Recording Guitar Amps - Best Microphones for Home Studio
Updated: May 6
This post is all about my microphone recommendations for recording electric guitar through amps in your home studio. I'll be as succinct as I can.
When I record I usually use 2 microphones, each one on a different speaker in the cabinet (I use 2x12 and 4x12 cabinets). Sometimes if I want a different sound, I will put one mic behind the amp (if it has an open back). This is a cool technique which yields a nice contrasting sound. These microphones will be good for either of these techniques.
I'm not trying to make this post about mic positions, that could be a whole post on its own! These are simply the microphone choices. Disclaimer: I am not endorsed by any of these companies, these are my personal opinions based on experience.
- Sennheiser MD 421 (large diaphragm cardioid dynamic)
Great mid-price-range microphone and a studio standard.
- Royer R-121 (Ribbon, figure 8 microphone)
Awesome for loud guitar amps, higher price range.
- Shure SM57 (small diaphragm cardioid dynamic)
Classic condenser mic, very affordable, tried and true.
- Bash Audio RM BIV 1 (Ribbon, similar to Royer R-121)
These mics are handmade in Russia and are similar to the Royer for a fraction of the price. I bought one of these a couple years ago and it is one of my favorite microphones!
- Beyerdynamic M 160 (Double Ribbon, Hypercardioid)
Another mid-range staple for loud electric guitars.
My go-to for recording is to use 1 condenser microphone and 1 ribbon mic.
My recommendation for a low budget would be:
SM57 and RM BIV 1
Recommendation for a midrange budget:
MD 421 and Beyerdynamic M 160
Recommendation for high budget:
MD 421 and Royer R-121, it also never hurts to have the good ol' SM57!
One more mic to mention is the Sennheiser E609. After recording with this mic at the beginning, I switched over to other preferences. It is affordable, and better than some other mics for this use, but I find it to be less stellar than the others. But it is a fine mic to have for live shows, and can take a beating.
There you have it! Those are my electric guitar amp microphone recommendations.