There is always that next piece of gear or a shiny new plugin that tempts our wallet. Other than the instrument, the microphone used to capture the performance makes the biggest difference in your sound. In this article, we'll show you some of our favorite mics that make a huge impact on your sound without making a huge impact on your bank account.
The AR5 is one of my favorite mics. It's a top recommendation for any of my customers looking for meatier guitar tones and a perfect drum room mic. For drums, you can get great sounds by using one of these in the back of the room, completely crushed with an 1176. I always tell people this is the closest thing to a Royer for under $1000. Every studio, both hobbyist and professional, should have one or two.
For almost 20 years, the Studio Projects C1 has been loved by engineers everywhere because it sounds scary close to a U87. Vocals really find their perfect place in a mix. Although it sounds great right off the bat, you can easily make the C1 sound even better. There is an EQ mod available at microphone-parts.com that tames the high end. This EQ mod kit only costs $69 and changes the EQ of the circuit to very closely match a U87. If you know your way around a soldering iron, this can be a great project to upgrade an already great mic!
If modifications aren't your thing and you just want a mic that sounds much more expensive than it is, look no further than the LCT-440 Pure from Lewitt. Pure was the best word to describe this microphone because what you put in is what you get out. It's insanely clear and I guarantee you won't find anything better for this price.
Every studio needs a good set of SDC's (small diaphragm condensers) for recording things like drum overheads, acoustic guitar or any other stereo source. Producers like Butch Vig use the AT4041 as their secret weapon. They do a great job of bringing out the aggression in drum tracks and the brightness of acoustic guitar while leaving room for everything else.
AKG's D112 is a famous microphone used in studios around the world. Most commonly, engineers will use this on kick drum because it sounds pretty good almost immediately, but it also handles EQ really well. It also shines on bass cabs. I love the mids on this mic because it helps the source keep its power on tons of different speaker systems.
Aston recently released their new stealth and we were blown away at the versatility. Check out sound samples on our show below:
Thanks for checking out our list of Microphones Under $500 You Should Absolutely Consider Getting For Your Studio!
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