Best Mics For Rap Vocals
(Updated for 2019)
Written By James Quinn
Are you looking for the perfect microphone for rap vocals?
1.Thinking of starting a career in rap music?
2. Or perhaps you want to rejuvenate what once was
3. You may be looking to start recording and now you need a microphone.
Rap music is more than just a genre of music. It is a culture that has different facets to it. From dress sense to language to a way of life.
Let's dial it back a little. Contrary to popular belief, rap music did not originate in America. Decades before it was even heard of in America, West Africans were telling stories rhythmically, to the sound of a drum. In the Caribbean, people were doing the same.
A rhythm accompanied by rhymes. Rapping has been a part of the culture, dating back decades. It has been a way to discuss issues and deliberate on topics of social significance.
It is also a powerful communication tool. Rapping is made up of rhymes and chants that are set to a beat. It is also considered a sophisticated type of poetry that addresses the issues that are normally hard to address in public. Issues like sex, violence, substance abuse and socio-political issues.
In a Hurry? Our Top Pick Is.....
The Rode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone Package
Click to check price
Are you looking for a quick guide to the type of microphone you need to buy for the best rap vocals? Sure your rap game is great, but if you can not record it clearly then there's not much use is there. Look for a microphone that records crisp, crystal clear sound.
You also want to get a durable microphone. The amount of adrenalin that goes with rap music performances, is pretty high. You want to get a microphone that can withstand high vocals.
The Rode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone Package is one of our top picks - check price here.
It's an extremely noise cancellation microphone. It has a pop shield, which isolates the unwanted high noise or breathing noise. This microphone cardioid polar pattern helps to reduce the rear noise, it also has a wide dynamic range to capture sound. And it is great for beginners because it comes with a manual. As long as you read it, you should be fine.
If you are looking for a microphone to use in a studio, look for one that can pick up sound accurately for you. Most condenser microphones do a pretty decent job. Also, if you are starting out, you want to get a microphone that is easy to set up.
Another important factor to consider is the frequency range the microphone picks up. If you can get your hands on a microphone that has a wide range, even better.
These Are Our 5 Best Mics For Rap Vocals
#1. OUR OVERALL TOP PICK
1. Rode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone Package
RODE is an Australian company mostly known for audio equipment products. The company formed in 1967. RODE sold its product in 117 countries in the world and mostly accepted as a state-of-art Technology
Company in terms of audio equipment. And this worldwide selling made this company global with very positive impressions about their products. In the year 2008 RODE has declared as a best seller of an on-camera microphone for DSLR.
NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone turns out to be the industry standards microphone with extended dynamic range with high SPL and clear sound delivery.
This microphone is known and reputed for the world’s quietest studio microphone. It has a self-noise level of 5dBA. This kind of microphone is best for recording instrumental tune recording. It records every detail of the sound in a smooth way.
It has a pop shield to isolates unwanted breathing sounds and also has shock mount included with the package of this product.
It has a 1-inch gold plated diaphragm capsule for converting the acoustic energy to electrical energy. It also has a Cardioid polar pattern to reduce the unwanted rear noise.
The package provides 20 feet long cables for the mic, dust cover and instrumental DVD including the tips for recording. It provides a complete vocal recording solution to the users.
The company is offering 10 years of warranty for this product. This is extraordinary for any users to have it. RODE is trying to prove that their product is very long-lasting and quality full. It is a very affordable microphone to purchase.
It has a frequency range from 20Hz to 20,000Hz. It has an output impedance of 100 Ohms. It has a maximum SPL of 137dB. Its maximum output level is 13.7mV.
Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 4.5 x 11 inches
Product Weight: 326g
- It is best for instrumental recording tune, especially for guitars.
- It's an extremely noise cancellation microphone.
- The pop shield isolates the unwanted high noise or breathing noise.
- It has a Cardioid polar pattern to reduce the rear noise.
- It has a wide dynamic range to capture sound.
- They also provide a dust cover for the microphone.
- It is best for beginners because of the attached manual guide.
- Very affordable microphone to purchase.
- It has 10 years of manufacturing warranty.
- It couldn't cancel the noise all the time.
2. MXL 990 Blizzard Limited Edition Condenser Microphone
MXL is a concern of Marshall Electronics, MXL is known for its microphone business. Mother company established in 1980 and MXL start with its first product in 1998 named MXL 2001 microphone.
All the microphones of MXL are internally wired with Mogami® cable. Presently MXL is doing business in the United States, Russia, Korea, Japan, and China at various recording purposes.
MXL 990 Blizzard is a limited edition microphone. This is a flagship product of MXL. It is sweet, silky high, and tightly retaining; it is solid low and has midrange reproduction.
It has a 3/4 inch gold-sputtered diaphragm with blue LED light in the grille. It allows digital and analogue recording. The LED light glows automatically while recording. It also captures clear sounds and remarkable output in the end.
This is a very well built and good sounding microphone that will give a real professional feeling on the work. This has a wide range of frequency that captures the sound properly.
It is well finished and attractive to feel. It is also a durable microphone comparing to the price range. It has a Cardioid polar pattern to reducing the rear noise.
It runs on 48V phantom power. The frequency response of these microphones is 30Hz- 20Hz. Impedance is 200 Ohms with an equivalent noise level of 20dB. The max SPL for this microphone is 130dB.
The product is very much economical at its feature. Also, the product has a very good review of the online market. This is available in silky white colour in the market only.
Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 4.2 x 3.8 inches
Product Weights: 1.5 pounds
- It has a wide range of frequencies.
- It is very smart to look and durable to use.
- It has Cardioids polar pattern which reduces the unwanted noise while recording.
- It captures very clear and smooth sounds.
- Very economical microphone for voice recording purposes.
- It helps to make its own home studio because of its affordable price.
- A blue LED light indicates when sound is recording, which is very good for work.
- It runs on phantom power which is a little bit of a hassle.
3. Neumann TLM 103 Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
Neumann Company is perceived worldwide as a leading and standard-setting manufacturer of studio microphones.
Among all the products in the market that has been on focus by their quality and features, Neumann’s product was always on the list. The company formed in 1928 in Berlin.
The company is well experienced in innovating and creating new ideas about the audio equipment concept.
TLM 103 is among the most popular list of Neumann. This has been the remarkable creation of the company. It can produce clear, pristine smooth sounds by new standards sound alternative U87.
The microphone is designed to use in project studios and broadcast use. The microphones have a large-diaphragm capsule. It has a Cardioid polar pattern which reduces the unwanted noise and makes the recording very clear.
It has a self-noise system that reduces the noise while recording from leading vocal. This is very handy to use and allows making a professional studio setup at home. It also has a wide dynamic range to capture the best sounds.
It has a maximum SPL of 138dB and an S/N ratio of 87dB. The sensitivity level is 23mV/Pa. It has extreme self-low noise 7dB-A. It runs on a voltage of 48V.
Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 4.2 x 11.5 inches
Product Weight: 7.7 pounds
- It allows standard sound alternative U87 technology.
- It produces clear and pristine sounds.
- It reduces the rear noise of the mic.
- It has automatic noise reduction
- It is very easy to handle and hassle-free.
- Sometimes, it allows unwanted breathing sounds or sudden high voice.
- The capsule is not shock-mounted.
4. Rode NT1KIT Cardioid Condenser Microphone Package
RODE is the most famous Australian company renowned for its audio equipment. It’s a global company doing business in more than 117 countries.
The company has a reputation for state-of-art technology using on their product. The company formed in 1967 and most experienced in the industry. The company also awarded as a best seller on DSLR on-camera microphones.
NT1 has a 1-inch large gold platted capsule membrane to electrifying the input from acoustic. It also has an Internal Rycote® capsule shock mounting system.
This removes the external vibrations in the layer. The microphone is also featuring with double layer suspension system. The microphone has midrange response with silky smooth frequencies. It is a remarkably quiet microphone with self-noise technology at a level of 4.5dB (A).
The microphone is coated with a military-grade ceramic layer which makes the microphones more durable and strong. It also scratches resistant, so it feels good even after using it for a long time.
It has a Cardioid polar pattern to reducing the unwanted noise from the mic. This technology is very much in common in present-day microphones. There’s also a pop filter to isolating the sudden and breathing sounds of vocalists while recording the voice or close-up record.
The microphone has an ultra-low noise level of 4.5dB (A). It has a frequency range of up to 20Hz - 20,000Hz. The output impedance level is 100 Ohms with a maximum SPL of 132 dB. It has a 3-pin XLR connection in output with a maximum output level of 8.0mV. It requires 24V of phantom power to run.
The company is offering a 10-year warranty while registering for the product online on the manufacturer site.
- This has a Rycote® shock mounting system on the capsule.
- It is durable to use for a long time.
- It is a safe microphone to use.
- It scratches resistant, and it looks fresh even after long usage.
- Cardioid polar pattern to reducing the rear noise.
- It has 10 years of warranty.
- Isolates breathing sounds and good for close up recording.
- Every console may not support phantom power.
5. MXL V67G Large Capsule Condenser Microphone
MXL is a sister concern of parent company Marshal Electronics, the company formed in 1980. The MXL is mostly known for its microphone business which started in 1998. MXL is doing business in China, the United States, Japan, Korea, and Russia.
MXL V67G is known as an old school tube mellow. The microphone is specially designed for vocal only. It has a 32mm pressure gradient condenser gold-sputtered capsule.
It has an MXL 57 shock mount to make the microphone safe. It also has a 6-micron diaphragm. The microphone has Class a FET circuitry and transformer-coupled output for pure and open sound. It has a rich midrange frequency for clear sound.
It is a very smooth and pure thing at a very economical price range. It has a Cardioid polar pattern for noise reduction from the rear mic. This is very classy and economical to purchase very much unlike other this product shipped without any manual guide.
The microphones have a frequency response rate of 30Hz - 20,000Hz. It has a sensitivity level of 15 mV/Pa with an impedance of 200 Ohms. It has an equivalent noise level of 20 dB. It has 130dB max SPL. It runs with the phantom power of 48V. It comes with a green colour on the bottom and gold-sputtered grill on the top.
Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 2 x 2 inches
Product Weight: 1.3 pounds
- It has a vintage classic look.
- It provides very crystal clear sounds.
- It has Cardioids polar pattern for rear noise cancellation.
- It has a shockproof and handy microphone to use.
- It is very affordable to use.
- It runs on phantom power supply which many of the consoles may not support.
- XLR cable has not been attached to the product.
- It is not a long-lasting microphone to use.
Why You Need A Microphone To Record Your Rapping
Rap music first made its debut on the American scene in the 1970s. It started out as a form of street art common among African American youth. In 1979, Sugarhill gang released Rapper's delight. A record that made producers sit up and notice. This made way for many other acts and artists to come onto the scene. The audience began to grow as rap music spread across states and across seas. By the 1980s Caucasian artists had latched onto the rap game and were also working on albums. This saw the emergence of groups like Beastie Boys and the female group, Salt-n- Pepa. Pretty soon, rap music was topping various charts.
By the time the '90s came around, rap music evolved from relatively simple lyrics to louder more complex lyrics. As artists topped the charts, making a fortune from record sales, feuds also brewed. The lifestyle and the music were often associated with violence and turf wars got pretty real.
Throughout time, rap music has evolved from one style to another, stretching across different borders and people. It is received with mixed reviews, because of its often controversial content. This has made it both highly popular and at the same time a bone of contention.
None of this would have been possible, if these rappers had not stepped into studios, and recorded their music. We would still be talking about some chants that we hear young people making on street corners. It would not have the global reach that it has today.
The rapper's microphone is one of the most important tools. It is what gets the rapper's music out there. Whether it is rapping on stage, or recording in a home studio or in any studio for that matter, ever since the first rap single was put out there, rappers have appreciated the fact that the microphone is second to your voice.
Today there are several microphones on the market available for vocals. But it is not all that is ideal for rap music. It is a unique genre that has its own specific style. We take a look at the various microphones and what they can offer you.
Best Mics For Rap Vocals - Buyer Guide
Recording rap vocals is a different ball game to recording instruments or voice-overs or even a singer. It has a unique set of requirements and also has some common threads that still dominate.
Where do you want to use it?
The first thing you need to establish and decide on is, where do you intend to use the microphone. The type of microphone you get is largely determined on whether it is for live stage performances or its for studio recordings. Live stage performances, tend to have uncontrollable noise elements, and this means you can not get a microphone that will pick this up.
Also, live performances tend to be more rugged than in a studio, so the durability factor has to be taking up a notch.
If you will be using the microphone in the studio, then some of these issues do not have to be, and you can focus on sounding great rather than on being heard by someone in the farthest corner of the largest venue.
Condenser or Dynamic mic?
Every microphone picks up the sound differently. There are two basic types of microphones, condenser microphones, and dynamic microphones. Condenser microphones are the best suited for studio recording. They are more sensitive to sound and produce extremely clear vocals. Dynamic microphones on the other hand, are durable however, the clarity is less than what you get with condenser microphones.
Think about the microphone's sensitivity to sound.
Every microphone is designed with a polar pattern, which determines directionality and how it picks the sound up.
Cardioid pattern microphones have a heart-shaped pattern when the pattern is drawn on paper. They pick up sound from the front and sides mainly and ignore the back.
Supercardioid pattern microphones have a narrower pick up area, and they pick up a bit of sound from the back. These microphones tend to pick up a bit of feedback if they are not placed properly. This means giving this microphone to a rapper, who will most likely be moving around quite a bit on stage, may not be a good idea. You would probably get deafening feedback from monitors on stage.
Omnidirectional pattern microphones, pick up sound evenly from every angle. These are great for recording more than one vocalist at a time. But they have the downside of picking up room ambiance and unwanted noise.
Bi-directional or figure-eight microphones, pick up sound from the front and the back, largely ignoring the sides.
Rap music is generally pretty fast and is jam-packed with lyrics. If you want to be "spitting crazy bars", then you need to make sure your audience has an appreciation of what you are saying. This does not mean you need to slow down or change your pace, it means you need clarity. This is an important factor in the microphone you will choose. A good microphone will give you crystal clear sound whether you are in the studio or you are performing live on a stage somewhere.
Look for a microphone that will stand the test of time with you. In the same way, your music genre is made to last and you want it to transcend generations, make sure your microphone is able to deliver that kind of durability. Take a look at its build and construction. If there are loose elements in the microphone, then do not be shy to investigate and ask why.
Reviews and opinions
Go ahead and check with other users. See what they are saying about your microphone. If there is a recurring negative review, chances are that it is true and unbiased, look into it.
Check on the manufacturer's warranty. You want a microphone that the manufacturer trusts. Check to see what keeps you within the warranty qualification.
What is SPL?
If you have been shopping around for a microphone, you have probably heard of or read the abbreviation SPL a couple of times, and you are wondering what that is. SPL refers to the sound pressure level, which is the maximum amount of noise a microphone can take before it begins to distort. For rappers especially, this is important to figure out, because of the nature of the music, which tends to call for the shouting of lyrics from time to time. You want a microphone that can handle that. Most quality mics have a maximum SPL of over 140dB, while anything over 150dB can be considered impressive.
Recording in the studio, means you need to get a microphone, along with other accessories that complete it. Most microphones will come with different accessories. Check on the list of contents and see what it comes with and what else you will need to get. Pop filters for example come in handy. You can also check for clamps, microphone stands, and cables. You will need to make sure you are well equipped in order to get the full effect. For rappers, pop filters are a must-have. The get rid of plosives and they can affect how you sound.
What Makes a Rap Microphone Special?
As a rapper, if you ever tried using a regular mic, you would have noticed that your vocals are not the exact same. Most microphones are not designed to handle the amount of movement that comes with rapping. The very movement that adds to a rapper's performance. To get optimal performance from the rapper, a producer needs to provide the right equipment that allows the rapper to be free to express his or her art. What makes a rappers microphone special, is its ability to deliver clear steady vocals, despite movement.
Rap music has come a long way and has transcended initial boundaries. It has cut across different cultures and this is all thanks to the fact it has been recorded and sent out. Jumping onto the bandwagon of recording vocals for rap music. means you need to appreciate the various factors that go into choosing the perfect microphone for rap. This multi-billion dollar industry continues to grow, and you can add to that growth. It all starts with laying the right tracks and spiting the right bars. We hope our top picks will help you make that decision. Happy shopping!