Beginner's Gear Guide: Project Studio Microphones

Beginner's Gear Guides: Project Studio Microphones

Start recording at home with these inexpensive mics.
You don't have to spend an arm and a leg to supply your home project studio with a few good mics. If you're ready to start recording vocals and instruments at home, check out our picks below.

USB microphones plug directly into your computer or mobile device for the simplest possible setup -- no need for an audio interface, mixing board, or preamplifier. If you've already got an audio interface, check out our picks for standard XLR microphones.

Condenser microphones help you captured detailed vocals and acoustic instruments, while dynamic microphones are budget-friendly tools for tracking drums, guitar amps, and more. And if you're looking to build up your collection in a hurry, economical microphone packs are the way to go.

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USB Condenser Microphones: Plug in and start recording fast
These simple microphones plug directly into your computer's USB port, with no need for a preamp or audio interface. They're ideal for dashing off quickie demos, voiceover auditions, podcasts, and more.
Condenser Microphones: Capture vocals and acoustic instruments
When you're ready to record serious vocals or acoustic instruments in your home studio, start here. These entry-level condensers have proven to be worthy contenders among budget-minded engineers. Large-diaphragm condensers are a must-have for tracking vocals, while small-diaphragm condensers are ideal on cymbals, acoustic guitar, and more.
Dynamic Microphones: Record guitar amps, drums, or scratch vocals
Known for their ruggedness and ability to handle high sound pressure levels, dynamic microphones can't be beat for recording loud sources like snare drums, kick drums, and guitar amplifiers. Plus, a good dynamic mic is indispensable for demoing scratch vocals in the home studio, since they're less sensitive to room ambiance than condenser microphones.
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