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The Acoustic Guitar

The acoustic guitar has a delicate timbre which can be captured through careful microphone placement. Make sure the guitar is set up properly and that there is no fret buzz or rattle and the strings are new and designed to reduce finger squeaks. Microphone Choice A capacitor microphone with a smooth extended frequency response from 80kHz upwards. This will give a clear, detailed quality sound. If there is a problem with string squeak try using a dynamic microphone. Microphone Placement There are quite a number of possible microphone placements which produce excellent results, but a microphone position 2ft from the instrument pointing to the spot where the neck joins the body is a good starting point. If the sound is too boomy move the microphone further away from the sound hole along the neck or positioned above the guitar looking down. If the sound lacks body, move closer. Try and identify any sweet spots by listening to the performer as they warm up. Use headphones as you move the microphone about. Record the guitar in stereo if possible by placing a couple of microphones 2/3ft in front of the uitar, moving the position slightly to obtain a good sound. Remember pointing a microphone close to the sound hole will produce a boomy sound whereas moving the microphone up the neck will produce a thinner sound. For solo classical guitar record in a recital hall or warmly reverberant room placing the microphones 3-8 ft away, closer to reduce room reverb, further to increase reverb with the set up shown below.