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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

What Is Headroom In Mastering?

15 what is headroom in mastering

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

 

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Creating Headroom In A Mix

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

 

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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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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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Best Mixing Levels Before Mastering

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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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Fixing A Bad Mix With Mastering

A lot of mastering engineers are afraid to make drastic changes to a mix they are working on.  That, or they're stuck in the familiarity of always making only small changes. 

In this video I show how you can turn a weak mix (definitely wouldn't call it bad) into a great sounding master, simply by pushing your levels a little more than you might be used to.

 

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What Is Audio Mastering?

9 what is audio mastering

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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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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Learning And Calibrating Your Speakers For Your DAW In Audio Mastering

3 calibrate speakers audio mastering daw

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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What Does Mastering Do To A Song?

10 what is audio mastering

What does mastering do to a song?  Your main goal in audio mastering is to replicate the sonic qualities of a well professionally mastered commercial song, in the same genre and style as the song mix you are working on.

 

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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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Stereo Widening Techniques | How To Use Stereo Widening In Mastering Music

Here are a few great stereo widening techniques and how to use them in music.  When you listen to music on a car radio, you want that wide stereo sound that extends from the left door to the right. Not just two feet wide right above the stereo!

 

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Monitor Speaker Placement For Your Home Recording Studio And DAW Setup

4 speaker placemnt daw home recording studio

Here's the monitor speaker setup I use for my DAW, and the setup I recommend for your home recording studio.

 

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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 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 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 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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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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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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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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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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Best Room Size For Audio Mastering DAW Home Recording Studio

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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'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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#1 Best Website Hosting For Musicians, And Music Recording Studios

If you're looking for the best website hosting for musicians, bands, and music recording studios, here's my own personal experience with website hosting companies.

 

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Mid Side EQ In Mastering

This is a quick video on how a mid-side processor works, and how to check the stereo field of your mix using a mid-side processor equalizer.

 

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