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Ive been buying guitar lessons (specific songs) from a guy I like on-line. He is willing to give me recommendations to improve my playing if I send him a video.

I’ve been trying to record myself playing an acoustic steel string guitar using my iPhone. The video is fine but the sound is bad (I mean other than my fat finger playing). It sounds very tinny.

I’ve also tried a $50 Logitech video camera. Again, the video was fine but the sound was much worse than my phone, often breaking up.

I just want to record a few songs, so I don’t want to spend a great deal. The mics I’ve seen on the web for recording music range from $400 and up. Way too much for my needs.

Is anyone know of an inexpensive mic that can make a decent recording of an acoustic guitar?

Thanks,
AW
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You really can't beat a Sure SM58 microphone for general usability for multiple types of recording, cost and reliability. The SM58 is primarily aimed at vocals and has a frequency response optimized for vocals. They are only $99.00 and available anywhere. They are also extremely reliable. You can drop one off a building and have 100% confidence it will work for years afterwords. They come with an XLR cable for connection to higher quality pre-amp inputs on consoles but also come with a traditional 1/4" phone jack adapter. For an extra $5.00, there is a version with an on/off switch (recommended). The SM58 will fit any standard mic stand so you can get a boom to position the mic EXACTLY where you want it next to the guitar while you play.

I have no familiarity with microphones that include a USB interface that you might want if you need to be able to plug it directly into an iPhone or Android phone. A quick scan at https://sweetwater.com shows a few models from Rode and Audio-Technica in the $99 to $169 range that have a USB interface and come with a mini desktop tripod stand.


WTH
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WTH, thank you for the information. I think I can record video with my iPhone and sound with a separate mic.

Many thanks,
AW
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Yes, the Shure SM57 (and for vocals, SM58) is the inexpensive workhourse studio mic. One of the most popular in the world. If you don't sing at all, perhaps consider the SM57 instead. From what I have read, they are basically the same microphone but the SM58 has the spherical covering and perhaps some foam inside to block sibilance for vocals (think "T" and "S" sounds). If you are only recording instruments, the SM57 may be a slightly better choice. But I think either would work well.

You will need an audio interface to plug your mic's XLR cable into. The interface will contain a preamp which will boost the level from mic level to line level for proper recording by your recording software. Then the interface will connect to your computer via USB. One good example is the Focusrite Scarlett Solo for ~$110.

Some mics may have the interface/preamp built in, in which case you would plug it directly into your computer via USB for recording. That is another option.

For acoustic instruments, vocals, also consider a "condenser mic" (the Shure mics mentioned above are "dynamic mics"). A condenser mic is REALLY sensitive and picks up all sorts of nuance. Think, the little sounds your fingers make moving along the guitar strings. A condenser mic will need an audio interface that has "phantom power", which almost all do (including the Focusrite mentioned above), so it's not that big a deal. As an example, I own the AT2035 condenser mic and I think it's really excellent. It sells for $149.

Happy recording!
-progmtl.
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Progmtl,

Thanks for the info.

Thankfully for anyone within ear range, I do not sing. I believe I have a range of one note. Unfortunately, I haven’t found that note yet.

Or as the old saying goes, I couldn’t carry a tune if it had a handle.

But your info was very helpful.

AW
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