High Quality for a Low Price!
Are you new to voice overs and looking for a good mic to start with? Are you looking to upgrade your mic without emptying your wallet? With current technology, it’s possible to buy a quality sounding microphone without paying the enormous price tag that a professional studio would. This article will list the 5 best microphones for around $100 that you can find in any music store today. With a good recording space, determination and your talented voice, you’ll be voice acting in no time! (There may be terminology that you are not familiar with. If you need additional info, check out additional articles by me!)
5. MXL 990 Ribbon Microphone
The MXL 990 Ribbon Mic This is a great starter mic. As a matter of fact, my first microphone I ever used for professional recording was an MXL 990 condenser mic! The nice thing about this compared to the one I used is that it’s a ribbon mic which gives it that nice silky smooth bass tone. Ribbon mics are also the type of mic that many professional studios use; especially radio studios! MXL has a long history of producing good quality for a fairly cheap price. Because this is a condenser mic, you will need a pre-amp of some sort to connect it to your computer and these mics tend to have a lower output so you may want to raise the gain on them. Since this is a ribbon mic, it catches sound bidirectionally which could be perfect if you’re ever planning on interviewing someone. Some downsides to the MXL include the fact that it tends to be somewhat fragile. Also, unless you have a pretty good recording area, it can sound a bit “tinny” at times.
MXL 990 Ribbon Microphone
4. Blue Yeti USB Microphone
The Blue Yeti Although this is on the pricier side, the Blue Yeti is considered by many one of the best multi-purpose mics on the market. The extra 50 dollars you’re spending are going to several features that the Yeti offers over many other mics, such as: built in gain control, a very sturdy build, built in monitoring, a built in table stand and very good noise cancellation. I consider this mic to be first and foremost a podcasting mic due to the ambient quality, however the quality along with the features for the price being paid is great and will do just fine in most professional situations. One last feature of the mic is the ability to switch the sound direction between omni-directional, bidirectional, and cardioid. Lastly, this is a USB mic, so no pre-amp interface needed! (There’s also a pro version if you want to splurge even more.)
The Blue Yeti USB Microphone
3. AKG Perception 120
The AAKG Perception 120 This mic is very similar to the AT2020 (farther down the list) in that it’s a pretty balanced and dependable mic. The AKG does tend to pick up higher frequencies. That could be good or bad depending on your own voice frequency and if you have any high pitch noise coming from anywhere else. This is also a cardioid condenser mic and again, you’ll need some sort of interface. One major upside to this mic s that it has a built in sound pad which is useful if you’re having problems with your audio peaking. Just one push of a button and it will automatically dampen the sound by 20db! This mic is also pretty durable so it’s great if you plan on taking your skills on the road. And of course, it’s one of the cheaper mics with great quality!
The AKG Perception 120
2. Rode M3
The Rode M3 Here’s another one to splurge on if you have the extra money. Rode mics are best known for their shotgun style mics. They tend to have some of the best noise cancellation, so if you have a lot of outside noise, this may be good for you. These mics are used a lot on movie sets as “boom” mics and are very unidirectional. Rode is a name of quality, so you know you’re getting something good, however the other mics are fine and a lot cheaper so I would only suggest this if you’re living in a loud city, next to a construction site or the government is testing A-bombs next door. The only reason this is number two on this list is because it’s a Rode.
The Rode M3 Shotgun Microphone
1. Audio-Technica AT2020
The AT2020 This mic is my personal all around favorite. It’s my go-to microphone for most recording projects. There are two versions: USB and XLR. The USB version may be slightly more expensive due to the fact that they are adapting the mic to plug directly into your computer’s USB port without sacrificing too much quality. On the other hand, the XLR version is better quality and usually a lower price. The downside to this is that you will need an interface (such as a digital converter or M-box) to run it into your computer. The reason I like this microphone so much is because it has an all around balance for almost any kind of voice. The mic also has a nice sound cancellation, a large diaphragm with a cardioid pattern and is pretty durable. To top it all off, it’s only 99 bucks!
The Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Microphone
While these microphones are certainly great, they aren’t the only ones! Unless you are completely sold on one of these mics, I suggest to still do more research and find the mic that best suits you. Each voice has their own frequency that matches with a particular microphone. Also, if you’re a beginner, you may not have understood a lot of the lingo in this article. If that’s the case, please check out some of my other articles to familiarize yourself with the industry as well as what it takes to become a voice over artist! Lastly, please note that these prices are based on the current prices from guitar center. Shop around, especially on Amazon (see links below) and you’ll most likely find an even better deal! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the guestbook section or you may also contact me with suggestions for articles to write. Thanks for the support and I hope this helped!