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First Microphone, Mainly Hip Hop Condenser Microphones
Old 2nd September 2011
Here for the gear

First Microphone, Mainly Hip Hop

Hello Gearslutz!! I'm looking to get my first "studio" recording mic, and I know that there's no better place than here to pick people's brains.

I'm going to be recording mainly male hip hop vocals, along with some female and male singing once in a while. In addition, I'm hoping to get something that I could also use for recording live saxophone samples, stand up bass samples, and (MAYBE) even live drum samples. The issue is that I will be doing this all from my bedroom, which is not very quiet, there is some outside noise, and the ceilings are very high. It is possible that I could go to a quieter location in my house to record, but let's just keep that in mind, in case it changes what kind of mic I should be going for.

I was looking into getting one of those drum mic packages, but most of the reviews I've seen label them useless.

Anyway, the point here is that I don't have a high budget, and I can't really spend $250 on the microphone. I know that the sound has a lot to do with positioning, individual voice, etc, but right now I don't have the luxury to try out different mics with my voice. I just have to pick one from the internet and go with it. I have been reading a bunch of posts on here, and have narrowed it down to these mics:

Rode NT1A Anniversary Vocal Condenser Microphone Package
CAD m179,
AT 2020/2035.

I'm obviously open to any other recommendations, but my goal is to get the best overall mic for the vocals, that could also be useful for recording these other instruments. The goal for the drum micing would be to record short loops to make into beats, fills ,etc. Thanks in advance to all of you gear heads out there! Your advice is much appreciated...

p.s. for what it's worth, I already have a shure sm58 mic, I've read that the sm57 could be used for some drum recording....

Last edited by mcformula; 2nd September 2011 at 05:10 PM.. Reason: forgot an important piece of info
Old 2nd September 2011
I would lean toward the cad for what you want to do,it's the best all around mic for the money i've seen.I have the m177 cardioid version can't vouch for the others as i haven't used them.But do your research and make the decision that works best for you.
Old 2nd September 2011
Here for the gear

thanks so much omega! have you used it for vocals as well as live instruments?
Old 2nd September 2011
Gear Maniac

One of the best all-rounders (but may be out of your budget) is the CAD E100S. Occasionally you can get it for $350 with rebate.

CAD Equitek E100S Supercardioid Large Diaphragm E100S B&H Photo

But from the mics you've listed, the AT2035 and CAD M179 get very good reviews.
Old 2nd September 2011
Here for the gear

yeah, that seems like a great mic, but at this point i just can't spend that. i will def keep that in mind for the future though. thanks for the input!
Old 3rd September 2011
Just get yourself a used 4033a or V69ME. I don't care what anybody says, that V69 is a great mic. If you wanna go with a mic on your list the NT1-a is the best choice in my opinion.

Sent from my HTC Dream using App
Old 3rd September 2011
Yeah it's a pretty neutral mic,what you put in front of it is what you get.It has a nice transparent sound to it.I can send you a song me and me peeps recorded using the cad if you like.
Old 3rd September 2011
Gear Nut
Kruxify's Avatar

I own a CAD GXL2400 and it's been great for my vocals and instruments. It's just the mixing you gotta figure out.
Old 3rd September 2011
Lives for gear
Jimsi's Avatar

There are two CAD GXL2400 in my mic collection and they do hold up well to any vocals, they do have a good rise of 8db around 8-12khz and can come across a little bright, but not spitty yet they sound realy nice they do have a warm coloring sound to them as well, not grainy, but real smooth ...and cheap priced...
Originally Posted by Kruxify View Post
I own a CAD GXL2400 and it's been great for my vocals and instruments. It's just the mixing you gotta figure out.
Old 3rd September 2011
Here for the gear

Thanks mista min! I've already begun looking into some used V69, there are some good ones out there. I am also still considering the Rodes though, because I just don't know how much confidence I have in buying a used mic online.

Btw: Sick videos man!!
Old 3rd September 2011
Here for the gear

Kruxify and Jimsi - Thanks for the heads up. Actually I hadn't even considered that mic but it seems like a very affordable option. Do you guys have any experience using it with live drums or sax?

Omega, if you could send me that track that'd be great!
Old 3rd September 2011
I understand, but used gear is good gear if you have a reliable source

Thanks for the complements!

Sent from my HTC Dream using App
Old 3rd September 2011
Here for the gear

Mista- Well my only source really is ebay and amazon. However if you have a good one feel free to share!! ;-)
Old 3rd September 2011
Lives for gear

MXL 67g is another good option
Old 3rd September 2011
Craigslist, daddys junk gear, music go round, guitarcenter used and b-stock from any vendor

Also, local music shops and pawn shops sometimes have used music gear. Just a few ideas

Sent from my HTC Dream using App
Old 4th September 2011
Here for the gear

Thanks everybody for your input. I think I've decided to go with the MXL Vt69 after all, thanks for the info mistah min-they have some great deals on new ones on ebay.

As far as Mixers are concerned, I am thinking about getting the Mackie 402-VLZ3,

Audio Interface is between the Tascam US-144 and EMU 0404.

Any input is welcome!
Old 4th September 2011
I'd say go Emu all the way. I have a the older version of the Tascam and it's ok. Nothing awful, but nothing really good.

Check out Focusrite as well. Their stuff is top notch for the price!

And as for preamp, the best deal I can think of is a used or new ART Pro Channel (depending on where you get it), because you also get a compressor. And that preamp is light years better than any VLZ I've ever used.

I have one here at home and I will bring it to the studio, where we also have Focusrite ISA 220 and a Greatriver MP-2NV
Old 4th September 2011
Gear Head

+1 for used gear. I snagged my Babby Bottle for $230 and an Oktava mk-319 for $70 on CL.
Old 5th September 2011
Here for the gear

I just made my purchase. Ended up going with PreSonus AudioBox for the interface, since that comes with the Preamp built in, plus I've heard great things about the interface. As far as the mixer is concerned, I went with Behringer XENYX 1202. Finally, I splurged and got the Shure Beta 52a Kick drum mic, to be able to get good quality drum/other instrument recordings. Thanks for all your help everybody, can't wait to get this going.
Old 5th September 2011
Here for the gear

My CAD M179s have treated me very well as a budget workhorse mic. It even holds up as an overhead. Plus they're cheap as hell. But for male rap vocals, the 58 does extremely well, stick with it. It will also be a solid bet for your sax samples, and more or less solves your noise and high ceilings problem.
Unless you already have a female vocalist to track, just stick with the 58 and spend the money on a pop filter to keep some distance between the vocalist and the mic, and a cheap used hardware compressor-- work on getting that in-your-face vocal sound, and pass some samples through it to pump them up.
The Alesis 3630 gets unduly flamed on this board, but its a dancefloor classic and def one of the coolest learning tools you can blow 50 bucks on.

Edit: Looks like I'm a bit late here, but I'd still recommend the Alesis or similar under $100 compressor.
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