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Need Advice on Micing My Acoustic Guitar

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by rbf738, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. rbf738

    rbf738 Active Member

    I've asked for advice here before on this but this is slightly different. I have a low end Ibanez acoustic with preamp and have been micing it with an AT3035 (the done away with version of the 2035 from what I understand). I've been recording straight into my Firestudio with the Ibanez' preamp plus recording a few inches from the 3035 with the mic being in between the 12th fret and sound hole. I'm OKAY with the sound I'm getting from mixing the two tracks together (and splitting each so I can pan each track left AND right, so 4 total tracks) and that's only after I do some EQ.

    I'd like to try adding a second microphone and I'll try micing at different positions using the two until I find something I'm happy with, but I'd love recommendations on a second microphone to try mixing with the AT3035. My budget is probably only about $200 and even then I need to get a second cable and mic stand, so I don't know if it's even worth my while to get anything at that price but I'm recording a full acoustic guitar centric record at home and really want the best sound I can get of course. Thanks.
     
  2. timshel

    timshel Active Member

    Everyone will throw me into a trash can but try an SM57. Get some of the percussive edge with it.

    Or go stereo with another AT3035.

    Blue Bluebird works wonders on acoustic guitar as well.

    Maybe look at a dynamic microphone like a SM57 or a Sennheiser 421. Beyerdynamic m88 is great with low frequency information in case you wanted a big bottom.

    Honestly, you should be fine with a single microphone on acoustic guitar. Try augmenting your technique. If you're only happy AFTER EQ then work on getting a good sound at source. Have one of your friends play something so you can work on different sounds. It really really really really really helps to record with monitor speakers and not headphones. It is in no way vital in home recording but it will change the way you think about mic placement.

    Just get weird with it.
     
  3. rbf738

    rbf738 Active Member

    Thanks. I do think I need the second mic to get a more natural stereo sound and a miced one at that rather than going with the preamp of the acoustic guitar itself (it doesn't mix well with the natural miced sound).

    The idea of getting a second 3035 (2035) had crossed my mind as did the SM57 though I also have heard the criticism on micing an acoustic instrument with it. Any thoughts from anyone else on either of these routes?
     
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    The SM57 can work on acoustic guitar, and you probably should have one hanging around your room for other reasons as well. I tend to like a decent sdc mic on acoustic stringed instruments, and one that you can find used in your price range is the Shure SM81. Great all-around sdc, with good detail and clean headroom.
    I've found a couple on my local CL for $175-200 each in good condition. Same deal with an A-T AT4041, shop around. Variety is the spice of life, amigo, experiment!
     
  5. rbf738

    rbf738 Active Member

    Food for thought, thanks! Anyone have info on a CAD M179 vs. AT 2035, not finding much online.
     
  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I used to have a pair of M179's about 5 years ago. Mainly used them on brass sections, they were OK. Stopped using them due to mediocre build quality (the capsules worked loose from the rubber internal shock mounts on both of them), and there was too much bleed/off-axis issues. I bought them at a bargain price from Full Rumpass and I got what I paid for. CAD's have proven to be a crapshoot for me.
    LDC's tend to be a headache when placing two or more around a single source, especially if the room has treatment issues. SDC's or even a good dynamic, tend to be less offensive due to their tighter pick-up patterns.
     
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I agree with Moon on this one. You're going to want an SDC. Sm81, KSM137/141, AT4041 etc.....What will happen for you is you will find the SDC becoming your main mic for this purpose and the 3035 will be the mic you fill in the soundscape with. In this setup I use an SDC at the 12th fret and the LDC as an 'over-the-shoulder mic' situated above the upper bout of the guitar. Basically where your ears are. Dont get so close as you pickup your breathing pattern but the idea is to capture what you hear as you play. And also, if you dont already have an SM57, get one. You're gonna need it somewhere.
     
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I just like a pair of 57's on acoustic guitars. Tight clean sound. Not much extraneous crap. $200 for a pair and you've got it made. You don't need no stinking condenser BS.

    The reason why you don't like your direct pickup sound mixed with your microphone sound is due to the timing error. There are ways to correct for that error. The most logical being is to pull the microphone further away from the guitar. This is where that condenser microphone would most normally come in to play. But when the room is crap sounding, that's just not doable. So then you use a tight pair of 57's instead. The direct can still be dealt with in addition to the pair of 57's. And this is where the magic happens. The problem you're having is that the direct sound is not time aligned to the single microphone you have. And the software though, you can zoom into the waveform. You virtually zoom down to the sample because you only need to change or nudge the timeline for only a couple of microseconds worth of delay, direct feed. You might even want to delay the direct to be slightly behind the time of the microphone. This will make the microphone sound more predominant than the direct pickup. Otherwise the direct pickup will always sound more dominant because the timing of the microphones happens after the direct pickup. I have played with time and many of my recordings over my 40 years. Even before I had a digital delay in the 1970s, I was just running tape really fast past record and play heads. Fast like 30 IPS or even faster on my Scully's, MCI's and Ampex MM 1200. And then I got a Lexicon Prime Time, circa 1978. And that was 1978 when it was new. When I got it. So now I'm dating myself. (That's a little kinky I think?)

    Bottom line is that you can never live without a SM57 or 58. Get the 58 because you can always turn it into a 57 by giving it a circumcision. An un-screwable, circumcision. And then ya can tell your parents you're a rabbi. Oy vey. Why isn't Kinky Friedman running for president this time around? Sounds like the beginnings of a great joke to me? Did ya hear the one about the Afro President, the Mormon and the Kinky Jewish rock 'n roller? None of them got their circumcisions in Nigeria. And one still had his underwear on when he got his.... Go Obama!

    Go get a 58... get two, they're small. Like, you know...
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     

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