What mics to use for vocals?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by kaushpaul, Jul 18, 2003.

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  1. kaushpaul

    kaushpaul Guest

    I've been getting different feedback as per the mic I should get for recording vocals. Some people are saying go with a dynamic mic like the Shure SM58 while some are advising that large diaphragm condenser mics are the way to go for vocals. Any/all feedback would greatly be appreciated.

    I'm just starting out so I have a limited budget (max $200).
  2. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    May 12, 2003
    Dynamic mic's work alright for vocals, sometimes they are even better, but that depends on the vocalist.
    Personally I like condensres whenever possible, as they are much more sensitive, and I love detail!
    If you are the vocalist, I would suggest gathering some LD condensers, and dynamics as well, and test em out. Grab the one that suits your voice the most.
    I should really get an endorsement from avlex or something for how often I pump their product, but I have a pair Avlex avs 80's, and they are fantastic for the dollar. I have used the rode nt1 and it may be within your budget, also audix, studio projects should be considered too.

    Hope this helps!

  3. musicalhair

    musicalhair Guest

    If you already have a 58 then you should by all means try it, but honestly I can't imagine anyone saying that is the mic you should record with. There may be all sorts of reasons to use it live on stage but not recording. You might have better success with a 57 for recording vocals, just sing off axis.

    If you save up to like $300 you can get an MD 421 which should be a lot better than a 58 for recording vocals, and a lot of other things. I have thread where recorderman talks about some dynamic mics I'm interested in.

    A Beyer M 88 TG is like $340 new, that has an excellent reputation for vocals as well other applications. I don't know how the Beyer M 69 TG might be, but that goes for $225 new.

    Also instead of a 58, shure has a "beta" line with mics like the beta 57 beta 58a and beta 87 which might meet your needs and budget. Plus Sennheiser has a line of mics-- evolution-- that are like direct competition with the 58's, and some of them are vastly superior to the sm 58. I worked with them in a rehearsal studio and in a blues club and everyone that used them liked them. They don't take a beating like a 58 though. I wish I could give you numbers on these their all like 835 855 etc, and they are different from each other and some are a lot better sounding than the 58.

    The best thing about the 58 is that the singer in the first band on stage can smash it into the floor, the next guy can through up on it, the third guy can practically smoke through it and it will still keep running like nothing happened. That is why they're on like the stage of nearly every club I've played-- that plus they're cheap.
  4. Andy W.

    Andy W. Guest

    Try the Marshal MXL mics. You can't beat them for the dollar. Try the V67G or V93M. They are both large condenser mics and are great for vocals. The V67G is comparable to a U87 and the V93M is similar to an AKG 414 with a little less top end. Good Luck! A good engineer begins with a good set of ears! :c:
  5. Richard Monroe

    Richard Monroe Active Member

    Jun 24, 2003
    Framingham, Mass.
    Home Page:
    Dynamic and condenser mics are like 2 different mediums, pastel and watercolors. Dynamic mics have lower output, and benefit greatly from a very good preamp. I disagree with the poster who says he wouldn't record vocals with an SM58- Elton John would, through a kickass preamp. I also disagree that a mic like the V67G is comeparable to a U87. Yeah sure, like a Yugo is comparable to a Ferrari!
    Do not misunderstand me, though, the V67 is a *great* mic at its pricepoint, and an excellent choice in a budget mic. Regarding vocals, and the building of a mic cabinet, you need to learn these tools. One is not "better" than the other, it's a stick vs. an automatic transmission. For someone starting out, I suggest one of each as learning tools. Take the $200 and buy an SM57 for a basic dynamic. It will never go out of style.
    Then buy a basic condenser. I like the V67G also for main vocals, and Studio Projects B-1 for a versatile instrument mic usable by *some* vocalists, both under $100.
    Generally, your best vocal sound through a cheap preamp or mixer, will probably be achieved with a condenser. As the quality of the preamp goes up, the two types of mics become more similar, making it a more situational matter of taste. This is more true as the quality of the dynamic mic is raised- Sennheiser MD441, Shure SM7, etc. The highest end dynamics are the classic ribbon mics, and then it's a whole new ball game.-Richie
  6. musicalhair

    musicalhair Guest

    Hey Richie, your point about matching a dynamic to a great preamp is an important one. For me, my preamps are not exactly world class, so that may also influence what mics I like-- till I get better ones. And I may be guilty of some bias towards the 58, but I do see it's value for live vocals. I did say he should try it if he already has one.

    What did Elton John record with the 58? Perhaps as important do you know what preamp they used?
  7. kaushpaul

    kaushpaul Guest

    Thanks Richie for your helpful comments. Since I have a low-end mic-preamp, I will go out and buy a condenser mic. Haven't tried recording with the 58 as yet but the more I read, the more I'm realizing that the 57 should have been a more prudent buy for me at this point. Oh well, we live and learn...
  8. sagreene

    sagreene Guest

    I got an Audio Technica 3035 - shockmount, cable and boom stand for $200 from eighthstreet. Works double duty as vocal mic and a room mic for drums. Sometimes room mic for guitar, but i find it a bit thin and brittle normally. Most bands i record with have never been in a studio (if my place could qualify) and they are pretty impressed by it....specially when you crank up th e gain so they can hear their breathing in the cans :p "Whoa dude that thing is sensitive"
  9. musicalhair

    musicalhair Guest

    You should see the lemons in my "mic collection" :D , but don't judge the 58 till you use it, I mean you did buy it already so give it it's fair shot.

    I ASSuMing your a singer, and that your the guy that will be the first and primary voice you're recording at least for now. If you plan on playing shows as a singer, at least you've got your own 58 that doesn't smell of stale beer and cigarettes and since it is a 58 it won't scare off the club's sound guy when you ask to use your mic instead.

    For your studio, If you've used the 58 a lot live then you'll know how to use it and you'll be able to record a good performance using it. It is common for a singer with a lot of club experience but no recording experience to simply not work well with anything other than a hand held mic.

    I'm not saying your should return the mic, try it out and see what happens. Also, consider what other uses it might serve (like live use, for talk back if you're set up needs that, hand held vocal in the studio or an alternative vocal mic in the studio), and consider what you'll be recording besides your own voice.

    When I got into recording I wanted to record rock bands running up to 8 tracks live recording drums, bass and 2 guitars, overdubbing vocals later. I needed a more mic and stuff than if I was only recording myself or working on techno or hip hop. I'm only now begining to really undo some bad earlier purchases and assumptions. If the worst thing you do is buy a 58, then you're in pretty good shape :tu: .
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