Emu 1212m: What Microphone To Buy?

the EMU 1212m soundcard has two balanced 1/4" inputs and does not feature a microphone pre-amp such as the 1812m does (AudioDock-M).
if i am not mistaken, i am therefore not able to connect condenser microphones, because they need phantom power (48V).
so what’s left are dynamic mics, which are, as far as i was able to tell, usually more suitable for live-performances rather than studio recordings.
so my question for anybody with reasonable experience towards this matter:
is there a HUGE difference in quality from a good dynamic mic to a good condenser one?
if there really is, i will have to buy a mic preamp feat. the 48V power, but if threre is not, i can save a lot of money and go with something like this or even that.

opinions and recommendations are very welcome!

i’m not experienced nor have any deeper microphone knowledge, but i read that herbert groenemeyer (german artist) recorded a big part of his album “mensch” with a shure sm58, which happens to be a dynamic mic.
not that i like his music at all, but i think that’s a proof that “pro” recordings can be done with it. ;)

interesting info, ty.
although groenemeyer is the probably the last vocalist on this planet i’d like to take as some sort of reference. ;)
so what’s the hype about condenser mics? in how far do they sound different or better?

afaik (and i’m really no expert in this area) condenser mics are much more sensitive and can reproduce nuances in the voice much more accurate than dynamic ones.

basically: you can use headphones to record your voice. just plug them in the mic input of your soundcard and you’ll see. it’s because their membrane induces power into the coil, which electrically represent your voice. that’s the principle of dynamic mics. (the same principle of speakers, just the other way around)

condenser mics have two very thin foils very close to each other (a few micrometers) while speaking (singing/rapping/whatever), the one foil vibrates and changes the space between this two metallic foils and leads the electrons from the (48V) phantom power to flow slower or faster between them both depending on the distance of the foils.
though i’m not really sure if the 48volts really flow through the foils, or just a small amount and the phantompower is just needed to amplify the really weak little voltage changes. :shrug:

well, that’s the principle of how it works, but i can’t recommend any mics, because i really never cared much about getting one. :)

If you wanna use condenser mic with your Emu, just buy cheap mic preamp and used condenser mic. You get those quite cheap if you just take your time.
I have Rode NTV mic with Symetrix 628 preamp, and Im very clad with them (though they were quite pricey). Good also with acoustic guitars etc.

From my experience I would definetly recommend a condenser mic. I used to record vocals with a borrowed sm58, then I bought a cheap condeser mic and couldn’t be happier. But I guess it also depends on what you’re planning to record. For guitar and drums I guess a dynamic might be better, but for vocals and acoustic guitar I’d say condenser.

ok… so i abandon the Shure SM58 in favor of condenser mic / pre-amp combo, which’ cost aprx. twice the money sigh.
i’m no fan of pre-used stuff, so looking around a lot won’t save a lot of cash.

i’m currently fancying these two products:
mic: T.Bone SCT700
amp: Presonus TubePre

what do you think? any other (better) recommendations in that price category?

@tnt97, i was looking up your mic / amp combo and WTF :ph34r: … it’s definately out of reach, cost-wise… u lucky bas***d ;)
are there any sound-samples of your (or any other’s) voice recorded with the rode?

what i have to add is that you don’t desperaltly need a condenser mic.
condenser mics are also extremely “empfindlich” ;) you really record everything in the room you’re recording into. like every echo of the room the whole room acoustics. imho you would need to build a vocal booth to record with the mic.
of course this could be also a cool side effect. like making your recordings recognizable, because of your room acoustics, etc… blabla ;)
but like i said: there are good and bad condensers like good & bas dynamic ones…

I’ve got one of these: http://www.jam.se/JJlabs010C.htm
Really cheap, around 85 euro. It’s like a “no-name” mic, but got pretty good reviews. And I’ve simply used the mixer pre-amp and phantom power so far, but now I’ve got an M-audio 410 firewire… will be interesting to see if I can notice any difference.

Maybe you can find a deal on that same mic, but without external power supply… you won’t need it when you got an amp

The Studio Projects C1 condenser is a VERY good mic for its price, though it cost a bit more then the two you were looking at.

Review 1
Review 2
Review 3


i also just read about the high “empfindlichkeit” (sensitivity ;)) of condenser mics. well, recording the room accustics would certainly not hurt i guess, because i ain’t got a lot of reverberation in here, but the fans and harddrives of my PC might definately hurt the recording quality if they get sonically caught.
i could turn off the case fans via the fanbus, no problem - but the high frequent whine of the harddrives? :blink: are those mics really that sensitive?

well, it’s certainly not a bad mic, but i’ve never heard/read anything about it, and the price doesn’t suggest it to be anything of a higher quality than those i’m already fancying with. thanks anyways.

now that’s amazing.
i’ve been just reading user comments and indpendant reviews about the studio projects B1, B3 and TB-1 mics.
the B1 is very low budget (around 99 EUR) and refering to a review, has a pretty bad sound when it comes to vocals as it tends to distort a little there, no matter how soft you sing.
the B3 features an integrated HPF, and has a better overall perception of vocals - so this has been my favorite so far (the t.bone i mentioned in my previous post has got some bad reviews, so i skipped that).
the TB1 mic was financially out of range.

now you come up with the C1, which i have had no information about so far. do you know how it compares to the B-series or the B3 in particular?

oh and if somebody is interested: the mic pre-amp ( Presonus TubePre ) i mentioned above, is said to be “the best” in its price-segment. so i’ll definately go for that one.

yes sensitive. that was the word i was looking for. :)

and to be honest: it’s just what i’ve read. i never recorded anything with a condenser mic myself. ao i cannot really tell.

Check the t-bone Mikes @ thomann. cheap and well

Yes, good condenser mics are very sensitive. My mic takes all hums and other background noices (aswell hd noise), but you can easily fix that with some gate.

Sorry, I dont know anything about the B series. I have only tried the C1, and it really is surprisingly good for its price.

another suggestion : buy a little mixer and use any mic u want …

one year ago i bought this one and i’m happy with it :

48V phantom, 2 sub buses, audio quality (e.g. noise level) is really ok for that price

i ordered the Studio Projects C1, the Presonus TubeAmp and the required plugs, cables and whistles yesterday evening already.
so thanks for all your suggestions, gonna give both products a little review here as soon as they’ve arrived.

i got a three channel numark battlemixer here which also feat. a mic-input… but “of course” it does not deliver those nasty 48V volts required for the condenser dept.
so i got the mic preamp… kinda costy at 111EUR (for my taste), but i hope it pays off.

Keith, that’s a good combi, I myself have a presonus Firepod, those pre-amps are very good with the Behringer mics. I also like them with the Rode NT1.

The pre-amp you use is very important, kind of the weak link story.
but don’t be afraid, presonus has amazed me, and I hope you will be too.

so yesterday the postman had some nice christmas present for me. :)
i’m absolutely satisfied with the recording quality of the C1 and the AMP.
lllllove it.
now only thing missing is somebody who’s capabale to actually sing into it properly…shruggs
whatever, guess i’ll have some fun with it nonetheless. ;)
here are some first example recordings (just for fun/testing purposes):

take 1 | take 2 | take 3

the 2nd file has gone through some compression to attenuate the great volume differences in the voice. the other two files are raw.

thanks a lot for giving me the decisive hint concerning the C1!


You asked for demo about my Rode NTV and Symetrix DSP:
Deal with the Devil

Edit: This is file has de-essed, gated and compressed with Symetrix.
Now its ready for Renoise. I apply some light dsp there, as needed.