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Microphone suggestions for vocal beginner?


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#1 Star-Strewn

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:16 PM

What's a good starter mic for someone just looking to get into singing? Ideally, spending $50 or less. Any suggestions would be helpful, as I have no idea where to start!

#2 Neblix

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:17 PM

What's a good starter mic for someone just looking to get into singing? Ideally, spending $50 or less. Any suggestions would be helpful, as I have no idea where to start!



Guitar Hero mic.

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#3 dannthr

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:59 PM

Maybe a used Shure SM58

Buying a microphone is an investment.

Here's an example:

In 2000, I bought a small condenser microphone (AKG C1000s) for about $200.

Price of an AKG C1000s 12 years later?

$200.

This stuff doesn't depreciate, it's an investment that will always retain its value.

Don't be afraid to save up and spend some real money on a good microphone.

For stage vocals, you might be able to find a Shure SM58 for around $50, but you don't have a lot to choose from at that price range.

A vocal mic for studio recording, you'll want a large diaphragm condenser microphone... eventually.
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#4 Garpocalypse

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 01:53 AM

I have a AKG D8000s and it works great for what I paid for it.

A few years ago i bought a pack of picks from guitar center online, a few weeks later I receive a $50 AKG mic in the mail. Then I get a notice saying that while they were restructuring there warehouses a number of orders may have shipped incorrectly and they apologize for the inconvenience.

Thank you Guitar Center.

#5 Magellanic

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:27 PM

I have to agree with dannthr here. Audio equipment, generally (there are exceptions) doesn't really depreciate in value, especially if its good quality. Depending on the style of music and your own unique voice will determine how good a microphone will be for you. If you have no idea about where to start, start with a dynamic mic like a SM58. If you're really wanting to keep on budget, go for the PG58. I use the PG57 for my guitar work and if you use the mic correctly, it will take a real audio hotshot to point out its not an SM57.
If you fancy going for a condenser microphone, then I'd definitely reccommend Rode's NT1A. You can even buy it bundled with a pop-shield. Its around £100 so....$150-170 I'd guess. Most of Rode's microphones are fantastic for their price and the quality is top notch. They even have lifetime guarantees!

#6 dannthr

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 06:58 PM

I've heard that the AKG C3000b, which has been discontinued:

http://www.akg.com/s...anguage,EN.html

Is very similar to the AKG C214 capsule, if you can find it used, you might be able to get between $100-200 for it.

Used gear is great as long as it was cared for and was used in a non-smoking studio.
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#7 Xarnax42

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 09:34 PM

I really know pretty much zilch about recording, but it was a discussion about it when I first heard the term audio interface. It'll be several months before I'll have anywhere I can even think about recording, so I haven't really looked into it yet, but if I understood correctly, if you want a decent recording, plugging the mic straight into your computer is not a good idea, right? If that's correct, it seems like a discussion that newbies like us would want to have at the same time as the mic one.
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#8 Shadix

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 03:22 AM

sm58 is all you will ever need.

#9 dannthr

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:49 AM

[source] => [microphone] => [cable] => [mic preamplifier] => [analog to digital converter] => [computer]

Many audio interfaces (not all) have mic pres built in, but the quality depends a lot on the components used in the manufacturing process and ultimately, nothing quite competes with the sound of a really good mic pre.

The SM58 is a dynamic mircophone, meaning it relies on sound pressure to power the transducer.

Condenser microphones require phantom voltage to power them allowing them to be far more sensitive than a dynamic microphone resulting in greater captured detail.

Ribbon microphones do not use phantom power and require a great deal of gain, more gain than most standard audio interfaces come equipped to offer. Due to their construction, they tend to capture sound more like the human ear does allowing them to pair well with a high detailed large diaphragm condenser.

All micrphones have a different quality of sound and capture and all micrphones sound different paired with different microphone preamplifiers.

One microphone won't be enough forever but the SM58 is great for stage work since it's not detailed enough to pick up stage noises/crowd noises.

But if you've ever been to a concert, you'll note that most of the time, the quality is not as good as the studio version of the track--that's not all production polish, a lot has to do with recording in a controlled environment with high quality equipment.
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#10 DusK

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 03:05 PM

The sound quality is still really good for a dynamic mic. Yeah, there are condensers that beat it, but on a budget, you can't go wrong with an SM58.

#11 timaeus222

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 02:40 AM

Guitar Hero mic.

I kid you not, those things are sick.


That made me laugh. No, seriously, best post I've seen all week. xD

I'd suggest Meteor Mic. I believe it was $60 or something. You can find it in Best Buy, last I checked.

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#12 Majiffy

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:46 PM

Fuck the 58, everyone uses it and it leads to a vocal sound that comes off as bland and manufactured.

Get a Digital Reference DRV100. Sounds an awful lot like an ElectroVoice 457B, except picking up less low-end. Makes for a great vocal mic as long as you're not trying to get a real bass-y vocal track.

http://www.google.co...ed=0CKMBEPMCMAI

#13 Fishy

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:42 PM

I use vintage C12's, trolololo not even joking.

If I only had $100 I would honestly use a 57 with a pop shield. The quality of the singing is of far more interest to me as a recording engineer then what mic I have.

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#14 Majiffy

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:53 PM

The quality of the singing is of far more interest to me as a recording engineer then what mic I have.


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#15 Fishy

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 09:06 PM

Good singer + cheap but functional microphone > bad singer + expensive microphone.

Not sure if not sure if serious is serious?

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#16 Majiffy

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 09:15 PM

Good singer + cheap but functional microphone > bad singer + expensive microphone.

Not sure if not sure if serious is serious?

Bad singer can arise from several things;
1) Poor dynamic control - fixed with a compressor
2) Poor melodic ability - fixed with autotune/melodyne
3) Poor rhythmic ability - fixed with beat-detective (and similar plugins) or incredibly tedious but very doable hand-editing.

What you CAN'T fix is a shit mic sound leaking into your vocal track. You need crisp, clear vocals that represent across all the frequencies being used, with a low noise level.

Mic > Performer

Furthermore, if we're talking about the same vocalist (and we are - check the thread title), better equipment is always an improvement to the equation.

#17 Fishy

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 09:34 PM

Bad singer can arise from several things;
1) Poor dynamic control - fixed with a compressor
2) Poor melodic ability - fixed with autotune/melodyne
3) Poor rhythmic ability - fixed with beat-detective (and similar plugins) or incredibly tedious but very doable hand-editing.

What you CAN'T fix is a shit mic sound leaking into your vocal track. You need crisp, clear vocals that represent across all the frequencies being used, with a low noise level.

Mic > Performer

Furthermore, if we're talking about the same vocalist (and we are - check the thread title), better equipment is always an improvement to the equation.


Whatever works for you but a 57 vocal recording is definitely clean enough to edit and tune if you want to. It certainly isn't a leaking shitty sound and noise on everything you record with it.

If the OP wants some proper advice, I tend to setup three mics for most vocal sessions I do: a C12, a U87 and a C414/something dynamic. I try them all out and ask the singer which they prefer and decide between us. It's usually splits about 60:20:20 respectively for what works for each person.

My point is it's hard to say exactly what microphone will work for you without trying a couple out, so to get anything other then a generic 'this mic has good reviews and is cheap response', find a friend who owns a few and give them a bash.

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#18 Majiffy

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 09:54 PM

Agreed, just seemed the way you phrased it that you don't put any thought in your mic selection...

Also, sounds like you have a nice collection. I'm looking to get matched C02s, an AT2020 and an e609 in the next few months.

#19 Fishy

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 09:59 PM

Agreed, just seemed the way you phrased it that you don't put any thought in your mic selection...

Also, sounds like you have a nice collection. I'm looking to get matched C02s, an AT2020 and an e609 in the next few months.


Nah obviously when I have the choice I'll use it, but I'm just saying I'd rather have an 'expensive' performer then an expensive mic.

Also it's not my collection, it's the studios. I can't afford that stuff, lol.

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#20 Majiffy

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 10:05 PM

Fair enough ;)

I'm working on collecting my own hardware so I can be a traveling engineer. So far I've got:

Presonus 6 input 2-preamp Firebox
Behringer 8 input 2-preamp mixing board
Shure Beta 52A
Shure SM57
Digital Reference DRV 100

So close I can taste it.




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