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best place in a room to record acoustic guitar?
Old 15th July 2015
  #1
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best place in a room to record acoustic guitar?

I was wondering if anybody who has done lots of acoustic guitar recordings in medium-small size rooms could give me a tip on where the best place in the room would be for recording? I read somewhere to stay away from corners ,is this true? Also, I am getting some diffusers for my room. Would those be best on the wall behind (using a cardiod pickup) me or should I play with my guitar facing them from as far as possible?

I have done loads of experimentation but not 100% happy yet. Any good ideas would be appreciated.

thanks
Old 15th July 2015
  #2
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swafford's Avatar
 

My room is medium size - 20ft. x 35ish with an 8ft. not flat ceiling. I prefer setting up about 1/3 of the way of the long side facing the large portion of the room. I also almost always use fig 8 ribbons. Treatment is going to depend on what your room sounds like. For tracking acoustic or vocals only, I like to keep the walls bare (100 year old rough planed yellow pine. I don't think it matters that it's 100 years old and yellow.)

I do keep a bunch of 2x4 panels to hang, though. I usually only use them if there's a drummer or a bunch of acoustic going at once and people are close to the walls.
Old 16th July 2015
  #3
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by attaboy_jhb View Post
I was wondering if anybody who has done lots of acoustic guitar recordings in medium-small size rooms could give me a tip on where the best place in the room would be for recording?
About one-third the way along a room diagonal - the sound is most natural there.

Avoid centre-lines, corners and close to walls.

Doing this you avoid the focus points of standing waves and the bass effects caused close to walls and corners.
Old 16th July 2015
  #4
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Me_Likey's Avatar
 

If all else fails drape some moving blankets on some stands and build a little "sound cubicle". You would be surprised at how effective this actually is.
Old 16th July 2015
  #5
We found a little past the centre of our room sounded best, least reflections, least sound of being in a room, nice sense of space around the mic' signal. This is for finger style stuff. We use gobos along various walls but not close to the guitars as it can sometimes sound a bit weird if all your high end is being eaten by foam. Oh, and we'd usually put a large rug under the player too.
Old 16th July 2015
  #6
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Unclenny's Avatar
My room is basically a small square bedroom. I have a good bass trap in one corner that is flanked by two windows and a couple of odd diffusing panels just under the windows.

There is a couch against one wall. The wall length closet opposite the couch is covered with a quilt.

There is a small beer fridge.

I like to face the corner with the bass trap, set up just back from the middle of that diamond shape and play through a multi-pattern mic that is shaded one click toward omni.

I usually fingerpick but this last tune was a strummer and I liked the acoustic tone that I ended up with using the above described room position.

I credit the beer fridge.
Old 16th July 2015
  #7
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amishsixstringe's Avatar
 

Be careful with diffusion in a small room. Most difusers sound best at a distance.

Neil
Old 16th July 2015
  #8
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Silent Sound's Avatar
I'd just recommend walking around the room strumming the guitar and recording wherever it sounds best. Then, after you've found the best sounding spot, experiment with the room treatment.

You can follow "rules and guidelines" but they'll just tell you what's statistically more likely to work. Your room could be an exception to those rules, in which case a corner or the dead center may work best. Best way to know is to try!
Old 16th July 2015
  #9
Gear Head
 

One thing that has thrown me is how dead my treated room sounds relative to anywhere else in the house. I was so used to the rich sound of my acoustic and it loses a lot of that (to my ear) in the studio. It is there in the recording, though!

So I would say move around the room monitoring your input channel in headphones? Might try a few different mic positions as well since room position will also affect what the mic "hears." Make it an iterative process, where first you change guitar position, then mic, rinse and repeat until you've found the best place for guitar and mic. You'd need a second person...
Old 17th July 2015
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amishsixstringe View Post
Be careful with diffusion in a small room. Most difusers sound best at a distance.

Neil
I read this too. for that reason I am thinking to put them on the front wall behind/above the speakers. That way I can use the longer part of the room and maybe try playing at the back middle facing the monitors. I could maybe have some more on the left and right but not sure if having diffusers on both sides is the best way to go so will have to experiment
Old 17th July 2015
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Finsta View Post
One thing that has thrown me is how dead my treated room sounds relative to anywhere else in the house. I was so used to the rich sound of my acoustic and it loses a lot of that (to my ear) in the studio. It is there in the recording, though!

So I would say move around the room monitoring your input channel in headphones? Might try a few different mic positions as well since room position will also affect what the mic "hears." Make it an iterative process, where first you change guitar position, then mic, rinse and repeat until you've found the best place for guitar and mic. You'd need a second person...
You´re right but, I simply don´t have another person which makes everything take soooo long :(
my wife, daughter and I are both here with me in Spain and we don´t know anybody really...
Old 17th July 2015
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Sound View Post
I'd just recommend walking around the room strumming the guitar and recording wherever it sounds best. Then, after you've found the best sounding spot, experiment with the room treatment.

You can follow "rules and guidelines" but they'll just tell you what's statistically more likely to work. Your room could be an exception to those rules, in which case a corner or the dead center may work best. Best way to know is to try!
good advice. thanks
Old 17th July 2015
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveAliveHQ View Post
We found a little past the centre of our room sounded best, least reflections, least sound of being in a room, nice sense of space around the mic' signal. This is for finger style stuff. We use gobos along various walls but not close to the guitars as it can sometimes sound a bit weird if all your high end is being eaten by foam. Oh, and we'd usually put a large rug under the player too.
Thanks! how big is this room? Do you use a rug because the ceiling is untreated? my ceiling is treated with a few clouds and I find that leaving the floor bare gives a better sound but that could be because of the absorption above me
Old 17th July 2015
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
My room is basically a small square bedroom. I have a good bass trap in one corner that is flanked by two windows and a couple of odd diffusing panels just under the windows.

There is a couch against one wall. The wall length closet opposite the couch is covered with a quilt.

There is a small beer fridge.

I like to face the corner with the bass trap, set up just back from the middle of that diamond shape and play through a multi-pattern mic that is shaded one click toward omni.

I usually fingerpick but this last tune was a strummer and I liked the acoustic tone that I ended up with using the above described room position.

I credit the beer fridge.
nice song
Old 17th July 2015
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by attaboy_jhb View Post
Thanks! how big is this room? Do you use a rug because the ceiling is untreated? my ceiling is treated with a few clouds and I find that leaving the floor bare gives a better sound but that could be because of the absorption above me
It's about 40 m2 square. We have acoustic panels on the ceiling plus we also use rugs. For the fingerstyle stuff we really didn't want to hear the room as we wanted to use a larger reverb from the Bricasti later.

Depending on the track you're trying to fit the guitar into it's really just a case of listening to the room, listening to what your mics are hearing, and then doing your best to move things around to get what you're after. We spent an entire day tailoring the sound for the last finger style session (in advance of the artist even arriving), trying different mic options and techniques, different locations within the room, varying levels of absorbtion at different points in the room. The day the artist arrived he was set up and sounding amazing inside of about 10 minutes.
Old 17th July 2015
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveAliveHQ View Post
It's about 40 m2 square. We have acoustic panels on the ceiling plus we also use rugs. For the fingerstyle stuff we really didn't want to hear the room as we wanted to use a larger reverb from the Bricasti later.

Depending on the track you're trying to fit the guitar into it's really just a case of listening to the room, listening to what your mics are hearing, and then doing your best to move things around to get what you're after. We spent an entire day tailoring the sound for the last finger style session (in advance of the artist even arriving), trying different mic options and techniques, different locations within the room, varying levels of absorbtion at different points in the room. The day the artist arrived he was set up and sounding amazing inside of about 10 minutes.
My room isn't half as big as yours so not sure how much of what you are saying applies to me. Thanks though!
Old 17th July 2015
  #17
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Finsta View Post
move around the room monitoring your input channel in headphones
Quote:
Originally Posted by attaboy_jhb View Post
You´re right but, I simply don´t have another person which makes everything take soooo long :(
I always do a few quick test runs for my vocals to see what is working in my room for a particular song. Take your time....this is fun!

Thanks for giving that tune a listen.

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