Best Affordable Microphone

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heyvern
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Re: Best Affordable Microphone

Post by heyvern » Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:41 am

Yes! Always check for other prices. You can ALWAYS save some cash shopping around for a better price.

I got my H2 years ago for a lot cheaper than the list price or buying directly from the manufacturer. There was only one on the shelf. Every time I went to the store it was still there and the price kept getting marked down. Eventually it was a holiday sale type thing and I had to get it because I really needed it. :)

It may be outdated by now but I have no need to replace it just yet. :)
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Thrashador
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Re: Best Affordable Microphone

Post by Thrashador » Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:46 am

Among XLR mics, I think the Rode NT1-A is a great choice. It's affordable and often comes with a pop filter and shock mount. You'll need a decent interface with it, though.

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RichardU
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Re: Best Affordable Microphone

Post by RichardU » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:16 am

I have an H2 I've hardly ever used. I'd be glad to see it go to a good animator home if anyone wants to make me an offer.
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exile
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Re: Best Affordable Microphone

Post by exile » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:40 am

My 2 cents worth: Once upon a time I invested in equipment for music projects. I still do music, but rarely use the more expensive large condensor mikes any more - they pick up too many rebounding frequencies in my less-than-ideal recording environment. Even the famed "universal" AKG 1000 small condenser mike gives me some problems with vocal recordings - it's ok for acoustic guitar if the angle is right. For vocals I now use an EV N/D767a dynamic microphone (somebody in an internet forum called it his "best ever" vocal mike, might be exaggerated but it's pretty good for me), and a Tube Pre amplifier to strengthen the signal into my sound card (which is a dated Delta Audio 24/96 which only fits into a desktop PC). You can speak or sing close to a dynamic mike and it's not as sensitive to deficiencies in your recording environment.

There are some really cheap USB external sound connectors by Behringer which are sneered at by people in musicians' forums but probably more than adequate for home recording. Some don't have phantom power so you have to choose the cheaper option for your mike as well - a dynamic microphone. Behringer even has small mixing desks with USB connections which act as pre-amplifiers at low prices. There are "bundles" of mixers with mikes for podcasters, if you're lucky they have a mike which is suitable for you.

There is a free audio software called Audacity which has all the functions you would need to optimize your recordings. Learning to use an equalizer is worth the trouble, beware of going overboard on effects like reverb, compression, etc. Test out equipment if you have the chance, the most important factor is finding something that is "kind" to your voice so you don't kill yourself trying to improve your recordings later. I would suggest getting something decent which is good for the money. It might serve you better than an expensive studio setup.

The Zoom H-Series is great for recording on the fly - the mikes are small condensers. Mine can be put on a camera tripod, you don't even need a mike stand. Best thing is to try out as many possibilities as you can. If you have a friend who is a musician or just has a good set of ears, take him/her along with you. And be politely skeptical of whatever sales personnel may tell you.
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Danimal
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Re: Best Affordable Microphone

Post by Danimal » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:31 pm

exile wrote:There are some really cheap USB external sound connectors by Behringer which are sneered at by people in musicians' forums
People sneer at Behringer because it makes them feel better about spending 5 - 10 times as much on their gear that is no better. The fact is, Behringer makes good stuff and have a couple of large diaphragm condenser mics that I'm sure do a great job, but I was put off by the fact that they have too many options. I like simple stuff - not 1,000 switches.
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exile
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Re: Best Affordable Microphone

Post by exile » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:36 pm

Danimal wrote: I like simple stuff - not 1,000 switches.
I sure agree with that - the important thing is getting a reasonably good signal into the computer and then you only have to do basic editing - get rid of the occasional pop with a "b" or a "p", apply some equalizer and adjust the volume (normalize). If you have some adjustment possibilities through your hardware, that might be a work-saver. Normally you would find settings you like and leave them in that position - and photograph them just in case they get changed by mistake. A friend even put rubber blobs over most of the dials on my DI box for my acoustic guitar after thoroughly testing the sound. Makes it idiot-proof for live connections to a PA or for recording. All I can adjust is volume, low and treble.
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Yosemite Sam
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Re: Best Affordable Microphone

Post by Yosemite Sam » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:00 am

I use this microphone:

http://www.amazon.com/MXL-USB-24BIT-96K ... B001CJ45KY

It's the best USB mic I've ever used. It has great reviews and has come down quite a bit in price.
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Re: Best Affordable Microphone

Post by Danimal » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:43 pm

Interesting, it appears to have a built in preamp as well. Also, it could just be the picture, but it appears to be glowing? Sound quality, shmound quality, that's the best feature ever!
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Yosemite Sam
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Re: Best Affordable Microphone

Post by Yosemite Sam » Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:04 pm

Danimal wrote:Interesting, it appears to have a built in preamp as well. Also, it could just be the picture, but it appears to be glowing? Sound quality, shmound quality, that's the best feature ever!
Yes, it does have a glowing blue led, which is cool in one sense, but I guess cheesy (not so professional-looking from another). But the sound it captures is beautiful. And it can record at 24-bit/96 kHz which may be overkill for many applications, but sounds great when you need it!
Jimmy Mills

Some of my Anime Studio work.
My Demo Reel 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90NGuG8R2eo
My Demo Reel 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99WDDTPDD4s
"Buddies" Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd597T0TlNA
SvenReyter
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Re: Best Affordable Microphone

Post by SvenReyter » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:56 am

Are you currently using a recording interface? An interface with quality pre-amps can be just as important as the microphone and for quality sound that starts to run into some money. I would recommend not going with a dynamic mic like a shure 57 or even 58 for voice over. I've got a bunch of them and they are fine for recording snare drums and toms, but, it just never felt right for voice over recording. I like my condenser mics much better, even the cheaper models, for voice recording . They pick up more subtle sounds. If you have a deadened room a large diaphragm condenser mic will sound 10 times better for voice recording. Audio Technica make some really nice and fairly cheap mics for the quality. At2020s are about $100. You can get a pre-owned for about $60-$70 on ebay.

If you don't have an interface and really don't want to invest in a mic, cables and interface. I would recommend a portable recorder, like the Tascam DR series, they are extremely simple to use. I recently purchased a DR-40 on sale for $140, it impressed me. The built in stereo mics are very accurate. I've used it to record background sounds and music demos so far. It worked really well. It records on SD cards, so it's easy to transfer the wav files to vegas or audacity for editing. I plan on using the DR-40 a lot more in the future. Here's a YT video about it...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUVJutxxC4c
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