View Full Version : Acoustic Guitar Miking

01-14-2015, 04:46 PM
Any suggestions are appreciated!

I was about to cut some acoustic tracks but was a little torn.... Right now I have one AKG C-414 Condenser which I planned on placing near the 12th fret... I keep reading online it might be best to place a second towards the end of the neck as well yet the AKG has all sorts of patterns (such as the: omnidirectional polar pattern) so I wasn't sure if a second mic was totally necessary... I'm looking for the best sound possible, of course.

Any suggestions are totally appreciated!!


01-14-2015, 05:40 PM

This is just what we do and we use a good condensor mic like a U47 or Manley Ref C on the 12 th band and another mic like a Miktec CV4 low down by the Corcle hole about 1.5-1.8 cm out and it has 9 patterns and can be used with a lot of instruments.

If we use one mic only we our trusty Brauner VMX with OMNI directional or "figure 8" and that can be better than using two mics sometimes

Of course these options are depending on what type of sound you're after and the budget of your mic closet ;)

The 414 is a great acoustic mic and we have two of them (paired) and we have used both of them on guitars aswell with super nice results.

Most good condensor mics works with acoustic instruments and even though we sometimes prefer the U47 or Manley or ELA M 251 you can get awesome results with a AKG 414 if you have good preamps and a bit compression from a nice channelstrip so try test and experiment until you get the result you want :-)

Best Regards

01-14-2015, 05:45 PM
AKG 414 cardioid or hyper cardioid at the 12th fret, 10-14 inches away per taste; and a Blue woodpecker or Royer 121 angled toward the bridge. I can get silk and body this way. Of course having a killer guitar with a mediocre mic is better than a sh*t guitar with great Mics...and your ears are your best judge.

01-14-2015, 06:01 PM
I like 2 condensor mics . in a rough ballpark , one near where the neck joins the body, another half way down the body and out "about 10 inches" and check for phase issues. If they have a pickup/ piezo etc , I will record that too just so I have the option of blending that in later if needed

My biggest tip though is to experiment ..., you need someone to move those mics around for you while they sweep for sweet spots (or do it yourself while wearing good quality headphones )

- because you need to find the best blend where not only each mic sounds the best , but also to where they compliment each other ..., as moving a mic one inch here or there will make a massive difference to what your hearing in the cans.

- There are no rules here either ..., as acoustic guitars all sound so different in tone and projection from each other, as are the players styles , dynamics , and even the strings used , and even the pick used makes a big difference ..., plus the room even can adds a quality - or take away from it .

- Once you have found the sweet spot , measure the distance and location of the mics from the guitar (even take a photo with you iphone etc) ..., as the guitarist may want breaks ,or will move his chair or strumming position unannounced. You may even want to do other takes later for the same song, and trying to re-set up mics later from scratch will result in differences of tone..., You will be glad you saved this information.

- and also consider what qualities you best want to capture for the song your recording, ie; more percussiveness perhaps , warmth , or jangle etc ? and this is where having more mics + Di can give you more options.

A plug-in I like to use later on the two miced acoustic guitar tracks is Melda ; M Auto align , as it always seems to bring some crispyness back by repairing micro phase issues.

01-14-2015, 07:49 PM
Guys... Thanks so much! All great suggestions.. I'll give it all a test-run and report back.


01-15-2015, 02:43 AM
Here are a few good videos showing you hiw it can be done but I still encourage you to experiment to get the sound of your liking :-)

Mic'ing acoustic guitars :



Mic placement : http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=q2nNXnCBKaw

Difference between ribbon and condensor setup :



There are lods of videos on utube you can look at but these will get you going and see and hear the steps at your own convienience :-)

Best Regards

01-15-2015, 09:14 AM
Experimenting is crucial, as is having a good guitar in the hands of a good player. And don't forget the sound of the room and how it can hurt or help. My usual setup these days is a small condenser(Miktek C5) at the neck/body joint, and a figure 8 over the players right shoulder, looking down. This started as a pair of C5's, but I was getting some bleed of click track from the "shoulder" mic so I tried a figure 8(Miktek C7), with the null aimed at the player's ear. This reduced the click bleed and gives the added benefit of adding a room "bloom" to the sound(I have a great booth). Not that this is right for every situation, but its certainly worth a try:D

Having said all this, a friend made an absolutely killer acoustic recording with a Shure Beta 87:eek:

01-15-2015, 10:36 AM
we often use 2 akg 451's
(SDC's up close have plenty of lows.)
at a 90 degree angle and also offset a few inches,
which can be easier seen in photo 2.


also, in # 2, you can see the neumann's back on the piano stage
which we use for 50% of the sound.
(similar to offset mic-ing an electric cab for the lo's and hi's).
the rooms provide a great sense of front-to-rear depth.

after checking them with the phase box,
they almost never need more than a degree or two of adjusting,
then in the mix you can shrink the sound field down,
or keep it open and epic!
(in the mix, this method almost never requires eq
or comp/ limiting, other than HPF if the mix gets dense.)


this, btw, works best on strummy parts,
for picking parts, we would modify it a bit…

ac gtr snippet (https://www.dropbox.com/home/For%20The%20Record#)

your 414 will sound great, i would only suggest experimenting with a room mic, also.
best of luck,

01-16-2015, 05:12 AM
Do you get much bleed into the guitar mic from the vocals? I find when I do using a figure 8 pattern on the guitar mic and orienting the null towards the artist's mouth helps with that. I find figure 8 patterns have better rejection off the side then cardioids or hypercardioids.

01-16-2015, 07:28 AM
hey jack, absolutely correct bout figure 8 rejection.

in the above example we do the first pass with vocals to
check the tempo map and arrangement.
then we do a second take without singing
where he hears only the voc as a guide
and i'm monitoring only the new gtr track.

the audio ex i posted is that track.

(coincidentally, in the same dropbox folder is another piece
that was tracked live; vox, gtrs, drums, bass,
all together, no baffles, no headphones;
the bleed helped the soundstage get much bigger…)