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GOOD Recording mic for Garage Band (Suggestion needed)

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Joeytpg, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. macrumors 6502


    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
  2. macrumors regular

    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...
  3. macrumors 6502

    BLUE 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.
  4. macrumors regular

    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..
  5. macrumors 6502


    Don't be fooled: Shure SM series are live-only mics!

    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.
  6. macrumors G5


    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.

  7. macrumors 65816


    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 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.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    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.
  9. macrumors 68000


    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.
  10. macrumors 65816


    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????

  11. macrumors member

    Here is a review of another USB microphone: Samson C0U1 and Dr Mac has some interesting things to say about the Blue Snowball. I bought a Blue SnowBall about a month ago and what a great mic it is. Hope this helps.

    Warmest Regards,
  12. macrumors 65816


    shure sm57

    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.
  13. macrumors regular

    Just a quick question about the Shure 57 and 58....I'm a filmmaker, would these work well for recording voice-over work?
  14. macrumors 65816



    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.
  15. macrumors 6502a


    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]
  16. macrumors newbie

    I just "inherited" a '57 and was wondering what preamp I could get so it delivers its classic sound without spending too much cash.
  17. macrumors 601


    FMR RNP (Really Nice Preamp) is the cheapest good pre i know. dual channels for $475.
  18. macrumors G5


    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'?
  19. Moderator emeritus


    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

    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.
  20. macrumors newbie

    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.
  21. macrumors G5


    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.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    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
  23. macrumors newbie

    Thanks Candaram, appreciate the help!
  24. macrumors newbie

    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.
  25. macrumors 601


    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.

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