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Thread: Acoustic guitar recording - how to start?

  1. #1
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    Arrow

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    I would like to try my hand at recording my acoustic guitar, but don't know where to start. I play acoustic without amplification. I would appreciate some advice on "starter" mics and recorder outfits. What's a decent setup for a beginner?

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    Unhappy

    You can get decent results with a half-ass pre like in a Portastudio or cheapo mixer and a mic in the SM-57 realm. I used the AKG D770. Not really sure where that stacks up against the Shure. But if you can save a bit more, the Rode NT-1 and an ART MP tube pre should be available for $300 and will make a world of difference in your recordings. It's no big shmear. Even if you just get a SM-57 and upgrade later you won't regret having the Shure mic. But at least get a mic stand.

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    Cool

    A sm-57 is a good all purpose "dynamic" mic and is good for guitar amps and it will work for acoustic. But for acoustic recording you need to use a "condenser" mic for a more crisp reproduction and nuance. The rode NT1 mentioned above is a condenser and will sound a world better than the 57. More expensive condenser's like these require phantom power in which you would need a preamp. The ART mp is probably the cheapest (I own one and like the sound). If you don't want to buy all that, Audio Technica makes some great condenser mics for the price of a shure 57 that are battery powered.The ATM33a is basically a copy of the shure sm81(a classic condenser used on many an album) but half the cost. I know that anyone with ears would prefer the sound of one of these for acoustic recording than a 57. Okay, I'm looking in my catalog and the Audio Technica's are like sixty or more bucks expensive than the sm57($98.00). It's worth it though.

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    Wink

    Instead of using a large diaphragm condensor mic for acoustic guitar, I would look into getting a small diaphragm condensor mic for this task. The small diaphragm will reproduce the transients that exist in acoustic instruments much better. I find large diaphragm mics (NT1, AKG C3000, etc) to 'smooth' out the signal on acoustic which sometimes leaves it sounding a little flat. This is actually a nice effect for vocals, though.
    Ultimately, you should consider moving toward a small diaphragm condensor like the AT4033, AKGC1000 or Oktava MC012 (you can get a LD capsule later for the Oktava, which makes that mic a little more cost effective).
    Drstawl is right though, to just get your foot in the door, an SM57 is the mic I'm sure many of us started with. I bet you ALL of us are still using that mic, too.

    [This message has been edited by BigKahuna (edited 03-10-2000).]

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