The Best Equipment for Singers (2023)
Aspiring and professional singers alike understand the importance of having the right equipment to enhance their vocal performance and recording sessions. To help you navigate the world of audio gear, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to the best equipment for singers. From microphones to voice care equipment, we’ll explore each essential category, providing high-quality information to empower you on your musical journey.
- Get a Quality Microphone
- Quality Headphones Make a Big Difference
- Audio Interface: Very Important for Great Audio Recording Quality
- DAW (Digital Audio Workstation): Your Creative Hub
- Monitors: Crisp and Clear Sound
- Mic Stand (or Boom Arm): Stability and Flexibility
- Pop Filter: Eliminate Plosives
- Essential Cables: Connecting the Dots
- acoustic treatment (or Vocal Booth): Sonic Clarity
Get a Quality Microphone
Microphones come in various types, each uniquely suited to different recording scenarios. For vocal recording and singing on the stage, you will deal with two main types of mics.
Dynamic Microphones: Dynamic mics excel in live performances due to their lower sensitivity. They thrive with louder sound sources and offer durability and versatility, minimizing the risk of distortion or overload.
Condenser Microphones: These mics, often termed studio microphones, boast high sensitivity, capturing every sonic nuance. They typically require external power, known as phantom power, supplied by mixers or audio interfaces. Condenser microphones come in two main categories:
Small-Diaphragm Condensers: Ideal for instrument recording in studios.
Large-Diaphragm Condensers: Primarily used for capturing vocals.
The most popular dynamic mic for live use
As one of the most popular mics for live use, the Shure SM58 is a legendary microphone known for its remarkable durability and exceptional sound quality. Its rugged construction ensures it can handle the demands of live performances, making it a staple for vocalists and public speakers worldwide. The SM58 offers a clear, warm, and well-defined vocal reproduction, with a cardioid pickup pattern that effectively minimizes background noise. Its versatility and reliability have made it a go-to choice for professionals and beginners alike.
The Rode NT1 (5th Gen)
Whisper-quiet studio condenser mic for recording with exceptional clarity and detail
The Rode NT1 (5th Gen) is a standout condenser microphone renowned for its studio-grade sound and whisper-quiet performance. Its ultra-low self-noise level, coupled with a large diaphragm, ensures pristine vocal recordings with exceptional clarity and detail. The NT1’s transparency and wide dynamic range make it an ideal choice for capturing vocals, acoustic instruments, and delicate nuances in audio production. With its sleek design and top-tier performance, the Rode NT1 is a remarkable microphone for demanding studio environments.
Selecting an appropriate microphone is paramount, as it serves as the conduit for your voice to reach your audience or recording device. Consider the type of microphone, whether dynamic or condenser, based on your intended use. Dynamic microphones are robust and ideal for live performances, while condenser microphones are more sensitive and excel in studio settings. Look for microphones with features like adjustable polar patterns and built-in pop filters to suit your specific needs.
Quality Headphones Make a Big Difference
To achieve optimal vocal recording, it’s essential to choose headphones that offer precision and clarity, complemented by studio monitors. Here’s what to consider:
- Prioritize headphones that deliver an accurate, unaltered representation of your recordings. Look for transparency, detailed sound, a flat response, and neutral tonality.
- Effective sound isolation is crucial. It allows you to hear your music clearly while preventing unwanted noise from seeping into your microphone and affecting your recording.
- Given the extended usage during recording sessions, opt for headphones with soft ear pads that don’t cause discomfort or overheating. Consider a lightweight design and a headband that secures the ear cups without excessive pressure.
- Ensure your headphones are built to withstand daily use. Foldable options with a carry case are practical for on-the-go recording.
Quality headphones need not break the bank, as there are affordable choices available for those on a budget.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80
Highly neutral sound with spacious soundstage and great bass
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 is a top choice for professional audio monitoring and critical listening. With exceptional sound isolation and comfort, these closed-back headphones offer detailed and balanced sound reproduction.
These headphones provide an accurate sound profile with clear midrange and treble, making them an ideal choice for audio professionals and music enthusiasts looking for immersive and precise audio quality. Whether you’re recording, mixing, or enjoying music, the DT 770 PRO 80 delivers exceptional sound fidelity and durability.
Monitoring your vocals with precision is imperative for both recording and live performances. Closed-back headphones provide excellent sound isolation, allowing you to focus on your performance without distractions. When choosing headphones, prioritize comfort and sound quality. Look for options with adjustable headbands and cushioned ear cups to ensure long-lasting comfort during extended use.
Audio Interface: Very Important for Great Audio Recording Quality
Audio interfaces serve as the core of any studio arrangement, acting as the crucial link between microphone and instrument signals and their conversion into a computer-friendly format. They play a pivotal role in transforming analog signals into digital audio data, facilitating manipulation within software applications known as Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs).
Whether you’re engaged in recording, music production, or the utilization of plug-ins to enhance your sound with effects, audio interfaces are indispensable components of your setup.
When buying an audio interface, focus on input-output options, compatibility, connection type, and cost.
- Choose the number of inputs and outputs based on your recording needs.
- Ensure compatibility with your operating system.
- Stick to widely compatible connection types like Thunderbolt or USB.
- Start with a basic model if you’re new to music production, and consider upgrading as you gain experience.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen
Very popular audio interface with great mic preamps and reliable build
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen is a quality audio interface with great sound quality without breaking the bank. Featuring two quality preamps, low latency, and a user-friendly design, it’s ideal for musicians and producers. Its compact, durable build and essential features make it a versatile and reliable choice for high-quality audio recording.
DAW (Digital Audio Workstation): Your Creative Hub
Your choice of a DAW profoundly impacts your recording and editing process. Look for a DAW that aligns with your workflow and offers essential features like multitrack recording, audio editing tools, and a wide range of virtual instruments and effects. Compatibility with third-party plugins can expand your creative possibilities.
There are many great DAWs you can choose to work with. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages so it comes down to your preference in the end. For Windows users, the most popular ones are Avid Pro Tools, which is used by many great artists and professional studios more for recordings, and Ableton Live, which is mostly used by DJs and more for live occasions as well as music production. You can also go with other DAWs such as Cubase, Reaper, and FL Studio.
For Mac OS users, the best DAW is considered to be Logic Pro, which offers quite versatile workflows, many different plug-ins, and an intuitive interface.
Monitors: Crisp and Clear Sound
Studio monitors are vital for accurate audio playback during mixing and recording. Choose monitors that provide a flat frequency response to ensure accurate sound representation. Nearfield monitors are suitable for small studio spaces, as they minimize room interference. Look for monitors with adjustable settings to fine-tune your listening experience.
Studio monitors are purpose-built for the utmost sonic accuracy and transparency. Unlike conventional speakers, which often tailor the sound for a pleasing listening experience in any environment, studio monitors prioritize delivering a flat, uncolored sound representation.
Consider studio monitors as mirrors for your recorded, mastered, or mixed tracks. The clearer, more neutral, and flatter the monitor’s sound, the better you can critically assess your audio. If precision is your goal in analyzing and manipulating tracks, opt for studio monitors over regular speakers or headphones. Using anything else is akin to looking into a distorted mirror that can mislead your judgment.
YAMAHA HS5 pair
Small studio monitors with neutral and transparent sound for critical listening
The Yamaha HS5 Pair offers precise studio monitoring with clear, detailed sound reproduction. Their durable build ensures longevity for extended studio sessions. These monitors provide a balanced sound profile, making them ideal for both audio professionals and musicians seeking accurate audio reference. If you prioritize transparent sound quality, the Yamaha HS5 Pair is an excellent choice for your studio setup.
Mic Stand (or Boom Arm): Stability and Flexibility
A stable microphone stand or flexible boom arm is essential for positioning your microphone optimally. Ensure it is sturdy and adjustable to accommodate various recording setups. This prevents unwanted vibrations and allows for comfortable recording sessions.
When shopping for a microphone stand, several key factors should guide your decision, including comfort, durability, and weight, ensuring a lasting and convenient addition to your studio:
- Choose a mic stand that suits your preferences and working style. Different stands may have varying adjustment mechanisms, so opt for one that aligns with your needs. Some allow microphone attachment without a clip, while others require specific clips.
- A mic stand should withstand the test of time and not necessitate frequent replacement due to subpar construction. While they come in various price ranges, prioritize finding a robust option that offers longevity without breaking the bank.
- Consider the weight of the stand, as it impacts portability and ease of use. Round base stands tend to be bulkier but more stable, while tripod stands offer better mobility. Your choice should reflect your studio setup and whether you intend to travel with it. Balance your needs and goals for optimal decision-making.
Samson MK10 Stand
Sturdy, adjustable, and reliable mic stand as your studio sidekick
The Samson MK10 Stand is a reliable choice for a microphone stand. With its sturdy build and adjustable design, it offers convenience for various recording setups. Its durability and ease of use make it a practical choice for musicians and recording enthusiasts. If you’re in search of a dependable and versatile microphone stand, the Samson MK10 is an excellent option.
Industry-standard studio-quality boom arm
The Rode PSA1 is a dependable and flexible boom arm. Its durable construction and adjustable design make it suitable for various recording configurations. Whether you’re a musician, podcaster, or content creator, this microphone stand offers convenience and reliability. If you’re in the market for a versatile and trustworthy microphone stand, the Rode PSA1 is an excellent choice.
Pop Filter: Eliminate Plosives
A pop filter is a circular piece of fine mesh, typically made from metal or nylon, positioned between the singer and the microphone. Its primary function is to mitigate plosives, the pronounced sounds resulting from bursts of air produced when articulating certain letters such as B’s, P’s, or T’s.
The pop filter operates by diffusing the outgoing air in various directions. This way, it prevents the microphone from being subjected to a single forceful rush of air, which can create a much harsher sound during recording compared to what is heard in everyday conversation.
Undoubtedly, the superior choice for a pop filter is the metallic variety, as it delivers noticeably crisper audio quality compared to its nylon mesh counterparts. Furthermore, it offers a greater degree of sonic transparency when compared to the foam windscreens often packaged with omnidirectional microphones, which tend to slightly muffle sound.
In contrast, metallic pop filters boast superior durability, sturdiness, and a more compact design than their nylon mesh counterparts. This guarantees an extended lifespan and minimizes interference during vocal recordings.
LILALIWA Pop Filter
High-quality and robust pop filter to eliminate unwanted sounds
The LILALIWA Pop Filter stands out as an exceptional choice for elevating your vocal recordings. What sets it apart is its unwavering commitment to enhancing audio clarity and superior ability to effectively reduce plosive sounds, such as “p” and “b” sounds, delivering vocals that are exceptionally clear and professional. Its robust and durable construction ensures long-lasting performance, making it a valuable addition to your recording setup.
Essential Cables: Connecting the Dots
Invest in high-quality XLR and USB cables to maintain signal integrity. Always have spare cables on hand to avoid last-minute technical issues during recording or live performances.
XLR – FIBBR XLR Cables
Durable and reliable XLR cables with braided design
The FIBBR Microphone Cable is an outstanding audio cable known for its durability and flexibility, thanks to its braided design. This balanced XLR cable ensures superior signal transmission and interference rejection, guaranteeing exceptional audio quality. Its compatibility with various equipment and rugged construction make it an ideal choice for musicians and professionals seeking reliable performance and longevity.
USB – HOSONGIN XLR to USB
Great XLR to USB cable with clear audio signal and reliable build
This balanced XLR cable ensures pristine audio quality and compatibility with various recording equipment. Musicians, recording artists, and sound engineers will appreciate its reliability and performance, making the HOSONGIN microphone cable a standout choice for those seeking top-tier audio connectivity.
acoustic treatment (or Vocal Booth): Sonic Clarity
Creating a controlled recording environment is essential for achieving the best vocal recordings. Acoustic treatment panels, diffusers, and bass traps help minimize unwanted reflections and background noise. Portable vocal booths offer a convenient solution for achieving professional sound quality in diverse locations.
Panels – JBER 12 Pack
Affordable and high-performing soundproof acoustic foam panels
The JBER Acoustic Panels offer exceptional soundproofing and acoustic treatment capabilities, setting them apart from similar products. These panels are not only highly effective at reducing sound transmission and dampening echoes but are also fire-resistant, providing an added layer of safety. Their sleek and modern design allows for easy integration into various spaces, making them versatile for home studios, offices, or entertainment areas.
Vocal Booth – Snap Studio
Perfect solution for 360-degree sound isolation
This portable booth provides 360-degree sound isolation, effectively reducing external noise and minimizing sound leakage for pristine vocal recordings. Its user-friendly design and easy assembly make it a convenient option for musicians, podcasters, and content creators. With its high-quality construction and acoustic treatment, the Snap Studio Voice Booth delivers professional-grade results, ensuring clear and uncolored vocal recordings.
In the world of singing, having the right equipment is akin to having a reliable partner. Whether recording your debut album or performing live, the gear you choose plays a pivotal role in showcasing your talent.
Remember, it’s not just about the price tag; it’s about selecting equipment that complements your unique voice and style. With the right gear, you can unlock your full vocal potential and embark on a musical journey filled with clarity, precision, and unforgettable performances. So, invest wisely, practice diligently, and let your voice soar to new heights.