Baffles for recording acoustic guitars?

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  • #23533 Reply
    Art Munson

    Acoustic is still always a challenge.

    Yep, me too, still after all these years. Never happy with my acoustic sound. Martin D18 and I use either a Neumann U89, AKG 414EB or Shure SM81. Real Traps throughout the room. It all drives me a bit bananas! Still looking for the definitive acoustic guitar and mic.

    #23534 Reply

    Let me know when you figure it out 🙂

    #23535 Reply

    Acoustic stuff is my bread and butter, and I think the most important parts are the player and the instrument. Acoustic string instruments for me are cake, but drums are a curse! Think less is more. Try just a low cut at different frequencies. They help tremendously, especially in the mix.

    #23536 Reply

    Definitely, cutting the lows in a mix (especially with bass) helps a lot. Solo stuff I don’t cut the lows as drastically. Depends on the instrument & mic. I do a lot of nylon string guitar. It’s different from steel string.

    The UAD Ocean Way Studios Plug-In can sometimes be nice to supply a desirable room sound.

    #23605 Reply
    Enda Reilly


    I use a very cheap reflection filter/shield

    and The primacoustic voxguard mainly when i’m doing vocals but they also work on anything to tame the room sound. The ultimate one of these seems to be the Kaotica Eyeball.
    I’ve read about the Heil PR40 dynamic mic which supposedly doesn’t pick up room as much as a condenser but has a warm tone.

    #23607 Reply

    Why not record with a dynamic mic?

    Check out this test

    What I got from this is that a simple dynamic mic like the SM58 sounds great on acoustic guitar, and a dynamic mic demands much less from your room. Just get up close, and have a baffle or a heavy blanket behind you when recording. Try a Beta58 if you don’t have a dedicated preamp, as that is 4db higher in output than the regular SM’s.

    Condensers also makes the track bigger sounding, which can be harder to mix because it takes up more of the frequency spectrum, so try a dynamic or small diaphragm condenser, it may make your acoustic recording more workable.

    Of course if you need that big Nashville acoustic sound in a solo guitar piece, sometimes a condenser could be preferable, but double tracking and hard right/left panning with a dynamic can also go a long way.

    I would not put a baffle around the mic as it can produce comb filter effects, which you cannot remove from your recordings. I’ve had bad experiences with that. Imo, getting a solid acoustic recording is more about the right mic for the job in the environment you have, and being aware of the directionality of the mic.

    So, just a plug for not underestimating the power of a dynamic mic.

    #23618 Reply

    I have recorded with my sm57, but I needed to have the mic very close to the guitar, otherwise my levels are too low.

    #29550 Reply

    some guitars record well and some don’t… that’s just the way it is…. you also need to know the sound at each place on each guitar/instrument and how different mics in your collection react to those spots. If you are in a true studio environment with plenty of cubic feet then it’s easier to capture a variety of great balances. If you are in a small room (large bedroom) it’s orders of magnitude tougher. I recommend treating all walls so there are minimal reflections. Also very important is the ceiling above the player and mic. With a smaller heavily treated room like that (including partial ceiling) it’s quite possible to pull the mic back enough to get good balances of the whole guitar or you can close mic but you are essentially trying to eliminate the coloration/comb filtering from early reflections which makes small room recording sound horrible. Also determine what role the instrument plays in the mix. If it’s a background instrument – behind a vocal, then pick mic(s) that are less mid forward. If it’s featured then pick a mic that pushes things up front loud and proud. I try to pick instruments, preamps, mics and placements that get the mix balance I want so I do not have to eq. For a solo recording I use mics that best capture the whole guitar… for a track in a mix I pick mics that do the eq for me…. I also keep a 2nd pair of ns10’s in my tracking room that I can reference to see if I’m using the right combination of gtr/mic/preamp/etc without leaving my chair… hope this helps.

    #29552 Reply

    I agree with using Dynamic Miss. I would suggest a “pair of Shure Beta 58’s”. It seems to really work well for “hard to capture Git’s” Also, if you’re needing something with a little less bottom/roundness I suggest Beta 57’s.

Viewing 9 posts - 11 through 19 (of 19 total)
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