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HOW TO RECORD ACOUSTIC GUITAR

January 4, 2019

BY CJ JACOBSON

When it comes to recording any instrument, there are thousands of ways you can record them. I'm going to explain my favorite one, as it usually get me the best possible results when recording an acoustic guitar.


This recording technique will involve 3 microphones. I'm not going to get in the debate on what is the best microphones to use, That is another blog topic. For now, just use what you have available.


  • The 1st mic I will place next to my ear (either ear will do), with the mic's diaphragm pointing to the hole of the guitar. This mic should capture almost exactly what you hear. Use an LDC (large diaphragm condenser) microphone for this position.
  • The 2nd mic should be placed off axis about 6 inches to 12 inches from the sound hole. I find that an LDC mic gets me better results for this position
  • The 3rd mic should be positioned about 2" to 6" away from the 12th fret. I usually just use the good ole SM57 for this position


Others things to take into consideration are:

  1. Your room acoustics play a big role in the sound you capture from microphones. This is why you need to experiment with the position you record in. Depending on the room, you will have different results in each part of the room. Try and not get to close to any corners or walls as you may get exaggerated room reflections in your recorded audio take.
  2.  Each mic you use should get recorded onto its own mono track in your DAW. do not combine 2 mics onto a single stereo track. You want full control over each mic sound when you mix them all together.
  3.  One of the most important things to check for is phase when you are using 2 or more microphones. Please check for it before you record.

These are some of my tips. As always, there are no best ways to do anything when it comes to music production. The best way will be different for everyone, depending on many variables.