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Best Vocal Mic Under $700
Old 18th September 2012
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Best Vocal Mic Under $700

Hey everyone I am looking to do some home recording and am trying to deiced on what Mic to buy. It will mainly be used for vocals.

Right now I am looking at the Audio-Technica AT4047, Audio-Technica AT4050, Rode K2, Shure SM7B, and Mojave Audio MA-201fet. (No specific order)

Looking to spend under $700 for the mic as I am trying to keep this project under $1000 and I will still need to buy an Audio Interface and DAW /odds and ends. Buying used to save some money is defiantly a possibility for me.

Thanks
Old 18th September 2012
  #2
Gear Nut
 
paintitblack's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Sm7. If you choose this you need a hefty preamp.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by paintitblack ➑️
Sm7. If you choose this you need a hefty preamp.
If I were to get the Sm7 do you know of any quality preamps that would get the job done keeping in mind my price range?
Old 19th September 2012
  #4
Gear Addict
 
JeffSanders's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
For heavy vocals in a full mix with cranking guitars, SM7. For more breathy, melodic vox, K2.

Another mic I can recommend, regardless of musical style is a Neumann TLM 102. Like an airier SM7 to me, but ymmv.
Old 19th September 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
elamberth's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Studio Projects T3.
Really amazing.
Check out the review from Sound Pure.
They may have a B-Stock left.
Old 19th September 2012
  #6
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
I like my K2 but recently ran my voice through an sm7 and loved it. The sm7 was a bit nicer in the mids and has plenty of high end. K2 is nice in the mids but not quite as good. If you're singing heavier rock type stuff, prob sm7, but for more ballad stuff, K2 is nice. I haven't used the others though. You really need to try them out on your voice though to know for sure. The K2 can do some weird stuff in the higher mids that tonally can sound a bit off if the voice isn't suited. Maybe more hit or miss. Sm7 is probably a bit safer, but you never know.

Keep in mind that the sm7 will give better room rejection than a condenser. If your acoustics aren't great, the sm7 may suit more.

Love the K2 on acoustic guitar though, if you play. Takes eq on it really well too, I find.
Old 19th September 2012
  #7
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
How do you find your voice sounds on a 57/58? The sm7 is a bit smoother, less harsh and extended highs. Similar kind of sound though. If you HATE your voice on a 57/58, then sm7 may not suit..
Old 19th September 2012
  #8
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
the 4047 was a pretty sexy sounding mic that I enjoyed using on vocals when I had one around. The SM7 can be magic or it can just be too bright, depending on the voice. Also used to have a Rode NTK that gave a really nice, balanced sound that was really useable in a mix.

You want to go new all the way? There are tons of not necessarily current mics (groove tubes, rode NTV) or are usually a bit more dough (TLM103) can can come up in that price range from time to time. Also modded mics like the Advanced Audio.
Old 19th September 2012
  #9
Gear Addict
 
SoundHouse's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg80 ➑️
If I were to get the Sm7 do you know of any quality preamps that would get the job done keeping in mind my price range?
Any neve-esque style pre should do the trick. I've also had amazing results with my Burl B1s and B1Ds. Talk about pres that has got some "heft" to them.
Old 19th September 2012
  #10
Lives for gear
 
cinealta's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Shure SM7. You need 50dB + of clean gain.
Old 19th September 2012
  #11
Deleted f25ebd2
Guest
If you want something with good mids and lows, but a bit of air, I heartily recommend checking out a stellar cm5. The stellar is kind of the opposite of the SM7, in that I can have barely any gain on my hamptone pres before it starts to clip. It's plenty loud, I've never used an sm7, but I'm sure it's great if you want vocals that punch through more than vocals that are up front/magical sounding. Maybe you could get a WARM pre to go with it, if that's your choice. Those seem really cool.
Old 19th September 2012
  #12
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
How does this room "sound", and have you done any acoustic treatment of your room yet?



Chris
Old 19th September 2012
  #13
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
I think you could not have picked a worse number for your price point for a vocal mic.
Old 19th September 2012
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Larry Villella's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
+1 for the 4047.

There are some other mics that I'd add,
but in the interest of not pimping, I won't.

Best of luck . . . .
Old 19th September 2012
  #15
Here for the gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Mxl genesis
Old 19th September 2012
  #16
Gear Addict
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
My Oktava 219 modded by Michael Joly at oktavamod.com has been killing it lately. To be honest, it took me a while to warm up to it. Mainly because when I would set up a bunch of mics to test on a singer, and then solo the different mics, the 219 never really sounded very special to me. However, when i would listen to the mics and how they would actually sit in the mix, the modded 219 almost always does something really special.Probably because it doesnt have the harsh overhyped hi's that are hard to tame. I bought it for $25 on craigslist and had it modded, I figured what the heck. One of the best moves I have made. It often beats out mics I paid $1000 - $2000 for.

I think they sell brand new modded mics on the sight as well for under $700. Might be a good way to go. For your price point, a modded mic could get you where you want to be sonically. There are other models that are modded by Oktavamod as too. Also, there are also several other companies that similarly modify less expensive mics that people talk about on here that seem to get good reviews as well. I dont want to seem like I am just backing the guy i bought a mic from. I can vouch that it sounds great, but there are other options in the modded mic game that I am sure would work just as well.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #17
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov ➑️
How does this room "sound", and have you done any acoustic treatment of your room yet?



Chris
I will be moving into my new apartment in one month which is still being built.

Brookside | Columbia Apartments for Rent | Apartments in Columbia MO | Apartments for Rent in Downtown Columbia | Downtown Columbia Lofts | Brookside Downtown | Brookside Townhomes

Is a link to what it will look like. It does not give measurements of my room but if you click on the floorplans tab you can get a general idea of how big my room where my desktop computer will be (aka where I will be recording).
Old 19th September 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
An AKG 414EB has been a studio standard for decades and can be bought used for around that price. You can get a decent sound out of almost anything with it. It's a desert-island mic.

Someone else mentioned earlier in the thread about "sm-7b has plenty of high end." This is not true, it is down about 10db at 15Khz and down about 20db at 20Khz.
Old 19th September 2012
  #19
Lives for gear
 
ARIEL's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I own The SM7 , AT 4050 and AT4047 . I always use the AT4050 for vocals in all styles . It is pretty flat which is great for mixing . There is no dips in the frequency range when a singer sings low notes vs mid vs high notes . A mic that emphasizes the top and bottom too much will be more problematic in trying to mix if you are doing dense music . I never add any boosting eq to the AT 4050 . I may at times cut a little hi end if the singer really pushes it out .I Highly recommend it . Also support by AT is superb - I had an issue with one of the mics and they took care of it instantly ! 2 thumbs up for them .
Old 19th September 2012
  #20
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TRJanuary ➑️
An AKG 414EB has been a studio standard for decades and can be bought used for around that price. You can get a decent sound out of almost anything with it. It's a desert-island mic.

Someone else mentioned earlier in the thread about "sm-7b has plenty of high end." This is not true, it is down about 10db at 15Khz and down about 20db at 20Khz.
I'd probably go for the 414 or a Sennheiser 441 in that range. It all depends on the vocalist, though.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg80 ➑️
If I were to get the Sm7 do you know of any quality preamps that would get the job done keeping in mind my price range?
The one you already have plus a Cloudlifter
Old 19th September 2012
  #22
Lives for gear
 
phillysoulman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
For the sm7,look into an ADK ap1 pre with Cinemag upgrade and if needed,you can buy a Cloudlifter 1 for about $150 for 25 db extra clean gain.
Old 20th September 2012
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Greg B's Avatar
My favorite vocal mic under $700, and the only vocal mic at that price range I've actually recorded a TON of lead vocals with, is the ADK TC. Many times the vocalists choose it over much more expensive mics in my studio. It was my lead singer's favorite mic for about 4 years until we got a $9K ELAM 251e.

Here are a couple of videos of the TC on lead vocals:

Julie Lavery - Angel Sarah McLachlan Cover - YouTube

Switchfoot - Daisy Cover - YouTube
Old 20th September 2012
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
Rascal Audio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If you're just recording yourself (or mainly just one voice), then try as many of these mics that have been mentioned as you can, and choose the one that sounds the best to you. If, however, you're planning on recording lots of different voices, then something a bit more honest and perhaps neutral will be of greater benefit. In this case something like the AT4050 (pretty neutral) or AT4047 (little more personality and substance, but not so much as to be problematic on various sources) or Shure's KSM32 (also pretty neutral) will serve you well.

Hard to go wrong with any of these, and they're in the price range you're talking about.

Joel
Old 20th September 2012
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
start here

Award-winning microphone engineering from Michael Joly

-Coach Antonio
Old 20th September 2012
  #26
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I have used all of the mics you list, have several here in the studio, and I agree with the previous poster that the AT4050 is very good for vocals. I spend about 8 hours a week producing voice for a syndicated radio show. The host has a voice that sounds closer to baritone than tenor, but still somewhere in the middle between the two. I use the 4050 week in and week out, never use eq, and when adding a touch of compression it sounds big without sounding processed. The SM7b is a vocal standard but it sounds unnaturally thin and trebly compared to the 4050. The only problem I've encountered with the 4050 is you need an effective wind screen as it will accurately and faithfully reproduce plosives. But with a good screen and speaking about 15 degrees off axis, it is a special vocal mic.

We also have a Stellar CM6 here. Pretty worthless for voice in my opinion, just sounds tubby and cheap compared to some of the others on your list. I get it out about once a month but it never gets used.

As with all things you really need to try them out for yourself. I have had good success in the past checking with local studios and asking if I can drop by to hear what their mic selection sounds like in person. You should check around - most of the engineers I've encountered like to show off their favorites.
Old 20th September 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
AT mics are great for the price
I'd also check out a Violet Design Black Knight, it's a great mic, great for all around applications and sounds good on many sources..it's a very underrated mic.. You could also save a couple of hundreds to put towards a next purchase like a better preamp or interface (I don't know what you have, so maybe you're already covered?)

Maybe a mic from Beesneez?good mics heh

Of course every vocal has his mic.. so if it's for you the best thing is to try them with your vocals. It's also genre and taste dependent, so sometimes is an sm57 and sometimes a U47.. it's not forcely a matter of price (to some extent), it's more matching the vocals with the right mic for your music.

I hope this helps somehow,



Cheu
Old 20th September 2012
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Dave_Ionic's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
sE Electronics 4400A is great on Female vocals, actually anyone who can belt as well. You can pick them up for $650 . But they are not a one trick pony, they have 4 polar patterns and work quite well on stringed instruments.
Old 20th September 2012
  #29
Lives for gear
 
sonic dogg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The 4050 through a Summit 2BA-221 is a pretty good sounding chain. High-fidelity while at the same time you can add as much tube you want without sacrificing noisefloor or clarity.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #30
Deleted f25ebd2
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Hone ➑️
We also have a Stellar CM6 here. Pretty worthless for voice in my opinion, just sounds tubby and cheap compared to some of the others on your list. I get it out about once a month but it never gets used.
Do you mean for voiceover? I have not personally used the CM6, and from the clips I've heard, I think it sounds a little bright for my tastes, but the CM5 is almost ideal for my singing IME, which is probably different from voiceover. I've never really heard of people doing voiceover with a C12, for instance.
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