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Recording Vocals and Acoustic Guitar Simultaneously!
Old 24th September 2012
Here for the gear
Tpaone93's Avatar
🎧 5 years
Recording Vocals and Acoustic Guitar Simultaneously!

Ive been thinking about recording my vocals and acoustic guitar at the same time for my solo project. But everytime I try its just not coming out right. I know its best to multitrack, but I find I get much better vocal performances when im singing with my guitar, plus it adds to the song's realism which im all about. I know im going to have to deal with some mic bleed, but i would atleast like to get both vocals and guitar on separate tracks that are somewhat mixable(eq them differently and stuff). Any advice would be great, from mics, to mic placement, and anything else! thanks!
Old 24th September 2012
Lives for gear
AnthonyRochester's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Its always a tricky one as the bleed causes phase problems. A good tip I saw somewhere was to use two figure 8 pattern mics because they have strong nulls between the two sides. So point one at the mouth with the null at the guitar, and point the other at the guitar with the null towards the mouth. A deader room will help this work with very little bleed.
Old 24th September 2012
Lives for gear
travisbrown's Avatar
9 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
If you need isolation, sing tight into something with good off-axis rejection, like an RE20, SM7B, etc. A reflexion filter helps too.

But really, a little bleed never hurt anyone. I record lots of people with a 58 or 87 on vocals and a couple condensers on the guitar. Just make sure you phase align things if you run into problems.
Old 24th September 2012
Gear Addict
TexaCali's Avatar
🎧 5 years
In addition to trying to obtain as much isolation as possible via mic selection and placement, another useful trick is to take a DI off the guitar (assuming it has a transducer, if not use a sound hole pickup), note this is in addition to any mic(s) on the guitar. I'm certainly not suggesting you use the DI in lieu of the mic. That would sound terrible.

While DI signals never sound great by themselves, they can sound quite good when mixed with a mic. And of course the DI signal won't have any vocal bleed, so you can process it how ever you like without impacting the vocal.

But don't get too obsessed about bleed. A little bleed helps glue it all together and make it sound real.
Old 24th September 2012
Gear Head
🎧 10 years
Check out the July 2012 Sound on Sound, there's a feature article on recording acoustic gat and vocals simultaneously, it's well worth a read.
Old 24th September 2012
Lives for gear
matucha's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Fig-8 mics with nulls aimed at source you don't want to hear. Yes it is a bit fiddly, but rocket surgery. Little bleed brings glue and realism. What you have to consider is to really pick the right spots/mics, because you can't eq the mics too far apart in the mix without consequences.

I don't know how many tracks are at your disposal, but maybe recording a stereo pair from ~1-1.5m away and adding close mics a bit works well too (need to be time aligned in most cases). It won't work well in bad acoustics though.
Old 24th September 2012
Gear Nut
mightyfaulk's Avatar
🎧 10 years
I've been working with an acoustic songwriter for awhile now and we've had some great success sticking a single Telefunken Copperhead about three or four feet in front of him while he plays and sings. It helps to dampen the room a bit.

pros: commit to a sound right off the start, the results sound very realistic, less is more
cons: plenty of cons, try it anyways
Old 24th September 2012
Lives for gear
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Micing the singer/guitarist is the easy part. Having a performer who can get a great vocal take AND a great guitar take at the same time is the most important part of the equation. If either performance is weak I'd do my best to track them separate.

Im all for capturing this way, but you have to embrace the aesthetic.

Another idea is to play a DI'd ELECTRIC guitar while cutting the vocal. It might let you strum away without the bleed. Just an idea.
Old 24th September 2012 | Show parent
Gear Nut
🎧 10 years
This might sound to simple but I try and get the best performance with two mics at the same time. Then go back and record the acoustic guitar and then the vocal seperate . By then you know the song really good and you also have room for improvement .
Old 25th September 2012
Gear Addict
ST.'s Avatar
🎧 10 years
Depending on your guitar playing, sometimes a mono condenser mic works fine. For me a lot of the time, just a vocal mic does the trick. It usually picks up quite a bit of acoustic guitar.

Incidentally, a stereo pair combined with the aforementioned mono vocal mic can work, too. It can help give things some space.

If you're going to be singing at moderate levels or louder, however, you might want a separate guitar microphone. In that case, I agree that an RE20 would work great for your vocal microphone.

Solo acoustic guitar with vocals is all about the vibe for me. You could probably stick a cardioid a few feet away and safely call it a day if the performance and room are good enough. A good performance in this case should incorporate controlled and appropriate dynamics for your voice and your guitar, which can negate the need for an extra microphone.
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