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Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby DAGGILARR » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:38 pm

I am looking to get some mics for recording acoustic guitar. I am a hobby home recorder who is fairly new to this. The current recommendation is a pair of SE 2200a they are in the budget at a new price of £300 a pair. Anyone have a view on these or would recommend an alternative.
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby Pyrotech » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:17 pm

This question comes up quite a lot, so a quick browse through the forum or search on the topic will give you a wealth of opinions!

Any minute now, though, someone's going to come along and recommend you get yourself some Rode NT5s or NT55s for that sort of budget.. Always a popular choice.
A matched pair of mics is a good thing to have at your disposal, but I would also say that I often prefer to combine two different mics for acoustic guitar - so maybe, for example, you might look at getting one NT5 or 55 and one SE2200a to take advantage of the variety of characters they can give you.

As I say though - do a search and lap up the knowledge..
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby Billum » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:28 pm

Hmmm, those SE 2200a's are pretty popular, but I'd get meself a matched pair of Rode NT5s for acoustic guitar on that sort of budget, can't go wrong mate. Alternatively, NT55s are a bit more expensive but make a useful step-up alternative.

(Actually, satire aside, I couldn't agree more with the combination of a SDC such as NT5 or even Sontronics SDC-10 with an LDC, such as Rode NT2 or your SE 2200a - not much money but a lot of sonic options and room for experiment!)
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:38 pm

+1 for NT55s.

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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby DAGGILARR » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:02 am

The more I learn the less I know... OK the NT 55's have additional options over the 5s but you can get different heads for the NT5,s an omni capsule so I could add that later. Why would I want this and what are the features of the 55 that make it worth the extra £100 a pop. Bearing in mind my "home studio/hobby status"
:headbang:
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby The Elf » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:47 am

The NT55 has (dreadfully fiddly!) attenuation and bass roll-off switches, both of which are useful if you aspire to recording a variety of sources with your mic’s. This said, if your mic pre has these facilities then it might not be such a big deal for you. I usually record acoustic guitars flat, but I’ll often roll off anything below 80Hz, or even higher when I come to the mix, depending on how much else is going on down there. Attenuation is a must if you record drums or percussion.

When you buy a matched pair of NT55s you will receive factory matched omni heads and matched cardioid heads. I don’t know if you can get matched pairs of omni heads separately?

For acoustic guitar, having a good omni option is very important IMO. You get a very honest sound from the omni heads, with a beautifully smooth and full low end, devoid of a cardioid’s proximity effect. You need the room to be sounding good to get the best out of omnis, but you can get closer in without the bass beginning to sound hyped.

Ultimately it’s all about choosing the right tool for the job in hand. If the guitar is going to remain in splendid isolation then a stereo recording with omnis in a good–sounding room is a nice option – if the guitar is going to fight for its place in a mix then a cardioid mono recording is maybe a better choice.
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby Shambolic Charm » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:09 am

I often record my Gibson J-200 with an SE 2200a and it gives it a nice open airy quality
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby matt keen » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:24 am

DAGGILARR wrote:The more I learn the less I know... OK the NT 55's have additional options over the 5s but you can get different heads for the NT5,s an omni capsule so I could add that later. Why would I want this and what are the features of the 55 that make it worth the extra £100 a pop. Bearing in mind my "home studio/hobby status"
:headbang:



I bought matched pair of NT5's and added the omni heads later - great

OMNI's are marvellous on acoustic guitar if you have decent room sound - though I tend to screen off behind the mic or use use an se mini shield thing (sorry cant remember what they are called :D)


Home/hobby status should never stop you spending ridiculous amounts of money on microphones Dont fall for that "I cant justify it ..." crap :bouncy:
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby DAGGILARR » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:16 pm

It seems to me there are a few choices for me to make on this microphone thing
It will be important to me to have a bit of versatility in respect of recording acoustic guitar. I may not stay in the same room and I may get another acoustic
I am attracted to a pair of NT5’s but can these be used in a variety of ways such as XY, 1 fingerboard 1 over the shoulder or on the bout, or are they mostly for XY stereo? So far I have been using my M-audio nova’s on 2 separate mono channels in all positions and then panning. Should XY stereo be one stereo channel or 2 mono panned? Would a pair of SE2200a’s be more versatile or would one of each or another combination be a smart move.

I listened to a solo acoustic guitar recording earlier today and what impressed me was the clarity of the bass tones, they were strong but without “boominess” I seem to be able to get the sparkle OK but the mid’s and low’s that's were the deficit is

:headbang:
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby Bob Bickerton » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:15 pm

The pair which would give you most options would be the NT55s. You could use the cardioid capsules in any of the positioning mentioned above, plus you have the option to use the omni capsules as a spaced pair in a nice acoustic, or closer in which would give you nice bottom end without the boom of proximity effect.

I'd tend to record on two mono channels which gives you more options in terms of stereo imaging.

I can't comment on the Nova or SE2200 as I'm unfamiliar with them.

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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby DAGGILARR » Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:50 am

Thanks Bob

Appreciate this info looks like a pair of Rodes is the way to go, probably have to be NT5 and get some capsules later. I have noticed that there are some AKG 451b's for sale are they significantly better? as second hand they go for £150/180 a piece.

My other thought is, is there any value to using a small desk (A&H Z10 http://www.dv247.com/studio-equipment/allen-and-heath-zed-10--71038) between the mics and the DAW to get a bit more control or is it just as well to do that in logic using the Saffire pre's
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby Bob Bickerton » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:21 am

I haven't used akg 451s much, just a few times as drum overheads, so can't really compare. They're a little bright but possible quite nice on acoustic guitar.

As to using a desk, I'd go straight into the Saffire, which has good preamps, then sort it in Logic.

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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby DAGGILARR » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:32 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:

As to using a desk, I'd go straight into the Saffire, which has good preamps, then sort it in Logic.

Bob

Thats what I was hoping you would say, I am going to focus on getting some NT5's they seem to have the consensus great help Bob thanks

:)
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby DAGGILARR » Tue May 10, 2011 7:58 pm

Bob Bickerton wrote:The pair which would give you most options would be the NT55s. You could use the cardioid capsules in any of the positioning mentioned above, plus you have the option to use the omni capsules as a spaced pair in a nice acoustic, or closer in which would give you nice bottom end without the boom of proximity effect.

I'd tend to record on two mono channels which gives you more options in terms of stereo imaging.

I can't comment on the Nova or SE2200 as I'm unfamiliar with them.

Bob


I have managed to get my self a pair of NT55's as they seem to be the ones that have the most consistent positive feedback, I resigned my self to waiting a while until I could afford them then spotted a pair on ebay for about the cost+ of a new set of NT5's. Should get them soon Just praying they are as described :shock:
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby . . . Delete This User . . . » Wed May 11, 2011 8:12 am

find a pair of Groove tubes GT33's on ebay....


bloody great mics for acoustic guitar
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby Sam Inglis » Wed May 11, 2011 9:41 am

Never tried my GT33s on acoustic, will have to give that a go. A word of warning if you do look for them second-hand, though -- they don't seem to be terrifically reliable, and I've never found a source for spares.
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby Daniel Davis » Wed May 11, 2011 10:03 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:I haven't used akg 451s much, just a few times as drum overheads, so can't really compare. They're a little bright but possible quite nice on acoustic guitar.
Bob

For several years I used Studio Projects C4s on acoustic guitar - smilar to the Rodes in that they have interchangeable cardioid and omni capsules - but not so dark sounding. And then I got a pair of AKG C451e - well its like pulling cotton wool out of your ears. Yes, on one very bright guitar I have had to put in a high shelf, but the level of detail is something else. Unfortunately these very rarely come up at auction and I doubt they'd be within the OPs budget. Pity.
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby lead ears » Wed May 11, 2011 12:25 pm

Shambolic Charm wrote:I often record my Gibson J-200 with an SE 2200a and it gives it a nice open airy quality
If I may say, the most important ingredient is the J200, not the mic :)
My J200 is always the one that visiting guitarists choose, after hearing the recorded result. It may not be the best sounding acoustically, and even heard on its own, but when it's in context, it's the most "mix-friendly".
9 times out of 10, I use an AT450 or an MTG 296, on its own.
I've experimented with mult micing, never worth the trouble IMO.
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby . . . Delete This User . . . » Wed May 11, 2011 1:26 pm

i have 6 Gt33's not one has ever given me a moments trouble...... they're used regularly for all sorts of stuff... drum over heads, hi hats, general percussion , electric and acoustic guitars, piano, ... very versatile, halfway house between the naked honesty of a good SDC , and the slightly larger than life aspect of an LDC, not a true SDC, more of a mid size diameter....

and no, i;'m never selling them.... not ever....

the TUBE ones, are more problematic, largely due to PSU reliability and the difficulty of getting spare transformers for the PSU, every failed tube GT mic i've ever looked at has had a winding failure on the mains transformer secondary windings.

that said, they sound lovely, and for the money little else touches them...

(we have all the rode and SE things around as well and the Gt's are more often chosen first..... current album projects are using 2 GT67's as overheads.... and sounding awesome)
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby ROLO46 » Wed May 11, 2011 5:40 pm

AKG 451 s were notoriously bright in comparison to similar MKH s.
The screw thread was far too fine and could be cross threaded
They hated humidity and damp.
Apart from that they were cheaper than MKHs,and modular so BBC ED bought loads for tele use.
BBC Film department went Senny MKH cos of the humidity concerns. :angel:
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby DAGGILARR » Wed May 11, 2011 6:39 pm

I am getting worried now I have spent my budget (£300) on a pair of NT55's and everybody is rhapsodising about every other mic there is!! Oh well its done now so we will try em out :headbang:
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby Sam Inglis » Wed May 11, 2011 7:49 pm

Maybe I've just had bad luck with the GT33s then. One of mine has lost 20dB or so of output level, and it seems to be a problem with the capsule. Never managed to track down a spare capsule. In fact, although the capsules are supposed to be interchangeable, none of us could figure out how they come off -- is there a trick to it?

A lot of the time my favourite acoustic guitar mic is the old AKG D19 / D24. Tried it on a session on Sunday and it beat the pants off a KM84.
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed May 11, 2011 8:29 pm

DAGGILARR wrote:I am getting worried now I have spent my budget (£300) on a pair of NT55's and everybody is rhapsodising about every other mic there is!! Oh well its done now so we will try em out :headbang:

Don't worry, everyone has different opinions. For your budget they'll be fine.

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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby mjfe2 » Wed May 11, 2011 11:00 pm

DAGGILARR wrote:I am getting worried now I have spent my budget (£300) on a pair of NT55's and everybody is rhapsodising about every other mic there is!! Oh well its done now so we will try em out :headbang:

Don't worry the Rode omnis have been compared favourably to Neumann mics on this forum, and Tony Faulkner famously endorses the Rodes too!
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby The Elf » Thu May 12, 2011 7:22 am

DAGGILARR wrote:I am getting worried now I have spent my budget (£300) on a pair of NT55's and everybody is rhapsodising about every other mic there is!! Oh well its done now so we will try em out :headbang:
You genuinely have nothing to worry about. I’m working on two (Martin) acoustic guitar-based pieces at the moment where the illustrious player could have chosen any mic he liked, but, after a little reticence, my NT55s with omni caps blew him away - it’s now all I can do to convince him to try other options! :D
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby DAGGILARR » Thu May 12, 2011 8:45 am

The Elf wrote:
DAGGILARR wrote:I am getting worried now I have spent my budget (£300) on a pair of NT55's and everybody is rhapsodising about every other mic there is!! Oh well its done now so we will try em out :headbang:
You genuinely have nothing to worry about. I’m working on two (Martin) acoustic guitar-based pieces at the moment where the illustrious player could have chosen any mic he liked, but, after a little reticence, my NT55s with omni caps blew him away - it’s now all I can do to convince him to try other options! :D

Reassured I am :)
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby DAGGILARR » Thu May 12, 2011 5:28 pm


[/quote]

I have managed to get my self a pair of NT55's as they seem to be the ones that have the most consistent positive feedback, I resigned my self to waiting a while until I could afford them then spotted a pair on ebay for about the cost+ of a new set of NT5's. Should get them soon Just praying they are as described :shock: [/quote]

Arrived today they are mint, these are new never been out of the case, even has the register your warranty card.... phew :bouncy:
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby roxanne113 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:44 pm

We are pre-hobbyists and we're looking to do some recording into apple's garage band. I have a Blue omni-directional snowball with the pop filter and shock mount I use for podcasting. How well will it work to record acoustic guitar? (my 10 yo son has just started teaching himself). I see that you guys are talking about the NT5 and GT33, but I can't justify that expense yet and I would have to get adapters to jack into my mac.

Any advice or confirmation that would require the least amount of cash?
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby grab » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:26 pm

The major factors, in roughly descending order of importance, are probably going to be:-
* the player (he's only just started learning)
* the room (most computers live in a small study with dodgy acoustics)
* the house and street (is everyone going to be perfectly quiet while he records?)
* the guitar (he's only just started, so I suspect it'll be fairly budget, and may not be perfectly tuned either)
* the mic

Until your son is playing seriously and until you're recording somewhere other than the average room in the average house, really don't bother getting anything else. What you've got will be an accurate recording of his playing at the moment. It won't sound like John Williams in a studio, bcos he won't sound like John Williams and your house won't sound like a studio! ;)

When you're recording him, do try putting the mic in different places around the front of the guitar and see where sounds best. Around the neck/body join is traditionally a good place for mics, but play with it and see what works. A mic stand will help here - something like this stand would be fine for not much money.
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Re: Mics for acoustic guitar

Postby roxanne113 » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:42 pm

Thanks for the reassurance. If the guitar-playing sticks, I can see hooking up with folks with studios (I'm Portland, OR and you can't throw a rock around here without hitting someone who's in a band ;-). I'm glad we can make do with what we have!

Wish us luck!
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