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Old 10-06-2012, 02:11 AM   #1
something_sweet
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Tips on recording acoustic guitar?

The title.

Just the basics, what I need to know, etc.

I've only got a horrible Behringer guitar interface, a tiny Orange amp, an acoustic and two electrics, and some mics.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:17 AM   #2
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Depends...there are a plethora of options...many related to what kind of sound you want to begin with.


The basics...point the mic near the soundhole if you want a pretty direct sound.
Move it further away or off axis if you don't like how that sounds...
You can use multiple mics, but will have to experiment with the positioning to minimize the phasing. I like to point a mic a bit off axis (sort of pointing towards the soundhole from around the end of the fingerboard) and another mic over the shoulder to pick up some room sound.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:35 AM   #3
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A better interface or multitracker would improve the quality significantly.

Also, what mics are you using? A matched pair of SDCs is a good way to record an acoustic.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:54 AM   #4
something_sweet
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One Shure sm57 and another other brand mic

This might be obvious but is it better to mic the guitar, then record it, or just plug through the interface? I can do both in case you're wondering, it just won't solve the problem (buzzing interface)
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:59 AM   #5
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It's better to mic it usually, that way you get the full sound of the guitar rather than just the sound of the guitar's pre-amp. Doing both is a good idea though, then you can separate the tracks in the final mix using EQ & panning.

Also, an SM57 isn't the best mic to use for acoustic guitar, it will accentuate the mid frequencies rather than give a fully accurate representation of the guitar's tonal qualities.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:53 AM   #6
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Pot

Aim the mic around the 12th fret. Experiment about 6" -1' distance


There are plenty of resources on the net. Check out gearslutz
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:29 PM   #7
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I agree, you get a much nicer sound from using a mic. I prefer to use large diaphragm condensers, but an SM57 would suffice if that's all you have ;P

I place the mic roughly 20-30cm away, depending on what I'm playing. If playing more ferocious material I aim the mic slightly to the left of the soundhole to avoid picking up the clicky noise of the pick, but if you're not using a pick then that shouldn't be a problem anyway.

I used to run the mic through a mixer with some fairly decent pre-amps, and then into the line in of an audigy 2 soundblaster (haha) but that was years before I could afford a good interface.

I'd recommend investing in something like a focusrite scarlett 2i2 to run the mic through, quality sound, solid drivers.

If the problem you're having is with the behringer interface, try just using the line in of your onboard sound card, latency won't be an issue if you're not using any VST and you can directly monitor the sound, and you can get nice results with that method too.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chronowarp
The basics...point the mic near the soundhole if you want a pretty direct sound.


Way too boomy/woofy.

If the acoustic guitar is an element in a mix, I usually go with a single mic - usually a small-diaphragm condensor, but maybe a large. I'll usually aim it straight on-axis around the 12th fret.

If it is a feature in the mix, I like to use two mics - again, SDC's. I'll place the first one as described above, and then the other one somewhere behind the bridge.

Alternatley, I'll use an ORTF configuration with the two mics directly in front of the sound hole, but with the angle, one of the capsules pointing towards the 12th fret and the other capsule pointing towards the bridge.

In all cases, I'll usually be a foot or so away from the body of the guitar, and ensuring that I'm not interfering with the player.

CT
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:01 PM   #9
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http://www.recordingmag.com/videos/9.html

This is a great magazine, too. Worth the price of subscription.

CT
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I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

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Old 10-06-2012, 11:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by something_sweet
One Shure sm57 and another other brand mic

This might be obvious but is it better to mic the guitar, then record it, or just plug through the interface? I can do both in case you're wondering, it just won't solve the problem (buzzing interface)

No, no 57s on acoustics.

Ideally, a small diaphragm condenser at the 12th fret and one at the sound hole.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:32 AM   #11
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lol

ya NEVER USE A 57 ON AN ACOUSTIC
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chronowarp
lol

ya NEVER USE A 57 ON AN ACOUSTIC

Unless its the only mic you've got.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by GaryBillington
Unless its the only mic you've got.

I think you're onto something.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:29 AM   #14
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Honestly, I've been experimenting with dynamic mics on acoustic this past week and I'm REALLY digging the results I'm getting. Granted, I'm also using a $1500 mic preamp to feed them (Shure SM7B & Beyerdynamic M201TG into a Focusrite ISA 428 MKI)... but as a focal point to the song, with lots of other parts going on, the dynamics seem to produce a much fuller sound. I DO have to boost the highs quite a bit to give them some air and pick attack, but the lowend and midrange is much more rich.

I actually bought a Cascade Fathead, just to see how it sounds on acoustic, because I'm intrigued now; quite excited to try it out! I've been told over the years to use condensers for acoustic and followed blindly, because that's what the "pros" said was the best. It may work in many situations, but that doesn't mean it's always better than something else.

However, if you're just wanting to do the singer/songwriter thing, with an acoustic track and vocals, then I'd still definitely go with a condenser. A dynamic or ribbon might just be too much work in the end to turn it into something that's it's not. You want that crisp, airy vibe to it for that sort of stuff, and that's definitely not something I associate with a dynamic.

I say - Try what you've got now. You might be surprised... you might not be. That being said... I probably wouldn't stick with the 57 for vocals, some people seem to like it for them, but I'll keep mine for instrument use, only
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:32 AM   #15
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I used to use a sm57 on acoustic when it was the only mic I had, and it worked well enough. It wasnt great, but it seemed to sound ok in the mix. If it is all you have, you just have to work a little to get a good mic position and go from there.

Mostly I like two mics on an acoustic, one more on the body and one on the neck. However, as chris said, sometimes a single mic is going to be better if you are mixing with other instruments. Two tracks with different mics can sound kind of busy in those cases. Another option is to use a single mic, and then the direct output of the guitar. The guitar output wont have the same character as the mics, so mixing that in with a mic pointed between the soundhole and 12th fret can get some solid results.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:43 PM   #16
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Here's advice I can offer



First off do you prefer 1: http://soundcloud.com/michaeloneilmusic/skyman


or two? http://soundcloud.com/michaeloneilm...od-leader-cover (in terms of guitar sound, not song)




What I did for 1: two mics on my acoustic guitar (a small diagphragm condenser and a large one, both fairly cheap, a combined costs of just under 300) I had the small one pointing at where the neck meets the body on my acoustic and the large one pointing at the bridge, slightly turned to face the soundhole, recorded fairly close and loud. I then double-tracked it and then added some reverb and EQ'd some bass out.


What I did for 2: Live take. Recorded in 25 minutes. The same two mics, a different guitar and this one just had new strings put on the day before. The small mic pointing at the same place and the big one pointed at my mouth. I sang and played it at the same time and just recorded it live (take 2 if anybody is interested, I coughed during the first one) I then EQ'd the guitar slightly by taking out a bit of bass, compressed the vocal slightly and panned the guitar to the left around 9 o clock. I think I panned the vocal very slightly right, like 3 per cent. I done nothing else.



What do you prefer out of curiosity?
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