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    Five Microphones Under $500 That You Need In Your Studio

    By Phil O'Keefe |

    Five Microphones Under $500 That You Need In Your Studio

    A microphone doesn't have to cost thousands of dollars in order to be a professional tool

     

     

     

    by Phil O'Keefe

     

     

    hcmicsunder500leader-b7ae6c28.jpg.e64eabda7662b8d8113ec326d1b94c3a.jpgLet's face it - if money was no object, most home studio owners would have no problem quickly listing several high-end or vintage microphones that we'd love to add to our studio's mic collection, but for the vast majority of us, money is an issue. While the idea of compromising usually doesn't sit well with picky artistic types (and the best recording engineers are both picky and artists in their own right), there are plenty of excellent microphones that will cost you a lot less than that vintage Neumann U47 that you've been dreaming about, and yet can still deliver excellent sounding recordings. For some recording tasks, the less expensive microphone might even be a better choice. So let's take a look at five outstanding microphones that will be excellent performers in any studio, no matter how upscale or humble it might be.

    shure-sm57-3c878593.jpg.0babb8d7fb9a75345e9626650030637b.jpgWhy you need one: This is the one mic that you will find in almost every recording studio, large or small. If you don't have one (or several) in your studio, you're definitely missing out. It's a rugged and classic dynamic mic that can be used on almost any sound source and deliver decent to excellent results - assuming you do your part and position it properly and pair it with a decent mic preamp. A legendary guitar amp and snare drum mic, it's one of the most versatile and affordable professional microphones on the market, and one that has been used on countless hit recordings.

     

    g5790-dcb05246.jpg.8e2967dbb6b3aa27b3c45ccb78fb6e65.jpg

     

    Also check out the Granelli Audio Labs G5790 ($149.99 "street"), a rebuilt SM57 with an easy to place right angle body. Click here to read HC's review of the G5790.

     

     

     

     

    ev-re20-080252a7.jpg.804ac67234baf4fc08b3deaa017da2c1.jpgWhy you need one: This is another legendary and highly versatile dynamic mic that can be used on a wide variety of sound sources with excellent results. It's one of the most popular broadcast and voiceover microphones in the world, and it has been used on more than a few lead vocal tracks that have been released on major label recordings too. Still not enough versatility for you? It is also an outstanding choice for use on guitar and bass amp speaker cabinets, horns and sax, and decades after its introduction, it's still one of the best kick drum microphones on the planet.

    ev-re320-fbbc0cb8.thumb.jpg.04094ea3d8261669c6d6c2c3cd07563a.jpg

    If you're really strapped for cash, also consider the similar, but less expensive ($299 "street") E/V RE30. Check out Harmony Central's review of the RE320 here.

     

     

     

    rode-nt1-83b7ccdd.thumb.jpg.5428d2aff0eea02e8ecdab991dc69fb2.jpgShure SM57 (Usually $99.00 "street", currently selling at $89.00 "street" for a limited time)    

    Available from:

    Sweetwater  

    Guitar Center    

    Musician's Friend    

    B&H Photo Video  

     

     

     

    Granelli Audio Labs G5790  ($154.99 "street")     

    Available from:

    Sweetwater 

    Guitar Center 

    Musician's Friend   

     

     

    Electro-Voice RE20 ($449.00 "street")     

    Available from:

    Sweetwater    

    Guitar Center    

    B&H Photo Video    

    Musician's Friend    

     

     

     

    E/V RE320  ($299.00 "street")    

    Available from:

    Sweetwater    

    Guitar Center    

    B&H Photo Video   

    Musician's Friend    

     

     

     

    Blue Hummingbird (Usually $299.99 each "street" / $599.98 per pair, they're currently on sale for $299.99 per pair)   

    Available from:

    Sweetwater    

    Guitar Center    

    Musician's Friend    

    B&H Photo Video 

     

     

     

    Cascade Fathead II ($449.00 "street")    

    The Cascade Fathead II is available singly and in stereo pairs. It can be purchased directly from Cascade Microphones.

     

     

     

    Rode NT1  ($269.00 "street", packaged with shockmount and pop filter)     

    Available from:

    Sweetwater    

    Guitar Center    

    Musician's Friend    

    B&H Photo Video   

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    phil-3eaec998.jpg.c2edffbf1bf3cff9f0a6b0b26cfded29.jpg

    Phil O'Keefe is a multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer / producer and the Senior Editor of Harmony Central. He has engineered, produced and performed on countless recording sessions in a diverse range of styles, with artists such as Alien Ant Farm, Jules Day, Voodoo Glow Skulls, John McGill, Michael Knott and Alexa's Wish. He is a former featured monthly columnist for EQ magazine, and his articles and product reviews have also appeared in Keyboard, Electronic Musician and Guitar Player magazines.  

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    No comments?  Is everyone but me rich?  A fine list.  I'd love to see you do an under $250 one.

     

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    Posted a response but I think  it got lost.  argh.  Anyway, my request would be a 2-parter, for LDCs and dynamics, respectively.  My offhand cut on 5 each might go and in no order (this could change tomorrow):

     

    LDCs

    sE X1A  (and/or the X1S, but the A is better bang/buck IMO)

    Behringer C1 (again:  bang/buck)

    MXL 67G (kinda bang/buck but honestly just a great mic regardless)

    AKG 220

    Sennheiser 609

     

    Dynamics

    Shure 57

    Shure 57 Beta (supercardioid)

    Sennheiser 835

    Sennheiser 845 (supercardioid)

    GLS 58 (once more:  bang/buck for the truly cash-strapped)

     

     

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