Many singers love the thrill of performing in front of an audience, with many also wanting to make singing their professional career and main source of income. If you want to really wow people on stage a decent quality microphone can help you achieve your best live sound, especially if you pair it with an amplifier and mixing desk.
Today, over 60% of Australians listen to music by using a streaming platform daily - that's a lot of people! For this reason, it comes as no shock that plenty of Australians are out there who want to learn to sing, perform live or record and produce their own music.
Which microphones are best for recording vocal performances?
In this article, we're going to explore all the different good quality mics that are out there for you to choose from and see which ones are most suited to recording and live performances.
Sometimes, you may be able to find a cheaper and more affordable option of these microphones if you investigate the wireless USB options out there.
Not everyone microphone will be more affordable, but it's worth seeing what kind of deal you can find.
Popular with artists such as AC/DC, Run-DMC, Björk and many more have used this microphone. It has cemented itself as a classic, quickly becoming one of the most popular microphones because of its sound quality.
Versatile, ergonomic and robust you really couldn't ask for more in a mic; it works well in both recordings and live performances. It's also known for boosting bass frequencies to under 100 Hz
Not to mention its great value for money, you can pick one up here in Australia at a local music shop for around $165.
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If you're looking for a mic within an average price range but with good quality, this could be the mic for you. These are little more pricy, expect to pay upwards of $200.
The Rode NT1A microphone is popular with many singers, and one of the most popular static microphones available, the Rode NT1A gives an excellent sound without the background noises and sound.
These features are what makes this one of the best studio microphones that work well with recording systems with great sound pressure level (SPL) letting you really belt out your vocals at any volume, it is suited perfectly for beginners as well.
If you want value for your money, this microphone will often be sold with a studio kit, which includes a pop filter as well, which is a great way to make recording, editing and mixing efficient and quick!
If you love versatility this is the microphone for you, it's also a great one to choose if you're partial to a bit of karaoke.
Popular for its balance, presence and clarity this is a popular microphone used for deeper singing voices, singing and speaking. You can pick one of these up for a similar price range to the Shure SM58, at about approximately $170.
With a crisp and balanced sound, the AKG D5 will highlight aspects of your singing voice you mightn't have noticed before, a good choice if you're interested in getting the most out of your singing voice and vocal abilities.
Created in 1976, the Shure SM7B is a studio cardioid microphone it delivers a natural sound for both vocals and instruments.
This microphone is frequently used for broadcasting and singing. Many singers, broadcasters and producers often use a pop filter or to alter the equalisation (EQ).
This ensures that the mic is protected from background noises and interferences such as a whispering sound. Created with the consideration for real singing voices, this microphone is also on the higher end of the price range for upwards of $700.
Fantastic for gospel, rock, pop and more this is the microphone that vocalists such as Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow and Michael Jackson.
Another studio cardioid microphone with unbound dynamic sound, the Sennheiser MD421 is a great mic for recording your voice. No one likes the Larsen effect, but not to worry because this mic has a 5-position bass control power which provides great resistance to unwanted feedback.
If you're looking for a mic for recording more than just your vocals, the Sennheiser MD421 is ideal for recording instruments like percussion, drums, guitars and bass.
We've included the Sennheiser MD421mic because of its versatility, it's slightly more affordable than the Shure SM7B costing around $500 plus.
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With an effective and classic design, this large-diaphragm condenser microphone has a fabulous singing sound. The AKG C214 features include quite a flat frequency spectrum, this softens your singing voice to around 1500 Hz.
You can purchase the AKG C214 microphone for approximately $630.
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Another added bonus of the AKG C214 microphone is recording loud volumes, this is because of the wonderful 20dB PAD. After recording, you can reduce loud noises and sound, which is a reason why this mic is excellent for singing.
Taking a closer look at the particular sound you can get from the AKG C214microphone, you can expect more warmth for high pitched voices and softer tones from nasal voices.
This is a mic specifically designed for people planning on recording their singing, ticking a lot of boxes!
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A premium valve condenser microphone, the Rode NTK is ideal for singing voices and vocal recording because it is well known for its soft and warm tones. You can find a Rode NTK mics brand new for around $700 plus, which is good value for the quality you will get!
The Rode NTK is good for recording entire albums, a dynamic mic with great range, high-level RF rejection and internal capsule shock mounting it's a good choice for professional singers.
Audio-Technica AT 2035
An additional large-diaphragm condenser microphone, which has cardioid directivity created with consideration for singers working in a studio and using recording systems. This is a sensitive microphone that has low background sound which is what you want whilst recording.
An affordable option, available for about $220, it's a good choice if you're just starting out in your own home studio and recording system.
Enjoy the features and have fun with the soft trebles and warm middles, it's got quite a flat frequency spectrum as well.
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Neumann TLM 102
The Neumann TLM 102 cardioid microphone is available in both black or nickel finishes. A great choice if you want to set up your own home studio and recording system.
If you're interested in this large diaphragm mic, an added feature is it's also good for recording percussion and other instruments.
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This is a good pick for serious singers costing around $840, with the excellent feature of its own pop shield which works much the same as a pop filter. A pop filter helps to eradicate those background noises such as a crackling or splitting sound.
If you want something that will help make you sound professional then the Neumann is a good choice and good value for money.
Where Can I Buy a Microphone?
You can find the majority of the microphones listed above in your local music stores, which are great to support and help keep thriving. In-store, you can try before you buy so you can feel good about your final choice.
If you aren't close by to a music shop, or the local shop near you doesn't have exactly what you're looking for then you can always search online.
You will be able to get a good idea of how much you want to pay for a particular mic, this is often a more affordable option as you can find some pretty good deals and discounts.
However, your first port of call should probably be the local music shop to do your part to help maintain them, as there's nothing like getting some advice from the experts is there!
Now that we've given you a good number of mics to check out and research a little more, you can start warming up your singing voice and get ready to start performing, practising or recording to your heart's content!
If you are looking to develop and refine your singing voice even further, you can have a think about getting in contact with one of our fabulous Superprof tutors here in Australia.
We have a great selection of experienced, talented and enthusiastic singing teachers here at Superprof and the best part is your first lesson is free. There's a few different types of tuition for you to consider, each with their own pros and cons.
Let's check out the tutoring options available:
Just you and your tutor, given that you're the only student these lessons will be planned for you specifically. Your tutor will help figure out both how and what you like to learn. These lessons can be on the more costly side, but the benefits of private tutoring are sometimes worth it even if you start out with just a few lessons.
Similar to private tutoring, it'll be just you and your tutor but you will be working with them online! You can now use video platforms such as Zoom to meet up with your singing teacher, neither of you will have to commute which saves time if you have a busy schedule.
These can either be slightly more affordable than face-to-face tutorials or around a similar price range. Make sure to check how much each tutor charges per hour on our easy to use the website.
These can be the most affordable of all the tutorial options, as the tutor's time is being shared amongst a few students. You might not get as much one on one attention but group singing lessons are a great way to build new connections.
Making new connections will help you build your own music network, and get close to other creatives in your area. Remember that our tutors offer their first lesson free, so you can figure out what works best for you.
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