The best part about learning how to play acoustic guitar is getting to a level where you can record your sessions.
However, recording acoustic guitar might be harder than recording any other instrument. You will need good microphones and strike a balance in the way the microphones are positioned to pick the desired sound.
Before you think about all the technicalities of the mic setup, you need to ensure you have the best mic for the job.
Here is a summary of the best mic you can consider:
1.Shure SM81-LC Cardioid Microphone for Guitar – most popular
2.Neumann KM 184 Condenser Microphone– best value
3. VR2 Voodoo Active Ribbon Microphone – best budget
Best Mic For Recording Acoustic Guitar Reviewed- Top Picks
Neumann KM 184 is suitable for economy-concious acoustic guitarists, and it is ideal for home recordings. The microphone is designed with the standards of the global studio community.
The microphone delivers flat frequency response making it amazing for acoustic guitar. It has a smooth response for the off-axis sound incidence.
The mic has a frequency range of up to 20 Hz and is perfect for a guitar studio. The microphone has a simple design that is easy even for beginners to figure out.
- It is compact
- Good frequency
- It has high-quality hardware
- It is expensive
If you are looking for a microphone that can deliver a warm and natural sound for acoustic guitar recordings, Beyerdynamic M160 is a good pick. This Microphone features a frequency response of 40 – 18,000 Hz.
This microphone has a legendary record for guitarists. It has been used in mega shows like the Grammys to create classic sounds. The microphone also does a great job on modern sounds or acoustic guitars.
The microphone is amazing for recording during gigs or in the studio. It is handmade and made with high expertise to deliver quality sound.
Normally, ribbon microphones have a dark sound, but this microphone is versatile. It delivers amazing sound for recordings, including vocals recordings. The mic has a full-frequency response, which creates an amazing guitar sound.
- Has a warm and natural sound
- It is versatile for what you can record
- Features a full-frequency response
- Not the best mic for a crisp balanced sound
If you are looking for an acoustic guitar microphone that can operate perfectly with phantom power, Shure SM81-LC is a worthy pick. It is a great mic to use with modern mixers. For the mic to deliver the best, it needs a 48V dc supply.
This microphone features a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The microphone has a flat response curve that delivers accurate sound reproduction for sound sources.
If you have a humidifier in the guitar studio, this microphone spares you with hiccups on performance due to temperatures. The microphone performs well in humidity conditions and a variety of temperatures. It is a good microphone for acoustic guitars and it delivers unbelievable clarity.
- It has a dead-flat response
- Sound is transparent and accurate
- Delivers clear acoustic sound
- It is well-crafted and designed
- The plastic covers the threading that attaches to the mic stand
This is a budget-friendly microphone for recording acoustic guitars. The microphone features a frequency of 20hz to 18khz. The active ribbon delivers all the benefits of traditional ribbon without forgoing the edge of the high frequencies.
This microphone gives sound clarity and does not have the dull effect of some microphones. It also ensures that sound harshness is smoothened out.
This microphone features a custom-built shock mount that allows isolation from mechanical vibration. The shock mounts are also versatile and flexible in mic placement when recording.
- It is budget-friendly
- It has a warm sound
- It features a wooden box for storage
- Features custom-built shock mount
- It has a wide base which takes extra effort to fit into the shock mount
Is it better to record an acoustic guitar with a microphone or without?
Recording acoustic guitars without a mic does not required a heavy setup, and it can executed quickly in minutes. Recording without a mic also minimizes unwanted noises from being recorded. However, if you want a natural, warm, and accurate sound when recording, consider using a microphone to recording acoustic guitar.
How do you record the best acoustic guitar sound?
To record the best acoustic guitar session, place your microphone on the 12th or 14th fret and another on the bridge towards the sound hole. Make the necessary adjustments to the microphones until you get a good sound.
Is It Hard To Record Acoustic Guitar?
It might take many failed attempts to capture the rich tone of acoustic guitar. The trick is to use two microphones to capture sound from multiple directions. Using two mics helps you capture the sound in depth and with accuracy.
What Issues Can One Experience When Recording With Two Microphones?
While recording with two microphones gives sound clarity and depth, it has challenges. The sounds picked from each microphone can interfere with each other, which makes it hard to achieve a good recording. You might also experience unbalanced sound as one mic might record higher or lower frequencies than the other microphone.
To record great acoustic guitar sessions, your microphone needs to be on point. In this review, the microphone frequencies determine the quality of the guitar recordings. When choosing the microphone, it is important to take a keen at the features and capabilities of the mic. Conclusively, a good microphone for an acoustic guitar should give you sound warmth and accuracy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of microphone is optimal for recording an acoustic guitar?
When considering the best microphone type for recording acoustic guitars, it is generally agreed upon in the music industry that **condenser microphones** truly outshine the rest. The reason behind their favored status boils down to their ability to be placed in close proximity to the sound source. Their specific design specializes in capturing intricate details of the acoustic guitar. One of the most invaluable features of these mics are their cardioid polar patterns, adeptly mitigating unwanted ambient sound and noise contamination which allows for a pure, isolated capture of your guitar’s tones.
Let me share with you an experience from my own time in the recording studio. We were working with a talented acoustic guitarist and had opted for a condenser microphone. The results? – unmatched. The mic beautifully picked up the guitar's nuances that might otherwise have been lost. This practical experience, along with the technical superiority of condenser microphones, convinces me of their unbeatable performance in recording acoustic guitars.
How to set up the microphone perfectly for recording acoustic guitar?
Getting the perfect sound balance whilst recording an acoustic guitar can be quite a challenge, but the solution lies in the optimal positioning of your microphone. A tried-and-tested location for your mic is slightly distanced, about 6 to 12 inches away from the acoustic guitar, coinciding with a position centering over the 12th and 14th fret. This particular alignment tends to capture the most balanced and natural tones.
Furthermore, feel free to experiment by angling your microphone towards different parts of the guitar. A lean towards the neck could lead to a leaner sound, whilst facing the sound hole would emphasize pick or finger noises. I remember an instance where an artist wanted a distinct plucky ready for his song, we adjusted the microphone towards the sound hole, and voila! the result was exactly what he was looking for. Remember, creativity and experimentation can often lead to that unique sound you're after.
What kind of microphones would be ideal for guitar recording?
Looking for the ideal choice of microphone to capture the raw power and intensity of your guitar can be overwhelming given the extensive range available. However, knowing your guitar type and style can make the selection less complicated.
Is a dynamic or condenser mic more suitable for acoustic guitar recording?
Choosing between dynamic and condenser mics for recording an acoustic guitar is actually easier when you consider the nature of the instrument and the type of sound you want to capture. Typically, **condenser mics are a better fit for acoustic guitars** due to their sensitivity to high frequencies and quieter sounds. They truly shine in capturing the delicate and intricate details of the acoustic guitar.
On the other hand, dynamic mics are a prefered choice for electric guitar amps, as they are more resilient and equipped to handle louder sounds and a broader frequency range (from low to mid frequencies).
Through my years of recording experience, I've found that using the right mic for the specific instrument and sound level can make all the difference. For instance, I once used a dynamic mic to record an acoustic guitar and though the output was acceptable, it lacked the vibrancy and detail we achieved when we switched to a condenser microphone. So, be sure to choose the right mic based on your specific requirements.