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britheguy

Mic for acoustic guitars

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Hi. This might have been asked before but.........does anyone got any recommendations for a mic to record acoustic guitar and maybe some vocals. I have a SM58 and SM57 already, will these do?

cheers

B

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The 57 isn't gonna be that great on acoustic. It'll d the job, but it'll not get you that nice acoustic sound you're after.

Try a condenser, it'll also come in useful for vocals.

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Guest idol_wild

Tricky subject, this.

The method I use when recording acoustic songs is to record both the guitar and vocals in one take, unamplified, with an sm57 capturing it, suspended around 50cm away from my actual mouth area. I'm quite a quiet singer, so if you're a bit louder I'd suggest more emphasis on placing the microphone nearer the actual guitar. It's about finding the right balance between the playing levels of the two. And it'll depend what you want to emphasise, aswell.

The track la Pucelle was recorded last week in this fashion, so feel free to have a listen to see how you find the outcome of such a method:

Debutant on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads

This will inevitably lead to that background air static being present in the recorded track, but if you want to avoid this as much as you can, I'd suggest investing in an acoustic guitar sound hole pick up and then plugging straight in, then recording vocals in a separate take. Especially if you want an unorganic, slick sound.

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This will inevitably lead to that background air static being present in the recorded track, but if you want to avoid this as much as you can, I'd suggest investing in an acoustic guitar sound hole pick up and then plugging straight in, then recording vocals in a separate take. Especially if you want an unorganic, slick sound.

Except the tone you get from a soundhole pickup really doesn't sound anything like a "real" acoustic guitar tone.

Being doing a bit of recording myself recently and everything was going fine until I was trying to record some fingerpicking on my acoustic. I'm using an SM57 and I'd already recorded a hard strummed part on my acoustic 12 string with no problems. But the fingerpicking was a lot more problematic.

Firstly, I had to fiddle with the mic placement a LOT as it was just too bass heavy (this is my Gibson J45). But more importantly, I was getting noticabe levels of hiss, which was strange as I didn't get that while recording the strummed 12 string or vocals using the same setup.

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Guest idol_wild
Except the tone you get from a soundhole pickup really doesn't sound anything like a "real" acoustic guitar tone.

I'd be inclined to agree with you on that, according to my own experiences. That's why I don't tend to use them. And that's why I used the term "unorganic".

That said, I have had positive results from a soundhole pickup recently. It was mainly finger-picked with 4 overdubs and a vocal, and I'm really pleasantly surprised with the tone produced. Especially considering my acoustic guitar is a beaten old-thing with year-old strings. :up:

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I recorded this on a really really shitty acoustic with a n LDC. I can't emphasise how shit the acoustic was btw. My hands hurt like fuck when I finished playing... I was also rather pissed when I recorded the guitar. I should also say, I'm no fuckin singer, so apologies for the god awful singing. I was going for a lo-fi sound.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3526809/SUCH%20GREAT%20HEIGHTS.mp3

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I'd be inclined to agree with you on that, according to my own experiences. That's why I don't tend to use them. And that's why I used the term "unorganic".

That said, I have had positive results from a soundhole pickup recently. It was mainly finger-picked with 4 overdubs and a vocal, and I'm really pleasantly surprised with the tone produced. Especially considering my acoustic guitar is a beaten old-thing with year-old strings. :up:

I think they're not too bad with fingerpicking but mostly awful for strumming, same goes for piezos. For live work I always prefer a soundhole to an undersaddle pickup as well. A piezo has a sound of its own and really doesn't sound anything like a real acoustic guitar.

I guess part of the problem is they are usually under the saddle, which is why they sound so fizzy and trebly. Emma Forman has an Ibanez acosutic with a pickup on the neck side of the soundhole and it sounds really good through a PA.

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the SM57 should be great for your acoustic. I use an SM58 for both vocals and my acoustic. The mic will be as close to the sound'ole as possible without disrupting my playing (i have ruined a few takes before by whacking the mic with my hand!).

Get a decent another sound and then clean it up in post-production. I usually have to rip out a lot of the bassy-ness in the end but i think i've done ok - Many Moons would be an example of my own DIY approach Star Rover on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads

and that was done with an awful acoustic! :up:

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Guest Gladstone

I'm fairly ignorant when it comes to equipment and stuff, especially guitars...

Is there a good reason that you all opt to play an acoustic guitar over an electro-acoustic guitar and just plug the fucker in?

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I'm fairly ignorant when it comes to equipment and stuff, especially guitars...

Is there a good reason that you all opt to play an acoustic guitar over an electro-acoustic guitar and just plug the fucker in?

As I mentioned, the pickups in electros end up producing a very different sound to that of a real acoustic. It depends what you're after. A lot of pop records you can clearly tell that iit's an electro and it's part of the sound, personally I think a mic-ed acoustic almost always sounds better.

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Thanks for the links.

So are we saying I don't need a condenser mic to record acoustic guitar? I will be using a Boss BR600 for the recording once I sus it out.:up:

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Thanks for the links.

So are we saying I don't need a condenser mic to record acoustic guitar? I will be using a Boss BR600 for the recording once I sus it out.:up:

You would need a mixer or something if you did use a condenser, the Boss doesn't have phantom power.

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Tried a few different stereo mic techniques out for acoustic guitar today. The best by a considerable margin was the middle and side technique. This uses two microphones, one with a cardioid polar pattern, and one with a bi-directional polar pattern. The cardioid is faced at the sound source whilst the bi-directional is placed underneath, as close as possible, picking up the left and ride sides.

The bi-directional mic is then duplicated and one signal is phase inverted. It sounded bloody amazing, the best results i've ever achieved, and this was in a very small room. Would love to try it in a bigger room.

ms-1side.jpg

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Sam L4: I think you are over complicating things. The OP is new to recording.

My advice is as follows.

If you're guitar is crap, upgrade it before upgrading the microphone. If you are not happy with the sound of your existing microphone but your guitar is of a quality you are happy with, then consider investing in condenser microphone.

There are budget condenser microphones such as.

Studio Projects B1 Condenser Microphone | DV247

If you have the money, an AKG C214 would be an excellent solution. It's based on the AKG C414, which performs very well on acoustic guitar and many vocalists, except it has some differences such as a lack of switchable polar patterns, these things wont matter to you until you know how to use them.

AKG C214 | Dolphin Music

You need a microphone pre amp for every microphone you use at the same time and every condenser microphone requires phantom power (which is often built in to microphone pre amps, but not always).

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Tried a few different stereo mic techniques out for acoustic guitar today. The best by a considerable margin was the middle and side technique. This uses two microphones, one with a cardioid polar pattern, and one with a bi-directional polar pattern. The cardioid is faced at the sound source whilst the bi-directional is placed underneath, as close as possible, picking up the left and ride sides.

The bi-directional mic is then duplicated and one signal is phase inverted. It sounded bloody amazing, the best results i've ever achieved, and this was in a very small room. Would love to try it in a bigger room.

ms-1side.jpg

Hi SamL4, thank you for the idea and advice, however I feel this is too much for me just now. I'm sure it sounds ace though.

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Sam L4: I think you are over complicating things. The OP is new to recording.

My advice is as follows.

If you're guitar is crap, upgrade it before upgrading the microphone. If you are not happy with the sound of your existing microphone but your guitar is of a quality you are happy with, then consider investing in condenser microphone.

There are budget condenser microphones such as.

Studio Projects B1 Condenser Microphone | DV247

If you have the money, an AKG C214 would be an excellent solution. It's based on the AKG C414, which performs very well on acoustic guitar and many vocalists, except it has some differences such as a lack of switchable polar patterns, these things wont matter to you until you know how to use them.

AKG C214 | Dolphin Music

You need a microphone pre amp for every microphone you use at the same time and every condenser microphone requires phantom power (which is often built in to microphone pre amps, but not always).

Hi HairyScaryMark, my guitar is good enough (my playing might not be though). Thanks for the links etc.

Would a Line6 tone port work the same as a microphone pre amp? could I use it with a condenser mic?

cheers for all the replies

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