A friend asked my advice about cheap mics (under $100) for recording guitar and/or vocals, so I did a little shootout for him, using four mics that anyone can find for under $100 each - often, way under. Some of the old timers here have heard me say that "a mic doesn't know, or care, what it's recording." Maybe this shootout will illustrate that point a little better. The four mics used were:
1. Behringer ECM-8000 (Very Small Diaphragm Omni Condenser Mic - $40 to $50).
2. Shure SM57 (Cardioid Dynamic Mic - $50 to $60).
3. MXL 603 (Small Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Mic - $60 to $70).
4. MXL V67g (Large Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Mic - $80 to $90).
and a Neumann TLM103 was used to record a "scratch" vocal/guitar track - (Large Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Mic, around $700 used).
All the "guitar" tracks were recorded by aiming the mics at the lower bout of his Martin D41
- from about 6" away. The exception was the ECM-8000 which was positioned at the sound hole at about the same distance. That mic has no proximity effect.
All the "vocal" tracks were recorded about 6" away, using foam pop filters and a metal wind screen. The "scratch" track was recorded from about 3 feet away and the TLM-103's height was adjusted for a nice balance between the guitar and his voice.
There are nine tracks in the "rar" file; all are 44.1/16 bit "wav" files (that should load easily into any multi-track program you might have). Each file is about a minute and a half long. The "rar" file is about 32Meg in size.
Other than trying to make all the levels consistent, there is no other processing of any kind on any of the tracks (no eq, reverb, compression, etc.). I hate the "guess which mic this is" shit, so each track is clearly labeled as to what it is.
All times start at "0:00:00", so you can simply solo any guitar track and any vocal track at the same time. If you think one mic doesn't have enough (or too much) bottom or top end, try playing with your eq and see if you can get an acceptable sound.
These are just quick and dirty tests of four mics that most people here wouldn't normally think about using for recording both vocals and guitars. But if you're new to recording, perhaps one or two of these mics might be good enough to get you started. Here's the zipped file:
Note: You might hafta right click and save the file, then open it with your archiving program.