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Mic recommendation for Scarlett 2i2 USB Recording Interface

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by harman90, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. harman90

    harman90 Active Member

    Hi all !
    I am a newbie in this field. I am buying first gear ever for recording !

    I have though of buying Scarlett 2i2 USB Recording Interface which I think fits best in my budget and goes well with WIndow .
    Now I am looking for best mic within 100$ to go with my interface. My purpose to record voiceovers (not singing) for Indian languages.

    If you think I there is better interface within this range , please let me know that as well. As a newbie! all expert advises are welcome.

    Tell you little about my situation : I am from India !! So I cant risk buying used stuff as this is my first time !! nor here we have studios where we can test these microphones out ! nor I can test the gear before purchasing or after purchasing! I wont be having option to send it back.
    I would be asking my uncle to bring these gears along with him frm USA.
    I looked into other threads ! they all have lot to say about Shure 58! but on the other hand there are bunch of thread clamming that is difficult to get real one these days !! There are lot of shure fake products out there! Its difficult to judge one.SO I am confused !


    Thanks
     
  2. harman90

    harman90 Active Member

    10/0 darn...
     
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    For $100, a Shure SM58 would fit your requirements very well. You will need a microphone cable and a stand to mount it on.

    You should also think about acoustic treatment for the room in which you are going to record these voice-overs.
     
  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    http://http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/shure-sm58-mic

    you can aslo get some affordable entry level stands/cables there too. this a a very reputable international company. free shipping i think too!

    while i think the 58 is a safer bet, this mic is a great condenser mic for the price. (Dead Link Removed)
     
  5. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    For the money you want to spend? Go with a Shure SM58, as the others have recommended.

    And I'll second Boswell's suggestion regarding acoustic treatment of your recording space.

    No mic, regardless of quality (or price), will give you optimum results if the room you are recording in has issues that are counter-productive acoustically.
     
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    making sure the Mic is the real thing and not a Chinese fake:

    source: About.com : How to Spot a Fake Shure Microphone - How to tell if your SM57 or SM58 is fake

    1, On authentic Shure microphones, each of the XLR pins will be labeled as 1, 2, and 3. Most fake microphones will not have these markings, and instead, will have some sort of connector branding logo or, more commonly, no markings at all.

    2. On a 58, unscrew the windscreen. Examine the bottom of the windscreen; on the metal ring that goes around the thread, you'll notice a lip. A flat lip is a telltale sign of a fake microphone; the authentic SM58 will have a rounded edge.

    3. Look at the capsule on the top of the microphone. On fake SM58, you'll find a "CAUTION" sticker wrapped around the capsule head. This is not on authentic microphones.

    4. On both the SM58 and SM57, carefully unscrew the microphone in the middle. You'll see the inside of the microphone, with two wires leading between the sections. On the genuine microphones, these are yellow and green colored, and on many fakes, they've followed this color scheme; however, if they're a different color, chances are you're looking at a fake.

    5. look at the circuit board on the lower half. Genuine microphones will have a quality control stamp in red lettering. These will be omitted on the counterfeit mics.

    6. On the SM58, underneath the ring where the windscreen connects to the body, there's a printed "Shure SM58" logo. On counterfeit microphones, you'll find that this is a sticker wrapped around the mic itself. A sticker is common on SM57 microphones, but look carefully at the font and the type spacing -- on fakes, it'll be a little wider spacing and a much smaller font.

    7. Authentic mics ship with accessories including a microphone clip, cloth cable tie, Shure sticker, carrying pouch, manual, and warranty card. Fake microphones tend not to include all of these accessories; most obviously missing is the warranty card and cable tie. Also, the bag will be of low quality -- on the original Shure bags (which are indeed made in China), you should be able to feel the embossed Shure logo. Remember, Shure's microphones are made in Mexico, not in China.

    8. Another thing to watch out for: make sure the model number listed on the box matches what's inside. Many counterfeit Shure microphones come with a cable in the box; the only Shure microphone that includes a cable is the Shure SM58-CN. If the box includes a cable but isn't labeled with the proper model number, then you may have a fake mic. Also, some fake SM58 come with a switch attached; the model number should read SM58S. The plain ol' SM58 will be listed as SM58-LC.

    Make sure you purchase from an authorized Shure dealer. If you are unsure about this, contact Shure and find one in your area.

    Shure Americas | Microphones, Wireless Systems, Headphones, Earphones

    fwiw
    -d.
     
  7. harman90

    harman90 Active Member

     
  8. harman90

    harman90 Active Member

    Thank you guys for your replies!
    Actually now I am thinking to buy condenser mic as I need to have more Details on lower pitch ! ( as I need it for speeches not for singing.)

    Thanks @kmetal for website !
    I will look into it.

    @DonnyThompson
    I have lot of curtains and that kind of stuff in my room ! Would that work !
    Any other homely stuff that I could use ?
     
  9. harman90

    harman90 Active Member

    One more thing ! Where can I have a small table trypod stand and pop filter for perception 220 !! ( that's the mic I am considering right now)
    Can I buy any random amazon product ?
     
  10. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    the perception is trash. not good. i really think you should go w/ a sm-58, and most will agree. if, and only if you choose a condenser, the AT 3035, is the only large diaphram condenser worth using, unless you have 500 bucks or more. if your gonna get a cheap akg, you gotta bite the bullet and get a 214. otherwise your spending money for a German name on a Chinese mic. the 3035 is my go to for drum overheads, not usually for vocals, and it does have a rather enhanced high end.

    be safe, just get a 58. certainly the 3035 will outperform any other condenser mic in the $100 price range, like mxl, akg perceptions, rode. but the voice is a fickle instrument. remember, that the arguably most famous 'radio' mics are dynamic. the shure sm-7, and ev re20. you'll get all the low end definition you need just by moving closer to the mic.
     
  11. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I'm gonna stick with my original suggestion - which was in fact not my suggestion originally - it was Boswell's, and tell you to stick with the 58 for the money you have to spend.


    You're doing yourself a disservice, by falling prey to the myth in thinking that any condenser mic is better than the best dynamic mic, because, well, it just ain't so.

    It's a myth - and I have no idea where the myth started... that any condenser is better than a dynamic. Maybe because rookies think that a mic that "looks" more studio must "sound" more studio. ? I dunno. But a myth it is. As far as low end response? Move closer to the 58. Put up a pop filter to curb off any "pops" that result from B's, P's, and even some W's... The filter will cost you around $20, tops.

    There's more than just few garbage condenser mics out there on the market. Don't buy a condenser just because you've been told you need one, or because you saw one used in a music video. The condensers you see in top end studios are big money condensers... U87's, AKG 414's, C12's, etc. And you ain't gonna get any of those for a hundred, or even 2 hundred bucks... not even $900, which is where the 414's price range starts.

    Unless you can come up with $500 or so and pick up something like an EV RE20 (which is still a dynamic, by the way, and a GREAT one... I love the RE 20), then stick with the Shure SM58.

    It'll save you money and you'll like the results. ;)

    fwiw

    -d.
     
  12. Maxmixing

    Maxmixing Member

    Just add a little and buy RODE NT1-A - very good start, it is good both for vocals and instruments. The best for its price
     
  13. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I think in that price range that I'd look at an AT4040.

    If I were looking for another condenser (and I'm not), having used both the Rode NT1A and the AT 4040, personally, I'd opt for the AT.

    (I don't own either one, but have had numerous occasions to use them in various home studios that I've worked at as a "hired gun" engineer).

    I think the 4040 sounds a bit better; I wouldn't go as far as to describe it as "silky" on the top end, but I do think it sounds smoother... I also thought it was a little more defined in the low mids, as opposed to the Rode, which to my ears sounds somewhat harsh on the top end, has a tendency to lean towards sibilance (depending on the vocalist, of course), and is a bit muddy or "frumpy" in the lows... to my ears, at least.

    Although, the quality of the pre amp used with either mic will make a substantial difference as well.

    The AT specs out a 145db SPL, it also has a switchable -10db pad and 80hz hi-pass, whereas the Rode specs out at 130 SPL, and has neither attenuator (pad) nor hi-pass functions. Not necessarily deal-breaking options, but, nice to have for just a few extra bucks.

    And, once again, not to belabor the point, because it's been mentioned here time and time again - the room is gonna play a big part in the equation.

    Condensers are NOT always the best choice... they tend to pick up more room/ambiance than dynamics do, so if you are recording in an environment that sounds, well, to be kind, "less than good", a good dynamic like a 58 or SM7 or RE20 shouldn't be ruled out. Cheaper condensers are also traditionally harsh in the upper mids and hi's. They sound "brittle", for lack of a better description, where you don't get that negative characteristic with higher caliber condensers. There are some upper-level condensers that do have a pronounced presence, but with those nice mics, that presence isn't harsh or "peaky"... it's silkier, and unlike so many of the cheap condensers that are flooding the market these days, you don't feel as if your head and ears are being carved out with a sonic Black & Decker. LOL

    Too many "home recordists" seem to have this weird kind of "obsession" with condenser mics, and I'm not referring to Neumanns, AKG's or Telefunkens, here, either.

    Most of the time, this love affair they have is with the cheap condensers in the $100 - $300 range - because they think that they absolutely have to use a condenser mic in order to get good results.

    In their minds, they just can't seem to grasp the concept that just because a mic is a condenser, doesn't mean that it's automatically a good microphone, and they refuse to believe that you can get very nice results with a dynamic, especially if it's paired up with a nice mic pre.

    I understand budgets and limits, and if you are a hobbyist and just having fun, then virtually any mic - condenser or dynamic - will do the job. Plug it in, hit the "R" button on your space bar and have a ball. :)

    But the expectations that so many people have in terms of a mic's quality - in accordance with what they have to spend - is simply unreasonable... and it's not with just mics... I'd widen that mindset to all audio gear.

    So many people drop $200-$400 bucks on a cheap mic and pre, and think that they have spent a small fortune, and that what they have in return for that money must be of professional caliber because of the "huge" amount of money they've invested.

    They don't realize that in the world of pro audio recording, $400 is peanuts. It's nothing.

    So, if you're simply wanting have a little fun with recording, then by all means, drop a couple hundred on a cheap mic and a cheap pre... and enjoy your new hobby. ;)
     
  14. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    I'm going to add a word of warning regarding 58s (and 57s). Typically, voiceovers are done with a greater mic to lip distances, you can go into or away from the microphone with very little change to the sound. A 58 is designed to be used very close to the lips. Pull away, even an inch or two and the tone changes pretty obviously. More than a few inches away from the mouth the sound has changed quite a bit. So if you eq the mic for a foot away, they sound quite clean - but the room sound will be evident. Move in close and the sound warms up, and is quite difficult to make sound neutral, BUT you will find the room sound much quieter. Luckily, I have quite a full mic box - so I'd not use a 58 at all, but a larger diaphragm condenser. Personally, I prefer the sound of even the cheaper Chinese ones put up against a 58s. I use them live all the time, but they are NOT a favourite for voiceover/vocal recording. Don't forget that some form of elastic suspension is really handy.
     
  15. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    This thread is to help the OP choose a microphone for VO work within a set of constraints. The constraints include a $100 budget, a lack of acoustic treatment in the recording environment and a probable difficulty of sourcing anything other than standard components.

    While it would be great to be able to say "Go out and buy an EV RE20" or something similar, this would most likely break two of his constraints. Although an SM58 would not necessarily be the ideal VO choice for a well-funded UK or US based studio with good acoustic treatment, it could well be the best compromise under the OP's circumstances. Even if condenser mics were available to him within his budget, it's very likely that they would give poor results due to the acoustic environment, not to mention any harshness and sibilance that tends to be a characteristic of most low-cost models of that type.
     

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