Old 11-14-2019, 07:56 AM   #1
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Default Recording Acoustic Guitar

Could people offer some advice on recording acoustic guitar please as I have found it necessary to cut deeply at around 3K due to horrible clanging kind of sound. No YouTube video I have watched addresses this in any way, they all just seem to stick an affordable mic about 1 foot away pointing either at 12th fret or sometimes at other parts of the body etc (I've watched them all!) and no-one gets anything but a nice rounded sound, definitely no harshness and clanging
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Old 11-14-2019, 08:16 AM   #2
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Will have to hear/preferably see an example. It's probably how you're playing and the guitar action.
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:31 AM   #3
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Not a bad idea the mic with some distance from the guitar and let air attenuate some of the high end for one and... - OK people do 12" all the time but I'm less fond with that approach because it sonically zooms in to part of the guitar instead of letting the sound of the entire guitar develop YMMV/IMHO.

That said, much of recording acoustic guitar is...

1. The performance - nothing can fix a performance that results in bad, scratchy, clangy, tinny tone.

2. A good room aka treated whathaveyou - much of the reason people mic acoustic guitar too close is because they are micing defensively (bad room) vs creatively.

3. The instrument itself - acoustics with laminated tops will be tinnier than one with a solid top but I put this as #3 because 1 and 2 take priority by far.

As Fergler said though, were doing a lot of guessing without more details such as a sample. A real-world example of the above...

I was recording someone two years ago, they brought in a 200.00 guitar in, I mic'd it, it sounded terribly scratchy and tinny - I moved mics and tweaked for 15 minutes and still terrible - I said wait, I grabbed my 3000.00 Taylor which I've recorded smooth and buttery tones with for years, he started playing it - it sounded exactly the same. 100% true story.
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Old 11-14-2019, 11:03 AM   #4
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Room/Space has a huge lot to do with it
Best sounds I have got
recording at the top space of my home built cedar lined rimu spiral
staircase recorded with a Rode condenser and a shure 565D.

Further on in my treated room I found my own idea for wave dispersion
and ribbon mics a Golden age mK3 ribbon and now a Rode NT ribbon.

The room treatment was the key as much as the ribbons and to go
with the ribbons has to be a pre-amp capable of the right ohmage.
Even if you surround yourself with sound absorption you may get a better sound.
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Old 11-14-2019, 11:55 AM   #5
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When I record acoustic instruments, I use a single LDC from about three feet back, angled down from above, and with the instrument facing the one live wall in my room. You have to crank up the gain on your mic, and that means you need quieter than normal conditions to record in when the mic is farther back.
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Last edited by Glennbo; 11-30-2019 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 11-14-2019, 12:44 PM   #6
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I found acoustic guitar more difficult to mic than any other instrument I've tried.

The standby I use now is an SDC about 18" away, pointed at the join between the body and neck and angled slightly toward the sound hole, coupled with an LDC at about 12" from the top, pointed at the area between the bridge and the end-peg.

But it really varies from guitar to guitar. For years I used a single LDC pointing straight over my shoulder at the side of the guitar nearest my left arm, and got great results. I tried that with another guitar someone brought in and seriously thought that my mic was broken, it sounded so horrible. I moved the mic around and found a spot on the upper side about a foot closer to the end of the guitar that sounded fantastic.

Experiment. And I generally agree with all of the above.
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Old 11-14-2019, 04:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Glennbo View Post
Anyway, I've recorded like this for eons and here's a sample done with no effects, no EQ just distance on the mic to try and balance the tone. The guitar is a 1933 Gibson L-00 so it has an inherently natural nasal tone due to the wood and ladder bracing.


it's great to hear the tone of this guitar with such clarity. Like walking into an old photograph...
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Old 11-14-2019, 03:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by grinder View Post
Room/Space has a huge lot to do with it
Yes, non treated room acoustics, meaning bad acoustics, is the number one factor for getting a bad acoustic guitar sound. The 3K that ChrisBlue is talking about is pretty high for bad room grunge, but certainly not out of the question.
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