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

 

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In this video I do a quick A/B comparison of a few songs.  In my audio mastering secrets video series, I get a lot more in-depth into exactly what you are trying to achieve sonically for your genre/style of music.
 
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In this article, I'll show you how to prepare your songs for mixing.

 

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Can Anyone Become A Great Sound Engineer?

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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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How To Master Hard Rock And Heavy Metal
 In this article I will discuss how to master hard rock and heavy metal songs.  Every genre (style) of music has its own set of sonic qualities that are unique to the genre.  These sonic qualities are a "must to know" if you want to audio mastering your own hard rock or heavy metal music. Read more ...
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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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How To Master EDM, Pop Dance, Synth
 In this article I will discuss how to master EDM, pop dance and synth songs.  Every genre (style) of music has its own set of sonic qualities that are unique to the genre.  These sonic qualities are a "must to know" if you want to audio mastering your own EDM, pop dance and synth music. Read more ...
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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What Is Audio Mastering?

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What is audio mastering?  I've seen a lot of different answers on the Internet to this simple question.  Some were pretty technical and confusing.

 

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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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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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Correctly setting your mixing levels before mastering is essential for great mastering results.  Having the best DB levels for mixing is critical.  Here's how to properly do it! 

 

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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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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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Creating Headroom In A Mix

17 how create headroom in mix

OK

To create a mix for mastering with proper headroom is pretty simple. 

 

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How Much Headroom Before Mastering Should I Leave?

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How much headroom before mastering should you leave in your mix?  Here's the correct amount of headroom you should leave, using detailed graphic examples.

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How To Master Hip Hop And Rap
 In this article I will discuss how to master hip hop and rap songs.  Every genre (style) of music has its own set of sonic qualities that are unique to the genre.  These sonic qualities are a "must to know" if you want to audio mastering your own hip hop or rap music. Read more ...
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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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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