What's the Best mic available?

I don't think you want "the Best".

No, really, I do, we're pooling our money together so we can get the best of everything.

The thing is, "The Best" isn't necessarily the best for everyone.

You're just stalling because you don't know what mics are available, ha ha!

Fine, here is one of "the best" mics available, a NEUMANN M149-TUBE Large Diaphragm Condenser Tube Microphone
6,000 microphone

Cool, that's just what we...

It lists for $5,349.99 US

... ... 5 Thous...

Actually, it's on sale at Amazon right now for only $5,049,99 US

... ...

That's what you wanted, right? The "Best"?

Frightened face

About what I expected. "Best" is a relative term in many ways. In particular there is "Best for a particular purpose", "Best within my price range", and even "Best simply within reason."

Before you ask someone for "The Best" you need to at least define the first two qualifications.

Umm, okay, how do I do that?

To start with, define the purpose. Is this a Vocal Mic? An Acoustic Guitar Mic? A Kick Drum Mic? Or is this mic going to have to be suitable for everythnig you throw at it from drums to guitar to vocals?

But isn't a mic just a mic?

No, not if you want to capture sound in the best quality possible. Let's say you needed a Kick Drum mic. Buying a very expensive mic with a large frequency response might be wasting money because a Kick Drum doesn't have a huge range of frequencies that need to be recorded. Additionally, you'd want a mic that could handle the high SPL that the kick drum would produce and which a delicate mic optimized for vocals might not be able to handle very well (and in the worst case scenario, it could be damaged if used that way)

Also, right off, instead of "best" one should preface the question with a price range with which you are comfortable.

The answer might be that your price range is a little low for a decent quality mic, but at least you'll get a useful answer instead of some item that costs more than your computer cost new.

For instance, if you tell me you need an "all around Mic" and your price range is around $150 to $250, I can easily suggest a Mic that'll run far less, at around the hundred dollar mark, the Shure SM57 Microphone
Shure SM57

If you were to tell me you needed a mic specifically for vocals and you wanted the crispest sound possible in that same price range it would again be an easy call, the Shure Beta 87A Vocal Condenser Microphone at just about $250.

Shure Beta 87a Mic

In short you want the best for a particular need, not the best because someone says simply that it is the best.

Okay, I guess I understand, and I can see that we'd want that Beta 87 for vocals and the SM57 for guitars, now what's the best interface for getting the sound into the computer?

I'm not sure you actually do understand. You just asked the same faulty question, "the best." The same things apply to an interface, you have to define your needs and price point before you can determine which interface is best.

Well, I think we'd like to be able to record 2 Channels at a time, that way we can record in stereo, right?

Ahhh, so you remembered that lesson, good for you. And what do you think is your budget?

Maybe $200-$300?

Once again, with your needs and price point defined it's easy to offer a recommendation, in this case the PreSonus Inspire 1394 4X4 Firewire Recording Interface is a great interface for your needs and it actually beat's your budget at under $150.
Presonus Inspire Audio Interface

So these are The Best?

These are The Best for your needs and in your price range, yes!

Yay for the best!

::ahem:: for you. Remember, different people, different situations, different needs ... different "Best"


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