acoustic guitar mic'ing

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Member Since: Nov 10, 2005

hey guys, so i finally got my rode nt1-a! *insert moment of delight and joy*. Now i have a question for you all. What would be the ideal way to mic my acoustic guitar now? and should i do it with just my rode nt1-a or double mic it with my sennheiser e609 (dynamic) too? But mostly how should i mic my acoustic?

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JR Productions
Since: Mar 03, 2005

Dec 11, 2005 10:39 am

A way that ive found to work well is double mic it. I put a 57 on about the 12th fret about 8-12" back. Then I use the 3:1 rule to place my LDC (for phase issues). The LDC (your nt1a) picks up all the nice body and fullness that you want while the 57 gets the sound of the strings (I dont know how to explain it really).

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Dec 11, 2005 11:00 am

If you have the means to double mic, always do that. And keep each mic recorded on a different track, so you can mix and match and process each mic differently to achieve the best sound possible.

I am not a crook's head
Since: Mar 14, 2003

Dec 11, 2005 11:19 am

I'd suggest doing it the other way around from Josh's suggestion:

I'd put the SM57 at the bridge so it'll pick up the lower frequency vibrations of the soundboard. That'll give it a nice fullness because a dynamic mic excels at picking up those frequencies.

Then put the condensor mic at about the 12th or 14th fret, to pick up the higher frequencies. This'll give it a nice brightness because a condensor mic excels at picking up the higher frequencies.

Just make sure that both mics are about the same distance from the guitar and you shouldn't have problems with phase. About 8"-12" is ideal for distance from the guitar...any closer and it gets boomy, any further away and you get more room reflections than direct sound from the instrument.

Since: Nov 10, 2005

Dec 11, 2005 11:30 am

anyone have good diagrams?

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Dec 11, 2005 01:03 pm

Well I googled looking for diagram's and couldnt find any in short notice. However funny thing is the top 2 in the search for acoustic guitar micing turned up pages here.

Anyway, set up where you are going to record, sitting standing whatever. Now set up your mic stands and mic's. Now dpending on which mic you are using for each location you will want to go this route. Simply align the mic's height wise so they are level with the string's, either at the bridge or neck point's. Now for the bridge mic, have it straight out from the bridge, pointing slightly toward the sound hole of the guitar. This will as Tad suggested give you some of the low end of the guitar body. Now for the neck mic, again with it level with the string's, point it again slightly toward the sound hole fo the guitar. You will want to really point it more toward the pont you are going to be strumming, finger picking or wahtever. This will give you a lot of nuance's of the guitar, more of the sound of the string's themselve's.

This is only a starting point. You may find you will need to move the mic's closer or further away depending on the room you are recording in.

jimmie neutron
Since: Feb 14, 2005

Dec 12, 2005 02:59 pm

Sit in a high-seated chair, footstool or rung to put your leg on, have someone take your picture so you can reproduce your pose. Record in a neutral room. If it's a carpeted floor, put yourself a 4x4 (or there-abouts) sheet of plywood down and sit on it, so you get some reflections (but not too much). Have I been ambiguous enough yet? Good. Here's more. In addition to the mic placement suggestions from above, don't forget to try the mic(s) angled and straight-on, and high & low... I got the November issue of SOS magazine, and they have an article on micing an acoustic guitar, and they "justified" one of my "experiments" of a few years back where I ended up with one of my two mics about about 18" off the floor (I only had a short mini-mic-stand, not a full-size one). It sounded great. But that was that guitar... My D-35 doesn't sound too good like that (adds more bottom-end, or something - sort of "boomy"). Once you've driven yourself nutz with the experimentation and finally find something you like, take measurements, photos, notes, anything that'll help you remember what you did and where you did it, so you can repeat it again if you want to. There's also a corner-loading trick they did in another mag's past issue, where the guitarist sat centered, facing a hard-walled corner in a room with a hardwood floor. They placed two matched sd condensor mics, one over each of his shoulders by his ears, where the guitarist thought the sound was best... "Experiment" is still the name of the game.

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