Achieving awesome acoustic guitar sound can be tricky. From the mic choice and placement to how you mix the recorded results, there are numerous elements to consider when attempting to capture an acoustic guitar that sounds amazing.
Fortunately, with some practice and guidance, recording acoustic guitar can be a relatively straightforward process. In this blog post, I'll share 3 tips for recording acoustic guitar that will help you to get the most out of your recording sessions. Whether you're a hobbyist or a professional, these guidelines will get you well on your way to capturing beautiful acoustic guitar tones.
1. Use the Right Microphone and Positioning
When recording acoustic guitar, it’s important to use the right microphone and positioning. The type of microphone you use will have a major influence on the sound you get.
A condenser mic is best for capturing a full, clear sound that can be used for both solo and ensemble recordings. I always use a small diaphragm condenser mic, like a Shure SM81. But you can get great results from large diaphragm condensers also.
When positioning the mic, point the capsule towards the 12th fret and keep it at a 45-degree angle from the strings. Make sure the mic is far enough away to capture the entire guitar without being overwhelmed by the sound. Experiment with different mic positions to achieve the desired tone.
2. Double-Track By Overdubbing For A Wide Stereo Sound
One of the most effective techniques for recording acoustic guitar is to double-track by overdubbing to simulate a stereo effect.
This technique involves recording two separate guitar tracks and then mixing them together. The result is a fuller, richer sound, and also allows you to create subtle nuances that can add depth and texture to your recording
Start by recording the guitar part one time. Then listen to that track while you record THE SAME THING a second time. Once you get both tracks recorded, pan one of them to the left and the other one to the right to get a really large, wide sound.
3. Use Haas Effect to Mimic A Stereo Sound
If you only want to record your guitar part one time, and you don't have a stereo mic. There is still a way to mimic the stereo effect.
You can make use of something called The Haas effect. It works by panning two tracks of the same sound slightly out of phase. This creates the illusion of a stereo sound, which is especially useful when recording acoustic guitar.
To get the best effect, use a delay of 10 to 30 milliseconds and pan the two tracks hard (100%) left and right. This will create a rich, spacious sound even with a single microphone.
In conclusion, recording acoustic guitar can be a tricky process, but with the right preparation and equipment, you can achieve great results. With the right microphone(s) and a couple of handy techniques, you can make your acoustic guitar sound awesome in your recordings.