If you want to record the sound of various instruments, a microphone is necessary.
It will be used to capture sound from the instrument and amplify it. The quality of the microphone will determine how you can share the sounds on the recordings with others.
You want to find a good mic that will create a high-quality sound without adding too much distortion or noise.
You can use it to capture sounds from the instrument and amplify them without adding too much distortion or noise.
Here are some things that you should consider when choosing the best microphone for recording instruments.
Table of Contents
- 1 Things to Look for in a Microphone for Recording Instruments
- 2 9 Best Microphones For Recording Instruments
- 3 FAQs
Things to Look for in a Microphone for Recording Instruments
An excellent starting point when choosing a room mic for live recording instruments is the type of sound quality that you would like to obtain.
Different microphones are better suited to different types of sounds.
You have to decide whether you want a more bright and tight sound, or if you want more boomy and loose sound.
This will determine the type of microphone that suits your needs best.
Type of Microphone
The type of microphone which is best suited for recording instruments is a condenser microphone.
Condenser microphones use electricity to generate the sound waves that the microphone picks up.
To obtain a good sound, you have to make sure that the mic requires a flat surface where it will perform optimally and has a low background noise level.
The mic should also be lightweight because there is no need to give it a lot of power when recording instruments as guitars or strings which give off quite strong bass sounds that require lightweight mics.
Microphones vary in accordance with their price tags.
However, they do not differ significantly in their cost. The best microphones for recording instruments come with the very good build quality and are made from the highest quality materials.
They are also made to withstand tough conditions such as loud environments and high temperatures since these mics are often used in busy recording studios where the sound environment in combination with the microphone’s nature can be very harsh and unpredictable.
Finally, the size of the microphone also determines the overall quality of usage.
If you use a large-bodied microphone it will be much harder to use, so you should try to find one with a smaller body.
Many large-bodied microphones also don’t offer as much mobility and versatility as smaller mics do as far as placement in terms of distance from instruments or moving on a stage in relation to an instrument like Violin, Piano, or Trumpet, etc.
9 Best Microphones For Recording Instruments
We have compiled a list of the top best microphones for recording instruments as ranked by audio experts.
1. Rode NT-1A
The Rode NT-1A may be one of the best microphones for recording instruments. It will record audio in a wide variety of environments and is highly respected by music professionals. Professional musicians such as Nile Rogers have used the microphone to create multiple hit records. The NT-1A has been used by many music producers and engineers such as: Nigel Godrich, Spike Stent, Bob Clearmountain, Ross Hogarth, Rich Costey, Dr. Luke and Butch Vig.
The Rode NT-1A is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone. It has a cardioid polar pattern, which will help reduce noise from other instruments or ambient noise in the room. You can also adjust the filter for low-frequency rolloff and high-frequency boost. The sound is very clear, allowing you to pick up the nuances of your music. Instrumental separation is excellent with this mic, so you can record all of the instruments separately in their own tracks.
The Rode NT-1A may be one of the best microphones for recording instruments. It is widely known to be one of the most versatile microphones on the market. It can record multiple instrument types and is highly respected by music professionals as well as digital audio technicians. In addition, it is known to be a good microphone for acoustic, classical, and electric guitar sounds, thus making it a great choice for guitarists who play at home or in small studios.
2. Blue Microphones Bluebird
The Blue Microphones Bluebird is designed for recording vocals, but can also be used for recording instruments. It has a unique design that allows the user to adjust the angle of the microphone, as well as the height. This mic is a great choice for those who want a more natural sound than you get from most vocal microphones.
The adjustable design of this mic will allow you to change the angle and distinguish between where it points directly at your mouth versus other areas of your face.
3. Neumann TLM 103
The Neumann TLM 103 is considered to be one of the best microphones for recording instruments. It is a large diaphragm condenser microphone with good frequency response. The mic can handle from 20Hz to 20kHz, while the maximum SPL can reach up to 140 dB without distortion. The sensitivity of the microphone is 50 mV/pa which allows it to work well in both studio and live environments. It comes with a shock mount that helps eliminate the bumps during transportation. This mic is best suited for recording vocals, though many musicians and producers have used it for recording acoustic, electric guitars, and other instruments.
4. Sennheiser MD 441-U
The Sennheiser MD 441-U is a cardioid microphone designed to handle high volume levels. It has ideal sensitivity of 20 mV/pa, while the maximum SPL rating is 138 dB. The frequency response of the microphone is from 20Hz to 18Khz, which allows it to cut through background noise and give you a clearer sound. The Unidyne Pickup (Type U) inside this mic is capable of very detailed sound reproduction.
The Sennheiser MD 441-U is a great choice for recording acoustic instruments like guitars, drums, pianos and keyboards. Professionals use this mic in professional studios and live concerts as well.
5. Shure Beta 58A
Shure Beta 58A is a large diaphragm condenser microphone. It has an open-back design which allows it to handle high volumes without feedback. It has a frequency response of 40 Hz – 20 KHz, and the SPL handling rating can reach up to 135 dB. The sensitivity of the microphone is 17 mV/pa with 19.
6. Shure SM57
The Shure SM57 is one of the most popular microphones for recording instruments on the market today. It’s practically a standard for live performances and studio recording. The 57 can cut through the noise and provide clear sound reproduction. Some musicians have reported this mic to be an excellent choice for both broadcast radio and live concerts, while others prefer it for recording vocals. This mic has a classic design with a large-diaphragm which delivers superior sound quality when used in conjunction with preamps.
7. Audio-Technica AT2020
The Audio Technica 2020 has a cardioid polar pickup pattern with a frequency response that ranges from 20Hz to 20KHz. It has a sensitivity of -48dB and max sound pressure level rating which is 120dB. This mic comes with everything you need to begin recording like the suspension mount and tripod stand.
It is the perfect mic to record acoustic instruments like guitars, vocalists, drums, and acoustic bass guitars. The mic is also well suited to record vocals in public areas. The Audio-Technica AT2020 has a very low self-noise and distortion that make it a perfect choice for live sound applications.
8. Blue Spark SL
The Blue Spark SL is a dynamic B-type condenser microphone that’s designed for live sound and music recording. It has a frequency range of 20Hz to 20Khz, and the sensitivity of the mic is -41dB. The Blue Spark SL has a thick diaphragm that delivers high resolution and low noise. Its highly durable design makes it perfect for live concerts, studio recording, nightclubs & dancing clubs, etc.
9. AKG Pro Audio P220
The AKG Pro Audio P220 is a professional-grade single-sided large-diaphragm condenser microphone. It has a high SPL handling capacity and provides crisp sound reproduction. This microphone comes with a shock mount, windscreens, and a carrying case. The P220 is made of stainless steel which makes it an excellent choice for live sound applications. Its cardioid polar pickup pattern provides clear vocal reproduction while rejecting background noise.
What type of microphone is best for recording instruments?
A condenser microphone is usually best for recording instruments because of its sensitivity to vibration and high SPL
What type of microphone should I choose for recording vocals?
A small, open dynamic is best for recording vocals because it has a low-frequency response and little distortion. A dynamic mic would be best for a voice recording session or a live performance.
What type of microphone should I choose for recording acoustic instruments e.g a Guitar?
A condenser mic would be best because it has a flat frequency response and relatively low noise associated with using it to record an acoustic instrument.