Mic recommendations for acoustic guitar

Hey all, I’m using a Martin and need to get a recording that will do the instrument justice. I have an SM 57 but want something that’s a bit more sensitive in terms of pick up. I at times do fingerpicking and I find the SM 57 isn’t really up to it. Any suggestions from you all regarding microphone brands, models, etc. would be much appreciated.


I’d recommend getting 2 mics to record acoustic for stereo tracking. You can also use a Jecklin Disk for more seperation. Or use a mid-side technique.

Ok…ok…you didn’t ask for techniques, however, they will dictate what types of mics you will need.

1) Condensers : 1 omni, 1 cardioid (mid-side)
2) Condensers : 2 cardioids
3) Condenser : either cardioid or omni will work well
4) Ribbon or pair of ribbons
5) Condensers : 2 omnis (Jecklin Disk)

If you only have a single channel preamp, then take a look at the AT4040. It sounds great on acoustic and it won’t break the bank.

Thanks. The techniques are very helpful too. :)


Rode NTK. :)

Lots of folks like small condensors for acoustic, but I really, really, really like the sound of the NTK on acoustic.

Really, really, really. :D

Absolutely, a small condensor is the way to go. You can spend from $50 to $XXXX, depending on your budget.

I got an AT-4033 in trade for an old TEAC tape machine, and it’s pretty darn nice. Great for vox too. You can get 'em used I think for around $200.

Not to upstage the NTK- Rode gets lots of good word. But I’m about the budget, and ran into the AT-4033. Nice, clean, and no cheep mic. Won’t Trade this one.

I like LDC’s more on acoustic guitar and I also prefer one mic approach, but that’s me.

Quote (varakeef @ Nov. 01 2006,07:44)
I like LDC's more on acoustic guitar and I also prefer one mic approach, but that's me.


I've even had good results with an SM58 (with the ball end on and off).

Regardless of mike, the preamp makes a difference. Consider a Studio Projects VTB-1, for $120 (though you might still find some new ones for $100 on ebay). Makes an SM57 considerably more sensitive.

Lots of folks also like SDCs on acoustic guitar. Gotta try them all.

I particularly like mid-side approach, using LDC (Studio Projects B3) for side mike. I’m currently using an SM57 for Mid, but think an SDC might do better. Something like the AT 37R. Mid Side tends to combine the advantages of mono and 2-mike recording.

When I try multiple mikes in different places, small changes in position cause big changes in image, and I have trouble making 4 consistent takes for comping into one good track. Especially when they’re not on the same day. I don’t have this problem with mid-side.

I use MDA’s “image” VST to change do the mid-side demux. Simple and works great.

Voxengo has a free M/S encoder/decoder as well:


Thanks for all the great responses. I went ahead and invested in the AT4040. I’ve heard many,many good things abut this series and figure it’s probably the best bang for the buck given my budget. I wish I had more money of course. But here we are in the real world.