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Best Microphones for recording vocals

I needed a new microphone to record a voice over for a recent project and set about trying to find out what the best microphone to get would be. As with anything there’s a vast range of choice for a even bigger range of prices. Here are some of the best microphones for recording voice overs (and podcasts or tutorials) as recommended by a few composer, musician and post-production friends.

How to choose the right microphone

Personally I’m not setting up a studio level booth – I just need a good microphone I can trust to record voice overs in a way my clients will be pleased with. Another vital criteria for me is to be able to quickly connect it all up to my laptop so I can record their talent, wherever they may be. Portability, quality and price are all important factors for the frequently travelling editor!

In choosing a microphone there are essentially two ways to go: A straight USB microphone or a XLR microphone into a pre-amp that connects via usb into your computer. XLR microphones will be of better quality but this 2-part set up will cost a bit more money and take about 10 seconds longer to set up. I went with a XLR/pre-amp set up because it affords me great flexibility in the future and access to a higher quality microphone.

Should I pay more?

In researching which mic to get, I came across voice over artist, where he which lets you download the mp3′s from each microphone and see if you can tell the difference between a $79 and $2, 600 price tag. That’s the by the way –>

Trevor’s conclusion: Once you have a mic at a certain level, it takes a lot of money to make a small difference.

The surprising hit of the shootout, and a mic also recommended to me by a composer friend was the . As silly as it may sound, from a looks point of view I didn’t think the SM57 would cut it in front of my clients so I went with something more beefy looking. As it turns out Trevor also that I ultimately went with. That said, my composer friend recommended having more than one mic in my arsenal and said would be a great back up to have.

Buy on /

USB Microphones for Recording Voice Over

If you don’t want to splash a lot of money on a microphone and just want something that will get the job done a USB microphone will do that and do it well. Compared to XLR microphones they’re not as good but they’re still pretty darn good.

I have previously used a for recording temp vo at a director’s house and it held up very well. We did have to construct a ‘booth’ from plenty of duvet’s but it worked for our low-fi purposes. includes all the bits you need like a shock mount, pop shield and desktop stand. Buy on /

and were also recommended to me and although they do look a bit more funky, I prefer the look of something a bit more ‘technical’. Also these were recommended for more of a podcast purpose. Pat Flynn lets you listen to a selection of USB microphones in this podcasting tutorial and that is probably the best way of choosing which one sounds good to you.

Recording gear, studio setup.

by TitoMakani

Hey there,
So i finally invested in some recording software and bought a lexicon Lambda and I'm currently running it through Cubase 4. While it's working out great so far, i need to buy some new microphones to record vocals, acoustic guitar and banjo, and possibly drums? Well anyway, what are the best microphones/deals around and what should i look into getting? or am i better off buying an acoustic pickup for guitar/banjo and buying a mic just for vocals.
Any opinions or input, go for it.

Your reasoning for why reverb sounds better

by is_flawed

It's really very simple- a sound recording is an artificial reproduction of a live event occurring in front of sound transducers (microphones), much the same way a photograph is a representation of what was happening in front of the camera lens, which is an optical transducer of sorts.
Like any mechanical recording/reproduction there will be inaccuracies- cameras take in the four dimensions of height, width, depth and time (shutter speed) and and render them in a two dimensional photo format. Sound recordings take spatial information and try to put it all into a multiple channel format that can only approximate reality

Samson Meteorite review | USB Microphone | TrustedReviews  — TrustedReviews
The Samson Meteorite is a cracking little portable USB microphone that will be perfect for those that want to take the first step towards higher quality audio recordings. It's incredibly portable, easy to use and provides good quality sound.

Popular Q&A

The best microphone for recording vocals?

I'll also throw in a recommendation for the MXL 990 (holy crap, MF has them for $50 now?? Buy a dozen). I don't think you'll find a more capable vocal mic for a home studio without spending way, way more money than it's worth. Honestly, depending on what you intend to use the projects for, you can get away with using a lot of cheap Chinese equipment in a home studio. To me, it just doesn't make sense to use top-of-the-line mics in a sub-standard space (apologies if your home studio is acoustically perfect; most of us don't have that luxury).

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