Skip to main content

holy shnikeys how to get acoustic guitar sounding right...

Okay i have been trying to get a nice full acoustic sound and was wondering what most pro studios use to mic acoustics. I was just eating dinner and heard that green day song "time of your life" or whatever its titled. I think the acoustic on that track sounds great. Any idea what they would have used? Right now the 3 mics I have to use are:

groovetube gt44s matched pair

let me know what you think would work. i know that i really dont like the bluebird micing the acoustic alone. thanks for the help



Pro Audio Guest Wed, 08/02/2006 - 11:56

I have had great results in my own humble project studio with a pair of decent small diaphragm condenser mics (Rode NT5s). One mic will be pointed towards the sound hole approx. 10" to 18" away though pointing directly at the sound hole (especially if the mic is close), may result in too much boominess. Boominess can be reduced by shifting this mic so that it points more at the guitar top than right at the hole. The 2nd mic will be positioned near the headstock pointing down the length of the neck. I'll usually place this mic approx. 8" from the neck. I'll record each mic on it's own separate track and blend the two during mixdown. I run the mics through my tube preamp (Audio Technolgies TMA-2).

I'll probably be beaten for saying this, but I've also had very good results with two clip-on condenser mics (Audio Technica Pro7As) clipped to the treble and bass sides of the soundhole close to the neck and pointing a bit towards the bridge. I have recorded each mic to separate tracks and also to a single stereo track. This micing technique yields a very in-your-face sound that I have used on ocassion for single note melody lines and soloing.

Before recording any acoustic guitar tracks, I'll always put on a fresh set of strings. On steel string, I use .12s - Martins, D'Adarrios, etc. A bit heavy for some playing-wise, but to me the heavier strings yield a fuller sound. A fair number of guys I know who are primarily electric players, will have their acoustic guitars set-up like an electric - light gauge strings, low action. Unfortunately, this type of set-up almost always seems to have a detrimental effect on the quality of the sound produced. Just my opinion. Also, not to be overlooked is the instrument itself. A crappy instrument recorded with great mics and micing techniques will usually sound like a crappy guitar that is well recorded. . .

Hope this helps. :-)

John F.