Playing and Recording Acoustic Guitar

I find this works for me

  • I thank Graham Cochrane / Recording Revolution (pictured above) for his tips ‘Recording Acoustic Guitar (My Foolproof Method)‘ … position microphone directly in front of sound hole, but angled toward the 12th fret, which works like a dream for me.  Before I adopted this approach I would spend a huge amount of time with eq adjustments simply trying to get a half decent sound from my take – in this connection see my article Adventures With Acoustic Guitar EQ here.
  • I use a Rode NTA-2 microphone … which I find great for recording acoustic guitar and/or vocals.
  • If using a click-track, make sure you wear closed-back headphones … to avoid bleed onto your acoustic guitar take. Make sure the click-tack is loud enough so you can keep in time without focusing too much on simply playing tight.
  • Make sure you can hear your acoustic playing clearly in your headphones. Especially important if you require any degree of subtlety in your playing. I find best to temporarily pan acoustic performance monitoring hard to one ear and everything else to the other. Because this approach tends to overload the one earphone, for take monitoring I eq out everything below 350 Hz on the backing side.
  • Make sure your headphone monitoring mix encourages the appropriate degree of ‘hardness’ of playing. If your acoustic monitoring is too loud by comparison to your backing, you will likely compensate by playing soft in your picking or strumming and the result will likely be a disconnect between the song energy and the track you record.
  • Be relaxed, and imagine you are playing in a band situation 🙂
  • Effects? I like to maintain a fairly percussive sound, so keep my track fairly dry. Especially no reverb. I find a PSP Vintage Warmer 2 preset (Mix semi driven tape) often helps me get the sound I am looking for.
  • EQ? I generally take out everything below around 80HZ to make space for bass guitar, and perhaps a little boost at around 10,000HZ if I want a more percussive sound.
PSP Vintage Warmer

What works for you?

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