Looking for a microphone to capture your vocals, guitar or drums? Then read on…
The debate about “the best” microphones for recording is perhaps one of the biggest talking points amongst the studio-geek community (of which we are also proud members, it should be noted!). Our list, therefore, is a guide for those looking to pick up a few microphones to cover a wide range of uses without r-mortgaging your home to fund it. We’ve looked at both the affordable and rugged dynamic types along with some wider frequency, sensitive condensers that will be great for picking up a full range of tones. So, what’s is number one on our list?
Perfect for guitar amps, snare drums and any high sound pressure environment/use, the SM57 is used the world over by professionals and amateurs alike. It’s incredibly sturdy, reliable and more to the point, affordable. If you’re considering mic-ing up your favourite amp (especially at gigs), this should be your first choice. If you’re looking for a studio workhorse this is perhaps the best microphone EVER.
The Shure SM58 is the equally ubiquitous vocal cousin of the SM57. A dynamic microphone which simply delivers the perfect frequency response to capture a wide range of vocals. Great for live usage due to its rugged reliability and, again, affordability, the SM58 should be in your box of tricks for use in the studio too. Due to its low cost you may be able to splash out on a couple…
Looking to record vocals and an acoustic guitar? Then you need a large diaphragm condenser that can handle a range of different tasks aka the Rode NT1. Its large frequency response, quiet operation and affordability has put this mic at the centre of many entry level studio set-ups as it handles acoustic guitars and vocals brilliantly.
4. Sontronics Halo
If you’re looking for something specifically designed to accurately capture all the lovely warm tonal goodness of your tube amp then you should consider mic-ing it up with the Sontronics Halo. It not only has near perfect frequency recreation, but it also looks cool too…and that’s the most important bit, right?…ahem.
5. SE Electronics X1D Kick Drum Condenser Microphone
Let’s talk drum mic-ing here as this is a huge topic in its own right. Keeping to our ‘more-for-less’ approach lets assume your Shure SM57 is covering guitar amp duties (which it will do, admirably) but what about that the kick drum? Well, look no further than the SE Electronics X1D Kick Drum Condenser Microphone. With a titanium diaphragm perfect for coping under high sound pressure it’ll work nicely on the toms too. Plus, it will also double-up as a guitar amp microphone too. A very useful mic indeed!
So, there we are…This list could change dramatically if you had limitless funds, however, if you’re looking for some very useful microphones which are reliable and affordable then this list is a perfect place to start. For a full range of microphones see our online store.
Lee is the Dawsons in-house Guitar presenter for all guitar related videos. He is also the UK demonstrator for Roland & BOSS, performing all over the UK.