7 Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar 2020


Looking for the best mics for recording acoustic guitar? Are you having problems getting high quality sounds from your acoustic guitar?Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar

If your answer to this question is yes, then you need an effective microphone to help you record clear and accurate sounds. 

So, which are the best mics for recording acoustic guitar. Well, with the many offers in the market, it might be tasking to choose the most effective mic for your acoustic guitar. Related: 9 Best Camera for Music Videos

Reviews: 7 Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar 2020 Reviewed

1. Shure SM57 Cardioid Condenser Mic

Perhaps this is the most common mic you’ll see in live performances. It’s a favourite brand not only in live performances but also in studio recording. If you’re looking for a mic to use in your acoustic guitar recording, SM57 will be a perfect choice.

SM57 is a cardio sound pick-up microphone which isolates the targeted sound from other background sounds or noise. That makes it a perfect mic for picking sounds from a single source such as in drums and acoustic guitars.

It will effectively respond to frequencies of between 40 Hz to 15 kHz. With such a wide range of frequency sensitivity the mic is able pick accurate signals from the acoustic guitar. This is turn leads to a perfect and warm recording.

Being a versatile mic, you can also use SM57 in voice recording and live performances. For many years it has been used on podiums by presidents and famous music artists.

The durability of this mic gives it an outstanding life span even when exposed to frequent outdoor usage.

Pros

  • Gives out warm and accurate recording
  • Used by legendary musicians
  • Isolated sound recording
  • Minimal noise pickup

Cons

  • Must be used with preamp and XLR cable

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2. Shure SM81 Cardioid Small Diaphragm Mic

The reputation of SM81 microphone in music production and performance cannot be underestimated. It has been around for decades and still proves to be one of the best mic for acoustic guitars. At the core of its strength is the cardioid condenser which readily selects the signals to pick.

With the unidirectional sound pick-up, this mic effectively picks sounds from the acoustic guitar therefore giving an accurate and warm output. Its low noise configuration also helps in ensuring you get very clear sound.

SM81 uses an effective off-axis response system where sounds hitting the membrane at an angle are effectively cancelled. This is made possible due to the use of a small membrane as opposed to a large one.

It’s capable handling a wide range of frequencies. Whether you’re fingerpicking or strumming, this mic captures all the tones made by an acoustic guitar. You can also use it with cymbals and piano.

Since it uses a small diaphragm, it weighs only 1.63-pounds which makes it very convenient to position for maximum sound output.

Pros

  • Clear and accurate sound quality
  • Lightweight for easy positioning
  • Low noise reduction configuration
  • Ideal mic for acoustic guitar
  • Sensitive on a wide range of frequencies

Cons

  • None

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3. Rode NT1-A Instrument Cardioid Mic

At an affordable price, you can get this high quality mic for your acoustic guitar and voice recording. It makes use of cardioid technology which allows for unidirectional sound pick-up. That means, only the sound from the guitar will be picked up by the diaphragm.

With its off-axis rejection configuration, any sounds that hit the diaphragm at an angle won’t interfere with sound from the guitar. The self-noise level for this mic stands at 5dBA which is typically ideal for acoustic guitars, drums as well as vocals.

In addition, noise from vibrations are shelved from the diaphragm by the shock mounting installed inside the mic. With a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz and all noise interruptions shelved, this mic gives you a warm and accurate sound output.

It comes with necessary accessories including a 20 feet cable, pop shield and shock mount. Also included is a DVD manual and a dust cover. Overall, it’s a durable microphone with a 10 year warranty. Note that you have to register the mic in the Rode’s website to enjoy the warranty.

Pros

  • Gives out clear sound output
  • Sensitive to all acoustic sounds
  • Superb noise handling
  • Relatively affordable
  • Comes with accessories

Cons

  • Does not have a USB configuration

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4. Sennheiser Mk4 Cardioid Large Diaphragm Microphone 

Ever since its launch in 2011, Sennheiser Mk4 remains one the best average budget microphones. In its upgrade, Mk4 features a large diaphragm which is coated with gold to enhance its sensitivity.

It’s a cardioid type of microphone which responds to sounds from the top part of the mic. This makes it perfect for handling unidirectional sounds from acoustic instruments and vocals. The cardio polar configuration and the high-end diaphragm gives rise to clear sounds free from noise interruptions.

The frequency range for this mic is between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. Thus, all the acoustic sounds from your guitar are effectively covered by this mic. There’s a shock mounting to minimise noise from structural vibrations.

As with most German products, Mk4 comes in a sturdy metal body to enhance its durability. So, no matter where you use, it won’t wear out easily. It’s further finished with a nickel coating which makes it stand out as a premium microphone.

Pros

  • Great on acoustic guitar and vocals
  • Quality sound output
  • Shelves noise interruptions
  • Built with premium standards

Cons

  • Lacks attenuation pad

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5. X1 S sE Electronics Large Diaphragm Cardioid Mic 

If you are looking for a high-quality mic at an affordable price, sE X1 S is the way to go. It’s a cardioid type of microphone featuring a large diaphragm which is ideal for vocal and acoustic instrument recording.

The 1’’ capsule is hand-crafted to the finest details to give you a highly sensitive microphone for accurate and clear recordings. Having a unidirectional sound pick-up configuration enables the mic to pick sounds only from the top part of the mic. This helps in preventing interference from the surrounding noise.

The two low cut filters come in handy to minimise rumble when you’re using the mic in a noisy room. Plus there’re two pad switches (at -10 dB and -20 dB) to minimise interference when recording loud sounds.

Since it’s made with high-grade and durable materials, you’ll have a mic that lasts you many years.

Pros

  • Excellent mic for acoustic guitar
  • Effective noise handling features
  • Midrange budget
  • Sturdy high-grade construction

Cons

  • None

6. Shure KSM141 – Dual-Pattern Cardioid Condenser Mic 

The reputation of this mic in acoustic guitar and vocal sound recording cannot be without a reason. It’s a versatile mic that provides an option for either omnidirectional or cardioid sound pick-up pattern. While most multi-pattern mics use a twofold diaphragm configuration, KSM141 features one diaphragm.

Transition from the cardioid pattern to the omnidirectional pattern is facilitated by a mechanical switch. With the cardioid sound pattern in place you’re sure to have very effective acoustic guitar sound recordings.

Its ability to handle frequencies of between 20 Hz and 20 kHz allows it cover the wide range of sounds made by the guitar. So, whether you’re strumming or fingerpicking, you’ll get a clear response from this mic.

As far as noise handling is concerned, KSM141 mic is quite good at that. It’s equipped with a multistage filter for minimising noise that may result from low-frequency sounds. High sound interferences are minimised using the switchable pad.

Looking at its overall design, this mic features premium materials that are not only durable but also give it a stylish finish.

Pros

  • Allows you to choose between omnidirectional or cardioid pattern
  • Wide application including acoustic guitar
  • Premium materials with a stylish design
  • Convenient multistage noise handling switches
  • Sensitive on both low and high frequency sounds

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

7. Audio-Technica Cardioid Mic – ATM450

If you’re recording or performing using an acoustic guitar, you can’t go wrong with ATM450 microphone. It’s essentially a cardioid condenser microphone with a frequency response of between 40 Hz and 20 kHz. That makes it ideal for the range of sounds produced by acoustic guitars.

With its large diaphragm, ATM450 produces a natural and smooth sound free from background noise. There’s a built-in high pass filter to help minimise noise from low-frequency sounds.  Noise from high-frequency sounds is dealt with by the 10 dB pad which can be switched on or off.

ATM45 also features an isolation clamp which not only provides a means for mounting but also acts as a damper for mechanical interruptions.

Pros

  • Clear and filtered sound quality
  • Valuable price
  • Works well with acoustic guitar and other instruments
  • Effective noise handling
  • Small and compact design for easy positioning

Cons

  • Capsule looks a bit exposed

Conclusion

Now you’re ready to take your acoustic recording to the next level. You might have realized that the most effective mics for acoustic guitars bear certain similar configurations. Notably, they must have a cardioid condenser to allow unidirectional sound pick-up. This helps in minimising interruptions from undesired sounds.

In addition, they must have an effective noise handling system to isolate the acoustic sounds from the background noise.

Arthur

I am a 36-year-old trained audio engineer, music producer, and Guitar player; passionate about all things music.I can track bass, guitars, keyboards, and drums and can also program drums. I mix and master with high-end plugins such as Waves, Audiority, Blue Cat, HOFA, etc

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