Micing acoustic guitar

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by eddies880, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. eddies880

    eddies880 Guest

    What has been youre" best "
    known process for micing an acoustic guitar?
    Name brand of mic/mics,preamp,mic placement,preamp settings, :wink:
  2. ptr

    ptr Active Member

    Nov 3, 2004
    Göteborg, Sweden
    Home Page:
    I belive the most frequent answer You'll get is questions like :

    What kind of Guitar?

    In what kind of room?

    Playing what kind of music?

    How an accomplished guitarist are we talking about?

    You’ll get these questions because you give to little information. To me there's no "the best way" - pending the input of the answers on the questions above the results of the equation will vary very much. The last two guitar sessions I did, one with a very good classical guitarist playing a Bolin alto I used my regular “classical setup” (An AB pair of Neumann KM130/DAV BG1 abut 7’ away head high of the guitarist in a 430m3 lively radio studio), after that I recorded a “Michael Hedges type of session” with a quite accomplished guitarist playing a fabulous Benedetto “Frank Vignola Deluxe” in a smaller, quite well damped studio (A pair of Brauner VM1 6-7 away 10’ up + a Neumann U67 close up to get some “bottom and touch”, these where led through some Vintage design DMP “Neve” type Pres).

    I’m sure You’ll get loads of answers and most setups will differ..

  3. alexaudio

    alexaudio Active Member

    Apr 28, 2005

    I just completed an album of acoustic guitar for release. Though I have recorded acoustic guitar many times before, this was the best result I have gotten in a long time. The artist, producer and even several other top musicians here in Cincinnati all remarked on the wonderful sound.

    4 microphones utilized. One Royer SF12, placed about 3 feet in front of the guitar, center of the main body of the instrument. One Sennheiser MKH800 set at sub-cardiod to the left of the instrument, positioned about 3.5-4 feet away, overlooking main body and one Beyerdynamic M160 close to the mid area of the neck, about 2.5 feet away. All microphones went into a Millennia Media HV3D pre, feeding a Genex ADC. Convolution reverb inside Sequoia utilized, with mild compression and Linear Phase EQ utiized on the final edited mix.
  4. eddies880

    eddies880 Guest

    Now thats info!!!!!!!!!! that Im looking for !!----wowo ,,,,4 mics?
    Thanks Alex---------- :wink:
  5. alexaudio

    alexaudio Active Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    You are welcome. Please keep in mind that every guitar, room, etc is different, so it is unlikely that even I would use the same setup twice. I was extrememly happy to have the fortunate opportunity to be able to borrow someone's SF12 for this particular session - it basically made that recording happen. I am now demo'ing an SF24 and will likely be in my collection in the matter of a week or so.

    Ribbon microphones are what I would strongly suggest to look at for guitar and other string instruments where fret noise and other upper frequency anomolies occur. However, the Sennheiser line of microphones and on occasion, in my experience, Neumann KM84s (not 184s) can also work well with guitars. High end mic pre's and a quite room always helps.
  6. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Home Page:
    This is excellent advice. I also recommend the SF12 or SF24 on acoustic guitar above all other methods since hearing it. Its the Blumlein arrangement giving superb imaging as well as the beautiful midrange of the Royers that does it for me rather than the fret noise suppression so much. My experiences have been on classical guitar.
  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    I'll agree that EVERY situation with acoustic (or classical) guitar is completely different. Not only can the room itself make a huge difference, the very temperature and humidity of that room can make a huge difference.

    I won't disagree that the Royers are nice mics for guitar, but they haven't blown as much wind up my skirt as some of the others on the boards here. To me, they have a very euphoric sound to them (much like the Sennheisers) but lack just a bit in the realism department.

    Mics I have had great success with on acoustic (in particular classical) guitar are:

    Schoeps CMC 6 / MK 2 /MK 21 / MK 4 / MK 41 / 221
    Neumann - KM 84 / U47 / U87
    Gefell - M930 (just tried this one not too long ago - quickly becoming one of my favorite mics for just about anything where my schoeps and 296s won't work)/ M296
    Audix - SCX-25a (Though some here scoff at this mic because it's not german or old, it's a real treasure. Try a pair and you'll never give them up.)
    Beyer M130 (ribbon - to me is a bit more "realistic", by which I mean that the transients appear to happen more in real time then delayed and the presence is "just right" in all ranges - not hyped in some and laid back in others.)

    My favorite pres for guitar:

    Summit 2BA-221 - without a doubt, this is one of my favorites. I can get just a little bit of tube thickening with a real tube gain stage and I can track it at tube and solid state outputs at the same time. Plus there's plenty o gain to go around for any low output ribbons... (oh, and variable input Z)

    Grace 201 or 101 (or heck, the 801 too, I just don't/haven't owned one...) - Oh so clean, oh so sweet. These pres simply put, give me a wood on just about anything!

    Anything UA - good, warm pres with just the right thickness for some of the more transparent mics on the list.

    My least favorite pre in my selection for acoustic guitar:

    True Systems. Don't get me wrong - I really like the Trues on so many things. Many will tell you that they're uber-clean - this just isn't so. They also have a rather euphoric quality to them in as much as they take an orchestral sound and make it seem just a little bigger and more dense. For acoustic guitar, this just doesn't work. I have used them before on a classical guitar project, but only as a single channel, not my primary.


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