I'm looking for a good starter vocal mic for under $300 USD - is it possible?

Mickster

Well-known member
EQ and various filtering affects the overall recorded tone - even when it approximates the more expensive microphone.



Well to begin with very few people know what a Neumann U47 is supposed to sound like - and whether a microphone sounds 'okay' is meaningless in the scheme of things because that lack of experience negates the choice.
Look.....I'm talking about the "results" (after applying any EQ or whatever) sounding ok to a listener. He or she doesn't need to know what mic was used. And as I've said.....OK to one might be great to another...or garbage to another.

Because a listener doesn't have an idea or understanding of the sound of a U47 is meaningless....not just to him or her......but in this conversation as well.

By that standard.....you also cannot say that a cheap mic can't be as good as a U47......since you don't know what every track you've ever listened to was recorded with. Yes....see......that's meaningless too.

You remind me of a guy who used to post here. Nuanced deviations from a general thought in an effort to prove a point. That's not an insult by the way.

Mick
 

TAE

All you have is now
That isn't the point - saying that a $150 microphone with EQ and some other alterations is the equivalent of a $6000 microphone is nonsense.

Never said that did I? I said the listening public doesn't give a shit what mic is being used ...then you state that YOU don't record with the listening public in mind (y) FWIW no one can tell what mic is being used in any particular song with any certainty ... I mean you can guess and maybe be right but without seeing it being used and knowing what it is...good luck ..

1000 hit songs that used the shure 57 or 58? I'll get right on that...Sorry man if you doubt that that is a fact ... I must be wrong :ROFLMAO: or not...

 
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TAE

All you have is now

Sure SM57: The only mic you need to have​

September 29, 2014 by Music Producer
This is an industry standard.

It also calls “when engineer reaches for a mic”.
Professional studios usually have a dozen or more of them.
It is durable, reliable and versatile in application.
You can use it to record drums, vocals, instruments. It has been used by President of US for more than 30 years (public speech). All major artists are using this mic in studios or live on tours.
sm57 mic For under $99, you will get killer weapon. Applications are endless, just to name a few:
  1. Great on guitar amp – it is very midrange focused mic and can bring out some of the best characteristic of the guitar
  2. Classic when it comes to snare drum – even if your drum setup is minimal, recording snare with Shure SM57 will give you fullness and fatness and also punch that you want. This little guy can be used also for toms. Ask almost any music producer what is the best mic for miking a snare drum….their answer will be the same….SM57
  3. Excellent for vocals – Jimi Hendrix, Chris Cornell, Bono Vox, Michael Jackson…..they used SM57 both on stage and also in recording studio to capture their monstrous voice
With its wide range of capabilities and applications, most musicians consider the Sure SM57 to be the most useful microphone in their tool kit.
If you can get ONLY one mic, get this one!
 

TAE

All you have is now
The OP asked if it was possible to purchase a good starter mic for under $300 , the answer is Yes absolutely. The shure SM57's and 58's are certainly worthy of serious consideration to fulfill that requirement.
 

CoolCat

Well-known member
yeah my sons band had a friend in the school at the $$$$ studio in Dallas, where KellyClarkson and Don Henley others recorded etc.... free project time for the students and I went along like it was walking into a Museum of Gear, vacation event.

three piece band....the Bass? DI into the SSL 4000 console.......
the Electric guitar amp pushed into a closet junk isolation room with a SM57 on it.......
the Vocal.....SM58...........then the Drums were the only real benefit to the $$$$Tracking room? with 414 overhead and other mics, probably a 57 on the snare. great room.

I sat in the control room where they had used maybe....only 7 or 10 channels of the huge huge SSL 4000 console (which I thought was odd). Then I noticed they had a tiny laptop plugged in with a DAW (no Studer Reel to reels). the monitors were some upper $$$ KRK.....the room was gorgeous to listen to the Tracking. It was commercial sounding off the board raw!! ( a 3pc band is really good without mixing serious)

thats my only once in a life "real studio" experience I love telling and the SM58 was a big surprise on the vocal mic.
Sounded fantastic but its only $99? Im a beatle fan so I was wondering if the U47's would come out, U67....but none of that happened. For Male Rock singing SM58/57.... there were 3 or 4 session engineers running it. And it sounded amazing in that environment.

then it got bizarre, end of the day everyone all got wasted and sang that Rolling Stones song about dead horses....couldnt drag me awaaaaaay.....Dead dead horses....we'll kick them somedaaaaaaaay....
I think, might be wrong, but Jagger used the 57's on the...Dead Horse Album
I also read Bono used the 57/58 on U2's Album "Dead Horse Kicking"

I saw a couple used SM7b for under $300 at GC, a few days ago. Willie, SherylCrow Los Lobos, others used the SM7b on the Dead Horse Trilogy collection released by Dead Horse Records in 2003.
Beach Boy lead singer used the 545(57) on the Beach Boys Dead Pet Sounds album. Another $99 version.
 
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CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
Just goes to show how a mic’s effectiveness can vary drastically depending on the person’s voice. For me, an MXL 4000 is best. Not a very popular mic. And it has a massive bump in the higher frequencies, but it suits my voice amazingly.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
Just goes to show how a mic’s effectiveness can vary drastically depending on the person’s voice. For me, an MXL 4000 is best. Not a very popular mic. And it has a massive bump in the higher frequencies, but it suits my voice amazingly.
This is the thing about microphones generally. What fits for one won't for others. We were doing a 3 night live recording of a group from Saskatchewan. 3 vocal, two sisters and their brother. Lush harmonies but one of the sisters had a bit of a cold. She already has a burly deep voice and during rehearsals we struggled to find the right fit for her mic that worked for their sound. We had a pretty deep mic cabinet. Pulled out all the big dollar mics we had including Neumann's, tube and fet. Settled on an SM57. It just fit perfectly. Some mics just seem to love certain voices.

oldrig.jpg
 

TAE

All you have is now
Jagger used the 57's on the...Dead Horse Album
Bono used the 57/58 on U2's Album "Dead Horse Kicking"
Beach Boys Dead Pet Sounds album.
I think the horse is dead on the topic of the 57
tenor.gif



Yeah maybe, but it will never sound as good as a _______________________ :ROFLMAO:
 

TAE

All you have is now
It is rumored that God used a SM57 when he spoke to Noah...


or was it a 58? Hell I don't know ask Cosby

 

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
Cosby is a nightmare. Given qualudes to young girls so they pass out , and he played with their bodies. Scary man. Not funny.

.. I like em with a little fight left..
 

Folkcafe

Active member
Cosby is a nightmare. Given qualudes to young girls so they pass out , and he played with their bodies. Scary man. Not funny.

.. I like em with a little fight left..
While I get what you are saying, I feel one of the worst things you can do to a comedian is turn them into the butt of the joke. Maybe it doesn't apply directly in this case but anywhere I can poke fun at him, I will. On another note, as a child of the 60's I don't know what the government was thinking when it decided ludes had no medicinal value. :ROFLMAO:

See what I mean? Like art, humor is in the eye of the beholder. Hope I'm not beating another dead horse here.
 

Papanate

Active member
yeah my sons band had a friend in the school at the $$$$ studio in Dallas, where KellyClarkson and Don Henley others recorded etc.... free project time for the students and I went along like it was walking into a Museum of Gear, vacation event.

three piece band....the Bass? DI into the SSL 4000 console.......
the Electric guitar amp pushed into a closet junk isolation room with a SM57 on it.......
the Vocal.....SM58...........then the Drums were the only real benefit to the $$$$Tracking room? with 414 overhead and other mics, probably a 57 on the snare. great room.

I sat in the control room where they had used maybe....only 7 or 10 channels of the huge huge SSL 4000 console (which I thought was odd). Then I noticed they had a tiny laptop plugged in with a DAW (no Studer Reel to reels). the monitors were some upper $$$ KRK.....the room was gorgeous to listen to the Tracking. It was commercial sounding off the board raw!! ( a 3pc band is really good without mixing serious)

thats my only once in a life "real studio" experience I love telling and the SM58 was a big surprise on the vocal mic.
Sounded fantastic but its only $99? Im a beatle fan so I was wondering if the U47's would come out, U67....but none of that happened. For Male Rock singing SM58/57.... there were 3 or 4 session engineers running it. And it sounded amazing in that environment.

then it got bizarre, end of the day everyone all got wasted and sang that Rolling Stones song about dead horses....couldnt drag me awaaaaaay.....Dead dead horses....we'll kick them somedaaaaaaaay....
I think, might be wrong, but Jagger used the 57's on the...Dead Horse Album
I also read Bono used the 57/58 on U2's Album "Dead Horse Kicking"

I saw a couple used SM7b for under $300 at GC, a few days ago. Willie, SherylCrow Los Lobos, others used the SM7b on the Dead Horse Trilogy collection released by Dead Horse Records in 2003.
Beach Boy lead singer used the 545(57) on the Beach Boys Dead Pet Sounds album. Another $99 version.


You got to understand the context of the SM57/SM58 usage. It works some of the time - others not so much. In regards to your sons band - it's most likely they didn't put out the microphones because of the kids age and experience - A SM58 can sound good through the right system - so could a PE556 - so could a 545 Unidyne - the reality is microphones generally sound good through good monitoring systems - what sounds best is a different story. I doubt Kids could sound their best on a U47 or U67 - they require a little bit of expirence.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
It's not the mic, it's how they are used. Performing Arts courses teach mic technique, because it can be your friend, or your enemy - not the mic, but what you try to do with them.

In the UK there is a comic called Jimmy Tarbuck. He talks, on stage. He holds any mic given to him at waist level, and talks loudly. Any sound man, fresh out of college with the instruction that SM58s work best virtually on the lips will be disappointed, and probably humiliated when they tell the guy to bring the mic closer. He just looks up at them, because he's shortish, fixes them with his eyes and says "I've used a mic like that since I entertained your grandparents. If it doesn't work, fix it!" He doesn't say it smugly, or condescendingly but factually. He always uses the mic like this, always has, and it is, what it is. I suspect he hates the sound of proximity effect, and just wants, even with mega PAs, just a little assistance from the system. When he first performed, PAs were omni mics, a couple of columns and these filled 1000 seater theatres, including the really famous ones, with 100W. The notion that a 10K multibox system cannot do the same is a bit silly! I've sat at the back, with him holding the mic low, one finger on the fader and a careful listen for feedback loads of times and heard every word. Equally, last week I got a person hold a 58 pointing vertically up, and she talked into the side for every announcement she made.
 
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