Choice of microphone for a young person to record with.

About how old is your daughter and what sort of music does she like to sing?

She is 9 years old and is starting to get into pop singing and is wanting to experiment on the computer with different ways of both recording music by using our music on itunes and what is available as karaoke on Youtube. We just want to get her something decent without it being too expensive.

For some reason my original post has been deleted, but I am looking for a microphone that can be connected to a Mac or a PC so that she can sing via the computer with music that is played through the loudspeakers of the computer. And my original question is would a Samson Q2U microphone do for that or would you recommend something else?

So it has.
Probably the title hit one of the spam filters (we get a huge amount of spam posted to the forum, and there’s inevitably the occasional mistake when it comes to keeping the forum usable for genuine users).
I’ve changed the title to make it look less spam-like (hope you’re able to find your way back here).

I think the Samson Q2U would be a reasonable choice, though note that with any USB microphone the lead to the computer is likely to be quite short so she’ll not be able to dance around with it.

A major advantage of USB microphones is that they bypass the computer sound card, which are usually very poor quality when recording microphones. Taking into account the cost of upgrading the sound card or using a USB pre-amp, a USB microphone is a cost effective alternative.

One nice feature about the Q2U is that it has a headphone socket built into the microphone. This will allow her to hear her voice through the headphones while she is recording, without hearing it as a disconcerting echo. Overall the recording quality should be reasonably good for the price, so it has quite a lot going for it.

I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has any suggestions.

For dancing around without the constraints of the cables a good solution could be a bluetooth mic. I don’t have any experience with any of those so I can’t recommend any. They’re probably going to be more expensive that the usb ones.

Regarding the recording “technique” one thing that usually should be avoided would be listening to the music through the speakers while recording, because the music coming out of the speakers will also be caught by the mic.

Ideally she should be listening to the music on headphones so that only her voice is recorded by the mic and so it can more easily be mixed with the music later in “post-production”. In this scenario a headset instead of just a mic would be a good option too. Anyway if this sounds just too complicated stick to the mic only and sound through speakers for beginning.

Thankyou for your replies. I have been thinking it over with what to do when she wants to dance as well as sing as that is a good point. If I were to go for a normal mic what type of equipment would I then need? Would I need a mixer that speakers can be connected to as well as the mic and that connected to the computer, or could I just plug that straight into the mic socket of the computer?

The mic input on computer (built-in) soundcards is usually quite crappy…
If you’re on a low budget, then an usb mic would probably be the best option.

The kind of mic you usually use with a mic preamp/mixer is not exactly the same kind of mic you buy to plug into the computer’s mic socket… So if you go that way you’ll probably end up spending a lot more money to buy something worth buying…

Or worse. The mic input on my laptop is very noisy (which is not at all unusual).

Somewhat better than this would be a USB microphone pre-amp. The cheapest of these is probably the Griffin iMic which will probably not give fantastic sound quality but should be reasonable sound quality, and it is cheap. For a good quality USB microphone pre-amp you will probably be looking at upward of $100 (and that’s before you buy the microphone) which is probably a bit over-the-top for now. The iMic is probably cheap enough for you to not mind replacing it with a more expensive pre-amp at some point in the future.

The iMic cannot be used with “studio condenser microphones”, so you would need a “dynamic microphone”. An inexpensive (and good for the price) example is the Behringer XM8500. However this microphone (as with most reasonable or good quality microphones) has a mono 3 pin XLR connection whereas I believe the iMic has stereo mini-jack connection so you would need a suitable adaptor which may not be that easy to find. However a music shop may be able to sort out the necessary bits if you are buying the iMic and microphone from them. (the more expensive microphone pre-amps usually have 3 pin XLR connectors as standard and so do not require any special adaptors).