Suggestions for an inexpensive vocal mic

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I'd like to buy a microphone, but I'm not sure what I need. I'm really just a hobbyist bassist at this point and my next hobby project is a bass / vocal recording project. My recording gear is minimal - I actually use what I believe to be a 70's era TEAC cassette deck that has 2 x 1/4" mic inputs. I've recorded my bass on this a bit by just plugging strait in. It only records on one side (speaker) but believe it or not - the tone is fantastic, I believe it's better than my tone through my Peavey combo amp. So I want to get a mic and record my voice and bass together - no multi tracking or touch up - just one take recordings with the bass line in one speaker and the lead vocal part in the other. Then I can finally listen to how my parts really fit together and how bad my voice really is. So I figured I'd start by buying a mic and give it a try - if the mic sounds terrible then I might try picking up a cheap microphone pre amp or EQ if that's what I would need to help the sound. (?) If plugging a mic strait in to the deck provide results good enough for demonstration purposes, then I'll be happy. I've heard that the Shure SM58 is a good choice, but I do also see cheaper vocal mics advertised. Any suggestions on what to buy and how to use it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    Go with an SM57. It's cheaper by $20 and better for recording instruments. This way you end up with something at the very least adequate for vocals and an industry standard workhorse for instrument miking.
  3. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I'll second that. and add... stay clear of the cheap Nady mics from MF! I got one 2 xmases ago from my sis-in-law, it sat unused in the box till the other day (like 15 months). It worked untill my singer hit the chorus of the first record attempt with it and it cut out!!!! even being placed 3+ feet from him it would cut out at high volumes. I'm gonna get the $149 behringer B2 I think. ... but the $99 B1 looks good to me too.
  4. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I'll 3rd the SM57 sugestion. In a small home studio where an SM 57 is the best choice, you can do about anything with it.
  5. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Thanks guys - 3 out of 3 recomend the same mic. It sounds like the SM57 is a good choice for me. I'll look to pick one up soon.

  6. I 4th the SM 57.

    You might also consider the Studio Projects mic's. Made by Alan Hyatt, very well know recording engineer.

    I own and use all listed below and for the prices, the sound is amazing.


    List prices;
    B1 $99.00
    C3 $499.99
    C4 (matched pair) $599.99

  7. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Nice! Thanks much, I've been trying to find good reason to NOT buy the Behringer
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Somebody's got to say it: If you're thinking about an SM-57, you might as well pop the extra ten bucks and get the 58, the industry standard. You won't ever have to buy another mic if you don't want to. FWIW, I bought two Beta 57's at GC for 90 bucks each, new.
  9. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    Dissenter!! Off with your head! As punishment we'll be confiscating your 10s and forcing you to play through a Crate 215.
  10. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001

    Cool, I was curious about those mics. I think I give them a try.
  11. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    I like Shure just as much as the next guy but.....neiter the Beta 58, SM58, nor the SM57 worked for the vocalist in my band. I grabbed an Audix OM2 and now its his fav. I think they are like $90.00 or so. If you can, test what ever you buy. My 2 Cents.
  12. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    The Audix mikes have a lot if mid punch, but not the rich lows that the 58's have. I use an audix if I really want to have the singer out there, and be able to ruble with the bass without drowning the vocals
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
  14. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    SM57 Beta....just like the SM57 but better and not much more money great for instruments and vocals, I use mine for vocals since it's uni directional it doesn't pick up a bunch of stage noise.
  15. thwackless


    Nov 24, 2003
    Smithfield, RI
    I took a Beta 58 that was missing it's grille that a friend of mine gave me, put it on a stand, taped a 4" coffee can with both ends cut off around it and recorded a vocal. It came out particularly focused, crisp and punchy. Makes me think you can do a lot of interesting enhancements/effects if you get yourself a good solid mic. It's all about foundation, boy!

    I also have a 58- a couple 57's are next. Whenever next is... :D! But since these are working, I don't care! Funny...

  16. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Studio Projects B1's can be had for $49 at GC this weekend.
  17. bwsailer79


    Aug 5, 2005
    Laurel, MD
    I'm looking to get an nice but inexpensive mic that will be used just for vocals. (I'm not worried about micing bass or drums or any other instruments). I know this is a bass forum, but was hoping that someone out there could give me some advice.

    Right now I'm looking at the Shure PG48 and PG58. Has anyone had any experience with these two mics?

  18. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Nice microphones aren't inexpensive. The bottom line, though, is that unless you're used to listening critically to vocals, 999 out of 1000 people will not be able to tell the difference between a $49 microphone and a $499 microphone other than output level. Buy what you like and can afford, and after you've used it a bit, try a more expensive one to see if you like it. After some experience hearing yourself sing amplified, you'll be able to make a much better decision on what's right for you.

    And I'll say it again, SM58s are the industry standard because you can drive nails with them and they are consistant, not because they're quality, although there are definitely worse mics out there.
  19. bwsailer79


    Aug 5, 2005
    Laurel, MD
    I know what you mean by this... I guess what I really wanted to know was if the PG48 was a piece of junk or not. I don't need or want professional equipment... just something that will sound nice and clean.