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inexpensive mic upgrade? [sample recording included :) ]

Member for

14 years 9 months
I play guitar and sing and like to record myself just for the hell of it. I use my laptop's mic, input jack with Nero Wave editor and I plug in the cheapest PC mic ever. No brand name and it crackles and rattles if you touch it while recording.
I have a sample of a recording here so you can hear the sound quality I'm getting. I did add some reverb. after the fact. Sorry I don't have the original recording anymore.

I don't claim to be an audiophile. I'm actually fairly impressed with the sound for the mic I have :). but It seems to me that the sounds being recorded are missing a lot of the higher frequencies. It sounds a bit muffled or muted (The reverb I added masks that a bit :-/ ).

Anyway, I'm wondering if I could get a much fuller range of sound with a mic upgrade for under $50 (USA). Is it even worth the upgrade if I'm going to be cheap?

PS. my sister has an expensive mic (>$200) (not sure what kind. I know its a stereo mike) she uses to record into a minidisk recorder. It works great for that, but I tried it once on my laptop and for some reason everything recorded too quietly even with the mic record level all the way up on the PC. :-/

sorry for the long drawn out post. Hope you guys can offer some suggestions. thanks. :)


Member for

14 years 9 months

wutanghax0r Wed, 12/13/2006 - 09:57
Thanks a lot for the tips guys. I'm finding that to make much of an improvement I would need to spend more money. I may see if any friends have any better mics I can try out just to see what difference it makes. Lots of people seem to love the sm57/58. I'm not sure what kind of sound I'd get with that plugged directly into my PC mic input though. I'll keep researching and see what I find.
thanks for the compliments on my recording with my 50 cent mic. (y)

Member for

15 years 10 months

hueseph Thu, 12/07/2006 - 15:19
You're clip is about 250ms long but even from that it sounded boxy to me. At any rate, if you want to record you will need to spend some kind of money. $200 isn't really all that expensive as far as mics are concerned. In fact it's more in the budget or consumer range. Not that you couldn't get a good mic for $200. First thing you will need is a sound interface that will be able to make use of a reasonable prosumer mic. Regardless of what you do, you will find it difficult to get any decent sound from your laptop's ac97 chip. I would check at GC or onliine at . They usually have entry level recording packages. At $50.00 however, I doubt you will be able to find any solution. You might be able to find a used mic on ebay or you could get one of the many sm57 knock-offs but you will still have to sort out how to get that mic hooked up to your computer. You could get one of the Samson usb mics but even they are $100.00 or better.

Have fun searching.

Member for

16 years

RemyRAD Thu, 12/07/2006 - 22:00
I think your clip sounded great! That is the best sounding $.50 microphone I have ever heard! No pops, no clicks that you don't need. Multimedia microphones are a bad ass feed!

I wouldn't change a thing. Don't think it has enough high frequency response? Give it a little boost with the equalization, in your software. I was actually impressed with your clip. I wouldn't pay no nevermind to everybody else's comments? You are letting your ears be your guide.

An inexpensive USB microphone would probably yield better results for you than the microphone input on your computer. Check with Musicians Friend, Sweetwater and any other equipment supplier. Just perfect for somebody with a budget of next to nothing.

You'll have enough money after you finish next week's paper route.
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

16 years 4 months

CoyoteTrax Sun, 12/10/2006 - 13:09
I agree with Remy, that's the best 50 cent mic I've hever heard. Just goes to show how the performance matters alot more than the gear sometimes. If you don't have the money to invest in an external interface and new mic then just stick with using what you've already got. Sounds good to me.

By the way, for what it's worth, "on the cheap" a Nady starpower 9 isn't a bad vocal mic as an uber-inexpensive solution. $19?

Member for

21 years

Member Mon, 12/11/2006 - 16:10
I happened to be given an e/v 257a and I must say its a great mic for how much it goes for. You can pick them up on ebay for around 40US. I usually prefer my sm58/57 but ive used this mic lots and its very good. It doesnt have the much bottem end but if your looking for something under 50 bucks i would definately suggest it.