I am a professional multi-instrumentalist and I am looking to start recording some of my own music. When I perform live, I've always been a guest and used the host's sound system so I haven't invested in any audio equipment of my own yet.

I am looking for an entry-level, student-budget (below $200), all-around microphone that would be good with instruments ranging anywhere from a double bass (my primary instrument), both bowed and plucked, to a fife, as well as a lever harp with its varied pitches/frequencies.

I plan to do the recording with a Raspberry Pi (this is the model I have), the pisound HAT, and probably Ardour and/or Audacity. Because I am using the pisound as my audio interface (and can't afford a different one), it can't be a powered mic.

If you could list a few with both pros and cons, that would be absolutely amazing!

  • It seems the pisound does not offer any mic level input.
    – audionuma
    Sep 27, 2017 at 16:29
  • @audionuma I was planning to use an adapter for the instrument cable port.
    – Amolith
    Sep 27, 2017 at 17:22

2 Answers 2


If you're specifically after something that's versatile, the Shure SM57 is the best microphone you'll find for that budget.

It can be used for pretty much anything, it sounds good live and in the studio. Even big budget studios and concerts still use them for snare drums, guitar cabs, and vocals.

The more important factor you should be considering is microphone placement, as that will likely be the largest variable between instruments.

As you stated that you play a wide range of instruments, you'll most likely have to do some research per instrument to determine the best mic placement.

  • +1 for the 57 - classic old workhorse. I threw in another answer just to highlight the opposite end of the possible scale.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 28, 2017 at 7:21

I would seriously consider a good lavalier mic.
You can get a variety of clips & adapters to fit them to just about anything & so tiny you can hardly tell it's there.
You can use them wired or wireless.

My absolute favourite is the DPA 4060 - however, they're about £$€ 400, not cheap at all - but you can give this mic any job & it will do it well.

I've used them on voice, spoken & sung; drums, including tight against a snare in a rock band; guitars; saxophone; accordion... the list goes on.

It can stand the most ridiculous SPL without flinching, & yet articulates beautifully at low levels.

There are cheaper lav mics - much cheaper - but I would seriously consider the DPA as a 'purchase once, use forever' microphone. I've had mine nearly 20 years.

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