Microphone check (best budget mics)


#1

I’m thinking about doing more recording with mics this year and was wondering what people’s thoughts are on the best budget mics.

At the moment the only mic I have is a Sennheiser e906, which I got a while back to just leave hanging on my guitar amp for recording. I love that it doesn’t need a stand, so it’s super compact and it sounds pretty good.

I want to get a little budget (but quality) mic collection going to experiment with various guitar recording setups, and to be able to record other percussion, vocals, room ambience, etc.

The next mic I will probably pick up is an SM57, as it’s iconic, I want to experiment with stereo recording, and because I actually like the way it sounds on vocals with the optional windscreen.

The other mic, that I’m considering is the Rode NT1, for vocals and for room/ambient recording.

Anyone have any other recommendations for cheap, but great sounding mics? I’d love to find an affordable vintage sounding tube mic, but I don’t know what would be good. I’m also intreagued by ribbon mics.


#2

Røde NT-1 is an amazing mic for the price. I use it at work for all vocals and pair it with 2x NT-5’s for acoustic instruments (for budget version check Røde M5). If you go for dynamic mics, you won’t go wrong with Shure 57/58!


#3

Yeah, I’ll probably end up getting both since they are so affordable.


#4

I can personally vouch for the SM58. It is built particularly well.


#5

the only Mic I consciously bought (so far, plus I inherited a small selection of SM57s etc. from an old bandmate) is an AKG C3000 condenser mic.

it´s a fairly unspectacular but reliable large diaphragm condenser mic, pretty neutral sounding - so suitable for a variety of sources.
I mainly record shakers etc. with it in my home studio, and sometimes use it for a mono room mic in my rehearsal space when I record my drummer.

the reason I bought this was that my Dad has an older silver version of the same mic - back when they were still produced in Switzerland, now in China.

the kicker was that while my (brand new, Chinese, black) C3000 cost about 125 Euros new, his old/original mic had cost roughly 4x that sometime previous to the year 2000 (hard to say exactly since we got a new currency in between haha).

and:
they subjectively sound absolutely the same.
we did an A/B shootout recording him playing saxophone and couldn´t tell (or see on an analyzer) any noticeable difference.


#6

That’s crazy. Interesting times we are living in.


#7

On the topic of budget gear, if I lived in the US, I might pick up one of these as well (too expensive in Japan):


#8

oh, and that Sennheiser e906 you have is not bad on kick drums.

we (mis-)used it on that before, and at least for rock kickdrums (=not too bass-heavy/low) it sounded pretty cool.

other than that, again I´d go for an AKG for Kicks: D112 is currently in production, not expensive and it is pretty much a budget standard for kicks. also seen it used in some bigger studios.