Mic recommendations (vocal)

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Suture, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. Suture macrumors 6502a

    Suture

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    #1
    Looking to record some vocals (plug your ears), and am looking for a mic that isn't going to cost an arm and a leg, but will get the job done. Any recommendations? There seem to be a lot in the $100 range. I'm looking over at Guitar Center's website.
     
  2. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #2
    I'd take a look at the Shure SM58. It's a dynamic microphone, very popular (and good) for vocals on stage.

    For recording in a studio, you can get better mics, but probably not in the price range you indicated ($100).

    - Martin
     
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #3
    i'll second the sm58 idea, though i've found that mic needs a decent preamp to really shine.

    the only large diaphragm condenser in that range that's any good is the AT 2002.
     
  4. Suture thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Suture

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    #4
    Thanks, I'll take a look at those. I do have a mixer that has phantom power. I'm just wary of spending more considering I don't know how this will sound. :D

    Looks like the SM58 has good reviews, and it's only $100. It appears to be used more for live/stage work, but it seems quite a few are using it in a studio. I'm bored at work so I'm going to drive over to Guitar Center and check it out. Thanks.
     
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #5
    and that's a very valid concern. some mics just simply don't work on some voices. the only mic i have that has never been bad on anyone's voice (sometimes it's fantastic, at worst it's just okay) is the shure ksm32, but that's $500.

    if it all possible, you want to line up a number of mics, preferably using the same mic pre as you've got, and see what you think. record each and play around w/ EQ to see if you can dial in the right sound (sometimes the right sound isn't so obvious at first).

    even better -- sing to a song you have that's somewhat pre-mixed and see how easy it is to get your vocal to sit right with each mic. once you've done that, you've found your mic.
     
  6. lorductape macrumors 6502

    lorductape

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Location:
    t3h usa
    #6
    without a doubt, the blue snowball is one of the best $100 mics out there. I just bought it a week ago, and i'm loving it.
     
  7. manosaurus macrumors 6502

    manosaurus

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    #7
    Well, this whole matter is fairly subjective but I personally second zims post. In my last recording project, I had available several differents mics for recording vocals including:

    Shure SM58 AND SM57 - standards
    SE 2200a - supposed to be very good vocal condensor and not cheap either
    Audio technica condensor - don't remember which one
    Some cheap pencil condensers - mostly for recording instuments I think
    Several other random mics - don't remember the names

    Out of all of these, and after a lot of testing, the one that worked the best was one of the cheap pencil condensers that was around 30 or 40 dollars. I don't know why. You would think that a 400 dollar mic made for recording vocals would be the best! Anyway, get a hold of several different mics because there REALLY is a difference from one to the next and you don't want to be stuck a mic that isn't you. And obviously this is one situation in the world where higher price donesn't necessarily = better results.
     
  8. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #8
    That's a good thing to have, even though phantom power is not required for dynamic mics such as the SM58.

    Good luck for your selection!

    - Martin
     
  9. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #9
    pardon me while i retain some doubt.
     
  10. BCains macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Gold Coast, Australia
    #10
    I'd personally get a nice LDC (Condenser) microphone if you're recording vocals.
    In that price range there arn't a whole heap of decent mics to choose from, however:

    MXL V67G $100
    CAD M177 $100
    Audio-Technica AT2020 $100
    Studio Projects B1 $120

    You are best to ask the guy at the store if you can audition some mics either at home
    or in the store (some places i've seen booths set of for this purpose).
     
  11. buswheel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #11
    With your budget I would be looking at something like the SM58 or another similarly priced dynamic mic, as the condensers in this price range don't tend to be that great. However if you can afford more then you start looking at the proposed condensers.
     
  12. cmccarten macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    #12
    I've got the AT2020, and I'm fairly satisfied with it. I also have a shure SM57 (essentially identical to the 58), and in comparison, the AT2020 wins hands down for voice and acoustic guitar recording.
    (it all depends on your application!)

    the sm58 or 57 is better used for live sound or recording really *dynamic* sources like drums, guitar amps, or screamer-singers.

    EDIT - Also; a quality mic is only as good as the weakest part of the signal path - so there's no point spending a lot more than what you're budgeting if you're just running it through the preamp on your mixing board (I'm assuming here that it isn't a mackie control or anything).
     
  13. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #13
    i don't really agree with that. yes, it can be great on those sources, but i use mine in the studio w/ great results, including non-screaming singers (i'll have to try it on acoustic -- i haven't done that).

    as i mentioned above, it needs a good pre (where "good" is in the $1000+ / channel range) to really shine. and no way i'd automatically pick an AT2020 over it, even thought i think the 2020 is a good mic for its price. the sm57 is a great mic, full stop. all imho, of course.
     
  14. cmccarten macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    #14
    i just think that in lieu of getting an expensive pre, it makes more sense to get a condenser than a dynamic.
    i've used an sm58 with crappy yamaha pres for recording acoustic guitar and vocals and was never really impressed (especially by the boominess of the acoustic. the proximity boost does not compliment acoustics to my liking. yes it can be eq'd out, but i'd rather have a decent sounding dry track before i start tweaking it).
    that being said, different instruments, different pre's, different interfaces, different performers, and different techniques all produce...different results!

    i'm not trying to say you're wrong, just that explaining what i've experienced.
    all i have to go on is my A/B comparison of my sm57 and AT2020 in vocal and acoustic applications. the AT2020 is, i've found, much better for vocals because it doesn't need the absurd amount of gain (which tends to bring out preamp noise in cheaper pres) that the 57/58s do.
    also; a lot of the vocal work i do is on the quiet/soft side, so the condenser is much better in that case.
     
  15. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #15
    two thoughts here: 1) use the right tool for the right job, and 2) everything is a resource allocation problem.

    certainly, both condensers and dynamics have their uses, depending on the situation. i wouldn't say the same for cheap pre's -- it's never the "right" tool for the job, it's used from necessity.

    again, i think it depends. i usually use an LDC on vox, but not always. sometimes it's a dynamic (and not just for the loud voices), sometimes it's an SDC. but i'm never forced into a mic choice because of a limitation of my pre's.

    i don't think it's valid to say "always use this kind of mic for this kind of voice", because you never know how someone's vocal timbre will work w/ a given mic through a given pre for a given song with a given style on a given day. instead, you make educated guesses, put up some mics, and see what works. you just never know.
     
  16. jonutarr macrumors regular

    jonutarr

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    OZ
    #16
    imo sm57/58 sound crap without a good preamp, have you tryed your mac mic?
     

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