I'm starting a small project studio & I need a couple of relatively inexpensive versatile workhorse mics that can do it all (at least to start). I've looked at the AKG C2000B & C1000S to start with. Any experience with these? Any other suggestions?


I have no experience with those mics that you mentioned, but a common response to this question on other forums is a Shure SM-57. It is a simple dynamic cardioid mic that is very durable and seems to be useful in a wide variety of recording situations, but is particularly useful for recording snare drums and guitar cabinets due to its high tolerance for very loud noises.

I use one myself in a small bedroom studio and have found it to be a nice all-around mic to start with. They're not terribly expensive either, generally being found at around $100 US new.

I often hear "every studio should have at least one of these" and I tend to agree.

  • 1
    I agree, I also use the SM58, fantastic little "workhorse" mic.
    – Kyle Sevenoaks
    Dec 8 '10 at 7:59
  • It's the professional standard. Can't go wrong on a SM-57 (or a couple) when starting out.
    – Powertieke
    Dec 8 '10 at 8:32
  • 1
    Bonus points for being able to be used as a hammer if you find some protruding nails in your recording space.
    – Michael
    Dec 9 '10 at 18:15

It is a good idea to have a few dynamic mikes, (Shure SM-57 or SM-58, "Beta" models are a lot prettier in my opinion, but also a bit more expensive) My advice: don't save on these mics by buying cheaper alternatives.

In addition, a few SDC (Small Diaphragm Condensor) mikes should also always come in handy. The DPA 4006 and 4011 are very hard to beat, but also very expensive ($1900 a piece). Alternatively, you could work with Neumann mics (KM183/184, KM130), they are a bit cheaper. If Neumann is still to expensive, AudioTechnica makes quite OK SDCs as well. I have a pair of very affordable custom built mics from America called 'Little Blondies', they perform fabulous on guitars and drums. See here: http://j.mp/g5mC2A (Credits to the guy who makes these!)

Then, I wouldn't record anything if I didn't have large diaphragm mics. If you can afford a AKG C414, get one. You will never regret it. Other of my favorites (more expensive) are the Neumann U87 and U89, and the TLM193. If these are all too expensive, try the cheap Studio Projects B1 (or B3 if you need multiple directionality patterns.) I heard quite some people get decent results with these.


I'm new here, but for completeness' sake, I'd like to add my two cents. A C1000 is an excellent mic in terms of versatility, and a matched pair of them have been in my mic cabinet since the beginning of time. However, it is not technically a true all around workhorse like a 57 (although apart from snare, male vox, and guitar cabinets, I don't really like 57s). C1000s are great for acoustic guitar, drum overheads, piano overheads (along with a close mic), and anywhere you need clear definition on the top end, but they seem really colored for other close-mic techniques. You may actually like that type of sound, but for me, I'd go for a large diaphragm condensor in those situations.


I have been very impressed with the Audio-Technica Pro 37.

I have several of these and use them for live reinforcement and recording. They have been very versatile and have a great sound.



I'm super happy with the AT2041 package, which is a very versatile combination for under $150

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