Ukulele and microphones which work best for recording


Apr 9, 2022
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I am building a small home studio and at this juncture gathering the necessary microphones and would like some advice on what mics others have used in recording ukulele both acoustic and through an amp as I have a pick-up on my tenor. Currently I‘m using an older Shure KSM44 which seems to work although I’ve found I needed the SE Space control filter behind the mic And a shock mount for the Shure mic. I would love to hear other options.
I am reasonably new to recording as I have been in studios as a musician both vocal as well as recording tracks as a guitarist and harmonica player. I am far from one who has is actually doing the recording but trying to learn all I can about midi and DAW.. I am converting a small bedroom into a home studio. I thought this topic might also be helpful to others. The sound samples we hear are only as good as the quality of the recording. Yes headphones in listening can be helpful but I don’t see much here on UU discussing ukulele recording, thought I might start that ball rolling. Recording is certainly more of a technical side but as we grow as players it is something to think about.


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This is a good topic to initiate. There is a large group of talented people here that I am sure have a lot of experience doing high quality recordings. Unfortunately I am not one of them, although I do own 3 good microphones they are for live performances. I look forward to learning from this thread
Well, you see more people discussing ukulele recording in the "Uke Talk" sub-forum than in the "Audio Video" sub-forum, thats for sure 😆.

It sounds like your setup and background is more advanced than most discussions in here though. I have tried recording with an Se2200a and a Røde NT3 microphone, but that is more because I got some good deals second hand than because I know anything about what I do. And I have only recorded uke and voice simultaneously for videos. So I am a fumbling amateur in comparison. But that Se reflection filter also improved the sound in my basement, for what it is worth 😆.
I've been using a Shure M57 up close and a Zoom portable recorder with an XY pair of small diaphram condensor mics at 3-6 feet. This combo lets me dial the room in or out of the mix. I am doing no room prep and have no dedicated recording space.

I like the bass response and detail of the M57. The XY pair, even up close, give more sound stage and just more air (also a bit more background noise and more room reflections). The M57 alone is very good, but sounds a bit clinical. The XY alone works pretty well and in some ways sounds more natural, but reflections from the room muddy things up a bit.
If I had a dedicated space like you do, which I assume you'll be able to treat with some soundproofing panels, then using a large diaphragm condenser microphone like your Shure KSM44 should yield great results and pick up some of the nice subtle qualities of the instrument. You could certainly upgrade to a new Shure condenser, but you'd have to go pretty high end to be an upgrade (something like the KSM32). I personally don't think I'd spend the money on that and I'd hold out for something like the Neumann TLM 102. The soundproofing would really be key with any large diaphragm condenser though. I'd probably stick with the KSM44 and put my money into soundproofing.

Since I do not have a dedicated space, I stick with dynamic microphones. The gold standard is the Shure SM57, which ailevin recommended. I'm using Rode PodMics for my current recording and I'm happy with the results in an untreated space. The lower sensitivity of dynamic microphones makes background noise and echoes less of a concern, but you may find that you need an in-line booster/preamplifier like the Cloud Lifter to add gain. Good luck and have fun!
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