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Need advice buying entry-level microphone

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by DelphiBeats, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. DelphiBeats

    DelphiBeats Active Member

    I am planing on recording vocals of a male singing rap, r&b, and alternative rock. I also want to record acoustic guitar and maybe other sound effects from outside (maracas, rocks, tools, dings, etc..)

    I want to buy specifically a condenser microphone.

    I did some research, and here is the list of microphones that I want to narrow down to the mic I will buy:

    View attachment 5167
    AT2020 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

    View attachment 5168
    Nova Large-Diaphragm Condenser Mic

    View attachment 5169
    SCM 1000 Microphone

    View attachment 5170
    Perception 220 Condenser Microphone

    View attachment 5171
    PG27 Condenser Microphone

    View attachment 5172
    ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone

    View attachment 5173
    Perception 120 Condenser Microphone

    View attachment 5174
    SCM 800 FET Studio Condenser Microphone Black

    View attachment 5175
    B-1 Large-Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Mic

    The top three that I am thinking of are the AT2020, M-Audio Nova mic, SCM 1000 milti-pattern mic.

    If someone can tell me which of these would be best for me to buy I would greatly appreciate any type of advice. Thank you.
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I can't see any of those mics giving you an adequate sound for the type and mix of material you mentioned.

    What's your budget? What type of pre-amp and/or interface will you be using with whichever mic you buy? What is the acoustic like in the room in which you intend to record? Will you be tracking (dubbing vocal or instrumental tracks over recorded material) or will there be live takes with everyone playing at the same time?

    If we are to help you choose a suitable mic, we need to have a picture of how and where it is going to be used.
  3. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    You've already been on in another thread and ignored all the advice that was given you. Your budget is about $350 and unless something has changed massively you do not have an audio interface, a preamp or any monitoring system.

    You've been told that a dynamic mic would be a better choice and that if not you will need these other bits and that at this price there is nothing to choose between any of them so the Presonus all-in-one kit is at least something that will give you future proofing.

    All of that said, if this is a new question based on you suddenly acquiring a preamp and all the other bits, and all you need is a condensor mic, and thats the only type you will accept, then have a look at Welcome to KEL Audio -- Be your own sound!

    I use the HM-1s and while I have no experience with the LDCs, and don't rate the HM-1s as highly as some others do, they are certainly very good value.
  4. DelphiBeats

    DelphiBeats Active Member

    Jeemy, I did not ignore any of the "advice" that was given to me. I actually took it all into mind.

    If you look my last post in that thread, you'll read that I am buying an MXL Mic Mate XLR -> USB interface which plugs into the microphone on one end and into a USB port on the other and provides the A/D conversion and phantom power.

    I'd like to make it very clear: I am not buying the PreSonut kit. It is overpriced for equipment that I've never heard of before with no reviews of the headphones or the mic.

    You are correct, this is a new question, which is why I created a new thread specifically with one question: Which of those mics is the best, and which ones should I not buy? Is there any problem with any of them and is one preferred over the others?

    Thanks for your advice. I will look at the KEL audio mics and the others you mentioned.
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Jeemy's suggestion of a KEL HM-1 would be better than any of the mics you first listed for the mix of uses you mentioned, and should work OK when attached to the MXL Mic Mate XLR. Incidentally, make sure you get the Classic version of the Mic Mate and not the Dynamic version, as the Dynamic version does not have the phantom power output necessary for most condenser mics. You will need a pop shield when using any condenser mic of this sort for vocals. I would also recommend using an XLR mic cable between the HM-1 and the Mic Mate rather than sticking the Mic Mate directly up the bottom end of the microphone.

    You may find that the HM-1 does not sound as "bright" as some cheap condenser mics, since it does not have the hyped top-end response of many low-cost units, but it should give a more balanced sound for a wider range of sound sources and will be less tiring on the ears.

    Don't forget that condenser mics are less forgiving of poor room acoustics than many dynamic types. You may find that results are very dependent on the room where you record and also the exact positioning of sound source and microphone within the room, especially if the room is acoustically untreated.
  6. DelphiBeats

    DelphiBeats Active Member

    Kel Audio is out of the question.#4%%6&88**does not have any Kel Audio stuff. I want to use () because they have other cheep stuff I want and free shipping.

    I am buying a mic only from ?"}+$& so anything they dont have doesn't help. I'm just looking for advice like what brand is better then the other for voice recording.

    Is AKG made in USA or Australia and not in China like most of the other cheep mics are? Is it better then any other brand in that list?

    Boswell, is there a specific reason that you recommend using an additional XLR cable? I know it sounds kind of dumb not to use one, but I'm thinking if it works it works :) I just dont want to spend extra money if it's unnecessarily.

    Also, the room I record in is a good acoustically treated room with many bookshelves so that's not a question.
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    OK, I see they have the Rode NT1-A bundle. Go for that.

    The Mic Mate is relatively heavy and can cause undue wear to the microphone's XLR output connector if used without a cable. It also can drag the mic out of position in its shock mount and makes it less easy to orientate for best sound. Mic cables of the quality you need are cheap and replaceable, and are not restricted in length like a USB cable. The Rode NT1-A bundle comes with a 6m mic cable anyway, and has a shock mount and the pop shield I mentioned earlier.

    You will need a mic stand, however, since that is not included in the package. If you contact the NT1-A microphone manufacturer Rode in Australia they can quote for shipping you one of the new "Boomerang" types that are very useful for tracking, and they fit handily in tight spaces when not in use.
  8. DelphiBeats

    DelphiBeats Active Member

    I looked at the Rode NT1-A bundle earlier, and I don't really need anything special like that. I don't need a shock mount, just a regular hard mount. That bundle is just too expensive for me.

    I am interested in the M-Audio Nova mic right now. It's pretty cheep, and I save a ton of money since it costs 170 orig. and it comes with a hard mount. As for a pop filter I can just throw a hankerchef over it or get one bundled with a mic stand from the same store
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Once again not paying any attention. I'm beginning to smell Troll.
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I think we're done here. Buy whatever fricking mic you want from that online discount house and dont bother us anymore.

    Its one thing to ask for a reasonable amount of help and yet another altogether to argue about the fine advice you have already received. Its obvious you dont know squat about recording or about gear. If budget is all you are considering then dont ask for opinions on quality or usage which you are going to disregard in a snotty way.

    You're using up bandwidth and you're not here to learn, you simply want us to justify your purchase and no one can since no one agrees that you are making a sound decision. But you dont care so make your own decision and leave us out of it.

    Another comment from you and I'll ban your ass.
  11. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Any of those mics will be fine for what your doing DelphiBeats!
    They are more or less the same quality in that price range so if you like the looks of one over the other pick the one you like best,,,,

    I would probably go with Shure, AT or AKG as they are big name reputable brands and they're more reliable and will last you longer if you don't drop them too much!

    But I really think you should get something you can use as a hand held mic if your going to be rappin or R&Bin because those larger fatter ones are designed to be used with those suspension shock mounts, a mic stand and a pop screen. You could also use panyhose stretched across a hoop which might be better than a hanky or bandana.

    Like I said before, those are really sensitive to be hand held, and they're not really designed for that. And whatever you get you should get a longer cord between the mic and preamp.
    Any cheap mic cable will work.
  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    DJ you're working too hard. He doesnt care what anyone KNOWS. Its a troll.
  13. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    I'm bored though, so can we keep him around a little longer?
  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Ok. Just dont hit him where it .........nevermind. Kill.
  15. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    DelphiBeat might be a troll...wouldn't surprise me!
    But I'm visualizing a newbie 23yr old up there in northern cold country with not much money and wants to get a nice hip hop beat going and record some rap type poetry....
    It's Xmas time and so many young people got a little scratch and they have a computer on their desk or table in the bedroom or basement and "Oh what fun it is to make a tune tonight"...Jinglr bells, Santa smells....you know the tune!

    I think that's great! more power to them!....we've all been there.
    Imagine back when you got your first tape recorder for Xmas and how cool and excited you were about recording something...anything and playing it back on your little homemade speakers. The kids today have so many more options and so much more hype and cheap garbage to deal with.
    I just worry that they always get so wrapped up in marketing hype and many times they don't know what to believe.
    They have friends who are usually clueless...but being a smart and intelligent individual go online and sign into one of these forums and start asking questions even though they've already been swayed towards the marketing hype and peer pressure. It is truly amazing to me how even after doing all that, asking for advice, searching online for reviews there is still this stubborn attitude that makes no sense...and I see it all the time.....time and time again with young people I hear things like "yeah dude I know what your saying and it makes sense dude but I'm still going to go waste my money and do this or buy that!"....no clue, no reasoning....and all you can do is shake your head and walk away! So there's more going on here in the minds of our young people, maybe it's product overload and having the latest thing or the media and society or the "me generation" of vanity.....I don't know...??
    If DelphiBeats is in fact a troll then he's really just making the point here....the power of marketing hype and peer pressure and young people being bullheaded and sort of easily brainwashed and manipulated.
    I still have hope for them...and I wish them and all of you on RO a Happy, healthy, bountiful New Year!
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    DJ you're right, but heres the thing. For someone swearing up and down they're ONLY buying from a certain discount house (I wont mention them here) and then disregarding all the gear advice WHICH this discount house sells each and every one of and then to claim they've never heard of "Presonus" when the pages of this same discount house is FULL of ads for....AS WELL AS THE VERY PACKAGE recommended for LESS money.....well, that tells me troll.

    So roll away troll boy. You're not welcome here. Just because you're home for the holidays and mom's laptop isnt being used doesnt mean you need to 'have fun' with others precious time.

    I personally think its a shill from aforementioned discount house since the free shipping was mentioned so many times. In fact, I'm bored so I'm gonna go delete the mention of this 'discount house in all these threads just for fun.

    No linking here trolls.
  17. Michael Hodecker

    Michael Hodecker Active Member

    Hey man, I don't know if you've gotten anything yet but the Rode NT1-A with some kind of tube preamp, whatever's in your range, is a really good choice for an all-around mic. it works really well for a lower-end mic on rap from my experience. SM57's are great for instrument recording, again for the price. If you want something that you can do anything with, look up the Zoom H4n. It can do basically anything, it's got its own stereo x/y configuration and it supplies 48v phantom power to 2 other external mics. Hope you find something that works for ya! :)
  18. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    There is no budget tube preamp worth purchasing. Nothing. The H4n is an excellent flash recorder and quite versatile for a budget setup.

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