I wanna record some songs, which I sing and play on the acoustic guitar (+ some harmonica here and there). I wanna get two microphones: one for the guitar and one for my voice/harmonica, in order to have as little voice on the guitar track as possible, and as little guitar on the voice track as possible. The reason being I want to have maximum control when it comes to mixing. But here's the thing: I live in a van. In such a tiny room, chances are I'll be getting a lot of reverb.

I've been advised to go for a KSM42 for the voice and a KSM137 for the guitar, but because of the environment I'll be recording in I'm wondering if I actually should get two dynamic "shotgun" microphones instead.

What microphone "type" should I go for?

EDIT: I really don't believe in recording both tracks separately. A song is not all about notes and chords, it's not all about "making music"; it's about recording a performance. Maybe some musicians are fine doing it, but to me you simply can't get all the soul of a song if you brake that subtle and very important connection between strumming a guitar and letting your guts out of your mouth.

closed as off-topic by Todd Wilcox, Tim, Dom Jan 16 at 17:02

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  • One SM-57 and one SM-58 would be good options for recording in a van, since the van is going to make things sound kinda bad anyway, no sense in spending a lot on mics. Also take future advice from wherever you got the KSM recommendations with a grain of salt. Also the mic you use is far less important than how you use it. (And where you use it!) – Todd Wilcox Jan 13 at 17:26
  • I'm hoping you mean a caravan - which won't be acoustically too far removed from an average room. Got a feeling some might think it's a panel van, with steel sides, e.g. bad acoustics. Which is the case? – Tim Jan 13 at 21:46

You live in a van.. that's going to seriously limit your acoustic environment.

I'd seriously consider just putting down a guide if you need one, then doing guitar/vox/anything else as single overdubs.

It's practise if nothing else & your separation is guaranteed.

You are not going to get separation in such a small space, whatever mics you invest in, though because of the small resonant space I'd go for one good tight hyper-cardioid, to try to eliminate the 'room' resonance as much as you can.

There's some difficult mic & performance technique required to get an acoustic & vox down in 2 or 3 mics, even in a good space. Unless you as both engineer AND performer are well accustomed to that technique, I'd avoid even having to deal with it at all in an uncontrolled space.


Save your money, and buy an SM58 (Beta 58A is an upgrade from there) and an SM57 for the guitar.

Use the saved money, and spend it on studio time OR a warm jacket (so you can record outside the van). Recording in the van is going to give you more problems than solutions.

  • Thanks for answer. Can you exlpain why the 58 for voice and the 57 for the guitar? What is the difference? Thanks – André Petitlieu Jan 13 at 19:07
  • The cartridge in the mic is the same, but the grills are different; the SM58 is designed to accommodate a voice, while the SM57 needs less padding because the noise from an instrument doesn't contain any plosives. The SM57/SM58 are pretty much the industry standard for a basic mic - every sound engineer knows (or should know) how to make them sound good. – PeteCon Jan 16 at 0:38

Since both mics are going to be used in close proximity to the sound sources, there's no great problem, if you choose directional mics. I've used SM58 Betas for vox, and SM57s for instruments. Each suited to its own job. Both directional, so won't pick up much from the surroundings, and if that's inside a caravan, it's not problematic anyway. Keep the curtains shut, open the cupboard doors, is possible, record each separate, so there's no sound bleed anyway - and use a pop shield for vox.

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