Start to Finish: Matt Ross-Spang - Episode 7 - Recording Acoustic Guitar

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The foundation of the song is solid, the Masqueraders have layered the backgrounds beautifully, and some of Memphis' finest have laid down some incredible horns on "Just As Long As You Want Me."

It's time to lay down some acoustic guitar overdubs with Eli "Paperboy" Reed.

In this episode, Matt will show you how he approaches recording acoustic guitars, and give you plenty of tips and tricks to apply to your next session.

See how Matt Ross-Spang:

  • Mics the acoustic guitar with a Sony 37a
  • Explains how to get an acoustic guitar player to realize their role in the tone of the guitar
  • Breaks down the signal chain for the acoustic guitar
  • Explains the importance of listening to the source and fixing issues in the live room before addressing them in the control room
  • Discusses how to balance overdubs in the mix to determine if the part, mic selection, or eq is correct for the song
  • Breaks down the cue system at Sam Phillips Recording, and explains why he likes giving everyone the same mix that he has to all of the players, as opposed to the players having their own control over the cue system
  • Dials in the Fairchild 660 on the acoustic guitar
  • Adjusts the microphone to get the perfect balance of attack and body
  • Work out parts to increase the tension of the bridge
  • Talks about different ways to communicate with a variety of artists

Join Matt Ross-Spang, Eli "Paperboy" Reed, The Hodges Brothers, Ken Coomer, and The Masqueraders inside the legendary Sam Phillips Recording in Memphis, TN for an incredible recording event, from Start To Finish. Only on

Equipment & Software


  • Sony C37A
    • Outboard Gear

  • 1969 Spectra Sonics Console
  • Burl Mothership
  • Fairchild 670 MKII
  • Studer A27
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    Matt Ross-Spang

    Matt Ross-Spang is a Multi award-winning engineer, mixer, and producer. His first brush with greatness began at only 14 years old when he received 2 hours of studio time at Sun Studios in Memphis, TN, for his birthday.

    He went on to intern at Sun Studios when he was 16 and learned what it meant to bring recording back to its roots. Matt now operates out of the newly renovated Studio B at Sam Phillips Recording in Memphis, TN, which he now calls “Southern Groove.”

    Among the many incredible entries in his discography, Ross-Spang was hired in 2016 by Sony Records to mix 18 previously unreleased songs by Elvis Presley from his historic 1976 sessions from the Jungle Room at Graceland.

    Known for his unique taste and ability to preserve old school recording techniques and bring them into today’s music, Matt Ross-Spang has worked with some of the world’s most cherished artists from the most legendary studios in recording history.


    John Prine

    Al Green

    Margo Price

    Elvis Presley

    Eli “Paperboy” Reed

    Mary Chapin Carpenter

    What do you have to say?
    Leave a comment
    2021 Jan 10
    Amount of compression?
    2020 Aug 17
    This is a great series, having him back up 2 ft from the mic and hearing the difference I agree it really was an improvement.
    L Pass
    2020 Aug 16
    Eli was playing, playing the intro to Paul McCartney's Great Day! This series is so great. I am so loving being there. Thank you.
    2020 Aug 15
    very interesting video and approach to acoustic guitar. I'd have definitely have asked to "play with less attack" instead of moving the mic a little. awesome lesson because just seconds later the artist says he's a heavy picker. great learning experience.
    2020 Aug 15
    Awesome video! I met Eli in 2009 at Falls Festival, Australia. I was blown away by his live performance. He's a nice guy. I still feel bad for not buying his CD at the time, I had no money on me.