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Every brand of guitar has a different and unique sound. Yamaha, Fender or Martin they all have their on sound. They all sound different, your favorite or most expensive guitar may not be the best for every recording. Having a few choices available helps you get a lot closer to the sound that’s right for any song.
Tuning And New Strings
It’s very simple but often overlooked. Before the recording session, put new strings on your guitar. Before every take make sure it’s tuned. If you use a capo remember to compensate with your tuning. This is a very important process.
Pick A Pick
Although you probably have a favorite guitar pick that works well with your playing style, there are guitar pick options that can drastically alter the tone of your guitar. For more attack on leads and solos, a metal pick can brighten up the guitar tone without having to resort to EQ at the amp. In contrast, a felt pick can be the perfect choice for soft rhythm guitar that needs to sit well with keyboards and piano. Before spending lots of money on a new amp or effects pedal, a trip to the music store for a new guitar pick might be all you need.
Instead of just putting the mic where you think it sounds good, actually get up and walk around, listen to the tonal changes in each part of the guitar. When you find that sweet spot, put your mic there. This is a great starting point for a mono, single mic recording as well as a good warm up for your ears. If the song calls for a stereo acoustic guitar part, you still need to find that sweet spot for the mics. How high or low, how close, how far, you don’t know until you take the time to listen.
Microphone Choices And Positionk
In the studio it is unlikely you will prefer the sound of a dynamic mic on acoustic guitar compared to a condenser, but if you’ve never heard it, by all means try it, try all the mics. Large diaphragm condensers and small diaphragm condensers are the most common choices for acoustic guitar recording. Again, listen to the differences between mics, where and how you place them. The closer the mic is to the instrument the more proximity effect there will be. Avoid using mics that might exaggerate lows, mids or highs. Pick a mic that complements or balances the sound.
After you’ve done your best capturing the guitar right, you still may need to do some work to get it playing nice with all the instruments. In the mix you’ll usually need a bit of processing to make room for other instruments, control dynamics, among other things. Generally you need to cut the low frequencies, shape the mids to make room for vocals, you can even out the performance and add a little reverb to give it space.
Record In Stereo
Recording acoustic guitar in stereo will capture a much fuller and wider sound than only using one microphone.
Avoid Too Much Bass
It’s a common misconception that the best sound from the acoustic guitar is captured at the sound-hole. Normally, a microphone pointed at the sound-hole results in too much bass.
Subtle Position Changes Nail That Perfect Sound
The way recording works is that even the slightest microphone change can affect the sound. By just subtly changing the position or direction of the microphone you can find that perfect acoustic guitar sound you are looking for
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