Reader Gerry Brown writes: “Hi Digital DJ Tips. I’ve just got a quick question I’d like to ask you about dynamic microphones for DJ applications as I’m looking to buy one… will any in the US$50 to US$100 price range suit the purpose?I was going to pick up an AKG 4000s, but I couldn’t really find any DJ recommendations. I just want to incorporate some of my own vocals in to a DJ set…”
Digital DJ Tips says:
Hi Gerry. Assuming you don’t want a radio microphone and simply want a decent microphone that you can plug in to your DJ equipment to sing through, the Shure SM58 is the most popular live vocal microphone in the world – it’s nearly 50 years old and if it were me, I’d simply buy one of these. It will last you forever and you can forget about whether it’s up to the job or not the second you shell out the cash – it is!
A touch of reverb goes a long way…
Bear in mind that you’ll want to add some reverb at the very least to your vocal performance, so having a decent DJ controller that lets you add effects to the microphone (only the top-end controllers do), or alternatively plugging into a mixer than has built-in effects or some other way of adding reverb like in an effects send loop, is going to be essential.
If DJs just want a microphone to shout “last orders” or “it’s a sweat box out there, so take care!” then obviously any old microphone plugged into any old input will do – but for singing, it’s worth having a good one and thinking about how it’s routed so you can add the effects that’ll make it sound sweet.