#1
Hey, I've been planning on getting a microphone for doing vocals but I have questions.
For price, I want something about 100 dollars or less.
I was looking at the SM57 but I'm not sure if that's good for vocals as well.

I wanted to know how different a studio mic will sound compared to like some cheap 10 dollar TRS karaoke mic is? I have one but it sounds very very flat without any EQing.
Will a studio mic be better at catching the dynamics and frequencies of my voice?

Also, if an SM57 isn't the best, what is? I need something in a bit of a low price range that is good for vocals, something that will make my voice sound more rich than a junker store mic will.
#2
The SM57 is a mic geared more toward recording drums and amps and other instruments, not really a vocal mic. The SM58 however, is a vocal mic, but hits your $100 cap right on. I started with the Behringer C-1 condenser mic for $40, and was very impressed for the price. Just make sure you have a pop filter, which I made mine by hand with a small sewing hoop and well, some pantyhose (not mine, I swear!).
However, to run these mics, what sort of interface and DAW are you using, or are you needing a mic for live applications?
#3
SM58 is an awesome mic, and for some reason is crazy cheap too.

A better microphone will have better response time, that's a pretty big factor. Vocal mics a lot of times add a little boost that people tend to like.

What do you mean when you say flat? Flat response means that when you put in 1kHz at +3dB, then that's what comes out. So if it's very flat then it should be catching the dynamics and frequencies of your voice pretty well.
#4
Quote by OfCourseNot
The SM57 is a mic geared more toward recording drums and amps and other instruments, not really a vocal mic. The SM58 however, is a vocal mic, but hits your $100 cap right on. I started with the Behringer C-1 condenser mic for $40, and was very impressed for the price. Just make sure you have a pop filter, which I made mine by hand with a small sewing hoop and well, some pantyhose (not mine, I swear!).
However, to run these mics, what sort of interface and DAW are you using, or are you needing a mic for live applications?


I don't have a microphone interface, I'm planning to get a cheap one hopefully when I get a mic.

About it sounding "flat" I mean it sounds very thin and not rich sounding at all, in other words it sounds crappy.
#5
Quote by Clay-man
About it sounding "flat" I mean it sounds very thin and not rich sounding at all, in other words it sounds crappy.


Sounds like what you're describing is that the mic you have is all midrange. Even when you record you'll still need some compression and eq for the mix, but the SM58 should be a great improvement to a karaoke mic.
I recommend using Reaper as your DAW when you get your interface. The license is only $60, but it has an unlimited trial period, so if you can't afford it right away, you can wait a little bit. But trust me, it's worth the $60 and much more.
#6
I would suggest getting a condenser mic for vocals. There are a couple threads about condensers active right now you should check out for recommendations. I wouldn't recommend a 57 or 58 if this is only for studio recording uses.
#7
Quote by OfCourseNot
Sounds like what you're describing is that the mic you have is all midrange. Even when you record you'll still need some compression and eq for the mix, but the SM58 should be a great improvement to a karaoke mic.
I recommend using Reaper as your DAW when you get your interface. The license is only $60, but it has an unlimited trial period, so if you can't afford it right away, you can wait a little bit. But trust me, it's worth the $60 and much more.


This, It's midrange for sure. It has no sense of bass or treble, so I have to post EQ the signal to make it sound any decent, but in the end it still sounds unnatural.

By the way, I use Reaper already, lol.
Last edited by Clay-man at May 19, 2011,
#8
the sm57 and 58 are almost the same mic. i wouldnt choose either of them as my primary mic for vocals, but sometimes they work for some voices. for around $100, try the at2020.
#10
Oh wow, the AT2020 is USB huh? That's a pretty good deal, I'll leave that open for consideration.
#11
dont bother with the USB version. if you decide to go that route, get the normal one and a solid interface. yes it does cost more, but it will be better. an interface opens up options for the future, and you will end up with one at some point anyway.
#12
I had a guitar interface, should have put in a little more money to get a UX1 instead of a GX though for the mic option. Maybe if I did that I'd have a working UX1 instead of a broken GX.
#13
Quote by Clay-man
I had a guitar interface, should have put in a little more money to get a UX1 instead of a GX though for the mic option. Maybe if I did that I'd have a working UX1 instead of a broken GX.


Perhaps, but you still wouldn't be able to add an AT2020 into the mix. The 2020 is a condenser mic so it requires phantom power to work. The UX1 does not have phantom power. You'll have to look at the UX2 if you want to stick with line6, or you could go a cheaper route and look at M Audio's Fast Track line. And of course, look used as well.
#14
If you just want to use a mic without phantom power (AKA: SM57 or 58) than using the Line 6 GX is no problem. All you need to get is an XLR to 1/4 inch cable. I say this because I did this for about a year before upgrading to a mixer and a phantom powered condenser mic. It works pretty nice as well.
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#15
Quote by Ulalume
If you just want to use a mic without phantom power (AKA: SM57 or 58) than using the Line 6 GX is no problem. All you need to get is an XLR to 1/4 inch cable. I say this because I did this for about a year before upgrading to a mixer and a phantom powered condenser mic. It works pretty nice as well.


I did that with my cheap microphone. Won't it sound a bit off without a preamp though?

Oh, and I'm definitely probably going to stay the hell away from line6, unless their KB37 (which is probably my dream interface) has a long warranty. I probably can't afford that right now anyways, so if I ever get a decent interface, it'll be an m-audio fast track pro.

And about my GX, that shit is dead, the signal is malfunctioned and results in a tone that is clipped, and sharply dies off fast when the level of the signal is low.

I might just go the cheapest route I can for right now though. I'm going to get like a 30 buck guitar interface, then a mic interface separate, like shure's x2u device I guess.
After that, I'd just use asio2all to use the devices at once.
#16
Won't it sound a bit off without a preamp though?


The POD Farm software has some built in pre-amps. Obviously, they're not the same as using a hardware pre-amp, but not bad by any means either. I would still presume that using a cheap microphone through this would lead to worse results than an SM57 or 58 through the same method.

Personally, I would suggest getting this mixer: http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-802-Premium-8-Input-Preamps/dp/B000J5XS3C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1305916728&sr=8-1

I use it myself and it is a really solid piece of equipment. Very powerful for the price as well. It has phantom power as well if you ever get a condenser mic. It's only 55 dollars as well.

You'd probably have to get this (or something like it) as well: http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UCA202-Audio-Interface/dp/B000KW2YEI/ref=pd_sim_MI_6

This is to hook it up directly to your computer. I got that for 30 dollars USD. There may be less expensive variants as well if you browse.
Check out Hear the Indie for music reviews, interviews, and more.

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#17
Get the AT2020 Fantastic mic for the price. The SM58 is predominantly for live stuff, you wont be satisfied with the recording. Might sound great at first but once you start to know your stuff, you'll hate it.

Its funny cause im actually holding both of those mics in my hand right now haha. You need to get yourself an interface. Trust me save up for it. A mic is just one step in the right direction.
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