Purchasing a Microphone

Evening all! I’m currently in the market for a cheap microphone to help me record vocals and guitar. I would need it cheap because money’s low :unamused: . I was wondering if anyone here has bought a mic thats cheap but also gives a decent qulaity recording on audacity?

If so could you be so kind to send a link or something so I can do some research!

All the best!

Could you narrow down “cheap”. (Under $10, under $199, under $600)

Compared to what?
What are you using currently?

What do you want to record?

People usually start out like that and we talk them out of it. The best thing you can do is make a good recording room. Echoes, reverberation, cars starting and dogs barking kill more shows than a bad microphone.

This is a thing I did with furniture moving pads for a voice shoot. The microphone is nothing special, but the shoot went perfectly.


If you live out in the country, you can record outside and get rid of all the wall and ceiling echoes.

How much noise does your computer make? I had a machine that would bump up its fans when it felt a little flushed – and we had to stop recording until it cooled down.

What’s your price range?


There are some interesting trade-offs with microphones. You can do really well with an inexpensive USB microphone, but those are aggressively non-expandable. You can’t plug them into a mixing board later and do a four microphone recording.


Yep my apologies!

I’m currentely using my laptop’s (built in) microphone. And I’m trying to record a decent enough demo to send out and have other people listen to. The problem is simply the fact that the microphone hasn’t got the quality I’m looking for. I’ve tried all kinds of different settings and places but I can’t get a good enough recording.

I’m also living in the very quiet area because we’ve got a long driveway away from the road (don’t confuse this with me being rich :laughing: ). And I’ve got a very quiet laptop.

But I’m lucky enough to have a good friend who’s got a very expensive recording studio in his room. And so I’m not really that interested in buying lots of different eqiupment, or starting something big because I’d rather just visit him. Just something I can plug in that isn’t expensive but is better than my laptop’s mic.

The price range is around £30-40 under ($50-60).

Kozikowski: USB microphones are something I’m interested in. Have you got any recommendations?

Demo of what?
Spoken voice, acoustic guitar, a rock band, you singing, bird song…

Vocals and guitar amplifier!

It’s a demanding job on a small budget so the list is short:

  • Behringer C1U USB

Cheers Steve I’ll check it out. Have you got this microphone?

No, but it has a reasonably good reputation and in this price range there is no competition that I’m aware of.
For less money you can get a USB Desktop Microphone such as this one from logitech:

Or you could go for a more expensive USB recording mic. or a conventional mic with a USB mic pre-amp. The mic/pre-amp combination has several advantages, but will cost over £100.

This is an extraordinarily bad mic test with the Logitech desktop mic. I’m in a very quiet room and I’m not amplified.


You do need to be careful with amplified guitar. Part of the existence of these things is the ability to move your shirt with the sound waves while it working. That’s why you can feel the outside of the garage moving when the band is practicing inside. That will kill a vocal microphone like this. It will overload and produce badly damaged blue waves. It’s the same reason you can’t make a good recording at a rock concert. The sound waves reduce the microphone and amplifier to garbage.

But it’s worth a shot. You can keep backing the microphone up until it stops overloading. There isn’t anything else cheaper you can do. The guy with the studio is using SM58 microphones and a controlled mixdown board, right? Those are impossible to damage.


Right thanks Steve and Koz! I’ve been doing a bit of researching here and there, and I think the Behringer C1U would be the perfect Mic for my situation. It will give me a much better recording, and be easy to use and cheap. Thanks for the advice, and thanks for the mic test! :smiley:

My joke is I don’t play the guitar, I play at the guitar. Koz

Haha, could of been a lot worse Koz trust me! (http://youtu.be/9DbUPjEbIvA)

One of the editors here is a jazz guitarist, so I have an unfortunate comparison down the hall. On the up side, I have a test subject any time I want one. He’s not an acoustic guitarist. He only does this because I ask him to.

To be clear, that was not a USB microphone. That was an AKG, a sound mixer and Mac recorder. I have full control of everything in the shoot including the room. I think that was this day…