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Subject:  Re: Inexpensive mic Date:  8/14/2020  9:08 PM
Author:  progmtl Number:  5969 of 5990

Yes, the Shure SM57 (and for vocals, SM58) is the inexpensive workhourse studio mic. One of the most popular in the world. If you don't sing at all, perhaps consider the SM57 instead. From what I have read, they are basically the same microphone but the SM58 has the spherical covering and perhaps some foam inside to block sibilance for vocals (think "T" and "S" sounds). If you are only recording instruments, the SM57 may be a slightly better choice. But I think either would work well.

You will need an audio interface to plug your mic's XLR cable into. The interface will contain a preamp which will boost the level from mic level to line level for proper recording by your recording software. Then the interface will connect to your computer via USB. One good example is the Focusrite Scarlett Solo for ~$110.

Some mics may have the interface/preamp built in, in which case you would plug it directly into your computer via USB for recording. That is another option.

For acoustic instruments, vocals, also consider a "condenser mic" (the Shure mics mentioned above are "dynamic mics"). A condenser mic is REALLY sensitive and picks up all sorts of nuance. Think, the little sounds your fingers make moving along the guitar strings. A condenser mic will need an audio interface that has "phantom power", which almost all do (including the Focusrite mentioned above), so it's not that big a deal. As an example, I own the AT2035 condenser mic and I think it's really excellent. It sells for $149.

Happy recording!
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