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  1. #1

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    Does anyone have experience with classical guitar recording microphones?
    Best
    Kris

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    You can compare mics recorded in a very controlled environment at the Audio Test Kitchen site. They have some steal string acoustic guitar examples but unfortunately no classical guitar samples.

  4. #3

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    There is no BEST mic for any type of guitar and the mic alone is just one element in a chain of devices.
    Before you invest in anything you should seek answers for these questions :

    - What goal do I want to achieve with my recordings ?
    - What is my budget ?
    - Is the room I plan to use for recording really suitable ?
    - In what category is the rest of my equipment ?
    - Am I experienced in the field of audio recordings and can I work with an extensive DAW/EQ's/Compressors etc. ?
    - Is the sound quality of my guitar on par with a $ 500/$1000/$3000 microphone ?
    - Am I as a player able to perform to the best of my ability in a recording situation, produce the best possible tone with my guitar ?
    - Am I willing and able to set up and organize the recording situation in such a way that allows me to make objective decisions re mic-placement,
    room acoustics, etc. ?

    You can make very good sounding recordings with a simple USB mic plugged directly into your computer, at a cost of maybe € 200,- or go All Out and spend
    € 2000 to 3000 for a stereo pair of Schoeps mics and a Neve preamplifier and you still would need a comparable AD-converter. All that would be useless if the room
    that you're recording in is not set up accordingly, acoustically treated. It is def. a bottomless pit and you could spend several 1000's easily before finding out that
    you know somebody who has a dedicated recording studio that he rents out for a reasonable fee.... which could save you a lot of money and grief.

    In general an acoustic guitar of any type is best recorded with one or two small-diafragme condenser microphone(s). There too many types and brands to list and if you ask
    10 engineers you'll get 12 different opinions....
    Last edited by gitman; 04-17-2021 at 01:21 PM.

  5. #4

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    I was thinking about buying:
    Condenser Studio Microphone The Shure SM81
    or two in a pair
    AKG C 1000 S Mk4

  6. #5

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    For my own recordings I use a matched pair of OKTAVA MK 012 mics which I bought new for € 300,-
    A friend who produces his own acoustic guitar based music at home owns 2 Microtech-Gefell M300 mics for € 850,- a piece - he once tested out my Oktava's
    and the difference is marginal - depending on the post-recording sound treatment (eq, reverb, compression etc.) you cannot hear a difference.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    For my own recordings I use a matched pair of OKTAVA MK 012 mics which I bought new for € 300,-
    A friend who produces his own acoustic guitar based music at home owns 2 Microtech-Gefell M300 mics for € 850,- a piece - he once tested out my Oktava's
    and the difference is marginal - depending on the post-recording sound treatment (eq, reverb, compression etc.) you cannot hear a difference.
    OKTAVA MK 012 looks interesting.
    Thanks for the help.

  8. #7

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    My first CDs were recorded with a pair of Neumann KM 184 small diaphragm mics. Excellent results. Later projects were done with a mid-side rig containing 3 mics, but it was too complicated to understand so I left it to the engineer. Great sound, especially in a jazz group context with an acoustic flamenco guitar.

  9. #8

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    Gitman has good advice above!
    Also, i think this tread would fit better in the
    'Recording and Music Software' section of the forum.
    Just a suggestion.
    Great topic. I've spent beaucoup bucks over the years on mics, DAWs, s/w, boards, etc, and still struggle with the technology. It's easy to waste money on this stuff. With what I've accumulated and don't use, i could have bought another fabulous guitar! O well!
    Good luck!

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    You can compare mics recorded in a very controlled environment at the Audio Test Kitchen site. They have some steal string acoustic guitar examples but unfortunately no classical guitar samples.
    Thanks for info.
    Best
    Kris

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    I was thinking about buying:
    Condenser Studio Microphone The Shure SM81
    or two in a pair
    AKG C 1000 S Mk4
    The SM81 works well with classical guitars (a friend of mine has one and gets good results with it).

    John

  12. #11
    Pair of U87's in figure 8 array off axis about 4 feet in front in a wood room if you want to capture the reflected sound of the air in the room (recommended).
    That's what I've had good luck with.
    My opinion since you asked.
    Good luck!

  13. #12

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    i use it with steel string acoustic, but the sm81 is a studio legend. i pair mine with a fathead ii ribbon mic for stereo acoustic recordings. 81 on the 12th fret, fathead on the body. it's what people that can't afford 184s use

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    There is no BEST mic for any type of guitar and the mic alone is just one element in a chain of devices.
    Before you invest in anything you should seek answers for these questions :

    - What goal do I want to achieve with my recordings ?
    - What is my budget ?
    - Is the room I plan to use for recording really suitable ?
    - In what category is the rest of my equipment ?
    - Am I experienced in the field of audio recordings and can I work with an extensive DAW/EQ's/Compressors etc. ?
    - Is the sound quality of my guitar on par with a $ 500/$1000/$3000 microphone ?
    - Am I as a player able to perform to the best of my ability in a recording situation, produce the best possible tone with my guitar ?
    - Am I willing and able to set up and organize the recording situation in such a way that allows me to make objective decisions re mic-placement,
    room acoustics, etc. ?

    You can make very good sounding recordings with a simple USB mic plugged directly into your computer, at a cost of maybe € 200,- or go All Out and spend
    € 2000 to 3000 for a stereo pair of Schoeps mics and a Neve preamplifier and you still would need a comparable AD-converter. All that would be useless if the room
    that you're recording in is not set up accordingly, acoustically treated. It is def. a bottomless pit and you could spend several 1000's easily before finding out that
    you know somebody who has a dedicated recording studio that he rents out for a reasonable fee.... which could save you a lot of money and grief.

    In general an acoustic guitar of any type is best recorded with one or two small-diafragme condenser microphone(s). There too many types and brands to list and if you ask
    10 engineers you'll get 12 different opinions....

    This. Figure out your budget and what you are trying to achieve. Then learn how to use the equipment you‘ve got (mic placement, room location, etc).

    I went for the lowest-cost usb stereo-condenser that I could find in my local music shop (Shure MV88 for circa AUD$240). Plugs directly into my iphone and I’m delighted with the quality for the price:



    Recorded in my living room.

  15. #14

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    I use a Rode NT4 stereo mic. I'm not saying it's the best, but in its price range, it seems to be the best.

  16. #15

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    I will buy expensive classical guitar.
    I would like the microphone to pick up the nuances of the guitar's sound.
    I have experience recording guitar with a piezzo pickup.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    I use a Rode NT4 stereo mic. I'm not saying it's the best, but in its price range, it seems to be the best.
    I remember your recording of Ramirez guitar...great sound.
    Thanks
    Kris

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tricky Fish
    This. Figure out your budget and what you are trying to achieve. Then learn how to use the equipment you‘ve got (mic placement, room location, etc).

    I went for the lowest-cost usb stereo-condenser that I could find in my local music shop (Shure MV88 for circa AUD$240). Plugs directly into my iphone and I’m delighted with the quality for the price:



    Recorded in my living room.
    Really nice sound.
    Thanks for info
    Kris

  19. #18

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    What I've learned from spending time on Audio Test Kitchen listening to a lot of mics...

    1) The differences between good mics is very subtle, almost imperceptible. Mostly it can be summed up with differences in a frequency chart which can be duplicated/adjusted with an eq.

    2) Price varies widely, a $300 mic can sound just as good as a $3,000 mic.

    Find a very reputable and expensive mic, the kind used in expensive studios, A-B test it with $100, $200, & $300 mics on Audio Test Kitchen. You may be surprised by what you find.

  20. #19

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    I use a Rode NT1-A; a perfectly decent budget condenser mic that a lot of people use.


  21. #20

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    Nice sound!
    Thanks for info
    Kris

  22. #21

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    I have an old friend who gets amazing results from the P-84. They take the classic small diaphragm design and update them with modern componentry and amazing attention to detail. The CEMC6 is a more affordable but still super quality alternative...

    Peluso P-84

    Peluso CEMC-6 Stereo Kit Microphone

  23. #22

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    +1 on a pair of the OKTAVA MK 012 mics. Great value, imho.

  24. #23

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    I like the Line Audio CM4 and OMNI1. They are electrets.

    Line Audio Design - Made in Sweden

    Don't neglect the microphone preamp. Line Audio makes a good one for not much coin.

  25. #24

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    If recording with a piezo as mentioned above (or if you have an electric godin type nylon string), you can get excellent mic tones without a mic by using classical guitar impulse responses as an effect in your DAW software. It is a day to night difference when recording piezo, and very practical and easy to do (say in Reaper, you use the built in reaverb effect to load them).

    For mics, i agree that the better the quality you strive for, the more important every block in your sound chain becomes. No real point in looking at mics higher than 300$ unless you aim to upgrade the other links as well at some point (interface, preamps, monitors, room treatment, recording and mixing knowledge, etc..).

    The Rode line seems to be popular. I have a pair of sdc NT5 ones, and a ldc NT1-A, i like them after trying a few others as well.

  26. #25

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    I used piezo Schatten HFN-C For Nylon String Classicals about 20 years ago.It was great piezo pick up like good quality mic.


  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    The SM81 works well with classical guitars (a friend of mine has one and gets good results with it).

    John
    Another vote for the Shure SM81, or rather a pair of them. The first pointed at the soundhole, the other at about the 12th fret or higher.

  28. #27

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    Peluso - you might want to give them a look.
    Last edited by Donplaysguitar; 04-20-2021 at 08:56 AM.

  29. #28

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    Here's a sample of the sound I'm getting (1st with the melodica and voice, then the guitar solo'd)

    Box

  30. #29

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    Kris, Now that you listened now the reveal, I'm hoping this will surprise you...

    That is a piezo run through two ir's, panned hard left and right, then through a little reverb. The IR's are from 3Sigma and are the Cordoba Hauser IR's
    Attached Images Attached Images The best microphone for recording classical guitar-rebecca-track-panel-jpg The best microphone for recording classical guitar-rebecca-implulsive-jpg The best microphone for recording classical guitar-rebecca-reverb-jpg 

  31. #30

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    Here's two of mine recorded with just a piezo, but using IRs. This guitar (a Guild custom shop Paloma) doesn't even have an acoustic sound, but it sounds magnificent live.


    And here's an acoustic one, again piezo only with IR, for reference.



  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    Here's two of mine recorded with just a piezo, but using IRs. This guitar (a Guild custom shop Paloma) doesn't even have an acoustic sound, but it sounds magnificent live.


    Sounds great.

    IRs are a big money saver, my whole list of Cordoba Hauser irs recorded with different mics, was $10. I spent another $20 on 3Sygma's Impulsive plugin which I didn't really need but it does make for a clean and tidy interface and you can load 2 IRs to get a stereo sound (I could do the same in Reaper duplicating the track and using two of the Reaper IR loaders).

    Also, I seem to get an annoying sound of my breathing when I record with a sensitive condenser mic, and then there is the issue of how good is ones room for recording and other noise, (wife is vacuuming right now, and I have an occasional dog barking issue). For me I just use piezo and irs from now on, so easy to record with a piezo which eliminates the room and outside noise. Most of all it sounds really good.

  33. #32

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    This not expensive pick up is quite interesting:

  34. #33

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  35. #34

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    I'd like to explain:
    I am looking for a microphone to record a classical guitar solo.
    I do not intend to record with other instruments... as Ralph Towner used to talk about, who only uses a microphone to amplify the guitar.

  36. #35

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    good for performance as well

  37. #36

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    Maybe some additional reading can help on decision making.

    Recording the Classical Guitar.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    I'd like to explain:
    I am looking for a microphone to record a classical guitar solo.
    I do not intend to record with other instruments... as Ralph Towner used to talk about, who only uses a microphone to amplify the guitar.
    Ralph has been performing with a Beyerdynamic M160 Ribbon Mic for decades and has added a pickup later on, which he mixes into the signal only for
    the tighter bass response/definition. When recording in a studio there'll be up to 4 high-$$$ Neumann mics around his guitar ....
    Again, the room you'll be playing/recording in is the most important factor and deserves the most care and preparation.

  39. #38

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    I would like to avoid mounting a piezo pick up.
    DPA dvote 4099 g looks very interesting.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    Ralph has been performing with a Beyerdynamic M160 Ribbon Mic for decades and has added a pickup later on, which he mixes into the signal only for
    the tighter bass response/definition. When recording in a studio there'll be up to 4 high-$$$ Neumann mics around his guitar ....
    Again, the room you'll be playing/recording in is the most important factor and deserves the most care and preparation.
    I talked to Ralph about Frameworks a few years ago. He praised these guitars a lot, so I bought a Framewors modern classic. The RMC pick up plays a major role in these guitars.Standard classical guitars are very difficult to amplify.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    I would like to avoid mounting a piezo pick up.
    DPA dvote 4099 g looks very interesting.
    It also mounts to an archtop tailpiece nicely:


  42. #41

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    As others have said, the acousric qualities of the room where you will be recording are critical. How well it is insulated from external sound is just as important as its own internal acoustics - good sound insulating double glazing is a must if there is regular external noise. Don't forget also the noises coming from other parts of the house, so soundproofing doors, walls, floors and vceilings can be critical in a noisy house.
    You then need to look at sound reflections in the room and where you position yourself and the mike(s) to take this into account. Even a few blocks of acoustic panels, well placed can make a massive difference in sound quality.
    Happy hunting down this rabbit-hole!

  43. #42

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    Even the computer noise becomes a problem if really going for a high quality recording at home. I sometimes end up having a laptop in another room, via a long cable to the sound card.

  44. #43

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    Yes ... There are a lot of problems that's a fact.
    Perhaps I should look for a good piezo.Piezo works quite well at concerts.
    I know this will never replace a good microphone.
    I bought an excellent classical guitar a few days ago.
    The sound of this guitar is so beautiful and natural.
    If you have a very good classical guitar, you can go crazy.

  45. #44

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    .. or if you don't! I have a good friend that's a really great classical/flamenco player. He has a Gerundino, a Conde, a Kohno, etc.. Every time i play them i get depressed, as i could never justify paying that kind of money for a classical... Maybe one day!

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    Yes ... There are a lot of problems that's a fact.
    Perhaps I should look for a good piezo.Piezo works quite well at concerts.
    I know this will never replace a good microphone.
    I bought an excellent classical guitar a few days ago.
    The sound of this guitar is so beautiful and natural.
    If you have a very good classical guitar, you can go crazy.
    You will be VERY unhappy with any recording made with only the piezo-signal, it will sound totally un-natural
    and the special quality of your guitar will NOT be present. Pickups are a compromise and sometimes helpful
    IN COMBINATION with a mic on stage - in a recording situation any decent microphone will be far better than the best
    pickup.

  47. #46

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    The quality of a classical instrument can be completely distorted.What is different about my Frameworks modern classic guitar, in which the mounted RMC piezo fits perfectly with the construction of the guitar.
    I have also old A.Sanchez guitar with piezo plus mic inside.When recording with piezo, you can hear that it is a classical guitar ...but my new classical guitar it is a different world.

  48. #47

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    I’ve recently tried recording my classical guitar with an old AKG C1000s mic I got years ago, using the XLR connection on my Focusrite interface.

    The room I use is pretty small and fairly dead acoustically (bookshelves, carpet, curtains etc.). I just aimed the mic either at the 12th fret or the bridge, from about 15-18 inches away. Then added a small amount of impulse reverb in Reaper. Sounds quite good.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I’ve recently tried recording my classical guitar with an old AKG C1000s mic I got years ago, using the XLR connection on my Focusrite interface.

    The room I use is pretty small and fairly dead acoustically (bookshelves, carpet, curtains etc.). I just aimed the mic either at the 12th fret or the bridge, from about 15-18 inches away. Then added a small amount of impulse reverb in Reaper. Sounds quite good.
    AKG C1000s is pretty cool and universal.

  50. #49

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  51. #50

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    What do you think about it?
    I did a test with my two old guitars today.
    A.Sanchez classical guitar with Fishman Pressys / blend-piezo with internal microphone
    Box
    Frameworks modern classic RMC piezo
    Box