How to Get the Best Out of Your Guitar Recording at Home
Many young kids dream of being rock stars when they grow up practicing the air-guitar to the delight of their families and friends. In reality, many aspiring rock stars grow up to play the acoustic guitar instead, accounting for nearly 20 million guitar players in the USA alone. During 2015, 1.45 million acoustic guitars were sold in the States and while many players do so purely for recreational purposes, there are those who strive to record their tracks as well.
If you have previously tried to record acoustic guitar there is a good chance that you have experienced a very demoralizing effect. You were probably thinking that you have captured a beautiful performance only to learn that it is, in fact, terribly flawed. In order to render consistently clear and clean acoustic guitar tracks certain guideline need to be taken into consideration when you start setting up your recording space.
Find the place in the room where your guitar and voice sounds best
Move around the room, testing its acoustics, while making marks on the floor and taking detailed notes. Include the height of the mic off the floor as well as the angle of yourself and your guitar in relation to the mic. You can even go as far as having someone take a photo of you mock-recording in your sweet spot.
Choose and verify the tempo and determine the mood of the song
Spend some time deciding on the tempo at which you are going to record your song. Experiment with a number of different ones before making your final decision. After deciding on the tempo, go on to determine the mood of the song. Is the guitar meant to be gentle or aggressive, graceful or lively? Both the guitar part and your vocal approach will either sink or swim by your accurate assessment of the mood of the song.
Record acoustic guitar and vocals in mono
As both of these are monophonic sources, they need to be recorded accordingly. Once you have a start-to-finish performance of the main guitar part you can opt to record it again and either using the second part to beef up the sound or simply run one guitar track on the right channel and one on the left. Some sound engineers prefer to record with two mics at the same time, pointing them to different sections of the guitar. Experiment with your various options and then decide which will work best for your track.
Consider making a few extra purchases
Apart from obvious requirements such as using a home audio interface, you might want to consider additional investments that will amplify the quality of your recording. If your recording room isn’t soundproofed you may want to consider purchasing a reflexion filter and portable vocal booth. You may also want to get a wind screen if you find yourself experiencing a lot residual noise on your recordings.
There are a lot of important details to consider when recording acoustic guitar at home. Together with those concerns, however, comes a very empowering experience with countless advantages. Don’t rush, take your time and thoroughly enjoy the recording journey. It is important to have fun while recording and also to give yourself some credit where it’s due. Once you hear the completed track you will realise that all the time and effort spent recording it was well worth it.