How does one capture that transparent acoustic guitar sound?
I like to record steel stringed acoustic guitars with two mics, one aimed at the bridge and one aimed towards the neck, just about where the neck meets the body. The mic aimed at the bridge will get the bright stuff and the one aimed at the neck gets the dark stuff. The beauty of this approach is it lets you mix ‘n’ match to taste at mixdown. In other words, if it’s just naked guitar or guitar and vocals, you can balance the tracks for a full sound.
This Gearslutz thread has tips on getting a stereo sound from only one guitar:
If you put up a room mic, and you aim it to the side instead of the amp, then that mic gets no direct sound from the amp, and you get no phase problems when you blend it into the mix. Figure 8 pattern works great for this, because there is more rejection at the null point. If the player is into the purity of a trio, with no doubletracking, this would be a good way to go.
And here are some approaches to recording a BIG guitar sound:
take a split of the guitar track & feed it through an eq, then a compressor, then another identical eq. find the spot, usually around 800hz, where the guitar sounds nice & thick & boost it till the eq just starts to dominate, then double that boost. compress that sound like you normally would a guitar, then, on the second eq, cut the same frequency by half the amount you boosted with the first eq. blend this sound in with your original track.