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Best bang for buck mic for vocals, percussion, guitar, sound effects, basically all? Condenser Microphones
Old 26th December 2010
  #1
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Best bang for buck mic for vocals, percussion, guitar, sound effects, basically all?

What's the best bang for buck mic for pretty much "everything" - all in one mic?

What kind of music? ...NOT at all "vocal heavy" production like a rock band, top 40s band, rnb group, etc... I am making deep house, some hip hop down/mid tempo beats, jazzy sounding beats, sample based songs too, etc.

I don't plan to get a nice mic preamp anytime soon either, because I am low on funds and also like I said, I'm not too heavy with vocals, etc... Just want to have a mic handy and available if I want to record a solo vocalist, some phrase 1/2 or full bar voice recordings of me or others for treating like a same, maybe some rapping, if I ever do collab with someone or if someone stops by my pad and want to jam and add vocals. Also want the mic to be decent/good for recording/sampling some real percussion instruments if I were to use those sounds samples sequenced or looped in my mpc60. Planning to be recording percussion stuff like loud djembes, congas, dun duns, African claves, shakers and other little noise making percussions. Also occasionally maybe record acoustic guitars, bass, etc.

No mic preamp for a while (or maybe even ever) means the mic will be powered mainly from my Mackie VLZ 1604 Pro (I think the "pro" version has decent amps no?) and into my MacBook for recording.

My other equipment:
****ty rockit 8s
Mackie VLZ 1604 pro
Mirage
Juno 60
MPC 60
909
CS10
Rz 1
Bass Station
Midiverb II
3630
Tx81z
MacBook pro

I see the SM 7 mentioned a lot... Any other Recommendations for the best "all in one" mic that can do the stuff I want to record welcome!

Thx
Old 26th December 2010
  #2
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Simonator's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fooddude View Post
I see the SM 7 mentioned a lot...
From what you've said, my first thought would be the SM57/Beta57... originally intended as instrument mics, but many people swear that they are better than the 58s on vox too.
Very obvious all-rounder.

If you on a super tight budget, Behringer do some mics that are blatant replicas of the Shure lines BEHRINGER: XM8500 that are a fraction of the cost and have stood up well in side-by-side comparisons.
Old 26th December 2010
  #3
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As mentioned, Shure SM57 / 58? Fairly ubiquitous and affordable.
Old 26th December 2010
  #4
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Konketsu's Avatar
 

Shure SM58. There are better and more expensive mics available, but if you can't get a usable recording of everything you listed with a 58 you are doing it wrong. Given your existing equipment (mackie 1604), the additional outlay for the SM-7 would not be worth it for your purposes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simonator View Post
From what you've said, my first thought would be the SM57/Beta57... originally intended as instrument mics, but many people swear that they are better than the 58s on vox too.
Very obvious all-rounder.
While the beta series are different, the SM57/58 share a common microphone capsule and are the same mic. The only difference between the 57 and 58 is the the 58 has a ball plosive filter / windscreen and a slightly wider housing that is more comfortable for handheld use. PROTIP: removing the windscreen from 58 makes it essentially indistinguishable from a 57 in terms of sound, and anyone claiming that one is better than the other for a particular source is either experiencing the placebo effect or hasn't used both microphones enough to have formed an opinion that is worth paying attention to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simonator View Post
If you on a super tight budget, Behringer do some mics that are blatant replicas of the Shure lines BEHRINGER: XM8500 that are a fraction of the cost and have stood up well in side-by-side comparisons.
This is true, the behrry knockoffs perform admirably considering their price point if you are on a tight budget, although personally I would stick with the 58 because of it's predictability in service and the fact that it really isn't that expensive. I keep a 58 in my gigbag along with things like sharpies, gaff, 9Vs and picks because it is a cheap and decent mic.

I'm sure that there will be a flurry of recommendations for every Condenser mic under the sun, but unless you have a kickass recording/isobooth or live room a condenser will create more problems than you need to deal with, Especially given your current inexperience with the rest of your kit. Stay away from condensers for now, you have plenty of other things to work on before you should start thinking about mic intricacies.
Old 26th December 2010
  #5
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Cool...yeah, I don't have an acoustically treated recording booth, so a condenser will for sure just be a problem with background noises, echo, etc. and such I am sure.

So basically, the 57 and 58 are the same thing, and the 57 is a little bit more directional due to the windscreen and body, and 58 is a bit built more for vox and designed to pick up sounds a little wider, correct?

I'll pick one of these up. Can't go wrong as they are extremely cheap used.

Thanks guys
Old 26th December 2010
  #6
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Simonator's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fooddude View Post
I'll pick one of these up. Can't go wrong as they are extremely cheap used.
Probably worth mentioning that 80% of the Shure SM58/57 mics on eBay are fakes from China... google it & you'll get approx ten billion hits where people got ripped off... so maybe best to make sure you buy from an official stockist.
Old 26th December 2010
  #7
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Odey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fooddude View Post
Cool...yeah, I don't have an acoustically treated recording booth, so a condenser will for sure just be a problem with background noises, echo, etc. and such I am sure.

So basically, the 57 and 58 are the same thing, and the 57 is a little bit more directional due to the windscreen and body, and 58 is a bit built more for vox and designed to pick up sounds a little wider, correct?

I'll pick one of these up. Can't go wrong as they are extremely cheap used.

Thanks guys
SM57 is TOO cheap to buy new.. can't go wrong. I got a new one for £70 on ebay.. And I use it for loads of stuff.

I'm digging ribbon mics for noisy environments. They are not as sensitive as condensers but have a great sound.. you will need a top class Mic preamp though to keep the signal to noise ratio down as you need quite a bit of gain.

But a good tube U47 condenser type mic is a good all rounder for acoustic guitars and vocals.
Old 26th December 2010
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simonator View Post
Probably worth mentioning that 80% of the Shure SM58/57 mics on eBay are fakes from China... google it & you'll get approx ten billion hits where people got ripped off... so maybe best to make sure you buy from an official stockist.
Good point Simonator. I will also mention that these fakes have also turned up on Craigslist too. Sold as new or lightly used.
Old 26th December 2010
  #9
Its always good to have a 57 or 58 lying around, its good enough for most things like percussion and for gigs, but I don't think you'll like it at all for vocals, its very dull.

You really should look at an LDC, you can get a lot of mic these days for not much money. I have a SE2200a thats a good all rounder, maybe have a look at AT2020 or KEL.



.
Old 26th December 2010
  #10
a mic good for everything?


first that comes to mind is AKG 414 B-ULS. i'm using it for vocals, voiceovers, intruments like acoustic guitars etc. has several pickup patterns, like hypercardioid, omni etc.. making it versatile enough for myriad of recording situations. also has a 2 position high pass filter. which i almost always use with vocals, set at 75Hz. i havent used it in that manner, but its very popular in miking drums, toms etc.. so i would imagine it would work okay on percussion.

however, sooner or later, you want to get a nicer preamp. its night and day what it makes out of your mic. otherwise its like driving a sportscar with wheels from a bycicle.
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