Microphone check (best budget mics)


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.


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!


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


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


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).

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.


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


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):


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.