OK, so you are doing your show. The people are complaining – you sound too weird during your Live Stream or Podcast. The Radio Shack microphone is not cutting it anymore. The computer microphone you got with that Pentium II years ago is making you sound like your in a can. Time to get a new mic – one that make you sound good and look cool. But which one?
Today, I will go over 5 microphones for that professional audio sound. I’ll talk about their qualities and you will see how visually stimulating they look in front of a person. I’ll even give you a couple USB options if you want a pro sound, but don’t want to deal with audio equipment.
Sure SH 55 microphone (aka – the Elvis mic).
With a low-impedance balanced output, this mic screams “Rock Star”. You will see it from time-to-time in front of a stage – Maybe a rockabilly concert – because it projects the Elvis era. Cupping the mic and singing while striking a pose.
The SH 55 rates at 75 to 300 ohms. It has a cartridge shock mount inside to reduce any noise the stand might give off. It does have an on-off switch, which I don’t normally recommend due to the ability it could be a source for static down the road. There are versions without a switch – There are also vintage versions of the 55 out there you can get.
Nonetheless, this would be the microphone you would want to say “I’ll rock your world.
MXL is known for making good sounding, more affordable microphones. I have a few MXL mics for recording drums. The Geek Bar‘s overhead mic is also a MXL 990 and 991 series.
The Classic Ribbon is one of those microphones that sit on a late night desk while the host is talking to the guest. It can also show a bit of the rock star, but the feel has radio all over it.
This ribbon microphone can record not only voice, but instrument as well. It has a “Figure 8″ Polar pattern, which means if you turn the mic to the side and try to talk, you won’t hear your voice as well. The stand allows you to tilt the microphone so you can capture the sound. Best part is it doesn’t have to be up close to your face, if you mic the sound right.
The 55SH Series II has a low-impedance balanced output designed for connection to microphone inputs rated at 75 to 300 ohms. The microphone features a cartridge shock mount to reduce stand noise, an On/Off switch, and an attached, self-tensioning, 5/8”-27 thread swivel mount. This microphone is ideal for public address or theater-stage sound systems, as well as for broadcasting, recording, and other sound applications where a stand-mounted microphone with a classic look is desirable.
This is another “set on the desk” microphone that gives a talk show feel. It has a large diaphragm, so that boomy radio sound can come out of your voice. It also works well in recording larger groups, drums or a deep sounding instrument (like Bass or Baritone sax). It is a popular microphone among sound professionals.
On a side note – the MD 441 is a bit more expensive, but it’s look might be for you Trekkie podcasters out there, due to it’s design. It looks like a microphone you would see on a classic Star Trek bridge.
It’s a tube microphone – so you would put it on an adjustable microphone stand (like a Heil adjustable stand), put a custom wind screen in front of it and angle the head to the mouth. It is in the picture, but out of the way. This mic can capture room tones, but also make a podcasters voice sound smooth and smokey – like a late night “Love” DJ.
The colors are just a vibrant. Therefore, you wouldn’t want to hide this microphone.
There are some that don’t want an ugly mic around, but need one close to their mouths because of room noise. That is where the Samson SE 50 comes in. The microphone hooks around your ear and is tan, to blend in with skin tones (similar to the microphone you see on Fox Sports announcers). You see a mic there, but it’s not in the way.
Even though this has an 1/8″ stereo headphone jack on it, you still might not want to plug directly into the sound card of the computer. There are adapters with the mic that allow you to connect to a balanced input, or a wireless pack (if needed – I don’t use wireless mics unless I am live recording where a cord would get in the way).
Cool looking USB Microphones
Most people use a USB rig. While I recommend getting a full system, I can see in some cases where USB microphones will be just as good. Here are a couple ideas for you.
Since it’s inception, the Yeti still is the USB mic to have. I personally have the Snowball, which is a great mic, but the Yeti looks like a “Late night” desk microphone with powerful sound attenuation capabilities. It also can record in THX sound and is the first USB microphone with that stature.
This is a capsule microphone for those of you that do mobile podcasts. It’s size is compact and the case doubles as the stand. You can be audio podcasting within seconds on this microphone.
There are a lot of great options to not only look cool, but sound great in your podcasts. Whether you want to be Elvis, or don’t want a microphone in front of your face. A good microphone can be the difference to people listening to your show or turning it off. Put your best foot forward.