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Stocking up your studio mic closet? There are so many type of choices it can make you delirious. You desire every little thing. It appears like you must have eexceptionally feasible choice spanned.

You watching: Best mic for recording guitar

This cover-all-the-bases perspective renders sense for a commercial studio however not necessarily for house or project studios. In a commercial studio, you never before understand what’s going to walk in the door. Having a selection of mics have the right to accommoday for huge setups and also surprises. 

But through home and job studios, we aren’t surprised as much or likely to have actually full band setups — so this implies we can cuprice our collection and choose mics that cover the variety of what we’ll be recording.  

This deserve to still leave you via almost also many alternatives. So let’s try to lug some clarity. I’m going to break it dvery own into three categories of guitar amp mics, and within each category, I’ll carry out three budget alternatives.

Let’s get began. 

Condenser Microphones

The ideal condenser mic have the right to sound fabulous on a guitar amp. The wrong condenser have the right to sound thin and also sharp. 

The market is flooded with cheap condenser mics, the majority of of which sound … well, cheap. The marketing departments at these carriers will paint a various photo in their ads and content. But I have actually really struggresulted in gain a good sound with a lot of of them.

Blue Baby Bottle 

That sassist, I’ve had the many luck with Blue Baby Bottle. I was honestly surprised by its sound high quality. It’s a large diaphragm microphone that retails for $399. I tfinish to like huge to tiny diaphragm mics on guitar cabs — yet there are no rules. 

The Baby Bottle doesn’t sound choose a $4,000 mic, nor does it sound choose a $399 mic. It’s a solid-state mic, which suggests no tubes. It’s incredibly clean yet not sterile. 

I tend to usage the Baby Bottle more as a cshed mic. I uncover the more back-in-the-room it is, the thinner it sounds. 

Soyuz Bomblet 

If you’re willing to spfinish a little more, consider the Soyuz Bomblet. The Bomblet happens to be my favorite solid-state condenser mic for guitar amps. It’s a really clean mic but it has actually body and personality. It captures the guitar’s full range and doesn’t sound boring.

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It additionally responds really well to EQ. That’s one thing I notice around cheaper mics — they don’t respond so well to EQ. I discover myself needing to tweak problem frequencies on the Baby Bottle more and also still not being satisfied. 

The Bomblet takes EQ adjustments and sounds flattering. I use it in a variety of positions: cshed up on the grill, a few feet ago, and also as a room mic. It does it all and retains depth and also clarity. 

The Bomblet runs roughly $1,200. But through that added price comes a mic that likewise functions incredibly well in various other applications. I usage it as the primary vocal mic for Abby Ahmad, and also on acoustic guitars, bass amps, classic guitar, mandolin and also bass drum. It’s the Swiss Army Knife of mics. 

I actually like the Bomblet to other, more expensive solid-state mics. 

Soyuz Bomblet

Neumann U87

The Neumann U87 is a classic, solid-state mic. But simply because it has a classical name doesn’t mean it’s the finest. There isn’t anypoint wrong with the U87, it’s a fine mic, however at $3,200 — it’s a steep investment. 

You’ve heard this mic on many recordings. It’s a workequine. Is it radically better than the Soyuz Bomblet? I don’t think so. I actually reach for the Bomblet even more and the U87 is more than double the price of the Bomblet. 

If money is burning a hole in your pocket, go for it! But I think tright here might be better ways to spfinish your money. That said, the U87 works in many type of applications. 

I’ve concentrated on solid-state mics for condensers. In my opinion, to acquire a really great tube mic sound, you have to spend some genuine money. Cheap tube mics just don’t execute it for me. I’ve likewise tried to focus on versatility. I absolutely love tube mics, however I discover they job-related in fewer applications. 

If you’re stocking up your project/residence studio, it’s ideal to buy mics that deserve to cover many ground and cover it well, versus buying several specialized mics. 


Neumann U87

Ribbon Microphones

I’m a huge fan of ribbon mics on guitar amps and also acoustic guitars. They sound very natural to me, also though some think about them colored. I never before know what “colored” implies anymethod, because any mic or preamp is going to include flavor or “color” to a guitar’s tone. Even those branded “clean” or “natural.”

Beyerdynamic M160

So many type of great guitar sounds have actually been recorded with ribbon mics. Jimi Hendrix’s timeless sounds were recorded with a Beyerdynamic M160 ribbon mic. It’s a hypercardioid mic, which is unique in the ribbon category. 

This terrific sounding mic prices about $699 — which is a midrange-cost ribbon mic. It has a deep sound with excellent low-mids and also body. 

I’ve offered the M160 on many guitar cabs. As always, be careful exactly how closely you place it and also exactly how loud you play. 

Speakers relocate the neighboring air, which deserve to damage ribbon mics at high decibels. If you crank a Marshall 100-watt head into a 4×12 cab, you’ll damage the ribbon in the mic if inserted best on the grill. Move the mic earlier far sufficient to protect it or usage a different mic. This might be anywhere from 1 to 3 feet amethod from the speaker. Be exceptionally careful of levels over 105 dB with a close mic. I would start at one foot ameans.

Sometimes I move the mic back and area a pop filter in front of the mic to block any air activity. Use care as soon as managing ribbon mics. They sound impressive, yet they’re breakable. 

The M160 additionally sounds great on acoustic guitars, drum overheads, violin and horns (aacquire, watch that airflow).

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Beyerdynamic M160

Cascade Fat Head II 

The Fat Head II ribbon mic is a really nice-sounding, affordable choice. It’s not as well-off or quiet as the M160, however at $449, it’s an affordable entry to the people of ribbon mics. I dig mine on guitar amps and drum overheads. It’s an extremely pleasing sound. 


Cascade Fathead II


AEA provides my favorite ribbon mics. They have a really standard sound via some contemporary features. The R84A is an energetic ribbon mic which offers the mic more output, leading to a a lot quieter mic. 

Quietly fingerpicked acoustic guitars will be videotaped as cleanly as via a condenser mic. Except it will sound prefer a ribbon!

I love the R84A on guitar amps as a cshed mic, a distant mic, and also everything in in between. It’s nearly always on my amp, together with the Bomblet. It sounds warmth yet articulate. With the R84A in front, my amp sounds like my amp. 

It runs about $1,300 and also is worth every penny. I’ve likewise used the R84A as a drum overhead, on strings, horns, acoustic guitar, vocals, piano and also double bass. 



Dynamic Microphones

A lot of human being still think about dynamic mics to be the sector conventional for guitar amps. They were kind of a point — maybe bereason of the high sound press levels world were recording at. Or perhaps they simply came right into fashion. 

I’m going to be controversial and say that dynamic mics aren’t my favorite on guitar amps. Whew, I said it. I’m most likely going to have to move currently and change my name. 

Remember, though, conmessage is every little thing. For example, difficult rock guitars deserve to really choose SM57s. 

Shure SM57

The SM57 is more than likely the most popular mic associated with guitar amps … and also the worst (here comes that hate mail). They’re cheap, incredibly directional, and also indestructible, every one of which even more than most likely accounts for their popularity and also why they’ve flooded recording studios. 

I’m not a large fan. There is nothing wrong with the SM57 — they’re developed fairly well and also have a unique sound. It’s simply not a sound that I prefer, however every little thing has exceptions. 

On very distorted guitars, I like to blend a Shure SM57 with a ribbon or condenser mic. I seldom usage the SM57 on its very own. But when blfinished through one more mic, it deserve to really enhance the tone.

The SM57 is incredibly well-off in the upper-midselection. I can even say exaggerated. Blending 2 mics with incredibly various EQ personalities deserve to yield a bigger tone. 

Some use the SM57 on snare drums and toms with good success too. 

For me, the SM57 is a straight-up-on-the-grill kinda sound. It’s a small harsh to my ears. That harshness have the right to make it reduced in a mix. But I rarely begin right here. 

Sennheiser e906

There are other dynamic mic options. I discover the Sennheiser e906 mic more flattering and also natural than the SM57. The e906 isn’t as hyped in the upper mids and also can take high sound pressure levels. It’s likewise even more resilient than a ribbon or condenser mic. 

The e906 is less directional than the SM57. Its cardioid pattern enables a little bit of sound from the rear of the mic. This provides the sound more room. 

Electro-Voice RE20

The RE20 is normally believed of as a broadactors mic for radio. But it happens to sound great on guitar amplifiers. It rejects most sound from the sides of the mic, making it exceptionally directional and excellent once there is most room bleed. 

To my ears, the EQ curve of the RE20 is even more flattering than the SM57. Like the e906, the RE20 deserve to take care of high SPLs. Wink-wink, nod-nod … go acquire those Marshall stacks! 

Final word

I’ve produced some of my favorite guitar sounds using these mics. Each one also doubles on various other tools so you don’t must very own every one of these mics. I would pick one from each category to obtain started: one condenser, one ribbon, and also one dynamic. 

But if you’ll be recording stereo guitar, you may need to buy two of your favorite mic. I don’t document a lot of stereo guitar, but I have actually 2 SM57s simply in case. 

I primarily like mono guitar or a multi-miked mono guitar amp. That doesn’t intend there isn’t a place for stereo guitar. That’s more certain though, and not the “standard”— if there is a conventional. 

Let’s listen to some guitar sounds I created via assorted mics run into my UA Apollo. 

Example 1:

Gear Used: A rock/blues vibe making use of a Gibson ES-335 through ‘50s wiring and also Florance pickups into a Henry Amps Bad Hombre. 

Soyuz Bomblet

Shure SM57

Example 2:

Gear Used: A classic rock riff making use of a Gibson Les Paul Standard through ’50s wiring and Florance pickups right into a LIC MKI Tone Bender into Henry Amps Bad Hombre. 



Example 3:

Gear Used: A rock vibe making use of the Les Paul into a Keeley D&M Drive into the Bad Hombre. 

Soyuz Bomblet

Shure SM57

Example 4:

Gear Used: More of a pop vibe through a Danelectro DC59 into a Kord SDD-3000 delay right into a Vox AC15. 

Blue Baby Bottle


Shure SM57

Example 5:

Gear Used: A country-ish vibe through a Telecaster loaded via Florance pickups into a Korg SDD-3000 delay right into a Effectrode Mercury fuzz a tweed Victoria 518 (Champ). 


Example 6:

Gear Used: A descending blues-rock riff making use of a Fender Stratocaster loaded through FSC Instruments ’59s pickups right into an Effectrode Mercury Tube Fuzz into an Effectrode Tube Drive into a Headsolid Lil’ King Reverb amp. 


Example 7:

Gear Used: A ’60s electrical people riff using a Rickenbacker 360 12-string through Gemini Pickups right into a Vox AC15. 

Soyuz Bomblet


Example 8:

Gear Used: The very same Rickenbacker through 1963 wiring running into an Analog Man CompROSSor into a Headsolid Lil’ King Reverb. 

Soyuz Bomblet

Example 9:

Gear Used: A 1980s-motivated lead part making use of the Les Paul into the Archer Ikon right into a Vox AC15. 



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