• Wish list
  • Choose your store
    All countries
  • 0

Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Recording Acoustic Guitars

4. Positioning

Whichever miking technique you opt for, the position of the mics can make a huge difference to the sound – even very small movements can radically alter the tone. Your eyes can be deceptive however - a great way to position mics is to close your eyes and monitor on a good pair of closed-back headphones. Let your ears be the judge of what sounds best, as the most odd-looking position can often work very well.

Mono

The mic should generally be aimed at the area where the neck joins the body, at a distance of around 30cm. This can be increased to 60cm or more, but only in a good sounding, quiet room. Pointing the mic slightly towards the left hand will help to capture more detail, whereas a softer sound can be achieved by pointing towards the sound hole, but this may give too much bottom end unless you also raise the mic vertically by a few centimetres. As always, listening is the key!

Pseudo Stereo: Multi-mic

There is no other single mic position that gives as consistently good results as the area around the neck joint. However, a second mic is often employed, pointed towards the area around the bridge - this position tends to sound rather thin and nasal on its own, but a large diaphragm mic can add warmth. By blending this with a small diaphragm mic in the traditional position and panning left and right, you can achieve a big, wide sound. The bridge mic is generally mixed lower than the neck/body mic, but the beauty of this technique is that by recording to separate tracks, the balance and overall character can be adjusted at mixdown.

True Stereo: X-Y Pair

True stereo techniques can also be used to good effect. The most obvious is the X-Y pair, where two cardioid microphones are placed with their capsules as close together as possible, one just above the other, at an angle of approximately 90 degrees.

Positioning can be critical here. Getting the best neck/body sound at the same time as the best bridge sound can be tricky. Small variations in the angle between the mics and overall distance can have a significant effect. Again, keep listening as you go.

True Stereo: Mid & Side Recording

In the standard version of this stereo recording method, a cardioid or supercardioid microphone is pointed towards the source, and a figure-8 mic is placed at 90 degrees, directly above or below.

The ‘mid’ (mono) signal comes from the cardioid mic. The ‘side’ signal from the figure-8 mic provides phase and level information for the stereo image. A complete stereo signal is achieved by splitting the side signal and feeding it to two channels, one of which is phase inverted. These two channels are then panned hard left and right, while the mono signal is panned centrally - the stereo image ‘widens’ as the level of the side signals is raised relative to the level of the mid signal.

M&S recording can produce a very coherent stereo image, and unlike other stereo recording methods, it is completely mono compatible, which is important for TV and radio. When a M&S recording is summed to mono, the side channels cancel out completely, leaving just the central mono signal. For this reason the M&S array should be positioned as though it were a mono mic. As the side mic is not pointing directly at the instrument, this technique can introduce unwanted colouration and background noise, and its selection therefore depends much on the ambient noise level and sound of the room.

Some mixers and mic pre-amps feature integrated M&S decoding. This is convenient, but not essential as long as you have a phase switch and some way to split a signal. This can be done very easily with most hard disk recording software.

N.B. Many close-miking techniques can be given added ambience by using an additional mic placed further back to capture the sound of the room. This technique should never be used with M&S recording however, because the stereo picture is entirely a product of phase relationships between the M and S channels, which an ambient mic signal will confuse and usually completely destroy. For the same reason, the two side faders should always be set at exactly the same level and moved together – the easiest way to ensure this is to use software or an automated desk to group them.

Your Contact People
PA
Phone: +49-9546-9223-35
FAX: +49-9546-9223-24
Phone: +49-9546-9223-20
FAX: +49-9546-9223-24
Get Your Free Copy of our Hot Deals Catalogue!

More than 7.800.000 musicians are avid readers of Thomann's Hot Deals catalogue. Get your free copy now! More than 500 current offers!

Hot Deals
Question!
Question! Give the right answer and win 1x Stairville Led Bar 240/8 RGB DMX 30° worth €61.
Which of the following is not a microphone polar pattern?
Conditions of participation
Terms and Conditions for participation
in online competitions

Note: Participation in an online competition runs independently from any purchase at Thomann GmbH. The following Competition Rules apply when participating in any online competition run by Musikhaus Thomann:

  1. Competition

    1. The competitions are organised by Thomann GmbH, CEO: Hans Thomann, Hans-Thomann-Straße 1, 96138 Burgebrach, Germany.
  2. Participation

    1. Competitions are only open to persons of full age.
    2. To take part in the competition you must answer all questions correctly, fill in the registration form and submit your entry to Thomann GmbH by pressing the "send" button.
      By pressing the "send" button the participant accepts the aforementioned terms and conditions.
    3. The participant is responsible for entering their email and/or postal address correctly. Entries to the competition will be logged electronically.
  3. Qualifying Entrants

    1. Staff of Thomann GmbH and any cooperation partners and their dependants are excluded from participation.
    2. Should these conditions of participation be violated, especially by using illegitimate means, Thomann GmbH reserves the right to exclude persons from the competition. In case of such violations prizes can be withdrawn and claimed back subsequently.
  4. Announcing the winner

    1. The winners will be notified by Thomann GmbH by email or in writing and their names may be published on the homepage www.thomann.de. The winner accepts this form of publication explicitly.
      Should for whatever reason the winner not claim their prize, then a new winner will be drawn.
    2. The prize presented to the winner may not be identical to the item description. There can be deviances regarding the model, colour etc.
    3. The merchandise prizes will be sent by Thomann GmbH or by one of its contracting delivery companies, per freight forwarder, courier or postal service to the postal address indicated by the winner.

      The delivery is free of charge. Only extra transport costs and customs/duties must be covered by the winner. In the case that the delivery has to be made through a freight forwarding company the freight forwarding company will contact the winner to arrange delivery timings.
    4. An exchange, cash alternative or replacement prize is not possible.
    5. The claim to the prize or replacement of the prize cannot be assigned to a third party.
  5. Data protection

    1. The participant accepts explicitly that Thomann GmbH saves all necessary data for the duration of the competition and forwards them exclusively for purposes related to the winning process to the respective cooperation partner, who is also permitted to save the personal data only for the duration of the competition. The participant is free to withdraw his entry at any time. Please direct the withdrawal to:

      Thomann GmbH
      to the data protection officer
      Hans-Thomann-Straße 1
      96138 Burgebrach, Germany
    2. Thomann GmbH is obliged to consider the regulations for data protection according to the Federal Data Protection Law (BDSG) valid at the conclusion of the competition. In this context the general data protection regulations under notes regarding data protection should be noted.
  6. Liability

    1. Thomann GmbH will be released from any obligations by handing out the prize.
    2. Thomann GmbH is not liable for the insolvency of a cooperation partner and the resulting consequences for the implementation and processing of the competition.
  7. Other

    1. Legal proceedings are barred.
    2. The law of the Federal Republic of Germany applies exclusively.
One of our groupies
My order has now been received. Thank you so very much! I can't thank you enough! Merry Christmas!
thebaxxxns222@gxxx.com, 23.12.2016

Recording Acoustic Guitars overview

(1)
(52)
(1)
(1)
(1)
(1)
(1)
Feedback

Found an error or want to give us feedback about this page?

We're looking forward to hearing from you and aim to solve any problems as soon as we can.

cancel