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Your acoustic recording setup

Member for

15 years
I am looking to get a decent placement for recording plain acoustic guitar. I am running digital tape recorders (Tascam), which I mix through a Yamaha board. Up til now, everything I have worked on sounded at the very least, decent, with minimal noise. I've mostly been recording electric jazz guitar, electric bass, vocals, and some percussion. However, my primary focus is acoustic, but right now my condenser/mic pre combo isn't cuttin it. I can't find any decent placement using an MXL 990, 991, 604 or a stereo pair of Rode NT3s, combined with the Yamaha's onboard pres.

Since I want to upgrade to a better overall condenser for acoustic and vocals anyway, I purchased a Rode K2, and am waiting on that. I am also going to be purchasing a new single mic pre soon, either the Rane MS-1B or the True Systems P-Solo Channel... haven't decided whether I want to wait another month and pick up the better pre, or try out the Rane first and go from there (I've heard very good things, so I think I might just go for the Rane first!). Either way, I am curious...

When you go about recording acoustic guitar, do you mostly open-mic the thing and just use that signal, or do you apply a lot of effects and processing to it (EQ, compression, effects processors, etc)? I am finding that I like the open-mic'd method best, but at my current setup I can't apply enough gain to get a clear sound, so I end up blending the mic'd guitar with a DI'd signal from my acoustic's onboard pre. However, I end up mixing in more of the DI than the mic, due to lack of mic sound quality, and it ends up very sterile-sounding.

Just interested in how people go about getting a good acoustic sound they personally prefer, and what mics/pres they are using.


Member for

17 years 2 months

JoeH Tue, 12/05/2006 - 21:13
What I do is start with a good guitar, and good player, in a good room. The rest is just details.

Here's a shocking truth that few people will admit: The mics and pre's are a very distant third or fourth in the overall scheme of things.

The mics you list should yield fairly good, workable results; you should be getting plenty of gain with the equipment you list. if the sound you're getting is all that problematic, perhaps you need to look elsewhere.

I'm curious as to the brand & model of guitar you're using, and what the setting is like...? Corner or side of the room? High or low ceiling? Carpeted or hardwood floors? Pick or fingers? Steel or nylon?

Member for

16 years 10 months

ptr Wed, 12/06/2006 - 00:25
JoeH wrote: What I do is start with a good guitar, and good player, in a good room. The rest is just details.

I belive this is essential! Way to many shun away from the importance of the room. An no matter the quality of instrument and musician, the room is, in my humble opinion, the make or brake point of a great recording.