Getting a great acoustic guitar recording is easier than ever, but with these 3 tips, it could be even better

Getting a good acoustic guitar recording can be fairly straightforward these days. However, there’s some easy ways of making your recording shine even more.

Here are some easy ways of making your guitar sparkle…

Pick Some Good Microphones…

Recording Acoustic Guitar - Condenser Microphones - Rode NT1-A
For acoustic guitars, condenser microphones are generally the way forward. I say ‘generally’ because there’s no right or wrong when recording- if it sounds right, it is right.

However, a condenser mic is far more likely to capture the subtleties, and high frequency detail of an acoustic guitar.

Condenser microphones can be found with both small and large diaphragm types, and each has different characteristics, generally. Usually, a small diaphragm mic (such as a SE Electronics Se5) will have faster transient response than a large diaphragm mic, meaning that it will pick up more detail from the recording.

Image of a small diaphragm condenser microphoneThey generally have a better off axis response than large diaphragms too. However, this sometimes can be at the expense of low frequency response, and higher self-noise.

As a result, if you need a smoother, less detailed sound, a large diaphragm condenser can be a better choice. For more detailed sounds, smaller diaphragms are usually better.

One of the most useful microphones to have in your armoury when recording an acoustic guitar is an omni directional condenser mic (like a . This is a condenser whose response pattern is equal in every direction.

The reason that this type of mic can be a great tool when recording acoustic guitar is that they do not suffer from the proximity effect. Put simply, this is where bass frequencies become exaggerated when a mic gets closer to a source- a problem when recording acoustic guitar bodies, for example.

Use an omni mic, and hey presto- get as close as you like. There as problem of room spill, however, as the mic picks up everything around it…

Acoustic Guitar Recording - Essentials Portable Vocal Booth

Portable Mic Booth

The portable mic booth, in its various guises, has become increasingly popular. Essentially, this mic stand mounted shields prevent close reflections from an acoustically untreated room (i.e. like most home studios) from reaching the microphone and adding unwanted room ambience to the dry, direct sound.

If you’re using an omni microphone, using one of these behind it means you’ll have no proximity effect, and no room ambience either. Ideal, eh?

Martin SP Guitar Strings

New Strings!!

There are many different ways getting a good acoustic guitar recording, but nearly every single one should begin with a new set of strings.

The difference that a restring makes to the quality of your guitar tone is astronomical. And, unless you particularly want a dull, and trashy sound, I wouldn’t even think about recording without putting on a new set.

So, there we are, with a good mic, a portable mic booth, some new strings and some judicious mic placement, your acoustic guitar should sound great.