PDA

View Full Version : What's Your Favorite Vocal Mic?



lambchop
09-04-2011, 04:26 PM
I know this would make sense if I asked what is your favorite ukulele mic, but since so many of us sing, I am looking to get some ideas on a new vocal mic. My hope is to find a somewhat hot dynamic that you don't have to eat to be heard, but I could go with a condenser as well. Mike

3nails4holes
09-04-2011, 04:34 PM
i'm not sure if this helps you, but here's a thread i had a while back with a similar thought.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?32502-Kanile-a-UU-quot-Spread-the-Aloha-quot-Ukulele-Contest-MICROPHONE-POLL

from what i've seen on uu, the snowball and the yeti are popular and well thought of. they are both usb mics and from "blue."

ukulelecowboy
09-04-2011, 04:41 PM
We use a Shure 55sh classic. Incredible vocal mic and looks great onstage.

UncleElvis
09-04-2011, 04:49 PM
The Shure 55 is a great mic and a workhorse. I've had one for 16 years and it's only recently started acting up.

Another nice option are MXL microphones, http://www.mxlmics.com. I have two condenser mics from them and they sound amazing. I haven't tried them on stage yet, but i'm gonna try soon.

bynapkinart
09-04-2011, 04:57 PM
I really like my MXL 990. It's a wide diaphragm mic so you have to be in a super quiet place, otherwise you get a lot of ambient noise. You definitely need a pop filter too.

On stage, my Sennheiser e835 does a great job, and I've always preferred Sennheiser over Shure. See if you can get to a shop that sells mics that you can demo...mine did, and I'm very glad. I was about to drop about $400 on a Shure condenser and I ended up liking my $60 990 much better.

DeVineGuitars
09-04-2011, 11:09 PM
Might even think about some ribbon mics. The Fat heads (http://www.cascademicrophones.com/cascade_FAT%20HEAD.html) are pretty good and very reasonably priced. They are not as hot as most other mics but have a very natural detailed sound.

Leodhas
09-05-2011, 03:14 AM
I have an MXL V6 for coming on 2 years and I like it (I don't know the cost of that in the states but here it was 200) and a AKG C 214 which is probably the better of the 2 mics but to be honest, for me, there's not much in it.(that was about 270/80) and I have a samson c03 (60).

Now it all depends how much you want to spend and what you'll be using it for. I have a wee home studio and I like doing daft wee songs so the MXL(I think Marshall own them) and the AKG do brilliantly for that, as would mics of lesser value. There are some great home studio Mics you can now buy for under 200! My samson was 60 and does fine although I can tell the difference in the quality of recording through the samson and my other 2 mics, but that is to be expected as I would expect a massive deference in the clarity of sound recorded through my main 2 mics and a top of the line Neumann. It's all relative as with all musical instruments and equipment.

How much do you want to spend and I'll tell you the best mic, in my opinion, in that price range.

buddhuu
09-05-2011, 04:02 AM
I've been really lucky with relatively low-priced mics.

For stage I have a Shure PG58 for vocals and a PG81 condenser for instruments that don't have pickups.

Also have a pair of Behringer C-3 large (dual) diaphragm condensers. These are like the C-1 but have the option of picking up from 360 degrees. Great for ambient mics in a pub session. I've also used them as catch all stage mics for a line of acoustic musicians to sing/play into (kind of bluegrass style, moving on and off mic).

Lastly I have a case of 3 Behringer XM1800s mics. These, IMHO, are the best kept secret bargain in the world of vocal mics. Unbelievably cheap, but tough and sound great. Sensitive enough to mic a fingerpicked acoustic guitar at a pinch and very clear for vocals.

Had a Shure SM58 but the XLR connection developed a crackle when the lead moved even a tiny bit, and I've never got around to having it fixed properly. :-( The PG58 is nearly as good.

UKEonomics
09-05-2011, 04:32 AM
I've had good results with going the ole trusted route of an SM 57. You really can't go wrong with one of those for just about anything.

lambchop
09-06-2011, 04:30 AM
Looks like I'm narrowing my choices down to the Sennheiser e835 or the Audix OM2, with the Audix being the top choice for now - I am looking for a good gain-before-feedback rate in addition to good sound. Mike

lambchop
09-06-2011, 08:06 AM
I hear the AKG D5 is pretty good, too. I'm so confused!

pulelehua
09-06-2011, 09:08 AM
Is this a stage mic or a recording mic you're looking for?

And how high do you hold your ukulele when you play? If for stage, and you hold it high, I'd go with the biggest diaphragm condenser you can afford (medium at least), as it will pick you and the ukulele up. I don't really see much reason for a dynamic for either setting, as you're not going to get the sensitivity you'll likely want. I've never had problems with condenser durability on stage. And if you have a nice ukulele, you might not like the high-end roll-off of a dynamic. If for stage, and you hold it low, you'll need 2 mics. The vocal mic, again, I'd go for a bigger-is-better condenser.

For recording, it depends if you're going to multitrack. If yes, then get the best mic you can afford. If not, then you're basically playing live anyway.

All this being said, I recorded my Kala acacia with a C1000, then an SE1A, and finally an SM57, and couldn't tell the difference in frequency response between them. The moral: my Kala actually has VERY little high frequency output. I imagine my custom all Zebrawood actually has similar characteristics. Hmmm. May need to test that...

Final question: are you clumsy? If yes, get a dynamic for stage work. Surround yourself with pillows for recording work.

;)

UncleElvis
09-06-2011, 09:43 AM
For stage, why not try the MXL V900... just for the style, baby!

http://www.mxlmics.com/products/900_series/V900/V900_large.gif

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41jxq7lNtRL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

I got one earlier this year and it's gorgeous!

Magoosan
09-06-2011, 09:48 AM
Shure SM-58. Been using them for 40 years.

lambchop
09-06-2011, 10:24 AM
Shure SM-58. Been using them for 40 years.
How is it for feedback rejection?

lambchop
09-06-2011, 10:25 AM
Is this a stage mic or a recording mic you're looking for?

And how high do you hold your ukulele when you play? If for stage, and you hold it high, I'd go with the biggest diaphragm condenser you can afford (medium at least), as it will pick you and the ukulele up. I don't really see much reason for a dynamic for either setting, as you're not going to get the sensitivity you'll likely want. I've never had problems with condenser durability on stage. And if you have a nice ukulele, you might not like the high-end roll-off of a dynamic. If for stage, and you hold it low, you'll need 2 mics. The vocal mic, again, I'd go for a bigger-is-better condenser.

For recording, it depends if you're going to multitrack. If yes, then get the best mic you can afford. If not, then you're basically playing live anyway.

All this being said, I recorded my Kala acacia with a C1000, then an SE1A, and finally an SM57, and couldn't tell the difference in frequency response between them. The moral: my Kala actually has VERY little high frequency output. I imagine my custom all Zebrawood actually has similar characteristics. Hmmm. May need to test that...

Final question: are you clumsy? If yes, get a dynamic for stage work. Surround yourself with pillows for recording work.

;)

It's for stage and for vocals only - I have a pickup on my uke. I agree, condenser is the way to go when recording the uke or in the studio.

pulelehua
09-06-2011, 11:50 AM
For stage, why not try the MXL V900... just for the style, baby!

http://www.mxlmics.com/products/900_series/V900/V900_large.gif

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41jxq7lNtRL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

I got one earlier this year and it's gorgeous!

That is a sexy beast.

23skidoo
09-06-2011, 12:54 PM
I do all of my recording with a CAD XL 2400 (http://www.amazon.com/CAD-GXL2400-Cardioid-Condenser-Microphone/dp/B0002D03G6) that cost $60 US on Amazon. You can hear it on most of my You Tube videos - I think it works pretty well with a basic interface recording in Garage Band. I think for most amateur applications, a cardioid condenser mic in this price range from a reputable manufacturer will get the job done..... I'd just get the nicest mic you find on deepest discount.

For 'stage' - I play with some friends and we have a variety of Shure 55's and 58's for vocals and instruments..... they don't flinch and sound great through a PA - I've also recorded with them (through a board) and they sound fine..... plus the 55's make me feel like Elvis.....

lookingforcurly
09-06-2011, 02:55 PM
Hard to beat a Shure SM-58 for cost, durability and sound. My favorite for live performance is a AKG C 535 EB. Also does a great job with stringed instruments.

mr moonlight
09-06-2011, 10:11 PM
Shure SM-58. Been using them for 40 years.
I agree. For a vocal stage mic, the SM-58 is great and also pretty affordable. I've used them for vocals as well as wind instruments. I have a Sennheiser e835 that is equally good. You won't go wrong with either and they both go for around $100.

For recording I have an Audio Technica AT4050 that's fantastic for recording vocals as well as instruments, but will set you back quite a bit more.

Whatever mic you get, running through a good tube pre can really make a difference. I use a GrooveTubes Brick which really nice, but I think they've been discontinued for a few years. I also have a little PreSonus Tube pre that's great for playing out.

ksiegel
09-07-2011, 10:20 PM
I'll agree with the Shure SM-58.

I just bought 4 used from a company that designs, builds, and rents sound systems for concert halls, traveling Broadway shows, fixed theater settings... Tanglewood in Massachusetts is one of their venues.

The mics are in great shape, and I got them for a rediculously low price (it helps that my wife works there). I use XLR cables, plug them into a Shure mixer ($10 on eBay), and output into the lo impedance port on an amp. Great for miking the instruments, and vocals.

I've always like to put a mic on any acoustic instrument, even if it has a pickup, then balance the sound between the two. I think it just sounds better.

-Kurt

beergeek
09-08-2011, 12:48 AM
If you go the condenser route, I just picked up a Blue enCORE 300 and all I can say is wow....live performance with studio sound. This one really can be a crossover stage/studio mic for vocals or acoustic instruments.

ukuleledaveey
11-02-2011, 12:30 PM
hi all i have never done any recording /videoing at home before, i am not very technical or computer savvy, could do with some advice, would a usb microphone be alright to use at home and using my webcam as its HD, ive seen some nice usb mikes but not sure if the chap at the music store was just trying to push a sale or if he knew his stuff he recommended this one:http://www.giggear.co.uk/p/Samson-C01U-USB-Condenser-Microphone/
many thanks :)

Jake Wildwood
11-02-2011, 02:23 PM
I agree with the Sennheiser E835 for live... I use an MXL 990 for vocals on recordings, though. Comparing with much pricier mics, it's really, really hard to beat.