Audio Engineering

How To Record Acoustic Guitar

How To Acoustic Guitar
Comments (25)
  1. Dik Hedlund says:

    Warren – turn the music down — straining to hear your voice. Bad mix.

    1. Warren Huart says:

      Hi Dik Hedlund, I just listened and can hear my voice fairly well. May I ask how are you listening? I only because your comments are aways regarding not hearing me talk? Some people would say not hearing me talk is a blessing! So I suppose I should take it as a compliment! Have a marvellous time recording and mixing, many thanks Warren

      1. Dik Hedlund says:

        Warren – I’m listening in a tuned studio control room. Check you mix somewhere else.

        1. Warren Huart says:

          I’m sorry it’s not working for you @dikhedlund:disqus, I just changed over to ear buds and it’s all good, the blend with the acoustic so you can hear the adjustments I make sounds right to me, otherwise we wouldn’t hear that. But I do understand, we all hear things differently and it’s not always possible to mix for everyone’s tastes and that’s great, that’s what there’s so many options in Producers. Engineers and Mixers and why we all love such a huge diversity of music! Have a marvellous time recording and mixing, many thanks Warren

          1. spark240 says:

            Hi Guys, I too find the guitar in the background a little overpowering ?

            On HS7 monitors

          2. Martin Weeks says:

            Seems to me that’s the point…to hear “how” the guitar is sounding using the compressors in the manner Warren spoke of.

  2. eX Cess says:

    How would you handle a guitar/vocal tune?
    I like to at least use 2 mics, sometimes even 3 (did it 2 days ago) so the guitar can have a nice “natural” stereo feel (I’ll post it it when done but it’s a C451 near the nut panned left, SolidTube on 12/15fret center, another C451 on the bridge panned right), phases chacked of course.

    I wouldn’t do that on a track with mutliple instruments, but for my duo I like it 🙂

    1. Warren Huart says:

      Hi @plap-disqus-4734ba6f3de83d861c3176a6273cac6d:disqus that’s a huge question! I only ever record like that if the it’s just a guitar vocal or very limited instrumentation! However my best suggestion is to use a dynamic mic on the vocal and a condenser on the guitar. Hyper Cardioid options obviously will be best, but whatever you do there will be bleed, but embrace it and you’ll be fine! haha Have a marvellous time recording and mixing, many thanks Warren

  3. Tom MacDonald says:

    To record acoustic guitars I like to place my head in front of the acoustic guitar while they play and find the sweet spot , because every player and guitar have different output.

    1. Warren Huart says:

      Hi @disqus_OAlO6MWwpW:disqus! Definitely! It’s all about capturing the best sound and finding where that might be! Have a marvellous time recording and mixing, many thanks Warren

  4. Mj says:

    Warren this is an incredibly helpful video.!! This method is helping me step by not only with technical -but with principles. Thanks a million. FYI: listening to video on iPhone 7 plus in car in parking lot in Scranton pa and the acoustic guitar in control room is significantly louder than your voice.

    But still got the precious info. Extremely grafteful for you sharing your compression chain.
    Stay strong.

    1. Warren Huart says:

      Thanks @disqus_Ya4zsievnw:disqus! Thanks for the kind words! So glad to be able to help! Glad you enjoyed the video and found it helpful! Have a marvellous time recording and mixing, many thanks Warren

  5. chris.massa says:

    Some nice new video graphics! Good job. I love using the Lewitt LCT340 on acoustic gtr and hi hat.

    1. Warren Huart says:

      Great stuff chris.massa yes, I love using my Lewitt LCT340 as well on Acoustic and overheads! Yes, some new graphics for fun, for this series it’s cool to separate them from other videos! Have a marvellous time recording and mixing, many thanks Warren

  6. L Scott Knight says:

    Say hi to Lenny for me. That Yamaha looks exactly like mine. Is that an FG450s? That AP DT1 I left you is a hyper cardioid and sounds good on acoustic, IMO.

    1. Warren Huart says:

      Hi @l_scott_knight:disqus great stuff! I believe the Yamaha is an LL16, great guitar! Excited to try the mic! Have a marvellous time recording and mixing, many thanks Warren

  7. Claude Visagie says:

    Great video! Super informative and everything was explained really well. Thanks for giving us this insight.

    1. Warren Huart says:

      Thanks very much @claudevisagie:disqus! Glad to be able to help! I like this format and I hope to do a few more like this! Have a marvellous time recording and mixing, many thanks Warren

  8. Martin Weeks says:

    Wonderful video Sir. I know I’d enjoy being mentored by you. Your ease of explanation is so totally refreshing. And Yes if our financial situation was a bit better I’d definitely do the Academy. Just not possible right now. (Going through really tough “FUBAR” type os scenario right now.)
    However, I adopted the mentality of mentorship when Linda & I jumped back into the whole music production thing. I bookmark all your videos (and other tutorials as well) and carefully organize the folders so I have easy access to specific things when I’m confused.

    Using multiple compressors with smaller adjustments has been a good thing for us since the start. The only issues we have are of course “not having the most ram efficient computer set up” This will of course eventually be resolved as we earn enough extra $$ to pay for ram, or more updated computer etc. But for the moment I often have to get real “clever” to do in the box what you demonstrated in the video with the hardware. Perhaps it’s just me still not quite “getting it” as they say regarding using compression correctly. But it seems there’s always a bit of improvement as we complete each new song.

    I know there are “Plugins” that emulate 1176’s out there but they are not freebies. So a question if you don’t mind.

    I believe you (as well as others) did a review a while back on the Klaghelm MJUC Compressor bundle. Like myself and others you really loved it.
    That has become my go to compressor for several things. Usually based on what instrument or vocals I’m working with. In that bundle the version 3 with a setting of four (lower right side of the gui, and just a bit of gain reduction, it works “Marvelously Well” in a drum bus.
    For other instruments it’s more or less search, try, play with it for a while etc. But as a drum bus compressor that setting just does everything right all by itself. Kick comes out front but musically, snare sits well, and cymbals are fine (I do have to lower the gain in cymbals before the fact but I would think that would be normal anyway due to the dynamics of cymbals to begin with)
    I use Studio One Artist not Pro Tools, and their stock compressor seems to me to be the equal of the Pro Tools stock compressor possibly a bit better but I am not qualified to say so…just really like the way it works. So would I be able to more or less duplicate what you did in the video with the two compressors for an acoustic guitar track using the stock compressor on the front end, and the MJUC on the back as the last plugin in the chain?
    Now here’s a detail question relating to the one above. In the video you spoke about the ratio(?) level set at 10 or 20 (did I get that right?) and you said “almost like a limiter” I believe?
    A lot of modern compressor plugins come with presets that specifically say Limiter. In other words if you click that setting they are pre set to that ratio and/or threshold. Ergo if I’m using MJUC as the last compressor in the chain in the manner you spoke about as just to catch those transients before they hit the mix bus, would I just set the settings to Limiter? Or should I manually adjust the compressor settings to the way you set it? I generally don’t like using presets or auto respond as most plugins just don’t really get it right in their defaults due to not knowing how my room and gear actually is (no blame here it is what it is). I have to consider how much ram and CPUage I’m asking my computer to run when doing this hence the question.

    Thanks again for another great tutorial. And of course The Merriest of Christmas’s to you and your family Warren.


    Marty Weeks.
    P.S. Linda says hi and Merry Christmas too.
    Still working on videos for your “Show Us Your Studio” FB post.

    1. Warren Huart says:

      Hi Martin Weeks yes, Klanghelm make wonderful plug ins! The MJUC is a go to for me too! I wish you a Merry Christmas as well! Have a marvellous time recording and mixing, many thanks Warren

  9. metalsine says:

    Nice vid Warren. Interesting your way of recording with 2 compressors where one of them has a fixed threshold. Would a dbx160a be appropriate for the Job, too? I could get one to combine with my wa-76. Thanks

    1. Warren Huart says:

      Hi @plap-disqus-7f975a56c761db6506eca0b37ce6ec87:disqus, yes indeed, I use the output of the DBX and the gain in the 1176 to achieve the compression I require from the 1176. It’s juts set to limit peaks only. Yes I think the Warm 1176 would give you similar results! Have a marvellous time recording and mixing, many thanks Warren

  10. Frank Pérez says:

    Hi Warren,
    Great video and tips as always. I would like to know if you always use eq and/or compression on input like you did in the video? Also if you do, to what kind of tracks do you do that to I.e. Vocals,acoustic guitars(like in video), bass, drums(kick snare only or oh too) etc? You wouldn’t do that to track miced cabinet of “DISTORTED” guitar I would think.

    Thanks for the input and have a great holiday!

  11. jonnyjonjon says:

    great video Warren, thanks…. i would like to ask about the stacked compressors… i always thought that the first compressor was the quick one, snipping off the peaks, so as to let the second unit behave more smoothly…. i would love it if you went into this a bit more.

    thank you!!

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