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stereo record acoustic guitar in untreated room


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I'm working on a song that is acoustic guitar + vox only and I want to record the guitar in stereo, or at least have it in stereo in the mix.

 

I work in an untreated bedroom and I don't know if I'm better off recording in stereo with two mics or recording in mono with one mic and then playing the same part again with another mic position. It's mostly strumming.

 

What would you recommend? Which positions?

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Your could try both, as both are valid methods to get a stereo image, then you will learn first hand, what both can bring to light in the project :wink:

 

Close micing would help eliminate room effects; I like M/S (mid/side) configuration myself, but this requires two mics, one a figure-eight & the other a cardioid mic pattern :mrgreen:

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Sometimes the room works to your advantage and other times a room will hurt you. You still need to be aware of the room reflections and cancelations. What you hear and what the mic hears are usually two different sounds.

 

A dead room can suck the life out of your natural acoustic guitar sound when recording. However, there is no single solution because of all the factors involved such as; the quality of your guitar (and strings), the quality of your mic and mic pre, Mic positioning, etc ...

 

Somedays the recording sounds fantastic, other days you wished you could go out and buy the most expensive equipment for recording acoustic guitar. Small condenser mic/ribbon mice are a better bet than the large diaphragm types, but if you have to deal with what you have, then you have to make the best of it.

 

I recently tried two SM-58's and direct out of the guitar (it's electric/acoustic). I pointed one mic directly at the sound hole and the other pointed slightly beyond the 12th fret. Both mic's are almost ready to touch the guitar because they are that close due to being a low impedance mic.. They are panned hard left and hard right while the direct signal is centered. All three signals are combined by sending everything to a stereo bus.

Separately, each track doesn't sound all that great. It has somewhat of the cheap little cigar box sound. When all three signals are combined a magic happens to make it sound like one nice sounding guitar

 

It may be wise to leave out any chorus and/or reverb type effects and keep everything as natural as can be. Once all the parts are recorded, then try adding your fx.

 

So you may need to find a spot in your room with the least interference from the reflections. Experiment.

Keep in mind that when you are recording, the sound you hear in your headphones are a combination of the live acoustic guitar and the signal that goes thru the mic. You may think you have it set up for a great sound, but once you record and play it back, it sound much thinner.

 

 

blah, blah, blah ...

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The left side of her signal sounds great. The right side I thought was non-existent until I cranked it and heard something that sounds like a very quiet signal going into a rather noisy reverb. Interesting choice.

 

BTW Shiv, I may have to try your "two 58s plus direct signal" way of recording guitar! Sometimes I get clients who ask if they should give me the direct signal but I almost always veto that.

 

@bchamorro - You might try recording in different parts of the room to find out where the best balance of close mics and untreated bedroom are. Try not to have a hard wall right behind you or having mics positioned near the wall.

 

I don't know if I'm better off recording in stereo with two mics or recording in mono with one mic and then playing the same part again with another mic position.

 

Note that the stereo mic technique produces a very different sound than the last option you mention. As rone2him says, both are valid approaches but the second one is more about creating thickness in the guitar part. When using this method, it's good to play tight! And of course, you end up creating twice as much bass energy so you have to be careful about that in the way you mix.

 

But similarly to using stereo mics, you'll likely end up hard panning the doubled guitars.

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I'm working on a song that is acoustic guitar + vox only and I want to record the guitar in stereo, or at least have it in stereo in the mix.

 

I work in an untreated bedroom and I don't know if I'm better off recording in stereo with two mics or recording in mono with one mic and then playing the same part again with another mic position. It's mostly strumming.

 

What would you recommend? Which positions?

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