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Old 06-30-2014, 04:26 AM   #1
Tiger17
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Help in selecting Acoustic Guitar Mic

Hi Guys,

Not sure if I should post this here or in the Acoustic Guitar section ?

Just wondering if I can get some help about purchasing a SDC mic primarily for recording acoustic guitar. Not sure which way to go here. I want to get 2 mics so I can have the option to do the X-Y thing. I wont be recording a lot of acoustic guitar its really only for a few tracks here and there but I want to try and get something reasonable for whatever money I spend. Majority of stores tend to stock AKG, Behringer, Rode. Though I have come across 1 or 2 stores in Aust that do have Se and Studio Projects (not common though).

So I guess I am kinda looking at:
Rode M3 ($170 ea)
Rode M5 ($230 pair)
AKG Perception 170 ($140 ea)
AKG AT2031 ($200 ea)
Se 1A ($180 ea)
Rode NT5 ($270 ea)
NT55 ($550 pair)
Studio Projects C4 ($430 pair)

Currently thinking Rode NT55 or Rode M5 (once my mic/recording skills improve I can always get something better later). Another option is maybe getting something like a Shure SM81 ($550 ea) but only get 1 now and get another one later in the year.

Thoughts ?
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Old 06-30-2014, 05:02 AM   #2
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Congratulations, you have chosen the right section!

A couple thoughts, yeah.

1. unless your songs don't have much parts in it and your acoustic guitar has to be very evident in the mix, you might not wanna use an xy mic pattern.
Have you ever tried how the thing sounds?
IMO, it'd be best to get a single better mic or to use a different pattern.

Me myself I would suggest a m/s pattern, so you could mic your favorite place on the guitar, which to me is around the 12th fret with the mic at tilted 45 towards the soundhole, and use the fig. 8 one for the imaging.

2. Does it have to be SDC?
I mean, people tend to use SDCs for that application, but I've veeery rarely seen a SDC used on vocals, even though experience tells me they can sound veeery good on some vocals.

That said, depending on your budget you might wanna go from a pair of C01 or a C01 + a C03 for the m/s pattern, to a pair of shoepps colette with the MK4 capsule or one of them + a U47, or something in between like a pair of C451 or a C451 + a C414 XLS, or a supposedly even better (and cheaper) recreation of the last one which would be a pair of sE1A (or sE2 if you want interchangeable capsules) or one of them + an sE4400a.

What's your budget, TS?
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Old 06-30-2014, 05:42 AM   #3
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Hi Spambot

Many thanks for your reply.

No it does not have to be SDC - I have been looking around on the web and from what I can see, this type of mic in X-Y seems to be popular for acoustic guitar recording, which is why I was heading that way. But open to other suggestions to research. I havent come across m/s patern term before so I will search for that.

As for recording with mics - I am new to this. So this will be a learnig curve for me. All recordings to date have been with an electric. For the most part the acoustic will not be the focus, mostly just forming a rhythm background. At this stage I dont plan to record vocals with the mic, but that could change.

Budget - If I buy 2 mics now then I would be limited to around 500-600 AUD. But I can always buy one now and get another one later in the year.

edit: just checked out the m/s pattern that sounds cool. So I could consider one of each LDC and SDC with the right patterns and give myself two different mic types.

Last edited by Tiger17 : 06-30-2014 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger17
mostly just forming a rhythm background. At this stage I dont plan to record vocals with the mic, but that could change.
Then I'd get one single multi pattern condenser for the sake of versatility.

For that money you may be able to score an sE4400a, that you can use alone to mic the guitar in cardioid pattern (or in fig. 8 or in omni if you have a good sounding room) and pair it with the mic you use to record electric guitars to try the m/s thing.
Then when you'll feel like recording vocals you'll just find a place where the ambience is good, and record the thing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger17
So I could consider one of each LDC and SDC with the right patterns and give myself two different mic types.
Nor the diaphragm size nor the mic type matter here, only the polar pattern.
Though it's suggested to use two similar sounding mics not to incur in funny effects.
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:13 AM   #5
EatShreddies
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Music production journals are your friend, I've put a link to an article I remember reading in sound on sound magazine a few years ago, full of useful tips for recording acoustics:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr...es/acguitar.htm

It goes over microphones, placement, phasing issues etc. etc. etc.

hope this helps
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:27 AM   #6
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Also, my prefered way to record an acoustic is to have an SM57 by the soundhole -sometimes a little more towards the bottom of the neck to get the pluck and string movement


And I have a second microphone (usually a condensor but sometimes a ribbon depending on the room) further back - if you can imagine each end of the guitar as 2 points of an equilateral triangle, my second mic is usually on the 3rd point of the triangle to get a balanced sound.

Of course the problem with mic'ing acoustic guitars though is the performer moving while playing so be mindful of this, or cover their chair in superglue, withever works best
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:30 PM   #7
Tiger17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EatShreddies

Of course the problem with mic'ing acoustic guitars though is the performer moving while playing so be mindful of this, or cover their chair in superglue, withever works best


hehehehe...will keep that one in mind.
Thanks for the article link - most informative
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:32 PM   #8
Tiger17
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Originally Posted by Spambot_2
Then I'd get one single multi pattern condenser for the sake of versatility.

For that money you may be able to score an sE4400a, that you can use alone to mic the guitar in cardioid pattern (or in fig. 8 or in omni if you have a good sounding room) and pair it with the mic you use to record electric guitars to try the m/s thing.
Then when you'll feel like recording vocals you'll just find a place where the ambience is good, and record the thing.
Nor the diaphragm size nor the mic type matter here, only the polar pattern.
Though it's suggested to use two similar sounding mics not to incur in funny effects.


Many thanks for your help. Will take a look at multi pattern mics and not worry about diaphragm size.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:41 AM   #9
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Questions:
What are you using for an audio interface?
How is your recording room treated acoustically? this is proably the most important question - if your room does not have acoustic treatment, it won't make a difference if you are using $100 mics or $1000 mics.
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Old 07-01-2014, 01:29 PM   #10
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^ it will.

The room sound gets picked up a lot if you put your mic in a way that will pick up the sound of the room, and a m/s pattern will likely do that, but a spaced pair of cardio condensers will not be much affected by the room sound.
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:56 AM   #11
Tiger17
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No, current room is not treated. Using a Presonos Audiobox VSL22

Currently following Spambots recommendation of looking at a multi pattern mic. So looking at sE 2200a MKii (multi pattern) or sE 4400.

Though open to any other suggestions people might have.
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:53 AM   #12
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If it is your own home studio you can experiment a bit and see what works. You don't want to do that if you are recording clients who are waiting for you. A setup I tried that was pretty good was having a small condenser pointed at the 15th fret or so and a large one under the guitar just past the soundboard pointed at the bridge. Here are a few setups http://www.humbuckermusic.com/acguitrectec.html I am describing 2 on this.
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