Recording acoustic devices could be a ton of enjoyable. There’s intimacy in having an artist merely sit down with their acoustic guitar and play. As a result of there aren’t many shifting elements from a technical perspective, you’ve got extra power to concentrate on efficiency and nuance. That’s when the true problem (and enjoyable) begins! For these recording at residence, discovering one of the best mic for acoustic guitar could be daunting. Fortunately, you don’t want entry to a high-end mic locker to seize wonderful acoustic recordings!
What to Search for in an Acoustic Guitar Mic
That’s the age-old query that us gear junkies have, isn’t it? What’s the finest ‘x’ for engaging in ‘y’? The true reply to this query is that there isn’t any ‘finest’ something; certain, there are long-running favorites that engineers have relied on for years, however recording music is much too subjective an expertise to assert a be-all-end-all. There are such a lot of elements concerned, from how the performer performs, the music itself, the instrument used, how the room sounds, the engineer and the artist’s private sonic preferences, and on, and on.
With all of these different variables to contemplate, it virtually makes mic alternative appear trivial. In some methods it’s, as a result of proficient engineers have been getting wonderful outcomes with little to nothing for many years. And in different methods it’s crucial, based mostly on tried-and-true acoustic guitar recording strategies. Earlier than we dive into our picks for one of the best mics, we’ll briefly focus on elementary acoustic guitar recording methods.
Recording Acoustic Guitar
Most engineers prefer to file acoustic guitar in excessive element utilizing some type of stereo miking. X/Y is simple sufficient to arrange and makes use of cardioid mics, so that you don’t have to fret about having a number of polar patterns on costlier microphones. That’s one option to file acoustic guitar with richness and width.
Small diaphragm condensers are additionally a well-liked alternative for acoustic guitar and different acoustic devices as a result of they are usually very detailed in the way in which they seize sound. Additionally they work fantastically as a pair for stereo recording, so SDCs are going to be on the high of the checklist for acoustic guitar.
Now right here’s the place issues begin to get ambiguous once more, as a result of sure dynamic mics, and naturally giant diaphragm condensers, are nice for recording acoustic guitar as nicely. Dynamics are extra genre-dependent, although; they’re insensitive and fewer detailed than a condenser, however would work nice for somebody doing heavy strumming. After all, LDCs work on something and every little thing. Often one LDC positioned wherever between the bridge and the underside of the neck to style works nicely on acoustic guitar.
Finest Mic for Acoustic Guitar Underneath $1000
1. Shure SM57
What can we are saying concerning the SM57 that hasn’t already been stated? It’s simply within the high three (high two?) most well-known microphones ever made. Since its debut, the 57 has seemingly performed an element in nearly each file ever made. Repute apart, we don’t typically contemplate this dynamic mic an incredible alternative for quieter, extra delicate acoustic devices.
Though the rugged and brash SM57 isn’t one of the best for recording probably the most detailed and nuanced performances, it’s nonetheless an superior alternative for somebody who strums aggressively. The 57’s presence increase works nicely sufficient, and you’ll even use proximity impact to your benefit to offer a thinner sounding guitar extra physique.
2. AKG C451
The ever-present 451 is likely one of the most well-known small diaphragm condensers of all time. It’s primarily famous for being a improbable hi-hat or cymbals mic, and unusually sufficient, what tends to work on elements of a drum set additionally tends to work on acoustic guitar. Though the 2 devices appear worlds aside when it comes to sound, the elemental objective of recording both is to seize transients and high-end sheen in nice element and readability. Thus, the 451 makes for a superb acoustic guitar mic, whether or not alone or (higher but) as a stereo pair.
Right here’s one other simple SDC with a repute for sounding nice and being very reasonably priced. This one has a clean frequency response throughout a lot of the spectrum till it reaches a modest increase within the highs for some added presence and air. Relying in your style, that additional little little bit of kick within the high finish might sound phenomenal when capturing all the main points and nuance of an acoustic guitar.
The CK-1 by Avantone Professional is a small diaphragm FET condenser excellent for recording acoustic guitar at nicely below $1000. They’re so reasonably priced, the truth is, that it might be a good suggestion to choose up a pair of those unhealthy boys so you’ll be able to make the most of stereo miking methods in your acoustic. They characteristic a high-pass filter and a pad, so that they’re additionally helpful on different sources aside from guitar. Nice mics for such an incredible worth.
5. AKG C214
The 214 shares DNA with the long-lasting 414 in a extra reasonably priced package deal. If you already know something about 414s, you’d know that they’re some of the favored and versatile LDCs aside from the venerable Neumann U87. The 214 is unquestionably on par when it comes to sound high quality, although it lacks a number of the additional options present in its huge brother. Fortunately that’s no compromise when recording acoustic guitar, making the 214 one of many high decisions in giant diaphragm condenser microphones.
Finest Mic for Acoustic Guitar Over $1000
1. AKG C414 XLS
Once we consider legendary microphones, an excellent handful actually come to thoughts. The AKG C414 is a part of that group, as one in all probably the most versatile and sensible LDCs ever made. The XLS model presents 9 polar patterns, a three-step high-pass filter, and three-step pad. Its capacity to seize acoustic and stringed devices in lifelike element makes it a superb alternative.
Lauten Audio constantly impresses with their lineup of vintage-inspired, trendy microphones. The FC-357 is not any exception — a large-diaphragm FET condenser combining one of the best of traditional and trendy sound in a single microphone. It excels at not solely instrument miking, however vocals, overheads, and extra. The sound is pure and spherical such as you’d discover in a classic FET, with a touch of up to date hi-fi to put it in time.
Neumann’s KM 184 boasts a variety of functions, together with every little thing from loud and brash sources like cymbals, percussion, and brass, to the extra intimate element of glowing acoustic guitar and piano. As a stereo pair, you’ll be able to make use of stereo miking methods to file acoustic guitar with extra width and depth, as if you happen to’re within the room with the guitarist. These mics have a really lifelike high quality to them that sounds improbable on acoustic guitar.
Usually overshadowed by the competitors, these superior little SDCs by Beyerdynamic sound nice and are available matched stereo pairs. They arrive with high-pass filters, pads, windscreens, and a pleasant carrying case besides. The MC 930 is ideal for solo devices just like the acoustic guitar.
5. Neumann U 87
Absolutely all of us noticed this coming, proper? The U 87 is probably the most well-known FET condenser microphone of all time, and definitely some of the recorded mics in historical past. Its versatility is chargeable for that, and you’ll relaxation assured it might sound correct at residence on the acoustic guitar. We did say any finances!
Finest Finances Acoustic Guitar Mics
There are many choices below $1000. Many may even be bought in pairs for lower than a grand. These are a handful of the highest picks for the house recorder!
1. Shure SM81
The Shure SM81 small diaphragm condenser is designed for acoustic guitarists at the beginning. Shure kindly opens the door to be used on piano and drum overheads or hi-hats too, however this factor actually will get it completed on guitar. It’s fairly easy when it comes to options; it’s a hard and fast cardioid mic with low self-noise, excessive SPL tolerance, and a switchable high-pass filter. From there, it’s simply level and shoot!
These little microphones are simply superior. The worth is outstanding, they’re tremendous light-weight, and the sound is balanced, pure, and detailed — you couldn’t actually ask for extra in a finances pair of SDCs. They’re particularly engineered to be nice on acoustic guitar, drums, and different stringed/acoustic devices. Simply close to the highest of one of the best mic for acoustic guitar argument on a finances. Chef’s kiss.
The Lewitt LCT 240 Professional is an unbelievable utility mic for entry-level recording. Lewitt themselves notice that it ‘excels on acoustic guitar,’ however works nice on a wide range of totally different sources. It’s some of the reasonably priced Swiss Military LDCs you’ll be able to add to your house studio assortment. Like a number of the different mics on this choice, it boasts a fairly flat frequency response till about 3k the place it begins to climb, centering on a big 8k increase. This additional presence and top-end glimmer is nice for flattering a shimmery acoustic guitar efficiency.
This man is a powerful LDC virtually tailor made for acoustic guitar. With options exceeding its worth, the LA-220 comes with switchable high-pass and low-pass filters at 120 Hz and 12 kHz respectively. Recording acoustic guitar means it’s possible you’ll deal with low-end boominess and high-end harshness, which these filters take head-on. The general design is impressed by classic classics, with extra trendy noise-free elements and a price ticket that anybody can afford.
5. Røde NT1
To not be confused with the ridiculously widespread NT-1A, the NT1 is a equally versatile finances LDC, with a barely much less hyped top-end. As a real studio workhorse, one in all these may very well be your all-around microphone for solo recordings, together with acoustic guitar and vocals. The equipment is nicely priced and the mic sounds hi-fi.
The most effective mic for acoustic guitar isn’t only one! There’s a complete huge world of microphones on the market, and we’ve chosen however a number of to share based mostly on what tends to work when recording acoustic devices. More often than not small diaphragm condensers sound nice, particularly in stereo pairs. Massive diaphragm condensers make an ideal single-mic alternative, although they can be utilized for stereo recording as nicely.