Carl writes us:

Looking for a cheap, side-address, large-diaphragm, cardiod condenser
mic for vocals.  Wondering if CDM readers/authors might have some
advice.  Currently considering…

Audio Technica AT3035
Blue 8-Ball
Rode NT1-A
Studio Projects C1

Audio Technica AT2020
Kel HM-1
Studio Projects B1

…I'm leaning toward the Studio Projects pieces, or perhaps the Kel.

Anyone want to sound in? A number of good choices here. -PK

  • Indicator

    I'm interested in this discussion as well, particularly as it pertains to "coloring" the sound of the vocals. I have a decent condenser mic now (Alesis AM-52), but it is a bit "cold". I'm wondering if the BLUE microphones (or any of these others) might impart a bit more "flavor" to the mix…

  • Guest

    I have the Studio Projects C1 connected to a Firepod (one of 8 Class A discrete preamps– no tube yet, alas). The recordings I've made capture every nuance of vocals, and the -10dB pad and rolloff switch are great for when the heat kicks on. Haven't A/B'd the C1 other mics, but accounts all over use $1000+ mics to compare with(e.g. "It doesn't have the xxxx of a Neumann"). The general consensus is you get much more than you pay for with the C1– these mics clearly are in a league above their price range.

    Check out the reviews of the listed mics at and for more reviews.

  • Guest

    haven't used the studio projects though

  • Guest

    Just get one. I have 2 Studio Projects mics and I love them. Perfect for anything you throw at them. Very warm and clear. and cheap as chips!!

  • Guest

    I have the Kel HM-1 and it is a superb mic. Nice warm mellow sound without any of the artificial presence boost that tends to mar cheaper mics.

    Can't beat them for the price IMO

  • Guest

    For what it's worth, I've got an AT 3035 and am very happy with the performance. I use it mainly for female vocals and it works well. Usually have to add high end to get the crispness I want, but that may just be an issue of personal preference. I've used mine and a friend's for L and R overheads on a drum kit, and again, it did the trick as wll, at a price that won't kill you.

  • Guest

    Thanks for the comments, everyone.

    I'm leaning toward the Studio Projects C1, but I'm not getting the "gotta have it" feeling I'd hope to have about a $300 purchase. I suppose I have to try it.

    I *do* have that feeling about the Schoeps CMXY 4V (which I got to try at AES), but it's an order of magnitude more expensive and I can't afford it. I know, it's not the type of mic I asked for, either (stereo for vocals? what the hell…), but dzam, this thing sounds good. Cardioid performance without carioid coloration.

    I'm rambling. I'll probably just wind up borrowing the AKG 414 from the Keyboard studio. 🙂


  • bill

    There are a lot of fine inexpensive mics today.

    Every one likes the Shure dynamic SM5…(frequancy responce about 30 to 18000), you don't need to use an equalizer on them.But an SP c1 or rode nt 1a or akg c300b or adk A51, are all totaly pro. (freq resp 20 to 20000),They just need an equlizer to cancel out the top and bottom. And put them through a tube pre amp or ataries tube (software). And then add some reverb , If you don't want any reverb then add reverb untill its noticable then back off a half notch.(You need reverb)If you still don't like the sound then …. sory its your voice, put on some ear phones and try not to sound like a Twangy American.