View Full Version : Tips for Recording Acoustic Guitar in Soundtrack Pro with a SM57

stinkey diver
May 9, 2008, 03:38 PM
Hi. I've recently purchased a m-audio mobile pre usb and a Shure SM57. Im very new to soundtrack which is what ill be using and need a few tips. I will mostly be recording acoustic guitar 6 and 12 string. Since the preamp is only recording one channel with my mic i've being converting everything to mono and then applying effects. Mostly reverb. But id like to make my guitars sound a bit more alive, crisper and deeper. Any advice would be great thanks.

May 9, 2008, 05:11 PM
sm57 isn't my first choice for acoustic. grab a decent condenser mic (the better-than-its-price AT 2020 should be at the top of your list there) and record in a non-dead space.

you may find you don't need as much processing as you expect.

stinkey diver
May 9, 2008, 05:37 PM
I realize that a condenser mic will sound allot better for recording than a sm57 but its all I can really afford at the moment. But ill put it at the top of my list.

May 9, 2008, 05:57 PM
in that case, make sure you've got fresh strings and play with mic positioning, such as pointing the shure at different parts of the neck.

same comment applies about recording in a decent space, though.

stinkey diver
May 9, 2008, 06:09 PM
So having the mic pointed at the sound hole is not always best?

May 9, 2008, 07:26 PM
So having the mic pointed at the sound hole is not always best?

I'd say usually not.

May 10, 2008, 06:20 AM
So having the mic pointed at the sound hole is not always best?

The sound hole on an acoustic is designed to amplify the bass on the instrument, and as the SM57 is going to lack HF response this placement will yield a very bassy sound.

Try positioning the mic around the heel of the neck, which is roughly the center of the speaking length of the strings.

As the SM57 is dynamic, you'll need to keep it reasonably close to the strings, but not too close as this will render the recording lacking in ambience, vary the distance till you get a sound you like, also try varying the vertical position of the mic, above the neck for a tougher, chordal sound, below it for a more delicate picking sound.

You can also mic at the bridge for a brittle sound that cuts in a mix,

May 12, 2008, 11:55 AM
I like pointing the mic at the "12th" fret but still also facing the direction of the sound hole.
Like everyone else said....mess around with mic placement.

May 12, 2008, 12:09 PM
Can you use EQ on soundtrack?
If you can, then try completely cutting a certain amount of the low end and see whether that makes it sound a bit more crisp, though I don't know whether it would sound any 'deeper'.
But as everyone else has said, mess around with the mic positioning first.
No answer is absolute (I sometimes have the mic pointing directly towards the hole to get a specific sound), so it's just a matter of you trying anything you can think of to find the right balance that's right for you.

May 12, 2008, 07:47 PM
The thing to remember about using eq is that you can't boost or cut what isn't there.

It's recommended to try several things before resorting to eq.