a £10 midi foot switch on Amazon and then I just need a mic stand and fixtures.

Annoys me that there's not a better output from the Zoom really, I know it's not meant for that but mehhhhh.