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When I play a guitar solo, my congested breathing gets onto the guitar track. It is very loud and my mics are very sensitive, and a pop filter and many of the other suggestions here are not practical for the uncontrollable loudness of my high-pitched breathing (which can go on for months in the super-dry AZ climate). Placing an acrylic material to stop the noise from entering the mic makes sense to me. But how would I mount it?

My guitar mic is placed at 45" high so I would need something higher than that- a stand or something - and some kind of frame, I guess, to mount the piece of acrylic in. I am no handyman. I don't even know where to buy pieces of acrylic. Does anyone have practical suggestions on how to build such a device?

It'S an acoustic guitar. My mics are all AKG C1000S condenser mics. made in Australia. Full specs are at https://eshop.macsales.com/item/AKG/2331A00070/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2IfAx9392AIVDJJ-Ch1DggIfEAAYASAAEgJ_EvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

  • I'd suggest two things. First make your question clearer by adding details about your set up. I'd assume this is an acoustic guitar? What kind of mic and pattern? Also what do you mean by acrylic? Describe what this should look like. Describe the form rather than just the material (I'm imagining some kind of sneeze guard?) Edit your question and fill out those kind of details. Second, have you exhausted your options as far as mic placement and pickup patterns? For instance try using a narrow pattern and moving the mic closer or using a figure 8 pattern where your head is in the null point. – user37496 Jan 28 '18 at 16:45
  • I've added the mic details in Edit mode, including a link to their website (I hope that's allowed).. To user37496-I am not technical. I do not know what you man by a "pattern". I hold the guitar as close as possible to the mic - about a foot - for max. I do hot want to plug in the guitar – fdg Jan 29 '18 at 18:03
  • I've added the mic details in Edit mode, including a link to their website (I hope that's allowed).. To user37496-I am not technical. I do not know what you man by a "pattern". I hold the guitar as close as possible to the mic - about a foot - for max sound quality. I do hot want to plug in the guitar-the sound quality is inferior, even with a Fishman pickup......Sorry but I have no idea what you mean by "using a figure 8 pattern where your head is in the null point. " In any case the mic is exactly where I want it in relation to the guitar....the acrylic idea came from this web page. – fdg Jan 29 '18 at 18:10
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    Different kinds of mics pick up sound from different directions. Some pick up only what's directly in front of them and some pick up in all directions. That's the "polar pattern" (or pickup pattern). A figure 8 pattern, btw, picks up in front and behind but not on the sides. That's not an option for your mics. You do have the option between cardioid (only what's directly in front of the mic) and hypercardioid (even narrower than cardioid). So you may want to try that. It should just be an included cap that screws on over the capsule. Check your manual. – user37496 Jan 29 '18 at 18:39
  • Sounds like the cap that screws on could be helpful for a number of things, If there were any, they are now lost. I will contact the manufacturer. Good suggestion-thanks! – fdg Feb 1 '18 at 18:22
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Set your microphone to hypercardioid. This has its minima at about 120° from the main axis. So you put your mic pointing down (elevation maybe 45° downwards and quite close pointing into the sound hole so that it "sees" your mouth at about 120°). This will put your mouth at an angle to the mic where its response is minimal.

If you still need more, acrylic is not a good idea since it reflects and will result in strange polar characteristics with regard to your main object. Instead mic screens and baffles can be used. But try the directionality first: it should at least cater for most of the job.

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I get the impression that you feel the breath noise is caused by dryness in the air. That leads me to think a humidifier might help, but that's just guessing on my part. If you were to try this as a solution, I expect you'd need to shut it down for actual recording to avoid humidifier noise instead of breath noise.

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The mics need to be positioned to capture the sound you want from your guitar. If you don't WANT a very close-up sound, it would be a pity to be forced into it. So the answer really has to involve muffling your breathing sound. Acrylic sheet is a horrible idea, it's just asking for nasty reflections. Before we get complicated, don't count out the possibility of training yourself to relax, breathe more slowly and gently. It will probably improve your playing too!

Also, would it be unkind to mention that your AKG C1000S are often reviled as 'worst microphones ever'? This may be going a bit far, but they ARE renowned for being harsh. Have you anything a bit more mellow to try?

But you know the C1000 is 'dual pattern'? It can be made more directional by simply clipping the provided plastic cup over the capsule. THat might be worth a try.

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Have you tried to wear a simple dust mask or respirator? you can get them for $20 or less.

An acrylic guard could reflect noise from the guitar giving an unwanted "tinny" sound and would not absorb the high pitch sound.

The other thing you could try is buying some studio foam and keeping it close to your face and between your face and the mic.

If the breathing noise is only audible during silent parts you can put a gate on it or manually mute the track during silent parts in post.

are you placing the mic on an acoustic guitar? You could always go direct out of the guitar if all else fails.

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    How would that be any quieter? Respirators are not quiet, in my experience. – Todd Wilcox Jan 28 '18 at 22:24
  • eh, I guess I have never tried to use one in a quiet environment. It might not be a good solution. I just tried one on and it hardly made a noise. But that was just calm breathing through my nose. I guess if he is having trouble with his nose making a high pitch sound he can just breathe through his mouth. – Timinycricket Jan 28 '18 at 22:47
  • -I tried using earplugs as nose plugs. I have a dust mask that I could try. what is studio foam and any pointers on where I would get it? The idea sounds promising....what do you mean by a Gate?...the mic is on a mic stand. I'm sorry if I am not using the edits and comments correctly. There seem to be endless rules, like I only have 5 minutes? What?? Why? – fdg Jan 29 '18 at 18:14
  • I am not sure where you could get it over there in Australia but you should google it and see what comes up. By “gate” I mean a noise gate, which is basically a dynamic effect where you can set a threshold input level and if the input is quieter than the threshold it mutes the input by itself and unmutes it when the signal is loud enough. So this is only useful if when the Guitar is playing. – Timinycricket Jan 29 '18 at 18:46
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    @Timinycricket a noise gate is almost certainly not helpful for classical guitar. The breathing intensity rises with the dynamic level, and it will often overlap with still ringing notes. – leftaroundabout Jan 29 '18 at 22:26
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Get a standard orchestral music stand.

It's height-adjustable, and the main face of the stand (the metal face with small tray) is adjustable in angle, pretty much 270 degrees or more.

A perfect, affordable sound baffle.

Oh, and you can place your song lyrics on it as well.

music stand sound shield

  • This might work, but I really can't imagine how this could be adjusted so the plate is between the mouth and the mic and still doesn't obstruct the playing. Unless the mic is pretty far away, however that would again lower the signal-to-noise ratio. – leftaroundabout Jan 29 '18 at 22:21
  • I will endeavor to take a photo of the set up that I'm proposing. It'll have to be after work, as I'm headed off to my job here in a short while. The only down side of what I propose is that you cannot see thru the music stand, whereas with plexiglass, you certainly can. – Sparquelito Jan 30 '18 at 11:15
  • I have several music stands and had thought of using one but as leftraroundabout says, the positioning of the stand is problematical. If you can do it, please do take a picture. – fdg Feb 1 '18 at 17:54
  • I'm afraid that my idea is a bust. Not because it's necessarily a bad idea, but because my music stands do not telescope tall enough to baffle the guitar noise from the vocal mic. (Not unless you are playing in a seated position, and that's a no-go for me. I must record standing up.) – Sparquelito Feb 1 '18 at 22:39

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