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Best Low-Budget Condenser Mic for new DAW at home?
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hallmanstudio
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#1
24th March 2006
Old 24th March 2006
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Best Low-Budget Condenser Mic for new DAW at home?

I'm just starting to build my home recording setup. It's very basic right now. Mbox2 running off of a MacMini. I just purchased my first sm57 and mic stand. Now I'm ready for a condenser mic. I've been borrowing my friend's AKG C3000B and it sounds great for what I'm doing so far. But I'd like to get a general slut consensus. What has worked best for you on a small budget? I'm looking to spend between 300-500 this time around.

Thanks,
Ben

-------------


Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.
- Frank Zappa
#2
24th March 2006
Old 24th March 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hallmanstudio
I'm just starting to build my home recording setup. It's very basic right now. Mbox2 running off of a MacMini. I just purchased my first sm57 and mic stand. Now I'm ready for a condenser mic. I've been borrowing my friend's AKG C3000B and it sounds great for what I'm doing so far. But I'd like to get a general slut consensus. What has worked best for you on a small budget? I'm looking to spend between 300-500 this time around.

Thanks,
Ben

-------------


Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.
- Frank Zappa

AT 4047. Much better than the C3000B IMO.....
#3
24th March 2006
Old 24th March 2006
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What will you be using the microphone for? Vocals, instruments, micing an amp?
Audiotechnica makes very well-valued workhorse microphone in and just above that price range.
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24th March 2006
Old 24th March 2006
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#5
24th March 2006
Old 24th March 2006
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check out the beta 87
or the groove tube FET's

around 200 each
#6
25th March 2006
Old 25th March 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hallmanstudio
I'm just starting to build my home recording setup. It's very basic right now. Mbox2 running off of a MacMini. I just purchased my first sm57 and mic stand. Now I'm ready for a condenser mic. I've been borrowing my friend's AKG C3000B and it sounds great for what I'm doing so far. But I'd like to get a general slut consensus. What has worked best for you on a small budget? I'm looking to spend between 300-500 this time around.

Thanks,
Ben

-------------


Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.
- Frank Zappa
Hallman,

Keep in mind that when choosing a microphone, context matters, and matters alot. Then there's personal preference, which is a whole 'nother thing.

Anyway, what will you be recording with this mic? Do you want an overall studio workhorse? A mic just for vocals? You get the idea.
#7
25th March 2006
Old 25th March 2006
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You might also wanna check out the Studio Projects C3 and T3.
#8
25th March 2006
Old 25th March 2006
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Hey brother hallman,

MXL V69 LDC or
Shure SM7 LDD


I feel covered completely with those two mics for working out my pre-production song ideas and potentially album songs if the vibe fits.

This song is my MXLV69...plugged into my Fireface...(which is my 'always plugged in' setup these days) Same mic and pre on every track.

http://www.soundpreacherstudios.com/ballpeen.mp3

IMO this is a terrific, terrific tube mic. And a 'workhorse' mic around the project studio.

I have a bunch of songs that I have done with just the SM7 (also an awesome project studio workhorse) as well.
I dig the overall vibe of using one mic, one pre, same spot in the room etc.

Much Respect,
hallmanstudio
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25th March 2006
Old 25th March 2006
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by feyshay
What will you be using the microphone for? Vocals, instruments, micing an amp?
Audiotechnica makes very well-valued workhorse microphone in and just above that price range.

I intern at Arlyn Studios here in Austin, so bigger projects go there- I won't be recording full bands at home anytime soon.

The mic is generally going to be used for vocals, but also acoustic instruments, so a workhouse microphone is probably my best bet. I'll look into the AudioTechnica line. thanks!

Ben
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25th March 2006
Old 25th March 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hallmanstudio
I intern at Arlyn Studios here in Austin, so bigger projects go there- I won't be recording full bands at home anytime soon.

The mic is generally going to be used for vocals, but also acoustic instruments, so a workhouse microphone is probably my best bet. I'll look into the AudioTechnica line. thanks!

Ben
Several of the AT mics would be good choices, the AT 4050 in particular. Here are a few other "workhorse" type mics in your price range:

CAD M179
ADK TL
AKG 414 (used)
#11
25th March 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hallmanstudio
I intern at Arlyn Studios here in Austin, so bigger projects go there-

Ben
Hey Ben...
Do you know Michael Shelsy?
#12
25th March 2006
Old 25th March 2006
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nestor is offline
Studio projects are Amazing for the price. B3 is great on vox and has switchable patterns and roll off which makes it very versatile as a room mic or part of a M/S configuration. The C4s have interchangeable heads, making them versatile as well. I've A/Bd them with km 184s (like, unbelievably more $$$) as drum overheads and on acoustic guitar. They blew the Neumanns away, and seven or eight peers agreed with me. They also make a tube mic which I've heard is nice without being overly colorful. My advice when buying 'budget' mics is to either try out the actual mic you are looking at buying, or order one and ship it back if it doesn't sound like it should and get it replaced.

Good Luck
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25th March 2006
Old 25th March 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hallmanstudio
The mic is generally going to be used for vocals, but also acoustic instruments, so a workhouse microphone is probably my best bet. I'll look into the AudioTechnica line.
I have an AT 4050 that I use all the time. It was the first decent large diaphragm condensor I got and I still use it all the time. Depending on the situation I'll still use it for acoustic and vocals. I used it on a cello recently with great results. It's a very clean sounding mic...not much color, which is what you want out of an all-purpose mic.
hallmanstudio
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27th March 2006
Old 27th March 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene
Hey Ben...
Do you know Michael Shelsy?
No, i don't know Mr. Shelsy, i don't think. Should I?
#15
27th March 2006
Old 27th March 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hallmanstudio
No, i don't know Mr. Shelsy, i don't think. Should I?
Well...I dont know... would have suspected.

He is an intern at Arlyn here in town...And the studio isn't that big...
Perhaps Michael has recently left?

Anyway..cheers.
And give the MXLv69 a shot!
#16
27th March 2006
Old 27th March 2006
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my favorite 'workhorse' condenser is an AKG 414 B-ULS. it's very versatile, and can still be found for less than $500 on ebay.
#17
28th March 2006
Old 28th March 2006
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2012 is offline
Budget Workhorse Condenser under $500

Think: SHURE KSM32

$500 new
$250-400 used

Or: MXL v67i

it has dual-capsules, 1 "bright" & 1 "dark"

$150 new
#18
28th March 2006
Old 28th March 2006
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Consider skipping the cheap condenser and using some cheap dynamics for the time being. In my opinion, they're easier to fit into a mix. Then, when you're ready, drop $800-1500 on an actual condenser.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hallmanstudio
I'm just starting to build my home recording setup. It's very basic right now. Mbox2 running off of a MacMini. I just purchased my first sm57 and mic stand. Now I'm ready for a condenser mic. I've been borrowing my friend's AKG C3000B and it sounds great for what I'm doing so far. But I'd like to get a general slut consensus. What has worked best for you on a small budget? I'm looking to spend between 300-500 this time around.

Thanks,
Ben

-------------


Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.
- Frank Zappa
#19
3rd May 2010
Old 3rd May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepwalker View Post
Consider skipping the cheap condenser and using some cheap dynamics for the time being. In my opinion, they're easier to fit into a mix. Then, when you're ready, drop $800-1500 on an actual condenser.

First off, I don't know if bumping a topic this old is against any rules....someone please let me know if it is. I do a lot of research when I buy mics and end up reading a lot of old threads, and felt the need to reply to this for the sake of my fellow recordists out there.

I'm no expert, but I disagree with that statement and here's why. I've always been on a budget, so I've had to buy what I could when I could afford it. Most of my mics are in the $200-$500 range. Even though they are on the lower end of the spectrum, they still have their own character and I use them for different applications. For example, I own an MXL V6 ($300), an MXL 3000 ($200), ADK S7 ($300), and a beyerdynamic m260 ribbon ($440), among many others. The 3000 sounds solid on strummed acoustic, the v6 sounds great on more delicate, fingerpicked parts. The m260 works really well for crunch guitar. I might use all of those for their parts in a song, and put up the s7 for vocals.

Basically, I get some pretty cool sounding tracks that have a unique character, even though I'm not using $800-$1500 condensers. That said, all those mics together = $1240. As it is, I use a lot of different mics and make them sound cool in a mix altogether. My tracks would sound pretty boring after awhile if I owned one pro tube condenser and used it on everything on every song, would they not?

When it comes down to it, I'd say probably don't buy the bottom of the barrel cheap shit, but a lot of cool sounds can be gotten from a bunch of $250-$600 budget mics through some good pres. It's also made me better at recording having to work harder and be creative with what I have, for that matter. My 2 cents. (That said, I can't wait til I get my tax return which I plan to spend in part on an AKG c414. We all have to start somewhere. )
#20
3rd May 2010
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I like the AT or AKG choices, and it is also a great idea to shop used....as you will probably( if you work hard at it) end up with a higher echelon mic that would be worth keeping as you expand. thumbsup
#21
3rd May 2010
Old 3rd May 2010
  #21
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Save up for a nice/cheap pre with ADC card (ISA One digital). A lot better investment than any cheap mics.
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