I've read a lot on this subject and as usual, I found about as many different opinions as I did experts.  This is how I do it with great success.

First of all you need to get a proper microphone.  Most people just use the voice mic that's provided where you're playing and that will work, but not give you the fidelity you need to really get all the sound your acoustic guitar has to offer.  Condenser cardioid unidirectional mics with a small diaphragm & flat frequency response are best for close miking of your guitar because they have less bass boost than other directional types when placed close to the guitar.  If you have the bucks, the AKG C480B, DPA 4011, and the Neumann KM184, are considered to be about the best.  These will run you from maybe 800 - 2200 USD.  The more reasonable for most budgets and stage use are the Shure SM81, AKG C1000S, and Audio-Technica AT3528.  These will run from maybe 250 to 550 USD.  The recording/sound engineer I work with advised me to get the AKG C1000S.  I paid about 250 USD for it and I am very satisfied with it.

If you are only going to use one mic (and most sound dudes will only offer one) position it as follows...

I position the mic between the sound hole and the edge of the guitar body approximately 3 inches away to start off with.  This reproduces fingerstyle and quiet playing great.  You can hear all the harmonics and nuances that make acoustic guitar what it is.  If I need to play louder or adjust volume, I back off to about 6 to 8 inches.  You can experiment to see what you like personally.  To get more bass, bring the sound hole a little closer to the mic.  Depending on the set up, you may experience feed back when you do this so be careful with the sound hole thing. 

If you have the pleasure of using two hopefully identical mics, place one at the 12th fret and another by the bridge.  There's a  [ 3 TO 1 Rule Of Thumb ]  for distances.  If you mic for instance 5 inches from the guitar, the mics should be 15 inches apart.

Bob, Gman ( o )==#


HOME                         BACK TO PLAYING TIPS