RECORDING ACOUSTIC GUITAR: 6 KEY TIPS AND TECHNIQUES

7 Uncommon Music Marketing Strategies That Are Actually Smart

Written by Jaron Lewis

The acoustic guitar is perhaps the most popular musical instrument in Western classical and other popular forms including Rap and Hip Hop music. Some of the best Rap and Hip Hop beats of all time have had acoustic guitar featured in them. The best sounding acoustic guitar adds a human element to any musical performance and can be performed solo or as an ensemble instrument.

In this article we give you 6 great tips on recording acoustic guitar. No, it’s not the same as recording an electric guitar and consists of a completely different methodology.  Read on for more!

TIP #1: PREPARATION IS KEY

Preparing the instrument for the recording is very important. This means changing the strings a night before the recording session. The goal is to give the tuning enough time to adjust and settle in and to make sure the string tension is just perfect.

When prepared well, the guitar plays with great clarity and you will have an easy time during the recording. Just make sure that the tuner is within reach at all times. The guitar will need to be tuned frequently.

image via www.guitar-tuner.info

TIP #2: CHOOSE THE RIGHT ACOUSTIC GUITAR MICROPHONE

You will have two basic choices when choosing a guitar recorder mic – where to go for a small-diaphragm condenser microphone or a large diaphragm acoustic guitar microphone. They are both good choices, but for different reasons. Click the link for a list of possible condensor or dynamic mics you will be using

Engineers generally prefer small-diaphragm condenser microphones as they respond better when placed close to the guitar. They capture the natural transient response of the acoustic guitar very well. The guitar is a very dynamic instrument, and condenser mics reproduce its sound with an excellent clarity. They are much more detailed than large-diaphragm mics and cause very little distortion.

Large diaphragm mics have their own advantages. They are much more expansive, and capture the room sound very well. They can be placed a few feet away from the guitar. Some performers prefer this as they would rather not have the guitar recorder placed too close to the instrument.

TIP #3: DOUBLE TRACK THE GUITAR FOR DIFFERENT MIC TECHNIQUES

One great tip is to double track the same guitar with different microphone techniques. Double tracking creates a range of textures and adds depth to the guitar parts. This technique is very popular within the music industry.

However, look out for phase issues, which are known to occur during a mixdown. What you don’t want is for the sounds to appear thinned down when you combine tracks together. Generally, the slightest microphone changes can affect the sound. So don’t be afraid to change the position or the direction of the microphone slightly for the perfect acoustic guitar recording.

image via youtube.com

TIP #4: DON’T POINT THE MIC AT THE SOUND-HOLE

No, the best sound from the guitar is not necessarily captured at the sound-hole, contrary to popular perception. Don’t point the mic at the sound-hole. When the mic is pointed at the sound-hole, what you get is too much bass. No, you definitely wouldn’t want too much bass.

TIP #5: POINT THE MICROPHONE AT THE SWEET SPOT

The sweet spot of the best sounding acoustic guitar is at the 12th fret. This the point at which the neck meets the body of the guitar. Point the microphone at this spot to capture a full range of highs, lows and mids from the guitar.

TIP #6: TRY RECORDING ACCOSTING GUITAR DIRECT

Some acoustic guitars, not all, come with a plug. If that’s the case with your acoustic guitar, you can just plug it into a DI box and record direct. You can use guitar recording software applications such as an amp simulator to make the guitar sound funky and interesting.

We hope you found the tips given here for recording acoustic guitar interesting. Do you have any questions for us? Just send them in the comments below.

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