Electronic musicians and EDM vocalists need a simple but efficient all-rounder mic to produce vocal tracks. It makes no sense to fork out a tidy sum to get a uber-sensitive condenser microphone when you can handle almost all other production needs with a laptop.
You’ve tried looking at several ‘Best Vocal Mic’ roundups and the five-figure price tag on them has convinced you that you are ready to throw in the towel. Well, let me be the bearer of good news – we don’t need them.
Professional studios comprise of equipment worth thousands of dollars. They record entire bands in an acoustically treated environment. That is a far cry from the modus operandi of EDM producers who keep it compact, to the point, and ultra-portable.
EDM is all about that ‘in the box’ lifestyle with creative sample manipulation, software synths, and wicked beats. Thankfully, we don’t need to invest heavily in equipment to get going. That is true for vocal mics as well.
In this post, I will share my three favorite microphones for recording killer EDM vocals. I will also share the reasons they are so efficient and popular.
Vocal Mic for EDM Vocals and Music Producers
Before we dive into the roundup, let’s recap what plays a vital role in a great vocal recording:
- Mic performance and quality (we have that covered)
- Spatial aspects – sound treatment and reverb of your room
- Equipment – the audio interface and hardware
- Mic position, placement, and your vocal ability
Big studios have an arsenal of vocal mics. They test a few (based on the recording engineer’s recommendation) to match it to the vocalist’s voice. 90%+ of these recordings use a condenser, but dynamic cardioid microphones are equally popular for home recording studios.
Now, we may not be at the liberty of owning multiple five-figure mics, but I’ve presented options that are versatile and industry-approved. Think of it like this – an expensive leather jacket can be a bestseller but you would not own it if it didn’t suit you or match your style.
Similarly, a ‘good mic’ is only good if it suits you. That means it complements your voice type, fits within your budget, and fulfills your needs. Here are three options to consider:
Best Dynamic Mic for EDM Bedroom Producers: Shure SM58
We’ll start with the big cheese of dynamic cardioid microphones – the Shure SM58.
If you are a bedroom producer or a beginner, you probably don’t have a soundproof room. Trying to handle a high-quality condenser mic will be a nightmare. The SM58 is excellent at rejecting background noise and other woes of a ‘bad sounding room’.
As a dynamic mic, the SM58 will ensure that room reflections or sounds don’t leak into your vocal tracks. It is fantastic at rejecting background noise and has unbeatable resistance to feedback.
The rugged construction and low self-noise make it easy to handle. You only need a sturdy floor stand to get going. Moreover, it does a great job at recording guitar amps, acoustic guitars, or other instruments in an untreated room.
Overall, Shure SM58 is a safe option because it’s an industry standard. It has been used and abused as a workhorse by artists and sound engineers for decades. It is, hands down, the most popular vocal mic to have ever existed. And, it goes for under $100.
If you have some technical know-how and a bigger budget, I recommend the Shure SM7B. Although, that comes with additional costs of an in-line mic preamp. You can keep it under hundred bucks with the Electro-Voice C09, which is a reasonably priced alternative.
Best Budget Condenser mic for Bedroom Producers: MXL 990
MXL 990 is a large diaphragm condenser (LDC) with a FET preamp and a vintage design. It ships with a carry case, mic stand adapter, and custom shock mount. It has been a top-selling budget condenser since its launch, but its fame is not merely because it is stupidly cheap.
MXL 990 reaches out to the working musician to offer professional quality audio with its propensity to add warmth to vocals. Its frequency response has a mid-range emphasis (5-10kHz presence boost), which adds richness to vocals that EDM producers will appreciate.
The FET condenser has a sizzle that will brighten up your vocals when you get around 6-inches within it. Any closer and you might struggle with the proximity effect. At 10 to 12 inches away, it has an open and airy tone. You need to experiment to find your own sweet spot.
Overall, MXL 990 sounds modern and responsive. It can pose some noise issues if you crank up the gain, but it guarantees a good job for producers who know their way around EQ and other post-production plugin staples.
At under $100, the MXL 990 is an absolute steal. That kind of value is hard to find. Even if you opt for another mic later, it won’t hurt to have the MXL 990 as a part of your mic cabinet. Whether you are just starting out or want a reliable condenser mic to kick it up a notch, the MXL 990 will give you a deep, rich tone without breaking the bank.
Best Condenser Microphone for EDM Vocals: Rode NT1-A
If your room is acoustically treated and leaks are not an issue, Rode NT1-A is a great option in the entry-level LDC line-up. The cardioid condenser mic ships with an SM6 shock mount, a dust cover, a high-quality mic cable, and a Rode pop filter.
So, it can serve your needs right out of the box. It edges out the competition because of its clean and transparent performance, dynamic range, and excellent construction. This Australian-Made LDC features a 1-inch cardioid condenser with a gold sputter capsule.
Performance-wise, it has a 20 Hz to 20kHz frequency range with 137DBSPL. It is sleek, well-designed, and features a heart-shaped polar pattern that works well for vocal recordings. The pattern also rejects sounds from behind the mic, which reduces the possibility of background noise leaking into your recording.
The mic suits a wide variety of genres and has been used by several aspiring EDM artists. The key reason for its success is that the response is practically flat and doesn’t add any coloration to your vocals. This allows you more freedom to sculpt your tone with post-production.
The 5dB of self-noise is possibly the best in the category. And, the ten years extended warranty that Rode offers goes to show how much they trust their products.
Overall, Rode’s come up with a winner that sounds fantastic option for all vocal use cases at studios or in a modest room. If you want a slightly better version, you can upgrade to the Rode NT1, which is every more flat and transparent. Check the price and reviews on Amazon.
An expensive mic means nothing if you don’t use it correctly. On the other hand, with ‘sound’ knowledge, you can use that hundred-dollar microphone to create the biggest EDM track of 2021. That why producers always stress on the importance of good inputs to create good outputs.
The online catalog of vocal mics is forever expanding with options that can cost anything from tens to thousands of dollars. I have tried to provide the best microphone choice in every context for beginner-to-intermediate EDM producers. I’ve forgone catering to the experts/famous artists as they probably already own a Neumann u87 or TLM103 – neither of which need my endorsement.