Marshall Electronics MXL USB microphones... worth the money? need help choosing

I record a lot of stuff on my own at home and stuff around with samples... I play all of the instruments (except drums, I sample that or get someone else to do it) and I record using nothing but a really old computer microphone (which does the job quite well considering).

I want to fatten out the sound and make the direct raw mic recording really good quality so I don't have to mix it and EQ it much.... Like almost-studio quality.
I want to be able to record instruments and vocals well, and don't want to have to use any mic preamps...

I've read up a bit about MXL USB mics and they seem to be pretty decent... with integrated pop filter, gain level, etc. but I just want to get some other people's opinions first before I spend hundreds of dollars.

Are MXL USB mics worth the money? If so, which model would suit me best?

What exactly is a mic interface? is that just like a preamp? or a direct input....
If I was to get these, what would be the best way to go (ie. what brands, models etc) for a mic that will be good for recording instruments and voice and an interface? I record on a simple Dell Inspiron 1100 laptop at the moment, using Audacity to get the tracks down and Nero Wave Editor to mix/EQ each individual track, then Audacity again to put it together.

Here's some of the stuff I've recorded on my current setup:

I used my oldschool computer mic and recorded the bass and guitars... I sampled the drums...
Actually its an audio interface which you can plug mics and instruments into.

An audio interface is a piece of hardware made to record. It bypasses your stock sound card for recording and playback giving much lower latency and higher quality.
They normally have XLR inputs and preamps on board for mics and instruments.

more info:

For low budgets the Line6 Toneports or m-audio Fast Track USB interfaces work ok.
Mics are nice to use and the Shure SM57 is a popular choice.
Cool thanks... yeah my friend has one of those, and I've used it with him a couple of times. I don't find them to be that great though? Maybe it's just me... or just his thing... I dunno.
He uses a Shure SM58 in his... and when you record stuff, it's always like a fraction of a second out of time for some reason.

I'm not all that keen on an audio interface, cause then I gotta buy a good mic to go with it... so going back to the MXL, would it be worth the $140 or so dollars? (AUD that is)

I'm going for a Beck like sound with my personal music... so it doesn't have to sound AWESOME, just good enough really...
Ive never used the above product you are looking to get so I cant say how good it is.
I know some members here know more about USB mics than I do so I will let them reply.

As for the delay on the interface your friend has, it could be the buffers are set wrong. Or he is working on a slow computer.
If you are serious about recording, dont get a usb microphone. They have bad quality preamps and AD converter, and you cant add or replace parts of the signal chain (like the pre-amp or converter).

As far as the actual microphone goes, I have the MXL 990 and it works good for vocals and acoustic guitar, maybe even a drum overhead if your poor. I like it and its worth the money, but im running it through a line 6 UX 8 and the preamps and AD converter on that is much beter than the one on the USB one for sure.
Last edited by flyinguitar at May 28, 2008,