Top 10 Best Microphone for Acoustic Guitar in 2021 – Best Guide – Latest Review

The acoustic guitars are ideal for pop, country, rock, blues, folk, and many other music styles. Moreover, These are the most popular instruments in the music world because of their specific and unique features.  Furthermore, These also provide excellent sound quality. Most importantly, for using the guitar you must use the guitar.

Recording is a basic skill.  In addition, You must know audio engineering and be familiar with phase, proximity, and tonality terms.  Moreover, guitar pickups are used to amplify and record the instrument, but many engineers still prefer using microphones.

The different types of microphones are available at different prices in the market. There are only some microphones that support the guitar sound. Some microphones show the frequency response that sounds great when combined with vocals that make the guitar sound brittle and thicker.

Read This: Cheap Acoustic Guitar

The Microphone for Electric Guitar & Acoustic Guitar Recording 

In conclusion, after researching the microphones for recording we have made a list of guitar mics. There are almost six types of microphones .These microphones  Further include different options these types are

Small Diaphragm Condenser
  • Audio-Technica ATM450
  • Shure SM81
  • Neumann KM 184
Budget Small Diaphragm Condenser
  • Shure PGA181
Large Diaphragm Condenser
  • Neumann TLM102
  • Audio-Technica AT4050
Budget Large Diaphragm Condenser
  • MXL 770
Dynamic Microphones
  • Shure SM57
  • Sennheiser MD421 75
Ribbon Microphone
  • Royer R-121 Studio Ribbon Microphone

Overall the Acoustic Guitar Mics are:

  • Audio-Technica ATM450
  • Shure SM81
  • Neumann KM 184
  • Shure PGA181
  • Neumann TLM 102
  • Audio-Technica AT4050
  • MXL 770
  • Shure SM57
  • Sennheiser MD 421-II
  • Royer R-121 Ribbon Microphone

Audio-Technica ATM450

 

This is the best Small Diaphragm Condenser for Guitar. This microphone is available in normal price ranges that almost everyone can buy a cardioid condenser mic designed specifically for increased SPL (Sound Pressure Level). It includes different tools like a drum, cymbals, amplifier boxes, and many others. These microphones are with special sensitivity as they can capture the variations of acoustic guitar.

Specifications:

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 40Hz-18kHz
  • Impedance:200 ohms
  • Max SPL: 152dB
  • Power Requirements: +48V

It is most known for capturing the recordings in a very soft, clear, and natural sound. It shows the most prominent features of mid and high tones. This microphone provides you a variety of ranges with high Sound Pressure Level controlling power. The ATM450 characteristics include a built-in 80Hz hi-pass filter and a switchable 10dB pad.

Pros
  • Low noise with wide dynamic range, and increased SPL capabilities
  • Provides smooth, clear transients
  • Picks up the fine details

Cons
  • The microphone may not have enough low end. This can be remedied by using a closer proximity or an EQ.

Overall, it is a good recording versatile microphone that completes its work smoothly and naturally with all the features.

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Must Read: Electric Guitar Vs Acoustic Guitar

Shure SM81

The users most like this mic because it is on topmost of all the small-diaphragm condenser microphones with its amazing reviews. One of the basic features is capturing clear and transparent sounds that you can compare with other high-priced microphones. Moreover, this mic is lighter in weight (1.63 lbs) so you can easily carry the mic whenever you want compared to those mics that are big.

Specifications:

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Impedance: 150 ohms
  • Max SPL: 136dB (146dB w/Pad)
  • Power Requirements: +48V

Moreover, this device is compatible with acoustic guitar amplifiers and all the other loud instruments. These are best used for studio and stage purposes. The microphone has a strong grip on the clear midtones and can control the larger volume. Their frequency response is from 20Hz-20kHz. This frequency range shows that the microphone can produce any type of sound with precision.

Pros
  • Durable steel construction
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • The flat response curve for maximum accuracy when recording
  • Solid reputation as an acoustic guitar mic
  • Table-top flat frequency response
  • Pad and low-cut filter
  • Just as good for piano, drums, and strings

  • Many types of guitars including acoustic guitars are highly recommended for use with this microphone.

Cons
  • Not acceptable for elegant, variations in playing styles

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Neumann KM 184

This microphone is a pencil shape with a small-diaphragm condenser for  Guitar. However, it can easily compete with other larger diaphragm condenser mics with increased Sound Pressure Levels. These are too expensive but they are also available with a single mic, however if you want to use many different mics, you can try the stereo pair full setup. This setup is expensive but it provides different and unique features with many mics available for the long run.

Specifications:

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Impedance: 50 ohms
  • Max SPL:138dB
  • Power Requirements: +48V

It does not show any sound coloration over its total cardioid pickup pattern and it also rejects all the backward sounds. The reason these microphones are used in so many large studios is that they are designed specifically for stereo recordings, unlike other microphone pairs. Which do not produce sound sources the same way these microphones do.

Pros
  • Very faithful flat response
  • Delicate
  • Imperceivable self-noise
  • Small form factor
  • Great for drums and strings as well

Cons
  • expensive and or not reasonable
  • Will catches ambient noise if it’s there

These are not preferred for the single or one mic. These are perfect for the stereo recording with 184 KM. Its different phase unity and tolerance make this product more sold. Its pair makes this mic perfect for acoustic guitar recordings in stereo.

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Shure SM57

With dynamic microphones, onstage applications can be performed. An excellent microphone with many unique features at an affordable price. Among the most important applications of this product are making snares and electric guitar amplifiers for Guitar. The guitar with this mic focuses on the sound ignoring all the other unwanted sounds and noises. Its pickup pattern has this unique ability to reject the outer noises. There is no better option with exceptional sound quality. Many people have been using it for many years.

Specifications:

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response:40Hz-15kHz
  • Impedance: 310 ohms
  • Max SPL: 149 dB

It can attach to several instruments and can record all instruments’ sound thus this microphone is an all-rounder. As it is a dynamic mic, it does not require any high power space for operating the mic. This mic looks similar to SM58 which is the most purchased mic nowadays by the used in the market.

Also Read: How To Play Acoustic Guitar

Pros
  • conic SM57 sound
  • Tough as old boots
  • Simplicity itself
  • Versatile
  • Astounding value
  • Built to withstand extensive usage with extremely long-lasting material used in construction
  • A cardioid polar pattern eliminates ambient noise, highlighting finer details while reducing background noise
  • A microphone that performs many functions, which is perfect to use with guitar, drums, electric guitar, vocals, and more

Cons
  • Not acceptable for elegant, nuanced playing styles

If you are looking for a mixing and amazing microphone that can record almost every type of sound. This microphone is perfect for this job. Having a single drawback with many positive points is not a bad option.

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Sennheiser MD 421-II

These are made according to the loudness of the source of the sound. Moreover, these are the type of dynamic mics that pick the variations much better than other dynamic mics. The SM57 dynamic mic focuses on percussiveness. The MD 421-II has a richer and smoother sound which results in the bass strings more on acoustic guitars.

Specifications:

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 30Hz-20kHz
  • Impedance:150 ohms
  • Max SPL:137 dB
  • Power Requirements: +48V
Pros
  • A rugged, metal body helps to hold this microphone together through daily use.

  • 5 position bass roll-off switch
  • Less delicate to dust and humidity than all other older models.
  • Don’t need batteries or phantom power.
  • Productive feedback rejection

Cons
  • The clip-on this mic is breakable, hard to use, and isn’t standard. Worse yet, replacing it costs more than it’s worth.
  • Off-axis leakage makes sound quality defective when you are using it in many microphone setups. This is the major issue with studio usage.

Overall this is the perfect phone for classical musicians and the louder speakers. This microphone is easy to use and everyone can easily have it set up so you must use them for Guitar.

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Things to Consider When Buying an Acoustic Guitar Mic

There are many types of microphones available these days, and looking at each one makes it tricky to decide which is the best one for recording. Therefore there are some of the features that you should keep in mind while buying the best microphone for recording

Large Diaphragm Condenser

Large-diaphragm condenser microphones are the most common choice when it comes to recording guitar. These are well known for their unmatched versatility with the ability to record instruments. The large-diaphragm condenser has many pickup designs and built-in pads that permit you to alter the frequency that best matches your recording.

There are different types of large diaphragm condenser microphones available in the markets. Some of them can better control the louder sounds of the instruments, for instance drums can handle the larger volumes in a much better way when compared with many other instruments.

Small Diaphragm Condenser in all Microphone for Guitar,s

The microphones with a small diaphragm condenser provide different unique features to other larger diaphragm microphones. In addition, they respond too well as they are light in weight, making them a better option for recording the acoustic guitar. Moreover, these microphones focus only on a single sound origin.

Typically, they are used on drum heads, as they are capable of handling large volumes.  These are designed in pencil-like shapes, so they are the best choice for studios, since they are so fast to react, saving their users’ time.

Microphone Polar Pattern

The microphone’s function to record the sounds depends on one of the important features of Polar Patterns. The polar pattern shows how delicate the microphone is and controls the management that it can pick the sounds. For instance, those microphones with cardioid polar designs best match to hear.

Omnidirectional Polar Pattern

They concentrate only on the front side ignoring all other sounds from the back or sides, focusing on a single instrument or single sound. Some other microphones catch the sound from all of the surroundings as they are in an omnidirectional polar pattern. Some circular pattern microphones concentrate on only one of the sounds however they multiply the whole atmosphere.

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Noise Pads

While researching the microphones, you will go through the term Noise pads many times. These pads have specific changeable options in the microphone’s body. By using the switchable option, you can increase or decrease the frequencies by customizing the focus of the microphone.

The abbreviation of the term pad is passive attenuation device. It prevents the microphone circuit from getting overloaded by maintaining the signal levels before amplification starts. In its work, it is similar to EQ.

Reliability

There are some aspects on which the reliability of the microphones depends. The first thing the material from which the microphone is composed and the methods are used in its production. These two things contribute a lot to the durability and reliability of the microphones. High-quality metals should be used to make it durable, and all other electronics are secured by using the grill and the shields.

Company’s reviews

Always check the history of the manufacturer or company or at least read all the company’s reviews on their websites and social media pages. This will provide you with the hint for buying the microphones; for instance, any brand that is most known or working for many years like the Shure is liable as many of the users trust them.

Acoustic Guitar Micing Tips

You will only enjoy playing the guitar without following any rules. If you have correctly adjusted or positioned the instrument’s microphone, you will have more accurate sound results. Whenever you need natural and smooth sounds during the guitar recording, there are some essential points of using the mic that can help you record the sounds when you adjust the mic in the direction of the guitar’s neck.

Features of Playing

The sound will more concentrate on the bass and less concentrate on the human features of playing. For instance, you are playing some melodic sound on your guitar by using your fingers, and you want to record the exact sound you are playing; for this purpose, you should adjust the mic near the soundhole for the vocal recording of your sound.

ACOUSTIC GUITAR MICS: BUYING ADVICE

First of all, you should have the guitar for recording or buying the mic. Any of the guitars you but keep in mind it should not be expensive should increase the exotic tonewoods and it should not any brand name with fancy bold words written on the head of the guitars However it should be in proper tune, fresh strings and good pitch. If you want to record something more critical and the recordings mean a lot to you, you should have some proper setup.

The second thing is you should hire some guitarists. If you have practised enough and you are experienced, then it could be you. If you want to be popular among the people and want that many peoples listen to your acoustic guitar recording without putting their hands on their ears to ignore your sound, you should have some masterpiece tune that you record further.

Gold-Coated Condenser

Finally, if you are recording with some costly, limited edition german gold-coated condenser microphone that comes with an expensive shiny presentation box but id does not record your audio well, not doing any justice with your efforts and money, it does not sound great, and it will give you awful sound. Those who cannot afford to have any recording studios must go for the proper adjustment of the condenser mics.

Condenser vs Ribbon vs Dynamic

The guitar is not like the piano. However, it provides a comprehensive frequency response from the audible 100Hz (comfortable bass) to 0KHz (glow highs). The presence of an excellent small-diaphragm condenser mic is responsible for producing different frequency responses. This frequency response is quite enough for the recording acoustic guitar.

Large-Diaphragm

The large-diaphragm condenser mics are used for the vocals because they lower the external ambient noise with high-frequency ranges, and the lower end produces a very thick sound; however, they sometimes pick the dust from the shelf of the studio or other surroundings during recording studios.

The improvements in the vocals sometimes make the guitar sounds brittle; however, the mild end of the bottom produces smoother sounds similar to the fresh butter melted. The most known drawback is that the high vocals change the sound, making the sound harsh and brittle. In addition, many of the large-diaphragm condenser mics, when placed near for recording acoustic guitar, some of the sound sources will be off-axis sounds termed as side-address. This side address gives some very unknown results. Sometimes your sound is entirely rejected.

Small Diaphragm

At this point, the small diaphragm condensers mic perform their functions. Compared to large-diaphragm condenser mics, they are dense and on end address, which means they can easily be rotated to the sound source. The large-diaphragm mics record instruments’ more authentic and accurate sounds because of slightly flat frequencies with slight tones.

The drawbacks of small small-diaphragm condenser mics are that they do not provide so much comfort that large-diaphragm condensers generally offer to the users. The solution to this problem is to pair both duel ultimate mic systems if you can afford them. You can use this dual setup by placing the small diaphragm mic closer to the acoustic guitar, while the large diaphragm condenser mics should be placed slightly far away. The mics performing their functions in their adjustable places will let you have the recording studio mixture.

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Dynamic Microphones

The dynamic microphones are ordinarily hard and reasonable to purchase, insensitive instruments that are most suitable for live performances and work. They are used as loud sound sources that can affect your hearing and damage your ear’s ability to listen. As they provide more audible sounds, it is helpful for the guitarists to produce louder types of music. If you want to make louder sounds, then the small number of frequencies of dynamic mics are helpful. They block almost all of the unwanted sounds, both bass and treble, with improved mid ranges.

Recording Studio

Now we will explain the ribbon mics. They are not known as much as compared to other smaller and larger condenser mics. These have a firm grip on the recording studio and stage. These ribbon mics are highly recommended for picking incredibly natural sounds recordings. These are comfortable to use and are presented with top-end sparkle. These are similar to the condenser mics providing significantly detailed and brighten sounds. However, some features are different from the condenser mics, they do not colour the sounds, and they usually pick up the unwanted noise or other off-axis sounds. The central point is the adjustment of the ribbon mic, and if the mic is adjusted well, you can have authentic guitar recordings.

Condenser & Mic

If you are a singer and perform live in front of a large audience, you can use the onboard mic or pickup setup. Moreover, you can achieve an excellent tone when attaching the acoustic guitar wire directly into an audio interface. You can also use the mixture of a condenser mic and internal piezo; along with it, sometimes the soundhole pickup is also used.

Guides to adjust intonation

Essential Acoustic Guitar Recording Techniques

Acoustic guitars are smaller in size, almost a meter long and a half meter wide. The guitar sie vary depending upon the type of the guitar, but these are the smaller of all the guitars. The central question arises that where to adjust the mic for proper and accurate recording guitars. The answer to this question is

Miking with a single mic:

You can record the sounds with even single mike. There is nothing to be ashamed of; recording with mone mic means mono recording. As there is the only mic to set up is straightforward with an excellent outcome. One thing to keep in mind your recording quality depends totally on how you adjust your mic. Never place the mic directly on the soundhole because the soundhole is the area where the total amount of resonance creates the flourishing sounds.

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Frets of Mic

Try to put the mic in a place where the body is attached with the neck that is somehow between the 12th and 14th frets. After adjusting the mic to where the body is connected with the channel, change the mic slightly higher and then try again if the sound is boomy. You still can’t achieve the desired results, and the sound is thin with reduced depth, then adjust the mic further towards the body.

Mic Around the Soundhole

You can also adjust the mic around the soundhole but keep in mind, not in front of the soundhole will not give accurate results. You can place the mic above or below the soundhole and choose where the warm sound is produced. Placing the mic in the soundhole can create a problem, a booming sound that occurs when the air enters the mic.

Record Sound

It depends on you which method you use to record sound, but keep in mind that always try to fix the mic six inches away from the body. When you select the mic near to the guitar, you will get more prominent closeness results that will give you the desired sound that you exactly want. When the mic is adjusted far away from the guitar, it will provide you with a more original and airy sound with less noise of fingers produced when you pluck the guitar.

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Miking with two mics:

It will take more time to fix the mics, but in the end, you will get the results with extra fullness and depth. There are many different types of configurations that you can try, but the most important ones are spaced pairs (A/B) and coincidental pairs (X/Y). You can place the mic between the 12th to 14th fret area and the other mic on the bridge for the spaced air configuration. If you are using one large-diaphragm condenser mic, you should place the mic at the bridge. For the best results, try to fix every mic individually; after positioning the mics, tune the guitar and focus on every individual mic sound.

Achieve Balance

If you do not correctly check the sound of every single mic, then at the end, you will be confused about which of the mic is not positioned well. Therefore, for preventing yourself from different problems and issues, constantly adjust every single mic three meters away from the guitar.

Coincidental pair (X/Y), as the name shows in this number of the mics with their diagram is adjusted very close mostly stacked but are 90 degrees away from each other so that some are present on the right side and others on the left side, thus covering all the sounds. Try to adjust all the mics between the 12th to 14th fret area, which means one mic is placed on the neck of the guitar and another one on the guitar’s body. Move and adjust the mics until you achieve balanced results. One of the significant advantages of using the coincidental pair it reduces the phase cancellation problems.

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Conclusion:

We have made the above list of the microphones after reading the different reviews of the users. There are many other options for buying microphones; however, keep in mind some essential points while choosing headphones. Research properly on what type of microphone you want and read all the specifications and uses. In the end, it’s your choice after reading all the features and specifications which microphone you buy for yourself.

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