On Recording Solo Acoustic Guitar
Recording solo acoustic guitar offers many contrasting pros and cons, and honestly, I’m still not quite sure where I stand on it. Although setting up for a recording session is much simpler than setting up for a whole band (it’s only one guitar being recorded) all deficiencies are laid bare for the listener to hear in the mix. If it’s an acoustic guitar that’s apart of a larger full band, using one microphone and getting a ‘good enough’ sound is fine, it’s apart of a larger mix, it will fall back and barely be noticeable anyway, the real greatness will come from the combination of all the instruments together in the final mix. Look at The Beatles, there was always an acoustic guitar being strummed in the background. Noticeable? Sure, I mean, if you look for it! But, if that acoustic guitar is isolated, and was not incredible then...There's a huge problem for everyone to hear, and only the most professional combination of everything else such as drums, vocals, pianos, basses, and strings can fix it.
So when you’re recording solo acoustic guitar everything has got to be golden. Microphone placement, the room, the ambience, it’s all got to be perfect. One hard breath, one fret squeak, one poorly timed hit on the soundboard and it’s all over, we start again. Again and again. There’s no punching in for solo acoustic guitar. It’s got to be great this one time; this one-second has to be perfect.
So in conclusion...recording solo acoustic instrumental guitar is really hard. I suppose I can be consoled in the fact that nothing easy is worth doing(at least, that's what I will tell myself anyway).