Acoustic Guitar Recording 101

ecc83

Well-known member
Some of you might like to buy the current issue of Sound on Sound? Good article about "Miccing any instrument" including acoustic guitar.
The Fet Head is still in UK but will send it to son in a week or three. Things have been pretty dire here at Chez Dave lately.
 

erasmismev2

New member
Great Tutorial, thanks. There's another technique I've heard about but I don't quite know how to pull off in pro tools. George Martin used to double the Beatles vocals by duplicating a track Fishing rod UAE , but offsetting it by a split second so that he got the extra dimension of another live performance. Anybody tried that one?
 

Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
I habitually have gain settings too hot when tracking acoustic guitars. I find that to negate boom and mud I really have to back off the gain and record lower than you might think. Anyone concur?
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
I habitually have gain settings too hot when tracking acoustic guitars. I find that to negate boom and mud I really have to back off the gain and record lower than you might think. Anyone concur?
When I first began recording acoustic guitar, that was the temptation. It seemed logical to record as hot as possible and right in front of the sound hole, especially as when recording with a drummer, it could minimize drum bleed. While that can net some very usable sounds {for example, a certain thickness that can go well with drums and/or percussion of varying colours}, I also find that not recording hot can net very usable sounds. Nowadays, I'd never record that way. I'd record an electric DI so there's no chance of drum bleed and then put the acoustic on afterwards. It was a long while before that occurred to me but now it's my standard if I'm recording with a drummer on a song that has acoustic guitar and we're tracking together.
One thing I've been experimenting with recently is having one mic {it could be a condenser or a dynamic} directly in front of the sound hole or slightly above the sound hole, but about 5 ~ 9 feet away. I have the gain on the pre-amp up but not to the extent that the recording is hot.
Truth be told, there are many different ways of recording the acoustic guitar. And they are all valid depending on what one wants at the time. I saw an interesting method last year where a guy had the mic about 6~8 inches away from the guitar but it was pointing at the wood just below and to the side of the sound hole. I tried it and it sounded like....an acoustic guitar.
While I say there are many ways of recording an acoustic guitar, to me every method tried sounds at the end of the day like an acoustic guitar !
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Boom and mud are proximity artefacts - and nothing to do with your gain setting - just the mics in the wrong places. Too close and the gain has to come down, too distant and it goes up - but the boomy through to thin sound comes from positioning.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
Specifically the first one that was posted on this thread.

Best regards,
Mile

The links in the first post by WhiteStrat are to his Soundcloud page, and they appear to all be active. I just listened to a few. Its an acoustic guitar piece with flute, reminiscent of "Can't you see" by Marshall Tucker.

There are issues with other sharing services, such as Dropbox, who changed their format, Myspace (does it even exist anymore?), and places like Google drive, Photobucket, etc. where you have limited storage, so things get dropped off when you need space for new files. Soundcloud and Youtube postings generally are good, unless the owner removes the file for some reason.

Broken links are a fact of life on the internet these days.
 

ecc83

Well-known member
Latest recording from my son. Not great, I cannot get him interested in the technical side!
He is playing a lot to become error free as much as possible because he wants to perform live.

Constructive criticism welcomed and then I shall give details of the recording MO!

Dave.
 

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keith.rogers

Well-known member
I'M CONFUSED - you say we can hear your stool squeak, but you only joined today and I can't find any music posted?
The poster's link is to a Vietnamese site that has electric cooking items for sale. I strongly suspect it's a "bot" that made the posts. (They seem to be getting better at plucking sentences from older threads!)
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
Latest recording from my son. Not great, I cannot get him interested in the technical side!
He is playing a lot to become error free as much as possible because he wants to perform live.

Constructive criticism welcomed and then I shall give details of the recording MO!

Dave.
Fine playing! I can hear the 'room' specifically on the higher sections, like at 1:00. How was it recorded? I don't hear any stereo spread. I'd probably knock some lower end off with EQ, there's a little boominess at times.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
Dave, that recording would be great with a video, because it has the "atmosphere" of the room. Definitely a moderate level of ambient noise. I agree with Mike on a bit of boominess. I'm guessing a dynamic, because it really didn't sound like mic noise like you get with a condenser.

As for the playing, your son is GOOD! I'd drop a couple of bucks in his hat if he was busking on the street!
 

ecc83

Well-known member
Fine playing! I can hear the 'room' specifically on the higher sections, like at 1:00. How was it recorded? I don't hear any stereo spread. I'd probably knock some lower end off with EQ, there's a little boominess at times.
Ha! "Room" yes! He has recorded that in his kitchen because I think that is where he has his laptop setup now for Skype and with a USB mic! That is a Citronics CCU3, resolutely mono of course. Breaks my heart because he has a MOTU M4 and a pair of basic but decent SDCs, Berry C2. His main room/bedroom sounds better.
He just does not like all the 'hassle' of setting up for recording, just wants to play his guitar!

Dave.
 

keith.rogers

Well-known member
Latest recording from my son. Not great, I cannot get him interested in the technical side!
He is playing a lot to become error free as much as possible because he wants to perform live.

Constructive criticism welcomed and then I shall give details of the recording MO!

Dave.
It is pure mono, and the ambient noise intrudes - not just the room, but breaths, foot shuffling, etc. BUT, terrific playing. In a proper studio with a couple of mics set to capture a little more of the guitar without the noise, and maybe a bit of attention (on your son's part) to those things that do intrude that he can control, and it would be "Print it!"

Unasked, so apologies, but I did a slight de-noise, pulled down that low-mid hump a bit, added a bit of reverb (a matter of taste, and no time spent finding the best IR) and what I think is undetectable compression/limiting here. (The reverb is primarily to add some stereo imaging.)

View attachment eccsoncg.mp3
 
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