I see there is some helpful stuff here already, i'm gonna try not to repeat what's been commented upon.
I have been looking into mics myself just recently. There is some debate about small diaphram (pencil) condensers and large diaphram types as to which is best for guitar. Generally large diaphrams will give a wider area of pick up so more 'room' sound which can be good if you have a nice sounding room without other noises. I have both but I use small diaphram mics for my guitar and large for vocals.
There are some tech specs that you will need to know... you will see info on polar patterns
ie: how and where the mic picks up it's sound
(picks up sound all around the mic) good for natural even room sound (reverb/echo)
-In my opinion BEST for acoustic
( picks up just whats in front of the mic) Good for home recording
- picks up on a 180' plain - whats left and right good for mid-side recording (wouldn't go there right now)
I know you say you want it just for practice
, but eventually you will likely want to record and share what you do
, so a bit of investment in a good mic is worthwhile methinks :daccord:
Now then what mics?
Unless you buy a USB mic - you'll need an audio interface (as mentioned by others)
Non usb, well there are loads of options. But condenser mics require power, (Phantom power) so your Audio interface needs to have the ability to supply phantom power (they usually do but check)
so here is what I've gleamed on mics
Beware of specs that just say... 'Low noise'.. i bought some and erm they wernt
It's not something necessarily noticeable straight away, but as you develop sound production and use techniques to lift the volume and enhance the sound, the hiss will start to come through, and it's a real pain..
Mic Specs I found to look for
Signal to Noise RATIO
: Higher number is better anything above 74 seems GREAT -A low number will introduce hiss to your recording
: LOW numbers are better anything below <21 This time a higher number will introduce hiss
: 150-600 seems to be considered a good LOW value
NB If any of these specs are 'missing' or without a value assigned then i'd avoid that mic.
I've simplified this alot, I know, but I wish someone had told me this when I first started recording, it's basic info that should help.
Kurt mentioned his mic (Neumann KM184). Kurt was kind enough to let me have a go at mixing one of his recordings to play around with trying to achieve stereo width on a mono track.. If you look it up and compare its specs to those i've given here you'll see the KM 184 is well within these specs and its a small diaphram pencil type. The raw recording was IMHO exceptional quality, compared to what I've had with my cheap SUBZERO's. It taught me I needed a better mic and I found one within these specs for just over £110 It's an SE5 and works for me. THe KM 184 would be about £500+
Be interested to know what you eventually go for and wish you well with it.