R&B music is a popular genre known for its warm, intimate, and polished sound. Originating in the USA in the 1940s, it is an amalgamation of swing, boogie, and blues music. This music style is known for its soulful vocals, detailed instrumentation, and deep emotions. You must choose the right microphone to capture its true sound, but it can take time to select one from many choices on hand. Here are the top seven microphones for R&B music based on cost, quality, and value.
The Neumann U87 is a legendary microphone that has its place in the studios of many professionals in the music industry. Since its launch in 1967, it has become an industry-standard microphone for recording vocals. This large-diaphragm condenser mic has a lush and cozy classic sound that suits the R&B genre perfectly.
The U87 is designed with an adjustable polar pattern (omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-8) that lets you capture vocals and instruments in amazing detail and accuracy. It has an extended frequency response, low self-noise, and remarkable sensitivity for capturing soft and powerful belting vocals.
This precision hand-built tool from Germany is priced at $3500. Despite its high price tag, it is an investment that can elevate your R&B recordings to a professional level.
The AKG C414 is a series of large-diaphragm solid-state condenser microphones. It has been a highly respected and coveted microphone since 1971. The newer C414 family is based on the CK12 condenser microphone capsule.
The C424-XLII is another versatile and highly respected microphone for R&B music recording. It is known for its wide dynamic range and nine selectable polar pattern options and offers the flexibility to record various R&B vocals and instruments.
With its large diaphragm, this condenser mic delivers a crisp and detailed sound while maintaining warmth and character. It is an excellent choice for artists and engineers who require a microphone that can adapt to different recording situations.
This Austrian-built microphone is priced at around $1200. It is a versatile microphone that is a valuable addition to any studio setup.
If you want to capture a great sound on a budget, the AT2020 is an ideal balance of quality and affordability. The microphone features a large diaphragm condenser that provides a warm and natural sound.
This microphone features a fixed cardioid polar pattern. The mic is ideal for isolating the sound source and minimizing room noise. The high SPL handling capability allows you to record instruments like guitar, drums, or bass.
Starting at $99, it is a fine example of Japanese audio engineering. You can get the microphone with a USB option as well if you are looking to record using your PC or Mac. It is a great starting point for home studios or musicians looking for a reliable and budget-friendly microphone without compromising sound quality.
The Shure SM7B is a dynamic microphone. Dynamic microphones are usually associated with live performances but it is a suitable microphones for recording as well. Handling loud and powerful vocals with less distortion makes it an ideal tool for capturing vocals.
This microphone is known for its warm and smooth sound that perfectly complements the soulful nature of R&B. It has a wide-range frequency response, making it suitable for different recording scenarios.
Equipped with a presence boost and bass roll-off switches, you can fine-tune the microphone's response to suit different vocal styles and preferences. The classic cardioid pattern design helps reject unwanted room noise. It also enables you to record at a comfortable angle.
Its advanced electromagnetic shielding prevents the hum from computer monitors and other studio equipment from being recorded. Starting at $399.99, this is a great mid-range microphone to start your musical journey.
The Rode NT2-A is a condenser microphone with a large diaphragm. It features three switchable directional characteristics (omnidirectional, figure-8, and cardioid) with a high pass filter. It allows you to tailor the microphone response to different recording scenarios.
The NT2-A provides a warm and transparent sound signature, making it a great choice for R&B vocals and acoustic instruments. It has a low self-noise level of just 7db, ensuring clean recordings. A shock mount and pop filter is included in the package. It makes it a practical choice for those looking to enhance their recording setup without breaking the bank. This microphone offers impressive versatility at an affordable price of around $348.88.
The Aston Spirit is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone that deserves recognition for its remarkable sound quality and affordability. The British-designed and built microphone is a high-performing mic with a 1” gold evaporated capsule. It comes with a switch to select from 3 different patterns(Omni, Cardioid, or Figure-8 polar).
It offers a great laser-cut steel construction and high-end components. The built-in mesh pop filter ensures clean and focused recordings. Despite a budget-friendly price of $379, it competes admirably with more expensive options. It is a great addition to your recording setup.
The Telefunken M80 is a dynamic microphone that gives a condenser-like performance. This versatility has made it a favorite for live shows and studio recordings. Many popular handheld microphones have a midrange heave tone, but the M80 has a low-mass capsule and ultra-thin membrane to help you capture your performance in superb balance and detail.
You can use this microphone to record voice or instruments due to its wide frequency response, condenser-like performance, and high SPL capabilities. The custom wound transformer with matching impedance and sturdy construction reduces noise. It is hand-assembled in the USA with great attention to its build quality. This sturdy microphone is available for a great price of $249 in various colors and finishes.
Choosing the right microphone is vital to capture the perfect sound. Whether working with a high-end studio setup or a more modest home studio, the right microphone can help you achieve the warm, intimate, and professional sound quality that the genre demands. So, invest in the right microphone that meets your needs and budget to create great-sounding R&B recordings.