Author Topic: What microphone would be best for me?  (Read 2878 times)

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Offline Hollywood

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What microphone would be best for me?
« on: September 30, 2014, 05:49:05 pm »
I'm not sure what info I need to give here, but if I decide to buy a mic, I don't know which one(s) would be the best options.  It would need to be pretty cheap but sound good.  Right now it's just me and an acoustic guitar, but I plan to start a rock band eventually.  So it'd be great if I had one that would do a decent job recording an acoustic guitar, too, but if not, I can probably figure out another way to record that. 

Thanks!
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Offline Borodog

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Re: What microphone would be best for me?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2014, 07:54:19 pm »
Since you are just starting out I would get a Samson USB Go Mic. $39 brand new. It's a condenser mic. No interface required. Reviews are excellent, although I have not personally used one. When/if you want to upgrade, you can either use it as a backup or second mic, or sell it and get $20 back out of it.

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Offline mike42

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Re: What microphone would be best for me?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2014, 08:43:03 pm »
From what I've heard, a lot of the USB mics have pretty good sound quality for the price. Definitely enough to get you started in recording.

If you want to go the more expensive route (and get gear that will probably serve you for a longer period of time), get a decent interface - I use the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 - and a large diaphragm condenser mic. These will require phantom power, hence the need for an interface to power the mic.

Going the second route is more expensive, but will also give you better sound quality and a greater ability to add more quality gear in the future. You're probably looking at around $250-300 to get a decent setup, but if you're looking to get closer to studio quality recordings then the interface/mic route is the way to go.

You also have the choice of getting a dynamic vs. condenser mic. I've found that my condensers sound better than my dynamic when recording acoustic guitars. I have the MXL 990/991 package, which I got on sale for $70 I believe. Not top quality by any means, but good enough for my purposes. I also have a Shure SM57 dynamic mic, which I like for electric guitar and bass recording.

With both a condenser and a dynamic, you should be able to record a full band if need be. Check out Justin's guides on recording tech to get a more in-depth explanation on things. They were very helpful when deciding what gear I needed to purchase:

http://justinguitar.com/en/RT-000-RecordingTechniques.php

Offline Rossco01

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Re: What microphone would be best for me?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2014, 09:58:13 pm »
Zoom H1 is what a lot of use as a starter.... Some progress up the scale to Zoom H4. Good quality mic and recorder .
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: What microphone would be best for me?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2014, 04:09:28 pm »
Anyone have experience with any of these?

Nady USB-1C Condenser Microphone
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Nady-USB-1C-USB-Condenser-Microphone-277180-i1324591.gc

Blue Snowball USB Microphone
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Blue-Snowball-USB-Microphone-105642698-i1500771.gc

Blue Snowball USB Microphone (not sure if it's the same - it has different reviews.)
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Blue-Snowball-USB-Microphone-105642680-i1500770.gc

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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: What microphone would be best for me?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2014, 05:19:42 pm »
I'm not sure what info I need to give here, but if I decide to buy a mic, I don't know which one(s) would be the best options.  It would need to be pretty cheap but sound good.  Right now it's just me and an acoustic guitar, but I plan to start a rock band eventually.  So it'd be great if I had one that would do a decent job recording an acoustic guitar, too, but if not, I can probably figure out another way to record that. 

Thanks!

If you're going to want to use it later with your band on live gigs, chances are that you're going to want to use a different mic than the one you select for recording. You may even consider a pickup for live stuff.. but generally cardioid or supercardioid mics are used for live, and small diaphragm condenser cardioid condenser mics are used for live acoustic guitar. Small diaphragm condenser mics don't work very well for vocals though. If I were going to select just one mic to use on both, I'd consider an SM57 or beta 57. You can use them live, and they work pretty well for recording. For vocals you can use a 57 with a wind screen. You can get decent results using them for acoustic guitar, and they work great for recording electric guitar cabinets. 57s are probably the most versitile mic in the universe and they don't cost much. They're also very sturdy and durable. You can just about pound nails with them and they'll keep working. If I were having to select just one mic for both vocal and acoustic guitar and wanted to use it for both live and recording, it would be a 57. And they're very affordable. If you want a reasonably affordable mic to use for recording only; Digger and Katja recommended the Rode NT1 and I had decent results using it to record vocals and acoustic guitar:





If I were to only have one microphone though, it would be an SM 57.
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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: What microphone would be best for me?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2014, 05:23:38 pm »

Nady USB-1C Condenser Microphone
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Nady-USB-1C-USB-Condenser-Microphone-277180-i1324591.gc


I haven't used that particular mic, but I've had experience with Nady stuff in the past, and in general; It was crap.
I dream of a better tomorrow where chickens can cross roads without their motives being questioned.

Offline Hollywood

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Re: What microphone would be best for me?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2014, 05:29:14 pm »
Okay.  Yeah, I'll be gigging eventually, but for now is it better to buy a cheap USB mic and have something decent to record with, and then buy a fancier one when I get to that point, or better to buy a nicer mic to start?
Frontwoman of alt-rock band Lighting Matches - debut album "Against The Flame"
www.LightingMatchesMusic.com
www.Facebook.com/LightingMatchesMusic

Debut solo EP "Destination Sunday" (Rachel White)

Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: What microphone would be best for me?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2014, 05:35:23 pm »
Okay.  Yeah, I'll be gigging eventually, but for now is it better to buy a cheap USB mic and have something decent to record with, and then buy a fancier one when I get to that point, or better to buy a nicer mic to start?

Do you have an audio interface?
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: What microphone would be best for me?
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2014, 05:38:20 pm »
No
Frontwoman of alt-rock band Lighting Matches - debut album "Against The Flame"
www.LightingMatchesMusic.com
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Debut solo EP "Destination Sunday" (Rachel White)

Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: What microphone would be best for me?
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2014, 05:48:02 pm »
No

OK, then yeah, for now a USB mic might be your best option. I don't have any first-hand experience with the USB mics so can't make a recommendation on them. For just a bit more money you might consider getting one of the starter kits like the Focusrite or Presonus ones. They come with an interface, mic, headphones, mic cable, and DAW and will give you more flexibility in the future for using different mics.

http://www.musicmachineshop.com/Home-Recording-Studio-Setup-Kits-And-Bundles.html
I dream of a better tomorrow where chickens can cross roads without their motives being questioned.

 

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