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The best cheap microphones that are actually worth collecting
Old 5th May 2019
  #61
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Rentzen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Boom View Post
Currently in love with Beyerdynamic’s m201, m88 and m160.

Also good are the mk-012’s, especially if you can spring for omni and cardioid caps.

Have an AT3035 and got some mileage out of it but would trade it in a heartbeat for another m201.
Hi Mr. Boom,

I own a pair of m160 and a m201 and would very much like to get my hands on a m88. My question to you is: How does the m88 hold up to the two other mics? How is it different? Is is worth it or would it (as you mention) be better to get another m201?

I am interested in the m88 for vocals and kick drums and maybe also use it as an interview mic in situations with bad ambience.
Old 5th May 2019
  #62
Gear Maniac
 
askomiko's Avatar
 

The m88 has a big proximity boost, and boosted highs, great for voice use, the pickup pattern is tight. I don't care for it in kick drum though, but many like it. Be sure to get the big pop filter for kick drum use though. Having all three is a great Beyerdynamic trinity set.
Old 5th May 2019
  #63
Gear Addict
 
Pindrive's Avatar
I have an EV PL76 that a friend gave me, years ago. It took an Obscure battery, then. Now impossible to find. A few years ago I found that someone was making a kit to bypass the battery. Bought one, soldered it in. Now it takes phantom power. To my surprise, its actually an amazing sound mic that is still inexpensive(you do the mod).
Old 5th May 2019
  #64
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kennybro's Avatar
I have an old EV PL9 that I have collected.
Old 5th May 2019
  #65
Gear Nut
 

Hello Rentzen! ~

The m88 holds up very well to the other two mics and I would highly recommend it. I keep finding uses for it - last week it was on the shoulder of a cello and it worked perfectly. I have one in my kick and I doubt it will ever leave - ended a thirty-year quest to find THE kick drum mic. Comparing it to the m201, I would say it’s a 1073 and the 201 is an API, if that makes any sense - more of a smiley curve than the midrange focus the 201 has. I love the proximity effect - need more low end in the signal? Get it closer! I find the m88 works on vocals more often than the 201 but they both work, especially in live situations.

Both mics have more detail and presence than a dynamic mic has a right to, and their rejection is fantastic. The m160 is a completely different animal and in conjunction with either of the other two make for perfect electric guitar recordings.

I didn’t mean to imply it that it would be better to get an m201 than an m88, just that if someone offered to trade my AT 3035 I would not hesitate. Since you already have the 201 and are looking for a kick and vocal mic You should definitely add the m88. It’s a little more expensive but with those three mics you will have almost all the bases covered.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rentzen View Post
Hi Mr. Boom,

I own a pair of m160 and a m201 and would very much like to get my hands on a m88. My question to you is: How does the m88 hold up to the two other mics? How is it different? Is is worth it or would it (as you mention) be better to get another m201?

I am interested in the m88 for vocals and kick drums and maybe also use it as an interview mic in situations with bad ambience.
Old 5th May 2019
  #66
Gear Addict
 
Rentzen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Boom View Post
Hello Rentzen! ~

The m88 holds up very well to the other two mics and I would highly recommend it. I keep finding uses for it - last week it was on the shoulder of a cello and it worked perfectly. I have one in my kick and I doubt it will ever leave - ended a thirty-year quest to find THE kick drum mic. Comparing it to the m201, I would say it’s a 1073 and the 201 is an API, if that makes any sense - more of a smiley curve than the midrange focus the 201 has. I love the proximity effect - need more low end in the signal? Get it closer! I find the m88 works on vocals more often than the 201 but they both work, especially in live situations.

Both mics have more detail and presence than a dynamic mic has a right to, and their rejection is fantastic. The m160 is a completely different animal and in conjunction with either of the other two make for perfect electric guitar recordings.

I didn’t mean to imply it that it would be better to get an m201 than an m88, just that if someone offered to trade my AT 3035 I would not hesitate. Since you already have the 201 and are looking for a kick and vocal mic You should definitely add the m88. It’s a little more expensive but with those three mics you will have almost all the bases covered.
Thanks for the answer, man! You pretty much confirm what is already inside my head regarding this trio of mics

I started thinking (erhmm...fantasizing, actually ) about the m88 because of a combination of two things 1: started making a podcast where I borrowed a sm7b, but that is just too big for remote work when interviewing 2: sold my re-20 and now need a new vocal/kick thing and m88 seems like a smart / interesting move + I REALLY trust beyer mics after owning the two others and also do a lot of recording in rooms that are not ideal, so these somewhat narrow dynamics are the way to go.

Unfortunately, it IS a bit expensive for me at the moment...but guess I'll just bite the bullet and it will be a keeper.

Thanks again for the advice
Old 5th May 2019
  #67
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Boom View Post
Hello Rentzen! ~

The m88 holds up very well to the other two mics and I would highly recommend it. I keep finding uses for it - last week it was on the shoulder of a cello and it worked perfectly. I have one in my kick and I doubt it will ever leave - ended a thirty-year quest to find THE kick drum mic. Comparing it to the m201, I would say it’s a 1073 and the 201 is an API, if that makes any sense - more of a smiley curve than the midrange focus the 201 has. I love the proximity effect - need more low end in the signal? Get it closer! I find the m88 works on vocals more often than the 201 but they both work, especially in live situations.

Both mics have more detail and presence than a dynamic mic has a right to, and their rejection is fantastic. The m160 is a completely different animal and in conjunction with either of the other two make for perfect electric guitar recordings.

I didn’t mean to imply it that it would be better to get an m201 than an m88, just that if someone offered to trade my AT 3035 I would not hesitate. Since you already have the 201 and are looking for a kick and vocal mic You should definitely add the m88. It’s a little more expensive but with those three mics you will have almost all the bases covered.
My experience with the M88 and the M201 is very different, I find the M88 very mid/low oriented and the M201 to have an almost "condenser-like" response, way more open (and better sounding) highs than the M88.
Also the M88 enhances transients more than the M201, which I find smoother.
I agree on the proximity effect, I like it specially for toms.
Just sayin', both great microphones
Old 5th May 2019
  #68
Gear Nut
 

I suspect you’ll be keeping that m88 for a long, long time! Get the foam windscreen for kick duty. It’s an annoying added expense but theirs works best on it.

Happy tracking!




Quote:
Originally Posted by Rentzen View Post
Thanks for the answer, man! You pretty much confirm what is already inside my head regarding this trio of mics

I started thinking (erhmm...fantasizing, actually ) about the m88 because of a combination of two things 1: started making a podcast where I borrowed a sm7b, but that is just too big for remote work when interviewing 2: sold my re-20 and now need a new vocal/kick thing and m88 seems like a smart / interesting move + I REALLY trust beyer mics after owning the two others and also do a lot of recording in rooms that are not ideal, so these somewhat narrow dynamics are the way to go.

Unfortunately, it IS a bit expensive for me at the moment...but guess I'll just bite the bullet and it will be a keeper.

Thanks again for the advice
Old 5th May 2019
  #69
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Rentzen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logima View Post
My experience with the M88 and the M201 is very different, I find the M88 very mid/low oriented and the M201 to have an almost "condenser-like" response, way more open (and better sounding) highs than the M88.
Also the M88 enhances transients more than the M201, which I find smoother.
I agree on the proximity effect, I like it specially for toms.
Just sayin', both great microphones
So reading between the lines here, I understand that you are saying that a lot of ground will be covered between these mics :-)
Old 5th May 2019
  #70
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rentzen View Post
So reading between the lines here, I understand that you are saying that a lot of ground will be covered between these mics :-)
I have 4 M201 and 1 M88. To me the M201 is "good enough" for every use while the M88 is not, but when the M88 is right it works way better than the M201
Old 6th May 2019
  #71
Here for the gear
The Superlux S241 (about 100 USD) has the biggest bang for the buck factor for me. For acoustic guitar, I still choose it over a Beyerdynamic MC930 or a Neumann KMS 84i.
It works well on vocal. I recorded the acoustic and vocal of my last single on it. And I have tried all my mics before accidently pick it. The other contenders were Shure SM7B, RE20, MXL V67, Neumann TLM102 and KMS84, MXL603, Fame VT12 (cheap AKG C12 clone) and little Blondie.
Old 6th May 2019
  #72
Here for the gear
Superlux s241

The Superlux S241 (about 100 USD) has the biggest bang for the buck factor for me. For acoustic guitar, I still choose it over a Beyerdynamic MC930 or a Neumann KMS 84i.
It works well on vocal. I recorded the acoustic and vocal of my last single with it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65uG7YPbVrU). And I have tried all my mics before accidently pick it. The other contenders were SM7B, RE20, MXL V67, Neumann TLM102 and KMS84, MXL603, Fame VT12 (cheap AKG C12 clone) and little Blondie.

Last edited by hekho; 6th May 2019 at 01:34 PM.. Reason: Adding a link
Old 7th May 2019
  #73
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Ragan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hekho View Post
The Superlux S241 (about 100 USD) has the biggest bang for the buck factor for me. For acoustic guitar, I still choose it over a Beyerdynamic MC930 or a Neumann KMS 84i.
It works well on vocal. I recorded the acoustic and vocal of my last single with it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65uG7YPbVrU). And I have tried all my mics before accidently pick it. The other contenders were SM7B, RE20, MXL V67, Neumann TLM102 and KMS84, MXL603, Fame VT12 (cheap AKG C12 clone) and little Blondie.
Thanks for the heads up and nice tune.
Old 7th May 2019
  #74
Gear Maniac
 

I love that song, and the acoustic and vocal both sound fantastic. Superb stuff. Did you have to use much EQ?

I got an SE electronics SE8 recently, and have enjoyed the results on acoustic guitar and vocals. I think that probably means I don't need a Superlux, but of course I want one now.
Old 7th May 2019
  #75
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjw63 View Post
I love that song, and the acoustic and vocal both sound fantastic. Superb stuff. Did you have to use much EQ?

I got an SE electronics SE8 recently, and have enjoyed the results on acoustic guitar and vocals. I think that probably means I don't need a Superlux, but of course I want one now.
Thank you for the feedback. I had the track mixed by a studio so I dont know the EQ setting. All I can say is the room where I recorded was far from perfect (square-ish, small) so I guess there was at least some substractive EQ going on.

But I remember the raw tracks sounded good already.

The SE electronics SE8 looks interesting. I might get one to try. I am always on the search for SDCs. On the right vocal and on the right song, it can work better than dynamic mics or LDCs.
Old 8th May 2019
  #76
Gear Maniac
 

Where did you position the mic for the acoustic?
Old 8th May 2019
  #77
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monkeyxx's Avatar
since this thread got bumped why not..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spano View Post
I have an SM58, SM7B, MD421mkii, and a Rode NTK for vocals...

I struggle for money, yet I'm trying to build up a decent and diverse collection of microphones for personal and professional recording.

Can anyone recommend any inexpensive mics that are worth picking up?

I love my SM7B, I'm disappointed with the MD421 but it does well with my snare...

I ADORE my Rode NTK, but friends of mine have sometimes described it as shrill. There's a part of me that truly regrets not spending the extra couple hundred bucks to get the upgraded Rode K2..... 8 (


I've been interested by the MXL R80 because I've always wanted a ribbon mic, and the R80 seems like it was specifically built for recording guitar amps...

I almost bought a pair of Fathead ribbon mics, but after I heard that they were intended for recording bass drums, I lost interest.

The Sennheiser e906 also looks very intriguing, but I lost interest in it for a reason I can't remember...

A couple of unreliable peers have told me the Baby Bottle mics are great for vocals,, I don't really believe them tho...

I'd really appreciate any help or suggestions.... Ribbon mics sound so nice!
e906 is a fantastic guitar or bass cabinet mic. Much better than the e609 which I ended up letting go.

MXL R80 is a great general purpose ribbon mic. It has sort of an even midrange character. I use it on drums for mid side front of kit mics currently. MXL R40/R144 has a more obvious, shaped characteristic that can be good for some situations. Like a real bassy guitar cabinet mic, or a booming spaced pair drum room mic.

I recommend the SE V7 or V7X over the SM58 now, for the same money, it's just more versatile and sounds better on the same sources.

SM57 still has a place. Especially with any of the transformer upgrades.

I don't currently own any cheap LDC mics and there is probably a reason. It's something you grow out of if you get an improved mic collection. Some of them are useful in a budget starter kit, but much less so with a full fledged collection. For starting out, you're probably going to want a condenser to learn with. I've heard a lot of people mention the SE X1 A. AT3035 and SP B1 are what I started with years ago, based on GS recommendations as a matter of fact.

The Oktava 012 I really do like for acoustic instruments, insane value for money.

Old EV mics are going up in price the past few years, not as easy to steal them as it once was.

Since we are talking about the M88TG I love mine. I like it on outside kick or a bass cabinet, some of my favorite sounds. On voice I prefer the SM7B. On guitar cabinets I guess I prefer the MD441. I don't like the new MD421.

One sleeper mic I really like is the Shure SM59, it's a pretty high fidelity guitar amp mic, compared to the usual suspects.

I'll go ahead and give my secret weapon tom tom mics as well. EV CO4 on high toms and AKG D112 on low toms. These mics are useful in other applications also, and often found for dirt money.

Cheap condensers probably it's a good bet to stick with Shure's well known stuff or the upper end AT stuff (but not the cheap AT stuff.)

Like people have said the cheap condenser landscape has changed a lot I haven't been able to try Lewitt, Line Audio, Roswell, 3U, Aston, Bumblebee, No Hype, (last two are ribbon) or any of those yet.
Old 8th May 2019
  #78
Since we're not in the high or low end forum, I'd have to say the Townsend Sphere. No, it's not low end cheap, but compared to what it models, it is. I own two of them along with about fifty other mics from low to high end. The key here is versatility.

Oh, and for a no brainer on the cheap, Line Audio CM3. But, I personally would not use it on vocals.
Old 8th May 2019
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
The Oktava 012 I really do like for acoustic instruments, insane value for money.
I have a old pair of stock cardioids and they do stretch a dollar.

I find the ML-2 and associated emus from Slate just as good with more variation in tones to try before reaching for the EQ.
Old 8th May 2019
  #80
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by AevumWinter View Post
You might wanna pick up a Studio Projects. I know they're "cheap" Chinese capsules but I started out with one and booked my first TV channel with it. If you know what you're doing you can get a decent sound out of them.
The Studio 939 capsules are actually pretty decent.
Old 8th May 2019
  #81
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
since this thread got bumped why not..



I'll go ahead and give my secret weapon tom tom mics as well. EV CO4 on high toms and AKG D112 on low toms. These mics are useful in other applications also, and often found for dirt money.
The EV Cobalt series definitely punches well above its weight class. I have two CO9 mics that are better (for me) than an sm57 or 58 in pretty much application. Great on snare or guitar cabs or as a room mic.
Old 8th May 2019
  #82
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monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dokterrock View Post
The EV Cobalt series definitely punches well above its weight class. I have two CO9 mics that are better (for me) than an sm57 or 58 in pretty much application. Great on snare or guitar cabs or as a room mic.
Yeah! I wonder if that is the same CO4 but with a grille basket on it.

I'll tell you about one of my aha moments with cheap mics.

EV CO4 placed coincidentally to a (modified) Apex 205 ribbon mic

about 3 feet out in front of a Marshall 4x12

one of the hugest guitar tones I have recorded

My only excuse for not doing it on a regular basis is that the mics sit out right in the middle of my room where I need to move around.

I'll keep it in the back of my mind though

mics are both very inexpensive
Old 8th May 2019
  #83
Lives for gear
Line Audio CM3, No Hype Audio LRM-2/LRM-2b, 3U Audio CM1 (teal and Black), 2U Audio CM100 & CM127 (not dirt cheap but cheap), 3U Audio Warbler (Not dirt cheap but cheap).
Old 8th May 2019
  #84
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dokterrock View Post
The EV Cobalt series definitely punches well above its weight class. I have two CO9 mics that are better (for me) than an sm57 or 58 in pretty much application. Great on snare or guitar cabs or as a room mic.
Co 7 is stellar as well.
Old 8th May 2019
  #85
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Monteiro's Avatar
Mic-Parts?

Old 9th May 2019
  #86
Gear Maniac
Rode NT1 (black 2014 model) is still my main vocal mic. dead quiet, flat, perfect starting point to color to your hearts content.
Old 9th May 2019
  #87
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by citrusonic View Post
Rode NT1 (black 2014 model) is still my main vocal mic. dead quiet, flat, perfect starting point to color to your hearts content.
Yes, quite impressed with this Rode NT!..........BUT if you want a truly AMAZING mic.....look at Weissklang V17......WOW is all I can say!!!
Old 9th May 2019
  #88
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I've had three Blue mics including the Cactus. My favourite is Blue Spark. The original, not the newer one.
Old 9th May 2019
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67mike View Post
Yes, quite impressed with this Rode NT!..........BUT if you want a truly AMAZING mic.....look at Weissklang V17......WOW is all I can say!!!
I'd never heard of it but looks interesting. I like new technology. I would not call it cheap though. I mean, it's inexpensive in the world of mics for sure, but not dirt cheap like a lot of the mentioned mics. I mean you could get a pair of 3U Audio CM100's and both CM1's for the same price as one V17.
Old 10th May 2019
  #90
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Funk View Post
I'd never heard of it but looks interesting. I like new technology. I would not call it cheap though. I mean, it's inexpensive in the world of mics for sure, but not dirt cheap like a lot of the mentioned mics. I mean you could get a pair of 3U Audio CM100's and both CM1's for the same price as one V17.
It is an absolute bargain at twice the price!
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