Posts Tagged ‘SM58’


New(ish) mics on the market!

February 27, 2010

ARE YOU GUYS EXCITED? Y’all should be, cuz Blue came out with their new “live” line of mics, the enCORE series! Now, anybody that’s read my previous posts should know that I am particularly fond of dynamic, broadcast mics for home studio recording. Why? Because it’s the best possible way to record in an untreated/loud room. So…on to more information about these new mics. There are, currently, two enCORE mics (100 & 200) on the market and two more (300 & 100i) on their way. The two available for purchase are (link to website):

I’m looking forward to trying out the 100 more than the 2oo because of it’s price, purpose, and design aimed at toppling THE Shure SM58 (SM57 as well, because the SM58 is basically a 57 with a windshield ball screwed on top). But I’m betting that these will be better than the 58 because it’s from Blue. My previous experiences with Blue microphones give me confidence that these mics are going to be absolutely top notch. Because I haven’t personally tried these yet, I won’t be able to say anything, but from what I can gather, the 100 will be a purely traditional dynamic microphone tailored for vocals and the 200 will be an “active dynamic” which needs phantom power to run with great sound properties. The 300 will be basically a condensor made specifically for live performances (doesn’t mean it won’t work in a studio, does it? *evil grin) and the 100i will be an instrumental version of the 100 (targeting the SM57…a bit too blatantly, but that’s aight.) Blue once again brings their focus on combining traditional high quality sounds with modern designs into play here, and, as usual, they’ve hit the jackpot. I’m expecting these mics to be great for both live and studio recording, especially for rap/hip hop vocals. I’ve heard that the 100 is better for male vocals and the 200 better for female vocals. Here’s a list comparing the mics:

Proprietary Dynamic Capsule: 100, 200, 100i

Fully-reinforced Construction: 100, 200, 300, 100i

Self-lined Carrying Pouch: 100, 200, 300, 100i 

Self-grip Mic Grip: 100, 200, 300, 100i

Active Dynamic Circuit: 200, 300

Transformed Output: 200

Proprietary Condensor Capsule: 300

Phantom Power Circuit: 200, 300

Custom-tuned Acoustic Circuit w/Transformer & High-pass Filter: 100i

and here are the pictures:


Microphones for Hip Hop and Rap

February 18, 2010

Microphones for hip hop and rap remain mainly in the range of vocal microphones, because artists in these genres don’t usually record with a full band. Because they’re recording over pre-recorded instrumentals, they require microphones that highlight their voices. There are many, many, MANY mics that do this, but in the realm of budget recording, there aren’t that many worth mentioning. Although good mic pre-amps, EQs, Compressors, and interfaces/sound cards might have beneficial effects on the final sound (actually, they do have a significant affect), the object that first recieves the sound is the microphone itself. The current rage in the rap/hip hop industry is the Sony c800g, which is considered the best microphone on the market right now. But these babies cost over $7000.  Let’s step it down a notch then…actually, several notches. Here, we get the Neumann U87ai, which costs well over $3000. Step it down again- we get the Neumann TLM103. This baby is around a $1000, and is well worth every penny. But not all of us can even afford that! (Interesting thing to note here: many claim that the Rode K2 is pretty good too, but at $700, it’s not worth it, especially with the kind of sound you get from it.) Now you ask, “Are there even any microphones left that I can use that has at least DECENT sound quality?” The answer is YES! There are numerous microphones out there that are budget priced that can produce good sounds as well. Here are several priced from highest to lowest: (* = Recommended)

Neumann TLM102: $699

Electro Voice EV RE20: $429

Audio Technica AT4033: $399

Sennheiser MD421: $379

Shure SM7b: $349 *

Audio Technica AT4040: $299

Kel HM-2D: $199 *

Shure SM57/SM58: $99 *

MXL 770: $89

These microphones are real standouts in the budget recording fields because of their price vs performance ratio. Although there are a couple mics that I don’t especially recommend, such as the RE20(pure bias…long story), AT4040(very selective in its usefulness), and 770(might as well shell out 10 more bucks and get the SM57), they do work wonders for certain people. It really depends on the person’s voice. Which brings me to another point: try to rent or borrow a mic and test it out to see if it fits your or the recording artist’s voice. You’ll also notice that there are a real mix of mics here: ranging from dynamic to condensor mics. It really doesn’t matter, because the end result is what you want to sound good. Happy recording everyone!

PS: A little guide for your very first mic:

Sound on Sound