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Thoughts/alternatives to the Shure VP88
Old 2 weeks ago
Here for the gear

Thoughts/alternatives to the Shure VP88

Hi everyone,

I am looking for people's thoughts on the Shure VP88. I have not been able to find much on this microphone, which may be a bad sign. I'm not convinced it's the best choice for me, but I'm having a hard time finding anything else that catches my fancy. Here is what makes it so appealing to me:

It's good for broadcast - I am a big podcast/radio fanatic and intend to use this to record interviews on the field. The sturdy nature of the mic makes it seem like it will be good in these scenarios, especially since Shure markets it as a broadcast mic.

It's mid-side - This makes it versatile. I have my roots in fiction podcasting so I'm looking for something that could also be used to record ambience, sound effects, or multiple actors in a room. The mid-side makes it perfect for mono interviews or stereo field recordings.

Ultimately, I'm looking for something versatile and relatively cheap. Ideally, I would have multiple mics for all kinds of purposes but for now, I'm looking for a flexible option that allows me to flex my creative muscles, produce in-the-field podcasts, and start building a sound effects library.

I first found this mic when researching the podcast The Truth. The producer uses a couple of AKG 414's as a spot mics and then the Shure VP88 that he "thinks of as like a camera." On the About section of their website, you can see all kinds of images of the producer with the VP88 outside running, in cars, in between dumpsters, all kinds of stuff. Maybe my film background is causing me to be wooed by his words, but I really like the idea of the mic as a camera. I know all mics work like that, but I feel like the mid-side nature of this makes it a little truer cuz it is always so versatile.

If anyone has any experience with the Shure VP88, demos, or alternative mics that I may have overlooked, please let me know!

(Also, some more context, I'll be recording this into a Zoom H5 for the foreseeable future)

Last edited by Thetal0n; 2 weeks ago at 08:01 AM.. Reason: Further clarification
Old 2 weeks ago
Gear Maniac

It’s a good mic. Probably a good choice for your needs.
Old 1 week ago
Gear Maniac

VP88s are very rugged and bullet-proof. They’ve been popular as ‘effects’ mics (crowd mics) for sports TV for years. They should handle your needs, but be aware that they are not that popular for Classical Music and Sound Effects recordists doing quieter ambiences due to a relatively high noise floor. This is the self-noise of the mic and internal circuitry. If most of your stuff is closer voice or close-up effects it may not be an issue for you. If you are wanting to record a lot of subtle ambiences, it might be problematic, but any quieter alternative in an MS single-body mic is going to be significantly more expensive. Best to try one for yourself.
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
wildplum's Avatar
Many years ago when I assisted Eddie Kramer, he used the VP88 as a drum overhead mic on a country rook session. He called it a "poor man's SN69".
Yes, it is a decent mic.
Old 1 week ago
Gear Head
A great mic (buy used) for $300. I have it and use it. You might consider an investment-quality mic such as the Pearl MSH10. It’s a M/S mic with a short-shotgun mid. No internal matrix, decode in post. $1600 new; I bought one used for $700. About 12 dB quieter than the 88. Amazing mic.
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
nobtwiddler's Avatar
Many years ago when I assisted Eddie Kramer, he used the VP88 as a drum overhead mic on a country rook session. He called it a "poor man's SN69".

Plus he used to bring it to "Lime Rock Park" (Race Track) every time he & I went to record the cars as they tore the track up !
Old 5 days ago
Rode NT-4, Neumann SM69, AKG C-24, Audio-Technica AT2022, Avantone CK-40, Audio-Technica AT4050ST, Royer SF-24, AKG C422

Are all good to GREAT microphones. The choice and what you are willing to pay are, as always, up to YOU!

Best of Luck!
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