Important Factors When Recording an Acoustic Guitar

It's surprisingly obvious.
There's no doubt about it.

The single most important factor when recording acoustic guitars is... the guitar.
Here's a link to info on this. But let's look at other possible factors.

The entire signal chain is important.
When recording, gear matters. From the mics, all the way down to the system cables. If you have the ability to record in a pro studio, then lucky you.

The best pro studio in the universe.
Even the best pro studio in the universe cannot make an acoustic guitar sound better than it is. It can only make it sound as good as it can possibly be. If you're not getting the sound you want, then you may need to "mod" the instrument. Or, gasp, find another acoustic guitar that can deliver the sound you are looking for.

Alternate between aesthetic and analytical.
If your acoustic guitar is providing the right sound for your music project, leave it alone! Do not change anything. But don't assume it will all come together again tomorrow. A good acoustic guitar is a very sensitive instrument. It's sound can change due to changes in song styles, from the amount of string use, the weather, your mood, how well you slept last night, how you and your partner are getting along, and countless other factors. So it's necessary to get analytical when you listen to the recording playback. Even if it sounds great, try to figure out why. Write down all the settings and observations you can think of. Put these notes into a "song folder." You will be glad you did this if you ever want to achieve that sound again.

The problem might not be the guitar. It might be other factors.
Time for a truly honest evaluation. If the recording sound is not there, make a list of possible reasons. Could it be you're booked into a mismatched studio? Is the audio engineer's aesthetics or approach not the right fit? Is it a gear issue? Or worse yet, not a good sounding room for your style of music?

Are you using a project studio?
It might be compromise time. You only have what you have. You can only do your best. There could be ways around this. But that would require a long discussion about producing audio. So at this level, your best option is to experiment. Try anything. Whether it seems to make sense or not. You just might come up with a unique sound. Learn to work with what you thankfully have.

Could the problem be... you?
Time for another truly honest evaluation. Many of us have the strange ability to hear what we want to hear rather than what is on the playback. It takes time and experience to develop the ability to push away the fantasies, and actually hear ourselves.

So I hope this information is useful.


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