Looking for a new mic for vocals

DIVISIGNS

New member
Hey there,

thanks in advance for your advice and help.

I'm in search of a new microphone, due to the pandemic I can't visit a music store to test some mics and get advice on-site though. I am willing to spend up to 400€ for a mic,
that being said more expensive obviously isn't always better, as it has to fit the voice/needs. I'm open to suggestions.

My room isn't what you would call "well treated" but it's loaded with stuff, no free walls either, so I assume the acoustics aren't horrible at least, but by no means optimal.

I am generally open to both condenser mics as well as dynamic mics, whatever gets the job done best.
I'd use the mic almost entirely for vocals. I mostly do singer/songwriter stuff if that's helpful information.

Some friends already suggested a few microphones, the Rode NT1, the Lewitt LCT 440 Pure, as well as the
Shure SM7B, but would any of those fit my voice? (I'm not at all trained to figure that one out.) Would you go for another option? Would you rather go
for a dynamic mic like the Shure over a condenser in a non treated room/homestudio?

I'm well aware that finding the perfect match this way is (nigh) impossible, but I'd really appreciate
your advice and input. I am a male singer and I'll add some recordings so you can hear my voice.
The recordings provided are not done in my room.

If necessary and helpful, I can provide more and different recordings, specific to what you'd need to hear, cause I have no idea what would work best for you.

Thank you in advance, stay safe & healthy!
 

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skwee

Member
I second the NT-1 recommendation, it fits all genres. Honestly, across the past twenty years of professional work, I haven't found enough particular nuance in any microphone to rule any out, though I've had good recording experiences with Blue and Røde on the condenser side and Sennheiser and Shure SM58 on the dynamic side.

I would tell any singer that they should own their own condenser for recording and a dynamic for gigging (especially now with COVID--I'll be bringing my own mic to any gig for the foreseeable future after the lockdown).

Your stuff sounds good, btw!!
 

CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
How close would you sing into a condenser if you get one? I like to pretty much make out with the mic so the untreated room I have isn’t too much of a problem for me.
 

Orson

Member
For around $250.00ish you will get a full kit of mic, mount and a great pop filter with the Rode NT1. These mics are tried and tested and used by thousands and I think a 10 year warranty.

You will still have $150.00ish left over to buy a few sound blankets or panels to make yourself a portable/takedown vocal enclosure to help with any sound problems in your room.
 

DIVISIGNS

New member
I second the NT-1 recommendation [...] and Shure SM58 on the dynamic side.
Thank you for the input. The Shure SM58, unsurprisingly, is my go to mic for gigs indeed, indestructible and gets the job done.
especially now with COVID--I'll be bringing my own mic to any gig for the foreseeable future after the lockdown
Absolutely, I can second this. :D
Your stuff sounds good, btw!!
Thank you very much! <3

How close would you sing into a condenser if you get one? I like to pretty much make out with the mic so the untreated room I have isn’t too much of a problem for me.
I can adept to whatever the situation demands, tho in case of hugging the microphone, proximity effect has to be taken into account also.

For around $250.00ish you will get a full kit of mic[...]
I'm a fan of Rode condensers. [...]
Thanks for your input also! <3
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
Nice singing, Div. You've got a good soulful voice!

I'm partial to the NT1 kit as well. Bought one about 2 years ago and have used it for most all my vocals since (4 out of last 5 tracks). I like that its fairly neutral souinding, not really bumped up on either end.

The samples that I've heard of the 440Pure seemed to be on the bright side for me. It don't know if it would work well if you have a sibilant voice. It was hard to tell from the recordings you posted.

For live work, I have the Sennheiser 835e and just grabbed a 935e to add to the pack. I like the sound over the SM57/58. Haven't used the SM7, so I can't comment on that one.

I think the NT1, up close with some room damping would work very well with your vocal style. It should work pretty well on a piano as well.
 

DIVISIGNS

New member
Thank you very much for your input and the kind words, Talisman!

The samples that I've heard of the 440Pure seemed to be on the bright side for me. It don't know if it would work well if you have a sibilant voice. It was hard to tell from the recordings you posted.
Not sure if this helps, but for what it's worth, I included another audio file with non processed singing into a large diaphragm condenser in my room. The sound most likely is somewhat influenced by a rather poor popfilter which I usually wouldn't use for singing, but I needed a solution that did not cut off my view from the monitor while streaming games on twitch.
 

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rob aylestone

Well-known member
I have a SM7. Stupidest purchase of a mic I’ve ever made. It’s fine. It sounds like a nicer Shure dynamic, you can get close, but it sounds similar if you use it a bit further away. It just doesn’t give me the something special everyone recommends it for. I loaned it to a friend. I don’t miss it at all. It’s just boring! Certainly not bad, and it’s lovers are not wrong but I just expected more for all the hype and recommendations and it just sounds well, forgettable. Everyone seems to recommend them and I simply don’t get it at all. My mic cupboard has all the regular use ones at the front, and the specialist ones further back. The SM7 ended up bottom back breaking shelf, right at the back.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
In fairness, I thought I'd report this. Out of the blue I got a message from my friend Ben
I used the SM7B today to tracks the BVs. Really Like it. Really smooth sounding mic, not harsh!

Just me then!
 

DIVISIGNS

New member
Just me then!
It's not just you tho, your opinion is just as valid. I did some general research on the SM7B and while the mic has a lot of fans, there are just as many who either can't understand the hype or even dislike the mic. And that's certainly fair, sound is subjectively perceived and every voice is different.
For me it's probably one of the nicest sounding dynamic mics that I've heard samples of, but if I were to order it, who knows, I might as well start to hate it. :D
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
Just a couple of comments, Divisigns:

As much as I would like to, I have a problem with spending $500, $1000 or more on a microphone. Recording is a hobby for me. Nothing I do will ever be sold or make a dime. If I wanted, I could buy a U87, or even a Telefunken ELAM251. I just don't feel they would yield results worthy of the expenditure considering that I am the sound source. We can nitpick all we want, but good results can be had with lots of different products. Its a bit like my golf game, buying the latest $600 driver isn't going to make me Tiger Woods, or have me hitting 300 yard drives down the center of the fairway.

One of my favorites of the Youtube groups is Pomplamoose. I have seen the singer, Nataly Dawn, use everything from an SM7b and RE20 to the U87, C12 and 251. She sounds great on all of them, and I can recognize her voice immediately regardless of the mic used. If you haven't heard of them, check out their Youtube page, especially the videos shot in the studio. You can compare the same person on a half dozen mics. See if it makes a massive difference.

Above a certain threshold, I don't feel there are many really "bad" mics. Some might be a bit bright or dark, but those are things that can often be tweaked. You might get 1 or 2% more space, or a bit more air from a different mic.

Two resources you might check out are AudioTestKitchen.com, and the Sweetwater Microphone Shootouts. You can compare a $200 mic to a $2000 mic and see if you hear a difference worth paying for.
 
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CoolCat

Well-known member
another vote on dynamics because im too lazy to really get my room in order for noises etc..

but of the numerous mics and LDC's etc... Ive found a happy medium is the LDC with around 8-10 sensitivity and tighter patterns if possible, but the super sensitive 28mv/pp stuff just grabs the neighbors dogs and the attic fan and pc fan and anything else.. SDC for a example. I just read some comment the other day the U87,U47 etc really shine best when in a huge Abbey Road like room, they like space...

that lead me to dynamics too, less sensitive, tighter pattern, upclose, noise rejection...Im on the fence with the SM7..lol...half the time its like cool! pro mic! on many albums! ....then other times its like omg this sounds horrible when dry... or my happy medium is the SM58 which sounds so close, and one I have brand new 58 has a nice high freq touch. someday I want to try a Beyer 88 those are supposed to be really good dynamic mics.
 

CoolCat

Well-known member
Two resources you might check out are AudioTestKitchen.com, and the Sweetwater Microphone Shootouts. You can compare a $200 mic to a $2000 mic and see if you hear a difference worth paying for.
The sweetwater even recommends you to grab the waves into your DAW for true Raw comparisons, I think the ones they have with easy access have some compression and reverb , they mention in the article of making that amazing mic sample site. That one from Sweetwater really changed my mind on a lot of high dollar mics/cheaper mics and was cool to actually hear one on my own HR gear. .
 

LazerBeakShiek

Active member
for a dynamic mic like the Shure over a condenser in a non treated room/homestudio?
\

Home recording anywhere, try a tighter pattern. Like a hypercardio or even super hypercardio.

Ribbons have some transformer circuitry to add character, I like the dual ribbon M160 by Beyer. If you A B it with a dynamic you should hear the difference and its nice. $500 bucks. It is hyper card.

Then try a AKG414 on hypercardio. $800 bucks.

Either one can get it done.
 

homestudioguy

Well-known member
Aston stealth recommendation

In that price range, I highly recommend the Aston Stealth. It's a swiss army knife of mics with numerous voicings. There is a detailed review in a recent review in Sound On Sound and I believe that the multi-purpose concept and how it performed won Aston a Microphone TEC Award.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.soundonsound.com/reviews/aston-stealth%3famp
 

dalton206

New member
Just my 2 cents. I have several of the Studio Projects LDC mics and I think for the money they are a GREAT value. I have the TB1 which is a tube mic and the C-1 and B-1. If you're on a tight budget the C-1 is a great buy and the B-1 even cheaper. You can listen to these mics on YouTube and there are some videos that do comparisons with these and other brands.
 
I have a SM7. Stupidest purchase of a mic I’ve ever made.

I would almost agree to that. The SM7 is a great mic, but in no way is it the reasonable choice as the first, second or third mic. It’s a nice addition to the toolbox if it already covers the basic ground, but not as one of the first IMHO.

I also beg to differ about the praising of the NT1. In my opinion it has the most horrible sounding top end of any mics out the - no matter price. I have no clue as to why that mic has become so popular.

In my opinion something rather neutral sounding would by far be the best choice. A DPA 2011C is perhaps above budget, but something like a AT4033 or AT4047 would do a much nicer job at capturing the presented source material in a uncoloured manner.
 

CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
I would almost agree to that. The SM7 is a great mic, but in no way is it the reasonable choice as the first, second or third mic. It’s a nice addition to the toolbox if it already covers the basic ground, but not as one of the first IMHO.

I also beg to differ about the praising of the NT1. In my opinion it has the most horrible sounding top end of any mics out the - no matter price. I have no clue as to why that mic has become so popular.

In my opinion something rather neutral sounding would by far be the best choice. A DPA 2011C is perhaps above budget, but something like a AT4033 or AT4047 would do a much nicer job at capturing the presented source material in a uncoloured manner.

My best mic for my vocals is one that is anything but neutral. Really weird frequency response. It’s the MXL 4000.
 
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