IF YOU’RE TRYING TO RECORD HIGH QUALITY ACOUSTIC TRACKS, HERE’S 8 OPTIONS THAT ARE CONTENDERS FOR THE BEST ACOUSTIC GUITAR MICS TO GET YOU STARTED!
Trying to find the best acoustic guitar mic for recording high quality tracks can be a bit of a nightmare, considering the amount of choice out there. So, to try and make it a bit easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite microphones designed with recording acoustic guitar in mind. These are, what we think, are some of the best acoustic guitar mics that will really bring out the best sound possible and retain all the subtle nuances of your playing and tonal qualities of your guitar, in price ascending order.
1. SHURE SM57 DYNAMIC MICROPHONE
Let’s be honest here, if you’ve ever been serious about recording guitars, vocals, drums or acoustic guitar you’ve likely come across the Shure SM57 as they are ever-present on the music scene. If you have a home studio you need one of these highly versatile microphones as you can enjoy crystal clear recordings thanks to the superb isolation when you point it directly at your guitar. Due to the high frequency response and higher SPL of over 180, they are predominantly known for recording louder sound sources such as guitar cabs and snare drums, however the fact that the SM57 isolates the sound source and reduces unwanted background noise makes it a great option for recording acoustic guitars as it cuts out anything you don’t need and completely concentrates on the sound of your acoustic guitar. We think this is one of the best acoustic guitar mics thanks to its ability to pick up everything you’re playing in gloriously high detail – ideal for those who want to capture the subtleties of fingerpicking but also be able to record massive chords without worrying about distortion.
2. sE Electronics X1A Condenser Microphone
The sE Electronics X1A Condenser Microphone proves that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a high-quality microphone capable of providing stellar recordings. At way under £100 you get a refined and highly tuned microphone with 2/3" permanently-biased condenser capsule and versatile dynamic range and SPL handling capabilities The higher sensitivity helps the recordings really stand out in the mix – nothing is lost! We think this is one of the best acoustic guitar mics for those who don’t have the luxury of recording in a studio and those who prefer to record at home. If you are recording in a particularly noisy environment or your room is not specifically treated acoustically, you’ll appreciate the 100 Hz low-cut switch helps eliminate low-frequency rumble or footfall noise, or compensate for proximity effect. The -20 dB pad switches allow you to make use of the extended dynamic range and record louder sound sources such as mic’d up guitar cabinets, louder voices and more.
3. RODE NT1-A CONDENSER MICROPHONE PACKAGE
Next up we have the Rode NT1-A Condenser Microphone Package. This nifty package is ideal for those on a limited budget and who need a great all-rounder microphone that they can use to record acoustic guitars and vocals as well. In this package you get an industry standard Rode NT1-A microphone which has been constructed with a large 1” capsule and gold-plated diaphragm for extra sensitivity – you’ll pickup everything you need to! The cardioid polar pattern ensures superb off axis rejection whilst the internal capsule shock mounting ensures you’re minimising any unwanted mechanical noise or any damage to the capsule whilst you’re transporting the microphone. The low self-noise of level of only 5Db (A) makes it one of the quietest microphones on the market, so you’re safe from any unwanted noise creeping in to your mix whilst the frequency range of 20Hz - 20kHz ensures you pick up all the nuances of your playing. Best of all, this package also comes with a 10 year warranty, RØDE SM6 Shock Mount, Pop Filter, Dust Cover and Premium Microphone Cable so you can start recording pretty much straight out of the box!
4. sE Electronics SE2200 Condenser Microphone
The sE Electronics SE2200 is the latest version of SE's award-winning studio condenser microphone. It comes complete with sE’s Isolation Pack, consisting of a custom-made shock mount, integrated pop filter, and a thread adapter to fit with any standard microphone boom or desktop stand.
Courtesy of a 1" cardioid condenser capsule and Class-A Electronic circuitry, the 2200 is well suited for a wide range of recording applications, and switchable attenuation levels (-10dB and -20dB) allow you to pad the microphone in high-volume environments.
In addition to a switchable Low-Cut filter and the aforementioned Isolation Pack from sE, this microphone is perfect for turning home-recording environments into a place where you can nail a crystal clear acoustic guitar take, and the rugged construction means that it will last a lifetime, too.
5. Lewitt LCT 441 Flex Compact Condenser Microphone
One of the finest microphones in the Lewitt range, the LCT 441 Flex Compact Condenser Microphone is perfectly suited to capturing acoustic guitar recordings.
With 8 polar patterns including cardioid and wide-cardioid settings, this microphone also comes with a shock mount, magnetic pop filter, windscreen and transport bag.
The tonal variety that this microphone is capable of means that you can use it for double-tracking and layering acoustic instruments without fear that the finished sound might end up lacking character, and the LED monitor means you’re certain to achieve the perfect levels as you get set up.
If you’re ever in a creative rut, the Lewitt even features a ‘Random’ feature, perfect for experimenting with polar patterns and sounds you might not have considered before.
6. SENNHEISER MK4 CONDENSER MICROPHONE
The Sennheiser Mk4 Condenser Microphone makes our best mics for recording acoustic guitar blog thanks to the fact it’s loaded with a 1" true condenser capsule which is shock mounted for extra clarity, 24-carat gold -plated diaphragm and full metal housing all contributing to a lush sound quality with minimal structure borne noise. This has actually been based on the Sennheiser e 965 high-end vocal mic, but designed to be far more affordable for those who need high quality recordings whether on stage or in the studio. The high frequency response of 20 Hz - 20 kHz and maximum SPL of 140 dB make it highly versatile and highly accurate.
7. RODE M5 CONDENSER MICROPHONES (MATCHED PAIR)
The Rode M5 Condenser Microphones (Matched Pair) provide exceptional quality recordings for a low price. These are some of the best acoustic guitar mics because it allows you to capture full stereo sound sources without taking up too much room. The 1/2" diaphragm and pencil-style metal chassis makes them a hard-wearing option for live and studio use and the smaller construction makes it easy to place around amplifiers or instruments. The 20hz - 20khz frequency response, high sensitivity and SPL of 140dB means you can record a variety of different guitar styles, whether you’re gently plucking away or busting out the big country acoustic chorus lines. Best of all, you can safely record drums, guitar cabs and vocals too! As we all know, sometimes we can encounter problems recording acoustic guitars simply due to the awkwardness of placing the mic in the right place. Fortunately, the smaller size makes it easy to capture sound sources at a variety of different angles! The fact you get a 2 for 1 deal makes it extremely appealing as you can capture stereo recordings with exceptional sonic accuracy and extended frequency response – ideal for guitarists and producers who want to take their recordings to the next level.
8. Lewitt LCT 140 Air Condenser Microphone
Small diaphragm condenser mics work better in pairs, allowing you to capture all the subtle nuances of your instrument or voice in beautiful, neutral detail - so we had to include the Lewitt LCT 140 Air Condenser Microphone.
The Lewitt LCT 140 Air Condenser Microphone is available individually or as a matched pair, arriving with mic clips and a transport bag for taking them on the road.
The adjustable sound characteristics make these microphones incredibly versatile, and their slimline design means they are adaptable and perfect for live use where space is often at a premium.
These microphones showcase a duo of innovative sound characteristics making it easier than ever to perfectly capture the sound you have in your head. AIR allows recordings to achieve an open, glistening charisma, ideal for those hoping to record a big sound without much time spent in post-production.
FLAT provides a linear frequency response, ideal for natural and untamed sound capture of drums, strings, acoustic guitar and choirs. So no matter what you're recording, you can expect awesome results.
The LCT140 also comes with a low-cut filter and a PAD function, ideal for refining the sound at the time of recording and dealing with instruments that are coming in a bit too hot.
Shop a full range of acoustic guitar mics and microphones designed for recording acoustic guitars and instruments over at PMT online today or call in to your local PMT store today to speak to our experts about your needs.