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What's a good mic for acoustic guitar in an ameteur home studio?

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  • What's a good mic for acoustic guitar in an ameteur home studio?

    Pretty much what the title says.

    I know nothing about mic's, having only used cheapies that came with PA systems, multitrack recorders, etc.

    Most of my recording has been midi and electric guitars plugged directly into my DAW. I've so far included a mic'd acoustic guitar only as an ocassional minor backup part.

    I'm now planning some projects though, in which the acoustic will have a much bigger role. This will include a Martin DM, and a Guild 12-string (I'm really looking forward to recording some of that!).

    Below is the very modest layout in my spare bedroom space (including homemade acoustic panels), to get an idea of the sonic environment.

    Lastly, no vocals, drums, or much of anything else are planned for the mic. Just acoustic guitar.

    Oh -- and lastly-lastly -- this is a strictly ameteur application, so cost definitely matters. The one thing I actually do know about mic's is that you can sell the kids for them. I need something that will capture a sound worth listening to, but is also affordable.

    So as always, any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


  • #2
    This question has been asked A LOT. The search function on this forum sucks, but you might try it out.

    As for my 2 cents...I like the Groove Tubes GT-67.
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    • #3
      ...I like the Groove Tubes GT-67.


      I appreciate the steer, but $720 is several times out of my league.

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      • #4
        Start here: http://acapella.harmony-central.com/forums/showthread.php?t=227171
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        • #5
          Start here: http://acapella.harmony-central.com/forums/showthread.php?t=227171


          Thanks. From there:


          Mics by application
          .
          .
          .
          .
          Acoustic Guitar:

          Under $100: MXL 603, Oktava MC-012

          Under $700: AKG 451, Neumann KM-184


          I'll check these out.

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          • #6
            Quick recommendations:

            Beyerdynamic MC-930s (I chose these and love them)
            Shure SM-81s (cheap and have been used by a lot of people over a long time)
            OktavaMod MK-012s (NOT the stock ones)
            Josephson C42 (these get a lot of love)
            The Signal Studio on MySpace

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            • #7
              ......Shure SM-81s (cheap......


              So $350 is considered cheap.....

              OK -- fair enough. At least I know what I'm in for.

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              • #8
                sm57

                industry standard, brand new 80$.

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                • #9
                  Quick recommendations:

                  Shure SM-81s (cheap and have been used by a lot of people over a long time)


                  Not a bad option as they would do double duty for things like mic'ing hi hats or as drum overheads. 81's could also be used for live recording if you had some kind of mobile setup.
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                  • #10
                    Obviously "cheap" is a relative term.

                    There are some actually cheap mics that do a passable job on acoustic guitar.

                    The Naiant X-Q is under $50 and can sound pretty darn good on acoustic guitar. www.naiant.com and Samson C02 condensers are something like $120 a pair.

                    CAD makes a GXL 1200 condenser that does a passable job.

                    I have been buying older Audio Technica condenser mics when they show up on my local Craigslist. I recently got two ATM 10a mics for $50 and an ATM 11r for $20. Not amazing mics but more than worth what I paid and great utility mics for overheads, or live acoustic instruments..etc.

                    And for what it's worth, I had two SM81's and sold them. They just never seemed to be the right mic whenever I tried them.
                    Mark
                    "Do that again....Open your mouth and make your face disappear"..

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                    • #11
                      The shure sm57 is an all around decent instrument mic.

                      for better ambience livliness as well as more money ($250-300) the heil pr30 or pr40 are pretty good recording mics.

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                      • #12
                        Cheap
                        SM57
                        MXL 603
                        MXL 2003
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                        • #13
                          If you go the low output dynamic way (Shure SM57), make sure you have a high output, low noise mic preamp! I prefer the Audix i5 on acoustics (and voice) because it has more output but also a cleaner response in the lows and highs, a naturally scooped low midrange and a bit of a presence peak at the top end that stays smooth unlike the grainy SM57. Snare drum and really gritty electric guitars are just about the only things I really like the SM57 for.
                          The Signal Studio on MySpace

                          Download The Shapes's EP + 4 singles, FREE (I play drums in this band)
                          Download Fist Of God's EP, FREE (I play guitar in this band)

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                          • #14
                            If you can afford around $230. The Rode NT1A is a good choice for acoustic guitar.
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                            • #15
                              I'll say it again here : Shure beta 57a

                              Makes my Gurian sing . . .
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