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versatile affordable recording mic
Old 13th October 2013
  #1
Gear Nut
 

versatile affordable recording mic

hey guys,
i am looking for an affordable/versatile mic. my main uses for it will be vocals and guitars. mainly vocals and acoustic guitars, but being able to also record electric/distorted guitars would be ideal. Someone had recommended me the studio projects B1 microphone, and said it can do all of the above, and do it well. thoughts and recommendations? i'm pretty new to home recording, and this will be my first microphone. thanks!
Old 13th October 2013
  #2
Gear Nut
Audio Technica 4033. It's a must have in anybodys mic locker. Especially great on acoustics and very good on vocals.
Old 13th October 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
scrubs's Avatar
 

CAD M179 is a very versatile inexpensive mic and would be my recommendation. Shure SM57 is another good choice.
Old 14th October 2013
  #4

Get a pair of m179.

If it doesn't suit your voice, start trying other mics specifically for your voice.

The M179 won't suck on voice.



-tINY

Old 14th October 2013
  #5
Gear Addict
 
DSPDiva's Avatar
 

Shure KSM32. Great on vocals, amazing on acoustic guitar. Could work for electric guitar, but I personally haven't tried it. Pretty inexpensive, but it'll last you for a long time. Also +1 to the 4033, but I prefer the 4050 since you can change the polar patterns if you want.
Old 14th October 2013
  #6
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Jimbo's Avatar
Dynamics are versatile and affordable.

Stick with Beyerdynamic: M201 or M88

The M88 is a great vox mic too, that sounds a bit condenser-ish.
Old 14th October 2013
  #7
TNA
Gear Maniac
 

Not sure why some people are recommending $400 dollar mics for your first mic? Honestly most large diaphragm condensers around $100 are going to be pretty close. Personally I've always liked the AT2020 as a nice stable $100 condenser, and you can get it for cheaper used. Also, if you can stretch out your wallet a bit more, I would recommend also getting one of these Amazon.com: GLS Audio Instrument Microphone ES-57 & Mic Clip - Professional Series ES57 Dynamic Cardioid Mike Unidirectional - For Instruments, Drums, Percussion, Vocals, and more: Musical Instruments

It is a clone of the SM57, near identical for only $30!!! I have several of them and they are great. You get a large diaphragm condenser and that 57 copy and you'll be more than set to record literally anything fairly well for the foreseeable future until you decide you want to invest more in recording.
Old 14th October 2013
  #8
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

AT 4050 is a good, universal multipurpose condenser.

It's the mic the old timers here told me to get when I first came on board.

No Regrets at all.
Old 14th October 2013
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNA View Post
Not sure why some people are recommending $400 dollar mics for your first mic? Honestly most large diaphragm condensers around $100 are going to be pretty close.


Except the CAD m179 is easily a peer to the $400 mics - it just doesn't have the distortions that make some vocal mics "magic".



-tINY

Old 14th October 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 

I've used my Studio Projects C1 for lots of thing's but I have to say that the most versatile and affordable mic ever made is a Shure SM 57.
Old 14th October 2013
  #11
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

Hard to go wrong with an SM57 if you're on a tight budget or for professional use.

At least you'll have a solid mic to help you learn your way around the equipment, signal paths etc. without spending crazy money.

For starters you'd be better off with an SM57 and a really good tripod stand, than spending more on the mic and mounting it on a cheap round base stand.

I picked up a really nice ultra versatile DR Pro Low profile, tripod mount, boom stand for around $50.00

Perfect for micing sitting or standing vocals, acoustic instruments, guitar amps and cabs.
Old 15th October 2013
  #12
TNA
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post


Except the CAD m179 is easily a peer to the $400 mics - it just doesn't have the distortions that make some vocal mics "magic".



-tINY

No trying to doubt you or anything, I have not used a CAD m179. But I've heard the same thing about many mics. "It sounds like it should cost 5 times as much." Everyone has their preferences.
Old 15th October 2013
  #13
or the AT2020...4050 affordable ??
Old 15th October 2013
  #14
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Absolutely the Shure SM57
Old 15th October 2013
  #15
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GZsound's Avatar
I'm going to second the M179 suggestion.

It is a variable pattern LD mic that costs $130 with a shock mount. I use mine more often than my AT 4047 or 4060, Blue Baby Bottle, and AKG 414. It works on just about everything. Vocals, guitar cabs and about any acoustic instrument. I have used mine on mandolin, acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle and upright bass with excellent results.

The 4033 is not a large diaphragm condenser and it's a fixed cardioid. In my humble opinion, I find it shrill on vocals, but excellent on acoustic guitar.
Old 15th October 2013
  #16
Gear Nut
 
JTrue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GZsound View Post
The 4033 is not a large diaphragm condenser and it's a fixed cardioid. In my humble opinion, I find it shrill on vocals, but excellent on acoustic guitar.
The 4033 is the most used condenser in my studio, and it is a large electret condenser rather than a proper LDC. I agree on the high frequency shrillness for many male vocals. It is my go to for many female voices, especially opera and female liturgical groups. I also use it for hip hop artists for rappers that emphasize punchiness in their vocal style.

To the OP:
In reality there are many mics out there that will satisfy, even at the $100 mark. Many of us that get paid to record people will say that higher end stuff is the be-all end-all but in reality my purpose for more expensive mics and gear is to lure customers with gear that they don't have... If I only had a few budget mics in my studio, people would be more reluctant to pay me for the service. I keep many budget models around and use them (I like the AT2020 for instance)
I originally got started almost 20 years ago with some early import Oktava MK219s a and few Shure 57s and 58s. I'd still use any if them today! I still use the 57 on loud guitar cabs and snare drum...I Wish I still had my Oktavas though. Great on acoustic instruments and many voices! If I could recommend a starter setup...get 3 mics: 1 dynamic (SM57, Audix i5, or Sennheiser e935) one large diaphragm condenser (AT2020 or anything in it's class) and a Small diaphragm condenser. You could get all 3 for around $300 new and have a versatile setup!
Old 15th October 2013
  #17
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TurboJets's Avatar
+4 on the 4033, but I'm also finding the ADK A6 to be equally versatile and very useful for AC guitars and acoustic instruments, vocals, as well as guitar amps.
Old 15th October 2013
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNA View Post
No trying to doubt you or anything, I have not used a CAD m179. But I've heard the same thing about many mics. "It sounds like it should cost 5 times as much." Everyone has their preferences.

You really should find one to borrow for a while... It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's a solid uncolored LDC. A lot like the C414B-ULS, but with better low frequency extension and a continuously variable pattern.



-tINY

Old 15th October 2013
  #19
Gear Nut
A nice cheap allrounder is the Rode M3. I've been really impressed by that, at that pricepoint. Not mega-sensitive, so it's forgiving room-wise
Old 16th October 2013
  #20
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GZsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTrue View Post
The 4033 is the most used condenser in my studio, and it is a large electret condenser rather than a proper LDC. I agree on the high frequency shrillness for many male vocals. It is my go to for many female voices, especially opera and female liturgical groups. I also use it for hip hop artists for rappers that emphasize punchiness in their vocal style.

---SNIP---
I am not sure what you mean by calling the 4033 a "large electret condenser".

It is no different than the 4047, 4050, 2020, etc. large diaphragm condensers from Audio Technica except it has a smaller diaphragm. In reality, it is a medium diaphragm condenser and not a large anything.. I think that may be why it can get shrill on vocals. I sold mine years ago.
Old 16th October 2013
  #21
Gear Nut
 
Triscuit's Avatar
Just another +1 for the SM57.
Old 16th October 2013
  #22
Gear Nut
 

thanks you all a tonnnn for the recommendations. at this point, i am doing most things in the box. i am not recording drums, but mainly looking for something that i can record vocals (male vocals) acoustic guitars, and (lastly) electric/distorted guitars. something for vocals/acoustic guitars is more of an immediate priority over recording mic'd up dirty live electric guitars. at this point i can really only spring for something in the 100-200 dollar market. i really appreciate all of your recommendations and input!!
Old 16th October 2013
  #23
TNA
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjgltd88 View Post
thanks you all a tonnnn for the recommendations. at this point, i am doing most things in the box. i am not recording drums, but mainly looking for something that i can record vocals (male vocals) acoustic guitars, and (lastly) electric/distorted guitars. something for vocals/acoustic guitars is more of an immediate priority over recording mic'd up dirty live electric guitars. at this point i can really only spring for something in the 100-200 dollar market. i really appreciate all of your recommendations and input!!
If you haven't already I would strongly advise looking at used gear. Absolutely no reason to pay full retail when you can get the same mic for half price used. Mics aren't really that fragile so buying used isn't much of a risk.
Old 16th October 2013
  #24
Gear Addict
RecordingTools mc700 or mc900?
Old 16th October 2013
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Janesaid2me's Avatar
Not sure a 57 is a great idea if hes doing alot of acoustic guitar...i hate the way a 57 sounds on acoustic guitars...sure itll cut it on vocals and electric...but a 57 is a great mic that everyone should have and can be had relatively cheap.

Id recommend finding a used 57 and a used cad m179 and youd cover alot of ground
Old 16th October 2013
  #26
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guitarboy94's Avatar
 

Here are my fav condensers I've tried under 400 dollars in the used market:

Shure KSM27
Cad M179 or M177
Modded Oktava 319 from Mike Joly or Bill Sitler
Cad M9
Audio Technica 4040
Advanced Audio CM-47 Fet
Old 17th October 2013
  #27
Lives for gear
 
jdier's Avatar
 

The Studio Projects CS5 is an incredibly under valued mic. I think I got mine on scratch and dent from the SP site for $200.

I owned a pile of cheap mics before eventually upgrading my mic locker but this is the best of the bunch.

If a Studio Projects C3 is of interest, I would let mine go. PM me.
Old 18th October 2013
  #28
Gear Nut
 

I certainly NOT a pro at any of this but here's my subjective opinion.
I know the 57's and 58's have great reps for durability and they do deserve it. I have a 58 I bought more than 20 yrs ago and it still works fine. BUT recently I sat down(literally on the couch) hooked up my Soundcraft Mfxi mixer and plugged in a number of mic cables and a set of headphones. I A-B'd Shure SM57,SM58, Beta 58A, EV RE-10, EV PL40a, and I have to say that the Shure mic's ALL sounded a bit muffled compared to the EV PL40a(I paid $40-$60 each and I have 3). For instruments I'm sure the Shure's work fine for certain things but even in a project studio I can't see using any of them for vocals after the A-B test I ran. My voice, quiet house, trying to be as objective as this subject could be. I haven't tried one but from all the +1's on the CAD M179 I'd be inclined to rent an SM57 and M179 and A-B them yourself. Hey there's not a great dif in $ and maybe buy both as suggested and use a 57 for instruments and the M179 for vox IF they sound good to you. JMHO
Old 18th October 2013
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Janesaid2me's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
Here are my fav condensers I've tried under 400 dollars in the used market:

Shure KSM27
Cad M179 or M177
Modded Oktava 319 from Mike Joly or Bill Sitler
Cad M9
Audio Technica 4040
Advanced Audio CM-47 Fet
I second alot of this too
Obviously already spoke of the 179 and 177 great versatile mics there
All of the Oktava mics once modded are wonderful mics and work great in alot of situations i dont have the 319 but i do have a 219 and 012 that have been modded and they rock
Had a Cad M9 was a great mic with just a tube swap...decent on vocals and electric and acoustic guitar
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