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Recording acoustic guitar

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by dabmeister music, Aug 5, 2003.

  1. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    I own the Audio Technica AT4033 & AT3035 condenser mics coupled w/ aphex 107 mic pre. I'm trying to capture some good tones when tracking an acoustic guitar. I've experimented and found that if I place the mic between where the body and neck meet , I get some pretty good tones versus getting either a boomy or boxed tone. Is there any general rules of thumb thats usually followed or did I do what's mostly done when tracking an acoustic? :confused:
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    You cant really go wrong with either of those mics and the joint where the body meets the neck(some say 12th fret but some Martins are the 10th right there) is the best starting point for a balanced tone.It helps to know what kind of music and instrument we're talking about here.Lately I've been using a LD condenser at the neck joint and a SD condenser on the peg head...You just got to watch the moving around a lot cause with the mic on the peghead its real easy to get inside the proximity factor of this mic.
  3. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    I think you're starting right, those are just good mics (I own a pair of 3035 too and use them on acoustic guitars often with great results) and a good preamp; the mic position you're trying is a good starting point, you may want to experiment with angle and maybe with a second room mic (or a stereo pair) a little far away to get a more "overall" sound if you're recording in a good sounding room, and then blend the two tracks at mixdown; additionally you may want to try out a SD condenser mic for a quicker transient response, but in the end I think you're already in the right direction.

    Hope this helps

  4. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Thanks for the remarks guys.
  5. Matt Watkins

    Matt Watkins Guest

    Hi Folks
    here's a couple of micing ideas that maybe worth trying.

    A coincident cardioid cross pair stereo or X-Y centred over the 12th fret area at about a 12 - 18 inches. Acoustic instruments usually sound better recorded in stereo.

    Also here's a method that i came up with after thinking about how the strings vibrate i.e. we normally mic the guitar from the front which means we get more body noise than string noise i.e. the sound board is vibating up and down but the strings are vibrating mostly side to side and finger and plectrum transients will radiate side ways more than out front.

    So, if you want a very tight but spread sounding acoustic gtr almost like DIing but acoustic sounding great for plectrum strumming pads rather than soloing (where more body tone would be better)try this:

    Put one cardiod condensor mic (small diaghram mics are easier to set up) pointing down from above the guitar at a shallow oblique angle (about 20 - 30 degrees)to the gtr body but at right angles to the strings roughly between the bridge and the hole then place a second mic pointing up from below the gtr at the same oblique angle etc towards the same place as the first mic. Pan hard left and right. You can adjust the distances to change the sound etc. Using two mics catches down strum and up strum vibrations and transients and lets you balance the volume of low E to hi E and gives a nice stereo spread - up front zingy not boomy.

    When i first tried this i thought there might be problems with phase cancellations or polarity and mono compatability as the mics are almost facing each other at obout 18 inches apart, but it seems to work fine. Maybe someone with better knowledge than me might ellaborate on this or shoot it down! but I made my judgement based on the sound.

    give it a go all the best Matt
  6. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Thanks Matt , I'll give that a try. You all have some good info here. I'll take a few notes.
  7. Pootkao

    Pootkao Guest

    Each acoustic guitar is a completely different beast. Even 2 factory-made guitars coming off the line right after the other can have different timbres and sustain and balances.

    I've found that you have to know where the acoustic will be in the mix (ie folk band/solo singer-songwriter/rock band/etc) and what characteristics it will need. Listen to the guitar (and then listen again) and pick your mics and place them accordingly and you'll save time in the mix.

    Right now I'm recording a singer-songwriter with an AudioTechnica 4040 and a Neumann TLM 103 through the Focusrite PrePack ISA 428. I've also had FANTASTIC results using the Rode Classic Tubes.
  8. I just mentioned this in another thread but it fits here too.

    I use an AudioTechnica PRO37R at the 12th fret and a Neumann U89i looking over the shoulder of the player. I mix those two tracks hard left and right (that could vary if you want to move the sound away from the middle of the field). For rhythm guitar I like to roll off most of the bass and mid so it's real bright.

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