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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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So, what is the best room size for audio mastering in your DAW home recording studio?  Technically, you can properly mix or master in any room size.  But, I believe a smaller room is better than a very large one for someone who's just starting out. And when I say smaller I mean closer to 12'x15' than to 20'x30'.  I've mixed and mastered songs for a number of years in a 20'x30' room.  It took me a few days to get used to it, but after that I could do it.

 

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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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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?  Read more....

 

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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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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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OK

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

 

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What Is Audio Mastering?

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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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A/B Comparison In Mastering
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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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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Best Mixing Levels Before Mastering

set mixing level meters

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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Mid Side EQ In 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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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 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 ...
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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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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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 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 ...
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 ...
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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