Recording the bouzouki

What is the best way to truly capture the acoustic sound of the bouzouki? I’m using a SM81 condenser microphone with phantom power on my PC with an Audigy Platinum Ex soundcard. Any advice on placement of the mic and other details will be appreciated.

hello. i have been recording the bouzouki for sometime now. my setup is not that unlike yours. i am usuing a pc with the korg oasys soundcard. instead of a mixer, i am using the presonus bluetube preamp.

for my sound, i like to combine the acoustic sound with the sound from my pickup (one of the TAP models). i record in stereo, with the pickup signal being one side and a microphone (oktava condensor) being the other. i usually do a hard pan (one signal full left, one full right) and it gets a truly full sound. sometimes i will apply a few effects to the pickup side only, which adds serious depth without affecting my clean sound.

when i record bouzoukia without pickups, i do something similar. i like to use two microphones at once. depending on the desired tones, experiment with different placements for the microphones (or single micro if that is all you have). the best way to find that perfect mike position is easy. you may have to enlist the help of a friend. what i do is put on some headphones, and listen to the sound as a helper moves the microphone around. sometimes up close, sometimes far away. just keep listening and you will eventually find that perfect spot. what i like to do is to use two mikes. this really brings out the depth of the bouzouki. i usually use one for up close (close to where i strum) and another a little further away.

good luck!