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#1 2011-08-31 02:31:01

dino48
Honoured Member
From: los banos,california
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 4245

Microphones

I need too get a decent micraphone that will work with my computer and my logitec camera. My granddaughter wants me too start teaching her to play on video and I may sometime in the future put something on u tube,I know pete just got some advice so I am hoping some of you will steer me too the right place. I am having similar problems that pete had. The cameras mic sounds real bad.


my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman.

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#2 2011-08-31 13:12:39

mekidsmom
The Chick Moderator
From: NY
Registered: 2009-08-26
Posts: 2909
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Re: Microphones

Dino, something I hadn't thought of but am now thinking of trying is using the zoom recorder as a microphone with the computer's webcam.  I'll try it out perhaps tomorrow and let you know if it's simple enough to integrate or not (I know it can be used as a usb mic).  The upside to this (if it works easily enough), is that you then also have a travelling recorder (although... you can't plug it in to use as a Mic just anywhere).


Art and beauty are in the eyes of the beholder.
What constitutes excellent music is in the ears of the listener.

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#3 2011-08-31 16:02:15

bensonp
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From: Hurricane UT
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 3711

Re: Microphones

Dino, I bought the CAD U1 USB mic and I think it sounds good.  Only $29.00.  It works well with my Logitech webcam.


You can see all my video covers on http://www.youtube.com/bensonp1000
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

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#4 2011-08-31 19:09:24

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 2971
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Re: Microphones

If you wanted to invest a little more money, I'll always recommend something that can handle a bit higher quality mic, as you will get orders of magnitude better results.

For example, a simple 4x4 mixer/interface can be had for ~ $80 (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MultiMix4USB/) and you can pick up a nice condenser mic package for less than $100.  (http://www.guitarcenter.com/MXL-990-991 … 1126981.gc)   There is always used gear of this type to be had on e-bay and craigslist at ridiculously cheap prices, too.

This type of setup will give you really good results, and it also lays the foundation of a system that can grow with you.  As you learn about recording, and become a more sophisticated recording engineer, you'll have the tools available to help you grow.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#5 2011-08-31 19:59:29

dino48
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From: los banos,california
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 4245

Re: Microphones

Thanks for all the input,I will check these out,I do not know where you got your cad mic at pete.


my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman.

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#6 2011-08-31 21:42:28

bensonp
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From: Hurricane UT
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 3711

Re: Microphones

I got it through Amazon.  This isn't your old style USB mic that comes with computers.  It is designed for vocals and instruments and I think it sounds pretty good.  http://www.amazon.com/CAD-U1-Dynamic-Re … amp;sr=8-1 
I am going with Jeromes remarks about getting a mixer and two better mics so I can place one in front of the guitar and one in front of my ugly mug to sing in.  But in the mean time, this mic sounds wonderful.


You can see all my video covers on http://www.youtube.com/bensonp1000
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

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#7 2011-08-31 21:52:09

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 2971
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Re: Microphones

A bonus of an external interface is that you can plug your guitar directly into it as well.  That is usually how I record. Three tracks.  1. Vocal.  2. Close Mic amp.  3.  DI from the amp to the interface.  That helps eliminate bleed-through from the vocals into the microphone on the amp.  If I really need to get rid of the vocal bleed I'll just record a scratch track, and then record the guitar and vocal parts separately.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#8 2011-09-01 02:22:51

dino48
Honoured Member
From: los banos,california
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 4245

Re: Microphones

The mixer looks like a great deal jerome,I think I will get one later I saw the reviews good! My problem now is I have to pay my homeowners tax so my funds are limited. pete I think I may buy the same mic you have.Mkm I do not have micro zoom on my logitec,I have tried it all ways and can not make it sound good.

Last edited by dino48 (2011-09-01 02:28:04)


my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman.

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#9 2011-09-01 02:53:26

bensonp
Honoured Member
From: Hurricane UT
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 3711

Re: Microphones

I don't think you can go wrong with that one, at least for starters.  Like I said, as I find better ways and additional funding, I will go with a mixer and probably two mics.  Let us know how it works out.


You can see all my video covers on http://www.youtube.com/bensonp1000
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

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#10 2011-09-01 05:57:27

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 2971
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Re: Microphones

There's a million different interfaces out there, so let the market work for you.  Think about what you want to do now, and what you might want to do two years from now, then go shop around.  If you know someone local, borrow before you buy.

You can get everything from nifty little two track handy-dandy's like this http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Alpha/ to studio quality tube driven fire wire stackable madness like this http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FirefaceUFX/ and all points in between.

It's a whole new strain of GAS, babe.  I got it bad.  smile


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#11 2011-09-01 06:23:56

Baldguitardude
El Modarino
From: Las Vegas
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 1160
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Re: Microphones

I got a blue snowball USB. $80, no other hardware needed, sounds awesome.

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#12 2011-09-01 06:50:40

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 2971
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Re: Microphones

Blue makes some of the finest microphones on Earth. It shouldn't surprise anyone that their USB models are top notch (and they are). When I get $5K to drop on a condenser, it's gonna be a Blue Tube.

My caution with USB mics is that you're limited to one track recording. They limit you to plugging into a computer.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#13 2011-09-01 10:09:07

Roger Guppy
The Laid Back Moderator
From: Almancil, Algarve, Portugal
Registered: 2006-09-02
Posts: 4662
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Re: Microphones

jerome.oneil wrote:

My caution with USB mics is that you're limited to one track recording. They limit you to plugging into a computer.

Jerome, there are some microphones that have an XLR and a USB socket built in which can be used through a mixer in in a PC and so ared more versatile. Off hand I cannot remember the manufactures.

Roger


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” -Plato
Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. (George Bernard Shaw)
Do, or do not. There is no try. (Yoda)

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#14 2011-09-01 23:00:56

seriousfun
Member
From: Rotorua, New Zealand
Registered: 2007-08-26
Posts: 62
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Re: Microphones

I am with the school of thought of a mixer as there are a lot of advantages down the track. 

1. Its expandable. Yiou can add a pre amp later on and get an amazing increase in your existing mic's performance ( its like upgrading your entire mic wardrobe )
2. You can record multiple tracks simultaneously. IMHO the best accoustic guitar results come from double micing the guitar. Some people even triple mic with a room mic to gain some ambience. You can then adjust the volumes of each track to get the desired effect after you have recorded.
3. The quality will be better than that of the usb, the mixer should by rights have a better pre built into it than the one in the usb path.

If cash outlay is restrictive you could consider a mic to usb cable and that way you can buy a standard condenser mic and hook it up to usb in the meantime and then buy the mixer later on when you have the cash. BTW, many mixers come with free software to start you off in recording and in many cases this software is all you will ever need. Just make sure you get a mixer that uses USB2 or firewire. USB1 will give you too many latency issues.

Whatever you choose, have fun smile)


As always I hope you enjoy my musical journey as much as I do.

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#15 2011-09-01 23:16:25

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 2971
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Re: Microphones

Roger Guppy wrote:

jerome.oneil wrote:

My caution with USB mics is that you're limited to one track recording. They limit you to plugging into a computer.

Jerome, there are some microphones that have an XLR and a USB socket built in which can be used through a mixer in in a PC and so ared more versatile. Off hand I cannot remember the manufactures.

Roger

Yep.  That would be a good feature to have, I think.  Lots of flexibility there.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#16 2011-09-01 23:21:32

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 2971
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Re: Microphones

seriousfun wrote:

BTW, many mixers come with free software to start you off in recording and in many cases this software is all you will ever need. Just make sure you get a mixer that uses USB2 or firewire. USB1 will give you too many latency issues.

Whatever you choose, have fun smile)

+1 on stereo micing acoustic guitars.  Sounds awesome when done right.

I've found that Cubase (http://www.steinberg.net/en/products/cu … start.html) is being distributed with almost everything these days.  I've got a copy of it as it came with my Tascam interface, but I haven't really put a lot of work into understanding it as I'm getting much better with Reaper.  A lot of people like it, though, and it gets pretty good reviews outside the "My DAW is better'n your DAW" arguments.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#17 2011-09-01 23:24:09

bensonp
Honoured Member
From: Hurricane UT
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 3711

Re: Microphones

I'm really interested in the MXL 990/991 mics, Jerome.  Have you tried them.  Where do you position the 991 in regards to your guitar? And the mixer (it looks different from the one you had there before) does it hook up via USB to a PC and MAC?  You got me going now.  Looks like a great setup, at least for beginners like me.


You can see all my video covers on http://www.youtube.com/bensonp1000
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

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#18 2011-09-02 01:53:23

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 2971
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Re: Microphones

bensonp wrote:

I'm really interested in the MXL 990/991 mics, Jerome.  Have you tried them.  Where do you position the 991 in regards to your guitar? And the mixer (it looks different from the one you had there before) does it hook up via USB to a PC and MAC?  You got me going now.  Looks like a great setup, at least for beginners like me.

Mics first, then interfaces.  smile

I have used those, and still do.  They're good quality home recording mics.   The guitar player in the band owns that set and we record with it quite a bit.  You can set them up a couple of ways.

If you're singing and playing, and want to record both, sing into the 990 and set the 991 up somewhere around the bridge or wherever you think the guitar will resonate the most.   Keep it as close as you can to the guitar, but when you're playing, make sure you don't move into or away from the mic too much.  Your dynamic range will be all wonky if you do.   Experiment with the 991 placement a bit to find the best effect. Use a pop filter on the 990 if you can for vocals.  Doing it this way will give you some bleed, though. You'll hear the guitar on the vocal track and vice versa. 

If you absolutely don't want any bleed and you want the best sounding recording, record the guitar stereo and the vocals separately.  Mic the guitar with the 991 as above, and then set the 990 about 18" out from the guitar somewhere between the 12th fret and the sound hole.  Pan one track to the right and the other to the left.  Set the recording levels on your DAW so that both tracks are reading the same level.  Hit record and play the guitar only.  Sing in your head.  smile  This is a "stereo" miced guitar setup.     Afterward, set the 990 up for vocals on a new track, play the guitar part back through a set of headphones, and sing.   You'll then have three tracks (two guitar and one vocal) to mix down to your heart's content.   You can go back and add fills and turnarounds, or whole new instruments this way if you want.

The 990 and 991 can also work as an "ambient" mics if you want to record "the room."  If that's what you want, it should be set up where you would have someone sit if they were in the room with you listening to you play.    I have hardwoods in my kitchen and living room, and the acoustics there are really nice, so when the wife isn't home, I set up my little two tracker Fostex box and goof around this way.  It's a good way to record your noodlings, too.

The interfaces all operate in generally the same way, so I'm not pushing one brand over another.  There's a lot of different features available, which is why I recommend shopping around for something that fits what you want to do.  This one is mine http://tascam.com/product/us-800/, just for reference.  As an FYI, with the 990/991 mics we're talking about, you are going to want an interface that can provide phantom power, as those mics require it.  Most condenser's do.

The interface plugs into the computer via USB, and the computer opens up an input channel for each of the inputs provided by the interface.  So for example, my Tascam provides 8 input channels, so when I open up my DAW, it sees 8 potential audio inputs, and allows me to route audio from them individually to various other parts of the software, ultimately ending up as a recorded track.    This allows me to record 8 simultaneous tracks (great for drum sets or quadraphonic weirdness).   If you buy a 2 track interface, you'll be able to record 2 simultaneous tracks.  A 4x4 gives you four inputs, etc...  Depending on how fast and how much memory (can't have enough) your computer has, there can be limits to total input.  So for example, I know my Mac can handle 8 simultaneous connections, but if I took the exact same setup and plugged it into my mom's old Dell laptop, it would start to have problems after about three simultaneous tracks.

I'm not going to promote a particular interface, as your needs are unique, and you will want to find the right one for you, but I will recommend two features, regardless of what you get.  The first is phantom power.  This will allow you to run your condenser mics directly from the interface, and not have to provide an external pre-amp.  The other is the ability to monitor directly from the interface.  This is important because all digital recording suffers from latency, which is the time it takes for the sound generated by your mic to be processed and recorded on disk.  If you are monitoring your audio post-process, you will notice a distinguishable time between when you strike a note and when you actually hear it back through the headphones.  It's annoying and it makes layering tracks a pain.  If you can monitor directly from the audio interface you won't have that problem.

Anyway, I've been hitting this stuff pretty heavy for the last six or eight months, and the best thing about it is that I still don't know enough to fill a thimble.   There is an unending amount of information to learn, which to me is the best possible thing.  The best way to figure all this out (and have a complete blast at the same time) is to just lock the doors one weekend and go to town with it.  Set up and record in whatever kind of configuration you can think of.  Compare and contrast.  Write some new songs and record them three different ways.  Eventually, you'll find what you like and that's ultimately what matters.

Good luck, and more importantly, have fun!


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#19 2011-09-02 03:23:48

dino48
Honoured Member
From: los banos,california
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 4245

Re: Microphones

Wow!I never realized there were so many recording goodies out there,I spent the last hour reading about them until my eye's got tired. I am giving some thought too borrowing from my Martin guitar savings to get a mixer I am going too have ahard time choosing


my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman.

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#20 2011-09-02 16:10:38

bensonp
Honoured Member
From: Hurricane UT
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 3711

Re: Microphones

Thanks for the info Jerome.  Your thimble of knowledge over runneth my bucket.  I am slow, so for now, all I want is two good mics and a decent usb mixer to capture a little smoother sound.  I do like the MXL kit you mentioned.  Most reviews seem to be positive.  Although I did see a lot of them being sold used on Craigs List.  Whats up with that, i wonder?  Again, I really appreciate the info.  I will fill my thimble slowly and maybe down the line check into recording separate tracks and later putting them together for a great sound.  For now, these things are over my head.  I am looking to record with two mics at the same time, with no delay


You can see all my video covers on http://www.youtube.com/bensonp1000
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

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#21 2011-09-02 18:42:56

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 2971
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Re: Microphones

I'd imagine there are a lot of them on craigslist for the same reason there are a ton of Squire guitars on craigslist.  They are inexpensive, so there are a whole lot of them out there.

Two good mics and a good audio interface is a great place to start.  Have you looked at DAW software yet?  That's always a fun place to explore, too.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#22 2011-09-02 19:07:15

bensonp
Honoured Member
From: Hurricane UT
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 3711

Re: Microphones

I haven't even considered software yet.  That, too, may come later.  But for now, like I mentioned, I just want to find something fairly cheap (mics and mixer) and maybe move up to the next level. I don't mind spending a bit more for mics, but don't want to go too high on a mixer if I can help it. One step at a time.  Just the one mic and the webcam was a big move for me, but now I am ready for the next step.  Two better mics and a usb mixer sounds easy enough for now.  I will check out the DAW software however.  Who knows?


You can see all my video covers on http://www.youtube.com/bensonp1000
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

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#23 2011-09-03 01:33:56

bensonp
Honoured Member
From: Hurricane UT
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 3711

Re: Microphones

One more question, Jerome.  In my search for microphones, I came across the Shure SM57.  The reviews are great.  Do you think two of these would be another step up from the MXL 990/991?  I am still sure I would be happy with the MXls, but might I be stepping up a little too high for starters?  Opinion?


You can see all my video covers on http://www.youtube.com/bensonp1000
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

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#24 2011-09-03 02:04:21

tubatooter1940
Retired Beach Bar Entertainer
From: Alabama Gulf Coast
Registered: 2008-06-24
Posts: 1812
Website

Re: Microphones

@Pete, I use a Shure SM57 on a tripod stand to mike my tuba. They are a good value ($100-$150) and are excellent for miking instruments.
I have seen acoustic guitarists use a SM57 on a stand for a guitar and a SM58 for vocals.
I bought two SM58s after I saw the Rolling Stones use them for a road concert. SM58s are tough, durable and sound great if your mouth is very close to the mike. A pop filter cover is necessary for recording.
I've seen Sm58s on Craiglist and E-Bay for $100 new in the box.
toots


We pronounce it "Guf Coast".
Ya'll wanna go down to the Guf?

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#25 2011-09-04 06:31:37

jerome.oneil
Moderator
From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 2971
Website

Re: Microphones

Well, it really depends on where you want to be after you step up.  It's akin to asking if a hammer is a step up from a screwdriver.  The SMs are different kinds of tools than the MXLs.   As tuba notes, the Shure SM58s are used by lots of touring musicians.  In fact, the SM58 is pretty much the gold standard when it comes to live mics, and have been for years.  They're bullet proof, resistant to moisture (for those vocalists that like to get really personal with their mic), resist feedback well, and Shure is a great company that stands behind their gear.  Go to any live act of any variety and any size, and I'll bet my best hat there is a Shure up on the stage somewhere.

Having said that, though, you won't get the audio fidelity out of an SM as you will from the MXLs.  Dynamic mics work through plain old induction.  There's a magnet, and the sound waves you create move a coil through the magnetic field, generating current just like it has since the Big Bang.    Condenser mics work by moving a smaller amount of material to adjust the capacitance between two pieces of metal foil to adjust the current that's already there, the phantom power mentioned before.   The difference is that dynamic mics, while exhibiting all the benefits above, require more energy to create the same signal as a condenser, and the frequency response will be narrower as it requires more mechanical action to move the dynamic mics internals.  Conversely, it takes much less energy to get a signal out of a condenser than it does a dynamic mic, and as a result they are far more sensitive.

Look at it this way.  The Shure SM's are the absolute gold standard for live shows.  You can get them for as little as $89 if you shop around (what I paid for mine.)  The gold standard for studio mics might be Blue Bottle or a Neumann U87, and those will run you anywhere from $3500 to $6000 bucks.

So think about what you want to do, and make equipment choices accordingly.  There are thousands of microphone options, and no one mic is going to do everything for you.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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