Friday, February 27, 2009

Al Acuff Biography

For those of you who noticed that the door was open and wandered in... You may be wondering, "who the heck is this guy?" 

For you folks here's a link to the story of my checkered past. Perhaps you'll discover the secret of my success... or failure... it kinda depends on which way you look at it....

Friday, February 6, 2009

New DPA 4099-Guitar microphone review coming soon

Danish Pro Audio (formerly B&K) has kindly provided me with a sample of their new miniature 4099-Guitar microphone for evaluation and review. This microphone is one of four microphones included in their new series of performance microphones designed to be used live on stage. The other mics in the series are designed for sax, violin, and trumpet. There is a variety of accessories available which may be used to adapt these mics to various other instruments.

For twenty years I played acoustic guitar professionally in bars, cafes, hotels, resorts, etc. I have owned various guitar pickup systems in various guitars. While I have found that certain pickups such as Sunrise and Fishman pickups are practical and sound good, none of them have sounded like a real acoustic guitar sounds to me when I'm playing it at home or in the studio. 

Over the years there have been many attempts to install on board microphones in acoustic guitars. At best these systems require sophisticated outboard gear and a good sound-man. At worst they are unusable due to low threshold of feedback and poor sound quality.

Like many of you, I've been doing some computer based digital recording here at home. Since my room is not acoustically perfect and since I sing and play guitar at the same time I've been finding it difficult to get the sounds I want. So I'm very excited at the idea of this mic doing double duty and serving as an acoustic guitar mic for my song demo recordings. I already know I'm not the first person to come up with this idea so I'm pretty sure it's going to be a productive experiment. And if I can get something approaching a true acoustic guitar sound on stage without a big hassle, I'm going to start playing out again. If you're an acoustic guitar player your heart is starting to race... we're talking about the Holy Grail here folks! 

DPA is a company whose instument mics set the standard for recording acoustic instruments in the studio. A buddy of mine at National Public Radio speaks of DPA's piano mic with reverence approaching awe. So I'm really looking forward to putting this new acoustic guitar mic through it's paces. If anyone can slay dragons and bring home the Grail it's the folks at DPA. I'm predicting that my upcoming review will contain some good news for acoustic musicians. Now it's time for me to quit yapping and go plug the mic in... to be continued...

PS. In the meantime, check out the great Microphone University feature at the DPA website. There's a lot of useful information. It's well organized, clearly presented, and it's free!