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Acoustic Guitar: U87 and what other mic?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Acoustic Guitar: U87 and what other mic?

Hey guys,

I want to do a dual mic set up on recording an acoustic. I currently have an 87ai. What's a good mic to use with that? My only other mics are an SM7B an 57. Was thinking of a pencil mic like the AKG C 451 B, but would love any suggestions. I don't want to spend over $700, and preferably much less.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Shure sm81
CAD e70

Maybe...that's what I've got anyway.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
Shure sm81
CAD e70

Maybe...that's what I've got anyway.

Which of those 2 do you think would go best with my 87?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
thismercifulfate's Avatar
Why two mics? Are you wanting to record in stereo, or do you want a second mic as an option or to blend with the 87? If it’s the latter, either of your shure are fine options.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazer Toms View Post
Which of those 2 do you think would go best with my 87?
The Shure probably...but post #4 makes sense too.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
Yeah I agree . .87 should capture all you need, then maybe stick a verb-chorus stereo effect on if you want it large and wide.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
Why two mics? Are you wanting to record in stereo, or do you want a second mic as an option or to blend with the 87? If it’s the latter, either of your shure are fine options.
I want to record in stereo for a wider sound. This is for a solo ac gtr and female vocalist.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
yep
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazer Toms View Post
I want to record in stereo for a wider sound. This is for a solo ac gtr and female vocalist.
If you’re looking to get a stereo guitar for a solo performance out of those three mics, i would try the u87 in figure-8 and the sm57 set up in a mid side array. Otherwise I think you would have a weird stereo balance.

Where to place the mics really depends on the instrument and especially the players technique and somewhat on the room.

If it’s super strummy “power acoustic” flatpicking on a bright-sounding steel string, I might try over the players head, if the ceilings are high and the room is good. If it’s delicate finger style on a nylon string, you could probably go right up on top of the body fret for an intimate, detailed sound.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Nut
 

You might try using your 87 to lay down an acoustic track, and then double track the part. That way you have acoustic guitar parts panned however you want, but with the little nuances of not having identical tales which makes the acoustic tracks more interesting, at least for me.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazer Toms View Post
I want to record in stereo for a wider sound. This is for a solo ac gtr and female vocalist.
For either solo guitar or guitar with vocal I much prefer mono or xy over a spaced pair of mics. Try mono with the 87 and see if you actually feel anything missing from it. Doing xy properly requires two identical mics, and getting another 87 would be a lot of dough just to gain a little stereo spread. The idea of doing a mid/side with the 57 and 87 is worth trying as well.

Last edited by thismercifulfate; 4 weeks ago at 04:45 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Thanks for the replies and suggestions. I will experiment with a mid side using my 57.


Regarding the room. I'm in a treated bedroom that does have carpeting.

I heard a technique of placing wood underneath the player to approximate a wooden floor. I do have some ½" plywood sheets. Has anyone experimented with this?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Head
 

Over the shoulder?

I've always liked an LDC over the shoulder, looking somewhat past the sound hole and another SDC or LDC pointing between the neck and the sound hole. Following the 3:1 "rule" (mics 1.5 feet from sound hole?) and not panning hard left and hard right provides a killer stereo image and holds up nicely in mono. I believe firmly in fighting with a stereo pair on acoustic solo stuff. It's worth the effort and easily tested. Zoom in on tracks to assess phase relationships, collapse to mono to to hear a substantial loss of low-end and overall volume. If it doesn't sound right, move the mics. Rinse and repeat. I watched a ton soundpure acoustic guitar demos to learn which sounding guitars I liked back in the day. It turned out that I didn't care as much about the guitar, but more about mic placement.

All that said, nothing beats double tracked acoustics with the mic to the right of the sound hole, facing the guitar, 1.5 ft away. If it's solo stuff, I'll mic with an LDC. If it's going to be a full arrangement, I'll go SDC. Also, to get a really killer sound, double with a different guitar and experiment with adding a capo and playing the same chords in different positions.

Many paths...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazer Toms View Post
Hey guys,

I want to do a dual mic set up on recording an acoustic. I currently have an 87ai. What's a good mic to use with that? My only other mics are an SM7B an 57. Was thinking of a pencil mic like the AKG C 451 B, but would love any suggestions. I don't want to spend over $700, and preferably much less.
Over your budget slightly, but a U87 and KM84 are a match made in heaven. 84 off the frets / neck, and 87 coming in over your right shoulder pointing down towards the sound hole. Perfect! And world class.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by danyull View Post
Following the 3:1 "rule" (mics 1.5 feet from sound hole?) and not panning hard left and hard right provides a killer stereo image

3 to 1 rule is about placing multiple microphones on discreet sources in such a way to prevent bleed from causing noticeable comb filtering, not multiple mics on once source.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Podgorny View Post
3 to 1 rule is about placing multiple microphones on discreet sources in such a way to prevent bleed from causing noticeable comb filtering, not multiple mics on once source.
Ack, yeah that sounds about right. I was thinking one of the ideas behind the 3:1 rule was that if a mic was, say, a foot away from the single source, the next mic would need to be at least 3 feet from that mic. Is the 3:1 rule only supposed to be in reference multiple sources like a choir, drums, or a cab with multiple speakers (apologies for the slight tangent)?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by danyull View Post
Is the 3:1 rule only supposed to be in reference multiple sources like a choir, drums, or a cab with multiple speakers (apologies for the slight tangent)?
Yes, that's correct.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
I really like Coles 4038 in conjunction with km84. Coles just are able to maintain the guitar sounding like an actual guitar through a busy mix. Very real sounding, like how my ears are hearing how a guitar sound. If you want highend strumming or something else your u87 would do just fine.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 

i'm mostly using a single ldc at short distance and then add a stereo pair for some ambient sound to taste; i mostly align the ldc to the stereo pair.

consider getting a pair of line audio cm4's (inexpensive but very good) so you can capture true stereo at larger distance than the where you put the ldc - yields a more natural soundfield than fake stereo with a ldc and a sdc at roughly the same distance.

using plywood will help to get some more early reflections and make the sound more lively.

[i got absolutely no love for the c451 (or sm81) in the digital age]

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 3 weeks ago at 04:42 PM.. Reason: edited
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Maniac
AKG 451e is my favorite ac guitar mic fwiw. it seems to package up all that sonic info in a punchy, balanced, recording-friendly way. i haven't much luck with the 87 or dynamics on acoustic guitar myself. I find LDC have too much info, at least for my so-so room. The dynamics tonality seems dull and unfocused. If you have the plywood, I'd say give it a try. I'd expect the 87 will notice. I do something similar with congas, sitting on hardwood stands that LP makes. The 87 overhead does well with the reflected sound.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Maniac
87s sound good on acoustics if running mono. If you want stereo try using a stereo pair of sm81's. I think you will be happy with the way it sounds.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Over your budget slightly, but a U87 and KM84 are a match made in heaven. 84 off the frets / neck, and 87 coming in over your right shoulder pointing down towards the sound hole. Perfect! And world class.
This I’m gonna try now. Thank you Dr. Bill!

Personally, An 87 in fig-8 (side) with that 84 (mid) always works a treat for me for stereo acoustic, as does a pair of 84s in X/Y.

Before I had the 84s my AKG c480b did ok as the mid mic, though I wouldn’t compare them unless you’re ready to buy a pair of 84s.

I’ve found that a few of my nicer LDCs work well in that role as well, so I’d try any cardiod pattern mic in that mid position.

.. and once you have a pair of something, do try x/y as i do find it a completely different sound, more positional (if that makes sense), with a pretty different (less width, but more natural?) sounding stereo image.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Over your budget slightly, but a U87 and KM84 are a match made in heaven. 84 off the frets / neck, and 87 coming in over your right shoulder pointing down towards the sound hole. Perfect! And world class.
Yup, do give that one a try.

And there's an alternative you might like to try while you're at it.

Leave the KM84 at the frets/neck position. A good SDC to capture the delicacy and quickness of the strings there is a great base, no matter what.
But there's another great thing that makes the acoustic guitar sound and that's the soundboard, of course. The SDC will catch a part of that, but a really nice, wooden core can be added when you find the sweet spot that sits somewhere just a little beyond the bridge (not the soundhole side).
This is a more organic/dynamic sound and an LDC will capture this well, as will a good ribbon and even a moving coil mic like an SM57. Some surgical EQ to get rid of honk and/or tubbiness may be required.

If you don't want to spend any money at all (not saying you shouldn't), point your 57 at the soundboard and your 87 at the neck joint.

And finally, yes the room sound should not be underestimated. Especially if drBill's suggestion doesn't work, it's prolly the room, I would think.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #23
Here for the gear
 

you can always try the cheap mxl 603, second hand rode nt5 or new black oktava 012 just as an experiment
Old 3 weeks ago
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

before you spend a lot of money, see if your existing mics get a sound you like. just try things out and see what happens.

if you are not the person playing, you could literally hold one mic in one hand, and one in another. then talk into the mics what you are doing ("87 pointing at bridge, sm57 at body of guitar" "87 back 4 feet as room mic, sm7b close to guitar")

by moving the mics around like this, you could try 12 ideas in 10 minutes. then listen back and see if anything is producing something cool. because you talked your mic configuration into the mics, you will know what you did and then you can reproduce it.
Old 2 days ago
  #25
Hey guys, just a follow up.

The recordings are going great. I used the 87 in omni, and the 57 about a foot off the neck.

Individually both parts sounds lame, but when combined they sound amazing and I have so many sonic options.

So for now my existing mics work well. Eventually I'd love to replace the 57 with a KM84.
Old 2 days ago
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

the neumann km184 is a good next mic for you. very versatile, unlike your other mics, high quality. great on instruments. almost in budget new... in budget on the second hand market.
Old 2 days ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
Make the 87 do most the work ..get an AT2021 (under hundred bucks) ..and spend the rest on steaks (for me!) ...send Ruth's Chris gift card please. Thank you!
Old 2 days ago
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
KingsX's Avatar
 

I love the AKG C-414 B-ULS.
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