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I'm on a really tight budget (I've literally got £50 to spend) and I was wondering what my best options would be in terms of buying a mic to record my acoustic playing and singing?

I know it's probably been asked alot, but thats alot of threads to go through.

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Probably your best bet is to search for music instrument for-sale websites for your local area and see if you can find a used one. Or ebay. Prolly the best bang for the buck would be a small diaghram condenser mic - but the problem is that condenser mics need a pre-amp that supplies phantom power (48V usually). There are low-priced options such as M-Audio's Audio Buddy pre-amp. I'm guessing ~30 pounds would be a fair price used. As for a mic suggestion, I hear MXL603's are rated very highly for their cost - prolly somewhere around 50-60 pounds. I guess I'm over your budget.

If you are looking for just a fair mic and don't want to get into phantom power etc, then the Shure SM57 is your best bet. It is the most commonly used mic in the industry so you should be able to find a used one pretty easily. New they run ~$100 so that's about 50-60 pounds.

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I'm on a really tight budget (I've literally got £50 to spend) and I was wondering what my best options would be in terms of buying a mic to record my acoustic playing and singing?

For acoustic and vocals, a large diaphram condensor is going to probably be the best bet. The Marshall v67 goes for $99 and according to the google currency converter, that is almost right on the money.... (pun intended :D)

If you can go £62, the Studio Projects B1 is supposed to be a really fantastic mic. I would go with this one if you can afford it. :)

-tkr

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I would also suggest the Shure SM57 but keep in mind you will also have to get a mic cable. The mic is durable and should be a solution to your needs.

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Thanks guys.

I see the SM57 is primarily an instrument mic? How does it handle vocals?

The mics that Tekker pointed out look interesting, does anyone else have opinions on these?

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I see the SM57 is primarily an instrument mic? How does it handle vocals?

The mics that Tekker pointed out look interesting, does anyone else have opinions on these?

The SM57 is essentially the same thing as the SM58 (which is a vocal mic) but without the windscreen and a different looking "cap" over the capsule.

The main thing with the SM57 is it is probably not going to be the best mic for acoustic guitar. It should work fine for vocals, but a condensor mic is definitely going to be your best bet for acoustic. And in general I like condesors better on vocals over dynamics (but that depends on the mic, the voice, and the style obviously). Condensors are usually brighter and more detailed than dynamic mics.

The two condensor mics I mentioned have been had fantastic reviews on every recording forum I have been on. Not just "good mics for the price", but good mics "period".... The Studio Projects B1 especially. Studio projects makes good stuff at a very reasonable price.

-tkr

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Tekker's right about the large diaghram condenser being better for vocals - I overlooked that in your original post.

By the way, how do you plan on recording yourself? What computer soundcard/digital recording device are you using? Remember - a condenser mic requires phantom power so if your digital audio recording device doesn't supply it, you'll need to get a pre-amp that does.

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Erm.. :sweatdrop

Don't sweat it man. :D

If you don't have a mic preamp, then according to the google converter, the Art Tube MP runs about £23.33. That'll put you over by a little bit, but not too much. :)

-tkr

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Thanks. :) So the condenser mic needs the preamp, where as the SM57 doesn't? or they will both need a preamp?

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Both types of mic's have a very low voltage output compared to other devices so they need a preamp to get them up to "line input" levels required by some sound cards. But some soundcards allow you to boost the input gain so you can use mic inputs directly without a preamp (the preamp is built into the sound card). If that's the case with yours, then you could use the SM57 directly.

Condenser mics need phantom power as well as the preamp stage. Dynamic mics (SM57) do not need phantom power. Phantom power is usually 48volts with very little current and is used to charge the plates of the diaghram.

I think you'd be very happy with Tekker's selections if you can raise your budget a bit.

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I'm using a Shure SM58 mic and it DOESN'T need 48v phantom power.

Not that it makes much difference since it DOES need a preamp and most of those will supply the 48v anyway.

A lot depends on what you want to do, if you want good results then you'd be better advised to save your money till you can afford something better.

If you just want to get recording, I used the mic on my USB headset for quite a while and that was £30! You can get mics a lot cheaper than that but you won't get good results. I spent ages wading through information on websites and unfortunately there's huge amounts of it and many artists will tend to stick with the system that gave them decent results.

Luckily for me I know a duo who record their own usic, when I listened to how they sounded I was impressed so I followed their advice on setting up. I've spent about £150 and I'm really pleased with the results.

On top of that you'll need a soundcard, there's an Audigy 2zs on Ebay right now, currently giong for £12, it's a superb card.

Then there's software, audacity is ok and it's free!

Whatever you decide on, good luck.

John

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