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Sound Advice

Acoustic Recording: Placing The Player by Tim Crich

For an overdub, place the player in the middle of the room aimed toward the control room. Place a couple of baffles around the back and sides of the player. Perhaps throw a rug on the floor to lessen the room ambiance in the microphone. Recording an acoustic guitar in highly reflective places such as the bathroom generates lots of short reflections, or slapback. If needed, this effect, can always be added later.

Some engineers prefer to record in totally dead spaces, eliminating the natural reverb of a room, for more variation when it comes time to mix. Using an overly dry absorbent space may suck up some the luster of a guitar, especially if the guitar is not close miked. A natural sounding space with a small degree of inherent room ambiance works wells to capture a full sounding track.

As with vocals, dim the lights, set up a table and music stand to create a more intimate atmosphere. Make the effort to pamper the player a bit.

Tim Crich wrote the bestseller Assistant Engineers Handbook. He has over 20 years of experience in the recording studio, and has worked on records by Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, KISS, Billy Joel, Bryan Adams, Cher, Bon Jovi and many more. This article is excerpted with permission from his new book Recording Tips For Engineers, available through www.musicbooksplus.com. For more information, see www.aehandbook.com.

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