Any good USB condenser microphones?

January 9, 2018, 6:38 AM · I want to record quality pop music, I've considered buying the ATR2500 from Audio Technica but some people say a Razer Seiren X would sound better. I don't have budget for a good audio interface :(

Replies (10)

January 9, 2018, 7:30 AM · In the $80US price range, there are a number of "large condenser" usb mics that perform well. The ATR2500 would fit that description, as well as the one I use, Samson meteor mic.

For recording purposes, there are a number of freeware programs to consider, from Audacity to the free version of Studio One. It takes some time and probably some youtube channel educational videos to get proficient enough to use these programs, but they are well worth the effort.

Edited: January 9, 2018, 8:02 AM · I would say buy one with a headphone jack so you are less likely to have latency issues; with violin it less noticeable than guitar.

Edited: January 9, 2018, 8:34 AM · Thanks Carmen! Do you think the ATR2500 will capture a good quality violin sound? Sort of the one they use for youtube? :)

I think the ATR2500 will have a headphone jack with zero latency too :) so it'll be great

January 9, 2018, 9:27 AM · AT2020 USB ?
January 9, 2018, 1:49 PM · I have a Bluespark Digital, which is fine for classical, but I've never tried it for pop.
January 9, 2018, 9:22 PM · See if the manufacturer has published a frequency response chart. +/- 3dB from about 50hz to 5000hz should capture stringed instruments ok. The meteor mic has a response bump about 5000hz but is still reasonably "flat".

I am told that some drums and cymbals pose extra challenges to mics, so that might be a consideration for pop music. But you will need to talk with someone with more experience than I for this.

January 9, 2018, 10:46 PM · Shop by price for microphones. You really do get what you pay for. I have an Audio Technical AT8022 stereo mic (yes, you can adapt it for USB). It cost about $400, and that's cheap for a mic. Just remember good miss cost in the thousands, just like a violin or bow. $80, or even $100 or $150 microphones sound liked doo-doo. A cheap, boxy sound.
January 10, 2018, 1:54 AM · The danger when you ask people's advice is that you'll finish up with a stack of contradictory opinions. The Blue Yeti (about $150) works fine for me - do, do!
Edited: January 11, 2018, 5:51 AM · I've heard good things about the Telefunken C12 ... not sure about the USB part.

More seriously, here's a review:

January 11, 2018, 7:09 AM · I haven't tried it myself but I have seen people using the Blue Snowball which is about $50. When you get more serious about recording you should consider an audio interface/preamp.
Entry level but good (so I hear) is this:
Once you have your interface you can use studio microphones. Ribbon microphones work well for violin which can often sound harsh close miked. often has sales on MXL microphones (MXL -R40 ribbon is very good and is sometimes on sale - got one for about $60) which are decent for the price and can be modified later by a company like this: - Oktavamod also sell ready modded microphones that sound like high end stuff. I have a Rode NT1 modded by them to sound like a Neuman U87 which saves thousands of dollars. U87 is used a lot in studios and favored by many violinists who like a brighter sound.
I am very happy with some Russian handmade ribbon microphones from Ebay:
I'm using mine with Golden Age preamps. The two together sound like a Royer microphone going into a Neve preamp for a fraction of the price.

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