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Recording Acoustic Guitars
Old 26th January 2009
  #1
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Odey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Recording Acoustic Guitars

Hi gearslutz,
I am looking for a good mic for recording Steel string and classical Acoustic guitars.. Any suggestions on which one would be suitable would be much appreciated. Sorry.. a bit of a naive question.. just a bit lost

Thanks

Odey
Old 26th January 2009
  #2
Gear Nut
 
MagnumXK's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
what is you pricerange? It will be the biggest deciding factor.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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gear is cool's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
hey odey,
i've been digging the royer 112 lately on ac guitars.
-joe
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Addict
 
macrae11's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
For SDC's

Expensive: Gefell M295/296
Cheap : Audio Technica AT4051
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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Odey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Fairly high end budget.. Β£1200.. give or take
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
70% Coffee, 30% Beer
 
Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by macrae11 ➑️
Gefell M295/296
These are amazing options for anything and everything.

Using three 296's on a decca in a room is about the closest thing to zen I've experienced.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
70% Coffee, 30% Beer
 
Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Odey ➑️
Fairly high end budget.. Β£1200.. give or take
Call Kev over at Unity Audio to check out the MFG KM69 !!

Here are some samples
Audio and More
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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gwailoh's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi Odey:

The Neumann KM84 is often cited as a gold standard on acoustic guitar. No longer manufactured; currently around $1200 - $1300 US from a reputable used mic dealer who will ensure that you get a good one. Note that the KM184 isn't the same. Hope this helps.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
teo
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teo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwailoh ➑️
Hi Odey:

The Neumann KM84 is often cited as a gold standard on acoustic guitar. No longer manufactured; currently around $1200 - $1300 US from a reputable used mic dealer who will ensure that you get a good one. Note that the KM184 isn't the same. Hope this helps.
I love the 84 on nylon string guitar, not so much on steel string...more of a shoeps person on that, if it's available...Since id does not fit into the budget right now, i'm also looking for an alternative (having the 84)...anybody has a file recorded with the royer to upload?

P.S. I don't know over there, but in Europe KM84s are much cheaper...i've seen them go for (IIRC) 700E...
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Nut
 
wheatus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Beyer M160

I've recently discovered that a Beyer Dynamic M160 on a steel string through a tube ribbon pre with no comp or eq is about the best thing that ever happened...ever. Point it towards the neck side of the sound hole and go.

AND you can save Β£ on the Beyer M160 and spend more on the pre.

I have also found that, more than any condenser, ribbons sound like what you put them in front of...they are fragile and not made for the big SPL's (unless you are using the Crowley and Tripp Alien spacecraft debris models)...But for capturing the nuance and the reality... they can't be beat....smooth and deep and real on the transient image tip.

Ribbons,
brendan b brown
wheatus.com
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Deleted 86c3d96
Guest
For a cheap microphone, does anyone like the Rode NT5 pair for ~$400 for acoustic guitar? I never used them, but have considered them from time to time.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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sdelsolray's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Odey ➑️
Fairly high end budget.. Β£1200.. give or take
With patience, a used pair of Microtech Gefell M295 sould be found at your price. They are stunning mics for acoustic or classical guitar.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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TanTan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwailoh ➑️
Hi Odey:

The Neumann KM84 is often cited as a gold standard on acoustic guitar. No longer manufactured; currently around $1200 - $1300 US from a reputable used mic dealer who will ensure that you get a good one. Note that the KM184 isn't the same. Hope this helps.
+1 . i have to second that !

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheatus ➑️
I've recently discovered that a Beyer Dynamic M160 on a steel string through a tube ribbon pre with no comp or eq is about the best thing that ever happened...ever. Point it towards the neck side of the sound hole and go.
I have a pair of Beyer M160's, great microphones, but i never found them useful for acoustic guitars, i love the combination of LDC's and SDC's..
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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Odey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Great advice thanks...

Sounds like the KMi 84 is the one.. Can pick up a 2nd hand one for about Β£500-600..

What other instruments is this mic considered good for? And is it generally a handy mic to have around?

Thanks again
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwailoh ➑️
Hi Odey:

The Neumann KM84 is often cited as a gold standard on acoustic guitar. No longer manufactured; currently around $1200 - $1300 US from a reputable used mic dealer who will ensure that you get a good one. Note that the KM184 isn't the same. Hope this helps.
There is no "gold standard" for any instrument. KM84's are too noisy for quiet acoustic playing (like classical) and many are quite different from each other due to age so a stereo pair is hard to come by.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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Odey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
So what would be a good mic for classical guitar recording in your opinion?

thanks
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Depends on too many things to make a blanket recommendation. The room, the repertoire, the instrument, the player, the microphone technique, miking in stereo or mono, spots with outriggers or Blumlein.

You simply cannot make a meaningful single mike statement. The room is the biggest factor of all, though.

There are plenty of threads on classical guitar recording on this board with many experiences detailed by players and recordists.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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TheMIXIMAL's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Odey,

"Classical recording" can imply solo, or solo to be later accompanied by other instrumentation.

If the acoustic is to be blended with other instruments, I recommend the RODE NT4. It is a stereo microphone, and can sound quite 'realistic'. A slightly 'sweeter' stereo micing arrangement can be created with the Peluso CEMC6 stereo kit: Peluso Microphone Lab

The KM84 can be excellent as well, as long as you find one which has been well maintained and not electronically butchered ("modded"). The NT4, CEMC6, and KM84 are all solid-state small diaphram mics.


If the acoustic guitar tracks are to be solo tracks, I recommend the Peluso P12: Peluso Microphone Lab. The P12 is a large-diaphragm tube microphone, similar to the AKG C12.


Also, microphone preamplifiers can truly alter the sound of a microphone, so beware of using an excellent mic with something like a Digi001's mic preamp... which will alter the sound quite a bit.

If 'hi-fi' is your goal, I recommend the AEA TRP as a 2 channel preamplifier. It has alot of gain, and is very smooth sounding.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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Odey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Most of the recording will be Nylon string strumming and arppegiating.. to create soft rhythms in downtempo loungey/ambient jazz tracks.. The room is medium size and not that well treated.. preamp will be a TG2 ... So looking for a decent Mic to capture whats going on.. Guitarist is very experienced... Can only afford one mic for now.. but the preamp has 2 inputs..

Thanks

Luke
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Nut
 
TheMIXIMAL's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Odey ➑️
Most of the recording will be Nylon string strumming and arppegiating.. to create soft rhythms in downtempo loungey/ambient jazz tracks..

Luke,

the TG2 should sound superb with all of the mics mentioned. I would personally go with the Peluso P12 and one CEMC, based on your description of use (the CEMC more for strumming / ambience and the P12 to accentuate the Nylon leads). You can record the two together and perhaps automate the mix, or record seperate tracks.

The P12 is also an excellent Vocal mic, if you may want to add vocals later as well.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Odey ➑️
Most of the recording will be Nylon string strumming and arppegiating.. to create soft rhythms in downtempo loungey/ambient jazz tracks.. The room is medium size and not that well treated.. preamp will be a TG2 ... So looking for a decent Mic to capture whats going on.. Guitarist is very experienced... Can only afford one mic for now.. but the preamp has 2 inputs..

Thanks

Luke
The first mic I would try then would be a KM184. Quiet, very natural sound, low distortion and detailed.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Luke - I can recommend Calrec mics for acoustics - Now called Hebden Sound 3000 series.

They are SDC so self noise is higher than LDCs. Don't know how they compare to KM84/184 but they look similar

They have a full-bodied clear sound, not too bright. Sound great on drums too!

Never seen this but just found this link > Recording Acoustic Guitar

looks like they are using the omni version of the 3000
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #23
70% Coffee, 30% Beer
 
Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt ➑️
Depends on too many things to make a blanket recommendation. The room, the repertoire, the instrument, the player, the microphone technique, miking in stereo or mono, spots with outriggers or Blumlein.

You simply cannot make a meaningful single mike statement. The room is the biggest factor of all, though.

There are plenty of threads on classical guitar recording on this board with many experiences detailed by players and recordists.
Great Post!!!
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Addict
 
Fieldstone's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell ➑️
Great Post!!!
+1

If I have a great space, a nice sounding guitar, and the piece has the player playing a rhythm part, I'll throw up an Avenson STO-2 that I got from Mercenary.
If the room is not as good, I'll treat it best I can and try one of a couple of SM81s I have that sound slightly different, sometimes I'll even go to a set of Sony ECM33f's.

If the player is finger picking, my favorite is low end MXL V69 (I'm a slummer, I know).

For me it really depends. Most swiss army mics will be useful.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #25
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gwailoh's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt ➑️
The first mic I would try then would be a KM184. Quiet, very natural sound, low distortion and detailed.
Not trying to start an argument. For whatever my ears are worth, I really wouldn't use a KM184, which, again to my ears, sound natural on pretty much nothing.

Whereas the KM84, to me, is pretty much a go-to on acoustic. Again, for me.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
gwailoh's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Odey ➑️
Sounds like the KMi 84 is the one.. Can pick up a 2nd hand one for about Β£500-600..

What other instruments is this mic considered good for? And is it generally a handy mic to have around?
Really great snare mic.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
By far the best classical and flamenco guitar sounds I've gotten have come from an Earthworks TC40k (or a pair). Noisy as all getout, but amazingly full and natural, and I'm always happy when I go back to the tracks after fretting (accidental pun) over the noise during the recording sessions. Same thing with piano and harp. The newer model QTC's are a few db quieter.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #28
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Fieldstone's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Ok. Not to hijack, but rather to dovetail....

Does anyone have recommendations for a microphone that has the following characteristics:

1) Has smooth highs, enough bite in the upper mids, full lows (at 12 inches)
2) Has a Fig 8 pattern (for those guitarist/vocalists)
3) Under $1k
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Nut
 
TheMIXIMAL's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fieldstone ➑️
1) Has smooth highs, enough bite in the upper mids, full lows (at 12 inches)
2) Has a Fig 8 pattern (for those guitarist/vocalists)
3) Under $1k

Based on your request, I would recommend the Audio Technica 4050.

IMHO: Not the 'biggest' lows, but the lows are clear (not muddy), and the AT4050 sounds good on acoustics and some vocals as well.
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #30
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greatgreatriver's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm loving beyer M260 on ac guitar...

Enjoy!
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