July 23, 2007

Open Thread: Microphones...

by Chris Randall

Open thread time. What's your favorite mic under $500? The best mic I ever purchased for under $500 was a Shure KSM44. They currently retail for a bit more than that, but a sound/lighting company I was working for bought a couple for in-store stock, and couldn't sell them, and the owner gave me one for $450. So I know that doesn't really count, but there you go.

In any event, I'm curious as to what you think the best mic available for under $500 is?

THE VERDICT: The general consensus seems to be that the EV RE20/PL20 (they are the same mic, just different designators) is the best bang-for-the-buck easily available for under $500. It retails for $399, and I agree that it is an incredibly versatile and nearly indestructible mic. Every studio has at least one, and with good reason.



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Jul.23.2007 @ 5:41 PM
Shure SM7 fo sho

Vocal mic that sounds great on almost everyone. Also decent on snare.


Jul.23.2007 @ 7:36 PM
My first mic was a se electronics se2000, that I got for free when buying a mixer. I could never get a decent sound out of it for vocals, muffled and dark. I picked up a Studio Projects C1 for a little under $200. and it's been amazing. Very neutral and captures its subject great. Serves me well for my limited needs.

Jul.23.2007 @ 8:07 PM
I'd second the Rode NTK, they're a bit cheaper here in Aus, where they're made, but still great value for money on vocals wherever you are.

Jul.23.2007 @ 8:31 PM
I'm still getting by with my AT4033 and some Shures.

I have an upcoming drum project to do. Any commentary on a nice pair of mikes for overheads??


Jul.23.2007 @ 9:10 PM
I don't adore any of my sub $500 mics particularly, but I'm still very curious about the M-Audio Sputnik (tube) (prolly more like $600), which Pro Audio Review and other magazines have raved about, even in the context of comparing to U-47's, ELAM 251's, etc. and pronouncing it a future go-to staple. Beyond that, I'd be looking for a bargain on a used AKG 414 around this price.

Jul.23.2007 @ 10:35 PM
Shure SM7. It keeps on beating out my other more expensive mics in shoot outs -- particularly for vocals. My other vocal mics aren't particularly high end -- Neumann Gefell M582h, Beyer M834, GT MD3, AT4050, Beyer M500, AEA R84, Sennheiser MD441, Audix VX-10 -- but I think many would normally consider using them before the SM7. It got to the point that I bought another SM7. Both original and used for $200 each.

Jul.23.2007 @ 11:19 PM
Second on the Oktava 219 with the Oktavamod.

Jul.24.2007 @ 12:33 AM
electrovoice re-20.

just out of curiousity, what's your favorite microphone evar, chris?


Jul.24.2007 @ 12:49 AM
Chris Randall
Actually the RE-20/PL-20 is high on the list, but only for my voice, personally, and if I'm in dire need of a country twang. My favorite mic ever is the U47, (along with a nice thick set of panty hose, proximity effect be damned.) If there aren't any U47s, a C12. If there aren't any U47s and there aren't any C12s, well, life just isn't worth living and I'll make do with a 414. But I'll bitch and moan the whole time.



Jul.24.2007 @ 3:09 AM
Rode mics are are really cheap in Japan for some reason, so i got a K2 new for about $420 USD, including tax and shipping. It's a perfectly decent mic, and the variable polar pattern is nice. I should check out the avensons. Does anyone have a suggestion for some way to carry around a pair of something like the avensons to do field recordings while carrying them? Wind shielding would be nice, too. I have an r-09, which is super convenient, and a rode nt-4 which sometimes makes it sound better, but I would like to get a nicer field recording rig someday, and wind is always a pain in the ass.

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