Best Microphones for Recording Rap Vocals

Best Microphones for Recording Rap Vocals

Rap music is among the most popular genres of music globally. Both religious and secular artists have taken an interest in creating this kind of music.

Fans that love this genre praise it for its profound messages that impact them immensely. Unlike other songs, rap is not melodious per se. The artist speaks out words as opposed to singing them.

Rap music is also characterized by the heavy articulation of lyrics, which creates a pop sound. As such, artists who specialize in rap may prefer to use a microphone that picks up even the slightest sounds and amplify them to an audible decibel.

If you are an aspiring or established rapper, you can take a look at some of the rap microphones that you can use to record rap vocals.

Our Top Pick – Audio Technica AT 4060

Audio Technica AT 4060

Audio Technica AT 4060 takes the top place thanks to its low self-noise properties and maximum sound pressure level. More so, this microphone has two diaphragms, which go through five aging steps. This aging ensures that the performance of the mic stays at the top of the ladder for years. In addition to this, the dual-diaphragm feature is useful in ensuring that the microphone’s polar pattern works optimally when it comes to noise reduction. The manufacturer handpicks the materials he uses in the production stage and does a quality test before assembly. Best of all, the mic has a reliable power supply system, a long cable, and a stable stand.

The Comparison Table

Rap is one of the most famous music genres that millions of people enjoy. And while rapping is classified as music, it heavily relies on speech articulation. Some artists prefer to add a little bit of melody into their raps while others do not. Regardless of these factors, you have to choose a microphone that suits this kind of production. The comparison table below allows you to have an overview of some of the most decent mics that you can use for rapping.

NameFeaturesPrice
Audio Technica AT 4060-Maximum sound pressure level
-Cardioid polar pattern
-Two gold diaphragms
-Wide frequency range
-Individually selected materials
Check Price
Rode NT-USB Microphone-Compatible with several recording software
-USB connectivity
-Accessible controls
-Wide frequency response
– Up to 100dB sound pressure level
Check Price
Neumann M149 Tube Condenser Microphone-Nine directional sound characteristics
-Open wire mesh cage
-Pressure gradient diaphragm
-Switchable frequency
-Transformerless circuitry
Check Price
Shure SM 7B-Professional look
-Internal shock isolation
-Yoke mounting
-Natural reproduction of sound
-Marked mic controls
Check Price
Sennheiser MK 8-Two diaphragms
-Up to 5 polar patterns
-Sturdy metallic body
-Switchable roll-off filter
-High-quality construction
Check Price

Top 5 Microphones

Various rappers prefer varying effects when it comes to music production. Some would like to have a smooth output, while others prefer a more solid one. Each of these mics offers different outputs, depending on the quality and sound aesthetics. And while professional producers may have the option of purchasing some of the best mics in the market, newer producers have limits to what they can use thanks to budgetary concerns. With that in mind, here is a detailed review of five microphones that both established and novice producers can use to record rap music.

Audio Technica AT 4060

Audio Technica AT 4060

The AT 4060 operates on the 40-series engineering to offer balanced sound. Using this mic is a pleasant experience, now that it has plenty of features that include the following.

Quick summary

  • Maximum sound pressure level
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Two gold diaphragms
  • Wide frequency range
  • Individually selected materials

Why is this a top-pick?

Maximum SPL

Distortion can easily ruin the quality of sound. However, a microphone that has maximum sound pressure levels, like this AT 4060,  can handle high decibels of sound. Once the rapper sings into the mic, the high SPL is responsible for stabilizing the extreme noise and converting it into audible music.

Cardioid polar pattern

Aside from distortion, ambient sounds are other factors that can tamper with the quality of your music. But, with the help of this feature, you can curb such mishaps. The cardioid polar pattern works by muffling ambient sounds emitted from the rear end of the microphone while giving preference to voices that speak directly to the mic from the front.

Dual-diaphragm

A single diaphragm vibrates on one side to create the sound, which means that two of them work even better. You get to enjoy high precision and unmatched clarity thanks to the diaphragms.

Vast frequency range

This mic has a high-frequency range, which is responsible for picking up almost inaudible sounds. As such, this microphone is perfect for both high and low-pitched rappers. And with the help of the dual-diaphragms, the mic provides excellent stability and high-sensitivity.

Individually selected materials

Everything from the wire mesh cage to the outer body is selected intricately to ensure that the product is of the highest quality. The tubes, for instance, go through a series of rigorous testing and aging processes to ensure that the microphone performs at peak levels in years to come.

Pros

  • Long power cable
  • Great performance
  • Solid, high-quality body
  • Very breathable wire mesh
  • It is multipurpose

Cons

  • A low-cut switch is missing

Audio-Technica AT4060 Price

Rode NT-USB Microphone

Rode NT-USB Microphone

The three major features that stand out in this microphone are the convenience, price, and sound quality. Others include:

Quick summary

  • Compatible with several recording software
  • USB connectivity
  • Accessible controls
  • Wide frequency response
  • Up to 100dB sound pressure level

It is one of those microphones that you have to plug into a computer for them to function. So, using them in the studio would reduce the number of things you have to carry outside for the mic to work.

Why is this a top-pick?

High compatibility

The Rode NT is compatible with plenty of studio recording software. You can use it together with iOS, Windows, and Ubuntu, among others. You do not need additional software to align the microphone to your computer and other supporting machines. More so, it has a 3.5mm audio jack that allows you to plug in your headphones.

USB connectivity

A USB microphone relieves you from the stress of having to look for a power socket. Such mics work by powering them to a computer. And in case you ruin the cable, finding a new one shouldn’t be a big problem.

Accessible controls

This microphone has control knobs that make your user experience much better. These knobs are placed on the right side of the mic. You can easily adjust the mic’s volume or that of the headphones to suit your preferences. Better yet, these controls offer zero disturbance since you only have to twist them to the right or left.

Wide frequency

Whether you want to hit the high notes or the low ones, you have the leeway to do so, now that the mic has a wide frequency range. The mic operates on a frequency range of -20kHz – 20kHz, which means you have about 100kHz to play around with.

High sound pressure level

This mic has a sound pressure level of 110dB. What this means is that the device can amplify your sound to 110dB. Now that rapers are fond of singing in hushed tones, this microphone would be the perfect choice for them.

Pros

  • It has a 3.5mm jack to use in plugging in headphones
  • It comes with a pop filter, tripod desk mount, pouch, USB cable, and a ring mount,
  • The mic is compatible with several computer operating systems
  • It has a vast frequency range
  • Works using the cardioid polar pattern

Cons

  • It has plastic parts which ruin the quality of the construction

Check Rode NT-USB Microphone Price

Neumann M149 Tube Condenser Microphone

Neumann M149 Tube Condenser Microphone

If you are searching for a genuinely dynamic microphone, one that has plenty of features and is noise-free, take a look at this Neumann M149.

Quick summary

  • Nine directional sound characteristics
  • Open wire mesh cage
  • Pressure gradient diaphragm
  • Switchable frequency
  • Transformerless circuitry

The Neumann M149 is perfect for all environments because it has nine sound features, which you can change as often as you want to suit your likes.

Why is this a top-pick?

Nine polar patterns

While most other mics have one or two polar patterns, the Neumann M149 provides you with nine sound characteristics. Such a feature allows you to select the profile that suits your needs every time you hit the studio. So, if you want to include singers or live instruments in your recording session, you can effortlessly do so with the help of this feature.

Open wire mesh cage

The microphone has an open wire mesh, which is essential for letting the sound waves penetrate inside. This mesh is directly responsible for the quality of sound that will be produced at the end of the recording session. The manufacturer intertwines thin but strong wires to create a cage that is free enough to allow the sound to permeate from any angle.

Pressure gradient diaphragm

Both sides of the membrane are exposed to sound waves. What this means is that the music produced is more refined and of high quality. The sound remains constant regardless of the frequency range.

Switchable frequencies

One of the most admirable features this mic has is the changeable frequency. Instead of contending with a one size fits all format, you get to select your preferred frequency. Whether it is low, medium or high, the microphone allows you to pick from what suits you so you can achieve your desired results.

Transformerless circuitry

The sound from this mic is more direct. You feel a particular punch, which most rappers prefer. More so, this feature allows the microphone to handle significantly high sound pressure levels, even when the frequency is reduced to its lowest rate.

Pros

  • High-quality build
  • Switchable sound properties
  • An extensive and changeable frequency range
  • Maximum sound pressure level
  • Transformerless circuitry

Cons

  • It is costly

Check Neumann M149 Price

Shure SM 7B

Shure SM 7B

At times, you may be looking for an item that is less expensive but can perform equally well. Here is one such microphone that has plenty of attractive features that you may like.

Quick summary

  • Professional look
  • Internal shock isolation
  • Yoke mounting
  • Natural reproduction of sound
  • Marked mic controls

Why is this a top-pick?

Professional look

This microphone has a professional appearance, which is suitable for studios. If you’re going to host hundreds of rappers in your studio, you want them to have a pleasant impression of your equipment. You can achieve this with the Shure  SM 7B microphone.

Shock isolation

It has an internal shock isolation system, which dampens the effect of vibrations. These vibrations may be as a result of electric hums that occur when your microphone comes into close contact with electric cables within the environment. The shock isolation allows you to enjoy a clean and smooth sound output every time.

Yoke mounting

When it comes to mounting, the Shure SM 7B relies solely on the yoke mount. This feature enables you to secure the microphone in a suspended state. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about tampering with your production’s quality as a result of handling shock.

Natural sound reproduction

While this mic is excellent for speech purposes, it performs well when you use it as a musical instrument. It has a wide frequency range that picks up both low and high-pitched sounds. The result is an immaculate and smooth sound.

Marked controls

You don’t have to go through the manual to know the function of each control knob. Each of these knobs is demarcated, so you know it’s purpose. So, whether you want to increase the volume or mute the sound, you can do so with the help of these control knobs.

Pros

  • Multipurpose microphone
  • It works well with various operating systems
  • Detachable yolk mount
  • Cheaper than most other mics in this range
  • It has a professional look

Cons

  • You have to get additional equipment for the mic to sound great

Check Shure SM 7B Price

Sennheiser MK 8

Sennheiser MK 8

Sennheiser MK 8 is a sturdy microphone, whose construction is mostly metal. It is highly sensitive to noise and allows the user to pick from up to five sound characteristics. Other significant features include the following.

Quick summary

  • Two diaphragms
  • Up to 5 polar patterns
  • Sturdy metallic body
  • Switchable roll-off filter
  • High-quality materials

This mic is of top-notch quality, one that you can use both indoors and outside.

Why is this a top-pick?

Two diaphragms

This microphone works using two diaphragms. These membranes vibrate on both sides, which means that the mic is sensitive to sound. Thus, your mic can pick up even the lowest sounds and turn them into loud, high-quality music.

Five polar patterns

With up to five sound characteristics, you get to choose which one suits your preferences. As such, you do not have to change microphones whenever you want to achieve a different effect. You only have to switch to a different pattern and keep recording.

Strong metallic construction

One of the features that stands out in this microphone is the strong metallic build. The mic can withstand even the harshest conditions. More so, the metal is useful in ensuring that the microphone lasts long and that it stays steady every time you mount it on a shock-mount.

Switchable roll-off filter

Depending on the effects you want to achieve, you can use the roll-off filter to achieve your desired results. The mic has three frequency positions, which you can select. These are neutral, high, and low cut filters. The changes take place instantly, so there is no need to wait for the mic to configure into the new settings.

Top-quality materials

Everything from the outer body to the diaphragms, wire mesh and supporting equipment is crafted out of high-quality materials. What this means is that the device will last long before you replace any of its parts. More so, you don’t have to worry about instability as long as you’re using the microphone.

Pros

  • Top-notch build
  • Multiple sound characteristics
  • Roll-off filter
  • Dual diaphragms
  • XLR connection

Cons

  • It is quite pricey

Check Sennheiser MK 8 Price

Conclusion

Most rappers do not include melody in their productions. As such, they have to choose microphones that have high frequencies. These help in amplifying their low tone sounds into audible music. More so, they have to select mics that have internal filters, considering that rappers create music that has heavy pop sounds.

And while these microphones produce high-grade rap, most of them are expensive, which means that producers who are just starting their careers will feel a pinch, since they have to part with a significant amount of cash if they want to bag one of these beauties. Any buyer must note that many counterfeit products are available in the market, which is why they should buy these mics directly from the producer to avoid potential scams.

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