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Old 01-03-2021, 04:00 PM
bagpipe bagpipe is offline
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Default Recording resonator guitar help

Any tips on recording a metal body resonator guitar? I have a nice GoldTone Paul Beard resonator:

I record it using a Shure PG81 condenser pointed at the resonator cover plate, at about a 45 degree angle to the guitar. I get a very "hi-fi clean" tone which doesn't really capture the sound I'm hearing in the room.

My recording room is pretty horrible acoustically - everything you don't want: small square room, low ceiling, hard floor etc. I mic really close to the guitar (3 to 6 inches) to try and eliminate the room as much as possible. I know this is far from perfect, but I can usually capture a usable sound when recording regular acoustic guitar or mandolin.

Just wondering if I'm missing something obvious in trying to record resonator guitar?
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Old 01-04-2021, 04:32 PM's Avatar is offline
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The sound you hear in the room includes the sound of the room, so a small condenser that is close to the instrument will not pick up much room, so cannot sound the same as what you hear. (Even if microphones "heard" the way humans do...)

In general, though, not picking up the room is a good thing, unless you have a great room for recording, and your room sounds fairly un-ideal. Capturing the instrument, and then adding the room ambience with EQ and reverb are the common tools for home recorders.

As other threads suggest and the topic gets woven in and out of these things, room treatment, even with some temporary things like moving pads over boom mic stands or something homemade, can make a really big difference if you have a problematic space.

And, keep moving the microphone around and keep notes. Post your clips here and ask for suggestions. I would probably try no closer than 6" and maybe move it out up to 10" to get more of the entire instrument.

Maybe try something as basic as an SM57 if you have it.
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Old 01-04-2021, 05:09 PM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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On a reso, the diaphragm is the brightest, hashiest source. If you are up close on it you will get some of the same effects you get if you shove a mic up on the speaker cloth on an electric guitar. Pointing a the center is much like pointing at the center of the speaker as well - it will be bright and razzy. If you want to mellow out the recorded sound, try starting by moving the mic to the same place you'd mic an acoustic: the neck/body joint, starting ten inches out. You can point the mic back and forth and choose how much diaphragm sound you want. Once you get a good sound you can move in and out to choose the amount of room you want.

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Old 01-14-2021, 11:47 PM
rwhitney rwhitney is offline
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Some use a dynamic mic like an SM57 on resonators. I suspect a ribbon mic (like a Royer R-121 or Beyer M160 might work great as well, though I haven’t tried that yet myself). You might find this useful:

Also try attaching a piezo pickup to the body close to the bridge and blend it with the mic on a separate track. There are relatively inexpensive ones (like this: that don’t sound great on their own, but can fill out the sound combined with a mic. The mic sound is most important, of course; have to get that right first.
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Last edited by rwhitney; 01-15-2021 at 12:02 AM.
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