10 Tips for Recording Acoustic Guitar at Home
by Frederik Nielsen, Mar 17, 2020 . 3 min read
We recently covered how to record electric guitar at home, so we thought it would be appropriate to give you some tips for recording acoustic guitar at home as well.
But first things first.
It should go without saying that your guitar needs to be in tune before you record, so make sure you have all the tools you need to get the job done.
With that out of the way, here are ten tips for recording acoustic guitar at home so you can get a good demo down prior to going to the studio.
1. Use New(ish) Strings
Old and worn-out strings won’t produce the best sound, so make sure you’re using new ones. Remember to use them a bit before recording, as brand new strings can sound too bright.
2. Use Condenser Microphones
3. Consider Ribbon Microphones
Although we just advised you to use condenser microphones, there are also some nice ribbon microphones that can give your acoustic guitar a much smoother and warmer sound.
4. Reduce the Bass
Many guitar players think that the best sound comes from the sound-hole. While that’s true for a live setting, it simply produces too much bass when you point the microphone directly at it.
5. Target the Sweet Spot
If you only have one microphone, then make sure to point it at the 12th fret where the neck and body of your guitar connects. That’s the sweet spot where you capture all the frequencies.
6. Target the First Fret
If you have more than one mic, then make sure you point one at the first fret of the guitar. It’ll capture all the intricacies of the strings and your hand movements as you play.
7. Change the Microphone Positions
The 1st and 12th frets will give you a nice sound, but don’t be afraid to experiment with the microphone positioning. Try subtle position changes until you find the perfect sound for you.
8. Record in Stereo
More microphones are always better, and a stereo track can really add a lot of space and width to your record. Use the X/Y stereo recording technique to get a much fuller sound.
9. Double-Track Your Riffs
Double-tracking isn’t just for heavy metal. Acoustic guitars can also benefit from double-tracking where you pan each track to either side of the mix to get a wider sound. Just beware of phasing!
10. Record Direct
Does your acoustic guitar have a plug, do you want to use certain effects, or just don’t have a mic? Then consider recording directly into a DI box and through to your DAW of choice.
Now you have ten new tips for recording acoustic guitar at home. These tips can and should also be applied in a professional studio setting, so they’ll always be relevant!
Check out some of these other guides on recording guitar:
- 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Recording Guitar
- Want to Record Guitar Like a Pro? Obey These Rules!
- How to Build a Home Studio
- Recording Tips for Home Studios
- Mixing Tips for Home Studios
- Fixing Guitar Recording with Logic Pro X Flex Time & Pitch