With live events starting to creep back into the world, the artists I manage were desperate to get shows booked in and perform live again. As a manager, I want to keep them as safe as possible and I know one of the main ways to do this is to ensure they have their own equipment, this started with high quality microphones.

My knowledge was extremely limited when researching hundreds of different microphones on the market, so I contacted sound engineer Ashley Cox to help me. After chatting and realising how knowledgeable he is, I asked him if he could share his microphone recommendations for other emerging artists.

“All of the microphones in this list are dynamic microphones optimised for vocals. All are a durable metal construction, with the durability of the internals typically improving with price as you might expect. All feature a standard XLR microphone connector. All have removable grilles for easy cleaning, and all are supplied with a storage bag or case.”

Behringer XM8500S
Price: £15
Link To Buy

“Behringer are perhaps best described as the marmite of the pro audio industry. Many love them while others love to hate them, but there's no denying they have a back for producing highly affordable products. While they once had a reputation for producing cheap clones of better products from other brands, their parent company now owns some of the industry's best-loved names and the technology from those brands has found its way into Behringer products, turning the companies reputation around and winning them plenty of fans.

The XM8500 is a cheap and versatile dynamic microphone ideal for vocal performance and making instruments such as drums or guitar amps. Not only are they superb sounding for the money but they are also durable. I've seen them dropped (and dropped a few myself), and even set up in a permanent installation to record the great outdoors come rain, storm or shine and they've survived. The grill can be removed for cleaning and there's an integral foam windscreen too, though an external one is always advised.”

Studiospares S965
Price: £24
Link To Buy

“If you've been around the industry long enough, or researched or purchased a piece of equipment online, you've probably heard of studiospares. The company has been supplying the pro audio industry for decades with many of the big brands, but also with their own product line. The S965 comes from their lineup of dynamic microphones. It's designed to capture vocals with a slight presence  rise around the 10kHz frequency band, which will bring out the top end of your voice and help. Project your voice in a live scenario. It also has a hand on/off switch so you can mute the mic during breaks.”

Audio-Technica MB1K
Price: £35
Link To Buy

“Audio-Technica have been in the business for well over 5 decades. Originally producing phono cartridges for the playback of vinyl records, Audio-Technica now produce a vast array of microphones, headphones and other equipment including several models that have garnered industry-standard status. The MB1K is a dynamic vocal microphone with a frequency response tailored to allow a vocal to cut through the mix. The MB1K features and anti-shock system for reduced handling noise, audio-Technica's Hi-ENERGY neodymium magnet structure for maximum output and fast transient response, lockable MagnaLock switch design for silent on/off operation, and a corrosion-resistant gold-plated XLRM-type connector. AT make great sounding microphones and the MB1K is no exception.”

Shure PGA58
Price: £52
Link To Buy

“No article covering dynamic microphones would be complete without mention of Shure. Shure mics are the industry standard, go-to vocal mics for live performance. The PGA58 is a basic no-frills vocal mic, optimised for lead and backup vocals with a frequency response tailored towards clarity, giving a brighter overall sound. It also features an on/off switch and is supplied with a carry pouch.”

Shure SM58
Price: £88
Link To Buy

“The SM58 is the industry standard vocal mic. Virtually indestructible with a natural sound a unidirectional polar pattern, meaning that the mic picks up sound from the front while rejecting sound from the sides and rear to reduce feedback and crosstalk in live situations. These mics can handle anything you throw at them and a mic drop or two.”

You can follow Ashley Cox on Twitter here, and he has welcomed emerging artists reading this post to contact him for further information. 

©2020  321 Artists