Recording an Acoustic Guitar - Spaced Pair

Learn how to correctly record the acoustic guitar using the spaced pair microphone technique.

Microphone Type

  • Option one: Two condenser microphones
    • Polar response: Cardioid
    • Example: Shure SM81
  • Option two: Two condenser microphones
    • Polar response: Omni
    • Example: Neumann KM183

Ideally, both microphones should be the same type and manufacturer.


Position the two microphones close to the guitar at approximately 30-50cm away. To avoid phasing issues, both microphones should adhere to the 3 to 1 rule and be positioned apart from each other at exactly the same height. One microphone should be pointing at the 12th fret of the guitar and the other at the bridge to help blend the tonalities of the guitar’s body. The microphone pointing at the bridge provides the warmth, and microphone pointing at the 12th fret captures the brightness.

Top Tips

  • Clothing can ruin a guitar recording. Make sure the musician has no belt buckles or buttons that can potentially hit the guitar. Also, noisy jeans shuffles can often leak into the microphone
  • The best environment for an acoustic guitar is a reflective one. Insufficient natural reverb can make a recording sound dull and lifeless
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