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Just getting started - recommendations, please?

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Donny Bahama, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. Donny Bahama

    Donny Bahama Active Member

    At the urging of numerous complete strangers (at karaoke), I posted a "Vocalist seeks accompanist" ad on Craigslist - and I got really lucky in finding a talented, highly qualified, experienced musician who was looking for a vocalist for a duo act.

    He has a nice studio and all the gear we need, but as a point of pride, I'd like to buy my own microphone. I'll be using this mic in the studio as well as for live performances (we expect to be doing house parties, restaurants, clubs/coffeehouses, etc. and eventually weddings and corporate events). Musical styles are primarily (crooner) ballads/standards and old-school R&B but with some rock/pop and even a little country mixed in.

    So, basically, this mic needs to be versatile, durable, great sounding... and cheap! My upper limit is a measly $200. If things go well, I'm sure I'll buy additional/better/more expensive mics, but for now this is all I can do.

    Obviously, I like the look of the 55SH, but is it the best choice for my needs & budget? Beats me! I'm also considering the GTD Audio G-622H dual wireless mic system which is well-reviewed on Amazon - but something tells me that I'm better off putting the money into one wired mic rather than into 2 mics with transmitters and receivers.

    It's been almost 35 years since I've performed and I'm so excited about this opportunity. I'd really appreciate some advice and guidance in picking out a good mic.
  2. Torsten Borg

    Torsten Borg Active Member

    Hi Donny,

    The Shure SM58 works in studios surprisingly well though they're more well suited for live situations. Another great, great mic for both live and studio use would be the Blue enCORE 200 (I have to say it once again, this microphone is great).

    There's a lot of microphones to choose from, and i think it all comes down to YOUR taste in the end.

    Hope this helps.
    Donny Bahama likes this.
  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Each mic has its own frequency response signature ( it's a bit like an EQ curve ) and every vocals are different. The best thing you could do is to try many and choose the one that fits your voice. Yes an sm58 is one classic that I'll trust any time. But, there's other ones to try, like the sennheiser E835 or E845. (clearer in the upper end)
    If you want to sing live, most engineer will apreciate a dynamic cardioid mic or hyper-cardioid. You should start there ;)
    Donny Bahama likes this.
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    You're asking quite a it for that paltry sum. In the world of mics, $200 is almost nothing.

    There are a few exceptions - the Shure SM57/58 is a tried and true workhorse, seen on stages and studios everywhere. It's a dynamic mic, which means it's pickup range and sensitivity is much less than a condenser - which, for live, is a good thing, because it won't pickup every other sound source around you. They are incredibly versatile, you can use them on everything from vocals to brass to guitar amps to kick drums, toms and snare... and in fact, the SM57 is considered to be a professional studio standard for miking a snare drum, and has been for decades.

    They handle well, are very rugged, and can last years. I still have a working SM57 that I bought new in 1978, and it's seen more punishment than you could ever imagine...thousand of gigs and sessions, not to mention spending an entire winter in my front yard under the snow and ice and then being run over by a lawn mower in the spring... and no, I'm not kidding.

    A mic like this is going to be your best bet. The good news is, either model can be had brand new for $100, so you could get 2, or, one of each. ;)

    Donny Bahama likes this.
  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    You had to put up this funny story again, don't you Donny ;)
    If I was your wife, I'd buy you a mic case for Chrismas !

    Btw, you should send it to Shure marketing team, they could send you a couple of mics in exchange for using your story to sell more !!(y)
  6. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Similar story with a 58. Our singer lost his SM58 in November, it turned up pressed down into the muddy sod in April after the spring thaw. That was over 20 years ago, the mic still works fine today. I put a new grill on it to pretty it up, but it was purely a cosmetic choice.

    Buy a new SM58 and a couple high quality cables and stand, and you'll still have money in your pocket for a snazzy haircut. The Shure Super 55 would be another stereotypical 'crooner' mic, just because of it's vintage style - but it's a bit above your stated budget. The body style is classic, but the capsule inside is very modern and not unlike a 58.

    Whatever you do, don't buy a cheap imitation of either (or anything on eBay - which is loaded with very convincing counterfeit SM mics).
    Donny Bahama likes this.
  7. Donny Bahama

    Donny Bahama Active Member

    Thanks very much for the advice, everyone! (And the great stories about durability!) My accompanist works at Guitar Center and suggested I come in and try out several different mics; I think that's what I'll do - starting with the SM58. I definitely have a soft spot for the ( looks of the) 55, though. I'll be interested to see how the sound compares to the recommendations here.
  8. Torsten Borg

    Torsten Borg Active Member

    I have never tried the old ones. I've heard they have more high end, is that correct?

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