Affordable Microphones For The Home Studio
It's no secret that microphones are expensive. Even the basic models can be pricey, and high-end models can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Fortunately for those of us who need affordable microphones, there are options available for both home studios and professional studios.
As a musician, I know how important it is to have good equipment that can capture the sound you have in your head. As an audio engineer, I also know that you need to be able to hear your music clearly without any distortion or unwanted noise that could potentially ruin a good take.
For this reason, finding affordable studio quality microphones that don’t require you to sell your kidney on the black market is essential to music production on all levels.
Professional audio engineers and performers typically use microphones that cost more than $300.These mics are designed to capture the most accurate, detailed sound possible with a crisp, clear tone. With a lower budget however, achieving a professional quality sound has always proved difficult. This paradox has discouraged many musicians in times past, however one company has sought to eliminate the barrier to entry.
Today, we are going to cover two studio quality options from the Lewitt Audio company that won't break the bank, but will still deliver results comparable to microphones costing much more. As you will soon hear, Lewitt Audio has done a phenomenal job of creating affordable mics with exceptional sound capturing capabilities, and some of the lowest specs for self noise compared to most microphones on the market! (Even the coveted RODE NT1-A)
- Rode NT1-A - self noise of 5dB (A)
- Lewitt 440 Pure - self noise of 7 dB (A)
The first microphone we will be talking about is the LCT 140 AIR.
In order to retain the natural musicality of your instruments, the LCT 140 AIR is capable of an excellent transient response.
This awesome looking microphone offers a low-cost, coming in at just $150, while still maintaining high-performance. The LCT 140 is designed for applications such as drums, strings, acoustic guitars, and choirs. It features a cardioid polar pattern and provides crisp and accurate sound reproduction with minimal to no distortion. Likewise, if you’ve ever recorded drums using overhead mics, or tried to keep the mic on an acoustic guitar in that sweet spot, then you’ll appreciate how light the microphone is.
The LCT 140 AIR features two sound characteristics, AIR and FLAT.
AIR delivers an open, sparkling sound. The right choice if you need great sound without spending time on post-production.
FLAT provides a linear frequency response which is great for capturing the essence of stringed instruments.
To make things easier when recording drums there are also a couple of other great features. The -12dB pad and 80Hz High Pass filter can be extremely useful for minimizing post production processing when recording overheads.
- Small diaphragm condenser microphone
- Choose between two distinct sound characteristics
- Great for acoustic guitar and drums
- Excellent transient response
- Cardioid polar pattern
- -12dB pad
The next microphone in today’s video is the LCT 440 Pure by Lewitt Audio. The LCT 440 PURE is a high quality microphone with an exceptional build quality that is perfect for any studio environment. In my experience, it has a rich sound that captures the subtle nuances of vocals, instruments, or even guitar cabs. The microphone feels very solid, and looks absolutely stunning.
If you’re asking yourself whether it would be worth it to throw more money at their higher end models, let me help you make a more informed decision. The truth is the 440 Pure actually uses the same high-end components, capsule and circuit design as their prestige models, minus all of the bells and whistles. In fact, they are not even trying to hide that information but are sharing it openly.
- 1" true condenser studio microphone
- Best in its class for vocals and instruments
- High-end capsule and circuit design
- Cardioid polar pattern
So whether you want to record acoustic guitars, drums, wind instruments, guitar cabinets, you name it, you’ll sound better than ever with pure studio sound quality.
Alright, enough about the specs. The real test of any microphone is, how does it sound!
Well, let’s take a listen! In the examples below the microphones are placed at the standard position for most recording setups. (12 inches away from where the neck meets the body of the guitar, pointing at the 12th fret) There has been no pre or post processing added to these recordings either. I’ve also included a brighter, small bodied acoustic as well as a larger bodied acoustic to get a good feel for what these mics can do.
Oh and by the way… all the dialogue for this video was been recorded with the LCT 140 AIR as well!
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