Technology has allowed more independent artists access to recording their music from their own home studios. Almost every day, I get asked the question “what is the best microphone for my home studio”.
Here’s our StudioPros producer’s top 10 list of vocal microphones for home studios. Keep in mind that if you are on a budget, there also great resources for buying used microphones online.
StudioPros Producer’s Top 10 Vocal Microphone List
In no particular order…
1. Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone ($399)
As producer Courtney Jones says, “You have to mention the SM7B as it’s an overall work horse of a microphone.” The SM7B is a dynamic microphone has a smooth, flat, wide-range frequency response .
2. Rode NT1-A ($229)
For that vintage tube mic sound without breaking the bank! The Rode NT1-A is a popular choice and I’ve found it on almost every top 10 mic list while doing my research on this topic. The Rode NT1-A is a cardioid condenser microphone has become an industry standard; delivering the warmth, extended dynamic range, and clarity.
3. AKG C 414 ($2200)
The AKC 414 is a large-diaphragm multi-pattern condenser microphone. The multi-pattern feature makes it versatile for different recording situations. I personally use this microphone for my own sessions as a singer songwriter due to it’s versatility as a pro condenser microphone and being able to track my acoustic guitar and my vocals. Highly recommend!
4. Sennheiser MD 421 II Cardioid Dynamic Mic ($380)
The large diaphragm, dynamic element handles high sound pressure levels, making it a natural for recording guitars and drums. The MD 421’s full-bodied cardioid pattern and five-position bass control make it an excellent choice for most instruments, as well as group vocals or radio broadcast announcers.
5. Neumann TLM- 102 or Neumann TLM- 103 ($699)
Neumann has been a mainstay in recording studios and any engineer would agree this will always be a great option for a cardioid condenser microphone.
6. Blue Microphones Bluebird ($299.99)
Another large diaphragm condenser microphone, this is a great option for home recording studios and vocal tracking.
7. Behringer C – 1 ($49.99)
This is ultra affordable for musicians on a budget that want to experiment with their home studio set up and are just getting into home recording. The recording mic delivers an exceptionally flat frequency response, ultra low-noise transformerless field-effect transistor (FET) input circuitry, and incredible audio transparency.
8. Audio- Technica AT2035 ($149)
Designed for critical home/project/professional studio applications and live performance, this side-address cardioid studio condenser delivers exceptional detail and low noise.
9. Neumann U87 ($3200)
Every producer knows this mic for tracking warmth and professional vocals. If you have the budget to invest in this, this is going to be a professional choice all around and you won’t be disappointed.
10. Audio -Technica AT2020 ($99)
Another great option for an entry level microphone to build up your chops and home studio. Affordable, but still offering professional quality. This mid- diaphragm condenser mic is a great option without breaking the bank.
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