Cheap Condenser Microphones --Help?

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Member Since: May 19, 2010

I'm set to visit Tom Lee in Hong Kong soon, and have at least two microphones in mind:

1. M-Audio Nova
2. Audio Technica 2020

Opinions on which of these to get and what other mics to consider? I plan to use it mainly for vocals (alternative rock) and acoustic guitars.

I'm taking into consideration the recording device I'm using--the UX2 of Line 6.

I'd very much appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

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Since: Dec 04, 2007

May 23, 2010 03:25 pm

Well, out of those two, I'd go with the AT2020. I don't now much about how reliable/sturdy/good the M-Audio mics are and honestly didn't realize M-Audio actually made mics. I know they do preamp, interfaces, keyboards, etc. But I have heard that quite a few people get pretty good results with the AT2020 particularly in the home-studio department.

Honestly, I think Audio-Technica is more established in the mic field, and I think you'll be more happy with one of their mics. I know other quality brands are MXL, Shure, Rode, etc, and some of them do have condenser mics in the $100 range.

Someone else with more mic experience will probably chime in as well.

MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Since: Aug 05, 2008

May 23, 2010 06:08 pm

Side-note on the M-Audio mics...

And keep in mind that I'm no particular fan of most M-Audio stuff (most of it just makes me M-AD-io).

The Solaris and Luna mics are particularly wonderful mics in and up to several times their price range. Especially the Solaris... As with many LDC's, a bit too sensitive for most vocal tasks, but the Luna, with a 40% thicker diaphragm, not so bad.

That said - I've not tried the Nova. I'm sort of assuming it's not really in the same category of mics, as it's a much later offering of 'typical' design.

The 2020 I basically liked, but again, for aggressive vocals, not my first choice. You're kind of at odds on this one - Aggressive vocal mic/acoustic guitar mic... Normally not the same mic if you know where I'm going here...

Since: May 19, 2010

May 24, 2010 02:56 am

Oh, I see. Thanks, that's been helpful!

My friend also owns an AT2020 and he says it does the job both for vocals and guitar, it's just that I've read reviews for the M-Audio Nova as well, and they seem generally positive :)

In case this helps, my vocal references are those of Coldplay, and similar stuff, so I guess I'm prioritizing a microphone that flatters vocals really well.

Any recommendations with that consideration? :P

MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Since: Aug 05, 2008

May 24, 2010 10:29 am

A 58 wouldn't hurt... SM7b or RE20 would be very high on the list (both freakishly inexpensive for what they are, but perhaps exceed your budget at the moment).

In any case, the preamp is going to play a pretty big part here also... Any mic is only as good as the preamp driving its signal...

Typo Szar
Since: Jul 04, 2002

May 24, 2010 11:18 am

I was about to say the same thing, especially for those Coldplay type vocals, its more about having a nice preamp. U dont even need a condensor so much, if ur environment is really noisy by nature or anything u can always tweak a good mic whethe it be dynamic or condensor to sound 'good' for vox

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