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Versatile & cheap recording mic?

lawl Dave

Member
Messages
50
I'm looking for a mic that I could mic an amp with, as well as an acoustic guitar and possibly vocals. Could a condenser mic like an SM57 get me to where I want to go? It's just for amateur recordings to get my ideas down with half decent quality. I'm a teen with limited income, so price is obviously a factor!
 

patrickisbusy

Member
Messages
247
Well, an SM57 is not a condenser, it's dynamic.

But if you just want a mic to get ideas down, then it'd be alright. It's pretty versatile, so it would be okay for all those things.
 
Messages
132
The SM57 is a dynamic mic, not a condenser. Good as it is, you'd be better off buying a condenser mic if you need to record amps. acoustic guitars and vocals.

The only thing about a condenser mic is you will need phantom power to power up the mic. Or you could buy one that runs on batteries. There are plenty of cheap condensers around, so do a little research and you'll be on your way:
http://www.sweetwater.com/c105--Condenser_Microphones/low2high

You'd probably need to look at an audio interface as well if you're using your computer:
http://www.sweetwater.com/c695--USB_Audio_Interfaces/low2high
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peridot1

Member
Messages
1,264
I have a sm57 and a shure beta 87A. I like the beta for vocals and acoustics. Around $300 if I remember right. Cheap for a good condenser actually.
 

lawl Dave

Member
Messages
50
I'm leaning towards the SM57 at this point, but would it be fine to plug into my Macbook (with an adaptor for the audio in port, of course), or should I find something else more computer oriented?
 

Blue Bee

Member
Messages
3,931
if its just amp (and some vocals), then a 57 is the one. but for versatility like vocals, acoustic instruments, room miking, and amps, get a cheap mxl large condenser from musicians friend for like $60. i know plenty of pro studios use both of these mics.

when i record anything besides an amp, the mxl is the first choice hands down.
 

alivegy

Member
Messages
1,176
I agree that you'll get more mileage out of a decent condenser than a 57. The 57 may work better on it's own for an amp. But a decent condenser will outshine the 57 on the other things that you want to record, like vocals and acoustics, when used on it's own.
 

lawl Dave

Member
Messages
50
I'm thinking this mic is gonna be used mostly just to record stuff to my Macbook, but it's possible that it could get some live use (probably on my acoustic guitar). Could a condenser like this do live stuff well, or is it only good for micing a room? I basically need 3 things: versatile, cheap, durable.
 

Blue Bee

Member
Messages
3,931
thats the one. id go with the condenser, only reason id get the 57 is for live use (amp, vocals).
 

peridot1

Member
Messages
1,264
Condensers can't run on their own power. They need a method that sends a DC electrical voltage through microphone cables. Most mic preamps and mixers have a phantom power feature.
 
Messages
132
That's why I posted a link to audio interfaces besides the mics. You will need one if you're recording to your mac.

The audio interface replaces the one in your mac. Not only does the external audio interface have preamps to provide you with gain (necessary to achieve a decent signal level), it also provides phantom power to power up your condenser mic. Not to mention they provide you with all the correct cable interfaces (balanced XLR/quarter inch/SPDIF).

The SM57 is a great mic. Many excellent vocal/amp/acoustic guitar recordings have been made with it. But do some research and see for yourself the percentage of occasions recording engineers actually choose to use an SM57 over a condenser for vocals and acoustic guitar, then figure out why.

Or better still, go to a store and audition/record an SM57 against a condenser mic of the same ballpark amount, and listen for yourself.
 




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