Acoustic Guitar Recording 101

swarfrat

New member
Another Thank You! As far as the earlier posts about noise gating fans... DON'T. Your ear kinda turns fans and other "background noises" into "Background noises" if they're steady state. But if you gate it, that "broadband background noise" becomes much more noticeably pitched noise, and it sounds like someone ringing a gong.

I just recorded my baritone acoustic, single AT2020 at the 14th fret or so. I like the sound I got - this guitar (Alvarez ABT-60, but tuned up to C#) has a bit of the jumbo heavy footprint, but when pushed hard (and why else would you buy a jumbo) it has an nice searing upper-mid midrange tone that makes leads jump out.

I was recording a hard driving acoustic guitar based tune, and while I liked the guitar, when I added a bass, the baritone is just stomping all over the bass. It doesn't sound woofy to me, just authoritative. I'm not sure about thinning it out any though, as it really IS the song. The bass is pretty standard picked p-bass driving straight 8's, but it just dissapears under the guitar.
 

lhmusic

New member
I find one of the best methods is to use figure 8 polar pattern microphones especially if also recording vocals. The side rejection really allows me to get a lot of guitar level without the sound of the chair creaking or my over active foot stamping on the floor!

A little trick I learnt from one of Nightwish's recording engineers who I was lucky enough to have as a lecturer at uni.
 

Chili

Site Moderator
The links have been replaced with current ones.

Thanks for taking the time to read White Strat's excellent tutorial on recording acoustic guitar. Always a difficult task in home recording.

And thanks again to White Strat for putting this together and then updating the links.
 

silvercn

New member
Hey everyone - I have found a way to record my acoustic (Alvarez Artist) that is giving me very sweet results to discuss. When I get this song done, I will include a link. After trying several methods, for this I am using a Mid-Side mic set up in front of my (new and love it) Fishman Loud Box Mini amp. I have not read or heard much about doing this on an acoustic amp. I am leaving the on board pickup EQ flat, and on the amp dry with no Fx on. I'm setting the Loudbox EQ to taste, but with low and high up some past middle, and mid slightly down. That amp is extremely quiet even during idle, so when playing soft, or at a quick break, the recording is virtually quiet at those point. In my DAW (Sonar X1 Producer), from the guitar bus where I sent the three channels of the M-S tracks, I am sending to a Waves verb bus. The first time played on monitors I was like WOW..... I am sticking with this method for now. Charles
 

JonBouye

New member
Hello everyone, this a really insightful. Just what I was hoping to find when joining. I'll be trying this out as soon as I get settled from moving. Thanks for a great post.
 

witzendoz

Senior Member
I thought I may add to this sticky thread, if thats OK, this may have been covered before but there are 21 pages so I did not read them all LOL.

I usually record acoustic guitar with 1 or 2 mics around the 12 fret, sometimes 2 x condensers sometimes a condenser and a ribbon, usually both pointing towards the 12th fret and primarily to capture the sound with 2 different sounding mics so I can do a bit of blending later for tone. I as a rule don't record stereo acoustics as it is usually going into a mix with other instruments so the stereo does not fit for me.

However last night I was recording a solo flamenco guitarist, so I decided to try the M/S (mid/side) mic technique. I have attached a video I found to show you the setup. Gee it sounded good.

I used a AKG C4000B as the cardioid mic and because I did not have 2 mics the same with figure 8 I used a CAD Tron 8000 as the figure 8. I did try using a fathead ribbon but the low gain caused by being a ribbon mic and the fact it was recording from the null point of the pattern, I was getting a little hiss on the pres due to gain needed for the quiet guitar passages.

Another thing I did different to the video was that I actually sent the figure 8 mic to 2 pres and switched one of them out of phase, so therefore recoding 3 tracks of audio, cardiod / figure 8 in phase / figure 8 out of phase. This allowed me to check the sound before I hit record in case I did not like it. It also fits my workflow better as I use pres into a 24 track hard disk recorder.

Anyway I hope it gives you guys another experiment to try.

Cheers
Alan.

 

milosd

New member
acoustic recording

to the OP,

nice tutorial, good thing you didnot have any phase issues with this setup?
 
Very nice , I think I need to do more double tracking .. I would like to here more about "over the shoulder" recording . I've been thinking about it for awhile , trying to get the same sound I hear while I'm playing without headphones. Good job . Thanks.... MS
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
Very nice , I think I need to do more double tracking .. I would like to here more about "over the shoulder" recording . I've been thinking about it for awhile , trying to get the same sound I hear while I'm playing without headphones. Good job . Thanks.... MS
You need to be able to be pretty still with anything where the mic isn't pointed fairlly straight on to the guitar, so, personally, I never try over-the-shoulder. Plus, what you hear is probably a lot more room than you realize because your own ears aren't aimed at the guitar.

MS may be the better option if you want something more like what you hear, but it's going to be best in a good room. I've got too many outside and inside noises to contend with, never mind my own shuffling and huffing, in a less than ideal room, so 1 or 2 relatively close mics works best for me.
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
Rather than getting too complicated, if you have a decent room, all you really have to do is stick a mic about anywhere in front of the guitar. Here's something that was literally a thrown together, one/first take of me and a friend standing up in front of mics connected to my Zoom F8.

YouTube

AT4051a on the left guitar, ATM450 on the right. Absolutely no test recording done - I just looked at the levels to make sure it wasn't clipping. Recording done in our "family room" which is fairly normal size for these parts but a good size room, open all over and a vaulted ceiling. There's a sofa and couple chairs for room treatment :).
 

silvercn

New member
Very nice job. I especially liked this because I happen to love that song, and have from the first moment i heard it by Eric Bibb. You guys are the only ones I've heard do a cover of that...except me! Lol. Charles
 

Mickster

Well-known member
Yes sirs......very very nice job!!! Well done. I noticed that your friend (on the right) moved his guitar position away from the mic a few times. It seems like he used that like a singer would to control volume and some tone.........and I thought it worked very well.

Thanks for the listen!!
 
Nice. I can never get this nice quality sound when I record. Mine just comes out too thin, when i boost the signal it just gets too distorted.
Yours sounds like it's surround-sound, nice and full
 
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