With this thread I try to be more specific than the usual questions about low end mics, I hope you can help.
So here we go... which are the best (let's say up to 300/350 euros) options for this situation:
- male, mostly mid range voice, intimate/soft/close vocals (I like the style of blue nile's p.buchanan, chet baker, d.sylvian, r.wyatt, postal service among others, but as said my voice has not the gift of nice lows and I do not use falsetto). I'd like/need the mic to "warm" and "strengthen a bit" my voice, which tends to be a bit thin.
- electronic based, experimental jazzy/pop material
- (at the moment) a bit noisy room
- RME Quadmic preamp
- other sporadic needs: recording little xylophone, accordion, melodica, little percussions
Final statement: I already read many threads and reviews about cheap mics like SM57, Studio Projects, AudioTechnica, etc. but I don't know what in my specific situation would fit better, since it seems that some of these option are not so versatile.
I forgot to add: I can't test many of these brands because I do not have a shop selling them close to where I live.
The Audix i5 comes to mind, it has a very full low / low-mid thing going on and the high end is quite nice as well. Also, you say your room is noisy and a nice dynamic will reject off axis sounds better than a condensor mic.
My $0.02, the i5 is one of the best dynamic mics on the market period and they're under $100.
Thanks for these first replies (I never heard about those Audix, I'm gonna check, the K2 is out of my price range). I need to add that at the moment I have one mic, which is the AKG Solidtube recently bought as used, but I have a chance to sell it for the same price. Since I've read many better comments on much cheaper mics, I thought selling it could be a good move, and with that money buying one good and versatile mic or even two (one in the SM57 price range, let's say 100$ and the other one around $200) if that's the case.
Of course, if from the description I've given, you think that I should keep the Solidtube because it fits better than many others for my voice, well, I could obey my gurus
I've got one and have used it on just about everything you can imagine. It's got real smooth mids and tops, and is not over-hyped at all like most of the Chinese mics. And it’s hand-made by a very fine fellow up in Canada. Since you can't test mics, check out the Sound Clips page on the web site.
I've also become quite fond of using an MD 421 on male vocals; they sit in the mix really well, but might not be the midrange solution you're looking for.
Thanks Groove Dog, I'm gonna check that mic (I admit I don't know them).
Regarding the mid-range, I hope it's a good expression. I was meaning that my voice has not a "wide extension", and that it surely is not strong in bass frequencies or very high ones. So it would be good to add some "body" to it while recording.
For example I think that the Studio Projects C1 would be a bad choice because from the sound samples I've heard (and the comments too) it's not for "thin" voices, or better it emphasize mostly the high frequ. without having a good "body". I don't know about their B3, it seems more equilibrated.
The search goes on....
I have just done some messing around some days ago.
This post is meant as a "why not another way": since people are claiming that earthwork sounds so great, I just wondered why not another measuremnt mic. And I have to admit, that I noticed, when you sing rather loud and use the Behringer ECM 8000 measurement microphone, you get quite astounding good results. It does not sound like LD, but if that's good for you (I personall don't like the LD sound so much)... why not?
And this is definetely low end.
trade offs: you have to sing loud, otherwise noise becomes an issue, and I don't know how well it handles "plop" sounds (probably depending on the singer, my non-pro singing was ok with it)
I first came about this when listening to the samples in this thread. It even sounds very good on acoustic guitar... I think it sounds good on anything loud, may be drums are too loud, haven't checked that....
The KEL's look really interesting. And dirt cheap, too.
I personally have a very full and low-midrange type voice (dead-on copy of my dad's voice btw...his own siblings and mother mistake us for one another all the time). I find it really hard to find a mic with the right sound but an SM7 is pretty close to my ideal sound. Plus it's so much about placement and performance too. I've noticed that it often sounds a lot better turning one's head a bit and speak "away" from the mic. Way less boominess and plosives.