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MXL V63M or Shure SM7B or for home broadcasting

Setting up home studio for on line radio and looking for a mike, can anyone tell me why the MXL V63M is so cheap ?

I found a used Shure Sm7b

Or any other XLR suggestions considering a limited budget to run though my board would be much appreciated. I have phantom power on the board but no other home equipment at the moment.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks Gents.

Comments

dvdhawk Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:27
Keeping the price down is pretty simple economics; cheap materials, cheap Chinese labor, hit and miss quality control.

If that's your budget I'd rather have just about any $100 dynamic, like an SM58 or SM57, for broadcasting.

The SM7b is much more the type of mic you'd find hanging in an actual radio station. They do take a lot of gain though, so your mixer will need good quiet preamps. If you can get one at a price you're comfortable with, I'd go with it (although $350 for a used one seems steep to me compared to a [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.musician…"]similar NEW bundle[/]="http://www.musician…"]similar NEW bundle[/]).

The Electro-Voice RE-20, might be the most widely used broadcasting vocal mic, but you'll probably be shopping used since they're around $450 US.

paulears Thu, 03/13/2014 - 14:08
Totally disagree guys. The quality of these microphones and the sound is very different to an SM58. US radio stations love the SM7 - always have, but here in Europe we prefer brighter, crisper audio and the Chinese mics of this price range offer really good value for money. If you have 5 times the budget, then there are some nicer sounding mics - but the reality is that with a bit of gentle eq, large diaphragm mics do sound 'bigger'. The RE-20 is seen in the UK in very small numbers, but we have plenty of community radio stations who operate on lower budgets, and need to use more cost effective mics.

Chinese mics do have production differences from the big mainstream manufacturers. I've imported and sold hundreds over the past six or seven years, and in this time I've had just two different types that were useless - the rest proving to be decent mics. It's very fair to say they are bright sounding. They don't sound like German or East European mics, but personally, I don;t find this an issue.

Quality control failures really seem to impact on the physical side of things - never, in my experience the electronics. Most of these budget mics are made in factory units where small businesses rent a small workshop area and an office. In the building will be everything they need. When I buy stock - the business use my money to buy the raw materials from somebody else in the building. This is why there appear to be so many similar ones. They will buy the tube, the grills, the rocketry and the pcbs and mic elements from the other businesses and they assemble them. They are not trained or expert, they simply can use a screwdriver -often not too well. You might get a few damaged screw heads, or maybe a self-tapping screw inserted on the 'wonk' - you might spot a bit of poor soldering, but I have never had a dead one. Quite clearly they buy pre-populated pcbs, add the mic, screw them together and then get them screen printed, and then packed. It's a cottage industry until your orders are 500 piece upwards. Up to that level, yes - you are getting some almost home-brew products. It means you can't buy another in a year and have it sound the same. All these things are true - BUT - as most really desirable microphones have a particular 'sound' - so what? The price mean you get a high quality product for not a lot of money. Fair enough, they like all condensers, need a bit of careful treatment. They can have the odd sharp edge, or missing screw - but in bang for bucks they win.

For the price of one SM7 - I could buy a few Chinese mics. The SM7 is a fine microphone, but it's sound is very mellow, almost dull. However, they're indestructible and don't make much noise when touched - which condensers do.

The MXL sounds great to my ears and is dirt cheap, has a full warranty, so what's the problem? I cannot subscribe to the sounding cheap stuff that's often trotted out. If I was broadcasting, then I'd not really consider a 57 or 58 because they only sound good very close in - move off mic and they go thin very quickly. It's probably just my UK ears that mean we're used to broadcasters like the BBC and commercial radio using condensers. A few are using the Neumann dynamic, but the tone of condensers seems to work for us over here.

WinnipegSoundGuy Thu, 03/13/2014 - 15:28
dvdhawk, post: 410974, member: 36047 wrote: Keeping the price down is pretty simple economics; cheap materials, cheap Chinese labor, hit and miss quality control.

If that's your budget I'd rather have just about any $100 dynamic, like an SM58 or SM57, for broadcasting.

The SM7b is much more the type of mic you'd find hanging in an actual radio station. They do take a lot of gain though, so your mixer will need good quiet preamps. If you can get one at a price you're comfortable with, I'd go with it (although $350 for a used one seems steep to me compared to a [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.musician…"]similar NEW bundle[/]="http://www.musician…"]similar NEW bundle[/]).


Actually could go about $200.00 on the mic dvdhawk, if that makes a difference? but a huge thanks on the reality price check for the new bundle package. Don't know how I missed that one.

WinnipegSoundGuy Thu, 03/13/2014 - 15:34
paulears, post: 410975, member: 47782 wrote:

The MXL sounds great to my ears and is dirt cheap, has a full warranty, so what's the problem? I cannot subscribe to the sounding cheap stuff that's often trotted out. If I was broadcasting, then I'd not really consider a 57 or 58 because they only sound good very close in - move off mic and they go thin very quickly. It's probably just my UK ears that mean we're used to broadcasters like the BBC and commercial radio using condensers. A few are using the Neumann dynamic, but the tone of condensers seems to work for us over here.

Interesting thoughts on the different sounds preferred in the UK. Learn something new every day - thanks. I always thought a good condenser was the way to go as well for this line of work, just not sure of which is my best bang for about $200.00. Thanks again for the input Paul, much appreciated.

dvdhawk Thu, 03/13/2014 - 15:46
You're right Paul, my observations are based on US radio broadcasters. I don't have a clue what you guys are using in Europe. Here it's much more of a close-mic sound. My preference for a dynamic in that situation is just that, my preference. Mostly due to the fact that unless the room is treated to sound great, the sensitivity of any condenser mic (top shelf or budget oriented) is going to work against you. In this case, it's possible for a mic to pick up too much of its surrounding space. If I were using a condenser I'd want a substantial windscreen to cut down on pops and moisture ruining the capsule, which largely offsets the sensitivity edge.

Kurt Foster Thu, 03/13/2014 - 18:24
the prices on these MXL mics are all over the place. i found it sans shockmount for 69 bucks. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/condenser-microphones/mxl-v63m-condenser-studio-microphone

i picked up an equivalent mic, an Aventone, for 20 bucks delivered to my door from C/L a few weeks back. most these mics are pumped out in the same mic factory in China and rebranded for distribution. q/c is iffy and quality can vary widely from mic to mic. last as i pointed out resale values are nill. stick to the name brands ... akg, Neumann, shure, etc. in the log run you will be glad you did.

thatjeffguy Fri, 03/14/2014 - 09:32
I have to echo what dvdhawk mentioned. Unless you're working in a well treated room then using a condenser mic.... ANY condenser, is a mistake. Using a good dynamic (like the SM7b) will cut out much of the room sound and focus attention on your voice. The difference can be huge. I hear a lot of amateur recorded stuff on the web that sounds like crap because I hear all the room ambient sound with the voice half buried in it, as if the voice was ten feet from the mic. Strongly recommend against any condenser unless the room you're using is properly acoustically treated.

Jeff

paulears Fri, 03/14/2014 - 12:40
Here's a few image links for the BBC






Radio 1, Radio 2 and BBC news - although, it's quite common for the interviewees mics to be M-201 dynamics, which the BBC really love - especially in their local radio stations, and outside broadcasts. Our radio favours crisp and clear.

Kurt Foster Fri, 03/14/2014 - 14:07
yeah but BBC also has stringent specifications on room design.

there's many reasons to choose dynamics. they're robust, don't require phantom power and despite some insinuations there are dynamics that sound "crisp". RE 20's for one and Sennheiser 421 and 441's for others.

i myself would prefer a well built dynamic than a cheapo 797 condenser that will lose value. just check on what used dynamics cost vs. a 797 condenser on CraigsList.

paulears Sat, 03/15/2014 - 02:47
I do see your point, but at their price point, they're not really intended to hold value - although my first Chinese imports were rather nice, that I kept two which I still use along side brand new ones, and I really cannot find very much to complain about. For that kind of money, I'm happy enough to trust them but not to be precious about them. Seeing them on top of a very tall stand in a church, and being knocked over by somebody by accident doesn't fill me with dread in the way that I'd feel if they were a microphone costing ten times the amount. They can be used in schools and colleges and nobody cries when they get dropped. Yet, all this said, when they are working the quality level is superior in all the usual recording criteria - so this perhaps explains why the respected recording magazines ceased their China bashing a long time ago - reviewing products from a neutral perspective. In fact - it's quite common to see these offered as prizes - and a quality magazine (Like the UK Sound on Sound) are quite positive. Over hear, Sennheiser 421have fell out of favour. Still seen around a few drum kits when people my age open a mic box, but rarely on younger people. I still have an old AKG D202, which was always a favourite for speech but they don't sound like 'modern' dynamics.

Oddly - the Shure SM7 in the UK was more popular with film and sound recordists than radio or TV. I do have to admit that the EV RE20 does feature in a few of our radio broadcaster's studios, so we're not totally dynamic free.

The BBC's room sound rules have been bent quite badly over the past few years, and in one of those pics you can see a presenter holding a mic in a bizarre way - foam windshields and very close in technique seem the modern thing - and at least with a close in omni mic usable audio is guaranteed even when they abuse mic technique - and it's just distance from everything else that lets it work. We have more traditional technique on the Radio 3 and 4 networks, where they still are old fashioned BBC. Listening to the output of Radio 1 (kids, bah humbug) and Radio 4 (mature and dignified) you can really hear a difference. Radio 2 often broadcast from the green room when people don't fit in the studios - nobody notices.

kmetal Sun, 03/16/2014 - 01:27
I didn't see an 80 dollar mic in those bbc pictures. The shock mount for that gold one is probably twice that price. Besides this, I think the OP should just go to a store with cash in hand, and try a few, do a blind test, and just pick whatever sounds best on your voice.

These convos are always precarious, like trying to tell someone what pair of shoes will fit best or be most comfortable. We haven't even heard the OP describe the general tonality of his voice. As a general guideline I say duller voice + bright mic, brighter voice + duller mic. And as a broad generalization, IMHO, a dynamic is going to work on a wider range of voices, than a condenser will, if for no other reason than a reduced sensitivity, and a narrower frequency response.

paulears Sun, 03/16/2014 - 03:59
I always think anyone who spends lots of money on mics, speakers or instruments without trying them is daft. My point here, is just that I'm tired of assertions all over the net that Chinese = Bad, and American or European = Good. My experience simply isn't showing this. Big names have had dreadful mics - the AKG C1000 being a good one to mention. Big name, not really cheap, but in an A/B with a Chinese microphone at half the price, to many European ears, the Chinese one wins.

Of course it's a preference - but if people like the sound of a microphone, and it works for them, does the origin really matter that much. I had an old Shure 515 mic and it was awful. The popular Shure 55 has been revoiced to suit modern ears. The Neumann U87 to many people is quite a mellow microphone. Mellow is a nice word, what does it mean? Mellow = dull, or Mellow = not bright? Semantics really.

Chinese can be good or bad.

My favourite microphone that I use regularly is styled after the old European stereo mics. Two capsule, one on top of the other - both either omni, fig-8 or cardioid, and the top capsule can be swivelled up to 90 degrees. For orchestral, choral, quartets, pianos and even plays it's really nice and very versatile. It's Chinese, and construction is a little rough in places - huge spot welds on the inside, but it sounds very nice to me!

anonymous Sun, 03/16/2014 - 06:36
IMHO, if you are buying one of the Chinese condensers, then I think that you should try a few out and have a listen. You may get lucky and come across one that sounds good.
Although, I don't believe that you need to do so with an AKG414 or a Neumann U87.

My personal experience with the Chinese condensers has been that they are harsh/brittle sounding. As a hired-gun engineer, I use whatever the client has as their disposal ( unless they want to pay extra and use mics from my personal locker), and I've used many various cheap condensers, because 8 times out of 10, this is what the client owns. To my ears, they have all been "brittle". Is there a Chinese model out there that's not? Well, you've used a few that you like so obviously there must be - but up to this point, I myself haven't yet come across one.
I have, however, worked with hundreds of upper-level Austrian microphones over the years, and I haven't run into one yet that sounded bad.

I agree that various descriptions of a mic like the U87 lean from "mellow" to "neutral". But I've never heard one that sounded brittle or harsh. It's not always my first choice, and I don't consider it an "end all-be all" mic ( because I don't think that any mic, regardless of quality, can claim that) but I've never heard one that sounded bad.

but here in Europe we prefer brighter, crisper audio and the Chinese mics of this price range offer really good value for money.

An interesting point, these different audio expectations from country to country. I wasn't aware of what you mentioned.

As a final opinion, I don't believe that a condenser - be it a high caliber model or a budget model - is always the best choice. Room acoustics really come into play. There are times that a dynamic will serve the situation better. In that case, I'd opt for something like a 58, or, if available, a model like the EV RE20 or Shure SM7.

IMHO of course.

kmetal Sun, 03/16/2014 - 12:57
I've heard some bad mics from akg, mainly the perception series which I describe as harsh and thin. Characteristics I associate w cheap Chinese mics in general, and I would have no surprise if they were manufactured there, in the same way as the rest. I haven't tried every "cheap Chinese" mic out there, and I have no doubt there are "diamonds in the rough", I guess that's a positive aspect of looser quality control/tolerances. I will confess I have heard the mxl v69 sound quite interesting, once, on a fender combo, w a distorted sound, I would describe it as wooly. But that's the only time I've ever found them pleasing. Just my humble experience.
Big names have had dreadful mics - the[[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.akg.com/"]AKG[/]="http://www.akg.com/"]AKG[/] C1000 being a good one to mention.

Here's a pic of Sylvia Masseys c1000, which was used on tools album, undertow, on the lead vocal for the whole album.



I guess if the shoe fits, wear it. I just bought a pair of $50 shoes, last night, that's a third of the cost of some others in contention, just liked em' better.
It's funny you mentioned the tastes of different countries, because I have noticed when I watch English television shows like mr bean, or top gear, that they also have a different sense of white balance than American. The American productions seem darker w higher contrast. Either way hasn't stopped me from enjoying :)

paulears Sun, 03/16/2014 - 16:26
The differences between US and UK are quite interesting, I'm discovering. I think that the only time I actually handled an SM7 was in the 70's, when I had to wire one for a theatre show into a few Shure 4 input mixers, that were cascaded together. No EQ, just rotary controls. Thinking back, it had quite a bit of imported US kit. I remember wondering what the mic actually was, not seeing any make visible (and it was pretty tatty with chunks out of the foam) and only later discovered what it was. U87s, and the newer Neumann's are not common second hand here, so prices are pretty high. I swapped my very old one in the late 90's for two AKG 414s and I didn't miss it.The AKGs sounded much crisper in comparison, but I could never get the warm sound I had got used to. The trouble was that this old sound didn't suit every voice, whereas the 414 can be tamed quite nicely with eq, but you couldn't brighten up the 87 very much.

Is the C1000 considered nice in the US? It's become rather a joke here in the UK - obviously lots of people love them, but loads of jokes exist, usually along the lines of, What microphone is best to put a tent up with - a C1000, because it's a shame to waste a hammer to bang in the pegs. Almost universally it gets slated for having a nasty, brittle sound. Perhaps this is unfair, but I have a sneaky suspicion the real problem is that they're often used by beginners who just use them badly - blaming the poor mic!

Kurt Foster Sun, 03/16/2014 - 16:29
Chinese can be good or bad.

there are a lot of folks here with loads of experience with mics, many of them on the "other side of the pond" and you can go on 'till you're blue in the face but i doubt you will change their minds. if you like Chinese mics that's fine. it just gives the rest of us an edge. bottom line is i would never choose anything on the basis of what some "radio guy" said. radio audio is infamously horrid.

to assert that some mic from SP/797 assembled by near slave labor told to "solder this here", as opposed to a fine hand crafted mic assembled by craftsmen is completely absurd. as for myself, i have used both the AKG C1000 and several mics manufactured at 797 and i would choose the AKG anytime.

anonymous Sun, 03/16/2014 - 16:43
The C1000 isn't considered to be a "nice" mic in the same way that 414's are, but they are also quite a bit cheaper.

I've used them on things like drum overheads, and on some acoustic instruments, and I found them to be usable...I didn't think they sounded fantastic or anything, but they didn't sound horrid to me, either... and while they may be a bit harsh on the top end, by no means do I consider them to be anywhere near as harsh as every Chinese-built condenser I've had experience with.

Are they Neumanns ? Or Schoeps ? Of course not. They only cost about $179 or so (U.S.) so the level of expectation at least coincides with the price.

anonymous Sun, 03/16/2014 - 19:44
I was responding to Paul's post, Kurt.

And if that is the way things are in Britain, then so be it, I suppose.

I was simply saying that in my own experience, at least thus far, I've never heard any Chinese-made condensers (or, for that matter, any of the cheap mics made in Mexico, like some of the cheaper bottom rung AT's) that I thought sounded good. They have all been harsh and generally nasty sounding. To be fair, I haven't tried every cheap condenser made, either. Maybe there is one that sounds good. But if there is, I haven't come across it yet.

By the same token, I've yet to hear any of the higher-caliber condensers that didn't sound - at the very least - good. I don't think the U87 sounds great on my own voice, I much prefer a 414, but that doesn't mean that I think that the U87 sounds bad... For that matter, I've never heard any of the upper-level Austrian / German models sound bad.

Are they worth the price tag commanded? Well, that's all relative to your own definition of "worth".

I know from personal experience that $50 for an AT 2020 or a Behringer C1 is about $40 too much. ;)

IMHO of course.

kmetal Sun, 03/16/2014 - 23:12
Is the C1000 considered nice in the US?

My only experience w it was one time on high hat as a 13 yr old. And it was fine for what it was. I use the u87 on acoustics and kick drums far more often that voices, I just haven't recorded singers where that was best best choice in the cabinet.

I love my 414 and find it a bit more, forgiving, or versatile in everyday use, which is not to take away from the 87, but you won't find me buying one, w the plethora of other choices to spend my green on when the time comes.

The only $100 LDC I've ever used that wasn't gross is the audio technica 3035, which they discontinued. It still does have a quite exaggerated top, and I don't like it on vocals, but for drum overheads, it's quite good IMHO. Other than that, I'll take 57s all night.

And yes, I'm still jealous of Donny's 414 EB, Ooof, one day I'll be able to afford a pair.

anonymous Mon, 03/17/2014 - 05:44
And yes, I'm still jealous of Donny's 414 EB, Ooof, one day I'll be able to afford a pair.

It is a nice mic, but it's not as if it's a Telefunken U47 or an ELA 251. LOL.

Speaking of which, I had a chance to work with a Tele ELA once at a studio in Youngstown, Ohio. The owner had bought a pair from Capitol Records back in the 1970's - for a pittance... something stupid like $300 each, or some crazy similar amount. Apparently, he didn't even know what kind of deal he got until he did research afterwards and found out that Telefunken only ever made around 2500 of them when they were released. Considering the source - Capital Records in Los Angeles - it's very possible that cats like Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole had sang into these very same mics in the ealry to mid 50's.
In fact, he had a picture on his wall of Sinatra singing into one. So, not only did he get a pair of gorgeous mics, but it's also very possible he got a serious piece of music history as well.




The studio itself was a dump... and I mean a dump. But the owner had some very nice microphones (old Neumann's, AKG's, RCA's) and man, I'll tell you, that Telefunken sounded so sweet.

I hadn't had the opportunity to use one before - and I haven't since - but I can tell you that those who might nay-say those vintage models as being over-rated must have never worked with one... because if they did, they wouldn't have anything but praise for it. No foolin'. Hands down, it was the best sounding microphone I have ever heard.

Back to the 414...Truthfully, I don't really think that there is a dramatic difference between the EB's / EBP48's and the more recent models like the TL or the XLS... they may be slightly warmer and silkier than those later models, but I can't believe that you couldn't end up with the same sound if you ran it through a nice pre and sculpted the EQ a bit. ;)

paulears Mon, 03/17/2014 - 10:20
I think that if I had a grand to spend, then I'd prefer something better than a Chinese mic. The only thing in my mind is value for money. I'm very happy with the concept of using more expensive kit if it's available because the idea of a lovingly handcrafted product sits well with me. My hang up is this notion that anything Chinese is automatically bad before it's even been listened to.

I'm confused by this 797 thing? Sure they pay their staff little - but the people I speak to seem pretty happy and customer friendly - and although like in India, to us their pay is dreadful, their cost of living is a lot less - balancing much of the discrepancy out.

Have a listen to this audio file
http://www.granthorsley.com/reflections.mp3

It's a short medley of some classical style piano - A C3 Yamaha, and due to some time passing between the sessions, some are Chinese multi-pattern mics and some are 414s - and although there are some subtle differences, I have no idea which ones are which because the numbering system I used got very mixed up and we lost track which recording was which piece of music. These recordings are quite dry, because they're intended to be played in very reflective rooms - which lets you hear perhaps a little more.

WinnipegSoundGuy Mon, 03/17/2014 - 13:03
kmetal, post: 411042, member: 37533 wrote:
We haven't even heard the OP describe the general tonality of his voice. As a general guideline I say duller voice + bright mic, brighter voice + duller mic. And as a broad generalization, IMHO, a dynamic is going to work on a wider range of voices, than a condenser will, if for no other reason than a reduced sensitivity, and a narrower frequency response.

Many good points on this topic to take under consideration. There is a wealth of knowledge here and I truly mean that, Thank You.

Regarding the sound of voice, don't laugh but I have been told I have a very deep voice if that helps (very deep) If I was to sing it might sound like a bad version of Lou Reed :)

After hearing many comments regarding filtering out the noise from the home environment, it is sounding like a dynamic might be the way to go after all.

Any suggestions on a dynamic for my tone of voice with a suggestion for a pre amp to go with it would be kindly appreciated.

pcrecord Mon, 03/17/2014 - 18:31
I hope I'm not off topic or this has not been said already but if I go back to the question, a condenser vs dynamic ?
If your environment is controled a condenser may give more precision but if your room is untreated or not perfectly tuned, the dynamic has the advantage of grabbing less reflections.

kmetal Mon, 03/17/2014 - 19:20
The usual culprits have already been stated, but a shure sm58/sm7, ev re20, I just go w a 58 and be done. With the hundreds bucks left over, your better off buying some burlap and rigid fiberglass, or some moving blankets than buying a $100 pre amp. Just use the one in your interface, and get a decent cable so it won't break quickly, or get loose staticky connections. This thing looked cool the Miktek ProCast SST




All in one 2ch USB mixer/interface and dynamic mic. Looks pretty cool for 300 bucks if your starting from scratch.

paulears Tue, 03/18/2014 - 02:05
How
pcrecord, post: 411099, member: 46460 wrote:
If your environment is controled a condenser may give more precision but if your room is untreated or not perfectly tuned, the dynamic has the advantage of grabbing less reflections.
How so? It's the pickup pattern that controls what they hear, and although a condenser is more sensitive you can't use this sensitivity if you have to turn the gain down.

On the tonal front, I always pick a complimentary mic for the job. My liking for the brighter chinese sound doesn't mean I'd not select a German large diaphragm mic for something like soprano saxophones because a bright instrument and bright mic work badly together. Equally a mellow mic on a double bass rarely works either. Perhaps we should say most appropriate rather than best?

audiokid Tue, 03/18/2014 - 02:27
WinnipegSoundGuy, post: 410970, member: 47266 wrote: Setting up home studio for on line radio and looking for a mike, can anyone tell me why the MXL V63M [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.musician…"]http://www.musician… is so cheap ? [/]="http://www.musician…"]http://www.musician… is so cheap ? [/]

I found a used Shure Sm7b http://www.kijiji.ca/v-pro-audio-recording/winnipeg/shure-sm7b-with-yorkville-adjustable-stand-and-yorkville-cable/573531147?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

Or any other XLR suggestions considering a limited budget to run though my board would be much appreciated. I have phantom power on the board but no other home equipment at the moment.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks Gents.

This may be way off your direction, and I have no idea about broadcasting but I have a RODE Podcaster and love it. My tastes are pretty demanding and I must say, I never expected a USB mic to sound this good. Its definitely very well designed and is far better than I expected. Plug it into my mac and start talking. wow.

anonymous Tue, 03/18/2014 - 05:53
All these posts confirm that there is no "end all - be all " mic. It's completely dependent on the voice, the room, the pre, etc....

A mic that sounds great on my voice might not be the best choice for someone else.

Your best bet is to try several mics in the price range that you are looking at and based upon your budget, and choose the one that sounds best to you.

I would agree that if your room is bright and reflective that you may want to stick to a dynamic for now. The SM58 is a solid choice, and over the years is still only around $100.

Put some money into taming the upper frequency reflections in your room, and consider a decent condenser in the future once you've improved the room a bit.

IMHO of course.

WinnipegSoundGuy Tue, 03/18/2014 - 09:07
DonnyThompson, post: 411112, member: 46114 wrote: All these posts confirm that there is no "end all - be all " mic. It's completely dependent on the voice, the room, the pre, etc....

A mic that sounds great on my voice might not be the best choice for someone else.


IMHO of course.

Well Gents, it is amazing how much you can learn on this forum in just a couple of pages of posts but at the same time come out scratching your head with all the preferences that there are and options available. Some great suggestions here and now you have me very curious on a few different microphones.I will look at a couple of the suggestions presented in this thread and once again want to thank you all for your valued input, Thank You !!

Davedog Tue, 03/18/2014 - 12:07
The pickup pattern was mentioned and on this, this is where the quality becomes easily apparent with any mic be it condenser, dynamic, ribbon.....A high-quality built, well designed mic....lets use something that is a 'standard' for example...a Neumann U87.....this mic will demonstrate a VERY DEFINED null in its cardioid pattern and its figure of 8 will actually work as such. The frequency response around the edges of its patterns is also well defined and actually usable in a capture.

This is not the case with knock-offs as a rule.

The proximity effect on some of these less expensive mics tends to be different from mic to mic and in my experience not a pleasant result. Yes, there is a very prominent proximity bump in the SM57/58 and in a lot of dynamics....most moving coil designs will have that...but with these, its always a clear and controllable effect. Sometimes wanted, sometimes not, but never unusable with a bit of a tweak.

I find some of these cheap condensers do NOT take EQ very well. So filtering out some of their characteristics in order to make them a usable piece may not work out.

I have NEVER found a dynamic that didn't react well to EQ AND compression for that matter. Nor have I found any of the Legacy types of mics that didn't either.

I mentioned handling noise earlier. One of the major concerns in the 'modders' world on the cheap condensers is getting this aspect under control.

There are a lot of mics out there. For the OP's needs, a home broadcast/podcast you need nothing more than an SM58 with a quality boom or broadcast arm.

People can talk about mics till they are blue and the face and I'm no different. There are many good low-cost mics to choose from...I could recommend at least ten different under $300 condensers that would do the job admirably but these would be all over the budget stated.

My studio Guru used a phrase the other day when we talking about my next upgrade. He said "Design for the need..."


Doesn't get any simpler.

RemyRAD Fri, 04/11/2014 - 14:46
Dynamic microphones are frequently preferable because of their lower sensitivity. They won't pick up junk outside of the bandwidth you don't need. They are less sensitive to ambient noise levels.

And you're talking about DJ's, in already soundproofed radio control rooms just blathering away. You're not talking about using it in a opened musical application. Just talking heads. So that's not exactly a well defined and objective listening test, outside that of human speech. An absolutely nothing wrong with Sennheiser 421's, Electro-Voice RE 20's. Just as much high-end as any condenser microphone has to offer. A slightly different sound. Oh wow. Like everything is supposed to be homogenized the same? Maybe in the UK? Not in the US. We are a little more individualized here. It doesn't always have to be that crisp, dry, British delivery. But it does for the Britts. Maybe for the Germans?

Look, with all my high-end great microphones, I own, I also have a pair of Samson LDC's. Cheap ones. $80 each. Less than a 57/58. Why? Because I don't want wayward drumsticks slamming into my 414's, 87's, 67's, 77 DX's, M-160's. Yet with their .3 mil, externally polarized diaphragm and lousy Chinese transformer, it isn't the most horrible LDC to use. Just those cheap and Chinese boxy sounding transformers require a tad of EQ around 300 Hz taken out. And they're usable.

They open up like any other U-87. What I found funny, inside was that there was a high pass/LO cut switch inside the body of the microphone, with no markings. What? So I drilled a hole through the body of the microphone to make the low-cut filter accessible. I mean WTF with that? It cost too much to drill the extra hole? Geez... give me a break. No pad though. So not good on high SPL sound sources. Probably fine for DJ's? Not fine for drums. Screaming singers. Screaming trumpet's. Nope. And that only requires an extra capacitor and a switch. To whit, I did not install. So they overload a bit when used for overheads on drums. Who cares? It's rock 'n roll. Live with it.

We don't sleep together.
Mx. Remy Ann David
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