Vocal Mic Recommendation


I've got ProTools LE 6.7 with an MBox.

I'm trying to record some vocals (male). Currently I use an AT4033 and its not very complimentary of the voice - it lacks body and depth. The vocals sound better on cheap tape deck mics...

My budget is VERY limited and I've heard of some inexpensive asian imports that are tube and supposedly sound really close to their $2000+ counterparts.

Any mic ideas?

Or should a look into a tube mic pre...?



I'd suggest finding a store where you could try a few out. Suggestions are fine for general applications, but when you're targeting your voice in particular it's best to try.


The Project Studio C1 or C3 are suppose to be very nice sounding. A tube mic will generally sound more warm, the highs will be less sparkly and the lows will be less tight, ditto on a mic pre

That AT4033 is a pretty nice mic though, maybe you are looking for less detail rather than more in which case maybe a Shure SM57/58 would be better. Also placing the mic above or below your head will change how nasal the vocals sound. This can make a big difference.


Silver Supporting Member
I can vouch for the Studio Projects C3. I have a tube Audio Technica 4060 a Microtech Gefell MT71S and the Studio Projects C3. Between these 3 mics I like the C3 best for, well just about everything. The C3 is not as sturdily built as the other two but it sounds great. It adds a nice silvery top end to the vocal but still keeps a rich full sound. The Microtech sounds a bit more vintage but does not sound as clear and full as the C3, (but it is still very nice). The 4060 is just too furry sounding for most male vocals IMO.

The Studio Projects C3 sounds every bit as good as the big budget mics and mine came with a case and shock mount. If you are okay with a mic that is a bit less of a tank construction wise then it is the mic to get.


Originally posted by js54
good advice!

Some of the best vocal mics, with the most high end "sparkle," are tube. Same with compressors, and some pres. The whole "tube warmth" thing is more applicable to guitar amps or cheap (i.e. bad) mic pres. But good tube mics, pres and compressors can be very expensive.

I don't like the 4033 much as a vocal mic; it's flat as a pancake. Rode makes some excellent vocal mics at good prices, but I'm not familiar enough with them to recommend a specific one. There are also better AT vocal mics, like the 4047 and 4050, but how good they are would depend on the voice. See if you can try two or three with the option to return.


Originally posted by MichaelK

Some of the best vocal mics, with the most high end "sparkle," are tube.

Yeah, sparkle was probably not the best word. Maybe to generalize I should have said non-tube mics tend to be tighter in the low end, and have good clarity in the high end. In any event, for a budget studio, I think a tube mic/pre is an extravagance :)


Platinum Supporting Member
C3 is a great mic, I've used it often & with excellent results.

My first pick nowadays for vocals is the BLUE Baby Bottle. You should be able to find 'em used in the $400-450 range and they're worth EVERY penny.

I've used them both with no compressors and no preamps other than what's built in to my Digi001 - and from everything I've read, your MBox pres are better than mine.



Guitarist of Mojo Radio
Hey Guy's! The Studio Projects C3 is a excellent choice.

Check out SE mics, they offer a Z3300A and I keep hearing nothing but stellar reveiws on this mic.

Audio Technica AT4050 my be a little better choice for thos application as well ?
The best tube mic under $1000 is the MXL V69ME--it has received consistent reviews that range from very good to outstanding.

MXL is also producing a couple of FET mics that are supposed to have the same characteristics as tubes mics, one model is the V6.

Another affordable tube mic from MXL is the V76. All of the models mentioned sell for $300 or less.

One of the best $100 large condensers is the MXL V67G.

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