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Home Studio Gear: Microphones

Home Studio Gear- The microphones below are multi-purpose mics that are useful in any studio setting. They are not specifically intended for harmonica use, but some will also work for studio harmonica playing. See the Stage and Jamming- Mics page for hand-held harmonica microphones.

Shure Beta 58A Mic Shure Beta 58A Mic - Its consistent supercardioid pattern at all frequencies results in exceptional gain before feedback, maximum sound source isolation, and minimum off-axis coloration. Neodymium magnet provides high sensitivity and output. Also features rugged steel mesh grille, advanced electropneumatic shockmount, and humbucking coil to reduce unwanted noise. Frequency response: 50Hz-16kHz.
Buy Shure SM57 Mic Shure SM57- "The classic SM57 is the "workhorse" microphone of stages and studios world-wide. Its carefully contoured frequency response means clean, well defined instrumental reproduction and rich, warm vocal pickup on lecterns or stages. The standard for drum, percussion and instrument amplifier miking. Cardioid (unidirectional) dynamic." Our thoughts: A great low-impedance vocal mic that will also give you a "clean" harmonica sound on stage when going directly into the PA system. This microphone is virtually the same as the SM-58 above except that it is a 'straight' mic. Some players find a 'ball' mic easier to hold onto, some players prefer the 'straight' mic -- purely personaly preference. This is the most common microphone used for 'miking' harmonica amps.
Buy AKG C 414 B-XL II Condenser Microphone AKG C 414 B-XL II Condenser Microphone- "The AKG C 414 has been a studio workhorse for many years and has undergone numerous refinements. Based on the C3414, the C414B-XLS has a vastly improved capsule shockmount, and new, switching 1" diaphragm. It has 5 switchable polar patterns: omnidirectional, wide cardioid, cardioid, hypercardioid, and figure 8. 2-color LEDs indicate polar pattern and output overload. It has 3 switchable bass cut filters and 3 pre-attenuation pads with LEDs for quick reference and delivers a huge 20Hz-20kHz frequency range. The signal-to-noise ratio of 88dB, A-weighted offers the kind of performance required for digital tracking sessions. The C414B-XLII has the distinctive timbre of the classic C414 and is designed for adding presence to vocals and for distant miking of instruments. It comes with the H 85 professional shockmount/stand adapter, PF 80 external pop filter, and W 414 X external windscreen." Our thoughts: A classic vocal mic found in virtually all pro studios.
Buy AKG C 1000 S Condenser Mic AKG C 1000 S Condenser Mic- "The AKG C 1000 S Condenser Mic is an excellent vocal mic. It works well even from a distance, making it ideal for recording choirs, and other live music ensembles. Outstanding performance when used for instruments and ideal for home recording applications. A special converter (PPC 1000) turns the microphone characteristics from cardioid to hypercardioid if it is mounted on the mic top. The new PB 1000 Presence Boost adapter provides an additional 5dB high-frequency peak in the cardioid mode, adding brilliance in the 5 to 9kHz range. Operates on either phantom power or standard 9V battery, and an LED has been added for low-battery warning. The C 1000 S can also be used for a variety of studio applications." Our thoughts: A nice all-around microphone for the studio. It won't sound as great as more expensive mics, but does a very good job for the price.
Buy Neumann TLM 127 Set A Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone Neumann TLM 127 Set A Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone- "The TLM 127 is a multi-pattern (omni and cardioid) large-diaphragm microphone ideal for all professional and semi-professional applications requiring the utmost in sound quality. Using the tried and true tranformerless circuitry found in numerous Neumann microphones, the TLM 127 features low self-noise and extremely high sound pressure level transmission. The dual diaphragm capsule, derived from that used in the TLM 103, is acoustically well balanced and offers multiple polarity from the microphone, switchable pad (-14 dB), and a high pass-filter. Cardioid and omni switchable patterns are currently available on the microphone, with a full range of 5 patterns available via an optional remote control and power supply using standard XLR cables." Our thoughts: The Neumann mics are what other microphones want to be when they grow up. Possibly, the most common high-end mic found in recording studios. Pricey, but used by the pros.
Buy Electro-Voice RE20 Dynamic Cardioid Mic Electro-Voice RE20 Dynamic Cardioid Mic- "Also well-suited for recording and sound reinforcement applications. This Variable-D design dynamic cardioid microphone features a heavy-duty internal pop filter to reduce proximity effects, while an internal element shockmount reduces vibration-induced noise. Integral blast and wind filters cover each acoustic opening. Bass roll-off switch. 45Hz-18kHz frequency response."
Buy PreSonus BlueTube DP Stereo Microphone Preamp PreSonus BlueTube DP Stereo Microphone Preamp- "The PreSonus BlueTube DP Stereo Microphone Preamp is among the most versatile 2-channel preamps in its class. The BlueTube DP's Dual Path technology lets you choose between 2 preamp stages: a transparent solid-state or warm tube preamp. Dual Neutrik combo connectors allow easy access to the mic and instrument inputs. Large analog VU meters provide precise visual monitoring. The BlueTube delivers higher headroom and a 6dB better noise floor than its predecessor."
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