Survey: What are your top 3 vocal mics for recording?

Survey: What are your top 3 vocal mics for recording?


Enlighten me. Name once conceivable instance apart from a scenario where you are asked to destroy or intentionally damage a microphone, will that $13 Neewer mic will ever be preferred over the Neumann. I’m not just trashing cheap gear. I have bought a batch of those Neewer mics. I gave them away two Christmas ago as gag gifts.


Friend, what is your problem? If you can’t understand what I’m trying to say, just move on then.


No I don’t think they are the same build quality. But I do know that sometimes one mic is preferable over another, and it has nothing to do with name brands or country of origin.

Considering Gibson’s build quality, they might be about the same! :smiley:

Try to understand that not everything is about cork sniffing. Jack White and Josh Homme have made nice careers for themselves intentionally using “junk” equipment.


I’ll take that :wink:


Ok. Point taken :stuck_out_tongue:

Btw…If you ever need a sample of good loud full frequency microphone noise for a sound effect, keep me in mind! I CAN HOOK YOU UP!!


I have a love hate relationship with the sm7b. right now i am loving it. otherwise i have not be that inspired or turned off by most of the mics i own. maybe they are just too generic and cheap.

By the way on the argument that broke out… build quality does matter, whether you care or not is subjective.


I think this question has a real meaning only if it’s answered by people who have tried a lot of mics.
Most of us (I think) are home recorders and have little experience.
I have 3 mics for example and haven’t had experience with others.
So, putting those 3 in order of preference

  1. Lauten Audio Clarion 357
  2. Shure Beta 58A
  3. Shure Beta 87A


I’m specifically asking this with home recording users in mind. so for some, 3 may be too many to list and thats ok. Any pros and semi-pros are welcome to chime in also. The number 3 was just thrown out there to keep folks from sending some crazy long list. :stuck_out_tongue:


The entire Lewitt line and a Royer 121.


A 121 for vocals? Seems like it’s such a standard for micing amps, I hadn’t really heard of it used for vocals. Wish I had one to test drive!


Oops. I guess I was having some trouble reading the question. Let me revise that.

My favorite vocal mic is the one that my Artist sounds best on. That said, I haven’t found anyone who doesn’t sound great on the Lewitt LCT 940. That entire line is stupid good, but that’s their top condenser mic, which has a variable FET and Tube setting.

The only other mic that I’ve ever found that seems to sound great on everyone is the Telefunken ELAM 251, which are vintage and prohibitively expensive. Enjoy, @Mixerman


Eric @Mixerman… I have NEVER tried one! That’s one mic I’ve never played with. I’d love to give one a try sometime. You’re still in Asheville…right? Do you know of a studio in the Carolinas that has one?


My buddy Michael Selverne who is a producer here in Asheville keeps his at Echo Mountain studios. Come on out! Enjoy, @Mixerman


Very nice! Will do. I’d be really excited to see some of George Augpurger design work too. Love the setup :slight_smile:


Everyone is welcome to chime in! Even if you only have 1 vocal mic you like to use, just let us know


I’d take #2 mainly because of the resale value of the Neumann. I’d sell the U47 and get a decent preamp, interface, monitors and a half decent low end mic. Before doing that I would rent some good gear to compare a low to mid range mic with the Neumann…If the Neumann was really impressive I would scrap my original plan and keep that sucker.


Right. Some may not even use 3. I have gravitated to the AT 4040 because that’s what I have and that’s what works. I have others that I use from time to time, but only that one “top” as far as I’m concerned. It’s also the one that is always set up and ready to go, so that has a certain impact on my choices. :wink:


I’ve been using my AT4040 for the last year or so for the same reasons as you. It’s stored in a convenient location and it’s a reputable mic. I have a bunch of other condensers but they’re all tucked away, so I just grab the readily available AT4040.

As far as sound quality goes I can’t hear any appreciable differences in any of my large diaphragm condenser mics. They range from about $90 to $400 but they sound basically the same. Back around 2010 I did a mic shootout using an acoustic guitar…I compared 10 different large diaphragm condensers…The conclusion I came to was that all the mics were so extremely similar in sound reproduction that it was no use favouring one over another. The only subtle differences were in their output levels. I also tried a vocal shootout with 6 or 7 large diaphragm condensers, and I came to the same conclusion…

Except for this …

I once rented an AT4047 and that mic definitely sounded different. It sounded full, thick and beefy compared to the other 15 or so cheaper condensers I owned at the time. I used it for vocals…It almost sounded too thick, but now when I listen to those recordings I really like how full my voice sounds compared to the thinness of the other mics I own/ owned.


That’s my feeling too. I have a higher end tube mic that sounds okay, but not necessarily better. I also have an M-Audio Nova which does just about as well as the AT 4040. While I wouldn’t necessarily say “a mic is a mic is a mic”, the differences could be quite subtle in the ultimate analysis. A lot is down to EQ IMO, as when I used the IK Multimedia MicRoom plugin, they basically just EQ’d the tone of traditional/classic mics. Nothing magical, just EQ shift. Much of the workflow of certain mics is just their EQ pattern as (somewhat) shown by frequency response charts.

I have heard good things about the big brothers/sisters of the AT 4040, which might incline me to invest in them at some point. Based on my experience with the AT 4040. Kind of the viewpoint that “more is more”, rather than more is less. With other mics, I can read reviews, but I don’t have the same experience, other than some limited commercial studio experiences with those other brands.


Sound brilliant. I think I’d do the same.


Dude. So have I…its an outstanding mic imo! :slight_smile:

Agree with you here. I did notice a little difference…some are brighter. But I think I would group them as brighter and darker. With the 4040 being on the dark side and the Rode NT1 being on the brighter side. Other than that, my experience was similar.