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Best Microphone for recording/live Guitar?
Old 17th September 2012
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Best Microphone for recording/live Guitar?

Well, here's the deal. I am having a custom guitar being built for me in the future (2014), and I'm constantly trying to decide how I am going to amplify the sound of what will be one of the best guitars you can possibly buy. Up until last night, I was originally planning on amplifying the guitar with a K&K mini, a DPA 4061, and a Sunrise mag, but now I've decided against three pickups inside the guitar (for various reasons) and am going with just the K&K mini and the Sunrise mag inside the guitar. This still leaves me with the problem of having no microphone to amplify the guitar since there will be no DPA 4061 or any microphone inside the guitar. Having no mic and just having the K&K mini and Sunrise mag would not give me the best sound, so I still need a mic or two to give me the best sound possible.

With that said, I wanted to get a mic that sounded great with both vocals AND guitar, and I know that this is possible, but I'm considering also getting a separate type of mic for each instead, so I'm just exploring all my options right now.

This brings me to today. I'm looking for a microphone (or two) that is NOT a clip-on for steel-string acoustic guitar. I'd prefer that the mic be able to do well in both recording and live situations, but I am aware that is not always possible, so if you feel that you have to recommend two separate mics, feel free to do so. I'd prefer that any mic I get to be able to handle not-so-good acoustics in a room as well.

If it helps any, I'll explain my playing style. I play mostly fingerstyle on a steel-string acoustic, but I do occasionally strum as well. I don't move around really while playing and actually prefer to sit, so a stationary microphone wouldn't be an issue. I do quite a bit of slapping on my guitar's body and on the strings as well, so picking up body sounds is important for me.

Mics that I have been recommended and have caught my interest so far are Schoeps CMC641, AT 4047/4050, and AKG C414 XLS/XLII, but those were recommended to me with both vocals and guitar in mind, so I'm not sure if I were to limit my request down to just guitar whether or not these people would still keep their recommendations the same.

Thanks.
Old 17th September 2012
  #2
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
ahh you would make a big mistake if you didnt go with either the 4050 or the C414. They are go to for this at WERS 88,9FM
Old 18th September 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
jmikeperkins's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Anytime some asks what is the "best" microphone, it's a question that is basically impossible to answer because it depends on the vocalist and the sound of the acoustic guitar. The "best" mic for one voice may not be the best for another voice. Same thing applies to particular acoustic guitar. Even the same guitar can sound quite different when being played by different players and one mic might work better for one player than the other one. You also do not say anything about how much money you can spend. If you can afford a $12,000 vintage Neumann M49 then it would be hard to go wrong with that for both. Same thing would be true for a $12,000 - $15,000 vintage AKG C12. Although there are no rules, most people tend to use small diaphram mics for acoustic guitars and large diaphram mics for vocals. An acoustic guitar in the studio is almost always going to sound better with a mic than any internal mag pickup even a very good one like the Sunrise.

An AKG C414 is not a bad choice if you could only have 1 mic and your budget was under $1,000, but you will always have to compromise somewhat if you only can have 1 mic for both.
Old 18th September 2012
  #4
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
For acoustic guitar, I like a pair of AKG C414s in a Blumlein or ORTF pattern -- depending on room treatment and guitar...
Old 18th September 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Lotus 7's Avatar
For acoustic guitar:
If the room is great and you want an accurate rendition of the true guitar sound - Sennheiser MKH 8020
If the room is not so great - Sennheiser MKH 8040 or Schoeps MK22
If the room sucks - Schoeps MK41

For voice:
If your voice is great - AT4050 URUSHI (cardioid setting w/Stedman pop filter)
(Just looking at it will make you sing better)

If you don't like the clarity of the 4050, try an ELA M251 although it's a little pricier for a "second choice".

If your voice is not great - hire a singer.
Old 18th September 2012
  #6
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
do yourself a favour and try a Groove Tubes GT-40 (or GT-44) on guitar; it's a small / medium diaphragm tube mic, and it's the absolutely best I have ever heard on acoustic guitar; it's been discontinued, but they can be found quite cheap 2nd hand, and there's Sterling Audio and Avantone versions of it that are basically the same.
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #7
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotus 7 ➑️
For acoustic guitar:
If the room is great and you want an accurate rendition of the true guitar sound - Sennheiser MKH 8020
If the room is not so great - Sennheiser MKH 8040 or Schoeps MK22
If the room sucks - Schoeps MK41

For voice:
If your voice is great - AT4050 URUSHI (cardioid setting w/Stedman pop filter)
(Just looking at it will make you sing better)

If you don't like the clarity of the 4050, try an ELA M251 although it's a little pricier for a "second choice".

If your voice is not great - hire a singer.
I like the Schoeps CMC641 because of its flexibility as a microphone being able to handle just about any situation for guitar and not sound bad. I'm also interested in the AT 4050, but do I really need that limited edition AT 4050? I mean, is there anything technologically different between the limited edition model and the regular AT 4050? That's a $1,300 price difference we're talking about here.
Old 19th September 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Jeff Scott's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarlifter ➑️
I am having a custom guitar being built for me in the future (2014), and I'm constantly trying to decide how I am going to amplify the sound of what will be one of the best guitars you can possibly buy.
I thought I recently bought the best guitar you could buy! heh How do you know your upcoming guitar is the best guitar we can buy?

What may be best for you may not be so for someone else; as mentioned in a post above, about the "best" of something, applies to all things, practically, and nothing is more personal than a great acoustic guitar, IMHO.

What are you getting? Who did you commission to build your guitar?
Old 19th September 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Jeff Scott's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
BTW, I highly recommend the Audio Technica 40 Series mics, too.
Old 19th September 2012
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
eastsidetone's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarlifter ➑️

With that said, I wanted to get a mic that sounded great with both vocals AND guitar, and I know that this is possible, but I'm considering also getting a separate type of mic for each instead, so I'm just exploring all my options right now.

This brings me to today. I'm looking for a microphone (or two) that is NOT a clip-on for steel-string acoustic guitar. I'd prefer that the mic be able to do well in both recording and live situations, but I am aware that is not always possible, so if you feel that you have to recommend two separate mics, feel free to do so. I'd prefer that any mic I get to be able to handle not-so-good acoustics in a room as well.


Thanks.
Before you blow a ton of money why not just try a SM57 and A SM58.

A fancy tube mic will sound great in the studio, but in a live situation................



It sounds like they threw in some garage band reverb but you get the idea.
Old 19th September 2012
  #11
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Audio Technica 4033. You can't go wrong!!

Sent from my SPH-D710
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #12
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Scott ➑️
I thought I recently bought the best guitar you could buy! heh How do you know your upcoming guitar is the best guitar we can buy?

What may be best for you may not be so for someone else; as mentioned in a post above, about the "best" of something, applies to all things, practically, and nothing is more personal than a great acoustic guitar, IMHO.

What are you getting? Who did you commission to build your guitar?
I know all opinions on the "best guitar" are just that--opinions, but this time it isn't! :D

Mike Baranik will be building my guitar. (baranikguitars.com)

Here are the specs that I plan on having. This may change:

Model: Meridian Concert (Mike is working on a larger size of this model. I may end up getting that instead)
Cutaway: Florentine
Sideport: Yes, bound
Adjustable neck: Yes
Orientation: Left-handed
Back/Side Wood: African Blackwood
Top Wood: Adirondack Spruce, thinnest finish possible
Scale Length: Fan Fret 25.25"-26", 6.5 fret parallel
Binding: Wood TBD
Purfling: Blue Color, Wood TBD
Bridge: Pinnless, Wood TBD
Nut: 1 3/4", One bone, one W. African Hard Ivory
Saddle: 2 1/4", One bone, one W. African Hard Ivory
Neck Profile: Standard
Fretboard: Wood TBD
Fretboard Inlay Markers: Blue Paua Fretboard inlay markers and Side dots, single on 3, 9, 15, 17, double on 5, 7, 12, 19
Fretwire: Gold EVO
Pickguard: None
Headstock: Standard Design, Woods TBD
Rosette: Standard Design, Woods TBD
Accents (end wedge, heel cap): TBD, Blue color
Tuners: Gotoh 510 tuners with custom wood buttons, Blue Color
Strap pin: Built into adjustable neck
Electronics: K and K mini pickup to tip and Sunrise to ring of one jack and DPA 4061 mic system to 2nd jack (for a total of 2 end pin jacks)
Guitar Case: Cedar Creek case (Will upgrade to Hoffee if I can afford it)

Regardless of whether or not this guitar would be "the best" or not, I think it's not really arguable if I were to say that this will be a very special guitar. It certainly will be one of a kind. Mike Baranik has never even made a left-handed guitar before!

But man, AT 40XX are getting a lot of love. I'll definitely have to look into those.
Old 19th September 2012
  #13
Gear Head
 
WadhamSound's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
ADK A6 - amazing!!
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