Gadgets

How To Microphone an Acoustic Guitar

Acoustic Guitar Mic

Acoustic guitars are a staple in many types of music. They are known for their mellow and natural sound. However, to get the most out of an acoustic guitar, it is essential to understand how to properly mic it. 

Quick Answer

You can mic an acoustic guitar by placing it 12 to 16 inches away from the sound source. Make sure to point the microphone toward the 12th or 14th frets of the guitar. Using two mics, use the Mid/Side or Spaced Pairs technique.

This article will explore how to mic an acoustic guitar with simple and step-by-step instructions. We also discuss the difference between the Mono and Stereo recording briefly. 

How To Microphone an Acoustic Guitar

If you are wondering how to mic an acoustic guitar, our 4 easy and quick step-by-step methods will help you get this done in no time.

Method #1: Setting Up a Single Mic Using the Mono Technique

If you want to set up a single mic for your acoustic guitar, the following Mono techniques might help.

Step #1: Place the Mic

Take your mic and place it 12-16 inches away from your acoustic guitar’s 12th and 14th fret. This will make sure you get a balance between the string sound and body.

Step #2: Adjust the Mic

Avoid directly pointing your mic at the sound hole. However, if you use an omnidirectional microphone, place it 1 foot away and line it with the sound hole. You can move the mic closer or further to adjust the audio.

Image 50

Method #2: Setting Up Mics Using the XY Technique

Follow these steps in sequence to use two mics with an acoustic guitar using the XY technique.

Step #1: Pair the Mics

Take two mics, aim one capsule in one direction relative to the sound source, and pair it as closely as possible with the other microphone aimed in another direction (90-degree relative to each other). This will help in increasing the stereo field.

Step #2: Aim the Mics to Sound Source

Once you adjust the mics, place them in such a position that they aim right at the 14 frets (i.e., the center of the sound source). Remember that the closer you place your mics to the guitar, the lesser the sound wave will be. Therefore, keeping a 12 to 16 inches distance is always a good practice.

Image 51

Method #3: Setting Up Mics Using the Spaced Pairs Technique

The Spaced Pairs is a helpful technique while using microphones on acoustic guitars to achieve the best stereo sound effect.

Step #1: Place the Mics

Place the mics far apart to follow the three-to-one rule, meaning the distance between the two mics should be 3x the distance between the sound source and mic. This helps to minimize phase cancellation.

Step #2: Adjust the Mics Position to Guitar

Keep the mics 6 to 8 inches away from the guitar. Point one around the 12th or 14th fret and the other at the bridge, pointing toward the sound hole or the bridge.

Image 52

Method #4: Setting Up the Mics Using the Mid-Side Technique

For this technique, you need to use two different microphones with two different pickup patterns and follow these steps.

Step #1: Adjusting the Mid-Mic

The Mid-mic should be a cardioid or hyper-cardioid pattern to capture the sound directly from the guitar. Place it over the other microphone, so it points directly toward the sound source.

Step #2: Adjusting the Side Mic

The side microphone should be a figure-8 pattern to capture the sound from the left and right sides. To adjust this mic, point it 90-degree off-axis of the sound source.

Image 53
Keep in Mind

Try out different-sized condenser mics and some dynamic microphones with the guitar to help you find the right sound for your project.

What Is the Difference Between Mono and Stereo Recording?

There are two main types of audio recording: Mono recordings are made with one microphone and contain one audio track. Stereo recordings are made with two microphones and include two tracks of audio (left and right).

The main difference is that Mono recordings sound flat while Stereo recordings have more of a spacious sound. 

Mono recordings are suitable for spoken word and podcasts, while Stereo recordings are suitable for music and other types of audio that benefit from a more spacious sound.

Summary

This guide discusses how to mic an acoustic guitar with simple and easy-to-follow instructions using different techniques. We’ve also provided information about the difference between conducting recording in Mono and Stereo mode.

Hopefully, your queries have been answered, and you can now adjust the mic to an acoustic guitar without much effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an acoustic guitar?

An acoustic guitar is a musical instrument that uses acoustic means to transmit the strings’ vibration to the air to produce sound. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.