Best (affordable) microphones for the audio track?

Have been noticing that high end microphones are rather expensive, but I need to get a decent mike for recording my animation soundtrack.

Which microphones are most recommended, offering a good balance between affordability and quality?

Thanks in advance!

–J

Well, I guess most mics today are all pretty good, depending on price of course,
for about $ 100 or even less, one can find a fairly decent one.

(I am using the “MicFlex” for years, very basic, but fairly decent results, what I like most, is the flexible arm for adjustments and I can easily plug it into my iBook as well).
http://www.welovemacs.com/54999.html

Next time I might like to go for something like this:
http://www.shure.com/ProAudio/Products/WiredMicrophones/us_pro_SM58-CN_content
I think this is an excellent, general purpose mic for a very reasonable price. (about $ 100).

Some people might prefer to use mixers, but not really necessary if one is on a budget,
if required one should be able to adjust the gain on the computer, depending…

Cheers
Nolan

Nolan -

Thanks for the info. (I actually tried to pick up a $10 item the other day at Staples, only to find it woefully insufficient for the job…!)

Hi. If you’re interested in a desktop microphone for under one hundred dollars, I’ve heard this one is pretty good. I can’t give you a first hand rating because I haven’t used it myself, but I trust the source of the recommendation.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/MXL-MXL-V63MBP-Computer-Desktop-Recording-Kit-273102-i1126967.gc

Also, if you’re concerned about getting too much background noise while recording, there’s this device called The Mic Thing that basically acts as a fold out wall you can surround your microphone with. Unfortunately I don’t have a URL link handy to paste in here, and I’m not sure just how much it costs, but I’ve heard that works pretty well too.

any of the new usb mics will do the job
and they are all under on the high end Audio Technica $149 $100
low side Nady USB24 M 34.95
i would suggest you go to an online store like Musician friend
and read the reviews
make sure your computer is compatible some mics will not be USB 1.0

as far as background noise use a closet
the cloths will dampen noise and give you a tighter sound
and of course try to record at night

Thanks for the suggestions. I’ve been shopping around, both online and in Manhattan, and finally have it narrowed down to the following:

Nady 24M
Samsung C01
Snowball Blue
Snowflake Blue

Was curious if anyone had any preferences, re: these choices.

Again, my budget is pretty tight, but I don’t want to go so low in price that I sacrifice basic quality for cost.

Also, do any of these mics have an advantage in terms of software bundled with them?

I really want plug and play, and not have to fish around for freeware on the web to make the audio work. Thanks!!

Just a suggestion for eliminating background noise & various pops & hisses - a stretched piece of stocking in front of the mic works nicely. Not sure what the proper term for them is, but it’s the same purpose as the professional ones you see in front of mic’s in music videos sometimes. The closet is also a good idea though as well.


IF YOU COULD TELL ME ABOUT YOUR SETUP ( COMPUTER BEING USED ) I CAN POINT YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

HISS AND POPS
thats a pop filter your making with the stocking
it’s good for the letters P and K’s for pops and S for the sssss sound
that will causes excessive sibilance
BUT not for background hiss

IMPORTANT TO KNOW ABOUT HISS
if you put your mic on in a room with no one talking, you should hear the rooms normal background sound
NOT HISS, rooms do not hiss unless there is something making that hiss
so if your getting a hiss in your recordings it’s either the
mixer’s mic pre or channel is turned up too high
the mic itself is a non pro or on the very very low end
or the audio device your using to get into the computer is also on the low end

j

Dear Jimmy -

I don’t have a mic as yet (am trying to decide between the NADY 24M, Samson C01, Blue Snowball or Blue Snowflake.)

My PC setup is a Dell, running Windows XP (I’ve got a UBS 1 port, but not UBS 2…)

Thx…!

HI
THE NADY 24M IS USB 2.0 SO THATS NO GOOD

I CAN’T GET ANY INFO ON THE USB 1 OR 2 FOR THE SNOWFLAKE FROM THE HOME SITE
IT’S A NEW PRODUCT YOU’LL HAVE TO ASK

THE SAMSON WOULD BE MY SECOND CHOICE IF IT’S 1.0
AND IT NEEDS SOME SORT OF UPGRADE
Windows Applet Note: The Windows SoftPre applet supports WDM and is designed to work with Windows XP (Service Pack 2). Without the Soft pre applet, Windows should recognize the mic and use the Windows mixer as a volume control if needed.
YOU’LL HAVE TO CHECK WITH YOUR SUPPLIER


IT’S A LITTLE MORE
THE BLUE SNOWBALL WOULD BE YOUR BEST BET QUALITY WISE
IT’S 1 OR 2 USB

ONE EXTRA THING
A GOOD MIC STAND AND SHOCK MOUNT IS ALSO IMPORTANT

IF YOU DON’T GET ONE, AND USE THE STAND THAT COMES WITH THESE MICS
DO THIS PLACE YOUR MIC AWAY FROM ANY HARD SURFACE
USE A CLOTH TOWEL AS A BASE
THIS WILL HELP WITH HARD REFLECTIONS WHICH CAN CAUSE YOUR SOUND TO BE BRITTLE
( A FREE STANDING MIC STAND WILL ALOW YOU TO GET AWAY FROM SURFACES AND MORE IN THE ROOM )
MIC PLACEMENT IS A CRITICAL AND AN OVER LOOKED PROCESS TO RECORDING , DONE RIGHT YOU CAN GET MORE BANG FOR THE BUCK OUT OF SIMI PRO MICS

J

Jimmy -

Thanks (didn’t know anything re: the surfaces issue with mics.) Any idea re: the software that comes with each? I know you get Cakewalk wi/ the Samson… I don’t currently have any software to interface with the mics, so I don’t want to get hardware that can’t be supported on the software end…?!?

Hi
the other mics do not come bundled at least non that i can find
so the Samson would be the one for you

However there is a FREE audio software app on line that works with both mac and PC
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

works great and will handle most jobs, Great entry level
please check the system requirements ALWAYS

if your buying online then i would suggest
http://www.sweetwater.com/
not for the prices but you can call and talk to a tech, Which i suggest you do
when ordering. Be sure to tell them exactly what you want it for and your system setup
AND ASK IF YOU CAN RETURN IF NOT SATISFIED
the same applies to any local dealers



MIC TIPS
(do this without a mic)
stand in the middle of your room and read something
then sit and read in a chair
go read in a conner facing the wall and in a closet, bathroom ect…
as you walk around and read you should notice how the sound of your voice changes
your environment effects your sound so the mic will also be effected by the same

so when you record place the mic aprox 6" from you to start
WANT a tight sound go in a closet or next curtains or hang a towel somewhere around the recording area
want a wet bright sound/reverb ( no Pun ) bathrooms or hard surface area kitchen
a more open sound stand in the middle of the room with your mic

each position will have a definite effect on the mic and your recording

j

I have the Blue Snowball, and I was pretty happy with the work I did with it.

However, like much of the audio industry, they haven’t been able to keep up with Microsoft’s Vista. If you stay on XP, the Snowball should be terrific as it’s very flexible, has several settings, and fits easily on most mic stands. It also has its own isolation mount available, though that is extra and not necessarily a must have.

I didn’t do a detailed read here except to see that you’re on xp, but besides Audacity (which I’ve used the heck out of), there’s another free type program out there called Wavosaur that looks pretty hot as well. Really nice interface aesthetically speaking and also looks to be pretty pro in quality and function.

Jimmy’s right on Sweetwater. Good people, good service.