Caleb J. Murphy

3 Of The Best (And Cheapest) Microphones For Home Recording

I’m a cheap guy. I hate spending money, but I also want quality. So it’s tough when it comes to getting the right microphones for my home recording studio.

My microphones (via Instagram)

Let me start by saying, this article is not for the experts on microphones. This post is for people like me — those who know enough about recording to get a good sound (and watch a lot of YouTube videos to educate themselves).

I’d like to share some of the cheap-but-good equipment I use. Along with Reaper and a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, here are the microphones I record with (plus one I wish I had).

Audio-Technica AT2035 — $150

The Audio-Technica AT2035 was my first mic. I’ve used this to record all of my music — it’s been a solid friend for me.

This mic records out of just the one side of itself (aka cardioid or uni-directional). It’s a large diaphragm condenser mic, which means it will make your instrument sound bigger, more engaging, and really just more beautiful and professional.

This mic is good for vocals or acoustic guitar (as I can attest to).

Bluebird — $300

The Bluebird is also a large diaphragm cardioid mic, but this one gets a way better sound than the AT2035. It picks up a clear and defined sound that’s still super warm. This one is also great for vocals and gutiar.

I have to admit, I don’t actually own this one — I borrow my friend’s. But $300 is a great price for what you get.

Shure SM58 — $100

The SM58 is like the loyal friend who’s always there for you. People use this mic for live performances, but it’s also good in the studio.

You can pretty much use it on any instrument — guitar, vocals, drums. It’s all about testing it out to see what it sounds good recording in the room you’re in. For just a $100, it’s a great investment (that I should really make).