Doesn’t it feel good to go around town with your beautiful acoustic guitar, collect badges on its strap and play music whenever you feel like? However, when it comes to recording an acoustic guitar, you could meet disappointment. When guitars are recorded improperly, which happens quite often, you find a harsh and unpleasant sound that interferes with the vocals, if you have added any to your recordings.
If you want to play the acoustic guitar and make sure it gets recorded smoothly and perfectly, follow these five simple steps.
Tune The Guitar
Before touching any recording equipment, make sure that your guitar is tuned to perfection. If one of your guitars doesn’t sound right, pick another one and tune it well. Make sure all worn out strings are replaced. If you want a fresh and vibrant note, opt for a newer guitar or new strings. If you want a mellow tone, opt for worn out strings. Tune the guitar with the help of a digital tuner. There are many guitar tuners available on the market for as less as $10. However, you can get yourself a free app for tuning as well.
Depending on what kind of song you are singing, you may want to experiment with the strings as well. The most common option available to you is the phosphor bronze. They have a beautiful metallic sheen, and they make heavier and fuller sounds. The 80/20 bronze is perfect for more traditional songs. If you wanted a fresher tone, opt for a non-coated variety of strings, regardless of what they are made of. Coating helps to prevent the strings from damage but make the sounds heavier too.
Set Up The Recording Equipment
Now, set up your recording equipment in place. If you have a home recording studio, nothing better than that. You should have at least one, decent quality microphone at your disposal. If you are singing while playing the guitar, you will need two. Make sure that the microphones are adequately positioned. Condenser mics are best for recording the sound of guitars as they pick up a lot of sounds. Don’t record the sound of the guitar directly. Instead, let the music be recorded on your computer with the help of a mic.
Placement Of The Equipment
If you are using two mics for the guitar, use them as spaced pairs. If you only have one, make sure that it is placed near the soundboard. This helps in getting the best sound quality possible. The reverb and the number of equipment around you also create a difference in the sound you produce. Make sure that there is some space around you. If you are recording in a crammed-up setup, the recording quality could be affected. Try to record at a few different places before deciding the right spot for recording.
Set Up The DAW Session
You need to have a good quality audio interface, coupled with a DAW software that will help you record smooth sounds. GarageBand is a popular DAW used by come producers on Macs. You can use any software of your choice. Just make sure it is known for quality production. Make sure that your devices are appropriately connected to the computer. Double check that all instruments are recognized by your computer, and they are working.
The number of tracks and the bit rate of these tracks is important when it comes to recordings. The good news is that an acoustic guitar doesn’t need too many tracks. Therefore, even newbies can try it. While recording, opt for recording at least two full passes. However, you can record even more. You could play a single track or blend two play-throughs to give it a fuller sound.
Make sure that the tracks are configured, and the mics are passing the signal to the DAW. Once done, you are ready to record. Use a pair of quality headphones. They cancel outside noise and help in removing interference from the recording as well.
Make sure you record a small piece several times before you get the perfect sound. Don’t compromise with the quality of the music you are producing. You have to put your best foot forward while producing music and your acoustic guitar should be the star of the show.