Good mic for acoustic and electric

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by Kmaxbrady, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Kmaxbrady

    Kmaxbrady TDPRI Member

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    hey guys, gonna do some home recording. I play my Martin and my tele equally and want to record both. I’d like to buy just one mic. Any recommendations?
     
  2. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

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    First, what are you recording to?

    Maybe something like a zoom with built in mics will fit your purposes.

    I will say that in a recording studio, even a pretty barebones one, it would be fairly unlikely that the same mic would be used on an acoustic and an electric guitar amp. Not never. But not often. Different tools for different applications usually. Typically an amp would be miced with a dynamic mic like a Shure 57 or a ribbon type, or both, or sometimes a dynamic with a large diaphragm condenser a few feet out in the room. An acoustic is usually miced with a condenser, could be large diaphragm or small, and these mics also almost always require phantom power from a preamp. Very occassionallya ribbon mic might be used or a dynamic but these would be the exceptions not the rule. There are other exceptions I can think of but basically, dynamic mic on the amp, condenser mic on the acoustic. As a general rule. So, a bit hard to recommend one mic to do both well.

    So, I guess budget? What are you recording to? Do you expect to record more electric or acoustic?. Might you be recording vocals too?

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
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  3. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    If going with one mic...Shure SM57 is your mic. It isn't ideal for acoustic, but can work and will certainly work for electric and vocals. Down the road you can add a condenser or something for the acoustic.
     
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  4. kiwi blue

    kiwi blue Tele-Afflicted

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    Good on you for jumping in. You'll love it.

    With just one mic, there's going to be a compromise somewhere.

    A good quality condenser mic, well positioned, will capture something like the natural sound of the acoustic guitar in the room that it's in.

    A good dynamic on an acoustic will have less sparkle, maybe more honk, not as natural, but it can sound good in its own way, eg, a pre-war acoustic blues vibe, or a Basement Tapes lo-fi vibe. All depends on what suits your music.

    On an amp, it's just like Geoff said. Dynamics or ribbons, especially for cutting through a full band mix. But if you are recording just two guitar parts, with or without vocals, I'll bet the more natural sound of a condenser would work. Just put the condenser back a few feet and record the sound of the amp in the room.

    Good condensers cost more of course.
     
  5. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    One mic, to fit multiple needs ? no brainer, Shure 57 . If you stick with tracking you're gonna get one down the road anyway. start with it !
     
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  6. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    The others are right. The SM57 has been an icon in studios and on stage for over 50 years.
    I actually prefer it over an SM58 for vocals too.
     
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  7. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was using the built-in mics on my Zoom for a while, then last year I went for a Rode NT1.

    More expensive than the Shure, but I haven't been disappointed. Real quality.
     
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  8. Kmaxbrady

    Kmaxbrady TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I’m not looking to do any vocals. Just instrumental, jazz, blues, beach boys covers, etc, low volume stuff. Gonna get a small interface like the focusrite 2i4 and record into GarageBand.
     
  9. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    Acoustics will likely sound a little flat and less detailed with a 57 than a condenser, but workable. There's always room for a 57 in a studio, and another, and another...lol
     
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  10. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

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    As mentioned the 57 will not be particularly detailed on the acoustics and all those lovely upper harmonics from your Martin will not be captured the way a condenser would. If you do go for a 57 buy it from an authorized Shure dealer, there are a lot of counterfeit ones out there.

    Another possibility would be to go for something like a Beyer 201 which is a dynamic that does much better on the high end than a 57. It is a bunch more dough though.

    A 57 is not a bad mic to start out with though. Pretty much every studio on the planet will have at least one of them, for a reason.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  11. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Friend of Leo's

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    Sm57 works great for both applications. However, there are probably better options. But the sm57 is absolutely not a bad choice for either or both.
     
  12. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just looked at the price for a Beyer 201. Good mic, but you can get a 57 and a cheap condenser for less, so scratch that thought.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  13. Dave1234

    Dave1234 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a Rode NT1 and it is excellent for the acoustic. I put the electric through a Line 6 POD and don't mic the amp.
    The focusrite 2i2 I have came with a condenser mic, but it wasn't too good to be honest.
     
  14. TheTruth

    TheTruth TDPRI Member

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    Ribbon mics record sound quite similar to how we hear it. They accept EQ well.
    Work on vocals too. Check some out.
    I'm using an MXL R144.
     
  15. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire

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    Audio Technica 2035. It will handle vocals, acoustic and electric guitar.

    Has a 80Hz highpass filter and a 10db pad. Will handle a pretty good SPL.

    You'll need phantom power.
     
  16. Ben Harmless

    Ben Harmless Friend of Leo's

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    Agree with the 57 sentiment. In a live environment (I know we're talking recording) you often get 57s for acoustic, and even prominent, old-school players rarely object. I mixed a whole set of a fairly respected singer/songwriter with a single SM58 about four feet out - it got both the vocals and guitar, and both of us agreed that it was the best of the options that we tried - and we tried some much fancier ones.

    That said, I also already thought of SPUDCASTER's idea of the AT2035. It's affordable and detailed. It's a little more thick in the midrange than I'd choose if I was going for a purely acoustic mic, but probably less colored than the 57 anyway, and more detailed elsewhere. I actually love it on my voice, too, and I have a few "nicer" mics. It ain't a pricey mic, but it's a good candidate for the desert island in the under-$200 category. It's usually $99 used.
     
  17. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    This. I think George Benson said the Breezin' album was recorded with SM57s.
     
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  18. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I agree with condensers for clearity and 57's for workhorse applications and High SPL levels
     
  19. Rolling Estonian

    Rolling Estonian Friend of Leo's

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    Just a hobbyist but my first mic was a SM57, learned a TON about mic placement on amps, almost an art in itself.

    Bought a AT 2020 to do acoustic and vocals next, not high end by any means but a good mic at a good price. The 57 definitely has its limitations recording acoustic. I went for the 57 first because, as said, it's kind of a must have and will come in useful for so many applications for years.

    M
     
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