Tag Archives: microphone

Best condenser microphones for a home recording studio in 2016

As I said before, building a home recording studio is not an easy job. The brand of the product you choose is really important, especially if you plan to get one of the best condenser microphones of 2016 in order to ensure the quality of your recordings. Let’s not forget that the ultimate goal is for listeners to hear all the frequencies of the artist’s voice, at the highest quality possible.

If we are talking about live shows, the best microphones are the dynamic ones, but when it comes to building a home recording studio, the condenser microphone is definitely the optimal solution. In most cases, connecting the microphone with the rest of the equipment can be done through a classic XLR connector. The following list contains some of the best condenser microphones that you can buy in order to build a great home recording studio. Here are my top pics for 2016!

Sanken CU-44X MkII vocal condenser microphone for home studios

Sanken CU-44X MkII Condenser Studio Vocal Microphone

Sanken CU-44X MkII is a microphone having a specially designed capsule that has two channels: one for bass and one for high frequencies. This unique design features two titanium diaphragms, making this a condenser mic that captures sound in high quality. The titanium membranes are immune to the effects of moisture and various temperature changes, resulting in a constant response, regardless of external conditions.

Sanken-CU-55-vocal-studio-recording-microphone

SANKEN CU-55 Condenser Studio Vocal Microphone

SANKEN CU-55 incorporates the latest technology in a small design that’s easy to install and use. Dedicated to recording studios, this microphone features a cardioid pattern and it was designed to capture wide frequency ranges, thus providing a natural and transparent sound. It is ideal for a wide range of recording applications, from vocals to acoustic instruments or orchestra solos. CU-55 has a frequency response between 40Hz and 20kHz for a maximum SPL of 137dB, with a very wide dynamic range. Like all SANKEN microphones, CU-55 condenser microphone is recognized not only for its performance but also for flexibility and reliability.

As we are talking about the best recording microphones for a home recording studio, we could not miss SANKEN CO-100K, the world’s first microphone with a frequency response between 20Hz and 100kHz. SANKEN has created this device in collaboration with NHK Science and Technical Research Laboratories.

Neumann U87 - Best Condenser Studio Microphones

Neumann U87 Condenser Studio Vocal Microphone

Neumann U87 is undoubtedly the most famous microphone in music history. Over the years, an impressive number of famous singers recorded their albums using this microphone. U87 appeared in the late 60s and soon became the company’s top of the range. It features two diaphragms and three polar patterns.

This mic includes a -10dB pad switched in that can be turned on and off according to your needs. It enables the microphone to handle sound pressure levels of up to 127dB without distortion. The low frequency response can be reduced to compensate for proximity effect.

Neumann U87 is definitely a microphone that’s ideal for recording vocals for all musical genres, but it can also be used as a main microphone for orchestra recordings (if you’re into this). This mic has proved itself over the years and I am sure that it’s still one of the best condenser microphones of 2016.

Neumann U47 Condenser Studio Vocal Microphone

Neumann U47 Condenser Studio Vocal Microphone

Neumann U47 condenser microphones are more than classic or vintage, they are a work of art. This particular model has two versions: one with a tube and one with the FET design, adding a modern touch to it. Although comparisons can be made, both versions offer high quality sound. U47 FET includes the K47 capsule and a high SPL, allowing it to capture crystal clear sounds even if you are recording noisy guitars or drums. The vocals recorded with this microphone are described as full, warm and round.

AKG C214 - best condenser microphone for home recording studio

AKG C214 Condenser Studio Vocal Microphone

AKG C214 is one of the most affordable microphones in this list. With a sound pressure level that’s particularly high (156dB), C214 manages to cope even with the noisiest vocalists that you can think of. In addition, this great condenser microphone comes with a 20dB attenuator that is replaceable, as well as a bass filter.

C214 has a wide range of frequencies for accurate voice playback, and it comes with a protective cover, wind protection and shock protection.
Audio-Technica AT5040 Cardioid - Best Condenser Microphones

Audio-Technica AT5040 Cardioid Condenser Studio Vocal Microphone

AT5040 is Audio-Technica’s premier studio condenser vocal microphone and it was developed as a vocal mic but it is also suitable for acoustic instruments such as piano, guitar or saxophone. This condenser microphone activates 4 rectangular diaphragms in order to provide profound realism and depth, presence and purity of sound. It has a frequency response of 20-20000 HZ and an impedance of 50 Ohms.

The best condenser microphones of 2016. Conclusion

Even if some of these mics were included in my last year top picks, I still think that they’ll add quality value to your recordings. Don’t forget that a great condenser microphone is not the only item in your recording chain, and you definitely need to pay attention to other items like audio interface, cables, mixers or studio monitors.

Røde NT-USB microphone review

Rode NT-USB condenser microphone 1

Let’s face it, these days everyone is mobile so it’s just natural to pick a USB condenser microphone that’s perfect for recording songs on the go. This way, your recording studio is made of your smartphone, tablet, laptop and your USB mic. Every week, I am asked to give advice on recording microphones that are of great quality, affordable and they are compatible mobile devices. My past USB mic reviews got some attention, so I decided to expand my reviews with another one. This time, I will review the new Røde NT-USB studio microphone and I truly hope that this article will help some of my readers in their endeavor to build a home recording studio.

Setting a ‘pickup and use’ mobile solution is really easy, all you have to do is use a microphone with a built in USB interface. In the Røde NT-USB’s package you will find a pop-filter, a sturdy stand mount that is compatible with industry standard 3/8” thread, and a fine small tripod stand that allows you to record podcasting while you place the NT-USB on your desktop and you sit comfortable in your chair. Talking about this USB mic, you should know that it is a heavy microphone, weighing around 500g. In the package you will also find a 6m USB cable that should be just enough for common needs and a carry case.

Rode NT-USB condenser microphone

Getting to the technical specifications, you should know that the microphone has a cardioid pattern capsule that will handle audio levels of 110db, a 96dB dynamic range and a fairly dynamic response that offers a presence peak at 5.5kHz. If you plan to monitor what you are recording you are lucky, since the 3.5 mm headphone jack that’s present on the microphone allows you to do just that. In order to use the NT-USB condenser mic with a PC or laptop you don’t have to perform any special preparations. The device is plug-n-play and it also works great with Apple devices. If you plan to use it with an iPhone or iPad you’ll have to get a Connection Kit. You should find one at a reasonable price on eBay. Once you will use the microphone for a while, you will notice that the headphone amp has just enough power to get you through the recording sessions. The controls and knobs are made of metal and they work very smooth and easy.

I’ve used this mic for a week and I can tell you that I will probably replace my old non-USB AT2020 with this one for my demo recording sessions. The mic worked perfect with my multi-track software, allowing me to record my vocals without any problems. Too bad I was not able to get my hands on a Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter in order to test it with an iPad.

The price

If you plan to buy this USB microphone you should head to Amazon.com in order to find additional details, the price ($169.00) and user reviews. At this time, 59 customers gave Rode NT-USB 5 out of 5 stars.

Best microphones for recording music in 2017

Following one of the most popular articles on the great microphones for building a home studio in 2017, I have decided to compile a whole new list with some of the best mics that you can get for your home studio project in 2017. These microphones are all new, they were picked considering their prices and I have never presented them before on CoreMic.

The best microphones for recording vocals

Let’s begin the list with…

Best microphones on the market - Rode M3 condenser microphone

Rode M3 Instrument Condenser Microphone

Although this microphone was marketed as an instrument mic, there is no limit to what it can do. In other words, you can use it to record guitars, trumpets, drums, percussion and most importantly, vocals. As you may know, I love Rode mics due to their high quality and exquisite performances and the M3 makes no exception. It has just enough features to make you consider it as your first choice: high level of RF rejection, switched high pass filter, low handling noise. Oh, did I mentioned the price? Rode M3 costs just only $149.

Best microphones - SE Electronic magento condenser microphone 2017

sE Electronics Magneto Limited Edition Studio Condenser Microphone

I’ve mentioned sE Electronics mics in the past, but this one is a special edition at a special price – $99. It’s not that microphone that can compete with Neumann TLM 102, but it will do the job if you are on a tight budget.

Avant Electronics Avantone CR-14 condenser microphone 2017

Avant Electronics Avantone CR-14

Boys and girls, welcome to the big league of the best microphones on the market. Avantone CR-14 has an unique design, an affordable price and most importantly, it captures vocals and instruments with a character that reminded me of the very finest Ribbon microphones. Basically, you get the same quality at a lower price. Nothing can beat that, right?

Best microphones - Sontronics STC-2X condenser microphone 2017

Sontronics STC-2X

Finding this microphone is not easy, but you will manage to buy it from most online music stores; you may need to scout for a bit in order to find it. But if you decide to complete your recording music studio with it, you will learn that it is worth your money (and your time). Among many interesting features, it offers a two-stage attenuation switch and a two-stage low-cut filter. An omni-directional switch is also present, so it’s probably the best choice if you plan to record vocals coming from multiple subjects at one time.

Best microphones - Lewitt LCT240 condenser microphone 2017

Lewitt Authentica LCT 240

While we go further with our list, fresh microphones are unrelieved. This 2/3-inch diaphragm condenser microphone stands next to AKG’s C414 in terms of features, performance and versatility, but the good thing is that you can buy it at a lower price. LCT 240 sets a new bar in terms of performance and all round flexibility, allowing you to record warm, distorted-free and natural sounds, just like a pro. It costs around $200.

 Best microphones - Maroon MT100 condenser microphone 2017

Maroon Audio MT100

MT100 is the last microphone from the list and it might seem like the least probable to be picked, right? Well, you should know that MT100 is a valve (tube) condenser with a very warm-sounding character. Despite the looks, most users noticed how smooth are the vocals captured by this microphone. At this price ($430), you can’t get a better mic that will bring that classic feel to your tracks. Oh, I hope you’ve noticed the unique design, right?

One last word…
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this list with some of the best microphones that you can find right now on the market. Bare in mind that any condenser microphone requires a phantom power source and if you are on the topic you should also get a mic stand and a pop filter. If you do decide to buy any of these mics, let me hear a sample of what you will record with it. Enjoy!

The best budget mics under $50

Ever since recording equipment got so affordable, a lot of people are spending large amounts of money on microphones, interfaces and audio devices. The microphone is one of the most important pieces of equipment in any recording setup and you need to establish few things before buying one from your local store or your favorite online shop. I always advice my friends to think at these three factors when they decide to get a budget mic: the purpose, the setup and the budget. You can buy a microphone for $10 or you can get one for $1,000. Why pay more when you need an entry-level mic for your project? These are the best budget mics under $50 that are suited for recording vocals.
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Blue Yeti USB Microphone Review and Price

If you read my previous article on how to choose the proper home studio equipment then you know that the microphone is the first piece in the recording chain and you should choose it carefully. If you decide to go with a USB microphone then you probably are on a tight budget or you need it for limited projects. Don’t get your hopes down yet, there are still few budget USB mics out there that are perfect for a small home studio, and Blue Yeti microphone is definitely in the top of the list.

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How to choose the equipment needed for setting up a home studio

If you ended on this page you are probably just like me, in love with music. I bet that ever since you can remember you wanted to make music, you wanted to make your voice heard and get some credits for all that dormant creativity that’s inside you. But before becoming a worldwide music star (or at least a local star) you need to have your own recording studio where you can transform the musical ideas in your head into beautiful sounds. In this article I will tell you about the best way to choose all the equipment needed for setting up a basic home studio.
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The best USB microphones around $100: tips, reviews and advices

BEST-USB-CONDENSER-MICROPHONES

If you plan to record your own songs at home but you don’t want to spend a large budget for the recording setup, buying an USB condenser microphone is a good idea. Nothing fancy, no preamp, no audio interface. Just a good microphone and a USB cable. There are many options to choose from here. Brands like Audio Technica, Nady, Blue, Samson, MXL, CAD will try to capture your attention with USB mics between $30 and $300. You will learn that most USB microphones are around $100, but you will also find a few that are way above that line. In this article, I will try tho choose the best USB microphones that you can buy around the price of $100.
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A review on Rode NTK Tube Condenser Microphone

Rode is one of my favorite microphone manufacturer and if anyone asks me for a home studio microphone recommendation, I will gladly reply with one of Rode’s mics. Although the NTK mic was listed as a thousand dollar mic, this celebrated large-diaphragm valve mic can be found at half that price on various online stores. But we’ll get into that later. This home recording item brings exquisite sound quality while maintaining the classic design and technology that made the Australian company famous in the first place. The main feature of this mic is probably the HF-2 capsule designed and manufactured by Rode with care and special attention to its performances.

Rode NTK Box

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Neumann TLM-102 microphone review: great features, affordable price

You’ve probably heard generally very good reviews from specialists and clients about this small wonder microphone and now I will tell you why. The Neumann TLM- 102 captured musician’s attention in positive ways, mostly due to the magnificent speech reproduction in comparison to its small size, and great performances compared to its price. These are the reasons why Neumann TLM-102 is one of my favorite choices from the Neumann product range.

The TLM-102 made quite a few waves on the audio equipment market firstly because of its extremely small dimensions, measuring 4,5 inches in height, being almost half as the size of other products in its range. However, don’t let this detail fool you. This compact size microphone, built with a newly engineered large-diaphragm capsule, could easily become the first mic for anyone who owns a small studio or who wants to start a professional audio career using quality equipment. Even more, it was launched at a starting price of only $699, almost pocket change if you think Neumann’s other mics range from $1500 and go up to $2800 for the U87 microphone. Still not convinced? Read the followings and you will learn more details about it:

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Rode NT1-A review: the perfect microphone for a home studio project

They say that you will never find a professional microphone under $500. In order to prove everyone wrong, Rode decided to create the perfect microphone for a home recording studio at half the price. Even more, the mic comes with a lot of physical features that will definitely worth your money.

If you plan to make a solid investment in your home recording studio microphone, Rode NT1-A is probably the first mic you should take into consideration. This large diaphragm condenser microphone with cardioid polar pattern has the same quality and performance of mics found at prices over $1,000 but you can actually buy it for $229. But before going into further details, let’s talk about the physical aspects of this exquisite microphone.

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