Most people say when you are recording acoustic guitar, condenser mics are the way to go.

But a few say that they have recorded acoustic guitar with dynamic mics and have had great results. I have tried recording acoustic with an SM57 but being a newbie with no experience of the mixing/mastering process, it is impossible for me to understand if the result I have achieved is what it should sound like.

Does anyone on here have a clip of an acoustic guitar recorded with a dynamic and a condenser mic ? Can you share me a link please ? I want to understand the difference in the end result between the 2.

I know there's lots of clips on youtube , but 99% of them are uploaded after some sort of mixing/mastering.

I want to hear a recording with absolutely no edits so I can understand the difference , and then compare them with the recordings I have made. 
I don't have sound clips for you but I have used both condenser and dynamic mics for recording acoustic.   I have found that dynamic mics can sound just as good as condensers.  The reason dynamics don't work well for acoustic is that the sweet spot of the is too small and the mic has to be placed too close.  S dynamic has to be placed so close that it can get in the way of playing and keeping your body still enough that you don't drift in and out of the sweet spot is very difficult.   When you are thinking about not moving and not bumping the mic playing suffers.  Condenser mics  don't require you to stand perfectly still and can be placed far enough away that you don't have to worry about bumping the mic which makes them a better choice. 
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Apr 1, 2017,
I use an SM57 along with a condenser.I put the SM57 just above sound hole pointed at the neck and about 8 inches away and a condenser about a foot away pointed at the bridge end of the sound hole and put them on separate tracks. Usually I find the best sound is actually the lower mids on the SM57 it gives a lot of punch. It also depends on which guitar I use since I have several. If you don't have a condenser mic use the SM57 for the big sound and if your guitar has a on-board pre-amp set it for some additional high end and use it on a separate track or balanced on one track. 

For condenser mics I have a fairly broad choice but my favorite on acoustic guitar is probably my least expensive condenser. It is an M Audio Nova that I picked up on EBay. It was mint, in the box for $80. It isn't good for everything but for acoustic guitars it just hits the right frequencies for my ears.  
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Mar 31, 2017,
joeycardozo My issues with dynamics are listed above, among other reasons as well. If it is your primary way of capturing the sound, It has to be placed close to the guitar which can likely hinder your playing. The proximity effect is quite strong as well, requiring you to play quite still. It will also likely not capture some of the more intricate and delicate parts of the sound. Also typically you will have to bump the gain up quite high which causes two issues. The noise floor will elevate quite high because of the increased gain, and it will also pick up a lot of the room sound, possibly compromising the entire recording if your room is not properly treated. Although if you are using a condenser, the room sound issue can be even more pronounced.
If you want to capture a full lush acoustic tone, it is usually via a condenser mic. If you're playing a subpar cheapie acoustic a dynamic mic does usually a better job as it captures less of its inconsistencies. You can also pair the two, there are way too many recording techniques for acoustic guitar.
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Thanks for your responses everyone

I might look at buying the M Audio Nova or the Audio Technica AT2020

Will Lane - I record at my home which is rather noisy so i m not sure if a condenser will be right for me

Here is a recording of my cheap acoustic with my SM57. I want to know if this is how it is supposed to sound prior to any mixing or mastering, or if my audio interface is not doing a good enough job. I pointed the mic between the 8th and 12th fret.

this video:

shows the difference between condenser and dynamic microphones as well as position.   It's for 12 string guitars but the principle is the same.

spoiler alert:  2 sm57s will get you much better results than just 1.  Same principle applies for condensers
Last edited by flexiblemile at Apr 3, 2017,
Do you have pickup on the acoustic guitar? You could possibly mix that with the mic so you'd get the attack and level from the pickup and a bit of air from the mic. A lot of people do that.
This one I recorded that way, solo is all direct from the pickup, almost no treatment, some light compression:
I've used a 57 to record acoustic guitar before but I blended mine with a DI from the pickup also... it sounds surprisingly good...
Quote by diabolical
Do you have pickup on the acoustic guitar? You could possibly mix that with the mic so you'd get the attack and level from the pickup and a bit of air from the mic. A lot of people do that.
This one I recorded that way, solo is all direct from the pickup, almost no treatment, some light compression:

The link doesn't seem to work
Sure, you can record a guitar with a dynamic mic.  But there is a reason why condensers are more typically chosen.  If you're on an SM57 budget, consider an inexpensive condenser from the likes of Behringer or something - either a large diaphragm B1 or B2, or a small diaphragm C2.  Never mind the rhetoric.  They're decent mics and perfectly usable.  Yeah you'll grow out of them if you stick with recording and decide to invest some serious money into it, but to get you in the door and start getting things done... they're fantastic.  

There is a tendency to say "dynamic mics this" and "condenser mics that."  There are standards of practice, but there are always going to be other things that work.  Saying you can't record a guitar with a dynamic mic is like saying you can't make furniture with a cross-cut saw.  Sure you can.  It might take longer... and it might not be as good.... but you can do it.  People did it for hundreds of years before anyone even thought of the table saw.  Some dynamic mics are *very* condenser-ish.  I love my Sennheiser MD441 - a dynamic mic.  But it is also one of the most expensive mics in my collection.  But I would probably choose it over, say, my Behringer ECM8000 condenser.  Not because it is Behringer, but because it is a small-diaphragm omni mic, and for acoustic guitar, I would rather pick up more guitar and less room by using the MD441.  And because the MD441 is quieter.  

Given a choice, an SM57 would be among the last mics I would choose.  But if I had to.... well.... I would/could.  But I wouldn't expect the same results.  

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
diabolical good stuff. I take it there are no effects applied whatsoever. Those are great sounding pickups.

Great playing, great fingerpicking !!!!
The rhythm is pickup mixed with the mix signal, the guitar solo is direct. There's some mild compression and reverb on the tracks.
The pickup is LRBaggs, built into the guitar. I think you can buy them as external as well.