Best Ways to Record Your Acoustic Guitar • Acoustic Tuesday 271

You’ve got the inspiration, the drive, and the courage to record your first song on acoustic guitar. But how do you truly record your guitar’s tone without being a sound engineer?

On this episode of Acoustic Tuesday, you’ll get a crash course in using microphones to capture the sound that you want out of your acoustic guitar. From choosing the right microphone to placement in your recording space, we’ll go through the basics you need to know.

One brief disclaimer though: I am not a sound engineer. I’m a working musician who’s learned over the years how to get the sound that I want depending on my gear and space. There are plenty of more in-depth perspectives out there on YouTube, so if you’re looking for a scientific analysis of recording acoustic instruments this is not it.

Now with that out of the way, I wanted to show you how different microphones and placements sound. I’ll play the same licks, back to back, within different recording configurations. I hope this demonstration will point you in the right direction!

Submit your guitarsenal at the link below! 

Featured in this episode…
– Shure  
– Ear Trumpet Labs  
– MattyGrove  
– WesternAF  

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  1. Ok. I’m catching up on AT episodes so not sure who will see this. THANK YOU FOR THIS DEMO! To answer questions. I like the Ear Trumpet mic, pointed at the neck/body joint and about 12” distant. I have watched numerous videos on mic placement for acoustic. Most of the “experts” recommend about 12” out and pointed between the neck/body joint and 12th fret. Your demo supports this idea to my ear.

    One important factor that is not discussed. I have an SE 1A large diaphragm mic. Nice budget mic but wow, does it pick up all the sound you don’t want along with the sound you do want. A Shure 57 is my next purchase. LOVE the Shure 58 beta for vocals. It works good for guitar too! And the dynamic mic with cardioid pattern eliminates the extraneous room noise. Big win!

  2. Wow – Tony this topic could not have come a better time for me. I am in the process of recording my next album and i have a song that will be just vocal and guitar so I wanted a really clean guitar track. I have Blue Baby Bottle SL Large-Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone that I have been using (its ok – not great). I moved the positioning of the microphone based on some of your examples and like the result. I am going to pick up a Shure SM57 to give the dynamic mic a try. They seem pretty affordable. The other tip I have learned when recording is simply the chair I am sitting on and learning to be still. My condenser mic picks up all my movement (squeaky chair, foot taping, etc). I have to focus on being still especially at the last strum, letting the guitar ring out and not create a bunch of background noise as the guitar fades out. Thanks for another great session.

  3. This is also off topic to your show on mics, but I recently heard of a company called Riversong Guitars in Kamloops, BC. One of their guitars (The River Pacific) just won an award for the best acoustic guitar worldwide. Can you get your hands on one and review it for us?

  4. Hey Tony. This is a little off topic, but I thought it might be of interest to you.
    The Troublesome Creek String Instrument Co is a manufacturing company that builds guitars, mandolins, and dulcimers, drawing on rich musical traditions to propel an otherwise suffering economy in Kentucky. It works to provide “refugees of the coal industry” a path forward and an opportunity to reintegrate into society post-addiction. In fact, learning to build a string instrument at Troublesome Creek is offered as a class through the local drug court for coal miners that have opioid problems. However, in July 2022, a torrential downpour led to flooding in the area, causing the banks of the Troublesome Creek to overflow and destroy equipment at the stringed instrument factory. Below is a link to the story.
    Tony if you could give a plug to this Co. would be a blessing to them. They also make darn good Guitars!!!

  5. Have to admit it was pretty exciting to see my guitarsenal featured on the show – thanks, Tony and all the crew! I watch Acoustic Tuesday quite faithfully and always find a few nuggets of guitar geek wisdom or news to investigate further. Joining TAC was one of the best choices I’ve made on this awesome journey, it’s really boosted my motivation and discipline to pick up a guitar every day. I check into the site every day to try the challenge, and also enjoy participating in the forums to discover what fellow TAC fam folks are learning and sharing. By the way, my guitarsenal has grown again since I submitted that photo, as I found a gorgeous “gently used” Seagull Performer Concert Hall Cutaway at a previously undiscovered guitar store not too far from home. Looking forward to 2023 and more guitar journey fun with TAC!