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Best home studio vocal mic under $150
Old 26th January 2013
  #31
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by newsounds ➑️
I've been looking to buy a mic with a stand + xlr cable if possible under $150 mainly for recording vocals in my home studio. I see a lot of people recommending an SM57 but would it be better if I were to buy the bundle (stand + xlr cable) for an extra $9? Shure SM57, Stand & Cable Package | Musician's Friend or would I be better off buying everything seperately, if so what should I get instead? I'm also open to other mic suggestions.


Also I have a mic stand right now but it's missing a mic clip, does the sm57 come with that? I also need a pop filter if possible.
Think about going used. There's great deals on Ebay but just look for an exchange/return policy in case the mic is hooped. That way your protected. You can get double the quality if you buy used since you can snag a mic for 50% less!
Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
  #32
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Wink

If anyone is THAT (understandably) concerned about the "fakes", the just buy a new 58 from a reputable dealer ala GC or Sweetwater, etc.

IMHO if your music is on the mellower side of the fence, the EV 635a new/or used would also be a good choice.

Chris
Old 28th January 2013
  #33
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
besides the fact that the sm57 is a well rounded mic, what is the main reason why you recommend a dynamic over a condenser mic? If this helps, I'm recording in a small room with barely any echo and I record mainly electronic/mellow/chillwave music sometimes adding reverb to the vocals.
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #34
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Maybe if your budget was five or ten times higher, some condensers, and fancier dynamic mics, might be recommended. Along with preamps, room treatment, and things like that.

At this price point, the dynamic mic is probably king. I can think of several very successful albums that have been recorded with cheap Shure dynamic mics on vocals, as well. I've even used them successfully for drum overhead recording. The shure SM mics are just such a great choice for general recording at $100 or whatever.

Although, I did recommend the AT3035 to you. When I was starting out, I seemed to use that more often than the SM58 that I also owned, for vocals. There's nothing wrong with a decent cheap condenser, if you want a little more presence than a dynamic mic will offer.
Old 28th January 2013
  #35
Lives for gear
 
Sir Chris's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Maybe you can find a used Blue Spark on eBay for $100-$150. Its not a bad mic. Definitely not as bright as a SM57 but its got a great sound to it. I'm sure u can find YouTube videos of it.

Sent from my Nexus S 4G
Old 28th January 2013
  #36
Gear Maniac
 
phillipc421's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
So you guys are saying that a 57 is a better choice for recording vocals than a 58? 58 is just more suited for live applications?
Old 28th January 2013
  #37
Gear Head
 
Sloan's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Studio Projects C1.
I've got a first gen model and have had no real reason to get any thing else. Cost about $100 brand new.

Just bought an sm7 last year and it was one of the most underwhelming purchases of my life but I have a feeling I will be dealing with screamers the rest of my life so it might be a good investment.

Don't waste time with 57/58. Put those on drums or anywhere else a mic might get the **** beat out of it. Best use of 58 is hihat - crank that up in the drummers phones so the sonofabitch will lighten up on em.

Also the sennheiser e609 works surprisingly well for vocals, drums, perc. Just don't use it on a guitar cab outside of a live gig...
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #38
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
phillipc421, the 57 and 58 both sound very similar, the 57 is slightly more open, the 58 has a bit more of a push in the mids, but in a mix they're almost indistinguishable.

If you're buying one just for vocals, and might use it live, get the 58. If you're thinking you might use it for guitar amps or percussion, etc., then get the 57. In reality either one will work on most sources just fine. If you get the 57 though, make sure and get a decent pop filter, in fact I'd recommend one for either.

And don't sweat whether they're pro enough. As monkeyxx pointed out, they've been used for vox on lots of big records, including U2, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bjork, The Killers... just off the top of my head.

Keep in mid though, they won't deliver the crispy/airy sound of a condenser. it's going to be a drier, darker, more in your face sound, especially when compared to cheaper condensers. If you decide you'd rather get a condenser, then I'd suggest looking for a used AT4040 or Shure KSM27. Both are pretty decent for being budget mics.
Old 28th January 2013
  #39
Lives for gear
 
Jazz Noise's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
What sort of vocal? I've never used the MXL V67 but it's supposedly a clone of a JM47, which is a very nice mic. 57's and 58's are great too and there's plenty to be found used.

The LDC fever is something I've never totaly bought, though I have used them. When I've the money, I'll consider a C414 or a u87. In the mean time I've also been pretty happy with my RM700 which is a cheap ribbon mic - a somewhat dark ribbon great for beefing up a singer! Old broadcast dynamic mics like 635's are great too for the opposite where you're going for a more open sound that's not too bass heavy.
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #40
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann ➑️
Or for roughly the same money, an Sm81 and Sm7 will do literally everything better in a home studio. It's, IME, the no brainer combo. Everything from voices to amps to acoustic guitars and percussion--all covered better than any LDC anywhere near the price range. Even new that's $700 of mics...used a few hundred less. And they've been around so long...they're out there. An amazingly consistent. Unlike old LDCs.

The power to go home always been there, Dorothy.
What? totally disagree. There are lot's of LDC near and below that price range that are far superior to the SM7 on acoustic guitars and also for many vocals. You'll need a properly treated room, off course.
How can one get to such strange ideas? When was last time you tried a modern low end LDC? Both Cad179 and AT20x are a bang for the buck, and I find them much more versatile, easyer to EQ and definitely the better choice over an Sm7 in most cases.
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #41
Lives for gear
 
guitarboy94's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chk23 ➑️
What? totally disagree. There are lot's of LDC near and below that price range that are far superior to the SM7 on acoustic guitars and also for many vocals. You'll need a properly treated room, off course.
How gan one get to such strange ideas? When was last time you tried a modern low end LDC? Both Cad179 and AT20x are a bang for the buck, and I find them much more versatile, easyer to EQ and definitely the better choice over an Sm7 in most cases.
Agree. My SM7 is terrific, but my Bill Silter modded Oktava 319 is as good, if not better sounding. Plus, you can use the 319 on acoustic guitars. The SM7b is terrible on acoustic instruments. Total investment in the Oktava 319 mic is 250 bucks, less than a USED SM7b. You also don't need to worry about gain issues with the Oktava mics. Honestly, the 319 sounds a lot more open and pristine than the SM7b, which to my ears, can sound kind of pinched and narrow. Don't get me wrong though, I do love my SM7b, but I'm using it less and less these days after getting the modded Oktava 319.
Old 29th January 2013
  #42
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
I went into Guitar Center and they told me to save up for a better mic like a Blue Spark for example. They recommended that I should not get an SM57/58 for home recording vocals. Should I listen to them and save a bit for a condenser or should I just grab the 57 and get it over with?

They also recommended a Sterling 51 or an AKG perception 170, Are these any good? I'm so lost now.
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #43
Lives for gear
 
guitarboy94's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Another really nice one is a used Shure KSM27. You can get one used for around 175. For better than the AKG Perception.

Don't listen to the fools of guitar center. Plenty of records have been made with Shure dynamic mics.
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #44
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Your choice of an SM57 v. an SM58 is far less important that (a) your singing and (b) the effect of the room you record in. If the room in which you record is not acoustically treated, you're probably going to get that "recorded at home" boxy sound. And depending on your monitors and room acoustics, you may not hear a difference between the 57 and the 58. So I would not get tied in knots over the choice between a 57 and a 58.

Condensers pickup more---including room effect so don't go there unless your acoustics are up to it.

The Sterling Audio is the GC house brand. Some around here suspect they have a larger profit margin on their house brand. Watch out for upselling.
Old 29th January 2013
  #45
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
I could get a Blue Spark (White) for $150 right now which comes with a pop filter, mount, and xlr cable, would you consider this a good mic?
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #46
Lives for gear
 
prizebeatz1's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
IMO the hardest part is just jumping in and making a commitment to a decision. I think it's difficult to just trust your yourself and your own instincts. Take some time to find out what your heart is telling you to do. Personally, an sm57 would be a great start but an LDC would also be a great learning experience. Just know that you can always sell and trade after you get tired of either one. You might lose a little money in transaction costs but as long as you buy used you will avoid the biggest hit.
Old 29th January 2013
  #47
Lives for gear
 
Sir Chris's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I would check YouTube for vids of the two mics to see if you can get an idea of how the two sound. 57&58 are brighter than the Blue Spark. As far as vocals its a crap shoot. Some people's vocals sound great on a $100 mic and others on a $500 mic and others a $3,000 mic.

Blue Spark is a very good sounding mic. Good enough for professional use. Sounds good on vocals, guitars, percussion, etc. Ultimately I don't think you can go wrong with a 57, Spark, Studio Projects C1, etc. Look them up, see if you can find anything online where you can listen to them.

Sent from my Nexus S 4G
Old 29th January 2013
  #48
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
After listening to some comparisons I'm stuck between the AKG Perception 220 and the Blue Spark.
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #49
Gear Nut
 
Ximo's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveswisher ➑️
For vocals get a large diaphragm condenser mic. I have an MXL 990 that's low cost and works great. The SM57 is a good all-around mic. It does come with a clip.
The MXL 990 is a small diaphragm condenser with a plastic ring around the diaphragm to make it look bigger.
Old 29th January 2013
  #50
Lives for gear
 
steveswisher's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ximo ➑️
The MXL 990 is a small diaphragm condenser with a plastic ring around the diaphragm to make it look bigger.
Interesting. I didn't know that.
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #51
Lives for gear
 
Ernest Buckley's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by newsounds ➑️
I'm kind of stuck between the sm57 and sm58. It seems that these are recommended 50/50. Are there people that prefer the sound of the 57 over the 58 for vocals? I was thinking of getting the 57 with a pop filter, would that do just as good?
I have both, I hardly use the 58. Get the 57 and windscreen!
Old 29th January 2013
  #52
Here for the gear
 
BarzzIzDope's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I would save an extra 50 bucks and pick up a (KEL-HM2D) super dope mic that has the sensitivity of a LDC with the grit of a dynamic.....definitely worth it

Sent from my SGH-T959
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #53
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Buckley ➑️
The 57 is a great mic. Buy it. If you`re a one man band/recording one track at a time, you only need a 57 and an AT4050. Those two mics will cover almost everything you do.
Would you say the sm57 is a better buy than the Blue Spark ($150) or an AKG Perception 220 ($115)?
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #54
Lives for gear
 
Ernest Buckley's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by newsounds ➑️
Would you say the sm57 is a better buy than the Blue Spark ($150) or an AKG Perception 220 ($115)?
I have yet to use either one so I cannot comment.
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #55
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by newsounds ➑️
Would you say the sm57 is a better buy than the Blue Spark ($150) or an AKG Perception 220 ($115)?
I haven't use those (the AKG and the Blue Spark) either - but with the two he recommended you get a basic set that will enable you to make quality recordings with a wide range of sources. Doesn't has to be exactly those models, but having a solid, versatile dynamic like the SM57 and a solid, versatile condenser like the AT4050 (or the AT4040 for a less expensive choice) in your locker will give you quite some options and a long period of time before you get to a limit that would require an upgrade.
Old 31st January 2013
  #56
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
My friend is letting me borrow his sm57 in a couple of weeks but I want to start recording now. I'm really interested in trying a condenser mic so far I'm stuck between AT 2050, Blue Spark, CAD M179, and RODE NT1A. The nt1a is a little above the budget but if it is that much of an upgrade then I won't have a problem since it comes with all the accessories.
Old 31st January 2013
  #57
Lives for gear
 
Sir Chris's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
NT1-A is a really good mic. Blue Spark is just as good (just a little darker sounding). Problem is there is no such thing as a "one size fits all" microphone. There's no way to know which one of those mics you mentioned will sound good on the vocals your trying to record. Blue Spark may sound the best on your voice but may mot sound as good on your boys vocals wheres the NT1-A probably will.

Sm57 is a swiss army knife type mic cause most "Instruments" you try to record with it almost certainly will sound good or at the least good enough. May not be the best mic for the job but it is a proven mic that many pros stand behind on. As a vocal mic it won't fair off any better than the others you mentioned. It all depends 100% on the singers voice.

Your best bet is to go to a local music store with who's ever vocals your recording and ask to audition some of the mics you got your eyes on.

Sent from my Nexus S 4G
Old 1st February 2013
  #58
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Just out of curiosity does everyone recommend a SM57/-58 for a $200 budget microphone just for people who don't have acoustic treated rooms? If I were to add treatment by using blankets or get a vocal shield would you then recommend a condenser? Or are they all really that bad in that price range that it isn't worth it. I know that the sm57 is a good tool since it can record everything but I only plan to record vocals exclusively and use the mic for skype calls when I'm not recording. I know watching youtube videos doesn't justify true sound of mic tests but I see a lot of people recording in untreated rooms with decent sound, but maybe my ears just aren't trained yet.

I don't have any of my music up online yet and even if I did I don't have the vocals added since I don't have a mic yet. Here's a video of something similar to what I play, not exactly but you should get the idea. Washed Out - You and I - YouTube
Old 1st February 2013 | Show parent
  #59
Lives for gear
 
Kierkes's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by newsounds ➑️
Just out of curiosity does everyone recommend a SM57/-58 for a $200 budget microphone just for people who don't have acoustic treated rooms? If I were to add treatment by using blankets or get a vocal shield would you then recommend a condenser? Or are they all really that bad in that price range that it isn't worth it. I know that the sm57 is a good tool since it can record everything but I only plan to record vocals exclusively and use the mic for skype calls when I'm not recording. I know watching youtube videos doesn't justify true sound of mic tests but I see a lot of people recording in untreated rooms with decent sound, but maybe my ears just aren't trained yet.

I don't have any of my music up online yet and even if I did I don't have the vocals added since I don't have a mic yet. Here's a video of something similar to what I play, not exactly but you should get the idea. Washed Out - You and I - YouTube
I've found that more often than not, room issues manifest in a je ne sais quoi kind of way when mixing. So even with untrained ears, you'll be affected; you just won't notice it immediately.
Old 1st February 2013 | Show parent
  #60
Lives for gear
 
Jazz Noise's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by newsounds ➑️
Just out of curiosity does everyone recommend a SM57/-58 for a $200 budget microphone just for people who don't have acoustic treated rooms? If I were to add treatment by using blankets or get a vocal shield would you then recommend a condenser?
I dont get it either - it's like the "Only use cardiod/hyper card in untreated rooms" thing. Most room problems are below 300hz, at which point most mics are omni or fairly close to it.

Get whatever suits your needs best, and adopt ad hoc treatment and careful position as neccesary.
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