A common complaint from I hear is that the tracks recorded at home sound boomy, muddy and does not sound like the tracks recorded in the studio. Many aspire to set up their home studio and record acoustic guitar at home. Here are basic guidelines to record Acoustic Guitar at home.
1. Choose a condenser mic or a dynamic microphone and place it slightly diagonal to the 13th fret position around two feet away from the guitar. This should give you a natural sounding guitar tone.
2. Record it on a MONO audio track on your DAW and not in Stereo mode.
3. Never use the DI connection on acoustic guitar.
4. Set the condenser mic to the cardioid pattern as it will reject all the unwanted noise in the room.
5. I suggest you have some portions of the room treated with the Acoustic Panels to get good results. I know its expensive to treat the whole room, but with minimal treatment, you can get a good sound from your acoustic guitar.
EQ Tips on your Acoustic Guitar
First thing is to use is the High Pass Filter to remove any rumble in your room noise about 80 Hz
1. Find the bad muddy sound above 350Hz to 1 KHz by setting the Q value like a notch filter and dip it down about -2db to -4db depending on how it sounds in your song.
2. Now increase the high frequency above 4Khz around +3db to +4db depending on how it sounds in the song. This should help you with the mix.
Compression on your Acoustic Guitar:
Remember a compressor will reduce the dynamic range and make it sound equal. I would suggest you to not set to heavy compression as you will lose its natural dynamics of the instrument.
1. Set the Ratio around 2:1 or 3:1 so that we don’t want any heavy compression of the dynamics of your acoustic guitar.
2. Now set the threshold until you just hit a few dB of Gain Reduction around -3dB to -5dB.
It depends on the type of song you have and how you wanted the acoustic guitar to sound. But if you want an acoustic guitar to be heard in a loud rock concert, then I prefer my go to compressor like 1176 by UAD or Waves CLA 76 which is very aggressive and heavy in the mix.
Picture Credits: RØDE Microphones
Baba L. Prasad. He is the owner and chief Sound/Mix and Mastering Engineer and Digi Sound Studio. He also teaches Sound Engineering and Music Production courses. For more details, visit www.digisoundacademy.com