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What is the best way to record an acoustic guitar?

What is the best way to record an acoustic guitar?

The acoustic guitar always brings a classical sound, soothing and pleasant. However, the problem is that improperly capturing the acoustic guitar sound can prove to be quite challenging. In this article, we suggest some useful techniques help you record the professional quality sound of an acoustic guitar.

In this tutorial, we will focus on microphone placement to help you get the most perfect acoustic guitar sound. There are 5 most common ways to place a microphone which are mono mic technique, X-Y mic placement, spaced pair, extensively spaced pair, or mid-side.

The following sections will cover these techniques in detail, let’s find out below:

1. Mono miking technique

The simplest way to record acoustic guitar is to employ a sole microphone. This will help get rid of phase problems. You simply need to place the microphone at the central point.

However, the use of a microphone will be limited if you want a broad audio recording. To do this, you need to rotate the microphone in two different directions left and right in 2 sessions to be able to create an ample audio record.

Although this may make a slight difference in tonality at the time of performance, the acoustic guitar sound will be more ordinary. Furthermore, with this miking manner, you can form thicker sounds.

2. X-Y pair miking technique

Phase effect is always a problem that many people worry about while miking acoustic guitar. However, using the X-Y microphone placement will allow you to overcome these problems related to the phase.

To perform this recording technique, you first need to attach the microphone to the cradle with the two mic positions not too far apart. You need to place them in a 90-degree with two microphone heads close together to create L-shape.

Placing this microphone will help you get an extensive sound and even the stereo of the strings and body. If you want to capture a wider acoustic guitar sound, you can adjust the two microphones farther apart.

3. Spaced pair of microphone technique

Just like the X-Y  pair microphone shown above, with this third recording model, you need to use two microphones that are appended to the bar, then adjust them so they are parallel. The thing to note in this miking technique is the distance of the microphone.

Specifically, this technique primarily allows you to record sounds that only marginally alter to the right and left of the middle part of the guitar. Therefore, the most perfect sound is stereo in the center, and with this microphone placement, you get great acoustic guitar sound quality.

Besides, you can also place the microphone at 4 frets of the guitar and the microphone on the left towards the top of the guitar. You should note that the gap between the microphone and the guitar will produce different sound qualities. Therefore, you had better pay attention to the distance to get the sound you want.

4. Wide spaced pair microphone miking technique

By using two microphones, we can apply another recording model which is the technique of coincident pair. This is another version of the distance pairing model introduced above.

This technique is performed when the performer places the two microphones in the center of the instrument and the microphone body is far apart to lessen phase problems.

To measure the distance from the microphone to the center point of the guitar, you should use the microphone cable. In particular, phase problems will be diminished if the space to each microphone is unchanged.

5. Mid-side miking

This is a special recording technique because it uses two microphones with various polar models piled on top of each other to give you wide, full mono compatibility. Specifically, with the first microphone, you should apply the microphone pickup pattern (cardioid polar) and run a figure-8 mic pattern for the second microphone.

This recording technique offers many advantages over previous recording techniques. Specifically, when using the microphone with the figure of eight polar patterns facing the center, you would replicate the microphone of Figure eight.

Next, when rotating the hard copy left and right, you will now reverse the phase of the copy. What will you think of next is a series of audio noises? It will not happen. The fact is that hard pated signals emit ultrawide sound, but they will mix in monophonic.

Placing the cardioid microphone in the center will help to capture the stereo generated for the mono downmixing pattern. It is not always a bad thing to cancel phase, in this case, this is an advantage you should benefit to get rich and sharp sound.

Conclusion

Based on the information we provided above, you can choose the most optimal way to record acoustic guitar. You must pay attention to how the microphone is placed, not just the microphone type. You can even use a phone recording and follow the techniques above if you don’t have a microphone yet.

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