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Best recording mic under 100 dollars Condenser Microphones
Old 28th December 2012
Gear Head

Thread Starter
Best recording mic under 100 dollars

I'm looking to buy a recording mic under $100 to plug into my Mbox 2 for recording vocals mainly in Ableton.

So far I have come across the at2020 which is around $65 right now, st51, sm57, and a few others. What would be the best option for this budget? (Does not have to be the mics I have listed)

Anything with a stand, xlr cord, and pop filter would be a bonus since I need to buy that as well.
Old 28th December 2012
Lives for gear
I found out the hard way that condensor mics pick up vocals....and your room, too. Unless you have acoustic treatment or are going to get it or are going to put up moving blankets....consider getting a dynamic mic.

SM57/58s new are $90 and don't leave room for a stand or cables. Used--might work, but beware of counterfeits, some say.

I don't have one, but some of the guys here would probably suggest a prodipe tt-1 which I think is around $30 new leaving room to buy the other stuff.

Dirt Cheap Mics That Sound Great. --could be of interest to you.

Old 28th December 2012
Gear nut

Get a SM57. You'll need it eventually no matter where you end up.

Old 28th December 2012
Gear interested
Gilberto's Avatar

SM57 would be great because of its durability as well, definitely a microphone that's needed in every studio
Old 28th December 2012
Originally Posted by Gilberto View Post
SM57 would be great because of its durability as well, definitely a microphone that's needed in every studio
SO this!!!! SM57 is a staple that you will never top!
Old 28th December 2012
Gear Addict
Pies's Avatar
Old 28th December 2012
Lives for gear
SM57, and not because it's great on vocals (it generally isn't a mic that's reached for first in this application), but because it'll work, it's durable, holds its resale value, and you'll have it for life if you choose to stick with this profession/hobby.

A condenser like the Studio Projects B1 is also a good choice, but you'll want to invest a bit into your room first: at least build a V-shaped "booth" with a couple of gobos to cut down on room sound as it won't be good in a typical bedroom, rec room, etc.
Old 28th December 2012

The biggest thing about a vocal mic is pairing up the voice to the mic.

Some great mics sound mediocre on some voices and some horrible mics sound just right on the right voice....

$100 is a tough price point. But, there is a good chance that you'll find one in the $100 range that works well for your voice - no way to figure it out except to try some mics.


Old 29th December 2012
I would stay away from the sm57 if vocals are a big concern. A 58 would handle that better due to a better proximity effect. Clap and make sounds of a snappy nature in your room, does it sound reverby or resonant? If so you might want to stay away from ldc mics but if you have enough clutter in your room it might keep down this effect and act as a sort of treatment. Try to go used at that price you might get something a bit better that way and good luck...
Old 29th December 2012
Lives for gear
Kierkes's Avatar

Here's the thing, the 57 is a great microphone, but there are more obscure roads to this destination.

Remember the EV 635a? It may be an omni, but that also means you can kiss it when you record!

And I keep hearing these things about Peavey 520's.

And there are a million other microphones in the same market as the 57 and 58 I like far better. Here's the thing though; you won't find the amount of know-how on the internet with any microphones but the Shures. They're so ubiquitous that finding advice for using them is cake.
Old 29th December 2012
Gear Maniac
Sometimes certain shops, offline and online, will offer a 57 or 58 kit with a cable and a free stand, but you have to be patient and wait for it. Bought a 57 a few years back and got all of the accessories for the same price.

57 is not a bad choice for someone starting out. Durable, relatively cheap, and can ALWAYS be used for something. There have been several shoot outs with the 57 and other higher end mics and the darn thing just generally works well enough for most any purpose, even if that means processing to make it work. But, it is less sensitive to handling noise, bad rooms, and interference. Not a bad deal!

You just may need a better preamp than the MBox 2's built-in preamps. Something with more gain and a little more character, otherwise you may hear some noise in your recordings when you have to crank the levels up. It just depends upon your style of music or what source you are recording.
Old 29th December 2012
Gear maniac
jlipoth's Avatar

SM57 will be more useful to you down the road, but I think a lot of people fail to mention that a good preamp affects a dynamic mic more than a condenser.... the AT2020 is an sdc, and is built like a tank. It's a little sterile on some sources, but adjusting the mic position can help. You can get good results from it and is it for live applications down the road... An apex 435 is an LDC that sounds like the original rode NT2 from 100hz up. It tends to be siblant, but moving back from the mic an extra
1-2 inches will fix that.

Sent from my GT-I9100
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