1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Good all-around studio mic

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by geshel, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    I'm looking to get a microphone for whatever little things I might want to record in my home studio - maybe some vocals, maybe some acoustic guitar, maybe bass cabinet (though not very loud).

    I'd like something fairly high-quality, like more than the SM57/58 but not up in tube-mic territory.

    I don't even need a specific brand/model recommendation - I'm just not sure what type would work best for this. Condenser? Large-diaphram? boundary?

    THanks for any help. I've tried some searches but not come up with much.
  2. I would suggest the Neumann U87. ( there is a kit to convert this mic to tube, but it's great without it.) The U87 is probably the best known and most widely used Neumann studio microphone. It is equipped with a large dual-diaphragm capsule with three directional patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid and figure-8. These are selectable with a switch below the headgrille.

    A 10 dB attenuation switch is located on the rear. It enables the microphone to handle sound pressure levels up to 127 dB without distortion.

    Furthermore, the low frequency response can be reduced to compensate for proximity effect.


    I find myself using this mic for just about everything.

  3. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Thanks Treena. Let me clarify: something in the $200-$300 range maybe? :p

  4. My bad, sorry..

    I would suggest the Studio Projects B1 (suitable as a “all around, all purpose” mic,) My husband wrote a review on these mics, we also used them in our studio for a couple of sessions, in order to do the review properly.




  5. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    There are some large-diaphragms in that range - M-Audio for instance. Anyone had experience with those?

    edit: oops, this just got posted - somewhat old :)
  6. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Thanks guys! Both of those sound like very good deals. There's a package w/ the 430 and the Tube MP for $170 at a couple places, too. Though I don't strictly need the MP (mixer has phantom, got plenty of bass pre's already :) )
  7. natrab


    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    AKG C1000S is a great all-around condenser. Best of all it's small like a dynamic and you can power it with a (v battery if you don't have phantom at your disposal. You can get two now for $279.

    I have five of em and they have served me well. I've used them for everything from miking a horn section to guitar and bass amps to radio/vocal applications.

    Good warm sound and a full range for a good price.
  8. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Shure KSm27 is a good all around mic. Kind of like a '57 on steroids. Good for vocals too. Useful to have around.
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You might try a Shure Beta57A or, if you want to spend a little more cash, a Beta87A or C. Another line worth checking out is Rode. I own an older NT1, an NT3, and an NT5 pair. I think they have excellent performance per dollar. The new NT1A is supposed to be better than the old ones and, at $199 (or less, if you're friendly with somebody at GC) a good deal for a large-diameter condenser.

    You don't want a boundary mic ... they're not very versatile. Final analysis, for versatility, price and quality, I'd go with a Beta 57A, about $139 street, but I bought two for $90 each. Don't pay over $110 for it. Great for instruments and a good vocal mic, too. Also, audition a Rode NT3. It's a medium diaphragm condenser and, like all condenser mics, requires phantom power, but what's cool is that it has an internal 9v battery that will power it if phantom is not available.
  10. natrab


    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I haven't used my C1000s for miking bass in a studio environment, only live. They sounded fabulous when miking an SWR WM combo. I still can't say for sure until I try using it in a studio environment.
  11. why not check out the Beyer M88. i swear by these things in the studio for micing bass cabs, as well as live. used in the studio in conjunction with a Sennheiser D112... MWAH! almost perfection, almost.

    the only downfall for studio work with both of these models is that they are both dynamic mics, so another room mic needs to be used on yet another track to bring out that warm ambient bass sound of the room.

    another one to try, though not really a recognised bass amp mic, is the Sennheiser ND421. typically best used for brass sections and micing tom-toms, it's surprising how much punch they can give when used against a 4x10" cab.

    good luck in your search,
  12. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Thanks for the continued suggetions everybody.

    Munji - have you tried either the Apex 430 or the B1?

    Lex - I'm looking for a general-purpose mic, not so much a bass cab-micing mic. :cool:
  13. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: GK, EMG and D'Addario
    I have a couple of Studio Project mics and they are great mics. I use the B1 on acoustic guitars and a pair for overheads on the drums and they sound great. And at the price they are your not affraid to drop one. Haven't tried it on my bass cabinet yet but I use an AKG D112 for that and it rocks.
  14. I can't believe that nobody's mentioned MXL. Wonderous mics. Used on a couple different things on our demo (www.paulina-music.com Check out the mp3's, or give me your address and a dollar or two, and i'll ship a cd to ya) Particularly vocals. I've got the 990, 2001, and a 603. I can't think of anything better than the 990 for $70 (or for $125 either). (at least that's how much i paid for it off musician's friend's site) And it came with a padded case and shockmount. The 2001 ($169 for the bundle of a 2001 and a 603) is a little dry, but has that crispness that the AT4050 has that I like. The V69 is a great entry level tube mic, usually around $300. Other than those, i don't have experience with other MXL's so i'm not sure what they're like. I'm currently gassing for the 992/V77. I'd also like to try that vocal mic they've got now. With the ravings Tapeop has been giving these mics, I'm truly shocked that nobody's mentioned them. (and yet apex gets mentioned????)
  15. ahhhh sorry geshel, i took 'general purpose' to be for bass work live, in the studio etc. for TRUE general purpose mics you can't go past, in my opinion, Rode. in perticular the Rode NT2. almost perfect, except for a slightly enhanced mid range. i don't like 'squak'.

    again, sorry, and good luck.

  16. Superlux do nice inexpensive microphones... the CM-HM8A is the one for studio vocals and drum overheads...you can probably afford to get a spare or 2 :cool:
  17. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    I ended up getting an MXL V63M. Haven't used it that much, but it sounds good and was $100 including the shockmount.
  18. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    The Studio Projects mics are pretty good, and SOME of the MXL mics are pretty good as well.

    However, with the choice of buying a cheap condensor, e.g., AKG C1000S, MXL, etc., or a really-good dynamic, I would opt for the really good dynamic mic. Better off-axis response, smoother frequency response.

    Sennheiser MD421 is an excellent mic. Beyer M88 and Sennheiser MD441 are even better but are out of your price range. Electrovoice RE20 is also a great choice.
  19. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I think the Rode NT1 is a hell of a good mic for $200...the one I have has served me well.
  20. About a year ago I picked up a new pair of B1's from an ebay seller, and they came with clips, stands, and cables for $199. OK, so I build nicer cables, but I used the ones that came with the mics for stage use and spares.

    I've used them on everything from acoustic guitar to drums to sax and they have done a great job on all of them. Maybe not the deepest sounding vocal mic, but for $100 a shot I can forgive that. It also doesn't mean that they sound bad on vocals.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.