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What is the best type(s) of professional microphones for recording vocals and instrumentals?

Asked 1780 day 22 h | Viewed 14511 times | Updated 1780 day 15 h |

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Gravatar photo Novaleine Almighty

Where can I learn more about this. A reliable source. What kind of microphones do the superstars use?

  • I'm not sure what your question is...."best professional microphones", or "microphones superstars use". These two questions are not the same.

    Justin Vencel | Oct 11 at 03:10

  • There as many choices for mics as there are instruments. Often a less than professional mic is used by a professional engineer. I like to say that the best mic is the most appropriate one. It may not be the best, but when considering the song and the genre a pretty crappy mic might be the best to translate the emotional message of the song. A "pretty" vocal sound for and angry song wouldn't be appropriate.

    Mix Master | Oct 12 at 08:10

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7 Answers

  1. Answered: 1779 day 23 h (1) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photoIgor

    Good mic is important, but preamp, by my opinion and experience even more important.

    You can have decent large diaphragm condenser mic, not necessarily expensive Neumann (don't get me wrong, Neumann are absolutely great mics), with Neve, UA, Great river, or any high end preamp, and you can achieve amazing results.

    Its could be AKG C214, Blue Mics, Rode, Audio Technica 40's, etc.

    Obviously I wouldn't recommend use generic Chinese mics, But to have good preamp is crucial.

    Igor.

    • I agree on the preamp. But for any beginner reading this comment..work on you micing technique, and the actual sound source. I find both of those areas tend to be very lacking, much more so than the microphone and preamp.

      Gear Guy | Oct 12 at 01:10

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  2. Answered: 1779 day 13 h (0) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photoAudio Institute of America

    different mics suit different voices - but usually condenser mics are preferred for vocals each musical instrument requires a specific mic to capture its complete sound, and that mic has to be positioned correctly

  3. Answered: 1736 day 8 h (0) | Permalink

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    Gravatar phototnjsax

    I'd say first figure out your budget and then go to town shopping for that perfect mic.  I always recommend talking to Sweetwater with all Audio gear as they always are helpful and not necessarily out to impose a sale. 

    Neumann's are pretty much industry standard as are Audio Technica's mics... I'd recommend a large-diaphragm mic over a small-diaphragm mic.  The reason being is that generally, the large-diaphragm tends to achieve a warmer sound because of frequencies that resonate as the sound enters the mic. 

    The small-diaphragm mics will get the job done and most-likely be more tonally accurate, but the warmth of a large-diaphragm on vocals tends to be a more appealing sound.  Try before you buy (or at least do some research)... and remember, you can make a less-than-state-of-the-art mic sound good if you mix it down properly.

  4. Answered: 1780 day 19 h (1) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photonojohnz

    Neumann U87 is a hugely popular vocal mic.

    • Good suggestion @nojohnz, if you're looking for an industry standard you can't go wrong with a U87.

      kylepsnyder | Oct 12 at 05:10

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  5. Answered: 1725 day 10 h (0) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photoguest

    I have to plug in Blue Microphones. : )

  6. Answered: 914 day 7 h (0) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photoguest

    Hey,

     

    In comparing mics there’s not always a clear better or worse... sometimes it takes a while to check out and test all the different options. Over at the Jee Juh blog they have some helpful tips for singers and rappers about which microphones to get.

     

    They have a good comparison of the [URL="http://www.jeejuh.com/blog/best-microphones-for-recording-vocals-over-hip-hop-instrumentals/"]best microphones for recording vocals[/URL] you can find ones from $80 bucks, all the way up to $8,000.

  7. Answered: 914 day 7 h (0) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photoguest

    Hey,

     

    In comparing mics there’s not always a clear better or worse... sometimes it takes a while to check out and test all the different options. Over at the Jee Juh blog they have some helpful tips for singers and rappers about which microphones to get.

     

    They have a good comparison of the <a href="http://www.jeejuh.com/blog/best-microphones-for-recording-vocals-over-hip-hop-instrumentals/">best microphones for recording vocals</a> you can find ones from $80 bucks, all the way up to $8,000.

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