what is the best angle to point a mic at an Acoustic?

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what is the best angle to point a mic at an Acoustic?

Post by cooters » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:29 am

I have a sennheiser 421. it's all i have. I was wondering which angle i could get the best sound. I've tried straight on. up and down at about a 45. From the top at a 45 five sounded the best so far but i was wondering if there are any angles i have'nt tried where i can get better sound. I'm not done experimenting yet i just was wondering.

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Post by oldguitars » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:57 am

There are too many variables to make a blanket statement. Just experiment until it sounds good to you. I have used a 421 on acoustic guitar and it wasn't half bad. Pointed at the fingerboard where it meets the body, slightly pointed towards the hole. Guitar was a martin HD28, a very strummy part.

Depending on the guitar and how close you are to the mic, you might need some lows rolled out.

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Post by cooters » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:39 am

cool thanks. I noticed it gets really damn bassy. I put a low pass on it which seemed to take care of it fairly well. I have a 1949 martin 000-15( my favorite) which has a really warm tone. So it has a lot of low end which gets to be a little much when it's recorded. How would i go about getting the closest sound to real life with it? what kind of mic could i use? I play finger picking and strumming(very heavy fast strumming).

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Post by themagicmanmdt » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:40 am

we're used to hearing acoustics from above, so my ears always like mics pointing down at the guitar.

think left to right as well as up and down. we've only got three dimensions to work with, but use them all!
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Post by dsw » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:03 am

Also try backing off like a foot or two.

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Post by ColinMiller » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:46 am

Try putting the mic around the 12th fret and pointed towards the sound hole.
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Post by JWL » Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:27 pm

With a 421, I'd play with the proximity effect and the bass roll-off dial at the base. Between the 2 you can get some interesting combinations, ie, put the mic very close to the soundhole for lots of proximity, but roll off a lot of the bass so it isn't just boomy.

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Post by vvv » Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:39 am

Depending on the part, I like to point an LDC at the player's face, rather than the guitar.

There is an acoustic lead in this cover of "The Sheik of Araby" I just did for the vsplanet monthly cover challenge.

It is an AT4040 about 1' back and 8" above the guitar, basically pointed at the player's face or just below, lined-up above with the neck-joint.

Acoustic guitars are very cool, of course, in driving rock songs; I like SDC's a few feet out and above pointed at the floor to get that Stonesy vibe.

My current typical solo rhythm placement is to have an LDC about 4' back and pointed from a few inches up down at the soundhole, and another 1' back and pointed even so it's slightly above the neck-joint, and pan to suit.

Don't be afraid to try a '57 or the like, either.
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Re: what is the best angle to point a mic at an Acoustic?

Post by @?,*???&? » Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:29 am

cooters wrote:I was wondering which angle i could get the best sound. I've tried straight on. up and down at about a 45..
What is the radiation pattern of the instrument? Where does the instrument sound best?

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Post by bigtexasthriller » Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:39 pm

All guitars are different.....If someone else is playing, I generally move my ear around a foot or two away and find the best spot.....If I'm playing, I usually start by micing about a foot away at where the neck meets the body and go from there by moving the mic around......I have found that the 421 can be a great mic for AGs......
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Post by rwc » Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:42 am

I find I like, most of the time, about 6" out from the soundhole, 6" up the neck, pointed right inbetween the neck and the soundhole. I guess at the 12th fret pointed at the soundhole but more distant than average, especially with a cardioid mic.

I much prefer stereo for a lot of stuff though, even doubled stuff sometimes. I add an sdc like a 451 or an sm81 up the neck in with a 4050 in the position described above. If I dislike the stereo I can just use the 4050, if I dislike the mono, I'm fucked...

this is an easier question for you to answer than for me

because you have the guitar, room, and mic you're using, and all I have is.. text?

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Post by the finger genius » Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:46 am

if you have a fairly quiet room, you may want to try backing the mic off the guitar to a foot or more. the heavy bass may be caused (at least partially) by proximity effect.
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Post by FBH » Sat Aug 09, 2008 6:56 am

I'm no engineer, I don't have a great room, and my gear is pretty lowly (Toneport UX2, Oktava mk-319, AT2020), but I tend to like the sound of one LDC about 2 inches from the fretboard, pointed at the soundboard between the neck and the soundhole. My guitar is a bit sickly right now (the bridge is coming unglued), so it makes a weird muffled bass sound. That said, this is a quick take I did last week, recording vocals and guitar simultaneously (plugged in the bgv's later): http://www.beauhoward.com/20daysofsong/ ... 92kbps.mp3

Hope this helps. I used an MK-319 on the acoustic, like described above. I used an AT2020 on the vox, about 12 inches from my face. I was standing.

Here is an MK-219 in the same position, solo: http://www.beauhoward.com//GuitarJamCrap/acoustic2.mp3

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Post by Mark Alan Miller » Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:22 am

themagicmanmdt wrote:we're used to hearing acoustics from above, so my ears always like mics pointing down at the guitar.
I don't play guitar, so I'm used to hearing it from the front. ;)
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Post by RefD » Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:12 pm

ColinMiller wrote:Try putting the mic around the 12th fret and pointed towards the sound hole.
yah, 12th fret a few inches out, but i prefer shooting across the sound hole and toward the bridge.

iirc, this is referred to as "the BBC technique".
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