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Mic placements for acoustic guitar recording

Member for

21 years

I am not very experienced with recording techniques - I am a composer and bassist, but have a new gig writing tracks for radio beds. I want to record an acoustic guitar part, but could use some tips on mic placement.

I don't have fantastic equipment, but I think they are decent enough. I am using Logic Studio and have a MOTU 828mkII - I don't have any plug-ins aside from what came with Logic Studio (which from what I hear is pretty good right out of the box).

Anyway, I figured I would record with my two microphones I got in a ProTools Mbox2 bundle - they are an MXL 990 and a pencil MXL 991.

I tried having the 991 in front of the sound hole and the 990 a little further back somewhere...

The acoustic is a very warm sounding Larrivee and doesn't have a preamp, so just the natural sound...any suggestions would be appreciated!



Member for

21 years

Member Thu, 11/06/2008 - 01:58
i havnt read all the replies but one thing i learnt when recording acousitc guitar is that if you are using a cheap guitar which hasnt been freshly strung it will sound pretty naff when strummed but ok plucked. but for strumming having a freshly strung and expensive or well made guitar is excellent. Ive only just started micing acoustics like last week n thats what weve learnt so far. some of it may be useful

thanks abc

Member for

19 years 9 months

Davedog Thu, 11/06/2008 - 07:35
Its truly unfortunate to waste the wonderful overtones and the deep rich sounds of that guitar on those mics.

The amplifiers in those mics overload simply by staring at them in a gruff way, so you'll want to be very conscious of your strumming techniques and any movement of your position behind the placement.

I suspect that without a very good room, having the LDC out in the space will induce some things you may not find all that musical, so I would stick with the SDC up close. The 12th fret position is a good start.....above the bout at the bridge is another fairly flat area though arm movement can be a problem there.....over the left shoulder pointed down at the guitar captures the sound you 'hear' as the player and is a very good position for a quality sure and dont breathe loudly as you track.

Member for

21 years

Member Sat, 10/25/2008 - 06:31
melonmachine wrote: With a pair you cold try one on the 6th to 12th fret plus one on the rear cuttaway (i.e the front of the guitar at the butt end)
Gives a nice mix of clear and bassy.
The 6th fret sounds awful close to the head stock. Normally I hear mostly finger movement up there. For clear I like the bridge.

Member for

12 years 10 months

AudioGeezer Mon, 11/10/2008 - 05:57
sensei wrote: ... I want to record an acoustic guitar part, but could use some tips on mic placement.

I'd try the 990 and 991 in xy with the middle of the the pattern pointing where the neck joins the body. 6-24inches back, about the same height as the guitar sound hole/neck. I'd try pointing the 991 toward the body and the 990 toward the neck first. I'd put the 991 directly above and as close to the 990 as possible. Put the capsule of the 991 in the middle of the 990 grill top. 90 degree angle.

Move as a collection up down left right from there till happy...or split them up and start over