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Acoustic Guitar - Creative miking up gives interesting sound colours.

The guide tracks.

For demo’s I record directly into the Focusrite (analogue converter) because I am less interested in sound quality. It is more about the overall structure than the individual sound. However, I begin thinking about the details right from the start. However, when I get to the final takes of the acoustic guitar creative miking up gives interesting sound colours.

The final takes.

Generally, by this stage I have a lot of detail in the track and I am going back to re-record the guitar tracks. Because I start with the guitar it is always a lot more busy and complete than it is meant to be in the final mix. So, at this point I am looking at how I can scale back the guitar to be part of the band sound rather than stand alone.

The creative miking set up.

Go to my post - Production Tip 2.

This gives you an introduction to guitar miking.

The sounds of the guitar are very important at this stage. I will record another guitar track with as many miking variations as possible.

Below are my standard options for acoustic guitar.

Direct out from the guitar into a splitter box.

The first out goes to an amplifier and the second out goes directly to the Focusrite.

The amplifier is separated from the acoustic, by a sound barrier, to get separation of sound from the guitar itself. I then mike up the amplifier with a condenser mike at a distance of 30 cms and also close mic it with a dynamic mike.

I also mike up the guitar with a condenser mike at about 10 cms from the middle of the guitar and a dynamic mike directed at the sound hole.

The mix options.

The beauty of this method is that I can maintain the overall sound of the acoustic guitar. I simply choose the main sound from one of the sources. Then I can add colour to the sound by adding variations of the other sources. Dynamic mikes typically give a punchier sound that is good for choruses. The condensers add more tonal colour to the sound which are good for quieter parts.

Whichever sound I choose as the main source I have four other sounds to add colour. Used sparingly the options bring new dimensions to the sound of the guitar.

If the guitar is the centre of the arrangement a range of colours adds greater levels of interest. This is why it is important to have a range of microphones that you can use. The more options you have the more variations you can create.

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