Best Hand Held Condenser for Less Than $700
Ok, I had a problem. I had two very talented singers in the worship team at church who were both singing through regular stage microphones. I multi-track record the music and the service so I can mix them down afterwards. The mixes were ok, but the vocals were missing the clarity and punch that I am used to getting when I record in the studio. The obvious answer: handheld condenser microphones. So, I started researching what to get. Obviously I would get the KMS105, but I couldn't because I'm paying for these microphones out of my own pocket and I just don't have that kind of cash to spend. So, I scan the Sweetwater website and find this little jewel for $200 bucks..! A condenser for such sort money..? I'm thinking it can't be very good, and I don't even have $400 to spend, (remember I needed two of them). But wait..! Sweet water is doing a buy one get one free deal..! So, I decide to roll the dice on them. Here's the straight scoop. These are EXCELLENT little microphones..! They provide a clean, clear, crisp signal. With minimal eq'ing, anyone with a decent voice will sound very good singing through one of these, (provided your pa system is good and dialed in for your room). When the worship team plays a slower, quieter song, these microphones really let you hear the "air" in the vocals. Just a couple of key points. First, these microphones are MUCH hotter than your standard stage mic. You use about half of the gain and still have all the signal you need. This is nice since most mic-pres in your average soundboard get a bit "noisy" if you have to crank them too high. Second, handling noise is higher than a regular stage microphone. If the music is cranking you will never hear it, but if the song is real mellow and your singer is moving around a lot you might hear just a bit of noise. Third, these microphones will pic up stage sound. If you are dealing with a loud stage volume, fix that problem first. These microphones are designed to pick up every nuance in a singer's vocal, so if you go trying to use them on a loud stage they are going to pick up all that as well and will probably give your sound engineer headaches. Get your stage volume under control, then bring this microphone in and put it to work. So, if you are looking to get into the world of stage condensers, you really can't do any better than this microphone for the money. Try one out, you'll really like it. Oh, one other thing. One of the microphones I got developed a "pop" and had to be replaced. I was under the gun on getting a special performance recorded and Sweetwater stepped up to the plate and got me a warranty replacement sent out pronto. Be sure to get your stuff from these folks, their commitment to customer service is the best in the business and their shipping department gets stuff out like no one else can..! Get yourself one of these microphones, get it from Sweetwater, then get out and make some music..!