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The Best Microphone for Rap

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Are you a hip-hop songwriter and want to take it to the next level? Are you a rapper and are you looking for that rare gem to highlight your voice? The first thing you need to do is find the best rap and hip hop microphone for recording vocals. The success of a musical title does not only depend on talent. Audio quality plays a very important role in this. It can take you from amateur to professional, from unknown to someone respected. Success therefore begins with the acquisition of a suitable microphone.

The best hip-hop microphone

🎤 by Kevin Jung

Summary of the article 👇

What is the difference between Hip Hop and Rap?

Hip -Hop, like Rap, is a style of music that requires very little audio equipment. You will need a microphone, a good sound card and a computer.

This allows you to record at home or in your home studio . Discover the features to consider when purchasing the best rap microphone as well as our selection of the best microphones for this fairly specific genre of music.

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To get off to a good start, it is always necessary to have the right foundations. Basically, Rap is a singing technique while Hip-Hop is the name of the musical genre .

In practice, Rap can be considered an extension of Hip Hop. For both types of music, the voice remains the mainstay of the recording.

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Each microphone has its own characteristics called a response curve. It is presented in the form of a diagram and allows you to visualize the peaks and valleys according to the frequencies captured.

The best rap mic specialized for vocal recording will be different from a microphone made for recording instruments. Hence the importance of choosing a microphone for hip-hop .

best rap mic perfect for vocal recording or singing.
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By the way, also discover through this link all the information you need to know before buying a studio microphone.

How to find the best Rap or Hip-Hop microphone?

Objectively, there is no perfect microphone for recording Rap and Hip Hop. At least there isn't just one. It all depends on what you want to hear, and what you want from the microphone.

Helping you find the best rap mic is the main reason for this article. However, there are different types of microphones. You have to choose and try to know which one is right for you.

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Indeed, to find your best rap microphone, it is always important to try it.

This is the only way to know if it meets your expectations or not. However, we will detail the different characteristics that could help you make your choice.

We would still like to point out that the characteristics are data like all the others. The best way is always to try.

Very safe model for Rap and hip hop
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Technical characteristics to take into account when purchasing the best Rap or Hip-Hop microphone

In terms of the best rap mic for vocal recording, some models can be considered a safe bet. recording technique should not be minimized .

Without further ado, here is the information you need to choose your best rap or hip-hop microphone.

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The best directivity for Rap

Directivity is one of the most important parameters to take into account. It is presented in the form of a diagram. This indicates the sensitivity of the best rap microphone to the sound source and depending on the direction from which the sounds come.

If you are a beginner, we recommend using a cardioid polarized microphone . Very directional, the best cardioid rap microphone is easily positioned.

In fact, it only has sensitivity to sounds coming from the front. Moreover, it is this directivity which is most used for vocal recording.

However, it is still important to note that there are several types of polar patterns: omnidirectional, bidirectional (figure eight) and unidirectional (cardioid).

Note : You can also consult our full review on the Antelope Audio Edge Go . This guide tells you about the effectiveness and advantage of this USB microphone.

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The ideal frequency response for Hip Hop or Rap

On average the human ear can hear sounds between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. Microphones, by their construction, are sensitive to a much narrower frequency range.

Thus, some microphones have a frequency response ranging from 50 Hz to 15 kHz.

For a recording of your hip-hop composition, we advise you to favor microphones that will extend between 80 Hz and 15 kHz. This represents the voice frequencies.

Best rap microphone: a good choice for success
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Off-axis coloring

Off-axis coloration is the off-axis frequency response of the best rap mic. The directivity determines the latter.

Depending on the manufacturer, this type of information may be available in the form of an additional response graph or polar diagram.

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Membrane size

For condenser microphones, the size of the diaphragm is not always communicated by the manufacturer. You can still identify it by the shape of the microphone.

Microphones with a small diaphragm will have a much more elongated shape, while a microphone equipped with a large diaphragm will be much more massive. The capsule will then be oriented towards the side.

In terms of sound, small diaphragm microphones will generally sound more natural and respond better to transients. Microphones with a large diaphragm will produce a much more colorful sound.

Best Microphones for Rap and Hip Hop
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Maximum sound pressure level (max SPL)

This is the maximum sound level a microphone can handle without experiencing distortion. If your recordings focus on vocals and acoustic instruments, maximum SPL will not be a problem.

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Microphone power supply

Typically, dynamic microphones do not require an external power supply. On the other hand, condenser microphones and ribbon microphones require phantom power to function properly.

This is a technology to power the microphone with an electric current via an XLR cable. This type of power supply is found on almost all audio interfaces and mixing desks.

A microphone for voice recording.
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The price

The price is also part of the criteria. Even if this seems obvious, it is still necessary to highlight certain important points that are unknown to users. It should be realized that a high price always does not mean absolute quality.

A best rap microphone for less than 200 euros can very well compete with one costing more than 2000 euros. It all depends on the type of application you are using the microphone on.

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Do you work in a room that has undergone acoustic treatment? Do you have a very good amplifier in your possession? For sure, you won't notice a difference between recording on an entry-level or high-end microphone .

For a studio microphone , we must also point out that a difference of 100 euros between two microphone models of the same range is rarely significant. This additional amount does not necessarily provide better quality sound reproduction.

For a recording of your hip-hop composition
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The different types of microphones for hip-hop

Generally speaking, microphones can be classified into three categories:

  • Dynamic microphone : They are inexpensive and very durable. If you're just starting out and the room you're recording in doesn't have good acoustics, use this type of microphone. For more info, you can visit the section dedicated to the best dynamic microphones.
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  • Condenser microphone or electrostatic microphone or condenser microphone: They have a very detailed and pleasant sound. There are a lot of models, but in this article, we have selected microphones especially the best rap and hip-hop microphone.
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  • Ribbon Microphone : It provides a silky texture and restores a natural and harmonious sound. It tends to have a somewhat vintage sound, a sound that is very sought after in certain applications.

Now that we have taken a look at the microphones, we can move on to our selection of the best rap and hip hop microphones of 2021. We have classified them according to their performance to make your task easier.

Neumann U87, the best rap microphone
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The Neumann U87: best rap microphone

If the Neumann U87 is among the most famous microphones, there is surely a reason. It perfectly reproduces what we hear. Moreover, it has the following characteristics:

  • Acoustic operating principle: Pressure gradient transducer
  • Polar pattern: omnidirectional, cardioid, bidirectional (figure 8)
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Sensitivity at 1 kHz, 1 kOhm load: 20/28/22 mV/Pa*
  • Nominal output impedance: 200 Ohms
  • Recommended load impedance: 1 kOhm
  • Noise level reduced to the entrance, according to CCIR 468-3: 26/23/25 dB*
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  • Noise level reduced to the input, according to DIN/IEC 651: 15/12/14 dB-A*
  • Signal/Noise ratio, according to CCIR 468-3: 68/71/69 dB*
  • Signal/Noise ratio, according to DIN/IEC 651: 79/82/80 dB*
  • Maximum SPL level, for THD = 0.5%: 117 dB (cardioid)
  • Maximum SPL level, for THD = 0.5%, preattenuator activated: 127 dB
  • Maximum output voltage: 390 mV
  • Dynamic range of the integrated microphone preamp (cardioid position), according to DIN/IEC 651: 105 dB
  • Phantom power voltage: 48V ± 4V
  • Current consumed: 0.8 mA
  • Output connector: 3M XLR

Given its characteristics, the Neumann U87 remains the benchmark for everything related to voice recording. Of course, the price is high, but the quality will be there. It will capture as much detail as possible and will offer you a warm and natural sound.

Neumann TLM 103, the successor to the Neumann U87
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The Neumann TLM 103, the successor to the Neumann U87 for Rap

The Neumann TLM 103 is also the best rap microphone. It is a little gem of technology and has become one of the greatest successes of the German brand. It has the following characteristics:

  • Sensor: pressure gradient sensor
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Output circuit: without transformer
  • Bandwidth: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Nominal impedance: 50 ohms
  • Nominal load impedance: 1000 ohms
  • Sensitivity: ~ -33 dB, 21 mV/Pa
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  • Maximum sound pressure: 138 dB for DHT < 0.5%
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: 87 dB (A-weighted), 76.5 dB (CCIR)
  • Maximum output voltage: 13 dBu
  • Minimum own noise: 7dBA
  • Maximum self-noise: 17.5 dB (CCIR)
  • Current consumption (P48, IEC 61938): 3 mA
  • Connector: XLR-3 F
  • Supply voltage: 48 V +/- 4 V

The Neumann TLM 103, which is also the best rap microphone, has everything it takes to impress with very professional sound recording . It will perfectly capture your voice and restore a very pure and professional sound.

It responds well to transients, and you can even use it to record many instruments. We can cite vocals, acoustic guitar, drums, guitar amps as examples.

The Rode NT1A is a cardioid transducer ranked among the best recording microphones.
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The Rode NT1-A, best professional rap and hip hop microphone for studio or home studio recording.

The Rode NT1-A is a cardioid transducer ranked among the best rap mics.

  • Acoustic principle: Pressure gradient
  • Capsule: 1.00
  • Directivity: Cardioid
  • Bandwidth: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Output impedance: 100 Ohms
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  • Max level. sound pressure rating (SPL): 137 dB (@1kHz, 1% harmonic distortion under 1kOhms)  
  • Sensitivity: -31.9 dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (25.00 mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1 kHz 
  • Equivalent noise level (A-weighting): 5dBA 
  • Power supply: +24V phantom power/+48V phantom power
  • Equivalent noise level (A-weighted) 190.00mmH x 50.00mmW x 50.00mmD 
  • Connection: XLR

The characteristics of the Rode NT1-A make it the essential equipment for various recordings, particularly professional singing. It's also perfect for recording guitar and percussion.

Rode NT1-A, a professional model for studio or home studio recording
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The AKG C414 XLII, for perfect sound capture

With the best AKG C414 XLII rap microphone, you will no longer need an equalizer. The sound he reproduces shows his mastery of different sound sources . The sound produced remains very rich, bright and natural. For more information, you can find the specific mic features below:

  • Principle: large 25 mm membrane according to the pressure gradient principle
  • Selectable polar patterns: 5 main + 4 intermediate (cardioid, hyper-cardioid, wide cardioid, omnidirectional, figure 8) for a total of 9
  • Sensitivity (open circuit voltage): 23 mV/Pa (-33 dBV ± 0.5 dB)
  • Frequency response: 20 20,000 Hz (see response curve)
  • Electrical impedance: ≤ 200 ohms
  • Recommended load impedance: ≥ 2200 ohms
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  • Bass reduction filter slope: 12 dB/octave 40 Hz and 80 Hz, or 6 dB/octave 160 Hz
  • Pre attenuation: switchable -6 dB, -12 dB, -18 dB
  • Equivalent noise level according to IEC 60268-4: 20 dB (0 dB pre-attenuation)
  • Equivalent noise level according to IEC 60268-4 (A-weighted value): 6 DBA (0 dB pre-attenuation)
  • Signal-to-noise ratio for 1 Pa (A-weighted value): 88 dB
  • Sound pressure level for 0.5% harmonic distortion: 200/400/800/1600 Pa 140/146/152/158 dB SPL (0/-6/-12/-18 dB)
  • Dynamic: 134 dB min
  • Output clipping level: 5 V rms (+14 dBV)
  • Tolerated climatic conditions:
    • Temperature: -10°C +60°C
    • Relative humidity: 95% (+20°C), 85% (+60°C)

Very versatile, its reputation precedes it . By opting for this best rap microphone, you will be completely satisfied during your vocal recordings.

The AKG C214 is an electrostatic transducer and is among the best microphones for hip-hop and rap
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The AKG C214, the best rap and Hip Hop microphone offered at an unbeatable price.

The AKG C214 is an electrostatic transducer which has a single directivity: the cardioid directivity. Designed for use in a recording studio, it excels as a vocal microphone. It can also be used as an external microphone. Its characteristics are as follows:

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  • Sensitivity (open circuit voltage): 20 mV/Pa (-24 dBV ± 0.5 dB)
  • Electrical impedance: ≤ 200 ohms
  • Recommended load impedance: ≥1000 ohms
  • Noise level: 13 dB(A)
  • Signal-to-noise ratio for 1 Pa (A-weighted value): 81 dB
  • Maximum sound pressure level for 0.5% harmonic distortion: 136/156 dB SPL (0/-20 dB)
  • Dynamic (A-weighted value): 123/143 dB (0/-20 dB)
  • Tolerated climatic conditions: Temperature: -10°C to +60°C Relative humidity: 95% (+20°C), 85% (+60°C)
  • Supply voltage: Phantom power, 12 – 52 V

Its characteristics guarantee exceptional sound quality.

A very versatile model for rap or hip hop
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General conclusion

If you're looking for the best rap mic perfect for recording your creations, practically speaking, there isn't one. Each microphone produces a unique sound. Its characteristics also give it a certain versatility.

The best solution then remains to listen and try. However, for optimal results, we advise you to use a microphone boom or a tripod to limit handling noise.

A pop filter and windshield can also be useful to limit plosives. We hope that this article was able to help you in your quest for the microphone for Hip-Hop or Rap.

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