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View Full Version : GOOD Recording mic for Garage Band (Suggestion needed)




Joeytpg
Feb 15, 2005, 04:22 PM
Hey guys, sup... i'm looking for a GOOD Mic to hook up to my powerbook and record some Vocals for a Demo i'm putting together......but i need a GOOD (not too expensive mic) so the vocals sound GOOD specially when i hit high notes, because with the "internal mic" when i sing high notes, the sound cracks....and it's terrible.

Any suggestions?


thanks guys



TheBunnellFarm
Feb 16, 2005, 10:23 AM
I'm looking for the same thing..the right mic for the right money..

Here is a little bit of important facts I have learned on these forums,..
The SHURE 57 and 58 are great live performance mic's but are lacking a lot in the recording arena...condensor mic's are whats called for...Rode is one brand there are many brands and models but condensor is the key..some of the Rode Condensoe mic's go for around $300 and more, I need to get one for a lot less for now...they can be had for $50 or soo..I'm looking too...

kanker
Feb 16, 2005, 04:31 PM
I'm looking for the same thing..the right mic for the right money..

Here is a little bit of important facts I have learned on these forums,..
The SHURE 57 and 58 are great live performance mic's but are lacking a lot in the recording arena...condensor mic's are whats called for...Rode is one brand there are many brands and models but condensor is the key..some of the Rode Condensoe mic's go for around $300 and more, I need to get one for a lot less for now...they can be had for $50 or soo..I'm looking too...BLUE (http://www.bluemic.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=11&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0) has introduced a USB mic, the Snowball. Looks like a great addition for hobbyists and pro's on the go - they make some REALLY serious mics. With regards to the Shure 57's and 58's, whoever said that they are lacking in the studio is clueless. Those are 2 of the most common mics in the world for a reason - they are great mics at a great price. They certainly aren't going to replace a $2000 ribbon mic or condenser, but I'll guarantee you that you've heard more than your fair share of 57's and 58's on countless recordings. Truly the workhorses of the music industry - live and studio.

TheBunnellFarm
Feb 16, 2005, 08:17 PM
hmmm..good to hear..I have one and will probably get another..

Clean digital reproduction..thats what were after..I wish money were no object...

So..if the SM58 does the vocal and a SM57 does my accoustic guitar..then I am there...except for the M-Audio Solo which is inches away...that would be nice..

Does this mean that me and Garageband can record...how about the intergration of the sound with iMovie...will the picture quality and sound quality work...assuming I shoot with a reasonably good Camera.....so that a reasonable music vidio can be produced...and then posted to sites like this and others...DVD's of course...thanks..thats what I have been shooting for..

pianojoe
Jun 19, 2005, 11:30 PM
BLUE (http://www.bluemic.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=11&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0) With regards to the Shure 57's and 58's, whoever said that they are lacking in the studio is clueless. Those are 2 of the most common mics in the world for a reason - they are great mics at a great price. They certainly aren't going to replace a $2000 ribbon mic or condenser, but I'll guarantee you that you've heard more than your fair share of 57's and 58's on countless recordings.

No you haven't, because a hit producing recording studio is definitely not using $150 mics. They might have been the most common mics in the 70ies and 80ies, but they're specially crafted for LIVE performance.

My advice is: Compare before you buy! Try a Sennheiser evolution 865 against a Shure SM 58 (beta edition at least, not the original model!!), and listen! You'll spend $90 more on the Sennheiser, but that's a solid investment. This is still a live mic, but it's a very versatile home recording tool, too. I got six of them for my vocal band.

CanadaRAM
Jun 20, 2005, 01:47 AM
What are you planning to use to input your microphone signal into the Mac?

Condensor mikes: Large diaphragm condensor mics are used predominantly for recording vocals because the design tends to flatter voices: smooth bass and articulate highs. They are available in wide variety, each with particular features and "sound colour". Small diaphragm condensors are mostly used as instrument mics where accuracy, esp. in the high end, is desired.

Note: For accuracy sake, the cheap and nasty mics that come with cassette recorders and answering machines are electret condensors, so when we talk about condensor mics in the musical sense, we're referring to a small or large diaphragm condensor, not an electret condensor.

Condensor mics require power to charge the capacitative plates of the transducer. This power is sometimes provided by a battery, occasionally by a dedicated power pack specific to the mic, or more often by "phantom power", which is nominally 48V (but can be as low as 9V) that is provided by the preamplifier to the mic "up" the microphone cable.

This is a problem for Mac recording, because no Mac provides phantom power (or a 3-pin XLR jack). Neither do the least expensive microphone interfaces like the iMic.

You would be looking at a Firewire or USB audio interface from Edirol, M-Audio or Presonus (to name some popular brands) that had both a preamplifier and phantom power. These type of interfaces with two to 4 mic inputs will run $150 - $600 (more elaborate ones will go up to $2500)

Alternatively, you could get an inexpensive mixer (Behringer, Alesis, Tapco/Mackie) which provides mic preamps and phantom power, and just run a line level signal to the Mac or a Griffin iMic.

Large diaphragm condensor mics of acceptable quality have come down dramatically in price, due to mass production in China. The microphone you can get for $90-$120 today blows away an "entry level" $400 mic from 10 years ago. Brands to look for are Behringer, Studio Projects, Marshall/MXL, Red, and many others who rebrand these Chinese mics.

Rode, the Australian mic manufacturer, started out selling mics made in China to their designs, but several years ago switched back to producing in-house. So what you get if you are buying used depends on how old the mic is. There are many models and revisions of Rode mics, so don't be taken in by sellers claiming to sell a $800 mic for $400. Some comparable to Rode in this mid-price level are Studio Electronics (SE), Blue (innovative mics from Latvia) and Audio Technica (their 30xx series and the lower end of their 40xx series).

As opposed to handheld "performance" mics, large diaphragm condensors are almost always mounted on a stand, with a shock-absorbing mount and a shield or pop-filter in between them and the performer's lips.

I should mention that there are some other mics in the market: Ribbon mics use a differnent technology, and can also be very nice on voice and instruments. They have also come down some in price (but not as far) and they do tend to be more fragile - prone to being dam,aged by blasts of wind or too-high sound levels. Royer and AEA are two manufacturers.

Dynamic mics are mostly used in performance, and for high impact sound sources like drums and guitar amps. Shure, Beyer, Electo-Voice, Peavey, Sennheiser, Adio-Technica and AKG are some makers. Not all handheld mics are dynamics though - there are some condensors and even one or two ribbon mics made for performance use.

I recommend that you study up on some of the basics with books and magazines before making a decision. Hit the library. Good magazines to read are: Sound on Sound, Recording (the current issue is all on mics), Electronic Musician, Keyboard, Future Music, Computer Music, Mix. They often have articles on how to record acouostic instruments, and microphone selection.

Thanks
Trevor
CanadaRAM.com

pulsewidth947
Jun 20, 2005, 03:57 AM
As there has already be some sound advice (no pun intended!), I'll jump straight in and recommend some Mics -

Røde NT2 - Nice capacitor mic, reasonably priced
AKG C1000s - Usually used for Mic'ing cymbals, but I found it complemented my voice nicely.
Neumann U87 - THE vocal mic, although its very expensive, it sounds like it should be expensive!

It may be helpful to have a price range of what you are willing to spend. Also you need to consider a good quality preamp for your mic. A £1000 mic will soon sound cheap and rubbish if you stick it thru a £10 mixer/preamp, so you may want to add £200 to your budget for a good preamp/vocal channel.

Just like CanadaRAM states, Sound on Sound (http://www.soundonsound.com/) is an excellent resource for reviews of Microphones, I personally value their opinion more than any other magazine, as its no nonsense.

At the end of the day, you need to pick a Mic that complements your voice, or the voice you will be recording. To that effect its best to try a range of Mics and see which one sounds best to you.

spinne1
Jun 21, 2005, 01:32 AM
I just bought the MXL V67 (black version) off ebay and am very happy with it. It sounds great to my ears. I have worked with Neumann TLM-103s and 170s, AT-4033s, Sennheiser 414s, and Scheops CMC mics, and while those were great and all, the MXL sounds VERY CLOSE to those. I would go so far as to say that with proper EQ and a high quality noise gate, you could very easily record commercial albums with it.

I paid about $70 for mine shipped. A steal to me for what I've got.

3rdpath
Jun 21, 2005, 01:10 PM
No you haven't, because a hit producing recording studio is definitely not using $150 mics. They might have been the most common mics in the 70ies and 80ies, but they're specially crafted for LIVE performance.

no offense, but you are wrong. 57's, and to a lessor extent 58's, are used every day on big budget recordings in major studios. they are still the most common mic's for snares and high SPL guitar cabinets. they may be used in addition to other mics...but to say they aren't used is just untrue.

and yes, they are still used on major recordings for lead vocals....it's uncommon but it does happen, especially if the vocalist chooses to sing in the control room. the running joke is that after you do vocals with a U47 or C12( both exceedingly expensive mics), the tracks are EQ'd to cut thru the mix resulting in a sound just like a 57.

low cost mics such as rode, audio technica and blue are excellent values and suitable additions to a low cost mic arsenal but trust me, for $80.00, the sm57 is still the best swiss army knife on the market.

faintember
Jun 21, 2005, 08:31 PM
no offense, but you are wrong. 57's, and to a lessor extent 58's, are used every day on big budget recordings in major studios. they are still the most common mic's for snares and high SPL guitar cabinets. they may be used in addition to other mics...but to say they aren't used is just untrue.

and yes, they are still used on major recordings for lead vocals....it's uncommon but it does happen, especially if the vocalist chooses to sing in the control room. the running joke is that after you do vocals with a U47 or C12( both exceedingly expensive mics), the tracks are EQ'd to cut thru the mix resulting in a sound just like a 57.

low cost mics such as rode, audio technica and blue are excellent values and suitable additions to a low cost mic arsenal but trust me, for $80.00, the sm57 is still the best swiss army knife on the market.
Amen!
My 57's have been through hell and back. They have been beat-up, dropped and they still sound the same as day one that i bought them. Even if 57's and 58's were used in mass duing the 70's and 80's they still had a pretty decent sound. If everyone at home had professional studio monitors the 57's might fall out of favor and be replaces with high-end ribbon mics and the like, but i really dont see that coming anytime soon. That and 57's have a "sound" to them, just a like a vintage Moog, Arp and that is somewhat attractive to me depending on what kind of music you are creating as well as the atmosphere that you want to surround the music. So here is a vote for 57's for the more money-concerned buyer. If money is that big of an object look Neumann or AKG.

However if you have been using the internal mic, a RadioShack mic will be an improvement. :p

Oh...any reviews on the Blue Snowball usb mic????

-cameron

macbodock
Oct 12, 2005, 07:52 AM
Oh...any reviews on the Blue Snowball usb mic???? cameronCameron,
Here is a review of another USB microphone: Samson C0U1 (http://www.macintouch.com/samsonc01u.html) and Dr Mac has some interesting things to say about the Blue Snowball (http://www.macobserver.com/columns/rantsandraves/2005/20050722.shtml). I bought a Blue SnowBall about a month ago and what a great mic it is. Hope this helps.

Warmest Regards,

beatsme
Oct 12, 2005, 06:00 PM
Hey guys, sup... i'm looking for a GOOD Mic to hook up to my powerbook and record some Vocals for a Demo i'm putting together......but i need a GOOD (not too expensive mic) so the vocals sound GOOD specially when i hit high notes, because with the "internal mic" when i sing high notes, the sound cracks....and it's terrible.

Any suggestions?


thanks guys

get the Shure SM57. It's a good, all-around, not-terribly-expensive mic. I use it to mic my Twin for recording w/GarageBand and, believe me, it'll pick up pretty much EVERYTHING you throw at it with a nice, clean response. It's far and away the best thing going for the money.

silverback66
Oct 29, 2005, 08:46 AM
Just a quick question about the Shure 57 and 58....I'm a filmmaker, would these work well for recording voice-over work?

beatsme
Oct 30, 2005, 12:41 PM
Just a quick question about the Shure 57 and 58....I'm a filmmaker, would these work well for recording voice-over work?

the SM58 would probably be a little better choice...it's tailored more for vocal work. I would think you'd also want to get a windscreen for it.

spinne1
Oct 30, 2005, 05:11 PM
I've owned a good dynamic mic: the Sennheiser MD-431 (the one Prince used for years in all his videos and concerts)(also note this is NOT the MD-431-II which is all black, but rather the original is silver and black). It cost me about $350 new. I sold it a while back. To me there is no comparison between a dynamic mic--no matter how good--and a condensor mic. A condensor sounds far superior to me. Especially for vocals. I could not recommend any dynamic for vocal recording, other than in a live situation. Therefore I recommend you test the SM-57 and SM-58 before you buy. I'm not sure you will be happy compared to a good budget condensor.

[my MXL-V67 sounds much better to me than my Sennheiser did and the Sennheiser is a higher quality dynamic mic than either the SM-57 or SM-58, for what it's worth]

pommermann
Jul 26, 2008, 05:20 PM
get the Shure SM57. It's a good, all-around, not-terribly-expensive mic. I use it to mic my Twin for recording w/GarageBand and, believe me, it'll pick up pretty much EVERYTHING you throw at it with a nice, clean response. It's far and away the best thing going for the money.

I just "inherited" a '57 and was wondering what preamp I could get so it delivers its classic sound without spending too much cash.

zimv20
Jul 26, 2008, 06:04 PM
I just "inherited" a '57 and was wondering what preamp I could get so it delivers its classic sound without spending too much cash.

FMR RNP (Really Nice Preamp) is the cheapest good pre i know. dual channels for $475.

CanadaRAM
Jul 26, 2008, 06:59 PM
pommermann You're going to have to tell us a lot more about what equipment you have now.

Do you record into a a computer? What interface are you using?
Are you using the microphone live? Do you have a mixer?
What is 'too much cash'?

WinterMute
Jul 27, 2008, 06:26 AM
Just another heads up for the Sontronics range of mics, we've had them at the uni for a while now and they are very good value for very well made mics.

Check out here: Sontronics (http://www.sontronics.com/)

I've had great results from the valve mics, the Helios and the Omega, but I also have a pair of the very cheap STC1s for foley and ambient location work.

As an alternative to Neumanns DPA and the like, the work OK, they aren't as cultured, but they are better mics than the standard Rode offering IMO.

pommermann
Jul 27, 2008, 03:36 PM
pommermann You're going to have to tell us a lot more about what equipment you have now.

Do you record into a a computer? What interface are you using?
Are you using the microphone live? Do you have a mixer?
What is 'too much cash'?

Yes into a computer. I have not began recording yet and also am yet to determine what interface, it'd be great to get some tips on that as well (for an Intel Core Duo Macbook). I plan to use this to record at home mostly, and I don't have a mixer. Under $800 I think would be what I could afford.

CanadaRAM
Jul 28, 2008, 02:26 AM
If you get a decent interface it will come with at least 2 mic preamps suitable for the Shure.

Read the sticky posts at the top of the subforum for background and links to interfaces.

AviationFan
Jul 28, 2008, 01:52 PM
the SM58 would probably be a little better choice...it's tailored more for vocal work. I would think you'd also want to get a windscreen for it.A windscreen, for voice over? There shouldn't be any wind in the recording booth. Maybe you meant a pop filter, that would make a lot more sense. I guess a wind screen can serve as a replacement for a pop filter if you don't have one.

If you are looking in the sub-hundred-Dollar price range, the SM58 will be a decent one. Most professional voice talents would use a condensor mic though, typically a large diaphragm model. But for the price of a good one of those, you can buy many SM58s.

Or was the question about dialog recording? That's a different animal...

- Martin

pommermann
Jul 28, 2008, 04:24 PM
Thanks Candaram, appreciate the help!

pdp 9091
Dec 21, 2008, 09:48 PM
dont you people know that an sm57 and an sm58 are the sammme exactt microphone? half of you are talking like they are totally different.

zimv20
Dec 22, 2008, 08:36 AM
dont you people know that an sm57 and an sm58 are the sammme exactt microphone? half of you are talking like they are totally different.

they are not exactly the same, though they do share some components. they have different pickup patterns due to both the windscreen and, iirc, some small holes on the 57 capsule itself. more importantly, they sound different.

it's oft-said that the 58 is more suited for vocals, but i find that's not always the case. like any mic choice, it depends on the situation at hand and it's best to try both.

pdp 9091
Dec 22, 2008, 11:18 AM
they are not exactly the same, though they do share some components. they have different pickup patterns due to both the windscreen and, iirc, some small holes on the 57 capsule itself. more importantly, they sound different.

it's oft-said that the 58 is more suited for vocals, but i find that's not always the case. like any mic choice, it depends on the situation at hand and it's best to try both.

I should have explained myself better. Yes with the windscreen on, it may change pick up patterns due to proximity but without the windscreen on, and just the bare microphone, I stand by what I said, they are the same exact thing. I can guarantee you that.


Straight from a Shure Engineer himself:

"The SM57 and SM58 are essentially the same, except that the SM57 was intended mainly for instruments and the SM58 for vocals. The SM58 has a ball grille that acts as a pop filter. The two mics have the same proximity effect at the same miking distance.

Because of its smaller grille, the SM57 lets you get closer to it for more bass boost. But if you are 2 inches from the diaphragm in either mic, they have the same bass boost.

They have a slightly different response at high frequencies because of the acoustical effects of the different grilles." - Shure Microphone Enginee Bruce Bartlett


And if someone still doesnt believe me, the guy has a book written about microphone techniques.

http://www.amazon.com/Stereo-Microphone-Techniques-Bruce-Bartlett/dp/0240800761

A little background information on Bruce Bartlett to verify the validity of his quote.

Bruce received a degree in physics from the College of Wooster, and studied electrical engineering at Gannon College and the University of Akron. Then he worked as a microphone engineer at Astatic Corp. and at Shure, where he worked alongside the designers of the SM57, SM58, and SM81 microphones.

-----

This should end the discussion about the difference between the two. Without the windscreen, they are the same exact microphone, same specs (look them up).

GregBoccuti
Dec 23, 2008, 09:27 AM
dont you people know that an sm57 and an sm58 are the sammme exactt microphone? half of you are talking like they are totally different.

I'd actually have to say that you are quite mistaken here. The SM58 is a vocal mic, and the SM57 is an instrument mic. The SM58 has a bump in the frequency response around 2kHz, thus giving it a warmer lead quality, more suitable for vocals.

http://www.shure.com/stellent/groups/public/@gms_gmi_web_us/documents/web_resource/site_img_us_rc_sm57_large.gif
Shure SM57

http://www.shure.com/stellent/groups/public/@gms_gmi_web_us/documents/web_resource/site_img_us_rc_sm58_large.gif
Shure SM58

As you can see, the 58 has the bump at around 2k. Although it seems slight, it makes all the difference in the world. Also, think of them in their practical uses. The 57 is commonly used on guitar amps and mid to hi-mid instruments. 58's are vocal mics.

Of course, as with any mic selection, its all up to the engineer. The best tool for mic selection and placement is one's ears.

pdp 9091
Dec 23, 2008, 11:35 AM
I'd actually have to say that you are quite mistaken here. The SM58 is a vocal mic, and the SM57 is an instrument mic. The SM58 has a bump in the frequency response around 2kHz, thus giving it a warmer lead quality, more suitable for vocals.

http://www.shure.com/stellent/groups/public/@gms_gmi_web_us/documents/web_resource/site_img_us_rc_sm57_large.gif
Shure SM57

http://www.shure.com/stellent/groups/public/@gms_gmi_web_us/documents/web_resource/site_img_us_rc_sm58_large.gif
Shure SM58

As you can see, the 58 has the bump at around 2k. Although it seems slight, it makes all the difference in the world. Also, think of them in their practical uses. The 57 is commonly used on guitar amps and mid to hi-mid instruments. 58's are vocal mics.

Of course, as with any mic selection, its all up to the engineer. The best tool for mic selection and placement is one's ears.

The different in freq response is because of the windscreen, as i stated in my pervious post. Take the windscreen off and I don't know how else to tell you, its the same exact microphone. I work with these things quite often. I go to school for sound engineering at one of the best technology schools on the east coast of the united states (New England School of Communication). Im not just throw mindless information out there. You guys heard it from a SHURE engineer himself. Without the windscreen, they are the same microphone.

marioman38
Dec 23, 2008, 04:30 PM
Why not check out M-Audio's Nova (http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Nova.html) its only $79 street. (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/326793-REG/M_Audio_9900_50795_00_Nova_Large_Diaphragm.html) Keep in mind you will need Phantom power though.

ashjamben
Dec 24, 2008, 08:50 PM
i'll agree with this guy, with the covers they are the same mic. although not practical, many a time i have just taken the cover off a sm58 to use as a snare mic or guitar amp mic.

also, whoever said about sm58's not being studio mics are never used on modern recordings are talking bull. bono uses an sm58 almost exclusively in the studio, surely u2 aren't retro yet?

pdp 9091
Dec 25, 2008, 02:20 AM
i'll agree with this guy, with the covers they are the same mic. although not practical, many a time i have just taken the cover off a sm58 to use as a snare mic or guitar amp mic.

also, whoever said about sm58's not being studio mics are never used on modern recordings are talking bull. bono uses an sm58 almost exclusively in the studio, surely u2 aren't retro yet?

Many people probably hear their favorite bands/artists each day and don't realize quite a few people record with 58's.

Evolesque
Dec 27, 2008, 12:00 AM
Ok, forget the sm57 and 58...get the sm7b.
This will be very good for vocals @ 349.99. It's totally worth it.
This mic sounds very smooth, you do need a mic pre that has enough gain to drive it. It's a large diaphragm dynamic by the way. You can google the reviews for this mic. I'm sure this is what your looking for.

ChrisA
Dec 28, 2008, 06:23 PM
Hey guys, sup... i'm looking for a GOOD Mic to hook up to my powerbook and record some Vocals for a Demo i'm putting together......but i need a GOOD (not too expensive mic) so the vocals sound GOOD specially when i hit high notes, because with the "internal mic" when i sing high notes, the sound cracks....and it's terrible.

The good news is that almost ANY mic is so much better than the internal mic that it will be like night and day even with a cheal external.

The better news is that the most common profesional Mic on Earth. the same mic many megaa rock stars use on stage sell for only about $100. The Shure SM58 is kind of a standard. But then you can't plug theat directly into a computers. You will need a good interface. Add another $150 or so for maybe something like an m-audio "fastrack". From there you can go nuts and the prices go into four digits quickly. The '58 is designed for voice there is a '57 that is more accurate and "flat" for instruments and about the same price

EDIT: I see some people are talking about the '58 being "old school". I think if your ears are that good so that you can hear if a vocalist was using a large diaphragm condenser mic or an SM58 that you have progressed a little bit past making home recordings and should be working in a real studio. The reason I say this is because room acoustics matter much more than the type of mic. If your ears are that good you can tell in a minute how close the wall was to the mic or if the wall's surface was hard. And what about tube preamps and on and on.

Like I wrote above, moving from an internal mic to a sm58 is like "night and day" all the other stuff written here is just details. It's like walking to the store or driving, the kind of car hardly matters all of them are SO MUCH faster then waking. Yes some cars are nicers then others. Just get a car and learn to drive. That is the first step. Sweat the details later.

GregBoccuti
Dec 29, 2008, 12:28 PM
The different in freq response is because of the windscreen, as i stated in my pervious post. Take the windscreen off and I don't know how else to tell you, its the same exact microphone. I work with these things quite often. I go to school for sound engineering at one of the best technology schools on the east coast of the united states (New England School of Communication). Im not just throw mindless information out there. You guys heard it from a SHURE engineer himself. Without the windscreen, they are the same microphone.

I have a degree in Recording Engineering from a major school on the east coast as well, and I work as a professional engineer. I am not throwing out useless information either. The important thing to remember is that simply removing the screen from the 58 will not make it the same as a 57. You'd have to remove the screen from the 57 as well. Part of my education in college included intense training in physics. This argument exactly parallels a lab that we did. The conclusion was that if you take both windscreens away, they are the same mic. But they do each have a different windscreen that each have different effects. I know its a small detail, but it is still important.

On the other hand, I frankly think the argument doesn't matter because who wants to bother with switching capsules or windscreens and such. Unless you're dealing with extremely high end microphones (i.e. schoeps or something like that), just buy a 57 and a 58 rather then switching windscreens.

Not trying to attack anyone just wanted to bring up another angle.