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Affordable studio microphones! Help!

AntaresAntares Pro Posts: 22

Hey everybody!

I'm trying to record some demos, which I've never done before alone in my life. I have tried with the only mic I have, the dynamic mic shure PG58, which is rather bad in my opinion, but that's what I could afford when I bought it... I'm not a professional, so I don't want to buy anythig extremely expensive, but something good enough to have a decent sound. I checked a bit around internet and I came across the RØDE NT1-A. http://www.rodemic.com/mics/nt1-a

Have anybody some experience with that? Do you think it is worth? Or can you advice me some other mic of around the same price?

Where I live, a new rode nt1-a costs about 220 euros, and in the pack there is also the pop filter and the shock mount, which I guess I need.

I consider also second hand mics.

Thank you for your advices!




  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346


    I think you would get pretty good results with an NT1-A.

    Rode makes decent mics, and this is a reasonably-priced unit.  I don't have a Rode mic, but have heard good things on recording forums from people who are happy with Rode mics.

    I listened to the demo on the link and the mic sounds good to me.



  • AntaresAntares Pro Posts: 22


    Hi Bob, thank you very much again for the advice... I think that next week I'll go to buy it then! :)

  • ragnarragnar Pro Posts: 410

    Yeah I have that exact RØDE package actually. I bought it just to be able to record some basic demos, for which it has done the job very well. With that said I don't really know anything about studio recording, so I can't say if you would be able to make a better purchase in terms of value for money.
  • AntaresAntares Pro Posts: 22
    Good to know @ragnar ! I would use it for the same purpose, just recording some demos. I would like also to know more about mixing voices, so I would like to experiment it with my recordings. I tried to do that with my shure pg58, but it sounded soooo crappy, that it was too difficult for me fixing that horrible sound.. maybe a proper sound engineer can fix it someway to make it kind of decent enough, but maybe it's best if I start with some better sounding mic to be able to understand something about how mixing works... Let's see, maybe I'm wrong, just need to try..
  • tolchockstolchocks Pro Posts: 16
    Notice that any mic will sound like shit if you record in a bad room. Room is, from certain mic quality level, way more important than the mic itself. If you havent got experience, you wont notice this important thing until you try to mix with other tracks. Then the horrible resonances will appear, making your vocal track almost impossible to mix. Remove them with an eq and you will end with a strange sounding voice. Remember that we are so used to the sound of human voice that any modification will sound bad, unless it appears that your intention was to produce that effect. Otherwise it will sound cheap.
    BTW, the NT1 is a pro mic, used in many records. I highly recommend it.
  • AntaresAntares Pro Posts: 22

    Hey @tolchocks

    Thank you very much for the advice! I don't use the mic for "proper" home recording at the moment, so I didn't fix my room for having a good sound.. maybe in the future! :) But at the moment I'm using the mic just for some demo and it seems to me that the sound is good enough for that purpose. I recorded this for example:


    It's not extremely good, but I thinktha for now it's enough for me! Before trying this I tried the other mic that I have (sure pg58)... you should have heared how much unlistenable it was!!!
    I like the NT1 one, for the same price I could find just mics that were worse (or at least the reviews where saying so)... I keep it as investment for the future! eheh

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346

    This mic sounds pretty good to me.

    One thing about the room's effect on the mic that you should keep in mind is that the closer you are to the mic, the less the room matters.

    Sometimes a mic is mounted on a large boom stand up in the air, possibly 2.5 to 3 feet away from the vocalist.  In a situation like this, the room matters a LOT.  You are using the room for natural ambience in this situation, and you get many reflections of the voice from the various walls, floor, ceiling and corners of the room, along with the direct sound of the voice into the mic.

    On the other hand, many recording engineers and producers may use a "close mic" technique, where the mic is very near the performer, much like most of Ken's videos.  Just a pop filter between the performer and the mic.   In this situation, there is much less room noise introduced into the recording, and very little in the way of reflective sound.  This can sound more "intimate" or "direct"...

    It's a matter of taste.  Experiment for yourself and see what you like.  Many recordings are made in highly-reflective rooms, like vaults, basements, bathrooms, etc, for the sake of reflectivity and natural reverb.  Other recordings are made in sound-deadened vocal booths. 

    The mic, as well as its placement, does make a big difference in the character of the recorded voice.



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