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Old 01-15-2022, 11:38 AM
Pizzanetor Pizzanetor is offline
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Question Help me choose and place high-end microphones

Hi guys, I start by telling you that, despite playing guitars for over 15 years, I've never recorded any song on acoustic guitars, so I'm a noob at recording techniques.

I've a personal studio at home, where I record music videos (mainly for youtube, twitch and instagram) with my electric guitar through the following scheme:
Guitar > Amp head > Universal Audio Ox > Audio Interface > Computer.
(Clearly, the Universal Audio Ox converts the signal, transmits it to the audio interface, therefore all without the aid of microphones).

For acoustics, however, this procedure isn't good: I've unamplified acoustics (I'm literally opposed to acoustic amplification) and therefore Universal Audio Ox becomes useless.
EDIT: After several searches I'm oriented to take two Neumann KM184, positioned with the XY position
Do you think these go well paired? Opinions?
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Last edited by Pizzanetor; 01-16-2022 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:43 AM
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First, dozens of threads already on this very topic are available for you to look through. If you just end up looking at
the replies you will get to your new thread you will miss a lot of valuable information.
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
dozens of threads already on this very topic are available for you to look through.
Nope, I did the research but the specific question about these two microphones has not been previously asked nor answered by anyone in other threads.
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:50 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Derek makes a good point about checking out many similar threads on the RECORD section here.

However, I think your approach of where to locate microphones and which microphones to use would work well. I have found that I like to aim the microphone on the neck side of the guitar a little bit more at the body rather than at the neck. I have also found that the mic on the body side of the guitar is going to pick up way more sound, so I tend to move that mic back a little more, maybe about 14-18" distance, while the mic on the neck side is closer, maybe 10".

Best of luck to you! I think you have a good plan.

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Old 01-15-2022, 11:54 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Sweetwater, who is an AGF sponsor, has done several microphone "shootouts" that may be helpful. You might want to check out this page on the Sweetwater site.

I hope this is helpful!

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Old 01-15-2022, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizzanetor View Post
1) First of all I want to ask you if you agree with this scheme, if you think it's optimal to place the microphones in these two spots.

2) Furthermore, I had thought of two microphones, specifically Neumann TLM103 (large diaphragm) and Neumann KM184 (small diaphragm).
Do you think these go well paired?
What pleases anyone, so far as recording acoustic guitar, is going to be mostly subjective so there is no such thing as "optimal." You have to figure out what method gives you results you find pleasing.

The same goes for mixing two mics. You'll either like the results or you won't. None of us can tell you what will sound good to you.

Stickied to the top of this subforum is a thread called "AGF Members Gear Masterlist and Recommended Tutorial Videos." If you scroll down to the fourth post, you'll find a section called "RECORDING ACOUSTIC GUITARS." There are a bunch of videos there that will discuss techniques. That would be a good place for you to start.
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Old 01-15-2022, 12:06 PM
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If you want one large diaphragm and one small diaphragm I would consider a different large diaphragm than the 103 myself. A multi-pattern LDC gives you other options to play around with - figure eight pattern in particular can be very useful. For one thing you could do mid/side recording.. Perhaps an Austrian Audio 818 or similar for example.
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Old 01-15-2022, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by min7b5 View Post
If you want one large diaphragm and one small diaphragm I would consider a different large diaphragm than the 103 myself. A multi-pattern LDC gives you other options to play around with - figure eight pattern in particular can be very useful. For one thing you could do mid/side recording.. Perhaps an Austrian Audio 818 or similar for example.
these are the kind of answers I actually need, because I read that the optimal approach would be "1 large diaphragm + 1 small diaphragm", but I just don't know if those two mics are fine.
About Neumann which large diaphragm mic would you suggest?
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Old 01-15-2022, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizzanetor View Post
these are the kind of answers I actually need, because I read that the optimal approach would be "1 large diaphragm + 1 small diaphragm", but I just don't know if those two mics are fine.
About Neumann which large diaphragm mic would you suggest?
I'm not sure there's such a thing as an "optimal" approach. Probably most people would tell you that two mics of the same kind would be ideal, if there is such a thing. For standard mic placements like XY or ORTF, having the mics be similar is easier to work with. For spaced pairs, which is what you're showing, anything is fair game. There's nothing wrong with your mic choices - the 184 is as close to a "standard" for acoustic guitar as you can get, and many people like the TLM103 as well. If you get them, I think you'll find the differences between them are much smaller than you expect. Some people do find that they like different-sounding mics on each side of a guitar in a spaced pair arrangement, but i's a matter of taste, the guitar, your room, and the specific mics. But a TLM103 vs a KM184 may not sound different enough in this application to even matter.

Eric is suggesting that if you want an LD mic, you might get one with multiple polar patterns, which provides more flexibility in mic placement techniques. It won't be that they automatically sound better, just that you can use different micing techniques. You may or may not appreciate those techniques until you get more experience - or may never need them. Using a pair of cardioid mics as spaced pairs or in XY is probably how 95% of the recordings you hear have been done.

Do you already have some mics? I'd get some practice recording before committing to 2 moderately expensive mics, unless it's not an issue for you if you end up not liking them. They're solid mics and it'd be easy to just say "get them, they're totally professional-quality lifetime mics", but you won't know if they're what you want until you try them and get a lot more experience recording guitar. For most people, mics are not the obstacle, and in fact, gear in general is not the obstacle to recording acoustic guitar - it's room acoustics. I'd watch the videos Jim pointed you to, try some recording with whatever you have, or can borrow - then start figuring out how you can try some of the mics you're interested in.

Also, I'm curious what you plan to record - I'm guessing from your description that you're not recording solo guitar, but instead multi-instrument tracks. In that case, it's common to just record acoustic guitar in mono, so you can choose your own sound stage in a mix. If the acoustic is the featured instrument, stereo is probably a better choice.

Last edited by Doug Young; 01-15-2022 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 01-15-2022, 03:04 PM
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Answers can be all over the place (which gets back to my initial post). A lot depends on the sound you want and what you can hope to
get with your guitar, your room, and your playing. Listen to some of the clips of people's recordings that post on the forum and if some
of them appeal to you find out their recording setup and environment (likely that info has already been posted or you could ask).
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Old 01-15-2022, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizzanetor View Post
..
About Neumann which large diaphragm mic would you suggest?
Well, depends on your budget. If it has to be a Neumann, for me personally with large diaphragms and multi-patterns anyway, it's gonna be a big jump in price. I myself like the u87 and u89 on acoustic guitar -the former is what Mark Goldenberg and I used for our Artifact record for example. I've never used a TLM 170 but that's one that I'd love to try.. But again, if it doesn't have to have the purple diamond on it, there are so many top notch options for less dough now days.. Like again, the Austrian Audio stuff, or maybe Lauten.. Others will no doubt chime in with other great options.
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Old 01-15-2022, 04:34 PM
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So I am guessing English is a second language ?

The reason I ask is some of the terms you are using.

As others have said there is no "optimal" placement or mic selection, (as such) There are different personal preferences but not really an optimal one.

Your diagram basically shows an often used space pair method, with some variation on that width also being normal

Also one LDC and one SDC while certainly a valid option choice , but not necessarily the '"optimal" one. (unless perhaps you are also trying to have dual use with the LDC for vocal use also and don't want to pay for three mics) Because a pair of spaced SDC mic is just as valid a choice .
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Old 01-15-2022, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizzanetor View Post
Nope, I did the research but the specific question about these two microphones has not been previously asked nor answered by anyone in other threads.
Those are the exact mics I bought in 2000 for recording solo fingerstyle acoustic guitar, one Neumann TLM 103 and a pair of Neumann KM 184. I found I preferred the pair of 184s much more than a 103/184 pair, regardless of mic placements.
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Old 01-16-2022, 12:15 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdelsolray View Post
Those are the exact mics I bought in 2000 for recording solo fingerstyle acoustic guitar, one Neumann TLM 103 and a pair of Neumann KM 184. I found I preferred the pair of 184s much more than a 103/184 pair, regardless of mic placements.
Very interesting comment!

It does seem that a lot of folks are using two small diaphragm condenser mics for a good guitar sound very often these days. It may depend on the guitar that is being recorded.

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Old 01-16-2022, 07:56 AM
Pizzanetor Pizzanetor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
Stickied to the top of this subforum is a thread called "AGF Members Gear Masterlist and Recommended Tutorial Videos." If you scroll down to the fourth post, you'll find a section called "RECORDING ACOUSTIC GUITARS." There are a bunch of videos there that will discuss techniques. That would be a good place for you to start.
Thank you very much for this golden suggestion, I spent literally hours reading posts and watching videos, I also found by myself the youtube channel Joe Gilder - Home Studio Corner, with a lot of interesting videos and explanations in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdelsolray View Post
Those are the exact mics I bought in 2000 for recording solo fingerstyle acoustic guitar, one Neumann TLM 103 and a pair of Neumann KM 184. I found I preferred the pair of 184s much more than a 103/184 pair, regardless of mic placements.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
Very interesting comment!
It does seem that a lot of folks are using two small diaphragm condenser mics for a good guitar sound very often these days.
@sdelsolray thanks for your very precise opinion!
@Glennwillow exactly, after numerous researches (on AGF, on TGP and in forums dedicated to professional audio and sound engineers), I realized that there is no basic rule: there are those who record with two large diaphragm, with two small diaphragm, with one large and one small, with 3 different, all in the most different positions.
But in general, many people (most of them from what I've read) prefer two small diaphragm.

After several searches I'm oriented to take two Neumann KM184, positioned with the XY position.
Opinions or Suggestions?
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Last edited by Pizzanetor; 01-16-2022 at 08:13 AM.
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