The Best 12 Microphones for Recording Acoustic Guitar

The Best 12 Microphones for Recording Acoustic Guitar

Looking for proper capturing equipment, consumers are perplexed seeing abundance of offers. They’re blown away with their variety. Taken into account that not all customers are technically-savvy and some of them just enter the sphere and select the first device in their life, this task becomes incredibly challenging. How to discover the one that’s needed among numerous mics? What direction to follow to find the answer to this question? Hopefully, this article will through some light upon the subject. This material helps to find the best microphone for capturing acoustic guitars, but there are some other issues covered here as well.

Things To Consider When Buying a Microphone?

Consider multiple aspects while making a choice among the assortment of mics. Which is good for acoustic guitar? Attentive customers will have to ponder over it and make decision then. Owners of acoustic guitar can find some helpful tips. The paragraphs given below clarify essential points which shouldn’t be neglected while buying right equipment for acoustic guitars.

Undoubtedly, acoustic guitar requires special approach.

Diaphragm

The diaphragm for capturing of acoustic guitars should be chosen in accordance with user’s taste. It’s always great to experiment with different types. The devices with huge diaphragm deliver performance with different texture. There is no right microphone for acoustic guitar. The preferred result determines the diaphragm’s size chosen.

Polar Patterns

Inexperienced user isn’t aware what pattern should be chosen to obtain clearly-defined sound after capturing acoustic guitar. Particularly, when it’s done in untreated acoustic ambience. Close up directional mics’positioning isn’t recommended by the experts when acoustic guitars are captured. It’ll result in unnatural sounding of specific regions. The proximity effect spoils the sound, so unidirectional mics sound terribly placed closely to acoustic guitars. Omni pattern suits better for the purpose providing more comprehensive picture. Close placement in this case is helpful then for isolation of acoustic guitar sound from ambient noise as it tends to pickup everything heard around the room. Environmental acoustics matters as well.

Noise Pads

The internal microphone amplifier might clip when subjected to high sound level. A switched pad makes the signal lower and prevents clipping. When noise pads are engaged, the mics sound better.

Reliability

The aspect of reliability is essential, especially while choosing the device for touring purposes – It’s a mist for mic to be almost unbreakable for using on the road. Select ShureSM81, which doesn’t react to changing atmosphere condition: change of humidity, temperature etc. Pay attention to this factor when selecting microphone for acoustic guitars. Also many mics have solid carrying cases. It contributes to reliability of the device.

Methodology

Specialists’ tips were used to create this guidance. Also, prosumers and common consumers’ reviews were studied to deliver this research. Hopefully, readers will be able to discover useful info to acquire the best microphone for acoustic guitars, no matter if expensive posh option is pursued or cheap mic.

The Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar

When non-savvy user starts capturing the sound of his favorite instrument, he encounters problems. Therefore careful reading of the stuff given here is a must for such people.

Audio-Technica ATM450

Audio-Technica ATM450
The best choice

Some users have been waiting for this mic for years. Its extraordinary construction enables its use at a distance close to a source. Unidirectional condenser performs its work perfectly when there’s necessity to isolate the sound from the rest.

The filter embedded to the mic cancels out low freq noise for clarity of performance. Provided with capability to switch off the frequency feature from even to bass-canceling mode. This feature contributes to the quality of sound.

Looking for the best mics for recording acoustic guitar, many start with this model.

The main thing is to use the microphone on the right instruments.

The mic has a metal housing so it’s durable and will use the consumer for years to come. It’s an excellent microphone for the touring performer as solid carrying case protects the gear. There’s also a clip in the set. It sounds great with string instruments, for instance, banjo or acoustic guitar. It rocks on upright piano and drumkit, displaying flawless balance and crispness. What is good about this mic, is its ability to reject noise. Consequently, little processing is needed after recording.

It’s also great for overheads so those who decided to acquire the device to use for one of the goals mentioned above are happy with the choice!

grade: 5/5



 

 

Audio-Technica AT4050

Audio-Technica AT4050
Audio-Technica AT4050

No matter what microphone the company produces, their approach to the development is thorough. Starting from their inexpensive mics to professional devices we see the commitment of the brand to produce high quality products. The same is referred to AT4050 – the solid device, which is rather heavy and looks reliable.

It has a good grille that is not subjected to deformation even when you hold it tightly. The shock mount holds the microphone well.

The release of the device took place in the middle of the 90-s of the last century. The model has acquired a huge popularity. The demand for it didn’t subside for over fifteen years therefore the anniversary model was created – that mic was designed with silver finish and a custom case made of wood.

The device has become a favorite all-round mic for recording guitar and vocals simultaneously. All its specs and frequency levels are fabulous. Some people prefer to use it for male vocals and acoustic guitar. There are many areas of application of this mic. Besides, it’s superb for voiceover work. Isn’t it convenient to apply the same device for vocals, musical instruments and voiceovers along with acoustic guitar? Many people dream about such all-purpose device.

AT4050 is excellent option for people who need the workhorse. Being the flagship of the 4000 series it’s really a professional tool delivering excellent sound.

grade: 4.2/5


 

 

Audio-Technica AT2020

Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS
Audio-Technica AT2020USB+

The device is easy to use and suitable for beginners. Though it’s simple and doesn’t have wealth of features found in other microphones, the item can boast of the essentials to reach perfect sound. The mic is delivered in a heavy steel case protecting AT2020 well. Such measures pay off well as they help to prolong life of the equipment. A solid grid of the capsule microphone serves to protect this fragile component.

Though the capsule is not large, it creates fantastic sound with warmth just adding favorable sounding without any distortion.

The microphone works perfectly with different instruments such as acoustic guitar creating balanced, clear sound. In comparison with other devices it doesn’t spoil the sounding.

Though it’s an electret condenser, it doesn’t have metallic sound as other similar mics have.

Being powered by a USB cord, the device doesn’t have problems with digitalization. It converts analog sound to digital sound immediately. This is plug and play device that is suitable for Mac and PC.

The mic offers almost zero lag. The headphone jack enables listening so the person monitors the result easily.

The main thing the person should know about the model is its simplicity. It acts as mics without extra features, but in comparison with most of them it does its work on superb level. If you want to find an inexpensive professional microphone, look no further! The AT2020 will not disappoint you. It can be the best mic for recording acoustic guitar, guitar amps and acoustic instruments.

grade: 4.4/5


 

 

Neumann KM 184

Neumann KM184
Neumann KM184

There are iconic devices changing the world. But it never happens overnight. The manufacturers of such equipment earn their reputation for years, for decades and protect it with each new product. Each new contribution makes the brand stronger as it happened with the KM 184. It entered the list of the best mics in the world of sound.

This is a unique device as can be placed anywhere even into the tight places. The device is lightweight and compact. The unidirectional device deserves your attention.

Each detail of these mics is of amazing quality. The person understands the superiority of the device immediately after he takes the device. It features absolute best quality thanks to precision of the engineers who make the devices with German accuracy. It’s clear to any person that this isn’t an ordinary mic, but the device of higher class, which is able to make the dreams come true. For instance, it’s challenging to record acoustic guitars. But the list of finest acoustics will help. Not any equipment is able to handle the complicated recordings, but the users rarely face such problems with KM 184. Admire its build quality, sound it delivers and enjoy the brilliance of acoustic guitar with its assistance.

grade: 5/5


 

 

Mojave Audio MA-200 Tube Mic

Mojave Audio MA-200 Tube Mic
The best choice

The mics of this brand are produced by Royer Labs – the company founded by David Royer. Famous ribbon mics, known throughout the world are produced at it. The trademark Mojave was specially designed to make non-ribbon mics. Mojave Audio appeared in the garage in California in 1985. It was in reality a gear shop organized by a single man who initially designed tube mics and then he started doing the things that later were destined to turn into the staples. So at first not all people could try what he did and only later his designs became available for all.

MA-200 described here is actually the first microphone that was released by the brand. Those who had pleasure to try the device, were fully pleased with its performance during recordings. MA-200 can be a vocal mic, and it was tested in diverse recording situations and on different instruments such as acoustic guitars. All tests were successful.

For instance, the microphone was tested on guitar amp, and the sound was so loud that the people had to leave the room. It reproduces male vocals perfectly, but I wouldn’t call such reproduction natural. The sound is not pristine and sounds flattering for the vocalist. If it shines no matter what it records and always provides the quality similar to the level provided by ribbon mics. It’s simply the best all the time!

Even the package is elegant when you buy the mic of the brand.

It’s almost impossible to acquire the mic with some defect, but if it happens the problem is addressed almost at once. In fact, the products pass through meticulous testing.

grade: 5/5


 

 

Royer R-121 Ribbon Microphone

Royer R-121 Ribbon Microphone
Royer R-121 Ribbon Microphone

When the industry of microphones was developing, the most widespread mic was a ribbon microphone. Then the peak of demand occurred in 40-50-es of the last century. They were rather bulky then, as their sensitivity is determined by power of magnetic field so only large-sized mics could cope with the task. Besides, such microphones included also transformers that increased their weight and size. The construction needed to be reconsidered to make such mics smaller. The company coped with the task and newer devices became even more powerful than before while their size considerably decreased.

Though R121 was rather usual ribbon microphone at first, then more sophisticated materials were introduced to its production. As a result, we received what we can acquire now. Its magnetic motor was developed to provide the mic with capabilities other ribbon mics don’t provide. For instance, it can deal with high SPL, or up to 130dBL, to be more particular. It enables its use for electric guitar and placement just in front of its cabinets. Don’t worry when using the microphone for percussions or brass instruments. It’ll work as well as with acoustics.

It’s enough to compare the specs of the microphone with those of the past to understand how impressive they are. Besides, the device is lightweight thanks to miniature ribbon and magnet assembly along with miniature transformer isolating and protecting the ribbon from phantom power that is able to affect it badly. Though it’s more solid in comparison with other ribbon mics, it should be treated with care. Keep it away from the instruments producing strong air movements as it’s destructive for the ribbon in the mic. One shouldn’t expose it to such risk.

8-figure pickup pattern makes the corresponding areas equally sensitive and freq consistent. Usually the ribbon mics are more precise than others and this microphone is incredibly precise. The system is well adjusted to using the mic for variety of goals. Those who want to enjoy a silky smooth sound, should select this mic which can provide different effect depending on the source chosen. It’s excellent for the vocals – both male and female vocals. They will sound amazing, especially in a nice acoustic environment.

grade: 5/5


 

 

MXL 770

MXL Mics Condenser Microphone 770 MIDNIGHT
MXL Mics Condenser Microphone 770 MIDNIGHT

It’s universal in all respects.

  • First of all, the device suits prosumers and those who just start working in the sphere.
  • Secondly, it’s applicable for wide array of the situations and, what’s more important, acts equally wonderfully in them.
  • Thirdly, its unidirectional polarity makes the microphone superb for the vocals: either single or multiple voice recordings.
  • It’s great for a range of acoustic instruments such as guitar, banjo and others.

It’s not a problem to continue the list emphasizing the universal character of this all-purpose microphone. The users apply it for making films, live broadcasts, VO recordings etc.

The good news is that the top-notch condenser is affordable!

It can have a little problem with rejection of unwanted background noise and wind therefore the user should acquire the popfilter. Despite such little shortcomings, which are, actually, nuances of use, such advantages as clarity and crispness of sound, versatility, excellent hard case and sturdiness of construction make the device the favorite pick for numerous customers. Buy it for acoustics and you’ll never regret about it!

grade: 4.5/5


 

 

Shure SM81

Shure SM81
Shure SM81

This mic with outstanding design is the staple. Though the monolithic structure looks very simple, it captivates the customer at once. It’s a hit for so many years already therefore this microphone is often used for professional recordings.

The device is referred to professional stuff that suits most sound engineers, musicians, singers etc. Is it good for acoustic guitars, strings and other acoustic instruments? The survey will help to discover it.

It’s convenient to use it on the stage. Each detail of the design was developed to provide the mic with a good sounding and the users feel that. It is hard to imagine more popular microphone model.

The microphone is unidirectional and captures direct sounds as other microphones of this kind.

SM81 has all necessary accessories required. It comes with a swivel holder and a foam windscreen removing the flaws of the voice along with noise of wind in case of outdoor recordings. The device comes in a hard case.

The customers like the capability of customization enabling change of sound characteristics in such microphones. The attenuator for muting an instrument is helpful as well. Some people assert that SM81 is good for acoustic guitars only. This is not true. There is much stuff online that’s useful for squeezing the best of the mic. The one can easily discover the data about its use with acoustic guitar and a range of other instruments.

It’s known that the mic doesn’t saturate the sound and reproduces it as it is. The reason for it is flat freq response. Other mics differ from this model – the majority of them have curved freq range.

It’s important to choose the right range of phantom power for such microphones. In case it’s lower than needed it’ll deform the sound and all clarity we love so much about this mic will disappear.

grade: 5/5


 

 

Shure KSM141 SL

Shure KSM141
Shure KSM141

The device reviewed is unidirectional and omni. KSM141 SL is presented by a couple of mics.

Tests of the mic on voice, acoustic guitars, percussions, overheads and other acoustic instruments showed its excellent performance. The result can be described as pleasant, smooth and thick that differs from the performance of other mics known for top end boost. Some users don’t like unadorned sound, which seems too plain for them, saying that it is devoid of some sparkle. It’s a matter of taste. Those who like equipment enhancing the source will probably refuse from accurate reproduction of this microphone. One should try different microphones for brighter sound and decide upon the best device.

It’s worth buying the couple of mics though the purchase can seem too expensive – more than $1.5 k per pair. It’s possible to find a cheaper option. The cheap alternative is KSM137 that doesn’t include omni pattern and offers only unidirectional pickup. It also performs well with acoustic guitars.

grade: 4.6/5


 

 

Shure KSM44A

Shure KSM44A
Shure KSM44A

This item is very powerful. It has a huge potential and definitely outperforms many mics within the same price range and even more expensive microphones. It enters the list of best microphones for acoustic guitar. It’s really fantastic with acoustic guitars and other acoustic instruments. It’s also incredible on vocals.

Voice over artists also use KSM44A for their projects. It features excellent design and is suitable for touring activity. The solid devices of this type are perfect on the road. It comes in aluminum case and it also contributes to durability. The shockmount keeps the mic well but loses its elastic capability with time so it needs to be replaced in several years. This is a drawback of the model.

Use the device for close upfront vocals, for recording acoustic guitars and other instruments. It’s always interesting to experiment and get interesting variations. It is far from being cheap, but presents great value for the money. Make the microphone a part of your arsenal in the studio and enjoy the result!

grade: 5/5

 

 

Conclusion

Thorough understanding of the issue helps to find the finest microphone for acoustic guitar. Figure out all pros and cons before buying, consult the expert and make the decision!

 

 

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