What mic do I want for recording vocal?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by jeffhef, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. jeffhef

    jeffhef Member

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    I've never bought a mic for recording vocals. I'd like to try out something decent but would like to stay below $200. I'm limited on funds...so I need bang for my buck. The best value.

    I'm recording at home using a computer based system. I'm using a Tascam US-122 for Audio interface. Do I also need a mic preamp or will the one in the US-122 suffice for now.

    Thanks,

    jeffhef
     
  2. covert

    covert Member

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    What you want is the mic that sounds good with your voice, and meets your needs in other ways. It's a popular misconception that you have to have a large diaphragm condenser mic for vocals. This is, emphatically, NOT the case. If this is just for your own purposes, ie. demo work, or just to learn with, you probably can't do much better than an SM57. It's often a great vocal mic, and will do a variety of other jobs well. If you must have an ldc, look at the Audio Technica AT 2020. or the MXL V67. For that matter, any of the chinese condensers may be fine for your voice. Listening is better than asking for advice.

    The pre's you have will probably be fine for the forseeable future, unless you make recording your life.
     
  3. straticus

    straticus Member

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    I've heard good things about the AT2020. Killer bang for the buck too.
     
  4. straticus

    straticus Member

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    One more thing ........ you might want to pick up the latest / Sept. issue of EQ mag. It's an "all mics" issue and it has lots of mic reviews an all price ranges, including yours.
     
  5. jeffhef

    jeffhef Member

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    Excellent!! I'll go get it today.

    I'm looking at pricing on some of these and it's definitely doable. So...there's a wide range in pricing for the mic's like the AT2020. If you jump form $99 to $499 I'm asuming you hear a major difference. But...if I invest a little more...say buy a mic in the $100 to $200 range do you get a major difference?

    in other words...if I'm not going to go to a much hugher price point should I just stick to something in the AT202 range?

    As for my voice...I'd like osmething that has a decent range since I may be recording a lot of different people singing. So I guess a good compromise at this point is what I'm looking for.

    Also, I've read a little about Mic modeling software. Has anyone used any of these?

    Now...should I start a seperate thread to ask about powered monitor's?

    Thanks,

    jeffhef
     
  6. covert

    covert Member

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    I wouldn't make that assumption, especially in light of the recent Apex/TelefunkenUSA issues. What you may find is that the lower priced chinese mics are more of a crap shoot than the higher priced ones. QC varies among companies, and may be one of the things that makes for price difference.



    The next reliable price point is up around 600.



    Don't go there.
     
  7. Den

    Den Member

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    In your price range, I purchased a Studio Projects C-1 several years ago and still haven't found anything I like better for recording vocals even close to its price. I use it for both male and female vocals with great results ... so I'm confident it would meet your needs as far as something versatile for different vocalists. It also works well as a room mic to back up a cab mic for recording guitar. If you search, you'll find lots of positive reviews on the C-1, with many comparing the performance of this mic to others many times more expensive.

    With that said, as others have pointed out, there are no rules on this, and no gurantees that more $$$$ spent will get you better results. It's really what your ears think works best with your voice ... whatever that may be.
     
  8. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    For $85 you can get a SM-58 and track a decent vocal. If you're talking about value it's kind of hard to beat that.

    At that kind of equipment budget we're not talking about a commercial hit, so why not use the rest of the money for a couple tanks of gas?
     
  9. onemind

    onemind Member

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    I'll second the vote for the SM57, lots of money left over for a pop filter, good cable and stand. If you insist on a condener I would recommend the Rode, a good neutral starting point, and quite good on male vocals.
     
  10. jeffhef

    jeffhef Member

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    I've always thought of the 57 as an instrument mic. Showing my ignorance I suppose. Since the 57 and 58 are close in price would one be preferred over the other? Keeping in mind I'd like a compromise solution.

    Thanks,

    jeffhef
     
  11. onemind

    onemind Member

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    The 57 and 58 are essentially the same microphone, the 57 takes away the rotund grille and I think adds back some high-mids that can be flattering on vocals.
     
  12. covert

    covert Member

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    As noted above, the 57 and 58 are very similar, except in the construction of the grille. The 57 is about as close to an everything mic as it gets. With a windscreen, or even without it's a excellent vocal mic. If and when you get to a point where you really need something else for vocals, it will happily work on guitar amps, snares, toms etc.
     
  13. mitch

    mitch Guest

    I have used a Rode nt1000 that I got for @225 or so, it is a great mic, I use it for overhead drums as well, and for a room mic for acoustic guitar recording.
     
  14. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    The 57 and 58 sound different. I've never analyzed their construction or circuitry to find out why, but that's not the point (for me, anyway).

    The 57 is OK for vocals, but the 58 has a different response hump around 5k that brings out sibilance and makes most voices sound better than the 57. On the other hand, IMO the 58 is a terrible instrument mic for that same reason.
     
  15. YaReMi

    YaReMi Member

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    I've been using Rode NT1 for some time now, bought it on ebay, came with a shock mount - excellent value for money. Highly recommended.
     
  16. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    My NT1 has been relegated to ambient room mic use but it's a decent starter mic. It works on a wide range of sources however it's not really a stand out mic for anything I've used it on. The Oktava 319 is also a nice budget mic and works better on acoustic guitars than the nt1. The sm57 is a great vocal mic when used with a nice pre but give it a cheap pre and it's mush city. That doesn't mean that you don't need one, they regularly get used on everything from guitar amps to snares.
     
  17. justicetones

    justicetones Member

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    +1 on the Studio Projects mics. I use the C3 alot. Essentially a multi pattern C1. I like to record some things in Omni so that you do not get the proximity effect in the low freq range. Many pro's that have sang on the mic are impressed with it's sound and they have a very good reference for good vocal sounds. These mics got excellent reviews.

    Chris
     

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