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Topic: Steel String Acoustic Guitar

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  1. #1

    Steel String Acoustic Guitar

    Greetings,

    I'm in need of a great James Taylor-esque steel string acoustic guitar sound, preferably for EXS. Any recommendations? (Let's leave out RealGuitar and Virtual Guitarist for now.) I'm not really looking for pre-played patterns; just a great library that I can play myself, (though sampled chords wouldn't hurt, but aren't mandatory). I've heard good things about Yellow Tools' "Pure Guitars", but the three audio demos on their site don't demo the steel string; only the nylon string and 12 string.

    Again; I'm really looking for that James Taylor soft finger-picked sound. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Re: Steel String Acoustic Guitar

    FYI: For many years now, James Taylor has played an "Olsen", which are not that readily available. He was using something else entirely on his earlier, more famous work.

    I wouldn't hold my breath. I've yet to hear an acoustic guitar library that I'd recommend to anyone.... People seem to like the Washburn guitar in "RA" but it just doesn't do it for me... Best of luck in your search... Chuck

  3. #3

    Re: Steel String Acoustic Guitar

    Chuck,

    I don't know that I need to precisely replicate James' sound right down to the brand of guitar. I just need to simulate some ballad fingerpicked 16th notes and what I've got isn't really cutting it. Anyone?

  4. #4

    Re: Steel String Acoustic Guitar

    I've been using the Collings finger-picked acoustic in Hans Zimmer Guitars II for years, with great results. I sometimes replace the part with a guitarist, but often will just have the session player add a second part (capo'd higher, or high-strung, and a more sparse part) to the sampled track, which sounds fantastic.

    It's a 32 meg instrument (Akai format), but you could translate it to whatever you use. There are several other nice "ethnic" acoustic string instruments in the library, as well. I end up using the cuatro quite a bit, and sometimes one of the electric guitars.

    It's an old library by now, but the Collings is such a balanced, well-recorded instument that I still use it constantly. It's not "James Taylor specific", but it is played with bare fingers, which gives it that unique, fleshy tone.

  5. #5

    Re: Steel String Acoustic Guitar

    I would kill for an updated Collings guitar (Bob Daspit as the player). Of all sampled acoustic guitars, it's still my favorite.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Steel String Acoustic Guitar

    word up..........

    You can get away with the VSL Nylon for some mockups of that type, but the minute you put the real track on, you are just SO reminded that it's everything between the notes that counts, and samples just don't do that very well.

    I haven't heard anyone get this from a steel string, though, even to the point that you can stand to listen to a mockup for the length of time it takes to make the thing. There is a combination of tubbiness and brightness in that sound in which sampling seems to bring out the very worst qualities. For my money, some of the steel string guitars being sampled are just too big. Different choices would be better. Smaller guitars get a more intimate sound. Giant, boomy Martins carry beautifully in real life, but they are hard to record successfully, and harder to sample.

  7. #7

    Re: Steel String Acoustic Guitar

    Ok, ok; it's not going to fool any guitarists. I know that. But it's in a track beneath a vocal, piano, and a pad or two. So a tastefully played light fingerpicked part is something that I can get away with in this circumstance. (Believe me; if I could find a human fingerpicking guitarist here in my neck of the woods, I'd use him.)

    The Zimmer II Guitar mentioned above does sound good and is definitely the best option I've heard thus far. I just wish it wasn't $200, considering I really don't need the rest of the instruments on it. The Yellow Tools product is only half the price, but then you've got to buy their dongle for another $35, which turns me off. Any other libraries I should be aware of? Thanks again...

  8. #8

    Re: Steel String Acoustic Guitar

    Sorry to break your rule, but I still recommend Real Guitar. If you're dismissing it because you think it's all pre-played patterns, then you are mistaken.

    You can play every note on it yourself. You can play it in a mode where it will give you the notes on the correct strings in the correct positions. You can play it yourself where you alternate bass notes between chords. You can adjust the amount of fret slide you hear. You can adjust the ratio between the pick and body you hear. You can assign the pitch to slide up or down a note or two. You can use midi to switch from neck position 1 to position 2 on the fly. You can............etc, etc.

    This is all without using pre-played patterns.

    It has a steel-string, picked or fingered. It has nylon, picked or fingered. It has 12-string, picked or fingered.

    No, I don't work for them. But I do a lot of stuff where I need a great guitar sound and it has been the best.

  9. #9

    Re: Steel String Acoustic Guitar

    Hoff,
    It's an old library by now, but the Collings is such a balanced, well-recorded instument that I still use it constantly. It's not "James Taylor specific", but it is played with bare fingers, which gives it that unique, fleshy tone.
    By any chance would you be able to post one of your tracks that features the Collings fingerpicking? I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.

  10. #10

    Re: Steel String Acoustic Guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman
    The Yellow Tools product is only half the price, but then you've got to buy their dongle for another $35, which turns me off. Any other libraries I should be aware of? Thanks again...
    I don't think the YT libraries, like Pure Guitars, require a dongle. Anything that requires a dongle is flagged with a special "Dongle required" logo on their website now, e.g. the MVIs and Independence.

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