Mixing a problematic classical guitar track, recorded with one microphone only. Tips include using hi- and low-pass filters, reducing the “boomy” 200Hz frequency, adding reverb and a stereo emulator plugin. Grab a coffee as it’s quite long (12:45).

Transcription and comments

Hi and welcome to the 3rd Q&A episode of guitarise.com, my online guitar learning platform.

This time we’ll go back to the Villa-Lobos Prelude n. 1 video by Gert from Germany, as he had another question regarding the microphone placement.

For this video he’s using one mic only (Rode NT-1) and a Steinberg audio interface.

This is what he had to say: I cannot find the right position for my new microphone. I’m using a Rode NT1 and the position is approx. 50cm distance to the 12th fret. How do I get the best results with such a mic?

My first reaction was that to get a nice, true stereo sound, he should always try to use two microphones. But in his answer back to me, he made a great point in that the idea is not to get studio quality results, but to make the most of the equipment you already own.

In his own words: I understand that with one mic I’ll never get studio results. But I assume that most guys recording at home don’t have super suitable equipment. In my opinion making the most of one mic only could be a common use case for many guitarists out there.

I completely agree and would like to give a few suggestions that I hope will help Gert and other guitarists record a better sound.

To me personally, 50 cm away from the 12th fret sounds about right and a good starting point. Of course, experimenting with different placements will help you get better at recording every time. Just remember never to point the microphone towards the sound hole, and if the sound is too hard, you can try changing the angle of the microphone, so that it doesn’t point directly at the sound source.

But, because I don’t know your room, I would like to focus more on what you can do to make the sound better in the post production.

So, let’s open an empty Reaper session and import the audio track first.

/mixing session/

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