Acoustic guitar recording

I been thinking about starting to do my audio for my youtube videos with seperate audio captures. I’ll like any tips to my the sound better. I have tried to record some using a mic and using my internal pickups, but it always comes out terrible. I have been using the plug and play method because i know nothing about audacity and music in general.

Any Tips…


Start off with aread of this (very long) thread:

Bruno (bgravato) appears to have got rather good at this.


I’d put some extra oo’s in looooong :stuck_out_tongue:
There’s a short version thread (you can find the link at the bottom of the original post).

The questions here are… what equipment do you currently have? are you willing to buy new better equipment? and how much are you willing to spend?

I’ll start with that thread. In regards to equipment. At this time I’m not keen on buying new stuff, cept perhaps a better mic.

My initial thought was to buy a new usb mic… at about 50€ I ended up with a 138€ mic and a 100€ mic preamp :stuck_out_tongue:

There’s also a nice article on SOS about acoustic guitar recording, for which I don’t have the link here now but it’s somewhere in that very long thread :stuck_out_tongue:

I started reading the SOS and got to the end and found out they want Euros to read the rest. Guess i’ll search harder for free speech. Im considering better equipment.

Most if not all of the points in that SOS article are covered in that long topic on the forum. (Reading the forum post is free :stuck_out_tongue:)

From my recent personal experience I’d say… start with standard position: mic standing about 30-35cm in front of the 12th fret.

About getting new equipment… I went for a large diaphragm mic with switching patterns (cardioid/omni) because I also wanted to use it for purporses other than just recording the guitar… but if you want it mainly for recording the guitar you’ll probably do fine with a single cardioid pattern mic. Also, from what I’ve read, a small diaphragm mic should be good too… (I’m willing to try one out if I manage to borrow a decent one from someone)

If you buy a new mic, from my recent search about it, I’d say T-Bone’s probably have the best price/quality ratio. But from what I’ve seen from other users comments here on the forums I wouldn’t go for one of the cheapest…

The one I got (SC1100) I think it’s pretty good. For a few more bucks you can get the SC1200 which should probably be a slight improvement over the SC1100. On the cheaper side you have the SC600 for which I haven’t been able to find any reviews, so can’t tell if it’s worth buying or not… All these have cardioid and omnidirectional switching patterns.
On the cardioid only range I’ve heard very good things about the SCT800, but that’s a bit more expensive than the others above. There’s also the cheaper SCT700, which I haven’t heard anything about, but I guess it’s probably an older version of the SCT800.

On the small diaphragm range of mics I won’t recommend anything since I haven’t search anything about those…

I think all the mics I mentioned above have XLR connector and need phantom power, that means you can’t connect then directly to the computer… You’ll need a preamp or some other interface that will provide the phantom power and other than xlr connector that you can connect to the computer (either line-out or usb). Line-out will be dependent on the quality of the soundcard too… USB won’t.

The T-Bone usb micplug is not bad for the price… but after you listen to one of those mics connected through an ART usb dual pre you won’t want anything else hehehe (well koz will praise about the peavey mixer boards… hehe but they’re big :stuck_out_tongue:).

Another small detail to be aware about getting one of these mics… They’re usually big and heavy and don’t stand up on their own… so you’ll need a mic stand… (you should be able to get a fairly decent one for about 25 euros or so)

Advice from someone who went through that process recently… be aware and prepared to read/search a lot and change your mind many times hehe :wink: There’s so many options available that it won’t be easy to make a decision… Also be aware that there are no miracles and, in a general way, the better quality you want the more you’ll pay… You’ll need to find that sweet spot between your budget and how much quality will be good enough for your ears.

The problem with acoustic guitar is that unlike, say trumpet or bugle which are OSHA hearing hazards at close range, guitars don’t have very much punch. The lack of punch or volume is where cheap microphones fall apart. By the time you get the microphone far enough away from the instrument to avoid picking up extra abrasion and body noises, there isn’t enough poop in the signal to compete with the noises. All microphones make their own noise and the object of the recordist is to make the show a lot louder than that. That’s rough to do with an unamplified guitar.

A very common complaint from USB microphone users is “how can I make it louder.”

We appear to have rolled right over you before asking you what kind of computer you have and which microphone you tried already. It’s not unusual for somebody new at this to be able to get a lot more mileage out of the equiment they already have.

Treated gently, the built-in microphone in a Mac laptop isn’t dreadful. I have a solid state disk drive that makes no noise at all and very quiet cooling fans. I’ve done voice transmissions that other people couldn’t tell I wasn’t using a good external microphone.


You happened to step into the longest continuous forum thread, I believe, in its history.


There’s an SOS review of the T-Bone SCT2000 (and Retro Tube) here:
I’ve also used the SCT2000 and I agree with everything he has to say about it. Bare in mind that he is comparing it with a microphone that is over 7 times the price of the SCT2000.

At the lower end of the T-Bone range of large diaphragm condensers, I’ve used the SC450 and for the price it is pretty amazing. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the USB version. The SC450USB is let down by a noise level that is just too high when recording quiet sources. It may be fine if you are recording something that is loud, but that wouldn’t be a classical guitar.

Doesn’t have to be a guitar, either. I once had to get a voice track from a shy, four-foot-tall Asian woman whose entire reason for existence was to become one with the wall paper. I have no idea how the producer managed to get her to agree to this, but she did have a very good voice for the animated character.

We finally got to an agreement by telling her that many actors, most actually, play characters completely divorced from their true persons and doing this well was a mark of excellence, and that she was going to disappoint the whole crew if we couldn’t hear her character speak.


Your guys have been very helpful. I like the tip about using USB to bypass the soundcard. I was thinking about getting something along the lines of the ZoomH2. Because of its portability and plug-and-play-ness. I have been using, up until present, and into the future until i can justify a spend with the wife, my cellphone camera, and lapel mic. It’s not the worst, considering i have compared it to the $6 mic i plugged it the mic jack of my pc and captured with Audacity.

The current quality can be seen here.

For anyone that might be interested.

I use this phone.

WHat i have taken from my reading, it quite contrary to what i thought. It seems that my assumption that a cheap mic could be cleaned up with proper software, but the way i understand it is, simply said. Garbage in garbage out, No recyclables.

The first rule of recording …

And computing …

And many other things.