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  • Dana Nielsen

    November 5, 2023 at 12:07 am

    Jesseeeeee!! This is such an excellent question I can’t wait to answer (cause I love this stuff and think about – and experiment with – all the time). I’ll probably circle back to this post when I have more time to elaborate, but a quick basic answer from my personal perspective would be:

    • I love multi-mic acoustic guitar, especially when the guitar is the main focus of the mix/performance. Usually I’m using multiple mics to a) capture a bigger, fuller-frequency picture of the instrument, and b) so I can pan the mics across the stereo field for a wider “immersive” vibe. As such, I’m often choosing mic placements that are fairly tonally balanced, panning them, bussing them to a stereo aux input (or recording them directly onto a stereo track if I’m feeling really confident and/or lazy lol), and then EQ-ing the combined signal as one unified guitar sound.
    • Sometimes tho I will touch up individual mics to remove resonant frequencies or hi-pass a mic with sub rumble etc. before they get summed together on the “Ac Gtr” stereo aux input channel for further EQ/compression/etc.

    So I guess my short answer is: I do both. Sometimes. But also, not all the time. Easy right? 😂

    I will say tho, that putting one mic on the fretboard for left hand definition and one mic on the body for right hand body could be more effective when summed together in mono rather than stereo (like I do often with upright bass) since, as you mentioned, the two parts of the instrument sound tonally pretty different from one another. If you were to pan those mics wide it might feel weird with all the low end body on the left speaker and relatively no body on the right speaker.

    If you were, however, to put a stereo mic placement (XY, Blumlein, ORTF, etc) in front of the guitar near where the neck meets the body and back a foot or more, you’ll still be getting the best of both worlds (body from the body of the guitar, clarity and definition from the neck) but the sound will be more equally balanced in each mic since the two mics are placed right next to each other (also called a “coincident pair” of mics) so that the full combined frequency spectrum of the instrument (neck and body) arrives at the two mics at exactly the same time, which makes for a very balanced Left/Right image … if that’s what you’re going for.

    There are so many other fun ways I like to multi-mic acoustic guitar too, which would be easier to demonstrate visually/audibly … maybe I’ll make a video series…

    Meantime, there are those two vids on the Mix Protégé Instagram page about exactly these techniques (which I know you’ve already seen, but for anyone else reading this who might be interested ….)

    Aaaaand, as usual, my “short quick answer” turned into a long one! haha. I can’t help myself. I love this stuff!! Keep us posted on your acoustic guitar mic’ing experiments!