Digital Music Revolution 2020
One of the most important aspects of remote studio session recordings is having the ability to record professional-quality audio that you can send to other musicians online. This adds originality to your song as the samples or vocals that are manipulated within the song are original and created by you not just a sample pack.
Previously we posted about the top Daws for recording and how to remote record, here we will talk about the top 3 mics for home remote session recordings. This will include the best tried, tested and true studio production tools that have appeared on major Grammy award-winning albums as well as mics that are perfect for either starting remote session recording or adding to your collection of studio tools.
With any of these choices below, you will be ready to focus on recording your song, nailing the performance and the peace of mind knowing the sound quality is at that professional level for that next big summer chart-topping hit song. These mics are not our top of the line premium studio pics such as the Neumann u47, my personal favourite. This collection is for up and coming singers and songwriters at their home or remote studio setup. Keeping quality as high as possible, these choices just happen to not cost a small fortune and still sound fantastic.
First on our list is the Audio-Technica AT2020. An extremely well-made piece of kit that delivers exceptional audio quality. The AT2020 can stand up to many pro-level studio grade mics way out of its price range.
According to the manufacturer’s website, the “Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source”. – https://www.audio-technica.com/
Flat-mates, traffic outside, lawnmowers and just any unwanted noise can be reduced by its directional properties. This breaks down to one great advantage when recording in a remote studio as you aim the large condenser’s diaphragm away from the noise source to reduce unwanted audio bleed while maximizing the effectiveness of the cardioid polar pattern.
Combine this with a vocal shield such as the Primacoustic Vox Guard to create an excellent remote studio environment excellent for remote recording sessions. A pop filter is a must with this mic as it is highly sensitive to air movement because of the nature of phantom-powered condenser mics and the AT2020 does not come with a built-in screen.
Hit Records made:
“Billie’s vocals for ‘Ocean Eyes’ were recorded with the 2020, which sounds great. It’s not quite as good as the Neumann, but I have never found a microphone that I like more than the 2020 that’s less expensive than the Neumann. The 2020 is a really good starter microphone.” – Finneas O’Connell’
- Ocean Eyes – Billy Elish
During a recording session at Britannia Row Studios in London England, I was first introduced to the SM7B by the studio head engineer while working on a session. With a built-in pop filter or windscreen, this large-diaphragm mic is fantastic on vocals and guitar cabs. You can really scream into it before it starts to break up making it outstanding for vocals.
One disadvantage is its low output. Pair this mic with a mic preamp in front of the recording preamp and you really get this mic to shine. We recommend something like the cloud lifter or even better the McBoost before the preamp to get the most out of this settler mic for vocal performances. The Shure sm7b also has it’s own built-in pop filter, yet it can be removed and combined with a 3rd party pop filter and Vox Guard for added quality. One great detail about this mic is that it does not pick up outside noise easily making it great for home remote studio recordings.
Hit Records made:
- Blood Shugar Sex Magic – Suck my Kiss (1:19-1:38)
*Warning! Adult content and language. Mature audiences only. 18+*
Shure Beta sm58
Mostly thought of a live mic, the Shure Beta 58 is an all-around great studio tool. Rugged, tour worthy, and high-quality sound capabilities all in a compact dynamic microphone. I have dropped mine live so many times that the grill is dented flat on the top and it still works 100%. Pair this mic again with a McBoost and a pop filter, and a Primacoustic Vox Guard and your home studio is ready for you to lay down some tracks.
Hit Records made:
- Rage Against the Machine, “Killing In The Name Of”
Mobile phones and mobile technology have advanced so much in the last few years that your phone or more specifically your tiny computer in your pocket that sometimes makes phone calls but mostly serves some other function, is your best option when you have no options. Songs can be written and remembered by phoning an answering machine and leaving yourself a melody message or using an app to record. Now you can remote record via your phone as your main mic and even your DAW. Just get creative with it. It will not sound like a $3100 Neumann U 87 and an HD Protools Studio, but if you are creative with it you can create something unique, interesting and maybe have the next big hit song of the summer.
Stevo, S. (2020, February 03). Billie Eilish Studio: The Equipment She Made Her Music On. Retrieved July 05, 2020, from:
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AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone. (n.d.). Retrieved July 05, 2020, from
De Gregorio, P. (2010, July 15). Mic Review: Shure SM7B, a secret dynamic weapon. Retrieved July 05, 2020, from https://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/shure-sm7b-every-top-studios-secret-weapon/
Senior, M. (2020, July 01). Bruce Swedien: Recording Michael Jackson. Retrieved July 05, 2020, from
Tingen, P. (2020, June 01). Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Declan Gaffney. Retrieved July 05, 2020, from
Maebe Published: 08/01/2014, W. (2014, August 01). Canadian Cred: Garth Richardson & Mike Fraser. Retrieved July 05, 2020, from
Shure sm7b (image)
Shure beta 58 (image)