I’m going to commence this article with a statement: most famous singers today were poor once. But faith, personal ambition and dedication worked for them in mysterious ways, allowing them to create everlasting music that will stand the test of time. That was in the past, when music artists had to endure a lot before becoming mainstream. Nowadays, technology has simplified everything, making it really simple for one to become famous. The simple version of getting famous is to record a video and to post it to YouTube. If you have what it takes, people will rate the video, watch it, share it and you’ll be the next big thing in no time. So, if it’s that simple, why teens are still having trouble promoting their music? If it’s so easy to broadcast your songs, the competition got smart, so you need to get smart. It’s difficult to buy the proper recording studio equipment, to have great sound quality that will ultimately get you the exposure you desire. That’s the reason I’m recommending “the best home recording microphone” around $100. If you ask me, you should get a mic in $200-$300 price range, but if you are on a low budget, $100 should be just fine. There are few good options to choose from in this price range.
So, let’s see what are the alternatives around $100:
- CAD GXL2200
- Audio Technica AT2020
- MXL 990
- Samson C01
Samson is a great microphone under $100 for recording vocals, acoustic instruments and for use as overhead drum mics. But the best home recording studio microphone from the list is undeniably the Audio Technica AT2020. This mic has the best ratio of price/performance. Considered by many the ideal microphone for project/home-studio setup, AT2020 captures crystal clear vocals while still maintaining a low self-noise. In order to be able to use it, you should know that this microphone requires 48V DC phantom power from a preamp or an audio interface (I recommend Focusrite interfaces, although they are over $100). If you already own an internal soundcard with no Phantom Power, the cheap solution is to buy a preamp. ART Tube is pretty cheap and clean and has great reviews. The AT2020 works flawless when recording acoustic guitars, but remember to buy a mic stand and a filter for it. Also, try to insulate with acoustic foam the recording area where you will place the mic.
There are other microphones in that price range, but under $100 you won’t find anything that can beat the AT2020.