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Techniques for Mic'ing Acoustic Guitar

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by TheAngryFedora, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Hey. So, I've spent the better part of an hour searching the forums, but I can't seem to find much on acoustic guitars. Am I just being slightly naive in assuming that there are really techniques for mic'ing acoustic guitars? Or, perhaps it's very simple and not especially noteworthy? Either way, I was just wondering what people thought. Mic placement, microphones (sub-questions: large or small diaphragm, as both have yeilded pretty nice results, though rather different; how are Beyerdynamic Opus 53's on guitar? I've heard great things about them as cheap overhead mic's,) compression/verb? How do I achieve a nice, full, warm (yet still very clear) sound on an acousit guitar (no DI, it's a 30-something year old martin without a pickup and I'd like to keep it that way.) And, I haven't got great mic's either. Oktava mk012's (chinese knockoffs, not the real things,) MXL 2001 (WHICH, BY THE WAY, IS QUITE A NICE DRUM OVERHEAD!! ESPECIAlLLY FOR THE PRICE, $100.) I also have a 57 and a Blue Kickball. Mainly use the Oktava's or the MXL for the guitar.

  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Moderator

    Feb 23, 2005

    First, you need to have the guitar set up properly (no buzzing/rattles, good strings, intonated,etc). Then you have to play it the way you want to sound in a room that doesn't "fight"you. And then there's the mic(s). You really need to look at a QUALITY SDC, and you don't list one. I suggest that you
    look at a Shure SM81. Very good value. Not a DPA, but definitely a step in the right direction. BTW, what makes a mic good for OHs on a drum kit doesn't necessarily make it good for acoustic guitar. The 81 actually makes a very good mic on many acoustic sources...

    As far as websites go, check out the DPA site. Superlative mics,
    great mic'ing tips for ANY acoustic guitar recording....
  3. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Anyone can put a mic or mics up in front of an acoustic guitar and record it. It may even sound really good by itself. Its when the rest of the music is added that the real value of mic positioning and choice become very apparent.

    There are many techniques, tried and true, relating to acoustic guitars and acoustic instruments in general. Which one works for you is entirely subjective. Acoustic instruments are , by nature, much more dependant on their environment than say a Marshall Half-stack on 11. The angle of the chair in the room you are recording in can make or break the effective sound one can get from an acoustic instrument.

    I cannot stress enough that in a MIX with other instruments, its very very easy to record the acoustics in such a way as to have the tracks become completely useless when other instruments are involved.

    Its these things that require an engineer to be able to see the overall needs of the track and place the mics accordingly. One technique will enhance a part of the sound another might not. Experiment and learn about these things. This will enable you to make important decisions about which mic or pre and what will work for you in the situation as it is presented.

    Your Chinese 012's will work until you have elevated your abilities in this to the point where you know they are no longer doing the job. Until then....learn.
  4. Thank you both very much. Good things to keep in mind.

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