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Great and affordable mics?


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I’ve been looking into buying a nice and affordable mic for recording music. I also plan to possibly use it for voice overs but mostly guitar and vocals. I know that good mics will cost upwards of $200 but I’d really prefer to, at this point, pay no more than $150. I’ve asked around to a few different people and have gotten varying answers.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a good mic that I can hook up to my computer for vocals and guitar?

I would prefer not to have to buy a converter, but if someone knows of a combination of mic and converter that isn’t ridiculously expensive I’d love to hear a bit about it!

Thanks all!

b>Sheriff’s Note: Moved to Chit Chat.

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@kjblynx could probably help you in regards to this. In the past she suggested some relatively low-cost alternatives to still get good quality sound.

Personally I think it’s best to start as low cost as possible. Then with the money you make from the particular gig, slowly expand on it.

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Hi and welcome.

I teach a college course called “How to put together a voice over studio at home.” I’m an award winning Radio & TV host, 20+ year voice over and a long time drummer / guitarist with a “home studio” since 1965.

Sounds you’re thinking USB rather than deal with pre-amps etc, correct? There are several very affordable USB bundles close to your budget that are getting great reviews.

Scarlett Studio

PreSonus AudioBox Studio

For mics only, there is the Audio-Technica AT2020 and the Studio Projects B1 and many others.

This level and price range of equipment is called “Audition or Podcast” quality. And of course, if you ask 10 people which mic is best, or most affordable, you will get 10 different answers. I’m sure someone will jump in and give you 9 reasons to Sunday why I’m full of beans. But. I’m not endorsing these products and truth be told, in your price range there are many that will do, and choice is really not critical.

I suggest buying a Brand Name from a well known Retailer. That way if doesn’t work out of the box, craps out 6 months later, or you drop it on the floor, you’ll have the best chance at getting support.

Good luck. 🙂
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@babybear613 No problem, I figured since I tagged her she would probably pop in. If I recall right, I think she said she paid no more than about $15 or something? Maybe a bit more? I actually asked a similar question and she responded to my thread a while back as well as other peoples input you can check out, let me reference that for you:


Personally I use an HD camera I got for $25 with a high quality mic so there is 0 background noise and then there is a few filtering programs I run it through that essentially keep the audio clean without much editing(Audacity is free for editing which you can run your audio through a filter to filter out any potential background noise.) I haven’t actually gotten around to setting up that gig yet, ended up getting side-tracked by clients.

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Reply to @babybear613: for guitar i use my digitech rp500 connected to a mixer, as long as you have a nice mixer you can use it for whatever you want, guitar, voice, podcast and more.

I can also use the digitech rp500 directly to the pc but im used to having everything on a mixer and then from the mixer into the pc.

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Reply to @babybear613:

As I said, everyone has an opinion, however in the VO & Recording industry, USB mics are considered fine for submitting auditions, recording rehearsals, traveling, and making demos, but are below the line for pro work or work you intend to to sell.

Putting together a home based studio always starts with a budget and the mic is a key component, but it’s price has to be a balance of 1) what you expect the mic to do and (2 its price compared to everything else you need. If your studio budget is $2000, spending $1000 on a mic is out of balance.

For beginners, an inexpensive USB mic set up is an affordable and simple entry point. As I tell my students, your first mic is an important decision, but not so important that you should loose sleep over it or delay getting one. Learning how to perform on mic is part of the growth curve. It’s probably wise to learn on an affordable mic versus an expensive one.

Part of the USB / Dynamic / Condenser debate should include the fact that every mic has its own set of characteristics. There are mics specifically for recording guitar, piano, drums and voice. You should match the mic to the end use.

If your voice is deep and bass, there are mics for that characteristic. If your voice is high and treble, there are mics for that. Still, unless your Daddy is rich, your first mic doesn’t need to be expensive. It just needs to be a good match for what you expect it to do.

Every semester, I play a mic sound test for my students. I recorded a VO on three different mics in my studio. A $50 Condenser, a $400 Broadcast Dynamic and a $1200 Condenser. Recorded same day, same audio chain, same script. The students always hear a difference between the 3 mics. They generally agree they like one mic the most and like one the least. However not one student ever guesses correctly which one is $50, $400 or $1200. ( And the one they like the best? The one that is the best match for my voice and the type of script! )


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  • 1 month later...

Hello everyone!

Just as an update, I ended up getting the Scarlett studio bundle for my birthday. It’s been amazing just how much of a difference it makes. It’s a little pricey if you’re just looking for a mic system, but it really is an excellent product. So far I’ve appreciated the clarity of the sound, I use the headphones for everything, and setup is incredibly easy. I also love that everything connects to the one box. It comes with software to record with, but I prefer using Audacity, which it is 100% compatible with!

Just thought I’d let everyone know! Thank you for all of your suggestions and input!

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Reply to @babybear613: I agree with you! I use the Scarlett 2i2 Focusrite with an other mic than yours (Rode M3) and it gives me high quality recordings! The Focusrite is one of the best audio USB-interface for the 150 - 250$ dollar range. And you can therefore use it to plug directly your electric guitars, electric bass or electric drums and much more! You can also use any mic (Rode M3 is a good affordable mic) to record your accoustic guitar, voices, accoustic piano, trumpet, saxophone, accoustic drum and even your guitar amp! Coupled with a sequencer software and some plug-in (waves plugin are awesome to enhance your microphone takes, as well as Amplitube 3 for your electric guitar if you don’t have a good amp)! Do not hesitate! I Use the focusrite since more than a year and I’m fully satisfied with it! All the track I record for my customers are delivered in high quality, really near from proffessional recording-studio quality!

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