Microphone for Recording Vocals on Computer
When you are trying to find the best microphone for recording vocals on a computer, remember that it depends on what you are doing.
Are you going to be singing in a studio? Or, will you be recording a podcast in a hotel?
Some microphones are more portable than others, whereas some microphones offer more stability than others.
As far as the types of microphones, there are a couple of different routes you can go as well. USB microphones, for example, are great for computers because they’re so convenient, but they often lack in sound quality.
When quality is the top factor, you can buy a more professional microphone and hook it up to your PC or laptop through other means.
The following explores some of the best types of microphones for recording vocals on a computer, as well as some of the best individual microphones within each category.
USB Microphones (Best for Convenience)
USB microphones are great for computers because they are so simple.
The USB is the only cord, and your computer should automatically recognize this microphone as an audio device.
They are compatible with both Mac and PCs, and they will make it extremely easy and satisfying to record vocals, podcasts, and even instruments.
They are ideal for beginners because they aren’t as expensive, which also makes them great for individuals who don’t require the absolute best quality, but that is, of course, the downfall as well.
USB mics, in general, don’t produce the best sound quality.
Here are four of the best USB microphones.
1. Blue Yeti Microphone
Blue Microphones are extremely popular, and their Yeti is one of the most popular USB microphones that you’ll find.T
he Blue Yeti is one of the few mics you might see more professional artists using, but its stand-out quality and price make it an excellent choice for beginners.
2. Audio-Technica AT2020USB Microphone
Audio-Technica is another renowned brand that has a great USB mic.
The AT2020USB is the USB version of the AT2020, and it more closely resembles a standard condenser mic.
This mic sits on a tripod and comes with a carrying case for convenience. While it’s a bit more expensive than the Yeti, the quality is excellent.
3. Shure PGA27-LC Microphone with X2U
Shure’s USB microphone is professional quality and produces an excellent sound – crisp and detailed studio condenser mic.
It has features that offer greater control such as a switchable high-pass filter to reduce pickup of any low-frequency room noise making it perfect for home recording.
It’s very sensitive, but you can minimize sensitivity with an A-15 dB attenuator allowing you to record loud instruments without distortion.
Pricier than most other models, but if you want superior sound quality with an XLR to USB Interface mic, this is the way to go.
The XLR output connects to your mixer through a standard mic cable
4. Samson Meteor Mic
It’s very portable and relatively affordable, so if you are looking for something that compares to the Yeti, but doesn’t cost as much, the Samson Meteor is the right choice.
XLR Condenser Microphones (Best for Vocals)
The XLR connector is commonly incorporated into the body of microphones, and it’s a better connector than a USB in terms of sound quality.
Additionally, condenser microphones are generally considered better for vocals, and even though you might need additional equipment to connect these to your computer, the results will be better.
Here are four of the best condenser mics for vocals on a computer:
1. Rode NTK Mics
With its wide frequency range, it can handle vocals of almost any type.
Take care of it, and it should last you many years.
The package should come with the necessary XLR cables, a phantom power amp, which means you won’t need as much extra equipment to hook it up.
It’s particularly great for rap vocals, but it’ll also perform well for singing, podcasts, and anything else you might be doing.
2. Neumann TLM-102
The Neumann TLM-102 has exceptional build quality and an extremely impressive sound, though it is one of the more expensive microphones for vocals.
Again, this mic has a wide frequency range, so it doesn’t matter if you are a soprano or a bass, and it doesn’t matter if you speak softly or loudly.
If you have a couple of extra dollars and need exceptional sound quality, you couldn’t go wrong here.
3. Bluebird From Blue Microphones
The Bluebird is an attractive-looking microphone and one of the best from Blue Microphones.
Stylistically, it’s has a vintage-look, and sound-wise, it’s very impressive.
It’ll produce great results no matter what your voice type is, and while it might not be as sophisticated as the previous two, it’s still a great piece of equipment.
4. AKG C214 Microphone
It has a bass-cut filter, so you can get close to the mic without messing up the sound, and the switchable attenuation gives you even greater customizability.
Many people will swear by this microphone and will tell you it’s the best for vocals, but it is a bit more expensive than some of the competitors.
Using an XLR-to-Audio Interface When Recording
If you buy a microphone with an XLR connector, you might want to buy an XLR-to-Audio interface as well. Interfaces are designed for converting analog to digital, so it’s especially crucial for the XLR when you can’t connect directly to your computer.
The XLR-to-Audio interface will allow you to connect the XLR microphone to your computer’s USB or headphone jack.
Many of these audio interfaces come with things such as phantom power, which gives you the power you need for your condenser microphone.
What Is a Microphone Preamp?
Preamps can also be used for vocals on a computer, and they will help you improve the quality and the overall experience.
Preamps boost the signal of the microphone you have connected, and there are several different options for home studios.
They’ll help you boost low signals, achieve different sounds, and fix things that your digital audio workstation (DAW) plugins can’t.
Vocal Recording for Computer Applications
Keep in mind the proper microphone for recording vocals on a computer comes in handy for the other applications you may use on your computer.
Do you record YouTube videos or Podcasts?
What about when playing your multiplayer games?
If you work at home meetings using Skype calls and Google Hangouts all can benefit from a good mic that is better than the default computer mic.
Figure out what you will be doing and what you need to get the most out of the hardware you purchase.