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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

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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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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What Is Headroom In Mastering?

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

 

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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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Audio Mastering Software Processors

Here are the series of audio mastering software processors I've used on the over 30,000 songs I've mastered since 1999.  In this video, I use mostly izotope ozone plugins because it's easier to explain using them.  In real-life, I do mix in a few hardware pieces, and a waves plugin.

 

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Why Do Songs Need To Be Mastered?

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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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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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What Is Reverb Effect In Music | How To Use Reverb

This article discusses what is the reverb effect in music and how to use it?  The reverb effect is used to simulate space. When reverb is applied to a dry vocal or instrument track, it will sound like it was recorded live in the space size that was selected on the processor. Common space size options include a small room, vocal plate, large hall, etc.

 

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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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What Does Channel Mean In Music And Mixing?

It's the most basic of all questions, but someone asks it at least once a week.  In this article, I will explain what channel means in music and mixing

 

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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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Cheaply Soundproofing Your Room For Audio Mastering

1 cheaply soundproofing room studio

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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Mastering Compression Techniques

This video shows one of the more imptotant compression techniques I use in audio mastering.  In my audio Mastering Secrets Video Series, I explain everything you need to know about audio mastering.

 

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Best Free Redbook CD Burning Software
Yes, burning your own redbook master CDs is very easy!  Here's how to make your own redbook CD masters for free! 
 
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The Sound Engineer SCAM! Does More Expensive Mean Better?


The sound engineer scam, the online recording studio ripoff, whatever you want to call it.  I hear about it 3-4 times a month from my clients, since 1999.  It never changes!

 

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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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What Is Chorus Effect In Music | How To Use Chorus

This article discusses what is the chorus effect in music and how to use it?  The chorus effect makes a single audio track sound like a group. It achieves this by taking a single instrument or vocal track, multiplying it, and then slightly detunes each newly created track. The result is a fuller lush sounding audio track.

 

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My First Music Video!

Here's the first music video I directed, Mahalin Muli by JAI, released on July 10th, 2018.  I also wrote more than half of the script. 

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Mastering A Song For Radio

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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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Mastering Hardware Equipment You Need For Your DAW Home Recording Studio

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Here's the basic hardware you need to master music:

 

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What Software Do You Need For Audio Mastering?

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If you've mixed songs in the past, you more than likely can use that same software for audio mastering. As long as you can add effects to the stereo/main out bus, you're good to go.  Read more....

 

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How To Master A Song In Only 5 Minutes!

Would you like to know how to master a song or how to master your own music?  So many people think just making the volumes the same level for every song is "mastering" their CD.  Well, mastering is a lot more than just that! 

 

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What's The Difference Between Mixing And Mastering

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What's the difference between mixing and mastering?  A lot of people new to music don't know the answer to this.

 

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Which Is Better For Audio Mastering Analog Gear Or Digital Software Plugins?

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I started my career using the old analog stuff, since that was the only option.  I incorporated digital software plugins as soon as they became available, but it took many years before computers were fast enough to run them in realtime.  And also before they started making very high quality plugins. 

 

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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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