Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar?

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Ekanaro
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Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar?

Post by Ekanaro » Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:40 am

I am currently recording in a semi-pro studio and need some suggestions for good mics for recording acoustic guitar. You know, that nice rich bass sound and clear highs without that fog in between? That sounds as much like a natural acoustic guitar as possible?

The engineer has been using these small condenser mics, and I just feel like we could be getting a better quality sound that they are giving us. I have an AT4033 and he has another vocal mic want to get payday loans for it(Sterling something?). Would these give us a better sound, or should we just spring for something a lot more expensive?

Your as-close-to-professional advice as possible is appreciated - thanks!

(I am going to get the brands of his mic and pre-amp to post here. He is recording into an iMac using Logic.)
Last edited by Ekanaro on Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar?

Post by digitaldrummer » Wed Oct 28, 2020 10:44 am

depending on how it will be used in the mix, decide if you need stereo micing or just mono. I've gotten great results with a single LDC (FET or Tube - I really like the Mojave MA-201fet and the Weird Audio Little Red Monster) when it was in a more dense, rock or country mix. If I wanted stereo (meaning the acoustic guitar was going to take up more space in the mix) then a pair of SDCs is nice, or I've also used the MA-201fet along with a Mojave MA-101fet (no longer made) and really liked the way it sounded.

The AT4033 is great, but also a pretty bright sounding mic. I've used that mic before when it was right for the song - something that needs to cut through electric guitars and drums for example.

But even a ribbon mic (or a pair) can sound great - it will sound different (than above) but it really depends on what sound you are going for, the type of song, the type of guitar, the player.... You will get all kinds of responses here... :D
Last edited by digitaldrummer on Wed Oct 28, 2020 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar?

Post by Recycled_Brains » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:44 am

Ekanaro wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:40 am
The engineer has been using these small condenser mics, and I just feel like we could be getting a better quality sound that they are giving us. I have an AT4033 and he has another vocal mic (Sterling something?). Would these give us a better sound, or should we just spring for something a lot more expensive?
Why not just try those other mics and see for yourself? I would do that before buying something. 4033 is a nice mic. I can't imagine you'd have a hard time getting a decent sound with one if you find the right placement.

What small condensers is he/she using?
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Re: Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar?

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:48 am

As always it depends on what job you need the acoustic to do and what else is happening in the mix. My sleeper acoustic guitar mic has turned out to be the Blue Baby Bottle. I dislike it in most other applications but I really love it on guitar. It's very mid forward and a little hard sounding (if that makes any sense) but it's still got decent lows and the highs are there but not splashy or harsh. The acoustic ends up sitting beautifully even in a dense mix.
Other than that I often reach for dynamics. AKG D19 or 224 or and RE15 or 20.

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Re: Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar?

Post by losthighway » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:58 am

Recycled_Brains wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:44 am
Ekanaro wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:40 am
The engineer has been using these small condenser mics, and I just feel like we could be getting a better quality sound that they are giving us. I have an AT4033 and he has another vocal mic (Sterling something?). Would these give us a better sound, or should we just spring for something a lot more expensive?
Why not just try those other mics and see for yourself? I would do that before buying something. 4033 is a nice mic. I can't imagine you'd have a hard time getting a decent sound with one if you find the right placement.

What small condensers is he/she using?
Agree with this. I have other choices but after years with my 4033 I bet I could get it to do what I want if that's all that was around. Maybe a really wide eq cut of 2-4 db centered around 2.5k to even it out. Distance subtracts low, direction subtracts or adds highs.

I've been really into an LDC condenser slightly above the guitar, a couple feet out, pointed down at an angle in the direction of the neck body joint, as opposed to straight on. Seems like it evens things out. Then some serial compression, with only like 2:1 and a few db happening through a couple different compressors.

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Re: Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar?

Post by vvv » Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:40 pm

Linked below, the latest C19 releases are a pair of Studio Projects C4 SDC's onna a stereo mount. Go to mebbe C19 vii - xiv releases and there is a Sennheiser Mk4 LDC on the neck left and a Sterling Ocean Way LDC on the body right. C19 vi has a cheap ADK SDC neck and a MXL V47 tube mic body.

Whatever mic you use, room and placement can have huge effect, particularly placement.
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Re: Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar?

Post by numberthirty » Wed Oct 28, 2020 4:33 pm

Ekanaro...

If I was too ask, do you feel like this is more of an "I Suspect..." or an "I Can Point To A Specific Deficit..." sort of a situation? Is it how the sound fits into the context? Just feels all wrong even when it is isolated?

Sometimes, it can be easier to make a suggestion if you have a little bit better idea where someone is coming from. Past that, do you have an existing sound in mind? Anything you've heard on records that would be the mark you are trying to hit?

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Re: Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar?

Post by Nick Sevilla » Thu Oct 29, 2020 11:28 am

Ekanaro wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:40 am
I just feel like we could be getting a better quality sound that they are giving us.
Well, what is missing?
How does this sound compare to what you expect?
How does it OBJECTIVELY sound to references of acoustic guitars that you like? You do have references for the
engineer to compare to?
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Re: Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar?

Post by drumsound » Thu Oct 29, 2020 12:49 pm

As others have said, its all about context. Oh, and the instrument itself, and the space its in.

Solo is only important if its a solo recording. You can A/B two mics and mic A might sound superior in every way, but once you listen in the context of the track, mix B very could be the better choice.

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Re: Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar?

Post by Recycled_Brains » Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:03 pm

drumsound wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 12:49 pm
the instrument itself, and the space its in.
Honestly, this is like 100% of it when it comes to acoustic instruments. That's not even to say you need a $3,000 dollar guitar. I've tracked broken $200 Washburns that sound incredible, but a mediocre acoustic guitar will always sound mediocre whether you mic it with a 57 or a U47.

Speaking of 57s.... what dynamic and/or ribbon mics does the place have? You don't have to use an LDC or any sort of condenser at all. My favorite acoustic mics are M160 and 441. I almost universally hate condensers on acoustic guitar unless it's fingerpicked, or I can use KM86/84.
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Re: Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar?

Post by vvv » Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:54 pm

Sometimes a crushed 57 or 421 is just the ticket, inna mix.
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Re: Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar?

Post by vernier » Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:03 am

I like a dynamic on acoustic guitar. And drums too.

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Re: Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar?

Post by mjau » Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:54 am

drumsound wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 12:49 pm
Solo is only important if its a solo recording. You can A/B two mics and mic A might sound superior in every way, but once you listen in the context of the track, mix B very could be the better choice.
So true. This is why the 4033 can be a cool acoustic guitar mic. In a busier mix, it tends to put forward the part of the acoustic you want put forward.

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Re: Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar?

Post by mjau » Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:58 am

I’ve used an Oktava mc012 a lot on acoustic guitar, and like both the omni and cardioid caps depending on what I’m going for. The low-mids can be a little foggy, but sometimes that’s not a bad thing.

Beyer m201 is also a great acoustic guitar mic.

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