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Mathias Lamfa

Best Microphone you can suggest?

9 posts in this topic

What is the best microphone you can suggest for a home studio?

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Posted (edited)

Hey Mat,

 

Im not a pro. But I have been studying the matter lately and Im gonna add an AT2035(con) to my SM57(dyn). Both have very good value for money, and are considered an industry staple. 

 

As far as i managed to find out.

 

Also, more information about what you are planing to record(vocals, guitar, drums, trumpet...) and how, will help you towards getting you a better answer.

Edited by Leo

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Condenser mics are usually recommended for studio use, though I have recently gone back to my stage dynamic one (a Shure SM58).

For my purposes, its working just as well. In fact its working a little better, because my condenser (a Rode NT1-A) one is making its own noises. White noise, rumbling etc. probably caused by moisture build up.

 

Condensers are generally more expensive and are frequently not robust enough for stage use. They need phantom power to work and need careful handling. They have a wider frequency response and I suppose offer better 'fidelity'. 

 

But if after recording you're going to use a lot of FX, compression and EQ limiting, then IMO you might just not need a condenser.

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Posted (edited)

The "best" mic, is the best mic for you given your intend use for it, your budget, and the room you're recording in.  I agree with Leo insofar you don't provide enough information about your intended use, budget and room, and I agree with Rudi that condenser mics, while typically better overall than dynamic mics, have downsides too, and that they can be damaged more easily than a dynamic mic is a downside.  I can't recommend a particular mic under the circumstances.  I can just tell you what mic I use, and why.

 

I wanted a mic that, based on reviews of users and experts, is a good vocal mic and a good mic for recording acoustic guitar too.  I wanted a mic that could do double-duty as both a recording mic and a stage mic.  And, given that the room I have to record in has poor acoustics and is susceptible to unwanted noises and sounds coming from outside the room and from under it (the basement furnace), I wanted a mic that wasn't so sensitive that I could minimize that problem.  That's why I have a Shure Beta 87A.  It has great reviews, and I can now tell you it's a really good sounding mic for recording both vocals and acoustic guitar.   It's a condenser mic, but it's handheld and very "rugged," because it was design to do double-duty as both a recording mic and a stage mic.  The last condenser I had I dropped once, and it killed the capsule immediately.  I've dropped this one, and no problem.  I think I could throw the Beta 87A against the wall and it wouldn't hurt it.  It's also a smaller capsule/diaphragm condenser mic, so it won't capture as much ambient sound as larger diaphragm condensers, and it has a super cardiod polar pattern.  A cardiod polar pattern is a feature that limits the amount of sound a mic will pick up from the back and sides.  Most condenser mics good for both vocals and guitar have at best a cardiod polar pattern.  The Beta 87A's polar pattern is super cardiod and goes further in keeping out sounds other than those right in front of it - especially important to me in my fairly noisy room with poor acoustics.  It's not the cheapest mic (approx. $250.00), but I've never regretted the investment.  It's not a USB mic, so your interface would need to have a mic input and phantom power.  That's another big piece of information you don't provide - if you have an interface, and if so, what type.  How you convert and amplify the analog electrical signal coming from the mic to the digital signal used by your recorder/computer, is just as important to the quality of the recordings you make with any mic as the mic or anything else is - if not more important.

 

 

Edited by HoboSage

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I recently added my .002 on this very subject here.

 

I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect mic for everything. Some come really close. For me it's the Shure KSM44

 

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As everyone is writing here, I agree that it has to do a lot with the rest of your equipment, and even more the acoustic environment! That is really something you have to focus on at first if you want to do decent recordings. I think Studio Projects B3 is a nice microphone and not to expensive:) It's a large-diaphragm condenser microphone with multiple polar patterns which I think can be really useful in some situations!

 

Good luck:)

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It would firstly depend on your budget because microphones vary greatly in price. Secondly that some voices sound good on certain mics and some don't. Some mics are clean and some are coloured to certain degrees. Some are dark and some are bright sounding. Some suit males better than females and vice versa. The only way to find a mic that suits you is to go and test them out. I use a number of mics for different purposes but for vocals the AKG C414 B ULS wins every time. I prefer to record vocals and instruments clean and the 414 is one of the cleanest mics around for the money and plugging effects are added later. I do have a couple of Tube mics and a number others including SM58s that I use for live sessions but it's all down to personal taste at the end of the day.

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I have heard a lot of good reviews of the AKG C414. There are so many types of the C414 it almost gets confusing. I'm not sure what the "B ULS" is. A fairly expensive mic if compared to basic home studio mics. Definitely a better mic and worth the extra money if reviews are any indication with Ray's recommendation further supporting this.

 

The AKG C214 uses the same capsule as the C414 and is less expensive. Not sure what the trade off in quality is.

 

I was never able to try my mics before I bought them, so it was a bit of a gamble sometimes trying to locate one I liked. I did some research and usually ended up with what I wanted, but a few times I got a mic I didn't like as much. There weren't any I hated, but some bring out certain characteristics better than others. I generally prefer a  frequency flat mic and don't like anything to be hyped or truncated. I can always work with that ITB, but that's me.

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5 hours ago, starise said:

I have heard a lot of good reviews of the AKG C414. There are so many types of the C414 it almost gets confusing. I'm not sure what the "B ULS" is. A fairly expensive mic if compared to basic home studio mics. Definitely a better mic and worth the extra money if reviews are any indication with Ray's recommendation further supporting this.

 

The AKG C214 uses the same capsule as the C414 and is less expensive. Not sure what the trade off in quality is.

 

I was never able to try my mics before I bought them, so it was a bit of a gamble sometimes trying to locate one I liked. I did some research and usually ended up with what I wanted, but a few times I got a mic I didn't like as much. There weren't any I hated, but some bring out certain characteristics better than others. I generally prefer a  frequency flat mic and don't like anything to be hyped or truncated. I can always work with that ITB, but that's me.

If you can afford to spend around $500 for a used AKG C414B ULS which occasionally comes up for sale it would be a good bet for you if you prefer a neutral sounding uncoloured mic with Cardioid, Omni, and Figure 8 polar patterns and base roll off. It's a great all round mic and has a lot of uses including Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Brass, etc. My model is from the 1990s when they were well built with good components. There are modern versions that are cheaper but they don't compare to the older ones. If I were you I would ask around in your locality because if a local musician has one you could politely ask if he or she would mind you testing it to see if it suits. If you lived in London you would be most welcome to try out some of my mics to see what suits.

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