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bright acoustic guitar recording technique

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January 17, 2005 11:21:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hey guys,


As someone wanting to better their level of professionalism when it
comes to recorded sound, I have a question now regarding mic placement
with acoustic guitar.

I have been experimenting with where to place a condenser mic on
acoustics for a few years now and have found a spot I can't seem to
beat no matter what I try. My method although might sound perfect to
me, could still be improved and I could do with a few more pointers on
where I can try positioning the mic.

I place the mic right up against the 12th fret (almost touching) with
the capsule aiming away from the neck 90 degrees and facing the
fingers of the guitarist. This I assume avoids the boom that directly
comes from the sound hole but gains the beautiful plucking/strumming
sound of the pick on the strings. I get a more upfront acoustic sound
that needs no high frequency eq. I seem to get a very distant and
muffled sounding recording if I aim the mic anywhere else.

Does anybody else record acoustic this way? If not then please share
your favorite mic positions.

dave.
January 17, 2005 12:24:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I have had the opeertunity to record a lot of acoustic guitar recently.
A good player and a good intrument being very vital. (i have the
latter, the prior is only soso). after a lot of experimenting this
position yeilded the best guitar sound so far : in stereo.

Mic 1 by the players left year, facing a portion between the bridge and
the soundhole.

Mic 2 at the same height, between the 13-16th fret, facing the neck,
almost prependicular (slight angle). It got me a very nice, crisp
sound.

The mics were not exactly an AB pair. The distances were almost
reversed. I also find spaced AB to deliver a stereo image that seems
unreal (on a guitar). I like XY though, at bout the 14 fret, bout 8-12
inches from the guitar. . But im still learning.

The player was made to experiment with a lot of strumming styles, from
very soft to medium.

Please note that so far, i have had the oppertuninty to experiment
extensively with only one player and two guitars. Im sure a different
player will require something different.

I find putting the mics close to the neck leads to a very closed sound.
And jarry. But i will try your style tommorow.

Sidhu
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 11:31:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 17 Jan 2005 08:21:25 -0800, david_m76@hotmail.com (David) wrote:

>I place the mic right up against the 12th fret (almost touching) with
>the capsule aiming away from the neck 90 degrees and facing the
>fingers of the guitarist. This I assume avoids the boom that directly
>comes from the sound hole but gains the beautiful plucking/strumming
>sound of the pick on the strings. I get a more upfront acoustic sound
>that needs no high frequency eq. I seem to get a very distant and
>muffled sounding recording if I aim the mic anywhere else.

Results would depend on the player, wouldn't they? Sometimes you
might not like to hear the plucking or picking attack too loudly.

You can also try putting a mic over the right shoulder of the player,
hear his right ear, the mic picks up what the player hears that way.
This would be reversed for a lefty of course.

Al
Related resources
January 18, 2005 4:40:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <f020f618.0501170821.18a7f81a@posting.google.com>, David
<david_m76@hotmail.com> wrote:

> As someone wanting to better their level of professionalism when it
> comes to recorded sound, I have a question now regarding mic placement
> with acoustic guitar.
>
> I have been experimenting with where to place a condenser mic on
> acoustics for a few years now and have found a spot I can't seem to
> beat no matter what I try. My method although might sound perfect to
> me, could still be improved and I could do with a few more pointers on
> where I can try positioning the mic.
>
> I place the mic right up against the 12th fret (almost touching) with
> the capsule aiming away from the neck 90 degrees and facing the
> fingers of the guitarist. This I assume avoids the boom that directly
> comes from the sound hole but gains the beautiful plucking/strumming
> sound of the pick on the strings. I get a more upfront acoustic sound
> that needs no high frequency eq. I seem to get a very distant and
> muffled sounding recording if I aim the mic anywhere else.
>
> Does anybody else record acoustic this way? If not then please share
> your favorite mic positions.
>
> dave.


If you ain't adding any top end, I wouldn't call it a bright guitar
sound.

I had to get what I call a Tom Petty bright acoustic track today and
you shoulda seen the eq on it. Dropped into the track wonderfully.

Congrats if you are happy with the sound you are getting. My tip to ya
would be to continue to play with other mics. You don't want only one
acoustic guitar sound.

I use a whole buncha different mics on acoustic guitars. Since I am
always recording different guitars I never know ahead of time which
ones will sound best. I *never* set up just one mic, even if I want to
record it on one track, which I only do it the song is already chock
fulla stuff.

Since you like what you got so far, add a second mic and make that
guitar bigger. You'll also get to learn about phase.





David Correia
Celebration Sound
Warren, Rhode Island

CelebrationSound@aol.com
www.CelebrationSound.com
January 18, 2005 11:53:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

They say the SM57 can be quite usefull on an acoustic. I have tried it
a few times. All I got was a yuk sound. (I am of course, driving it
into Behringer UB pres). In fact, I have yet to make good use of the
SM57 or the Beta57A that i got a while back.

Sidhu
Anonymous
January 18, 2005 12:51:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

David wrote:
>
> I place the mic right up against the 12th fret (almost touching) with
> the capsule aiming away from the neck 90 degrees and facing the
> fingers of the guitarist.

That sounds awfully close to the instrument. How do you keep the guitarist from whacking the mic?

What pattern? What mic, for that matter, and how does the room sound?
Anonymous
January 18, 2005 3:54:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

The only time I've gotten a good guitar sound by putting the mic that
close was with a small omni.

Al

On Tue, 18 Jan 2005 09:51:29 -0800, Kurt Albershardt <kurt@nv.net>
wrote:

>David wrote:
>>
>> I place the mic right up against the 12th fret (almost touching) with
>> the capsule aiming away from the neck 90 degrees and facing the
>> fingers of the guitarist.
>
>That sounds awfully close to the instrument. How do you keep the guitarist from whacking the mic?
>
>What pattern? What mic, for that matter, and how does the room sound?
>
Anonymous
January 19, 2005 5:23:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> I place the mic right up against the 12th fret (almost touching) with
> the capsule aiming away from the neck 90 degrees and facing the
> fingers of the guitarist.

Impractical, but I could see the appeal. First thing that I find ruins an
acoustic guitar sound is to lose symmetry with the string axis. You've got
that going for you, but not much else. It doesn't get the vertical motion
of the strings at all, and is mono.

> Does anybody else record acoustic this way? If not then please share
> your favorite mic positions.

I've done something similar but it was for the sake of isolation for a live
recording. I took a Beyer BCE10 (I think) lapel mic reknown for a tight
pickup pattern and fashioned a clamp-mount that held it above the 14th fret
aimed at the bridge. It worked very well, but nothing compared to a
well-placed SDC pair, and would be in the way of soloing.
Anonymous
January 19, 2005 5:36:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Sidhu" <nitinsidhu@indiatimes.com> wrote in message
news:1106067217.666733.117360@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> They say the SM57 can be quite usefull on an acoustic. I have tried it
> a few times. All I got was a yuk sound. (I am of course, driving it
> into Behringer UB pres). In fact, I have yet to make good use of the
> SM57 or the Beta57A that i got a while back.

The SM57 with Mackie XDR's was one of the most horrid sounds I've ever
gotten. The two are great with other things; they just don't work well
together.
Anonymous
January 19, 2005 6:31:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

x-no archive: yes

Sugarite wrote:

> It doesn't get the vertical motion
> of the strings at all

There you go again. Just think about what you wrote.

--
ha
Anonymous
January 24, 2005 5:47:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Sugarite wrote:

>>I place the mic right up against the 12th fret (almost touching) with
>>the capsule aiming away from the neck 90 degrees and facing the
>>fingers of the guitarist.
>
>
> Impractical, but I could see the appeal. First thing that I find ruins an
> acoustic guitar sound is to lose symmetry with the string axis. You've got
> that going for you, but not much else. It doesn't get the vertical motion
> of the strings at all, and is mono.
>
>

Sound travels via compression waves. They're roughly spherical in
wavefront, and all a microphone diaphragm does is react to 'em.

That they are spherical means that radial position
doesn't matter, unless there's interference or reflection
or something. The "vertical motion of the strings" will
be reflected in the spherical wavefronts - and besides, if
you look at how guitar strings vibrate, they kinda go in
an oval shape, with the direction of the long side of the
oval being more or less random.

For any given instrument, there's no "visual" way
to accurately predict where a good mic spot'll be. You
gotta hook up and try.

<snip>
--
Les cargill
!