Recording an archtop

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by cusebassman, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. cusebassman

    cusebassman Active Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    Hello all! I am currently recording a Heritage archtop with f-holes, and would like to record it acoustic. However, I do not have a quiet enough room to mic the thing from a foot away and get no background noise. I've tried close-micing with a cardioid condenser, and it sounds good, but it is almost impossible to maintain the exact same position at the mic while recording. Just wondering if anyone knows of any good clip-on condensers that can be used for micing an acoustic guitar (aside from things like Fishman which all come with a piezo element also attached to the setup). I've seen a few in my price range (less than 500 dollars, about), but they vary in price and use (some for predominantly loud instruments, this guitar not being loud at all, etc.) Thanks!
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    I have used lavs on jazz guitars before, with mixed results. I prefer to use an SM81 or an A-T 4041 sdc at about 3 feet to capture the tone better.
    It sure ( no pun intended! ) doesn't sound like you have that option here.
    The lavs I have used were an older Sony ECM77 and an A-T AT831R. The Sony sounds fine, and has a nice bass roll-off, decent extended top end, but is not the quietest lav around. It can also suffer from a worn interconnect cable (more like a skinny 'wire') between the mic and it's power supply 'tube'. In fairness, any lav I've used can suffer from this problem.
    The A-T is a newer design, and is a good deal quieter. I have a friend with one of those, and we put it on the upper bouts' "F-hole" of an old Gibson L5 when he wants to record "live" in a noisey coffeehouse. That placement keeps the mic away from his righthand technique and sounds OK. Many times, we end up mixing the lav with the amplified signal from a Fender Deluxe Reverb. Sounds pretty good. Since you say that the budget is ca. $500, I'd take a closer look at the A-T., and pop for a NEW one, as you never know how that "little wire" was treated...
  3. guitarjazzman

    guitarjazzman Active Member

    Oct 15, 2006
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    I have been experimenting a lot with recording archtops and would be very interested in ideas as to get the best sound. My studio is not very big - a single garage conversion - and so getting a good acoustic sound has always been a problem. I bought an auralex roominator kit which has helped immensely and am thinking about making some diffusion panels.

    One of my recent purchases is an SE Reflexion filter which has helped with that small room sound. I bought one after recomendations from various people and one guy said that it really helps with masking the sound of his noisy gear in the same room. This might well help you out with the background noise problem.

    The other problem with recording an archtop is the best set up in recording it with the guitar and the amp. My archtop is a seven string BJH (built by my dad - and I run it through a Polytone minibrute IV. I have a couple of Rode mics (NTK and 1000). I have tried various set ups ranging from two mics on the guitar with the amp in the background to running the guitar into a splitter box so I can plug it into the amp and also plug into the hiZ input of my Firepod, then micing the guitar and micing the Polytone.

    Sorry to hijack this post with my own questions but they do seem to relevant.

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