Recording Acoustic Guitar: A Comprehensive Guide with a Record Producer

Capturing the perfect sound of an acoustic guitar is an art form in itself. Whether you’re a seasoned musician or a beginner, understanding the nuances of recording this instrument can take your music to a professional level. This guide will walk you through the essential steps and tips for recording acoustic guitar, ensuring high-quality results every time.

Understanding the Basics

Choosing the Right Guitar

The type of acoustic guitar you choose can significantly impact the quality of your recording. Consider factors such as:

  • Body Shape and Size: Different shapes produce different tones. A dreadnought guitar offers a full, rich sound, while a parlor guitar provides a more focused tone.
  • String Type: Phosphor bronze strings offer warmth, while 80/20 bronze strings deliver brightness.
  • Guitar Age and Condition: Older guitars often have a richer sound, but they must be in good condition.

Setting Up Your Recording Space

A controlled environment is important for recording acoustic guitar. Follow these tips to optimize your recording space:

  • Acoustic Treatment: Use foam panels, bass traps, and diffusers to minimize reflections and enhance sound quality.
  • Ambient Noise: Choose a quiet room and minimize external noises.
  • Furniture and Placement: Avoid placing the guitar too close to walls or large furniture that can cause unwanted reflections.

Equipment Essentials


Choosing the right microphone is key to capturing the fine distinctions of an acoustic guitar. Popular choices include:

  • Condenser Microphones: Ideal for their sensitivity and accuracy. Examples include the Neumann KM184 and AKG C414.
  • Dynamic Microphones: Robust and versatile, great for live settings. Examples include the Shure SM57.
  • Ribbon Microphones: Offer a warm, vintage sound. Examples include the Royer R-121.

Microphone Placement

Proper microphone placement can make or break your recording. Here are some common techniques:

  • X/Y Configuration: Placing two condenser microphones in an X shape at the 12th fret for a balanced stereo image.
  • Spaced Pair: Positioning two microphones at different angles and distances from the guitar to capture a wide stereo image.
  • Single Microphone: Placing one microphone 6-12 inches from the soundhole, slightly angled towards the 12th fret.

Additional Gear

  • Pop Filters and Windshields: Reduce plosive sounds and protect the microphone.
  • Preamp: Enhances the signal before it reaches the recording interface. Look for models like the Focusrite Scarlett or Universal Audio Apollo.
  • Recording Interface: Connects your microphones to your computer. Ensure it has high-quality converters and low latency.

Recording Techniques

Fingerpicking vs. Strumming

Different playing techniques require different recording approaches:

    • Fingerpicking: Captures delicate shades and requires close microphone placement.


  • Strumming: Produces a fuller sound and may need multiple microphones to capture the complexity.


Direct Input (DI) Recording

Some acoustic guitars come with built-in pickups, allowing for direct input recording. This method can be combined with microphone recording for a richer sound.

Working with a Record Producer

Collaborating with a record producer can significantly enhance your recording. Here’s how:

Expertise and Experience

A record producer brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to your recording session. They can offer valuable insights into microphone placement, EQ settings, and mixing techniques.

Creative Direction

A producer can help shape the overall sound of your recording, offering suggestions for arrangement and performance that you might not have considered.

Professional Equipment

Working in a professional studio with a record producer gives you access to high-end equipment and acoustically treated spaces, ensuring the best possible sound quality.

Mixing and Mastering

EQ and Compression

Balancing frequencies and dynamics is crucial for a polished recording. Use EQ to cut unwanted frequencies and boost desired tones. Compression helps to even out the dynamics and add sustain.

Reverb and Effects

Adding reverb can give your recording a sense of space and depth. Experiment with different reverb settings to find what best complements your guitar’s sound.

Final Touches

Mastering is the final step in the recording process. It ensures that your track sounds consistent across all playback systems. Consider hiring a professional mastering engineer for this stage.

Record-Producers: Your Partner in Acoustic Guitar Recording

Record-Producers is an established business dedicated to helping artists achieve the best possible recordings. With years of experience and a deep understanding of the industry, we can guide you through the process of recording acoustic guitar. Our team includes some of the top London record producers and studio producers, ensuring you have access to the best talent and resources.

Stephen Budd at RAK Studios on a recent project


Recording acoustic guitar requires careful planning, the right equipment, and a good understanding of techniques. By following this guide and considering the expertise of a record producer, you can achieve professional-quality recordings that truly capture the essence of your performance. Whether you’re a London songwriter, a music engineer, or an artist producer, Record-Producers is here to support you every step of the way.

Additional Resources

For more information on recording acoustic guitar and working with top record producers, explore the following sections on our website:

  • About Us: Learn more about Record-Producers, our mission, and how we can help you find the right record producer to elevate your music.
  • Top London Record Producers: Discover some of the most talented record producers in London who can bring your music to life.
  • Record Producers Guild: Understand the standards and community that support record producers in their craft, ensuring you work with the best in the industry.

By leveraging the expertise of Record-Producers and following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can ensure a successful and productive recording experience. Happy recording!

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