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Recording/Mixing Tips for Acoustic Guitar and Vocals
Old 4th March 2012
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Recording/Mixing Tips for Acoustic Guitar and Vocals

Hey guys,

I would like to know how do you usually tackle mixes that have acoustic guitar and vocals only? What kind of reverb do you use on the acoustic guitar and vocals? Do you use the same type for both so that they appear that they are recorded in the same space?
Do you usually record the acoustic guitar in stereo in such a case? If so, which stereo micing technique do you use? Do you pan the guitar hard left and hard right?
Give me some tips.

Thnx
Old 5th March 2012
  #2
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Anyone?
Old 5th March 2012
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassam_m ➑️
Hey guys,

I would like to know how do you usually tackle mixes that have acoustic guitar and vocals only? What kind of reverb do you use on the acoustic guitar and vocals? Do you use the same type for both so that they appear that they are recorded in the same space?
Do you usually record the acoustic guitar in stereo in such a case? If so, which stereo micing technique do you use? Do you pan the guitar hard left and hard right?
Give me some tips.

Thnx
I am assuming you are recording these tracks separately. For acoustic guitar you want to try to EQ it and as well as add some reverb depending on how you recorded. You can record the acoustic guitar stereo if you want more of a full round sound cause of course it will hear it on both sides. I personally record acoustic stereo because i like the fullness of the guitar. Basically how i give that effect is by recording it mono first then just pan it to right and left on different tracks. For vocals, you defffinitely need to EQ and give it some pitch correction if some of it sounds off key. And adding not too much reverb into it but some.
What kind of DAW are you using?
Old 5th March 2012
  #4
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by samueljoonpak ➑️
I am assuming you are recording these tracks separately. For acoustic guitar you want to try to EQ it and as well as add some reverb depending on how you recorded. You can record the acoustic guitar stereo if you want more of a full round sound cause of course it will hear it on both sides. I personally record acoustic stereo because i like the fullness of the guitar. Basically how i give that effect is by recording it mono first then just pan it to right and left on different tracks. For vocals, you defffinitely need to EQ and give it some pitch correction if some of it sounds off key. And adding not too much reverb into it but some.
What kind of DAW are you using?
Which type or reverb do you usually use for guitar and vocals?
Old 5th March 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
My stuff is right up that alley.

I track the guitar these days with one mic as cleanly as possible and then use some creative delays to give it more real estate. I have moved away from stereo micing because of the inherent latency issues....although that latency can be musically managed. Don't like it hard panned as I think it sounds more natural if you can get it to surround the voice in a natural way.

I like a short hall with some pre-delay for the guitar that is carefully brought up in parallel. I spend a lot of time getting the decay and time just right to let the instrument breath well in its space.

For vocals I prefer an automated plate with just a little of the guitar reverb added in as well.

Old 5th March 2012
  #6
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny ➑️
My stuff is right up that alley.

I track the guitar these days with one mic as cleanly as possible and then use some creative delays to give it more real estate. I have moved away from stereo micing because of the inherent latency issues....although that latency can be musically managed. Don't like it hard panned as I think it sounds more natural if you can get it to surround the voice in a natural way.

I like a short hall with some pre-delay for the guitar that is carefully brought up in parallel. I spend a lot of time getting the decay and time just right to let the instrument breath well in its space.

For vocals I prefer an automated plate with just a little of the guitar reverb added in as well.

Nice tips there Howdy! I usually use plate and room reverb for guitar. I also like to use the same type of reverb for vocals so that the guitar and the vocals seem to be recorded in the same space and at the same time. And I like to put just a little on chorusing on the guitar! It makes it sound better IMO.
Old 6th March 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
jmikeperkins's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
There are basically 2 schools of thought on how to record acoustic guitar and vocals at the same time and I assume that is what you are really wanting to know about because almost anyone can record them separately. One technique, which I prefer, is a 3 mic system using 2 small diaphram mics on the guitar as a spaced pair (panned hard right and left in stereo) and then a large diaphram mic down the middle for the vocal. I will usually aim one small diaphram mic at the bridge of the guitar and then the other one at about the 12th fret. Obviously, this has the potential to create phase problems with the vocal mic in the middle, but it can also sound really cool and give you a natural 3D type sound and a sense of the acoustic space (and this only works in a good sounding room). It's also possible to put the small diaphram mics in an X-Y pattern in the middle but, at least for me, that has created more phase problems than the spaced pair because the small diaphram mics are too close to the single large diaphram mic. I normally use 2 Neumann KM74's for the small diaphram mics and a U77 for the vocal. If bleed and phase problems start to be excessive, a good trick is to use a large diaphram dynamic, like an EV RE-20 on the vocal in the middle because it won't pick up as much of the guitar sound as a condenser would. You also have to be careful in balancing the 3 mics to make sure the left and right channels are about at equal volume. IF YOUR GUITAR PLAYER SINGER LIKES TO MOVE AROUND A LOT WHEN THEY PLAY, the 3 mic system may not work very well because mic position is critical.

The other school of thought uses 2 mics. Typcially, one small diaphram mic at about the 12th fret and then 1 vocal mic. You would normally mix this in mono (unless you are into extreme stereo with the vocal on one speaker and the guitar on the other). This technique minimizes phase problems and bleed from one mic to the other but will not give you the cool 3d stereo that 3 mics can give. But this technique may be better in a bad sounding room. I would try both and see which one you like better, there is no right or wrong answer here. I would put the same reverb on all 3 mics because it can sound strange with one reverb on the guitar and a really different one on the vocal, but again, whatever sounds best is what you should use.
Old 6th March 2012 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmikeperkins ➑️
There are basically 2 schools of thought on how to record acoustic guitar and vocals at the same time and I assume that is what you are really wanting to know about because almost anyone can record them separately. One technique, which I prefer, is a 3 mic system using 2 small diaphram mics on the guitar as a spaced pair (panned hard right and left in stereo) and then a large diaphram mic down the middle for the vocal. I will usually aim one small diaphram mic at the bridge of the guitar and then the other one at about the 12th fret. Obviously, this has the potential to create phase problems with the vocal mic in the middle, but it can also sound really cool and give you a natural 3D type sound and a sense of the acoustic space (and this only works in a good sounding room). It's also possible to put the small diaphram mics in an X-Y pattern in the middle but, at least for me, that has created more phase problems than the spaced pair because the small diaphram mics are too close to the single large diaphram mic. I normally use 2 Neumann KM74's for the small diaphram mics and a U77 for the vocal. If bleed and phase problems start to be excessive, a good trick is to use a large diaphram dynamic, like an EV RE-20 on the vocal in the middle because it won't pick up as much of the guitar sound as a condenser would. You also have to be careful in balancing the 3 mics to make sure the left and right channels are about at equal volume. IF YOUR GUITAR PLAYER SINGER LIKES TO MOVE AROUND A LOT WHEN THEY PLAY, the 3 mic system may not work very well because mic position is critical.

The other school of thought uses 2 mics. Typcially, one small diaphram mic at about the 12th fret and then 1 vocal mic. You would normally mix this in mono (unless you are into extreme stereo with the vocal on one speaker and the guitar on the other). This technique minimizes phase problems and bleed from one mic to the other but will not give you the cool 3d stereo that 3 mics can give. But this technique may be better in a bad sounding room. I would try both and see which one you like better, there is no right or wrong answer here. I would put the same reverb on all 3 mics because it can sound strange with one reverb on the guitar and a really different one on the vocal, but again, whatever sounds best is what you should use.
Great tips there!
I currently have a Neumann TLM 103 and a Shure SM81. If you were in my position, how would you place these mics if I wanted to record the guitar and vocals separately? Would you place two mics (the Neumann and the Shure in this case) on the guitar? If so, how would you place them? And how would you tackle the mix? Or would I be better off recording the guitar with one mic knowing that those are two completely different mics?
Old 6th March 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I have had success using a LDC like that off the lower bout....down low a bit and angled up with a SDC as jmikeperkins suggests off the 12 fret.
Old 6th March 2012 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny ➑️
I have had success using a LDC like that off the lower bout....down low a bit and angled up with a SDC as jmikeperkins suggests off the 12 fret.
Is there a pic out there on the internet that shows the technique you're talking about?
How do you usually set the panning in such a case? Would you keep both channels centered?
Old 6th March 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Something like this could work......



Listen to each mic on it's own and position the mic (or the player) best. Listen some more to both and adjust accordingly.

In a situation that was tracked this way I tend to pan them out at around 75/75 but I may also fill each out with some short delays if I want then to be really full.

Have fun.
Old 6th March 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 
skybluerental's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassam_m ➑️
Hey guys,

I would like to know how do you usually tackle mixes that have acoustic guitar and vocals only? What kind of reverb do you use on the acoustic guitar and vocals? Do you use the same type for both so that they appear that they are recorded in the same space?
Do you usually record the acoustic guitar in stereo in such a case? If so, which stereo micing technique do you use? Do you pan the guitar hard left and hard right?
Give me some tips.

Thnx
almost always mono guitar and vox here.
guitar usually panned moderately to one side.
tube EMT 140 on both for reverb.
i only have 1 plate, so yes, i use the same plate for both.
RARELY do i record ac gtr in stereo, but the stereo EMT used tastefully gives it an amazing sense of space.

i usually use some light compression from a Urei LA 3A on ac guitar and either a Urei LA 3A, 1176, or Retro 176 on the vocal. sometimes 1176 or 176 and LA 3A in series. compressing lightly.

EQ varies depending on may variables. usually a little Pultec or Daking to boost the top and some low cuts from the console EQ. sometimes a Urei LA 22 for De essing if needed.......

mic choice and mic placement are the most important variables other than the guitar and performer.
Old 6th March 2012 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny ➑️
Something like this could work......



Listen to each mic on it's own and position the mic (or the player) best. Listen some more to both and adjust accordingly.

In a situation that was tracked this way I tend to pan them out at around 75/75 but I may also fill each out with some short delays if I want then to be really full.

Have fun.
Great thank you.
I was wondering would I be better of recording with one mic (Neumann TLM 103 for example) i.e: in mono and then duplicating the track and moving it a couple of ms to make it stereo?
Does this sound as if it was recorded as stereo?
Old 6th March 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Not quite.......but....

These days I track with one mic and then duplicate that track. I put a very short delay on one of those tracks (8ms-12ms) and hard pan the tracks.

The resulting stereo image will pretty much fill the side that is opposite the delayed track.
Old 24th March 2012
  #15
Lives for gear
 
chrisrulesmore's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Any tips for how best to isolate the guitar and vocal sources when recording simultaneously, other than using a dynamic on the vocal?

Thanks,
Chris
Old 24th March 2012
  #16
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evangelista's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
My preference is to capture both the vocal and guitar as one performance, into the same mic(s)

If that's all the instrumentation, I tend to go with stereo m/s 2-4 feet in front of the performer. Or sometimes blumlein.

If there's other stuff going on, it'll often be just a single LDC in mono. This only tends to work with folky/jazzy arrangements, stuff on the lighter side.

If it needs reverb, I'll put it on the whole thing. I prefer to just record it in a good sounding space with it's own ambience.
Old 25th March 2012 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisrulesmore ➑️
Any tips for how best to isolate the guitar and vocal sources when recording simultaneously, other than using a dynamic on the vocal?

Thanks,
Chris
this might help:

Vocal – Guitar Separation with Figure 8 Mics | Homebrewed Music
Old 14th July 2012
  #18
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
hi,

and what about characteristics ? figure 8, supercardioid etc... i often use a u87 in 8 at around 12th string for the guitar and a md441 for the voice. if you are carefull with the mikeplacing, there is almost no leaking.. (thats the word ?)
the md441 is rather pointing at the ceiling so the guitar wont blend in, but my miclocker is veery small and thats what there is..

here is a song i recorded that way

only 1 notch-eq on guitar , 1 lowcut and a highshelve boost on the voice and there is 1 room-mic with very low volume hard right panned. no reverb or room, but a limiter on the 2bus to keep levels. this is just a very ruffmix so the artist would allready stay with something as we leave. because the recording was done during my journey with campingbusrecords.com in a small town "sao luis do paraitinga", brazil, in a bigger room of the local cultural department.
i added a short track of only voice and only guitar so you can hear... again, this is not the mixed song and it is not recorded in a treated studioroom. the room was very reverberant, wooden floor and white big walls.. ceiling about 4 meters 7x8x4 aprox.

cheers, mati
Attached Files

m. rio branco ruff.mp3 (7.84 MB, 10174 views)

m. rio branco only guit ruf.mp3 (913.8 KB, 9266 views)

m. rio branco only voice ru.mp3 (913.8 KB, 9194 views)

Old 27th August 2012
  #19
Here for the gear
 
guitarkelton's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny ➑️
Not quite.......but....

These days I track with one mic and then duplicate that track. I put a very short delay on one of those tracks (8ms-12ms) and hard pan the tracks.

The resulting stereo image will pretty much fill the side that is opposite the delayed track.
Wouldn't that cause some phase issues on the acoustic guitar when playing back in mono?

Kelton
Old 27th August 2012
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Some......but manageable. I throw up a phase meter to double check what I am hearing.

I always check mono compatibility early on in the process. By adjusting the wet/dry mix of that short delay you can get things sounding pretty tight. I usually get that down to around 50%.
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