How To Record Acoustic Guitar: Tips from A Nashville Session Pro and Universal Audio

One of the struggles songwriters have when it comes to recording their music is capturing the sound. We all know the excitement we feel when a new idea presents itself and the record button is pressed. And it’s a horrible feeling and a painful lesson learned if the playback audio quality is sub-par. There’s a certain magic that happens which sometimes can’t be captured again.

It helps to know even the basic proper recording techniques, especially in today’s climate where many of us are left on our own to record. You don’t want all of your brilliance to only exist in a voice memo.

Exactly how do you record an acoustic guitar? Are there different ways to record an acoustic guitar for pop, blues and singer/songwriter? Does mic placement make a difference? What about going direct into the board?

Universal Audio has all your answers in this video tutorial UAD Tones & Techniques. If you’ve been in a recording studio you’ve undoubtedly seen UA gear somewhere in their setup, whether it’s their legendary 1176LN hardware or industry standard software emulation, an Apollo X6 or X8 recording interface or Apollo Twin for more basic production-ready audio.

Grammy-winning producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Kings of Leon) shows you how he records acoustic guitars in the accompanying video. Along with Nashville session guitar ace and Taylor Guitars artist, Jerry McPherson (Faith Hill, Kelly Clarkson) and UA's Ben Lindell, King details how he captures professional, soulful-sounding acoustic guitar tracks for three distinctly different genres — singer/songwriter, roots/blues, and pop/rock — using mic placement, careful mic preamp selection, and other tips that will greatly expand your production toolkit.

King walks us through choosing mics, taking into account genre and eventual mix placement, how he selects mic pairs, and how different combinations of microphones and mic positions will give you superior results.

A Nashville vet with credits on thousands of records, Jerry McPherson shows off a variety of Taylor acoustic guitars and details how he chooses different models depending on the vibe of the track. He also details why experimenting with different picks is preferable to EQ tweaking.

Sit back and learn. Your songs will appreciate it!

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