Mic's & Vocals?
I'm just starting to think seriously about getting a good mic for vocal recordings. It seems like there are a lot of good pricey options. But I'm wondering what mic's under say 700$ or 800$ get good results.
Right now I have a rode NT1-A that's decent for a budget mic but I'm wondering what else I should be looking at.
I really like the sound of Tamera Wallons vocals on the Nomumbah rmx of 'Like Rain'. I'm sure there are other factors playing into the sound of her vocals on that track but that might give you some idea of the sound I'd like to be able to achieve.
So, what are people getting good results with?
For your budget you have a number of decent options
A long time ago I bought an AKG 414 B-ULS mic, one of the most common large diaphragm condenser mics on the planet. It's a workhorse because it's fairly transparent/clear so it's good on a lot of sources like room mics, overheads, acoustic instruments... and voices. I can always make it work and on certain voices it real nice and airy (although sometimes it can be a bit bright) I recorded Tamara Wellons "Higher Power" and many other folks with that mic. I can't comment on the newer incarnations of it though, like the XLS. I hear they're brighter... but you see the B-ULS for sale used pretty frequently. It ran about $800.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQMTWAMNt3Y Stevie's singing Sir Duke on one at the end of the video.
A popular mic for vocals specifically is the Neumann TLM series. It's a bit warmer than the 414. It's sorta tailor-made for vocals - but I haven't found it as good on other instruments. The TLM 102 runs about $700.
You also might want to consider an Electrovoice re20 or a Shure Sm7b. They are dynamic mics that were originally invented for broadcast (and you still see them all the time in radio stations). However, they're very popular in studios as well. Stevie used the RE20 and Thriller vocals were recorded on an SM7. One nice advantage of a dynamic mic is they are less sensitive to background noise, so if your studio isn't soundproofed or there are a lot of reflective surfaces, it might be the better route. They're also workhorse mics for other applications like close micing percussion/drums/amps. Both come in well under your budget.
Lots to chew on, thanks for all of the info. One of my music partners just picked up an AKG c414 ltd and it sounds a world better than the Rode. That's actually what woke me up on the need to get a better mic. (along with those damn Future Music DVD's -LOL) But I've never heard the B-ULS. I also haven't looked at the Neumann's but I will. I was planning on adding a dynamic mic to the arsenal sooner or later but wasn't sure which way to go. I'll check out the models you suggest. Thanks again! - Brad
Last edited by Ashwell; 01-11-2010 at 06:24 PM.