Good mic for sound tests

I’m looking for a good microphone to record keyboard sound tests with. My budget is below $150. Does anyone know of any good mics I could use?

1 Like

Definitely not a sound guy, but I can at least recommend a recorder that captures lots of detail - whether that’s really ideal for this application I’m not sure.

So far I’ve used two things to record sound tests - an iPhone 8, and a Zoom H1n stereo recorder. I get loads more detail from the Zoom, though I have to be a lot more careful with how I set it up and with what environment I’m recording in. For the latter, a floor mic stand or something else to keep it off of the same surface as your keeb is important; typing vibrations will travel right up a desk-mounted one and distort the recording.

For comparison between the two, I used both one after the other in this sound test:

If it doesn’t automatically start there, the unlubed switch recordings begin at the 8:32 mark and start with the iPhone and move over to the H1n after 30 seconds or so, and then again with lubed switches.

To my ear, the phone sounds more “natural” as in what comes out the speakers from it sounds more like what I hear with my ear, but there’s less detail and any environmental noise competes with what we’re trying to focus on - and the H1n sounds much more clear but almost “exaggerated”, as those mics pick up detail from 6" away that my ears just don’t from a few feet.

Between them, I prefer the H1n because I appreciate the detail and have heard enough sound tests to know they don’t represent what the switches will sound like in my keeb on my desk in my room but still get information from them. I’m also sure it’s possible to set up your recording environment and position the mic such that something like the H1n would retain its detail while capturing a more “true to life experience” sound.

1 Like

Thanks so much for the detailed answer! I just looked into the Zoom H1N and it seems like it’ll be pretty good for me, so I may use it! Thank you!

1 Like