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Best home studio vocal mic under $150
Old 24th January 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Best home studio vocal mic under $150

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.
Old 24th January 2013
  #2
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TurboJets's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
AT pro37 and EV N/D767
Old 24th January 2013
  #3
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steveswisher's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
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.
Old 24th January 2013
  #4
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Sir Chris's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I would go with that bundle. Also can't go wrong with a SM57. Its a studio classis. Its like a swiss army knife. It sounds good pretty much on everything. There's a reason why world famous producers call it there desert island mic.

Pop filter will run you $15-$20 at cheapest. Unless h make your own with a hanger and pantyhose. Plenty of YouTube videos on how to make one if your not sure.

Sent from my Nexus S 4G
Old 24th January 2013
  #5
Gear Addict
 
ontariomaximus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
CAD M179 or MXL 2003a

I use both, and you can get very good results.
Old 24th January 2013
  #6
Here for the gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
I love my AT 2035 pair ~ $150 ea. Make your own pop shield and skip Starbucks for a week for mic stand money.

I find the 2035 much more use than a '58 but there is nothing wrong at all about a good dynamic. Check out the Audix i5 - halfway between the two
Sent from my GT-I9070
Old 24th January 2013
  #7
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popmann's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
For vocals get a large diaphragm condenser mic.
Absolutely not.

Sm58. Or if you can wrangle a Beta58 for the price-they may be a tad more. You don't want the 57--while they share the diaphragm, the 58 has the pop filter for vocals, ALWAYS sounds better, IMO, on anything...AND--you can easily remove the resonator disc from the pop filter if you want a flatter "almost sm7" response from it. Actually-never tried removing it from a Beta (or if it's there)...so, I'm mixing responses a bit. Regular sm58 is barr none THE choice at that budget. Particularly for a home studio environment.

Sorry--I know it's not sexy, but I promise you'll get better results.
Old 24th January 2013
  #8
Gear Addict
 
MattMoorman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
An MXL LDC. Do you want to make a ruckus in a room and capture performances/jams and in general just capture stuff and not have to worry about it being close to the source? Or, do you want to try to get a "clean", track-by-track recording of various sounds/instruments/etc.? If the former then an LDC like an MXL v67 would be good. But the LDC can also work for the latter as well. With a LDC you can record a drum kit from above, or 10 feet out in front. You could record a choir or a whole band, etc. The very first mic I had was an MXL v63m. I would set it wherever I thought it sounded most interesting and press record. I also loved to turn it way down and sing really close to it as well. And layer vocal atop vocal atop vocal. Shortly thereafter I was indefinitely lent an sm57 and 58. It took me over a year to understand or even care about their worth. The LDC was way more inspiring and entertaining. I would have some friends over and jam and just pull that MXL out and capture the magic. Or stick it by the window and capture the street, etc. Ah, the good old days were void of scrutiny and blind to their sibilances and smears.

Now, I use dynamics, ribbons, and SDC's, and DI, and rarely even use an LDC. And you won't outgrown an SM57 or 58. But I would still recommend an LDC as an first/only mic. More fun.
Old 24th January 2013
  #9
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sort of echoing what popmann said...

IMHO one simple/reasonable way to go is to get a nice used 58.

FWIW in Southern CA, you can pick them up "all day long" for around $60.

There are some good sounding LDC's under $150 IMHO.

But you would do much better to take ample time to figure out what LDC sounds good on you. Also they pick up more background noise in a typical untreated home "studio".

Chris
Old 24th January 2013
  #10
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
AT3035 or SM57 or 58 with TAB T58 transformer, or Electro-Voice DS35, RE15, maybe 635a for a retro sound
Old 24th January 2013
  #11
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
SM57 with a pop filter should work fine, so will an SM58. I used an SM57 and a Blue Spark on a recent punk EP (had both mics set up at the same time) and some tracks the Spark was more suited, others the SM57, so it reallly depends on the sound you are after.

That said, those On Stage stands from Musicians friend are great, I have a ton and they hold up well. They are the only stand in that price range that doesn't seem to be made all out of plastic and break in five minutes.
Old 24th January 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I would also recommend trying an SM58 or SM57. In my experience the SM57 sounds better on most vocals, but you do need a pop filter. I have a number of good vocal mic options in my studio, and the 57 is often in the running for best when I audition them on different voices. This is very voice-dependent, so try both (as well as others) and see which suits your voice better.

It really helps to have a nice pre as well to make the SM58 or SM57 really sound good. On some pres they sound dull and blah. So ideally you can try out some options using your own pre.
Old 24th January 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Behringer B2 Pro.
Old 24th January 2013
  #14
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cjogo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
In the used under $150 = AT 4033a -- EV N/D767
Old 24th January 2013
  #15
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Ernest Buckley's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 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.
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.
Old 24th January 2013
  #16
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popmann's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
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.
Old 24th January 2013
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Just to add.. it might make sense to try and match the microphone to the vocalist.. I mean that's sorta the ideal thing.. and in that case.. its probably best not to have real preconceived notions about what's the best mic... you simply need to try different things out.

On the other hand... if you got your self a studio and you want to go and record a lot of different things, other then vocals, then you might want to think about what microphone is good for those applications... or what microphones.. and then maybe try out different microphones that fit that bill well...

And then.. of course.. there's the chance that you might not want to focus on a particular vocalist.. in which case... you already got pretty good advice.

Outside of other already mentioned microphones.. my favorite cheap-o mic is probably the M-Audio Pulsar 2s... A matched pair of small diaphragm condenser microphones... that do surprisingly well on all sorts of stuff.

It looks like they might be getting phased out.. but a cursory look has a pair showing up for like $140.
Old 25th January 2013
  #18
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
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?
Old 25th January 2013 | Show parent
  #19
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LoFi_By_Choice's Avatar
 
🎧 5 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 would think very few people would choose the 57 over the 58 for vocals. At least for clean, not-tricked-out vocals.

Either one could be used for vocals, just depends on what your project calls for.
Old 25th January 2013
  #20
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Ephi82's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Lets finish this thread quick 'cause its easy.

Buy a SM - 57, stand etc and use it for a while, getting the best sounds you can out of it.

When you find that you cant get better sounds with it, and then we will all talk pre amps and other mics.

BTW, the '58 is essentially the same mic as the '57. The SM-58 head-basket designed for vocals.

The '57 is more versatile. Just know that low end can get boomy closer you get to it ("proximity effect")

Have fun and rock it!
Old 25th January 2013
  #21
Paj
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Newsounds,

I'm going to guess your recording space is untreated. Turn on everything that you're going to normally use to record vocals, stand where you're going to record, and . . . Just listen. If you hear your computer/recorder, heating, cooling, plumbing, appliances, neighborhood, traffic (street, rail or air), or family---go dynamic and start with a cardioid Shure, Sennheiser, EV, AT, Prodipe or Heil that normally sells in the $100-150 range.

Paj
8^)
Old 25th January 2013
  #22
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Or get the 58, and screw off the headbasket to hear that sound, using a pop filter, as recommended earlier. Best of both?

Honestly either one will probably work fine. The differences are in the realm of "subtle." But the SM58 is the classic vocal mic of the two.
Old 25th January 2013 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 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 think the sm57 is a good choice if you also want to record amps or even acoustic guitar. I've used both of them and there really isn't a huge difference.

I'd put another mic up for consideration that I've used as an all around multipurpose mic: The Sennsheiser e835. Kind of closer to an sm58 but a touch more midrangy.
Old 25th January 2013
  #24
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Sir Chris's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Ok screw this. Get a SM57 & a SM58 used. Both mics on eBay should run you under $150. I personally don't agree with all the hoopla over the 58. I have a Beta 58 and I prefer the 57 on everything except "some" vocals. Its more dynamic than my 58. At the end of the day you don't hear any famous/reputable producers talk about an SM58 for anything. Its infamous for live applications but not recording. Recording wise hands down goes to a SM57. Its called a "desert island mic" for a reason. Think about that for a min.

Sent from my Nexus S 4G
Old 25th January 2013
  #25
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Try the Wildwood Dreamland mic. Though it's not noted on their website, I just learned that Odyssey Pro Sound is offering an introductory special at $199 (slightly over your requested budget). This mic sounds like a mic with one more zero before the decimal point, and looks great. And you can demo it (no charge).
Old 25th January 2013
  #26
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Honestly it would help to know what kind of music you make. Screaming death metal calls for a different mic choice than soft acoustic folk.
Old 25th January 2013
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Kierkes's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I just want to say that "pretuned" live microphones, FOR ME, don't function well in a studio setting. You know which ones I'm talking about. A certain neodymium Electro-Voice may work for some people, but that microphone and those of its family, the live dynamics that reviewers say "make sound guys smile" like Heil PR-35's and such, don't seem to cut it for me when recording.

Actually, they cut it too much. And that sound is so well-engineered that it's nigh impossible to EQ out. People talk about their condenser-like sound, but what condenser is any given dynamic supposed to be emulating? It's some silly buzzword for "crispier top-end." They do sound more open, and these microphones are pure magic when used live, and that's because they're cutting through all this saturation. Recorded dry, I'm not a fan.

If you were asking for a general-purpose microphone, I'd easily recommend the CAD M179. For vocals, yeesh. At this price range, your goal is a microphone that doesn't screw up vocals, let along enhance them. I'd still recommend the M179 for the condenser route, but learning the 57 is, in my opinion, one of the most important lessons one can learn. Also, one of the most enabling!
Old 25th January 2013
  #28
col
Gear Addict
 
col's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If you're any bit of handy diy sort, I'd get two 57's. Do the transformer mod to the other one. Also get an impedance "mod" cable for them.

How to Do the "TapeOp" Shure SM57 Mod - YouTube

Shure SM57 / SM58 Mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann ➑️
The power to go home always been there, Dorothy.
Or the philosopher's stone, depending on how you want to read it.
Old 26th January 2013
  #29
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
EV767 or 967 are great. Save up $200 and get a used Heil PR35, which is amazing, especially for male voices.
Old 26th January 2013
  #30
Lives for gear
 
guitarboy94's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Find yourself a used Oktava 319 for 120 bucks. Get that baby modified by Bill Sitler for 119 bucks. You'll have yourself a worldclass mic for 250 bucks grand total. Just got mine back from Bill, and yikes, the mic rocks. Talk about smooth, thick buttery vintage vibe with a wonderful open sound on the top end.
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