Connecting acoustic guitars

If you have an electro-acoustic guitar, it will probably have a standard guitar jack socket. You can not directly connect this to a mixer as the signal levels will not be matched and it will sound pretty awful.

You need to go via a direct injection box. You plug the guitar in to this and then use the DI boxes XLR output socket to connect to the mixer using a balanced XLR cable.

DI boxes are pretty inexpensive.

What Type of DI box do we need?

There are 2 basic types, Active and Passive. Active are powered by a 9v battery.

We would always recommend active DI boxes as these allow you to boost or cut the balanced signal and cost the same amount of money. We would also recommend that you get one with a 'ground lift' switch which can be useful if you get mains hum (see Avoiding mains hum).

Using a Microphone

This is really only an option if you are playing as a solo artist or in a duo. For best performance, use a dynamic cardioid type microphone.

Microphone placement
Sound Distance from guitar Position Comment
Bassy 8 inch from sound hole (below) 45 degrees to guitar Good starting position
Very bassy 3 inches from sound hole (below) 45 degrees to guitar Good isolation
Woody, warm, mellow 4 to 8 inches from bridge (below) 30 degrees to guitar Reduces pick and string noise
Natural, well balanced, slightly bright 6 inches from the bridge (above) 30 degrees to guitar Less pickup of ambient sound and leakage
Natural, well balanced Miniature microphone clipped on outside of sound hole Good isolation and freedom of movement
Bassy, less string noise Miniature microphone clipped on inside of sound hole Reduces feedback