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View Full Version : looking for a good vocal mic


LITHE
09-10-2009, 09:50 AM
I'm looking into getting a good vocal mic for around $150 to $250. I'm not really sure what to look for, but apparently I have a deeper voice. not sure if that even matters. My room is lightly acoustically treated (meaning I have framed mattress toppers on the wall covered in cloth lol). I also plan on making some sort of foam backing arch behind the mic. I researched a bit on vocal mics but I'm still not sure what to look for! any suggestions?

rig1015
09-10-2009, 03:44 PM
Condenser or Dynamic?

If Dynamic you can't go wrong with a simple pop filter and an Sure SM58. They look like the stereotypical mic you see in all live performances, they are tough, sturdy, and have a really good sound quality. They average about $100, but they are the cheapest good microphone out there.

If you want something more you could try the Sennhiesr e906, or any of the 900 series. It is dynamic and has an adjustable cardioid pattern so you can change the focus of the mic's pick-up field. It is about $200 bucks but still a great dynamic mic.

Condenser mics are more $$$ but most engineers tend to agree that they have a richer warmer sound.

OA
09-10-2009, 03:48 PM
Regardless of the mic you get, make sure you also get a popper stopper- dirt cheap and invaluable.

Harmony
09-10-2009, 04:00 PM
I've played with two vocal mics in that price range, the Rode NT1-A (http://www.zzounds.com/item--RODNT1A) which I have, and the Studio Projects C1 (http://www.zzounds.com/item--STUC1). Both of those are condenser mics which require phantom power, so make sure your setup has that capability.

The NT1-A is really fun to play with and the self noise is ridiculously low, especially above about 1kHz. With my setup I measured about -60dB of self-noise at 10kHz, whereas my Shure SM58 got about -40dB. 20dB better than the Shure! The only issue I've had with it as a vocal mic is that I think it's a little too bright. I always have to roll off the highs otherwise the vocals, even low male ones, are too harsh. With female vocals, it's almost a must. Otherwise, this is the best choice, IMO.

The C1 was a friend's and I didn't get to play with it for long, but it was pretty good for guitar/vocals. I thought it was more mid-heavy than the NT1, which made the C1 sound kinda cheap. But, with the right EQ, that could be overcome as well. On my acoustic guitar it sounded great, since I guess it was accentuating the guitar's mid-heavy frequency range. Biggest plus over the NT1 are the pad switch and the low roll off switch. Both might be helpful for vocals, but as long as you're not using it as a drum mic, for example, where you're afraid of exceeding the max SPL, those features aren't that important.

theshaggyfreak
09-10-2009, 04:40 PM
http://kelaudio.com/hm1.html

This is one of the best purchase I've ever made mic wise and I use it a lot. It gets mostly used on vocals but I've used it on guitars as well.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/B1Mic

This is the other mic I use for vocals. I have an older one, though, that doesn't have the pad switch. I tend to use this one for recording female vocals. It's got a bit more clarity to it for that sorta stuff.

Malcos
09-10-2009, 05:53 PM
I've had my ADK A51 for a few years and it sounds amazing, and I've used it on male and female vocals. Sounds fantastic imo. I had a Shure SM58 many years ago, good for live stuff but not so great for singing in the studio.

LITHE
09-10-2009, 07:39 PM
Hmmm...

anyone have any samples of the mics they're using?

I read a few reviews on the AT202 from audio-technica.

http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wired_mics/a0933a662b5ed0e2/index.html

it seems like a good mic for the price. and about a year ago I bought the ATH-M50 headphones and I was amazed by how good they sound for the price. anyone have their input on the AT2020


EDIT: I found a sound sample for the the AT2020.

http://voiceover-casting.com/emporium/blog/articles/sound-sample-at2020/

sounds pretty good, and I found it for as low as $80!

Harmony
09-10-2009, 08:17 PM
anyone have any samples of the mics they're using?
100% NT1-A (http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~blbush/Music/BrandonBush-ThinkofYou.mp3), except that the 2 guitars are recorded with both the NT1-A and direct out.

theshaggyfreak
09-10-2009, 08:23 PM
Hmmm...

anyone have any samples of the mics they're using?



Kel does have some audio samples on their website but I've got things you can listen to of stuff that I've done:

http://pureshift.com/hear/

In Wild Mountain Thyme, the lead female vocals were done on the Studio Projects B1.
In Wired Frame and No Trouble At All, the vocals were done with the Kel HM1.

http://www.bsodcomic.net/music/
If you scroll to number 8, you can hear me sing into the Kel HM1. I admit, though, that the vocal track was heavily edited.

100% NT1-A (http://terpconnect.umd.edu/%7Eblbush/Music/BrandonBush-ThinkofYou.mp3), except that the 2 guitars are recorded with both the NT1-A and direct out.
Nice tune!

LuIzA
09-10-2009, 11:31 PM
For vocals, or pretty much everything that's not guitars or bass, the Behringer B-2.

I've no complaints, it's an affordable mic (like $150, I believe) and records everything really well.

AMT
09-13-2009, 10:34 PM
I managed to grab an AT2020 for about $60 bucks and it works amazingly well. I can try and post samples later but I use it for vocals / drums / anything really and it does a good job. Way better than my SM57 for pretty much everything except micing amps.

LITHE
09-16-2009, 05:06 AM
I managed to grab an AT2020 for about $60 bucks and it works amazingly well. I can try and post samples later but I use it for vocals / drums / anything really and it does a good job. Way better than my SM57 for pretty much everything except micing amps.

awesome thats great to hear! its also not a smart idea to get something top of the line when I never really worked with mics. I think the AT2020 is the perfect choice for me.

AMT
09-16-2009, 07:37 PM
Sounds like you already made your decision, but here's an example:

http://tindeck.com/listen/bklb

This used an AT2020 for vocals, SM57 for guitar / bass, and REAPER for mixing / sequencing / etc.