- This topic has 20 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 1 week, 6 days ago by ChrisHarper.
Why not record with a dynamic mic?
Check out this test https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04vdECGx-8k
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.gdomeierParticipant
I have recorded with my sm57, but I needed to have the mic very close to the guitar, otherwise my levels are too low.dachParticipant
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.BEATSLINGERParticipant
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.DarrenGuest
Hi, here’s a tutorial by Bobby Owsinski on how to make your own acoustic panels
Alternatively there’s a much more in depth explanation about improving the sound of your room here:
Hope these help,
For acoustic dampening, I use batts of Rockwool insulation (generically called mineral wool). Same as in the videos above, except I used batts instead of rigid sheets, because that’s what they carry at Home Depot. Rockwool works much better than foam, and costs less than commercial kits. Otherwise, my panels are built in a similar way to the video.
I also have a monstrous freestanding Rockwool gobo. It’s a similar idea to the panels in the video, but enormous and built with 2x4s. If you want something that will destroy all room sound near a mic, this would do it. It’s about 4’x6′ and framed similar to an interior wall of a house. It’s crammed 2 layers deep with mineral wool. Ordinary fabric wouldn’t contain the insulation, so I used a canvas painter’s tarp with some wood braces on the outside of the tarp to hold it all in. It’s… slightly overkill. LOL
Even in my treated studio, you can tell the difference if you point one ear at it. It mostly stays tucked out of the way as a bass trap. Setting up 2 of these at a right angle wouldn’t be very far removed from an isolation booth. Since it is moveable, it offers a lot of flexibility.
You could downscale that idea and use smaller panels set up as baffles behind a mic.
But I will second the recommendation to use a dynamic mic placed close, unless it’s something really delicate and you absolutely must have a condenser.
Also, don’t rule out the possibility of other rooms in the house. I’ve gotten pretty good results occasionally by using the living room as a live room. A couple of extra mic cables and a headphone extension cable don’t cost much.