Pros And Cons Of Using A Microphone With An Acoustic Guitar

Posted on: 26 April 2019

If you'll be playing an acoustic guitar at an upcoming event, you want to be sure that everyone in attendance will be able to hear the instrument. Plugging it into an amplifier is an obvious solution, but if your instrument isn't equipped with a pickup, you'll need an alternative approach. One option is to rent a microphone and stand from a local A/V rental service, and set the microphone up in front of where you'll be sitting or standing, roughly at the height of your instrument. Here are some pros and cons of this idea.

Pro: Connects To A Sound System

A guitar amplifier works well, but if you're playing in a large venue, the amplifier won't work on its own. You'll still need to connect it to the venue's sound system, which means that you may be renting PA gear and a suitable amplifier. Using a microphone to capture the sound of your instrument allows you to directly connect to the venue's sound system — essentially, cutting out the expense and hassle of dealing with an amplifier.

Con: Picks Up Other Sounds

One challenge of using a microphone in this capacity is that it picks up other sounds. Whereas an amplifier solely picks up the sound of the instrument because it's connected to a pickup inside of the guitar, a microphone placed in front of you can often pick up and this make audible things such as the sound of you turning pages in a book of sheet music or you moving your body in your chair. These issues aren't anything that you can't overcome, however. For example, a directional microphone carefully aimed at the sound hole of the instrument is a good solution.

Pro: Sets Up Quickly

Using a microphone to capture the sound of your acoustic guitar is a process that you can set up quickly. This can be advantageous if you're taking the stage after someone else and don't want to spend a lot of time getting set up while audience members wait for you. Provided that you run a soundcheck beforehand, you'll be able to get the microphone and stand positioned properly in a matter of seconds.

Con: Blocks The View Of You

One small detail to remember is that a microphone and stand positioned in front of you will block the audience's view of you to some degree. If you want photos taken of your performance, for example, you might not be in favor of having part of you and your instrument obstructed in this manner. Talk to an A/V rental specialist about getting a slim microphone stand and a small microphone, both of which will provide less of a visual obstacle.