The Forbidden Guitar Mic!

Lavalier mics: Not just for talking heads!

UPDATE: You’ll find a reworked version of my article on the “forbidden” guitar mic here at the online guitar magazine Pure Guitar โ€” along with a ton of other great stuff. It’s still free! :beer:

19 comments to The Forbidden Guitar Mic!

  • Dan

    A bit off-topic, but this reminded me of something. We had a replacement neck pickup for a Rickenbacker bass (it was a Duncan, come to think of it) sitting around forever at a store where I worked. I guess I got tired of staring at so I bought it and stuck it in the neck position of my Strat just for the hell of it. It wound sounding pretty cool! I swear you could almost see the low E vibrate in a really weird pattern because of being yanked around by this strong magnet (likely my imagination, but who knows?) Anyway, this post reminded me of the idea that, equipment can be used any which way, and within reason, you’re not likely to break something, so what the hey, mess around with stuff!

  • joe.gore

    I love stuff like that. I needed a 4-string bass pickup the other day, and the only thing that would fit the slot was a 6-string guitar pickup. I popped it in and … well, it sounded pretty good! The only way to truly break stuff discover new things it to experiment.

  • DohminSemper

    I’ve got 2 lavalier microphones that I never used, but I will sure do now ๐Ÿ™‚ I used to mic my monitors and blend it to the mix, which gave a more natural sound but that would work better ๐Ÿ˜€

  • joe.gore

    I was saving it for another post, but … the lag mics are AMAZING with resophonic guitars.

  • DohminSemper

    By the way I just used that trick to record my acoustic guitar and the results was great. It gave it the extra high-end that It was missing.

  • Amgore

    We also know that trick.
    Great looking site.
    Anne and Marvin

  • Wow. This site rocks!

    Literally.

    I should be working on my sequel. Instead I’m exploring every link and recording you’ve posted.

    Thanks, Joe, for blowing my productivity out of the water.

    RSG

  • Tom Mulhern

    Cool idea. I believe Frank Zappa used to stick a contact mic on the headstock of his Strat to snag some of the resonance, although it was probably limited to studio experimentation. Have you tried using two of these lav mics, placing one out of phase and then blending them? Might give a strange bunch of nasal tones. Cool site, Joe!

    • joe

      Attention! Attention! Legendary guitar and bass journalist in the house!

      Thanks for the kind words, which mean so much coming from you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’m gonna try the two mics. โ€™Cause my sound isn’t quite messed-up enough yet.

  • Tom Mulhern

    Joe, you’re overselling me. But I’ve always loved subverting technology. Glad to see you’re spreading the subversive word! Now I have to go find a lavalier mic or two (not going to spring for a couple of Countrymans right away, however).

    One thought about spacing dual mics: In air, every foot of distance equals 1 millisecond (approximately) delay between one and the other, so there may be some spectacularly uncontrollable (?) effects just by moving those mics small distances. Or not. Adrian Legg might have some ideas on this. Happy experimenting!

    Cheers!

  • J

    Super interesting idea! Makes me think of piezo pick ups…REALLY want try try this on my semi-acoustic bass!

  • Scott

    Cool ideas. I had done that as a way to mic my archtop a long time ago, but never thought about doing it to my solidbody guitars.

    One thing: the way it is written (and sounds), you have mic’d the guitar and recorded it and then mixed the recording with the recording running through an amp simulator. Correct? I would have also liked to hear the actual electric pickup output combined with the acoustic. Any chance you might add a couple of tracks like that to this post?

    • joe

      Sorry if I wasn’t clear! No, I believe you hear exactly what you wanted to hear in the latter example in each pair: the miked guitar and the regular sound of the pickups. In the very last example, though, I went one extra step and ran the miked signal through additional effects.

  • Eric Drew Feldman

    very nice

  • joe

    Eric! Thanks for stopping in!

    Everyone, meet the great Eric: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Drew_Feldman

  • Elliot

    I got the crazy idea once to put one of those “stick-on” acoustic pickups on my strat and run it through an amp. the sounds are really similar with the exception of more bass from the stick-on.
    I loved the “in-the-hole” sound! I imagine with some drive it would sound super groovy.

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