SKIP INTRO? JUMP TOP CONDENSER MICROPHONES LIST
When it comes to the best condenser microphones, they are those same devices you find at the top of almost every list of best mics in the world. This is commonly observed regardless of their price and type. The major features that are used to classify mics include large diaphragms, added flavor of the vacuum tube, and the sensitivity through the whole frequency.
We are not discriminating the dynamic or ribbon mic when it comes to competing with a condenser. Nevertheless, everybody cast their vote on the basis of their budget.
Clearly, condenser mics are the commonest types as at present. They are very common when it comes to professional studios, home recording, or in vocals vs. instruments.
When considering your budget, it is very uncommon to go wrong with the best. It usually makes the post-processing an enjoyable event. With close miking and large diaphragm condenser, you can always select an appropriate choice. Plus, it helps to reduce additional issues such as poor acoustic environment and bleed. These issues are extremely disadvantageous for studios and even homes. Just tack on the reflection and feel the results produced thereafter. No doubt, they compete with other major products known.
Before proceeding to the list of the best condenser microphones, let us consider so the basics of the gadget. How does a condenser look? What is a condenser all about? How do you use and maintain one? What else would you need after purchase? After this, we will take a look at the list based on their price ranges. This would save you a lot of hassles going around with some recordings.Out of all the microphones out there in the market, everyone tends to love a condenser. We will get to understand the reason for this admiration after considering how it is constructed and how it works. Nevertheless, for you to totally understand it, you will need to get your copy as well. Definitely, you will be amazed by the quality applications you will get from it.
What is a Condenser Microphone?
The mode of work of microphones is synonymous to our ear drums. There are skins, called diaphragms, that vibrate as a result of pressure exerted by the incoming sound waves. While the way these surfaces receive sound is the same, the difference is caused by how they react to them. This difference is based on how the diaphragm mechanisms translate these vibrations into electrical impulses. These vibrations are translated to electrical signals which are sent to the speaker or computer. The mic cable serves as the route where the signals pass through.
“Condenser is a local term used to represent a capacitor which is an electric component.”
A capacitor contains 2 conductive metal plates which are fixed to a battery which supplies a charge to ensure that an electrostatic field is maintained between the plates. As the distance between the plates reduces, some of the field charges are released. These charges are released due to the change in capacitance which translates to the current that forms your audio signal.
The diaphragm is located at the outermost part of the capacitor. This capacitor receives the incoming sound wave and is pushed backward in order to generate the current.
How a Condenser Microphone Works?
In the course of this construction, there are a few issues attached to it.
You may prefer a dynamic microphone for any louder source. You can shout into a condenser and still get a good result. On another hand, if you scream into an electric guitar amp, you may need a Sound Pressure Level monitor. This will help you regulate the pressure and ensure there is no damage to the diaphragm. This, of course, is a very good tool all studio engineers should have.
When it comes to taking care of the mic, let us consider the protective measures for your guitar.
Care and Maintenance
Interestingly, this is one of the simplest things to do.
Humidity: You may decide to store your mic in a cabinet, closet, or just leave it on the mic stand. Regardless of where you store it, the humidity of the place matters a lot. You will want to be sure that moisture is not accumulating on the diaphragm. Nevertheless, humidity is not a concern in homes that are temperature-controlled.
Moisture: Additionally, it is necessary to have a moisture pop filter up when you are using your mic for recording vocals. This is because the grills will enable moisture to pass through. Also, the majority of us may spit accidentally during the course of singing or rapping. Surely, you wouldn’t want those globules of saliva to fall on the diaphragm.
Sound Pressure: The pop filter also act tremendously in managing your distance, hence volume, from the mic. When the mic is very close to the sound source, the sound pressure level is increased astronomically. If you decide to bring your mouth close to a condenser mic as those handling dynamic microphones do, there is a huge possibility that you will harm your mic. All mics have their own specific minimum SPL rating. Ensure you check yours and adhere strictly to it.
Phantom Power: You should use a phantom power when using a condenser to record. This is usually provided by the audio interface, stand-alone preamplifier or mixer. It is very important that you turn/switch your phantom power off before plugging or unplugging the mic cable. Although it rarely happens, you can get a high voltage which is capable of damaging the battery, diaphragm or tube.Dust: There are cases whereby your mic is left on the stand for a longer period of time without usage. Here, you may notice some kind of decorative bag accumulating over the mic. There is nothing to worry about if this dust settles on the shock mount, mic stand or cable. However, dust should not settle on the diaphragm. If it does, it can destroy and change the frequency response the diaphragm is capable of producing.
Other Gadgets Needed.
As mentioned earlier, you need a phantom power of 48 volts or your condenser mic. At the same time, you need a preamplifier. This will help you to increase the mic-level signal to the required signal level. At the same time, this would be done without increasing the noise floor. After this, you will need a converter that can convert analog to digital, such as the ADC. This will be used to convert the electrical signal to a binary signal that your computer and system will understand.
But don't be discouraged!
All of these things are packaged in just a piece of hardware referred to as an audio interface. These are available in different sizes and shapes. Also, all studios begin with this before they start to collect stand-alone pieces to support the interface.
The recording interface is enriched with everything you need and even more. They are wired in the correct order and connect your computer specifically via USB or Firewire. It is very advantageous. Plus, you cannot escape from buying one.
Critically examine the feedback and reviews which are segmented based on various price range. You can come across a cheaper one just to start with or if you are not ready for an expensive purchase. Nevertheless, some would want to start with a powerful mic alike.
OUR LIST OF THE BEST CONDENSER MICROPHONE BY BUDGET
On this list, we are going to itemize the items from the least to the most expensive. Additionally, we will divide the, into sections based on the total budget. This will ensure proper organization of facts in order to achieve a great readability and understanding.
Also, we attach a link to each product which links to Amazon where you have access to additional users’ reviews. You will as well find the technical details and how to make your purchase.
It is practically impossible for us to cover all the mics out there. Nonetheless, we promise to take a professional voyage all around the available products. Hence, you can rest assured that everything you will be seeing here is there to provide you with the best possible audio quality. Let us also emphasize that it is a bad idea to go for used mics. You can never ascertain the level of abuse they have gone through. You never can tell the state of their recording diaphragms. There are cheaper and affordable best condenser microphones out there you can consider instead. Now, let’s get started.
Condenser Mics under $200
Are you thinking of the mics you saw for as low as $30 on RadioSharck? Come’on, those ones are toys. There are hundreds of mics out there that looks professional but costs less than $50. Don’t be easily deceived by these marketing ploys.The first mic on our list costs less than $100 and it is the only recommended brand at that level. Others may end up disappointing you, becoming a wasted start toward a subsequent upgrade. This MXl 990 is a great option and can be used to mic drums and other sound sources alike.
Condenser Mics under $300
This is the second level of our budget-range classification. Items on this list come with noticeable differences that are far beyond just new features. We have listed 2 items below. They are best in class and have been verified for effectiveness. They have been in high demand for a long time and improved series have been launched.
Vocal Condenser Mics under $700
This is the most interesting spot just before the price start to increase and we start considering more expensive products. Products above this level usually offer smaller gains in terms of quality but at higher prices. Even if you are looking for a high-quality mic, your search should end here. Useful when you are working with perfect preamps, converters, compressors in a recording room that are acoustically treated.
If you’d notice, we’ve been busy talking of vocal since the beginning of this article. This is because “vocals” is what most people are watching for. At this range, the set of mics you will find can record sound source perfectly. As usual, monitor your SPL levels while you enjoy your quality results.
Condenser Mics with No Price Consideration
In some cases, money doesn’t matter. Sometimes, we are given or have a budget to buy the best condenser microphone for recording vocals in preparation for a famous artist who is coming for a recording. In this section, we will be considering some costly mics.
The first two items on the list are found just intermediate between the medium-cost and high-cost mics. They are still a very good option even for home studios. The last on the list is has a very high cost and often preferred by famous artists when quality is their major concern.
Choosing the best condenser mic should not be an issue with the above guide. Notwithstanding, there are things we cannot do for you. It is your duty to use our available tips to mix your recordings down. Furthermore, maintenance of your mic depends on you and only you. How you care for your mic will determine how long it will serve you.However, the only part I can guarantee is that you will be amazed by any choice you make from our selections above. Depending on your budget, the selection is very easy. Furthermore, you will rest assured of purchasing and working with the best condenser microphones in your studio.