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Looking for a good vocal mic for about $500-600

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by djaeyun, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. djaeyun

    djaeyun Guest

    i'm looking to buy a invest in a new, solid vocal mic. my singing consists primarily of rnb and soothing acoustic style, and i'm planning to record acoustic guitar/piano(maybe) as well. my friend currently runs sterling's st69 and the sound is pretty clear/solid and good for my tastes and it goes for about $600

    i've also been looking at the at4050, heard it got good reviews. does anyone have suggestions about which mic i should get for around this price range? also, could you guys give me some input about which mic-pre to buy along with it as well (with its prices)

    also if you guys have any vocal recordings you could link me to with the mic you used (for something i'm looking for in my price range) that would be great
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    AT4050 or AKG C414 are very versatile microphones. You would be hard pressed to beat them in that budget range without trying your particular voice on a lot of microphones live.
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    John's recommendations are pretty standard for a multipattern in that price range. The Sterling is a Guitar Center house brand. I would not necessarily let this scare you off if the mic really suits your voice, but it does affect resale value and the reputation of the mic. Since you like the Sterling - a tube mic - you might want to look at something like the Rode K2, another competitor in the price range.
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    All good recommendations. I have an AT4050, also have a pair of AT4047's. My suggestion for what you described you want would be the 4047. It features an output transformer and an "aged" capsule reminiscent of the older German FET mics. Good for that intimate detail and warmth. The cardioid -only version of that mic has a street price of $550.
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I would tend to agree with all of the above suggestions and was certainly leaning towards the 4047 if you dont need patterns. I also agree that if you have been able to use something that you like and it does what you need it to do, that you duplicate not only your friends mic choice but his signal chain also.

    The proof is always in the real-time application.
  6. djaeyun

    djaeyun Guest

    thanks to everyone with all these helpful suggestions. i think i'm leaning more towards the 4047 now, but the question for me now is what pre-amp should i get? i'm totally clueless about those and how they work with certain mics. my budget is about $100-200 for the pre.. but i want this mic to be an investment for the coming years, should i save up longer for an even better one? and if so which one?
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    There are no preamps worth having in the $100 range. If you are shooting for long term then save your pennies. Buy once cry once. Buy cheap and cry often.
  8. djaeyun

    djaeyun Guest

    ah thought so, what are some good preamps for the 4047 that i should be shooting for?
  9. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Do you need one or two channels? AD/DA conversion? Compressor? All reasonable choices in making such a decision.

    A single channel can be an all-purpose recording channel with better quality components in a single device. A stand-alone single channel mic pre may only need to be a half rackspace or a single box.

    Look to your needs. There are some bargains to be had used at a higher level.
  10. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Whatever pre you've been using for the Sterling should do OK, at least for the time being. If you've got a decent little mixer (like a Mackie Onyx), you'll be covered.
    "Cheap" mic pre's that are decent quality fall to the Grace M101 and the new Audient Mico. I have a Grace, they're awesome at transparency and detail, and a single channel one is around $565. The Mico is highly praised by one of our British tech-heads here (Boswell) and can be had for $660 for a 2-channel unit. When those first came out in the States, they were $1100, what a deal!
    Like the Attack stated, start saving your pennies!
  11. djaeyun

    djaeyun Guest

    what do you guys think of Apogee's One ($250)? i headed over to guitar center to ask some questions about a pre-amp and they recommended that one. i am looking to record one track at a time

    however, the One comes in with a built-in condenser mic which i probably won't be using and i fear that i'm pooling alot of that $250 into the mic rather than the pre-amp, which is why i'm buying it in the first place. suggestions? know of any other one-channel pre amps i should be shooting for?
  12. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Are you a Mac? If you are a PC keep looking.
  13. djaeyun

    djaeyun Guest

    yep i am a mac user*
  14. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    I'd put a hand up to say unless you have A/B'd the AT4050/47 against your friend's Sterling at his place, don't go for the Sterling just because you like the way it sounds at his. I think you might be surprised how much better the AT will be.

    What other equipment do you have - let us know. You will obviously need a pre, phantom power, A/D conversion and/or some kind of recording system. The Grace is about the minimum spend - a single-channel Sebatron is also not far off in cost.
  15. laemmle

    laemmle Active Member

    dave thomas at advanced audio microphones has a variety of clones that are fantastic. like his fet 87. they are getting serious reviews too.
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    His burgers arent bad either......(is that too obscure???)
  17. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    You sooooo beat me to it. I was giving the baby a bath.
  18. moresound

    moresound Active Member

    A nice microphone in that price range (actually half) would be the Stellar CM-6, or possibly the MXL 2003a.
    My favorite would be the Rode K2.

    And as for mid/lower end preamps that are big bang for the buck would be a FMR RNMP, or a Golden age 73 Micpre, Or a Chameleon Labs 7602 MK 11 micpre- this one come with an EQ.

    Just google these up and take a look. :wink:
  19. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I rate the Mico highly as an instrument pre-amp, but it would not necessarily be my first choice for vocals. This is a case where you have to weigh up both the mic and pre-amp choice, but being for vocals, I would probably put something like a 70:30 weighting in favour of the mic.

    Get the mic right for your voice and the acoustic environment right for the recording and that takes the pressure off having exactly the right pre-amp. It can work the other way round, as well. Ever heard how good vocals can sound using an SM58 through an API3124+? That vocal signal goes through three transformers before you even get to the compressor or the recorder.
  20. boxcar

    boxcar Active Member

    Not for us canadians.lol

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