We Review The 5 Best Microphones for Recording Acoustic Guitar

recording an acoustic guitar with a dynamic microphone

Capturing Acoustic Guitar Nuance

Also read our article, “How To Record An Acoustic Guitar with a Condenser Mic”


Shure SM81

Feature Pick

Shure Sm81-Lc Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone

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The SM81 is produced by Shure, which has been a reliable supplier of microphones for years. It’s considered a workhorse in terms of durable mics for recording guitars.

Features:

  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Stage and studio use
  • Rugged construction
  • Condenser microphone
  • Frequency response: 20 to 20,000 Hz

Polar Pattern

One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make regarding your microphone is the pattern. This is a cardioid, unidirectional mic that won’t pull in noises from the back and minimal noise from the sides. This will minimize the reverb, so keep that in mind when purchasing a mic for your recordings.

Pros for the SM81

The Shure family of microphones have been around for generations. You really can’t go wrong when choosing a Shure for your musical recordings, studio performances and stage recordings.

Read our full review of the Shure SM-81 here


Rode NT2A Anniversary Vocal Condenser Microphone Package

Feature Pick

Rode Nt2A Anniversary Vocal Multi-Pattern Dual Condenser Microphone Package

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Features:

  • Variable polar pattern
  • High-pass filter

Polar Pattern

There are three positions on the body of the microphone that allow you to change the pickup pattern to one that suits your needs at the moment. It’s a large capsule condenser meant for the studio recording.

Included in Package

The Rode NT2A Anniversary package comes with a shock mount, dustcover and instructional DVD. It’s perfect for the beginning musician who might not know how to capture the sounds of the guitar using this kind of varied polar patterns.

Read our full review of the Rode NT2-A


Feature Pick

Blue 1967 Yeti Pro Usb Condenser Microphone, Multipattern

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In the past, USB microphones were thought to be amateurish and unsuitable for anyone serious about recording their music. The Blue Yeti Pro breaks that barrier with a microphone that’s accessible for all musicians who want to capture beautiful music with their computer.

Features:

  • Different pattern settings
  • Can be used with studio mixers and peramps
  • Direct controls for volume and pattern selection

Pros for the Blue Yeti

This is a fantastic microphone for recording at home and also translates into a studio setting where professionals will be impressed with the quality. It’s more than a simple plug-and-play mic with a USB connector.

Patterns for Recording

The Yeti has stereo mode, cardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional mode. These modes are easy to select with the switch of a selector knob.

Read our full review of the Blue Yeti USB Mic


AKG P420 High-Performance Dual-Capsule True Condenser Microphone

Feature Pick

Akg Pro Audio P420 Sliver Blue 980 X 550

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This condenser microphone comes with three polar patterns to record as much or as little of the guitar as you want. As a musician, you want to have ultimate control of the sound that is produced as well as the what is captured with the mic.

Features:

  • Mic with three polar patterns
  • High SPL application
  • Shockmount included
  • Metal case
  • Dual diaphragm

Polar Pattern

There are three different polar patterns with this microphone. Each can be selected and controlled by the musician or producer to capture the best sound. There’s a cardioid, omni and figure-8 pattern, which means you’ll never struggle to position and capture the guitar’s beautiful sound with this microphone.

Read our review of the AKG P420


MXL 990 Condenser Microphone

Feature Pick

Mxl 990 Condenser Microphone With Shockmount

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This is a great microphone if you’re capturing vocals along with your acoustic guitar at the same time. Normally, that’s what you’ll be capturing in a home studio is singing and guitar playing. This will provide the best of both worlds as far as recording.

Features:

  • Vintage body style
  • Frequency response 30Hz to 20kHz
  • Shockmount included
  • Mic stand adapter
  • Case

Diaphragm on the Condenser

This diaphragm is 3/4” gold-sputtered, which helps create a professional sound that is well-suited for both analog and digital recordings.

The microphone has a very thin layer of gold on the diaphragm that helps it conduct electricity better. The result is a smooth, quality recording.

Read our full review of the MXL 990


Conclusion

The manufacturers of these condenser microphones have been around for generations and some have been the old-standby professional for years of stage performances and studio recordings.

You can’t go wrong when you pick one of these microphones since they’re the 5 best mics for acoustic guitar recordings.

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