Quantcast

Which recording microphones are the best?

You won't find the answer to the above question about recording microphones on this page or on the entire world-wide web.

Why not?

Music Producers will each have their own opinion about which studio microphones are "the best".

You'll find it mostly comes down to what you're trying to record.  Best for acoustic guitar is not always best for snare drum. In the same way the same snare will also sound different recorded through different microphones.

You'll need to form your own opinion when it comes to your choice of recording microphones for your home music studio.

I will give you some possible candidates to consider further below.  Don't just take my word and rush off to buy now.  You want to research and test to choose the best recording microphones for your studio, your style and your budget.

You won't find tech-speak about polar patterns, capacitors, acoustical theory and all such stuff on the page below. 80/20.  Stick to what you really need to know when you look for your studio recording microphones.

What type of microphone should I get for my home recording studio?

Most studio microphones are either dynamic or condenser mics...

Dynamic microphones which usually look like an ice-cream on a cone are generally used for live performance though you can use them in your home music studio where they prove especially good with louder, more energetic vocalists, guitars and drums.

Dynamic mics tend to be less clear than condenser mics so you may have to work to find your perfect sound.

You'll find dynamic microphones are cheaper and much more robust than condenser microphones.

Two examples of dynamic microphones found in almost every studio are the Shure SM57 and Shure SM58. These two microphones are inexpensive and will get you the audio quality you need to produce music with various artists because both mics are good all round microphones.

Yes, you'll find cheaper dynamic microphones than the two I suggest above,  though when you go for lower prices than the two dynamic mics above you exit the "quality" sound arena.  Be warned.  Either of the two microphones above will get you started with a bang in your home studio,  because both are well respected.

So buy the above two mics for a good start or research and buy more specific microphones for your needs.

You can never have too many mics in your collection because different tracks or artists call for different microphones to catch the perfect sound for the track you're working on.

You may need a much clearer vocal sound than a dynamic microphone can deliver.  Enter the condenser microphone...

V67, my little precious! You'll be hard pressed to find a condenser that sounds this good at a comparable price. A must-have mic.

You'll discover at some point (right now!) that you need at least one reasonable quality condenser microphone for your home recording studio kit.

Condenser microphones are usually stand mounted rather than hand-held and are designed more specifically with the studio in mind.

You'll find most condenser mics more sensitive and fragile than dynamic mics and you can also expect to produce a much clearer recording in most cases (when used right!).

Top quality condenser mics can cost thousands of dollars.  Your budget for a entry-level condenser mic should be at least $200-$300 to make it worth your while in terms of audio quality.

You'll need to always shove add a pop-guard between vocalists and a condenser mic to keep the artist at a good distance and prevent "pops" caused usually by p's,b's and d's in the vocal.

The Rode NT1A is an excellent entry-level quality condenser microphone at an affordable price. It works well on vocals and also on acoustic guitars.

Where and how should I buy my recording microphones?

You can test and compare the sounds of the microphones I mention above along with other mics at any quality music store in your area,  then search the Internet for the best price on the mic you chose.

You'll often find cheaper prices from online retailers and Amazon so it's up to you if you want to support your local retailer where you tested the mics or buy them cheaper online.  Amazon has a bit of buyer protection built-in so this can provide some comfort, especially on high-end items like more expensive microphones.

Smaller, local retailers need all the help they can get though so if you want some good Karma then get your gear from them. Enough said, so...

... may your studio microphones collection grow bountiful!


Email Series for Producers

The Renegade Report

Subscribe Here Right Now and Never Miss a Beat:

Rest assured — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you The Renegade Report.

› Studio Microphones

The RenegadeProducer.com Updates Feed

  1. 3 Valid Reasons NOT to Mix with Headphones

    A reader asks if he can mix on in-ear headphones. Read my response plus a tip for if you're forced to mix with headphones.

  2. Mix Skills Email Series

    Learn how to level-up your core mix skills and make better music, faster. For advanced beginner producers.

  3. It's Not the Mix, It's You - Perfect Mix Syndrome

    Learn how your quest for mix perfection may be hiding something a bit more sinister.

  4. 33 Tips for Songwriting + Action Steps to Take Straight Away

    Level-up your songsmith superpowers with these 33 tips for songwriting.

  5. How to Write Music Like You Mean It

    This post looks at how to write music. Includes songwriting process, tools, habits, resources and techniques.

Like RenegadeProducer.com on Facebook Right Now: