Before I came across ‘Recording Acoustic Guitar (My Foolproof Method)‘ – a short video by Graham Cochrane (Recording Revolution) – my acoustic guitar recordings would require huge amount of effort and time making EQ adjustments simply trying to achieve a half decent sound. Basically I was working with boxy boomy mud recordings every time. And no matter how much I improved with EQ I was never really satisfied. The result would be either too harsh or too thin, and certainly lacking the natural beauty of an acoustic guitar in one way or another.
Yes … I was pointing my microphone direct at the guitar sound hole … Graham advises positioning the microphone directly in front of sound hole (I got that bit right), but angled toward the 12th fret – as simple as that – 90% of the challenge solved by that single step. And since adopting this approach I find only minor EQ tweaks are required to deliver the acoustic guitar within the overall mix of each song.
Winding the clock back … here are a selection of the best acoustic guitar EQ video tutorials I have studied along the way
Finger vs Plectrum
With my former microphone-direct-in-front-of-sound-hole method I found that using a plectrum made my recorded sound even worse. Somehow added a plastic-y element to the sound. So during this period I adopted a style of strumming using mainly my first 2 fingers … so nail on down stroke and ball of fingers on up stroke. OK … so solved the plastic-y problem, but did not make for very consistent or tight playing. So a bunch of fixing would be required after each take in that regard.
Adopting Graham’s technique, playing with a plectrum is now fully re-instated 🙂
Take out everything below around 80HZ to make space for bass guitar, and boost bell a little at around 10,000 HZ if I want to hear more percussive … that is about it!