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Rode NT2A

Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic

Buy from Guitar Center $399 Buy from Amazon $399

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Best Microphone For Recording Acoustic Guitar

Rode NT2A


For most people, the Rode NT2A is the best for recording guitar with a single mic. The noise floor is super low, and the multiple recording configurations ensure you have a mic that is affordable, sounds great, and is flexible for use with more than just acoustic guitar. If you need a great mic for recording acoustic guitar, the Rode NT2A is the one to get.


If you’re recording in a professional studio with an engineer, chances are you will have access to a mic locker, filled with microphones in the $1000-$3000 price range.

If you’re recording at home, you probably won’t. 🙂

But you will want a good mic, which captures your instruments and vocals well. Has a low noise floor (you know, hiss level).

Obviously, the microphone should have great build quality, and a good track record over time of being a reliable microphone.

Also, in keeping with our home studio theme here at MSCGR, it should be able to perform in multiple scenarios, with multiple audio sources, in order to keep costs down and music recording and production up.

There are numerous different methods for recording acoustic guitar, which can require more than one microphone. It’s a rabbit hole you can go down where you will spend all your time obsessing about microphone combinations (.X/Y combination? Mid/Side? Matched Pair?) and dealing with phase cancellation issues.

If you want to get a great guitar sound without all the BS, get a great condenser mic and move it around until you get a great sound.

Producer’s have relied on many tried an true techniques for getting a great acoustic guitar sound in the studio. However, as Daniel Lanois advised, if you want to get a good guitar sound, “first get a good‑sounding acoustic guitar“.

Plenty of people record acoustic guitar with one microphone; particularly in a home studio environment. This is one great example (with video).

Any large diaphragm condenser will work, and if you have already used some of our

Our Pick

best mic for recording acoustic guitar

The Rode NT2A is one of the best options when it comes to price AND performance. You’ll find that many high ends studios will have several of these, as they are used for multiple applications.

The Rode NT2A is also a great choice. We picked it because it has some extra pattern settings, which allow it to be used in endless other configurations, as well as with other instruments.

In Sound on Sound’s review of the NT2A, they noted its audiology origins, which makes it one of the quietest mics around (i.e. no hiss):

If the build quality and appearance are impressive, the technical spec is no less so. When I last spoke to Peter Freedman, Rode’s founder, he confided in me that one of the electronic designers had a background in audiology, which I took to meaning hearing-aid design. While hearing aids and studio mics might not seem to have a lot in common, hearing aids require extremely low-noise circuitry. Certainly Rode mics are amongst the quietest available at any price, and the equivalent input noise of the NT2A is just 7dBA (measured as per IEC651 and IEC268-15), which works out around 10dB quieter than the typical competition.

[…]

“Overall I liked this mic a lot, especially given its very attractive price. It has a classy sound that comes over as both rich and natural, it is extremely quiet, and it is put together very nicely, with neatly built surface-mount circuit boards and minimal wiring. Some mics try to use coloration to cover up their shortcomings, but here the mic’s natural sound is tweaked only insomuch as it has a gentle presence peak. It would have been nice to get an included shockmount, but I can see the logic in packaging the mic to make it as affordable as possible. In a project studio with a solid floor, a shockmount may not be necessary, though a pop shield is, as always, an essential for recording solo vocals.

This microphone also performs double duty in other applications as well. It makes a great vocal mic. It can be used as an overhead for drums. It can handle brass and woodwinds. It is also a great microphone for recording electric guitar amps.

Customer Reviews

Guitar Center

Mihail Grumeza:
I use it for everything from vocals and guitar to using it in mid side recording as the side mic due to its figure 8 pattern that inst too common and comes on much more expensive mics. For the quality and price this is a must. I got it 5 years ago and still use it today.

Brandon Debalsi:
I have had this mic for a few years now and have yet to get a bad recording out of it. It’s versatile, it’s reliable and it sounds as good as mics that cost 5 times as much. I would not hesitate to get another one.

Amazon Reviews

Dale S.:
This microphone is doing a great on instrumental section and solo recording. With great sensitivity and low noise doing live recording of a solo (saxophone) and the sax section at the time is possible. Also a good room ambiance microphone.

Super Budget Option

One of our perennial favorites on MSCGR is the Behringer B1. (Editor’s Note: Check out our pick for best budget vocal microphone.) For $99 you will get a versatile microphone that sounds great:

Best Vocal Mic on a budget

Amazon ($99) | Guitar Center ($99)

Conclusion

There’s a few others that are also pretty great, but if I had to buy one tomorrow, it would be one of these two microphones … and a great acoustic guitar!

Happy recording!


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Best Microphone For Recording Acoustic Guitar

Rode NT2A

Best Microphone For Recording Acoustic Guitar

Important Specs

No Tech Specs Yet

Synopsis:

For most people, the Rode NT2A is the best for recording guitar with a single mic. The noise floor is super low, and the multiple recording configurations ensure you have a mic that is affordable, sounds great, and is flexible for use with more than just acoustic guitar. If you need a great mic for recording acoustic guitar, the Rode NT2A is the one to get.

Behringer B1

Budget Pick

Behringer B1

If you haven't noticed by new, we love the Behringer B1. We're not alone. Some of the most regarded producers in the biz use these often, and love it too. Sure, there are better mics out there, but if you need a great mic to capture acoustic guitar and want to keep your purchase around a hundred bucks, the Behringer B1 is the one to get.

- M

Sources

  1. Customer Review, Amazon Reviews, 20140921
    Great on instrumental section and solo recording
    “This microphone is doing a great on instrumental section and solo recording. With great sensitivity and low noise doing live recording of a solo (saxophone) and the sax section at the time is possible. Also a good room ambiance microphone. [...] If you want studio quality in your home but don't want to drop a grand, this is your mic. I bought it used at an even lower price, but if I had to buy new at $399, I'd do it without hesitating.”
  2. Brandon D, Guitar Center Reviews, 20161101
    Sounds as good as mics that cost 5 times as much. I would not hesitate to get another one.
    “I have had this mic for a few years now and have yet to get a bad recording out of it. It's versatile, it's reliable and it sounds as good as mics that cost 5 times as much. I would not hesitate to get another one.”
Originally published: November 20th, 2017

Important Specs

No Tech Specs Yet



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