Acoustic guitars need to sound alive in the mix! The acoustic guitar will need to either cut through another more dominant sound in the mix, such as electric guitars and drums, or the acoustic guitar will need to sound clean enough to dominate the track on its own.
Acoustic guitars sound fantastic, but they are one of the hardest instruments to record. The secret behind getting the most from an acoustic guitar lies is the microphone used. If the acoustic guitar is a regular feature in your music, it is well worth investing in a good quality microphone.
Great Acoustic Guitar Microphones For under $200
Costing a little under $200, the Shure SM94 is almost perfect in every way. This microphone is specifically used for string instruments, cymbals, and woodwind instruments. This is a condenser microphone with low-frequency roll off.
This is a very sensitive microphone with a low and wide frequency response, meaning it will pick up all of the subtleties an acoustic guitar has to offer. The microphone offers a very clean sound and will give your guitar new life. These microphones are small, making it feel unobtrusive while playing.
Unless you have deep pockets, it is important to buy studio microphones that can perform a number of tasks. The Sennheiser e906 is one of those microphones. The Sennheiser e906 is a guitar microphone that is primarily used for guitar cabs, but the e906 comes with a switchable sound character feature.
This means you have a choice of three settings: dark, moderate and bright. If you switch the Sennheiser e906 to bright and have a play with your microphone positioning, you will discover a bright and vibrant acoustic guitar sound. This microphone also sounds incredible when guitars are played through an amp.
The SM57 has been around forever. They are a fantastic microphone for acoustic guitars, drums, and just about everything. With a price of under $100, they are also budget-friendly.
The SM57 has a much brighter and warmer sound than the SM58. The SM57 has a much wider frequency response, giving it a much brighter sound. If the SM58 is the ultimate all-rounder for live performance, the SM57 is the ultimate all-rounder for the studio.
This microphone gives acoustic guitars life and soul. The SM57 is also great for vocals, amplified guitars and snare drums. If you are on a budget and need a good quality studio microphone, then the SM57 is a perfect choice.
If you are a singer-songwriter looking for a microphone that will give a bright, crisp acoustic guitar sound, but also be able to give rich vocal performance then he MXL 770 is a good place to start.
The MXL 770 costs under $100 and delivers excellent quality and value. The MXL 770 is primarily a vocal microphone, but it offers excellent performance on string instruments. Thanks to its built-in pre-amp it offers a very wide dynamic range with an excellent bass roll off and a very upfront high-end response. This microphone will make your acoustic guitars and vocals sound rich and full. If you are a singer-songwriter on a budget, this is an excellent choice.
Positioning The Microphone
As with all microphone techniques, there is an element of trial and error involved. A positioning technique called "The Vanilla Position" is widely used by studio engineers worldwide. This involves positioning the microphone pointing where the neck meets the body of the guitar.
The distance the microphone is from the guitar depends on how heavy the acoustic is being played. You can also alter the distance depending on how dominant you would like the guitar to sound in the mix.