Decent, inexpensive mic for small group

hendulele

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Our little 10-15 player jam group is playing a couple times a month at bars or street fairs where we have to provide our own amplification. We don’t need much, but we need to be able to project above the ambient conversation. We sit in a semi-circle and our bass player has a portable amp.

I have a Roland 30 with a single input and would like to find an inexpensive mic to set in front of the group, just to give us a little boost. Any suggestions?

It won’t get heavy use, so I don’t need professional quality. We’re not that good!

Thanks!
 

Rllink

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I use two Behringer XM8500 microphones, one at face level to sing into and one at uke level. They are cheap and they have served me well. They don't feel cheap though. They are solid and hefty to hold them. I've hauled them around and used them a lot, and they are none the worse for wear. As far as quality of sound, there are much more expensive mics that I could buy, but I'm quite sure my audience would not know the difference if I did. Good reviews.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/XM8500--behringer-xm8500
 
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anthonyg

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I have a couple of Behringer XM8500's and they are great microphones. Just as good as Shure SM-58's. Having said that they are only designed for one voice or one instrument at a time. Not really any good at picking up a group.

I have an ISK CM-60 microphone which is a Cardioid pattern condenser microphone with its own battery compartment so no phantom power is needed and it WILL pickup sound from a group. Good quality sound and quite inexpensive.

EDIT: and sorry the ISK CM-60 doesn't seem to be available anymore. Don't know why as its actually a very good microphone. What you want for the job is a condenser microphone of some sort. Dynamic vocal microphones just aren't sensitive enough to pick up a group from one microphone.
 
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Ukulele Eddie

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I have a Zoom iQ7 mic (mid-side) that I use with my iPhone that does an exceptional job. I have had multiple very good musicians listen to one of my sound samples and so-so playing ask what I recorded with because it sounds so good. It really does an admirable job of capturing stereo effect from a single mic. Plus, since it plugs directly into an iPhone, you have the added benefit of being able to do video if you want.
 

Rllink

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I have a Zoom iQ7 mic (mid-side) that I use with my iPhone that does an exceptional job. I have had multiple very good musicians listen to one of my sound samples and so-so playing ask what I recorded with because it sounds so good. It really does an admirable job of capturing stereo effect from a single mic. Plus, since it plugs directly into an iPhone, you have the added benefit of being able to do video if you want.
How would one make that work though in a public venue playing for an audience?
 

hendulele

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I have a Zoom iQ7 mic (mid-side) that I use with my iPhone that does an exceptional job. I have had multiple very good musicians listen to one of my sound samples and so-so playing ask what I recorded with because it sounds so good. It really does an admirable job of capturing stereo effect from a single mic. Plus, since it plugs directly into an iPhone, you have the added benefit of being able to do video if you want.

Thanks. I'm planning to get one for my own purposes, but I'm not sure it would help with the group. We're trying to project through an external amplifier.
 

hendulele

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I have a couple of Behringer XM8500's and they are great microphones. Just as good as Shure SM-58's. Having said that they are only designed for one voice or one instrument at a time. Not really any good at picking up a group.

I have an ISK CM-60 microphone which is a Cardioid pattern condenser microphone with its own battery compartment so no phantom power is needed and it WILL pickup sound from a group. Good quality sound and quite inexpensive.


Thanks. I have a Blue Snowball USB that's terrific for mobile devices, but it needs separate power and I'm not sure if I could get the proper patch cables to make it work with the Roland anyway. I'll look into the ISK. Thanks again!
 

anthonyg

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Thanks. I have a Blue Snowball USB that's terrific for mobile devices, but it needs separate power and I'm not sure if I could get the proper patch cables to make it work with the Roland anyway. I'll look into the ISK. Thanks again!

Yes you need an XLR connection microphone. I just edited my post as I couldn't see a current sale listing for an ISK CM-60. If you happen to see one then don't hesitate. Its inexpensive and precisely what you need.
 

KohanMike

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Yes you need an XLR connection microphone. I just edited my post as I couldn't see a current sale listing for an ISK CM-60. If you happen to see one then don't hesitate. Its inexpensive and precisely what you need.

I see it on Amazon for $35, two left. https://www.amazon.com/iSK-CM-20-Cardioid-Condenser-Microphone/dp/B01D4JUAJ4


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• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
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hendulele

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Bill Sheehan

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You might also consider the Shure PG-81 cardioid condenser mic. It too runs on a "AA" battery (which seems to last a very long time) which slides into the "tube" portion of the mic. There are a few available (pre-owned) on Reverb.com for around $70. Otherwise, it appears that this model has been discontinued. It's advertised as being good for mic'ing acoustic instruments, but I have found that it's pretty "hot" and picks up from fairly long range, and can be given a fair amount of volume before feedback becomes an issue. So it may work well in the application you describe, Hendulele. You're welcome to try mine if you'd like, and if it doesn't work out you can just send it back to me.
 

anthonyg

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I see it on Amazon for $35, two left. https://www.amazon.com/iSK-CM-20-Cardioid-Condenser-Microphone/dp/B01D4JUAJ4


8 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 7 mini electric bass guitars

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos

Sorry its a CM-20 and not a CM-60. The CM-60 has its own battery compartment built in which is what makes it so useful.
The CM-20 will work but then you will need to add an external battery powered phantom power supply. There are a number of electret condenser microphones that will work with an external battery supply. The CM-60 is just so neat and handy because its built in. I don't know why it seems to be discontinued as its a very decent and useful microphone.
 

hendulele

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You might also consider the Shure PG-81 cardioid condenser mic. It too runs on a "AA" battery (which seems to last a very long time) which slides into the "tube" portion of the mic. There are a few available (pre-owned) on Reverb.com for around $70. Otherwise, it appears that this model has been discontinued. It's advertised as being good for mic'ing acoustic instruments, but I have found that it's pretty "hot" and picks up from fairly long range, and can be given a fair amount of volume before feedback becomes an issue. So it may work well in the application you describe, Hendulele. You're welcome to try mine if you'd like, and if it doesn't work out you can just send it back to me.

Thank you for the offer. I'm tempted to try the Behringer, simply because it's cheap enough I could get two and a mic stand for less than the Shure. I'll try one and if it's not what I'm looking for, I may take you up on it, though.
 

Bill Sheehan

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Okay, I know, I get the award for the most unimaginative pun of the day...
 

KohanMike

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Sorry its a CM-20 and not a CM-60.

Oops.

This might be hijacking, but just today I bought 4 gooseneck mics to use for my groups occasional open mic days. I couple them with the Alesis MikeLink wireless system, which makes any XLR mic powered, works great. I was using Samson mics that are very much like the Shure, but also had to use boom arms on the mic stand, with these goosenecks I'll save about 60% of the weight.


8 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 7 mini electric bass guitars

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos