| acoustic guitar | recording guitar
Tips For Playing Electric Acoustic Guitar
(Part Two - Recording Your Guitar)
Acoustic guitars thrive on live acoustics, and insufficient
natural reverb is a common problem when recording them in small
home studios. Here's some tips for playing acoustic electric
guitar in the recording environment.
Even though pickups on acoustic guitars have come a long way, you
will probably get the best results from using a combination of
pickup and microphone.
Tips for playing acoustic electric guitar: tip 6
Recording acoustic guitar
If possible record your acoustic guitar in a 'live' room, a
medium size room with a wooden floor will be a good place to
The whole body of an acoustic guitar resonates to produce sound
and they almost always sound better when recorded with a good
microphone, rather than relying 100% on using their pick-ups.
Tips for playing acoustic electric guitar: tip 7
The mic can be pointed directly towards the sound hole or aimed
behind the bridge for a more percussive effect. A third position
to try is the front of the neck, at the point where it joins the
body, although this can accentuate fret buzz and finger squeaks.
A Neumann U87 or a pair of Neumann KM84s in stereo are ideal
microphones for capturing the natural sound of the acoustic
guitar. The unidirectional Shure SM81 or SM7 also work very
By using a U87 close up and another condenser mic in a more
distant location, a really high-low sound can be obtained if the
frequencies at 200Hz and 10Hz are boosted at the console with
some attenuation at around 500Hz or 700Hz.
When using stereo microphones, a more spacious image will be
produced, the signals being panned left and right. Phase
cancellation can be avoided by careful mic placement and a
monitoring check in mono.
If the acoustic guitar is being recorded at the same time as the
rhythm section of a band, leakage is usually a concern, and
close miking will be necessary. It is unlikely that the guitarist
will remain still enough to use a cardioid pattern mic due to the
proximity effect, so an omni-directional microphone is suggested.
Tips for playing acoustic electric guitar: tip 8
recording direct: using DI box
To record your acoustic electric guitar directly to a mixing
console you will need to have a matching transformer placed
between the guitar and the console; usually this takes the form
of a DI box.
The Boss DI -1 Guitar Direct injection pedal is an excellent DI
box for recording your acoustic guitar signal
The Boss D1-1 has a single input | para out |unbalance out on the
front panel (the para out goes to the amp - which can be miked
On the back panel there’s a balanced out / cannon jack for the
mixer also NOR| INV and NOR|LIFT for any earth/ground hum issues.
Tips for playing acoustic electric guitar: tip 9
recording using miniature microphones
Shure manufactures the SM17 miniature dynamic microphone which is
designed especially for mounting on acoustic instruments. It
provides excellent isolation from other instruments and freedom
Some guitar repair people even install these small microphones
inside the guitar and face the microphone at a 45% angle out
towards the strings, aimed at the center of the sound hole. When
the microphone is installed in this manner, it need to be shock
mounted so as not to pick up unwanted vibrations from the guitar
Frequencies of interest:
80 Hz to 120Hz - bass.
240Hz - body or fullness.
2.5kHz to 5kHz - clarity
10kHz - sizzle
Here are the frequencies for the six sting acoustic guitar tuned
to standard tuning.
1st string - E:329.6Hz
2nd string - B:246.9Hz
3rd string - G:196.0Hz
4th string - D:146.8Hz
5th string - A:110.0Hz
6th string - E:82.4Hz
The most common tuning system for the 12-string guitar is having
the first two pairs of strings tuned in unison (the same), while
the remaining pairs are tuned one octave apart.
Frequencies for the 12-sting acoustic guitar tuned to standard
1st string - E:329.6Hz
2nd string - E:329.6Hz
3rd string - B:246.9Hz
4th string - B:246.9Hz
5th string - G:196.0Hz
6th string - G:392.0Hz
7th string - D:146.8Hz
8th string - D:293.6Hz
9th string - A:110.0Hz
10th string - A:220.0Hz
11th string - E:82.4Hz
12th string - E:164.8Hz
Using these tips for playing acoustic electric guitar fine sounds
can be obtained by mixing a combination of signals from both the
pick-up and the microphone.
How to Play Guitar
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