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[BRT] How to save $100 on a good mic - and it's not a cheap mic
January 16, 2012

Don't get a cheap mic. In my recording experience, I've accumulated several microphones. When I buy them, I have one thing in mind - quality. OK, I think about price too, but the point is, you must keep price in perspective with quality. When you buy a cheap mic, you lose that.

Top 10 Vocal Microphones, my recent article, hammers this point too. I recommend getting a high quality microphone up front, because you will come out better in the long run. It's worth it to spend a few extra dollars for a quality vocal mic (or other mic) now. But here's how to save $100 in your microphone purchases.

Look at it this way. So at the beginning, you decide that you're going to spend $100 on a microphone. OK, good. Now you have whatever that buys you (say an Audio Technica 2020). It will work fine for you. But a year down the road, you decide that it's time to get a better one. But now anything you buy could be $100 cheaper if you would not have bought the first mic.

For instance, after a while, you would like to branch out to the Audio Technica 4050 (a really good high end mic). If you had already bought the AT2020, the cheaper one, you could also buy the AT4050 and have two. But now your total investment is around $700. If you would have purchased the AT4050 for the start, it would only be about $600. The difference is $100.

Do you see how this works? It's a variation on the principle "Penny wise, pound foolish." It simply means, don't scrimp to save money on everything. Don't buy a cheap mic just because it's less money than the other one. Don't get me wrong - it's good to be economical. Don't go out and buy 4 expensive mics just because I told you to spend money. That's not being responsible. But know the difference between quality and cost. You have to know when to buy the cheaper of two things (say Kellog's or Malt-O-Meal cereal), and when to pay the price for good quality (Snap On tools for the mechanic, for example, instead of cheap WalMart "tools").

Ultimately, you have to make a decision. I want you to consider the long range in the decision. What will benefit your studio more? What are the ways your studio may grow (and how could this purchase fit in to that)? Questions like these are critical when looking at gear to purchase, especially cheap mics or good mics.

If you need help considering a microphone to get, I'll be glad to help. Go to Top 10 Vocal Microphones to see a list of, well, the top 10 as I see them. There are all price points there, and again, consider well what you need.

If you already have one, is it good or bad? Do you wish you would have chosen differently? Scroll to the bottom of that page and leave a comment. Help others out - pay it forward.

Again, thanks for reading Bedroom Recording Tips. Have a great week!


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PPS. The headline of emails from now on will start with [BRT], a shortened version of [Bedroom Recording Tips]. This is just FYI.

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