Today we’re focusing on specific techniques for mic’ing and recording nylon-stringed instruments. We’re starting with the Schoeps CMC-6 bodies, with MK2H capsules on them. These are omni capsules with a slight high-frequency extension. They provide a nice warm, natural tone with a little bit of extra detail on the top-end. This really helps accentuate the top-end detail of these fine instruments.
We recommend recording with no carpet on the floor. The reason for this is we have found that for classical guitars, mic’ing them with omni’s, and getting them a little bit closer to the ground to pick up a little bit more of the direct reflection of the instrument. Recording straight off the ground, helps create a more focused image of the instrument. Whereas if you had omni’s in a room, a little bit higher up on the image, you might get a more diffused, muddy and not as clear sound. So, we kept these a little bit lower to maximize the reflections off the floor, and to get a little bit more focus.
We do have a combination of both standard acoustic instruments, as well as acoustic electric. With just the pure acoustic mics, we have a pair of Neumann TLM 107’s in the back as cardioid room microphones. These microphones are excellent room mics because they are very natural, and incredibly transparent. There’s a lot of detail, but also a lot of musicality, as well. When you combine the close mic’ing with the warm, natural, and open Schoeps, with the room mics of the 107’s, you get nice depth and a lot of transparency in the back wall. Along with a lot of natural warmth, and natural representation coming from the Schoeps, it’s a really fantastic sound.
When micing a hybrid acoustic-electric instrument, we also suggest the Schoeps CMC-6 bodies, with the MK2H capsules. We also advise amplifying the signal, (using an electric guitar amp) mic’ing with a ribbon mic, (like the Shure KSM313) and running the mic into a classic-sounding preamp, like a Vintech or BAE (Neve 1073 style) preamp. This combination is very fitting for a classical performance, as it adds fullness and richness. It’s also very forgiving and a very musical sound with the amplifier, while letting the Schoeps pick up the natural beauty, the natural warmth, the natural tone of a hybrid acoustic-electric instrument. Naturally, this method will require isolation between the guitar, and the amplifier to achieve the best results.
Neumann TLM 107 (Black) Multi-pattern LDC Microphone
In this video, SoundPure Pro Audio Expert, Travis Hall demonstrates different ways to record Acoustic and Acoustic/Electric Nylon Classical Guitars. Using these techniques, we captured the most beautiful and precise sounds from the guitars, with help from SoundPure Guest Musician, Dennis Aberle. If you like what you hear, check out the gear used in this video at SoundPure.com or call us anytime at 919.682.5552. Thanks for watching!