Best Mic for Acoustic Guitars
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Microphones are one of the most valued accessories of acoustic guitars. This is for a simple reason that acoustic guitars do not have sound amplifiers. The purpose of a microphone is not just sound amplification A microphone is important in a lot of ways. This is especially true when it comes to stringed instruments.
Key Considerations When Buying a Microphone for Acoustic Guitar
The variety of microphones available for stringed instruments is huge. As a result, it is tough to make a choice between what’s good and not. To help, we have made a list of different features. These should be considered while buying a microphone.
- SPL Handling Capacity – Always buy a microphone that can handle maximum sound pressure. Higher sound pressure handling microphone can capture noise-free and stable sound.
- Frequency Band Sensitivity – A good microphone is able to capture vibrations from different frequency bands. This ensures that the music sounds good even after it is digitally recorded.
- Response Curves – A response curve demonstrates the sides to which a microphone is most responsive to. Thus, choose the one according to whether you need one for professional recording or home recording. Furthermore, while choosing one for live performances, keep in mind the size of the venue and the crowd.
- Proximity Response – A good microphone for acoustic guitars is one that can produce clean sound irrespective of the fact whether it is too close or far away from the guitar. However, the consideration remains the fact whether the mic is being used for studios, open stage events, or auditorium shows.
- Low Impedance – Pick a microphone with low impedance. In other words, a microphone with separate balanced connectors and cables are better. They have high SPL and music to noise ratio.
- Your Budget – Diverse features come at an additional cost. Hence, you should choose a microphone with features curtailed to the event in concern. For example, you can count on a condenser mic with basic features for home recordings.
Quick Links: Best Mic for Acoustic Guitars
- Shure BETA 58A Mic for Acoustic Guitars
- AKG C451 B Small Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
- Avantone Pro CK 1
- Miktek C5
- Neumann KM-184
Our Top Recommended Mics for Acoustic Guitars
Shure BETA 58A Mic for Acoustic Guitars
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AKG C451 B Small Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
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Avantone Pro CK 1
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A wide variety of features and considerations might confuse someone who’s new to buying a microphone for stringed instruments. Thus, we have a list of 5 microphones for acoustic guitars with different features. Explore our list to find out which microphones are currently in-trend and why.
This strong build microphone for acoustic guitars is perfect for recordings and stage shows. Its handle is made of diecast metal and its spherical shell is made of stainless steel. This stainless steel mesh is highly durable and strong. It doesn’t crack or scratch so easily. Also, Shure BETA 58A is a strong output mic that comes with a microphone mounting dock. This product has a built-in neodymium magnet that has a high signal-to-noise ratio. It means that the microphone automatically cuts down noise, leaving the sound as pure as possible.
AKG C451 B Small Diaphragm Condenser Microphone has an inbuilt low noise preamplifier. Its body can withstand high sound pressure as well. For this reason, it removes distortion even when the mic is placed too close to the guitar. It comes with a preloaded high-pass filter. Furthermore, the filter cancels low rumbling noises like that of wind while recording. It can produce bright sound when placed at a distance from the guitar. It produces a soft and warm sound when placed close to the soundhole.
Avantone Pro CK-1 microphone has a good bass cut filter that helps in reducing distortion. The mic comes loaded with high-quality capacitors placed right in the patch of audio signals. This results in sound amplification without attracting noise from the surroundings. Also, this home-recording microphone has 3 capsules. This product has quite a few settings to choose from. Therefore, switching to and from the settings allow this microphone to capture, record and brighten up sounds from different frequencies.
Miktek C5 high-class pencil condenser microphone is great for studio recordings. It is a 0.5-inch cardioid full bodied capsule with an evaporated gold 5-micron mylar diaphragm. Also, it is fitted with high-quality transistors. These transistors make the microphone highly responsive to vibrations from a lot of frequency bands. It has a high SPL handling capacity. Also, it can block noise from the sides and back. Miktek C5 has a shiny outer body and comes secured in a high-quality wooden case. Lastly, it is incorporated with AMI T5 transformer.
With a cardioid polar pattern, this transformerless microphone has a solid sound pick-up. It has a transducer that works on 0-axis as well as lateral axis. With a wide pickup angle, this stunning microphone for acoustic guitars has a nickel or black finish. Also, it has a high sound pressure handling capacity. This product has a pickup range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Lastly, it has a high output voltage that produces bright and noise-free sound.
Uses of Microphones for Acoustic Guitars
Some of their most important uses other than sound amplification are listed below.
- Noise Cancellation – Recording music created by stringed instruments is not an easy task. The sound is adulterated with a lot of high and low pitch noises from the surroundings. And microphones work as a noise canceling medium.
- Quick Response – Microphones are highly responsive to multiple frequency bands. This ensures that even masked vibrations are clearly caught. Therefore, the music that microphones ultimately amplify is rich and intense.
The Different Features of Mics
These are the two unique features of microphones other than simple sound amplification. Now that you know these, it is time that you should learn about the different kinds of microphones available for stringed instruments.
- Dynamic Microphones – These are the ones that are many performers prefer for live performances. They should be ideally a foot away from acoustic guitars to catch all the sound clearly. It also helps to cut noises from the surroundings, and produce rich music.
- Condenser Microphones – These are as good as dynamic microphones used for acoustic guitars. They are mostly used for studio recordings. Furthermore, these mics have high SPL handling capacity. They also cut noise from different directions. Lastly, they are responsive to a wider frequency range.
- Ribbon Microphones – These are most fragile of all the 3 types. Despite this, they produce fairly good and noise-free intense music. They easily crack and break, which is why they aren’t for live shows and professional recordings.
Out of the 3 types that we have mentioned, dynamic and condenser microphones are most popular when it comes to connecting them with acoustic guitars. The primary difference between the two is the size of their diaphragm. Dynamic microphones have a larger diaphragm. Out of the two, smaller diaphragms performers prefer studio recording and larger diaphragms seal the stage for live performances.
There are also different sizes microphones come in that serve a variety of purposes. Being well aware of these differences can help make a more informed decision.
- Bi-Directional Microphones – These are the ones that can collect sound vibration from East and West, but not North and South. The rule remains the same for noise cancellation as well.
- Omni-Directional Microphones – are sensitive to sound from all the directions. Hence, their noise cancellation capacity is also high. Also, they catch vibrations from a number of frequency bands.
- Uni-Directional Microphones – are sensitive to sound coming from one specific source from one direction. This feature ends up contributing to the sound quality since the mic is ignorant of noises from its surroundings.
The most popular pattern for stringed instruments is a polar pattern. These can be classified in three types.
- Cardioid Microphones – These are responsive to audio from sides and straight. They are ignorant about sounds from the other half 180-degree angle.
- Supercardioid Microphones – There are 4 sides, east, west, south, and north to these mics. The supercardioid mics are the ones that have little to no response to two sides. However, they pick sound from the other 180-degree angles.
- Hypercardioid Microphones – These are the ones that have little to no response for sounds coming from 270 degrees and 90 degrees. However, they are highly responsive to sounds coming from a 180-degree angle.
One thing that you need to focus on is that polar pattern microphones have capsules that you can interchange. You can flex the mic between cardioid, super cardioid, and hypercardioid by changing the capsules. Also, ideal proximity level between the mic and the guitar depends upon the size and pattern of the microphone, as well as the size of the venue.
In conclusion, when it comes to recordings, microphones for acoustic guitars are necessary. Moreover, a microphone’s type and quality determine how melodious the music will be. Furthermore, always try to buy the microphones that allow close mic. While some of the items may not be ideal for you, they are all considered great choices on the market.