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newbie help condenser mic

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by rickhtx, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. rickhtx

    rickhtx Guest

    What is a good condenser microphone for recording vocals? Ive got $150.00 to spend and kinda on a budget right now.But i need a good mic for only recording vocals.The type of music Im trying to create is a mix of R&B and Rap.I would need a microphone good for vocal harmonies and singing mostly. thx for your help any suggestions would be very appreciated.
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Who said you needed a condenser mic for R&B and Rap vocals? It's not until you get to the $300 bracket for something like a Rode S1 that you start to see results that equal or surpass what's achievable with a Shure SM58 dynamic for $99, especially if your recording environment is less than ideal.
  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    honestly on record, i'm tired of local hip-hop acts recording on sm 58's (but not using them live). the 58 has a weakish sound w/ a stock pre-amp, to disc, and in my region often clipped. my only suggestion for a mic that i have experience w/ is an AT 3035. it is clear, w/ some workable proximity effect. hopefully the board/interface has some phantom power. too many recordists' are not hearing the (58's) larger than life proximity effect becuase of faulty rooms/monitoring systems, including their gigs. the 58 is awsome, but recording, you may find better. that said the sm line is great- consistent, pleasing,bulletproof? check the Audio Technica line tho, they have some good uses. i also own an akg 414 xls, Rode NT1-a, sm57. Save the 58 for live, use the 3035 for the studio.
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I'm on Boswell's side with this one. If your budget is $150 stick with dynamics - and the SM58 is the standard for price and performance at this level. Cheap $150 condensers have an edge to them that seems attractive at first, but becomes grating after a while - especially with all of the hard consonants of hip hop vocals. Expensive condensers can give the high end precision without the brittleness. A $99 SM58 is a long term investment. You will use it live forever. You will still find uses in the studio when you have more expensive condensers. All of the $150 condensers I've heard (I have not heard the AT 3035) just put you $150 farther away from buying a good condenser.

    kmetal - If the recordings in your region are clipped it's not the fault of the mic - it's the recording technique. I don't understand why you would describe an SM58 as "weakish" sounding. They do fine at lower frequencies where the power comes from and have a nice presence bump for articulation. But they roll off the high end compared to a condenser - maybe I'd say they don't "cut" like a condenser. But anyone who has cut with a Shun chef's knife and a Ginsu knife knows that not all cuts are the same.
  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    yeah i think i'm was off the mark on this one. most of the issues i've been hearing are 99% recording techinque. i use the 58 all time live, never let me down, and has never "not worked" w/ anyone's voice. which is huge if you only have one mic. if i were to by a condenser in that range again (i'd have to be dillusional) the 3035 is a good one. it is not harsh on the top, just not sweet, but like you said bob, the high frequncy responses "cut" is probably what i'm hearing. as far as cheap condensers, i've tried akg perceptions, mxl v60, rode nt1, and the 3035 is was the least brittle, fullest, sounding of the pack (which is stange becuase i find all of at's gear that i've used-dynamic mic,headphones to be very trebly.) that said, i certainly would spend a lot of time listening before i'd buy this again, becuause in reality, all it did was make me buy a 414 two months later, and become my trusty 2nd call condenser. my nt1a is good on handdrums, and for sounding like i have a cold when i sing through it.
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    +1 on the SM58. The next best dynamic option is the Electo-Voice RE20 and it's going to be three times the money. The Heil PR20 is another option but again, the SM58 is the standard of R&B just like rock n roll and it doubles as a hammer.

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