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Microphone Purchase Guide

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This article provides our recommendations of microphones you can purchase at different levels of complexity. The references to ‘beginner, intermediate, advanced’ models are less a reflection of user skill-level and more a reflection on the complexity of the microphone operation model. In short, how much faff is involved.

A copy of this article is available as a PDF here: Trinity Laban Microphone Purchase Guide

Beginner

Audio Technica  ATR2500 USB+ (c.£80)

  • Enhanced low-end and crisp highs – sounds very bright
  • Build quality can be a little flimsy
  • Zero-latency monitoring (hear yourself through headphones with no lag)

Rode NT-USB (c.£150)

  • Quite a natural sound
  • Easy plug-and-play accessibility
  • Zero-latency monitoring

Intermediate

Zoom H2n (c.£130)

  • Very flat, natural sound (in stereo!)
  • Plug-and-play accessibility with a few buttons to press on the mic
  • Zero-latency monitoring
  • It’s designed as a portable recorder, so can be taken out to record whatever you like, making it useful for rehearsals or demo recordings

Advanced

Mic-with-interface setup (c.£180+)

  • Very modular, you can use any XLR mic to get any sound you like (for voice, I’d recommend a Rode NT1a, a Shure SM7b, or an AKG 414)
  • Not very accessible, but very accommodating if you need specific sounds or a lot of gain (volume) control. Very good for use with electric instruments (with a jack out)
  • Zero-latency monitoring on most models
  • The kit requires extra purchases; leads, stands, clips
  • Amazing capabilities for self-recording through audio software such as a DAW
  • Brilliant standard for home-studios. Investing in a nice interface would enable you to expand over time, developing a range of mics for varying applications
  • Many companies offer entry-level bundles (e.g. Focusrite Scarlett Studio) to give you a position from which to upgrade if needed.
Updated on 22nd October 2020

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