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microphone for acoustic guitar


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  • microphone for acoustic guitar

    I'm looking for a microphone for an acoustic guitar. My SM57 is great for my amps but never worked by itself on an acoustic, it might be good to blend with something else. Right now I'm just using a Blue Yeti which works ok, but I'm ready to take a step up. Here's something I did with my Blue Yeti. It just sounds really digital and processed. I'm guessing what I'm looking for is a large diameter condenser, but any recomendations are welcome. These videos illustrate the general ballpark of the sound I'm looking for, I guess the word I'd use is organic.

    If whatever type or single microphone is recommended also plays nice with a resonator, banjo, and/or mandolin that'd be a plus


  • #2

    The clips you gave as illustrations of the type of sound you're after probably tell me more about the guitars they were using than the microphones... IOW, the resonator on the Tom Waits track makes a huge contribution to the overall "sound." A lot of "down home" guitar sounds on records have more to do with the character and sonic nature of the guitar than the mic that was used to capture it. As you go forward in pursuit of your ideal acoustic guitar "sound", you might want to keep that in the back of your mind...

    On resonators and mandolins, I often like ribbon microphones. You may even like the way they sound with your acoustic guitar... the only caveat is that they require a mic preamp with a lot of clean gain on tap - at least 60-70dB worth. Excellent ribbon mic contenders would include the Royer R101 and Beyerdynamic M160. On a tighter budget, the Cascade Fathead II is worthy of consideration.

    As far as condensers on acoustic guitars, I have various things I like to use, depending on the circumstances and the sound we're looking for. 251's work great on acoustics, and AKG's 414 series are also nice in that application. I like small diaphragm models too, such as the Audio Technica AT4041 and the Oktava MC012.

    What kind of a budget are we working with, and what do you have for mic preamps?



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    • jdc5294
      jdc5294 commented
      Editing a comment

      Thanks for the advice, whenever I need a preamp I borrow a friend's buzz audio elixir, which has up to 70db i believe. He got his hands on a Vintech X73i a couple months ago and never uses the elixir anymore :P

      my patience has a tendency to go in waves, most of the time i'll be wise to the fact that it's the mic, the guitar, the room, the player, all that stuff. but every now and then my brain just snaps and wants a silver bullet to get a certain sound, which doesn't exist. i appreciate the indulgence