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How to record acoustic guitar

Recording Week
(Image credit: Future)

RECORDING WEEK: Picked acoustic guitar can be very quiet, so not only does it call for high mic gain and, ideally, a condenser mic, but also a very quiet recording space. 

Here, we cover three steps to making pro-sounding acoustic guitar recordings.

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(Image credit: Future)

Step 1: For acoustic guitar, use either a small or large capsule cardioid condenser. For a balanced sound, avoid the sound hole and instead aim the mic directly at the point where the neck joins the body. Start with the mic about 30cm away from the guitar.

(Image credit: Future)

Step 2: Next, listen and decide on the tonal and room balance you’re after. To adjust the amount of sound captured, move the mic nearer to or further from the guitar. At about a metre, you’ll really notice the room. To adjust tonal balance, angle the mic up towards the low strings or down towards the high strings.

(Image credit: Future)

Step 3: The mic position on an acoustic – particularly close up – is very sensitive to changes, so encourage the guitarist not to move when playing, and try to capture all your takes in one go, as reseating in exactly the same position can be tricky. Encourage them not to make noises, too – jewellery, breathing and so on.