XL v76t Mic

[$299, mxlmics.com]

Figuring out which microphones to buy can give you a headache almost as severe as the anxiety from many mics’ sticker shock. The good news is that if you know where the great deals lie, you don’t have to subsist on instant ramen for the rest of the decade.

The MXL v76t microphone is one such great deal. Sure, something legendary like the Neumann U87 will probably blow it away, but my personal studio doesn’t happen to have one of those. And frankly, I could take this and have enough left over for a down payment on a new car.

It’s a condenser mic with a 1" diaphragm and a tube amplifier circuit. What this means is that you plug the mic into a powered box, and then plug that box into your recording interface. This is supposedly what gives the unit its smooth response. Being simply a unidirectional microphone, the v76t isn’t an all-purpose item, rather being designed to record singing or a single acoustic instrument.

We used the v76t for vocals, and they came out nice and steady. There was no background noise, the results were clear and warm, and the recordings were even and very easy to EQ. We put the v76t up against some mics that were twice the price, and the results were just as good. Sounds like a winner. So now you can even save money on aspirin.