#1
I currently have a Shure SM57, but I always see people using condenser microphones for vocals, so there must be a significant difference in quality. I don't know anything about condenser microphones though.

What microphone should I get?

Budget: $100 - $350

I do clean vocals and distortion-y vocals and a few screams usually. (I don't want a microphone designed mainly for screams though) Also if you want, please tell me why I should or should not keep trying to just use the SM57.
#2
well, the shure sm57 is a guitar mic but works pretty well for backing vocals and stuff too. you could get a shure sm58 though.
#3
I tried a bunch of mics and settled on the Shure SM58, because it was, by far, my favourite.
I use it for clean vocals in my alternative rock band, and it's pretty awesome.
A couple of friends also use the SM58 on their death metal band (one rasps and the other growls), and the mics do a perfect job.

The difference between the SM58 and the SM57 is supposed to be minimal, so you should be getting great sound quality from your SM57.
However, i admit that i have had very limited experience with an SM57.

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#4
Quote by itamar100
well, the shure sm57 is a guitar mic but works pretty well for backing vocals and stuff too. you could get a shure sm58 though.

God damnit no it's not. The SM57 is a multi-purpose dynamic. Yeah you can use it for guitar. But you can use it for pretty much anything else too. It's like saying you can only use a Les Paul for rock. And the SM58 is literally just an SM57 with the shield bit on it. I'd say something like a Rode NT1A would be a good choice.
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#5
I own an SM57. Don't use it for vocals

It's not a vocal mic.

It's not a guitar cab mic either, as a previous post said.

It's a general instrument mic.

Get an SM58, they're around the same price as the 57.
#6
Quote by AJScott
Get an SM58, they're around the same price as the 57.

I'd disagree. Don't see why he can't just buy one of the shield thingies and pop it on there, giving him an SM58. No point in having the same mic twice if you're only recording vocals. Better off having two different mics you can use for different stuff. A 57/58 and an NT1A will cover a lot of ground. You can do all types of vocals + mic a guitar cab or mic an acoustic.

Saying that, TS, you haven't mentioned whether you're using it for recording or live stuff, which is it?
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#7
Quote by Twistedrock
I'd disagree. Don't see why he can't just buy one of the shield thingies and pop it on there, giving him an SM58. No point in having the same mic twice if you're only recording vocals. Better off having two different mics you can use for different stuff. A 57/58 and an NT1A will cover a lot of ground. You can do all types of vocals + mic a guitar cab or mic an acoustic.

Saying that, TS, you haven't mentioned whether you're using it for recording or live stuff, which is it?


Just looked at the Rode, is that like the most popular/best condensor mic? (I think that's the one I see everywhere, I'm glad I finally know the name thanks to you :P)

I am wanting something for recording at home (I have some acoustic treatment). I would rather not cut off being able to do anything live though.

Also the SM57 is fine for recording vocals, it's just not great I think. Here is a song I recorded with an SM57. Also the song in general is kind of low quality, but I have greatly increased the quality of my drum recording which is now excellent and increased my guitar recording ability. I am on a long road to getting studio quality stuff and if getting a condenser is important for that I want to get it as soon as possible, and figure it out and such.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA2Ibsouxik&list=UU87xjsmTG3ZAcoHZtI-OaFw&index=1&feature=plcp
#8
Condensor mics are VERY sensitive. I have a Rode condensor, and when I use it, I have to be very aware of every background noise in the room, because the mic will pick up EVERYTHING. So if you have good breath control, and a quiet room, a condensor mic does give a richer, fuller sound. It also picks up some natural reverb from the room as well.

The SM57 and 58 are literally the exact same mic. The difference is only in the cap... The 58 has the mesh globe and pop filter for vocal work, which changes the frequency response slightly.

I use a Beta 58 for nearly any vocal work, mainly because in my situation I can't get the room quiet enough for the Rode, and the -58 rejects all the background noise.
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#9
Quote by Tmusician
Just looked at the Rode, is that like the most popular/best condensor mic? (I think that's the one I see everywhere, I'm glad I finally know the name thanks to you :P)

I am wanting something for recording at home (I have some acoustic treatment). I would rather not cut off being able to do anything live though.

Also the SM57 is fine for recording vocals, it's just not great I think. Here is a song I recorded with an SM57. Also the song in general is kind of low quality, but I have greatly increased the quality of my drum recording which is now excellent and increased my guitar recording ability. I am on a long road to getting studio quality stuff and if getting a condenser is important for that I want to get it as soon as possible, and figure it out and such.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA2Ibsouxik&list=UU87xjsmTG3ZAcoHZtI-OaFw&index=1&feature=plcp

I'd say the Rode is most popular for dudes beginning to record vocals because it's probably the most reliable and generally best for it's price. Don't get rid of the SM57 though, keep it and use that as your live mic and use a combination of the Rode and SM57 for recording.
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#10
I'm not a big fan of the Rode at all.

The best condenser in that price range is the Audio Technica AT4040 IMO, or a Sterling ST-79 (if you can find one used - I have one I'd sell you ). Both are excellent mics that really can't be beaten for under $7-800 (used), and will last you a very long time. I know professional studios who are using both over mics that are far more expensive.

That being said - Since I assume you're using this for recording (a condenser would be horrible for live use); not all harsh vocalists sound good through condenser mics. You might want to consider the Shure SM7b as well. Personally, I like a good condenser over the Shure, as I feel like it adds more character, and it's more exciting to listen to, but the SM7b is a much more safe bet for screams than a condenser if you've never used one.
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#11
I have the Rode S-1 condenser. It adds some gross twang to my vocals. It's great as a live mic but sucks in the studio.

On the other hand I bought a Blue Bluebird used for 100 bucks and love the thing. It's a very, very colorless sound. As such you get out what you put in which is what most people want.

The MXLs sound like crap and are noisy in your range so I'd steer clear.

I tried out the Audio-Technica AT2035 and thought it was ok. It's versatile but doesn't sound quite as good as the BlueBird for me.

If you don't want to worry about phantom power you could look into the SM7b. It's a pretty quiet mic but sounds decent.

Fact is, most condenser mics in your price range are going to sound alot alike. They are all cheap and will get the job done. Studio freaks will tell you otherwise but for the stuff that I know you will be doing, a Bluebird will do you right.

In the very end, what works good for me may not work for you because we have different voices and each mic boosts different frequencies. Try and see if you can work with as many mics as you can before purchasing.

If you like I can give you a sample track of the same vocals put through a Sm57, Sm58, Blue Blueball, Bluebird and Rode S1

Edit: I think Matrix has a lot of good points. How much you want for that mic by the way? I've never got my hands on one and always been interested.

However, scream vocals can sound killer through a condenser when it's setup for it. You end up getting a more full tone. I use a condenser for all of the bands vocals including screams, growls and distorted singing.

Also, the S-1 is a condenser mic that works GREAT for live stuff. With a nice compressor it cuts through the worst mix like butta
Last edited by merriman44 at Feb 8, 2012,
#12
Actually, I just got an SM86, which is a condenser mic with a similar form factor as the 58. I like it more than the 58 as I find my vocals come out a lot clearer compared to he 58. Then again, I might not be eq-ing the 58 very well, but it definitely seems to fit me better.