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vocal microphone

Looking for the best vocal microphone for your DAW home recording studio in 2020?

Out of all the components in the home recording studio, microphones offer the most choices and opinions on which ones are the best.

 

The good news is every mic we recommend here sounds good. The bad news is they all sound different. Even the same mic will sound different depending on who's using it (male, female, tenor, bass, etc.).

Some mics have a brighter EQ sound, the tube mics add harmonics to the vocal which gives it warmth, and the shure handheld mics are kind of in the middle of sharpness and warmth.  Technically, you can get a decent to great sound out of any of these mics. If the vocal track is recorded clean and mixed well, it will sound good.

Note - Remember, you add heavier compression, EQ and effects to the vocal track during the mixing process not during recording. You're stuck with whatever you record so effects are added later.  Light compression during recording is fine

 

BEST VOCAL MICROPHONE PICKS

$3,199.95 Neumann U87Ai Large-Diaphragm Microphone
The KING of all vocal mics!  Thousands of hit songs have been recorded with this mic.  Still going strong after more than 40 years, the Neumann U87Ai is a studio staple on vocals and just about everything else. Includes case, shock mount, and cable.

$1,099.95 Neumann TLM 103 Microphone with Shock Mount and Case
A universal cardioid pattern and extremely low self-noise make the large-diaphragm Neumann TLM 103 well-suited for the home or professional studio.

$1,295 Shure KSM313/NE Dual Voice Ribbon Microphone
Basically a solid all-in-one mic. Capture violin, guitar, even kick drum with the high-SPL-handling Shure KSM313/NE ribbon mic -- then flip it around to the "bright side" to track vocals.

$960.97 AKG C 414 XL II 9-Pattern Condenser Mic
This mic is an all-around classic performer. You can record vocals and acoustic instruments with it. It's a clear true sounding mic. It does not add warmth like a tube mic.

$600.00 Rode K2 Tube Microphone
If you're looking for a warmer sounding mic for your vocals, this is a great tube mic.  One of the best vocal microphones for the price.

$99 Shure SM58 Dynamic Handheld Microphone
Another classic vocal mic. Millions sold! For the price, you can't beat it. This mic doesn't have the high EQ added to it. If you need a warmer mic but can't afford a tube mic, this will do.

$99 Shure SM57 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
This mic is a great instrument microphone, especially for snare drums, toms, and guitar; but will also double as a good vocal microphone.

When it's all said and done, all that matters is the sound of your recording. You want your vocal track to sound great using a mic that fits the singer's style. We've recorded loud hard rock singers who just didn't sound right using a $4,000 mic, but sounded excellent using the $99 Shure SM57. Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) always records using a handheld mic. He's done pretty well with them!
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The Music Production Secrets Series
by John Rogers

  

My Best Mixing & Mastering Articles

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In order to produce a good master, a mix needs proper headroom and dynamic range.

 

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These are the Top 17 most common music mixing mistakes I see daily.  Correcting them could will improve your audio mastering results and make your mixes sound more professional.
 
 
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John Rogers - Danceur Magazine Interview (July 2018)

Since the begining of his solo career in 2008, I mastered over 80 songs with the top French recording artist NYLS.  Great pop dance music with a lot of remixes.  During his entire career (as of now), I mastered most of if not all the song he released.  It was a great pleasure working with NYLS and Nico at Icon Records!

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Set Mixing Levels For Each Instrument

How to set mixing levels for each instrument is a question I see all over the Internet.  I'm going to explain exactly how to set mixing levels in this article.

 

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Can You Master A Song That's Already Been Mastered?
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The Sound Engineer SCAM! Does More Expensive Mean Better?


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How To Prepare Your Songs For Mastering
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In this article, we'll show you how to prepare your mixes for mastering.

 

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What's The Difference Between Mixing And Mastering

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I had to write a quick note on this, as I was reminded about it while thumbing through a popular mixing book that had a 15 page section on speaker resonance and room sound proofing.  I must say, a very exciting 15 pages!  Ha!

 

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How To Prepare Your Songs For Mixing
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In this article, I'll show you how to prepare your songs for mixing.

 

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How Much Should I Charge For Mastering?

I've mastered over 40,000 songs since 1999.  I've charged $10 a song, $20, $30, $50 even $100!  Some prices worked better than others.  Here are a few facts to consider when deciding on what prices to charge.  Read more....

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Audio Engineer Hearing Loss And Tinnitus

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Millions of people suffer from tinnitus.  A new study shows around 10% of the U.S. population suffers from it in some form, but many have never even heard of it until they get it!  Unfortunately, I was one of those people.  It can happen quickly and it lasts a lifetime... 

 

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How To Mix And Master Songs

If you're into "do it yourself projects" my mastering book will show you EXACTLY how I mastered every style of music on this website.  Get it here Audio Mastering Secrets!

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How Long Does It Take To Master A Song?

How long does is take to master a song?  There are several extra song mastering procedures I offer that other mastering engineers will not do. 

 

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What's The Vibrato And Tremolo Definition In Music | Differences Between Tremolo And Vibrato

The vibrato and tremolo effects both have their differences.  But the vibrato and tremolo effects also sound very similar; both slightly wave and pulsate the pitch of an audio track. You have to hear it for yourself to understand the sound.

 

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How Much Headroom Before Mastering Should I Leave?

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Here's another popular question I see online, always with the wrong answer! "There's no such thing as radio ready mastering!"  REALLY?

 

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Learning And Calibrating Your Speakers For Your DAW In Audio Mastering

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Learning and calibrating your speakers for your DAW in audio mastering is a very important step in the audio mastering process.  When I first start out with NEW speakers (though I never change them now), I listen to my favorite hit songs in every genre and style.  Songs that I know from my years of experience have X amount of bass, X amount of brightness, etc.  I know how these songs are "supposed" to sound.

 

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Why do songs need to be mastered?  I've seen this question on the Internet many times.  The answer I always see is "Because all songs on the radio have been professionally mastered, yours should be too."  This is a true fact, but not an answer.

 

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Best Mixing Levels Before Mastering

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Why Does A Mix Need Headroom And Dynamic Range?

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Why does a mix need headroom and dynamic range?  In one sentence, it gives the mastering engineer more room to work with.
 

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I would say YES, most people can become a great mastering engineer. I say this because most of the mixes I receive from clients are pretty good and I know the audio engineer (the band member with a computer) has only minimal training.  He could easily be great if he put a little more study and practice time into it.  And if he had this book to teach him what took me over 17 years to learn!  Ha!

 

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