5 Budget Studio Microphone Options for Post Production

In this article we’ll look at five cheap but excellent studio microphones for voice over, narration, foley or ADR recording. I’ll only be looking at microphones in the $200 to $400 (at the time of writing) range.
AKG Condenser Microphone

As explained in Recording Audio, condenser microphones, like all microphones, use a diaphragm. The larger the diaphragm, the better the low level sounds. However, the smaller the diaphragm, the louder you can go.

In a studio environment, you must have total control over room tone, noise, reverb, etc. Ideally you need a ‘dead’ environment.

Sometimes, you might need to record music instruments or some foley. There are two ways to deal with this: Either have only one microphone doing double duty, or have different microphones for different jobs.

The two kinds of microphones you’ll need are:

  • Condenser microphones
  • Dynamic microphones

There are no rules regarding the choices of condenser vs dynamic microphones but here are some rules of thumb:

  • Condenser microphones have more ‘depth’ for recording human voices
  • Dynamic microphones can withstand moisture and abuse, which make them ideal for stage recordings or foley
  • Musical instruments vary greatly, and each kind of instrument might need a matching ‘mate’ when it comes to a studio microphone. This is extremely subjective, and is beyond the scope of this article.

Here are five budget studio microphones that will do the job for a small post-house or studio (no particular order):

1

VO: 1-A Harlan Hogan Signature Series Microphone

2

Rode NT1-A Cardioid Condenser Microphone

3

Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone

4

Rode NT2A Vocal Condenser Microphone

5

Shure SM57-X2U Cardioid Dynamic Microphone with X2U XLR-to-USB Signal Adapter

This last microphone is a general purpose dynamic microphone, with a USB attachment. It’s not expensive, and is a tough mic to have in a tight spot.

Accessories

In addition to the microphone, you might need the following accessories (some of these come with the microphone kit):

Stands – like the On Stage MS7701 Tripod Boom Microphone Stand, On Stage DS7200B Adjustable Desk Mic Stand, or the Musician’s Gear Die-Cast Mic Stand.

Pop Filter – like the Nady MPF-6 6-Inch Clamp On Microphone Pop Filter or Nady SSPF-4 Spider Shockmount with Integrated Pop Filter.

Shock-proof mount/holder – like the ISK SHM-9A Studio Microphone Shock Mount Clip Holder.

Portable Booths – like the The Porta-Booth Pro. If your talent is going to be unavailable for ADR, this might be a life-saver.

One reply on “5 Budget Studio Microphone Options for Post Production”

  1. I run a recording studio since more than 20 years, own some of your above recommended studio mikes, but for field recording with the very mobile BMPCC I highly recommend another studio mike: the Soundman in ear OKM classic with phantom adapter A3, delivering line signal for the little poor BM input. Find more infos here:  www.blackmagic.audio-vision.info

Comments are closed.