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Language Of The Lizard

In Need of a Pro Mic

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I've been recording and mixing for 2 years and I've been using a cheap camcorder to record vocals... The time has come for the next step, since my mastering skills and over all recordings have become much much better... I'm wondering if anyone knows of a brand of professional microphones that record in superior quality and are durable etc... But nothing too fancy, my budget for a mic is something like a couple hundred bucks.

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It really depends on whether you're looking for a condenser or a dynamic mic.

I don't know if condenser mics under $200.00 would be considered "pro" but one I can particularly recommend is the Rode NT-1A which you can probably find for less than $200.00. The Se "X1" is also nice for the price. My favourite (budget) condenser is a Joe Meek JM47 but I'm not sure if they still make them and I think they'd be over your budget. A much cheaper condenser is the Behringer C3. Behringer gear is not always particularly good but the C3 I own is a very useful little mic with three pickup patterns (omni - figure of 8 - cardioid). You have to budget for a mic cradle though as the standmount the C3 comes with is hopeless.

If you're looking for a dynamic mic then you rarely go far wrong with one or two Shure SM57's.

 

These are just my own personal favourites which I've bought myself (of course, if I could afford a Neumann I'd have one in a heartbeat). Others will prefer other mics and I'm sure other guys will chip in to the discussion.

 

Here's a link that may be useful > http://www.tweakheadz.com/microphones_for_the_home_studio.htm

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the sure mics, sm58 and sm57, are a good bet regardless. industry standard. for the money, hands down the best i think. bullet proof, keep on working even as pro studio guys cringe at the abuse musicians give them.

another point is that while you will find better mics and may even prefer another one, all sound guys you will come across will be familiar with those and be able and willing to use them.

i would stay away from the betas, get the standard ones. the betas boost the highs, and even if you or others like the sound a little better, there are some who think they suck. i think they may cause more problems than they solve (comparing the beta with the standard).

if you are unsure, you need to go with the 58 and 57. if there is a debate about which is better, then you need to be familiar with those anyway. if we are talking a studio that has better mics than those, they will have the mics for you to use and they will usually be way out of your price range or have mics they would not dare take out on a stage, and when they do run out of mics your 58s and 57s will come in handy to them.

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I have a beta 57A and a beta 58A, and I highly recommend either.

The difference is really that the betas are supercardioid instead of cardioid, less proximity effect, have lower handling noise and higher output, and a wider frequency response on both top and bottom. The result is a more transparent mic that is going to sound closer to a condenser than a s regular SM57/58, and be all around better for vocal application in the studio. The betas are particularly good choices in the studio for vocalists who perform better on a handheld mic. But if you want the sound of rock & roll, I'd still recommend the good 'ol SM57 for snares and guitar cabs. You'll notice the SM57 is the default mic we use in AmpliTube 3, as well.

 

If you want less highs, go with the 57 over the 58. The 58s, whether SM or beta, are voiced differently, to boost the sibilance frequencies for vocalists. But that doesn't mean it is necessarily going to work better for you personally. Only way to know is to try them.

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It really depends on whether you're looking for a condenser or a dynamic mic.

I don't know if condenser mics under $200.00 would be considered "pro" but one I can particularly recommend is the Rode NT-1A which you can probably find for less than $200.00. The Se "X1" is also nice for the price. My favourite (budget) condenser is a Joe Meek JM47 but I'm not sure if they still make them and I think they'd be over your budget. A much cheaper condenser is the Behringer C3. Behringer gear is not always particularly good but the C3 I own is a very useful little mic with three pickup patterns (omni - figure of 8 - cardioid). You have to budget for a mic cradle though as the standmount the C3 comes with is hopeless.

If you're looking for a dynamic mic then you rarely go far wrong with one or two Shure SM57's.

 

These are just my own personal favourites which I've bought myself (of course, if I could afford a Neumann I'd have one in a heartbeat). Others will prefer other mics and I'm sure other guys will chip in to the discussion.

 

Here's a link that may be useful > http://www.tweakheadz.com/microphones_for_the_home_studio.htm

 

The Nt-1a is a great sounding mic and I think they are selling now new with a bundle for $229. Great and affordable.

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Guest BentonC

I would give the Blue "Bluebird" a serious look if you want a super-versatile condenser. Almost anything you put through it sounds great. At $299 it sounds like it might be topping out your budget, if not a bit over, but you'll get some great tracks from it. Mics are super important for your sound, and if you are serious about recording, a good versitile condenser will get you a lot better results than a great dynamic IMHO (not trying to rag on the rec's for the 58- they are great mics too! [thumbup])

 

I know some folks aren't always into Blue mics because they tend to have a very specific character to them that doesn't always work great with everything, but I was truly blown away with this mic. I really thought it completely killed everything within a few hundred dollars of its price range.

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Large diaphram condenser mikes are the standard for studio vocals.........Yes, the NT-A1, Blue buebird are great mikes, as well as the MXL 4000....

 

These all sound better through a tube pre amp....The ART MP series are cheap and effective......SHOP ONLINE, PRICE COMPARE, AND

NEVER PAY RETAIL.................

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