avatar

spiritwalker

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,612 Member Since: 14/02/2011

Lead

Mar 1 17 5:24 PM

Tags : :

After following the thread on drum micing I was wondering;

How do you record acoustic guitar?
What is your preference for the space that you record in, live or dead?
Where do you place your mic(s)?

I always use a single mic. Usually a 414 at about the 12th fret pointed towards the soundhole but more just below the neck.

I don't really have a choice in my space, so I record in a large room with carpet below the guitarist.

Last Edited By: spiritwalker Mar 1 17 5:29 PM. Edited 1 time

Quote    Reply   
avatar

John Eppstein

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,147 Member Since:31/05/2015

#1 [url]

Mar 1 17 6:32 PM

spiritwalker wrote:
After following the thread on drum micing I was wondering;

How do you record acoustic guitar?
What is your preference for the space that you record in, live or dead?
Where do you place your mic(s)?

I always use a single mic. Usually a 414 at about the 12th fret pointed towards the soundhole but more just below the neck.

I don't really have a choice in my space, so I record in a large room with carpet below the guitarist.

C12A (brass) or KM84 at about 2', +/- 6",  liveish room.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

scullyfan

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,538 Member Since:27/07/2011

#2 [url]

Mar 1 17 7:08 PM

I did a series of folk albums where we used a coincident pair of C414EBs about 12" away, roughly near the 12th fret. The players were usually singing simultaneously because the performances were tracked live off the floor to 2-track, so the acoustic guitar is miked fairly close. My old studio was pretty small and the floor was carpeted. Those recordings sound a bit dull to me and I blame it on the carpet. My new studio has hard-surfaced flooring along with ceiling and wall treatment that was much better thought out: The acoustic guitar recordings now sound much brighter AND fuller. Would I use a similar set up if doing those recordings today? Maybe, but I have been using a single KM84 more recently and liking it very much. The bigger difference is in how the guitar sounds in a better sounding room.

I generally prefer condenser mics on acoustic guitar, especially WAY more than moving coil dynamics. One of the best acoustic guitar sounds I ever got was with an RCA 77DX with the 10KHz EQ cranked all the way up. The acoustic was a completely unremarkable Framus, but for some reason it just sounded magical.

Last Edited By: scullyfan Mar 1 17 7:37 PM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,036 Member Since:04/02/2011

#3 [url]

Mar 1 17 7:40 PM

What's its function in the track?

Solo vocal + guitar? Dense production with guitar in one speaker as a 'percussion' element? Somewhere in-between?

brad allen williams

Quote    Reply   
avatar

gold

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,468 Member Since:27/01/2011

#4 [url]

Mar 1 17 8:23 PM

Thsi is not specific to acousitc guitar but if you ever plan on releasing a solo instrument production on vinyl do not rely on close micing. Unless you plan on compressing the crap out of later it will be an unmitigated disaster. Distortion, skipping, you name it. I've been running into this more often. No one seems aware that a 36dB crest factor is a no no.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

d gauss

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,228 Member Since:17/02/2011

#5 [url]

Mar 1 17 8:31 PM

KM84, Shure KSM32, AEA R84, EV RE15, Beyer m201. depends on the part, player, guitar and what else is being used at the time. if it is a singer/songwriter thing where vox and guitar are cut together, i'll try and use 2 ribbons, positioning the nulls accordingly. or,... use one mic for both guitar/vox set back further than normal, and hope (pray) the artist is good at naturally blending themself. if it is a crappy sounding guitar (there's a few folks with takamines that come through here that sound really thin/bad with no body), i'll go for the ribbon or dynamic over a condenser. if the acoustic is being tracked with a loud band in the room, i'll use whatever bleeds the least. or at least the least ugly bleed. i.e. i've used an omni ev 635a almost in the soundhole a few times.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

John Eppstein

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,147 Member Since:31/05/2015

#6 [url]

Mar 1 17 10:12 PM

d gauss wrote:
 if the acoustic is being tracked with a loud band in the room, i'll use whatever bleeds the least. or at least the least ugly bleed. i.e. i've used an omni ev 635a almost in the soundhole a few times.
 

Interesting.... Don't the strings kinda get in the way?   image

Quote    Reply   
avatar

scullyfan

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,538 Member Since:27/07/2011

#7 [url]

Mar 1 17 10:17 PM

gold wrote:
Thsi is not specific to acousitc guitar but if you ever plan on releasing a solo instrument production on vinyl do not rely on close micing. Unless you plan on compressing the crap out of later it will be an unmi,  tigated disaster. Distortion, skipping, you name it. I've been running into this more often. No one seems aware that a 36dB crest factor is a no no.


​The series of albums I was refering to that were close miked were released on vinyl, were not distorted and did not skip. The performances were vocal and acoustic guitar with an emphasis on the vocal. However, I know what you are refering to about the distortion because I had recorded a similar album earlier in my career where at least one of the cuts sounded embarassingly distorted on vinyl. Years later we re-released it on CD and it sounded much better.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

barry hufker

Diamond Forever

Posts: 11,887 Member Since:26/01/2011

#8 [url]

Mar 1 17 11:03 PM

Most of the guitar recording I do is classical.  In that instance, we are usually in a reverberant space (such as a church).  I use a pair of Brauner KHE mics in cardioid, with one on each of the two guitarists.  There is a "blend" mic between them and a pair of room mics for the reverberation.  For any other circumstance, the mics and everything else vary.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

morespaceecho

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,186 Member Since:29/01/2011

#9 [url]

Mar 1 17 11:09 PM

36dB crest seems nuts for a digital release, never mind vinyl. 

been ages since i put a mic in front of an acoustic....sadly....but usually a condenser a foot or so back from the 12th fret. sometimes another one back by the bridge. usually in a live room, but always at least on a reflective floor. if it's a solo thing there'd be a pair of earthworks on the floor maybe 6' back, and those would probably be mixed pretty loud. 

acoustic in a dense rock song is one of the very few times where a 57 is a useful microphone.

www.oldcolonymastering.com

morespaceecho.bandcamp.com

Quote    Reply   
avatar

d gauss

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,228 Member Since:17/02/2011

#10 [url]

Mar 2 17 12:02 AM

John Eppstein wrote:

d gauss wrote:
 if the acoustic is being tracked with a loud band in the room, i'll use whatever bleeds the least. or at least the least ugly bleed. i.e. i've used an omni ev 635a almost in the soundhole a few times.

 

Interesting.... Don't the strings kinda get in the way?   image

"almost" ...  ;)
 

Quote    Reply   
avatar

berolzheimer

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,863 Member Since:29/01/2011

#11 [url]

Mar 2 17 2:27 AM

It varies a lot depending on song, arrangement, instrument, player, etc, but generally I like the guitar to be in a lively enough space to get the instrument excited, and I like LDC's in omni as the close mic. try putting that 414 in omni if you haven't already, Norm!

Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,036 Member Since:04/02/2011

#12 [url]

Mar 2 17 2:53 AM

morespaceecho wrote:

acoustic in a dense rock song is one of the very few times where a 57 is a useful microphone.

I think a 57 is a plenty useful microphone. 

brad allen williams

Quote    Reply   
avatar

jaykadis

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,390 Member Since:24/01/2011

#14 [url]

Mar 2 17 10:21 AM

I used often use a C-414 in hypercardioid about 4-5' from the guitar. The distance allows a nice overall pickup from the whole guitar radiation pattern. I like hypercardioids in general for instrument recording for the same reason.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

maarvold

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,932 Member Since:23/01/2011

#15 [url]

Mar 2 17 10:24 AM

Neumann TLM170 (in front of the player's right shoulder, more or less) and Sennheiser MKH40 (at the 12th fret) are 2 flavors that work well for my purposes.  Unlike several other typical mics I've used on ac guitar, one thing that's nice about the MKH40 is it never seems to bring out any 'plasticky' aspect of the picking sound, yet I can still hear all the aspects of the picked sound clearly in the track.  170 is great for just a natural sound of the instrument.  Also, I was picking up where another engineer left off on some recordings last week and he was using a 67 on acoustic guitar (same position as I put a 170)... not something I would have used.  But it was a very substantial and 'fundamental-oriented' sound that worked well for the project.  

Quote    Reply   
avatar

jzombie

Gold Finger

Posts: 536 Member Since:07/02/2011

#17 [url]

Mar 2 17 11:47 AM

With all the usual caveats mentioned above of course - when one is available, i'll almost always choose a km54 on practically any stringed instrument! nowadays I will quite happily use a km84 as that's what i have. But on a recent project I've been digging the AEA r92, while I wouldn't usually go for a ribbon for this purpose it's working great, mostly strummed rhythm parts in a pop/rock context, but with some folky picking and lead stuff as well.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,036 Member Since:04/02/2011

#19 [url]

Mar 2 17 11:58 AM

seth wrote:
KM-84 or KM56.

Would someone explain crest factor to me? I've never been able to grasp it.

I hope I don't remove any doubt that I'm a fool here, but isn't it simply the difference between the average (RMS) level of a signal and the peak level of that same signal?

 

brad allen williams

Quote    Reply   
avatar

mikerivers

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,446 Member Since:13/10/2012

#20 [url]

Mar 2 17 12:29 PM

Most of the time when I'm recording an acoustic guitar, the player is also singing. Lately, mostly for convenience, I've been using a Studio Projects LSD-2. It's a single body stereo mic with two 3-pattern mics. I set them up as crossed figure-8s and place it so the vocal is in the null of one mic and the guitar is in the null of the other one. That way I don't get too much leakage between vocal and guitar and I can adjust the balance by raising or lowering the mic.

You can, of course, do the same with any two figure-8 mics. I used to use U87s, or sometimes one U87 and one C414, depending on what the voice and guitar sound like. But since it's not a stereo setup, it's no sin to use mics that aren't matched.



For a good time, call mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com

Quote    Reply   
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help