Solo fingerstyle guitar effects

Can anyone recommend some good general effect settings for fingerstyle solo acoustic guitar? No vocals, not strumming, just one acoustic steel string guitar in Fahey/ Kottke/ classical styles.

Specifically, what GVerb settings do folks like? What other effects do folks recommend and what settings? I know how broad and subjective this is. Just looking to see how others do it. Much of what I read seems to apply to either other styles, to a band, or to vocals, not solo fingerstyle.

I use a Zoom H2 to record. Am looking into getting 2 mics to connect to the H2 (looking at ADK A6, Oktava MK 012, Rode NT 1A, MXL 604, or Shure SM 81) but not there yet.

Thanks very much.

Other free reverb effects are better than Gverb IMO … Good Gverb settings for song vocals? - #5 by Trebor

Whichever reverb effect you use, keep a clean unprocessed version of the recording, preferably exported as a 32-bit WAV file.
It’s very easy to apply too much reverb, but near impossible to remove it later.

If you have a nice room to record in, when you get your microphones, try using one mic close up, and one further away to pick up some natural ambiance. You will probably then find that you need to add very little artificial reverb. One technique is to keep the close up mic track almost dry (no effect), and split the recording of the distant mic (preferably a high sensitivity, low noise omni-directional microphone) into two tracks. These two tracks can then be made to have an artificial stereo by applying slightly different reverb/delay effects and will give a sense of spaciousness to the recording. The dry track will keep the sound crisp and intimate. Adjust the track levels to produce the balance that you like.

Trebor and Steve,

Thanks so much for the replies. The link was very helpful Trebor - Looks like some much more user-friendly sites than GVerb. Since I’m not an audio engineer (understatement) I like the programs with pre-sets.

That was better info than anything I have read in most of my searching! Where can I get more great ideas like that? Anyway, it certainly gives me some new things to try. So far, it’s been a Zoom H2 in front of the guitar and an amp on in the background for reverb! I only started playing two years ago, and the recording is a very new thing for me. I’m looking at mics and a preamp now. My budget is under, say, 800-1000, for 2 mics and an interface/ preamp/ AD convertor. I’m open to suggestions - but maybe that’s another thread.

Can you suggest any other processing or effects especially useful for my solo guitar?

Thanks again,


There is a monster thread about recording acoustic guitar here: budget (usb) mic for classical guitar recording needed

The changes in volume (dynamic range) will be wide between finger picking and strumming so “dynamic range compression” may be required to reduce the differences in volume when recording a performance, ( your ears have an automatic gain control the recording device may not).

Search this forum for links to “Chris’s compressor” which is a free “dynamic range compressor” plug-in for Audacity.

There’s a shorter version of it. The link is also at the bottom of the original post, but I’ll post it here again: (non)USB mic for classical guitar rec.(findings/conclusions)

I haven’t done any stereo recording yet (that is with two mics). I haven’t done that much recording with one mic either… I’m still on my way to “build” a nice echo-free / noise-free recording room.

I’m quite happy with the ART USB Dual Pre. Happy too with the T-Bone mic (SC1100). If I ever buy a second mic there’s a good chance I’ll go for another T-Bone. If it was now I could go for another large diaphragm such as the SC1200 (should be a slight improvement over the SC1100 for just a few more bucks), but I’d probably give it a try at a small diaphragm such as the SC140 (which is a 1/3 of the price for the SC1200 and I’m very curious to listen how the guitar would sound on it…). That just has put me thinking about getting my hands on that SC140 hehe :slight_smile: I might actually do it sooner than expected!

There’s also a nice SOS article about acoustic guitar recording. I think it’s this one: How To Record A Great Acoustic Guitar Sound

Thanks to all. Great info.


I just talked to a friend who’s considering buying a few things from Thomann too and together we should be able to spend enough money to qualify for free shipping! That means I’m very close to buy a T-Bone SC140 soon.

I will post some samples when I get it (might still take a few weeks).

I got the SC140 today, but I haven’t had the time to take it out of the box yet… I should be doing some tests tomorrow and I’ll post some samples later on.

First sample posted on this topic:

I should post more samples there in the next days… Subscribe that topic if you want to be notified of the updates.