Like the title says: Does anyone have tips for mic placement that will help pick up and project percussion (generally through a PA system).

I'm beginning to get more into the "live performance" scene with open mics, but my 20-something year old Ovation is not exactly built to project the percussive nature of solo finger-style. I believe it has an under saddle/piezo pickup, but in addition to the body having strange plastic, curved back, the pick up does not quite capture the percussive hits when plugged in.

SO, my next guess (besides updating pick ups which I can't afford at the moment) was to mic the guitar in some form while also plugging in to bring out the percussion as well as keep the lovely hi-centric sound that the piezo brings out. (This is assuming the venue is able to blend the two. Otherwise, I'll probably stick to un-mic'd so I don't risk losing out on the various harmonics and things.)

I am EXTREMELY unfamiliar with the electronics side of live music (which is what drew me to acoustic in the first place) so I'm not exactly sure what I'm talking about.

I've tried researching mic placement, and generally it's recommended to place it at fret 12/14. But, I'm not necessarily looking to bring much else besides percussion through the mic so I'm not sure how/if that would change the placement.

If my plan isn't going to work very well, I guess the question would switch to how do you amplify an acoustic instrument in a way that brings out the subtle percussive elements? Whether this is interior pick up styles/brands, effects, mics, etc. please let me know your advice/personal preferences.

Thank you all in advance! Have a good Tuesday!


1 Answer 1


I think what would be a much better solution is a preamp with EQ designed for piezo pickups. The lack of low end is inherent in piezo pickups especially when they are not connected to a preamp with the right input impedance.

I would look at pedals from Fishman and LR Baggs and any related brands to find a piezo preamp with EQ and ideally an XLR output. Then you can properly load the pickup you already have and use EQ to emphasize the frequencies needed for the percussive sound.

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