Do you envision yourself making great music on your guitar? Do you imagine you could create incredible sounds on your guitar? Well, even the greatest of musicians and producers need good mics for recording guitar and guitar amps, so they can show off their abilities.
The first step to excellent sound is to find the best microphone to suit your playing style. There are a number of mics that have certain specifics that are ideal for achieving different sounds and tones.
A microphone is a device used to translate sound vibrations into electric currents and they’re used to either transmit or record sound. Guitar mics are specifically used for guitar recordings or sound transmittance for either electric or acoustic guitars.
That means the mic your vocalist buddies are using may not suffice, so you need to invest in niche-specific gear that will showcase your talents better than the average microphones. If you’re serious about your hobby or career, getting the correct gear is a necessary step in the process.
Now, which mic will work for you? We’ve identified a few that will take you where you want to go.
Shure SM57 Mic
The Shure SM57 is a dynamic microphone with cardioid directional pattern. A dynamic mic is better at capturing low and mid frequencies which makes it suitable for studio and home use and ideal for recording guitar amps. The SM57 has a balanced output which minimizes background noise and electric hum.
The SM57 is suitable for recording and transmitting sound for electric and acoustic guitars as well as various other musical instruments.
It’s one of the most sought after microphones and because of its popularity you can find the SM57 in virtually any music store.
Shure SM58 Mic
The Shure SM58 is a unidirectional cardioid microphone. The mic has a built-in spherical filter that minimizes wind and the sound of breathing. It has a steel mesh head which helps with damage control. The SM58 also has a pneumatic shock-mount internal system which minimizes handling noise.
The SM58 performs extremely well in a live environment and it’s mostly used for vocals rather than guitar amps. The Shure SM58 is also suited for podcasts, group vocals, live performances and studio recordings. However, it’s quality still makes it worthy to put on this list for recording guitar.
The SM58 is definitely worth the price for the incredible quality you receive. It’s also very durable which makes it convenient for band touring and live stage productions.
Sennheiser E609 Mic
When it comes to sound capture and design the Sennheiser E609 is the perfect mic for recording guitar amps. Unlike traditional rounded microphones, the Sennheiser E609 has a flat exterior design suitable for hanging over amps or placing flat on a surface for recording.
This dynamic mic can handle heavier sounds without vibration or distortion problems, which is important as guitar mics need to be placed close to the source of the sound. The Sennheiser E609 is an instrumental mic used mostly for guitar cabinets.
There may be concern for durability as the back of the flat exterior is made from plastic, but the mic holds up incredibly well. It’s also slightly pricier than the SM58 and the SM57. Although the design is flat, it can be safely mounted on a stand.
The Sennheiser MD421-II is an instrumental microphone and is mostly used to mic up drum kits and other studio instruments. Although the MD42-II is said to be a studio microphone, you will also find it on stage for live performances.
Unlike the Sennheiser E609, sound can be transmitted all the way around the MD421-II mic instead of at a specific point which is why it’s best suited for drum use rather than guitar cabinets. Still, many musicians find it useful for guitar use too.
Although the Sennheiser MD421-II has a plastic exterior, it’s quite durable and light in weight. It has a metal grill and flat design and has a quick clip in/clip out microphone adaptor.
AKG C414 Mic
The AKG C414 can be used for various instruments and vocals. You will find this model of microphone in most professional studio booths and it’s suitable for vocals, podcasts, voiceovers, acoustic guitar, piano, percussion and various other instruments.
This model has a flat exterior design, and comes with polar pattern adjustment switches on the front which can switch between nine different polar patterns. Because of its rugged build it’s quite durable which makes it safe for live performances, but really it’s specialized for use in the studio.
The C414 is considered an industry standard compared to other microphones as it picks up little to no background noise; it has an extended dynamic range and greater sensitivity compared to other models.
Good Mics for Recording Guitar – Who Are They For?
Guitar mics are used by aspiring musicians, sound engineers, and record producers. These mics can be used for recording live acoustic or electric guitar as well as various other instruments.
These microphones are suitable for professional studio recordings and live performances; however, you can also use them for home studio recordings as well.
Professional musicians as well as students studying music or sound engineering will get a lot of use out of these microphones. They’re not difficult to use which makes them great for sound engineers who work on time sensitive projects where you need your equipment to be user friendly.
You have a wide variety of microphones to select from. Think of the sort of guitar you will be using and what sort of environment you will be in when playing your instrument and choose a mic that will suit that scenario.
When it comes to looking at good mics for recording guitar and guitar amps, these microphones are some of the best in the industry. Some of the models, like the Shure SM57, are really inexpensive considering the popularity and the quality of sound you get.
The sooner you get one, the sooner you’re able to shred some epic guitar solos and fully commit your guitar sound to your music.