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Using the best type of microphone for recording acoustic instruments will allow you to perfectly capture the live sound and emotion of the entire performance. When captured right, listening to the recorded acoustic performance will not only make it easier in terms of post-processing and sound editing but it will also be a soulful experience for the listener.
With over 10 types of microphones to choose from, which one is the best type of microphone to use for recording acoustic instruments specifically? In this article, we will list down the best mic types and explain why.
When it comes to recording acoustic instruments, a condenser microphone is the best mic type. Condenser mics are more sensitive than dynamic mics, which makes them the perfect microphone to use for capturing the nuances and subtleties of acoustic instruments.
Furthermore, condenser microphones are designed to pick up sounds and delicate noises in a controlled room, which is the usual setting for acoustic performances and recording sessions. You are assured that the details, fast transients, and accuracy when it comes to recording acoustic instruments can be perfectly captured by condenser mics.
Another reason why condenser microphones are the best type of mics to use for recording acoustic instruments is how they were built. These mics have a lightweight membrane making them more sensitive to sound. This also gives them a wide frequency response, high sensitivity, and a superior transient response that allows them to pick up and reproduce sound waves more naturally than any other type of mic.
Depending on what kind of acoustic instrument you intend on recording or highlighting, then you should also know the type of condenser mic you should use as the diaphragm size can make all the difference.
If you plan on recording acoustic instruments that have highly textured and low-volume sounds, then you should opt to use large-diaphragm condensers. These types of condenser mics are highly sensitive so they can clearly pick up details, nuances, and subtleties.
They are also the best at capturing the high-end and low-end of an instrument. Since large-diaphragm condenser mics are highly sensitive, they can also capture room sounds and their ambiance to help add natural reverb to your recording. However, it’s important to note that large-diaphragm condensers are better at recording solo acoustic performances.
Examples of acoustic instruments that are ideal to record using a large-diaphragm condenser mic are the acoustic guitar, piano, acoustic bass, bass guitar, saxophone, and trumpet.
If you plan on close-micing your acoustic instruments, then opt for small-diaphragm condensers. Similar to large-diaphragm condensers, these types of mics are also highly sensitive but have a superior transient response. This allows small-diaphragm condensers to record a small set of frequencies and isolate them perfectly, even in a larger acoustic performance setting. With that, recording acoustic instruments with mid-high frequencies is ideal for small-diaphragm condensers.
Examples of acoustic instruments that are ideal to record using a small-diaphragm condenser mic are stringed instruments, drums (overheads, snare, hi-hat, cymbals), percussion, acoustic guitar, and piano.
The best type of microphone for recording acoustic instruments is the condenser microphone. Depending on what kind of instrument you are recording and the setting you are in, you can choose from a large-diaphragm condenser and a small-diaphragm condenser.