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Beginning recording studio condenser mic.
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arewhyayeenn
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#1
26th October 2010
Old 26th October 2010
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Beginning recording studio condenser mic.

so i'm looking at mics to start me off for my small home recording studio.. i am at a very small budget (probably $100 - $150 for the mic, stand, shockmount and pop filter) and i was looking at an mxl 990 or a v67 or something around that price range. i understand that you pay for what you get, but i'm just looking to get the experience and i'm just trying to get the most bang for my buck.

also feel free to suggest any other good mics around that price range.

thanks guys.
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26th October 2010
Old 26th October 2010
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try to save more and get a sure sm7...it's around 300 dollars and tons of classic vocals have been recorded with it....you really cannot get a good condenser for 100 dollars, period.
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26th October 2010
Old 26th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike vee View Post
try to save more and get a sure sm7...it's around 300 dollars and tons of classic vocals have been recorded with it....you really cannot get a good condenser for 100 dollars, period.
if my research is correct, isn't a shure sm7 a dynamic microphone? are they okay to record with?
#4
26th October 2010
Old 26th October 2010
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In this price range, everybody is going to tell you to save up. I DISAGREE!

You can learn a lot on a cheap microphone. Do you have an interface yet?? Assuming an interface isn't an issue, I'd HIGHLY recommend you get an AUDIO TECHNICA AT2020.

That was my first condenser, and I promise you will be satisfied. I would urge you not to waste your money with an MXL.. That is a cheap ass, stupid brand that suckers budget recording artists into wasting their cash.

AT2020, 100 bucks. Enough said.
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26th October 2010
Old 26th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arewhyayeenn View Post
if my research is correct, isn't a shure sm7 a dynamic microphone? are they okay to record with?
They are an international standard for "recording with." Dynamic mics are very very good for recording certain sources, and the shure sm7 is one of the best vocals mics on the dynamic mic spectrum.

If you're mostly doing vocals, this would be a good choice.

If you want to keep it around 100 bucks, an SM57 or SM58 would also be a good mic. If you're recording in an untreated room, you might not want to get a condenser mic just yet. That'll pick up more of the room and detail in performance. Trust me, dynamic mics are WAY more forgiving. I recorded for years at home, just using an sm58 and the results were pretty great. Good way to start learning.
arewhyayeenn
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26th October 2010
Old 26th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baroque View Post
In this price range, everybody is going to tell you to save up. I DISAGREE!

You can learn a lot on a cheap microphone. Do you have an interface yet?? Assuming an interface isn't an issue, I'd HIGHLY recommend you get an AUDIO TECHNICA AT2020.

That was my first condenser, and I promise you will be satisfied. I would urge you not to waste your money with an MXL.. That is a cheap ass, stupid brand that suckers budget recording artists into wasting their cash.

AT2020, 100 bucks. Enough said.
thanks a lot man i'll check out that mic.

and i'll try and save up for a dynamic mic too then thanks for all of the advice. but if used to it's peak, a condenser mic is ultimately better for recording, right?
#7
26th October 2010
Old 26th October 2010
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You should take ANY advise on mics with a grain of salt.

If you are not familiar with mics yet, the best way to approach it is as a creative device to color with..."box of crayons"

Mics have "character", and some are good at something(s), but bad at another.

In your case just getting familiar, and possibly none or little outboard gear (pre's, compressors, etc), then a dynamic mic is a poor choice. You'll need a good mic pre to get what you want out of it, and they are far from neutral sounding in general.

There are many lower priced choices with very good performance in condenser mics. However, look for neutral mics...and if you can with pattern switching for more options.

On the low end, the MXL V67G is pretty decent...but like all cheaper mics it lacks some transparency. You spend some more, and you can get into a pro mic that's a proven workhorse. Used, a Shure KSM 32, or an Audio Technica AT4050 would be a wise choice. These mics are considered workhorses, because they will deliver a decent sound on just about anything, wheras many mics only work well with a few sources.
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#8
26th October 2010
Old 26th October 2010
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Some vocalists (Michael Jackson) prefer the sound of dynamics like an sm7b.

That being said, if you don't have the right voice for them (like me) then you will probably find condensers more to your liking.

All the condensers around $100 lack badly except a few...

The AT2020 is very good for the price and I hear the MXL 2003a is absolutely THE mic to beat in that range at the moment!

I prefer midrange emphasis for my voice and I can't get the mids right with my sm7b. I bought an oktavamod tube mic ultimately.....my vocal mic quest over.

If I had only $350 to work with I'd buy a v67g and send it to Oktavamod instead of buying an sm7b. If you record really aggressive distortion and stuff the sm7b will be superb though.

If you can't go above $100 I'd say either an sm57 (they actually work good on certain voices) or v67g and save up for a mod next spring or something....But remember that all TRUE GEARSLUTZ own an sm7b, even if they only use it for basskicks!
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#9
26th October 2010
Old 26th October 2010
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I would also have to say get an AT2020 microphone. You also need to record in a treated room. You need to do that ASAP if you havent done that yet. You also need to get your VOCAL CHAIN tight as hell! No matter what kind of microphone you have, if your vocal chain sucks then your vocals are ganna suck. You need to at least spend a year perfecting your vocal chain. I gaurantee when you do that, most any microphone will do the job. Get an AT2020. And get your room treated.
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arewhyayeenn
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26th October 2010
Old 26th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeg09 View Post
You need to at least spend a year perfecting your vocal chain.
what is a vocal chain?

sorry if it's a really obvious answer or something, but i've just literally been running my instruments one at a time directly to garageband so i am very new at this whole using-more-than-just-a-cable-with-a-quarter-inch-to-stereo-adapter thing.
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26th October 2010
Old 26th October 2010
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a vocal chain is a collection of tools that are inbetween the singer and the eventual medium where the singer's voice is recorded on. The medium could be tape, or more usual these days, a computer harddisk.

for example, mic -> mic preamp -> converter -> harddisk is a vocal chain. The weakest link in the vocal chain is a defining bottleneck. You can find a TON of info regarding mic pre's and converters on this forum and there's ALOT of arguing about the subject. Things like if a $2000 mic pre makes any real justifiable difference to a $200 mic pre, etc.

I wouldn't worry too much about the vocal chain right now and just start recording with a decent mic! have fun and be productive.
#12
26th October 2010
Old 26th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Vogel View Post
Used, a Shure KSM 32, or an Audio Technica AT4050 would be a wise choice. These mics are considered workhorses, because they will deliver a decent sound on just about anything
Try to spend just a bit more $$$ and follow this advise. This is an important time for you in setting up your studio. A good microphone.....one that you can live with for quite a while while you figure everything else out......is the place to get off on the right foot.
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#13
28th February 2011
Old 28th February 2011
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MXL 9090 = MXL V67G + "brite" option

You have most likely already purchased your first condenser mic
by now, but I just came across your question, so I'm replying.

The MXL v67g is very popular as a budget mic, but the same
circuit / capsule, along with additional features is also
available as the MXL 9090.

Many folks have pointed out modifications that can be made
to the v67g, to improve the sound, and versatility, but the
MXL 9090 has several of those exact mods already built-in.

Plus it has a second "brite" capsule, just like the newly updated
MXL Genesis, and a single layer headbasket, like the MXL Gold 35.
Those are two of MXL's flagship condenser product, which means
the MXL 9090 was ahead of its time offering premium features, at
a very resonable price.

The 9090 also has pad and low cut switches, for even more
flexibility.

Here is one vendor that still lists a few in stock:

Chris' Guitars - Pro Sound PA Gear and Studio, digiteal recorders, mixers, power amps, effects, microphone EV Shure AKG, new and used

Google for other sources, such as E-Bay and Craigslist.

I have no association with any vendors, just sharing info.

HTH,
Emmit Sycamore

Last edited by EmmitSycamore; 8th June 2011 at 04:57 PM.. Reason: typo
#14
28th February 2011
Old 28th February 2011
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+1 on the MXL 2003a. Check out b&h for a great deal on a combo pack with an mxl. 603 as well as shockmounts, cable and case for around $180. They're nice and warm and don't hype the highs as much as other cheaper condensers. Do yourself a favor and bypass the Mxl 990. I've yet to find any good use for it and I hate it with a passion.
#15
28th February 2011
Old 28th February 2011
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Mxl 9090 <> mxl 990

Just to clarify, the MXL 9090 is a very different mic than the MXL 990.

The MXL 990 is a side address small diameter condenser mic (SDC),
in spite of some erroneous marketing verbiage stating it is an LDC.

The MXL 9090 is a large diamater condenser (LDC), with a similar
circuit / capsule as the MXL v67i. However, the 9090 has a few
superior components, usually recommended as "mods", plus the
single layer headbasket, also a popular "mod".

The two capsules of the 9090 and v67i are 1) the same as the v67g,
called the "warm" side, and 2) a switch selectable "bright" capsule
on the opposite side.

So, you get a v67g, plus a second mic "built-in", in a brighter flavor,
in addition to pad and low-cut filters that work with either capsule.

HTH
Emmit Sycamore
#16
1st March 2011
Old 1st March 2011
  #16
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I was gonna say AT4033 is very versatile but a little high for your budget so yeah AT2020.
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#17
1st March 2011
Old 1st March 2011
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any of the above would work fine in your situation. my first condenser was an nt-2 that i still love. you recordings will probably suck at first but so did everyone else's. you will notice that you need to treat your room or hang blankets to get a decent sound. sm7 is a good option but you need a really good preamp so that might be a little out of your price range. if you are serious you need to get a good pre anyway so eventually you will buy everything. just get a mic with some decent reviews that is on sale and learn how to use it... read gs... then treat your room.
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#18
1st March 2011
Old 1st March 2011
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Studio projects C1 is a great condenser for about $240 for a project studio that's only going to have that one mic for awhile. They used to be a little cheaper but are still a great value at that price. They get unfairly comPared to U87s and then (go figure) don't measure up. But it's a great single mic to have for male or female vocals, acoustic guitar, micing an electric cab, etc. Very versatile. Could probably find one on eBay for a fair bit less.
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