Recording acoustic guitar at home can be difficult, but I’m going to show you an easy way to get great results every time!
Hi guys! My name is Ben from AshtonMusicAcademy.com and today I’m going to show you how to record acoustic guitar. Recording an acoustic guitar at home can be difficult but I’m gonna show you an easy way to get great results every time.
Prepare Your Instrument
Now of course before you’re even thinking about connecting a microphone please make sure that your guitar is up for the task. if you haven’t changed your strings for a long time I recommend starting with changing your strings so your guitar will sound fresh and it will stay in tune. This can actually make a big difference on how you play and how the recording is going to sound in the end. So start by changing your strings. make sure your guitar is all cleaned up and that your action is playable. If you don’t know how to change your action, don’t worry! Just take your guitar to a local Guitar Centre or another music store and they will help you out. But this is very important because getting a great acoustic guitar recording starts by getting a great acoustic guitar sound and by playing a correct way. So this is very important.
Also make sure that your guitar is in tune. This may sound obvious but you won’t believe the amount of recordings I’ve heard where the acoustic guitar isn’t in tune. So always make sure that before you press record to tune up your guitar and between takes to also check tuning. This is very important and believe me this will give you a lot better results.
Setting Up The Microphone
Now I’m going to show you how to set up your microphone to get the perfect sound every time. Well I’m using a Røde NT1a microphone which sounds great on vocals and acoustic guitar. But you can also use another mic of course. I recommend using a large diaphragm condenser microphone which is basically like a high quality studio microphone, but a small diaphragm condenser microphone also works great. This is the small pencil mic you might have seen sometimes. Don’t use a dynamic microphone because these types of microphones aren’t sensitive enough to pick up the nuances in the strings and in your fingers hitting the strings. So use a great quality studio condenser microphone.
I’ve set up a microphone (and here comes the important part) at the height of the 12th fret. The 12th fret is right here at my guitar – this might be at another point at your guitar – and I set it up so that the microphone itself points towards the sound hole. The position of the microphone has a huge impact on how the recording is going to sound as you will hear in a second. It makes a lot of difference if you move a little bit to the left or a little bit to the right so I recommend sitting down on a chair when you’re going to record. Do not stand up because then you will move too much, stay put. Make sure that the microphone stays in the same place and when you’re switching between takes always make sure that you’re sitting at the same exact location as the previous take. Because otherwise you will hear a difference in sound.
So the microphone is basically in the middle of the guitar. This is because if the microphone is placed too much towards the neck the sound will be too thin, but if the microphone is placed too much towards the sound hole the sound is going to be to boomy. So you will have to find a middle and this might not be exactly at the 12th fret. You will have to experiment so I recommend setting up the microphone, putting on some headphones and playing a bit. See how the sound is going to change when you move around the guitar and find a sweet spot. Can you hear the difference? If I place my guitar too much like this so the microphone points towards the sound hole or if I place my guitar like this when the microphone points towards the neck? So right at the 12th fret there’s a happy medium. So this way the microphone will pick up some of the nuances of your fingers hitting the strings while not being too boomy or too thin. So let’s listen to how this sounds.
Now this sounds great right? So when you start out this way placing the microphone at about the 12th fret height and pointing the front of the microphone towards the sound hole you will get a very balanced and even sound. Now if you like or if you think it fits the song of course feel free to experiment and place the microphone at a different position.
Here’s a pro tip: something I do often is when I have a track where I’m going to put acoustic guitar in, I’m going to play the track and record a bit to experiment. While I’m recording I’m going to move around because that way you will almost have a built-in EQ because you can change the sound of the recording just by moving around and by listening to what sounds best right in a track. And if you do it that way sometimes you won’t even need an actual EQ after you’ve recorded because it just fits right into the mix!
Home Studio JumpStart Guide
So this is my simple process of recording acoustic guitar in a home studio. Please let me know in the comments what is your biggest frustration when recording acoustic guitar or what can I help you with. Let me know and I might make a video about that. Also download my free Home Studio JumpStart Guide by clicking on the link in the description. In this guide I’m going to show you exactly what kind of equipment you need to start making music right in your own home studio and I’m going to show you how to set it up and how to get results in a very short period of time. So this Home Studio JumpStart Guide you can download for free by clicking on the link below in the description. Also, don’t forget to subscribe and like this video if you thought this was helpful. I’d like to thank you very much for watching and I see you in the next one!