When it comes to what microphones Vintage King Audio clients bought, the results were a little all over the place. While our list of the best selling microphones of 2019 features many classic mainstays, there are a number of modeling mics that made the cut. Read on to discover who made our top five list of microphones and some honorable mentions that we couldn't leave out.
Best Selling Microphones of 2019
1. Coles 4038
The Coles 4038 has been featured on more classic recordings than can be named, everything from Led Zeppelin to the White Stripes. The 4038 has decades of fame behind it and it's still one of our best selling microphones, as evident by its move from honorable mention in 2018 to the top of our list this year. Top engineers constantly cite the 4038 as one of their favorite ribbon mics. Robust design and fantastic tone, the 4038 shines on a variety of sources. They are a must on drum overheads.
2. Slate Digital VMS ML-2
Slate Digital’s Virtual Microphone System made major waves when it first hit the market. The modeling mic system offers the ability to have emulations of history’s most iconic mics always on tap at your studio. With the ML-2, Slate Digital brings that technology into the tidier package of a small diaphragm microphone. The ML-2 recreates classics like the 57 and the 414, as well as some modern heavyweights like the 121 ribbon mic. Astonishingly accurate, the modeling profiles give you the ability to have a locker of mic sounds to choose from, all from one simple device. Couple that with its ultra-low price, and you’re getting an excellent tool for a bargain.
3. Townsend Labs Sphere L22
Similar to the Slate VMS, the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 is designed to provide ultra high definition models of various microphones, all in one package. The Sphere L22 is incredibly precise in its recreations of 47s, 251s, and so much more. A dual capsule design enables the Townsend Labs mic to deliver lush depth in its models. With a plug-in designed to control the mic’s settings, you’re able to set the mic model, pickup pattern, placement, and more. If you're looking to build a microphone locker, but are working within a certain budget, the Sphere L22 offers lots of versatility and incredible sounds from one single mic.
4. Shure SM58-LC
A piece of gear that really needs no introduction, the Shure SM58 is quite possibly the most used microphone in the world. For decades now, musicians have turned to the SM58 as a workhorse mic for live use, and also constantly in studio applications. Incredibly robust, these dynamic mics will withstand virtually anything you can throw at them, and still provide a great, industry-standard sound. It’s no wonder the SM58 made our list of best selling microphones of 2019.
5. Sennheiser MD 421 II
Another household name when it comes to microphones, the Sennheiser MD 421 is found in nearly every professional studio. A favorite on toms, kick drum, and bass cabinets, the 421 is excellent in its way of handling low end on recordings. Five different positions of bass roll-off help control low frequencies, and the way this mic handles high SPL levels is excellent. It’s tough to find a source that the 421 won’t do well on. This classic mic will continue to leave its sonic footprint on recordings for years to come, no doubt.
6. Electro Voice RE20
It's hard to imagine the audio world, both studio and live, without the Electro Voice RE-20. As one of the most recognizable dynamic mics of all time, the RE-20 finds itself at home in radio broadcast applications, as well as in several studio environments. Use it on woodwinds, kick drum, and even strings, and you'll see why it's a beloved microphone.
7. Granelli Audio Labs G5790
While you may not recognize the G5790 by name, you have most likely seen this mic before. It’s an SM57 modified to sit at a 90 degree angle, allowing you to pop it on a snare drum or guitar cabinet way easier. Same great sound as the original, but with a much more useful footprint. Use the G5790 next time your track drums and you’ll be in love.
8. Royer Labs R-121
The Royer R-121 is truly a modern tool that will go down famously in history. It's an incredible ribbon mic designed by David Royer, a man responsible for several excellent microphone designs. What makes the R-121 so great? Well, its a super high quality sounding ribbon mic, but engineered to withstand a lot of the things that a ribbon normally cannot. The Royer R-121 will handle high SPLs that typically make ribbon users sweat, and this ribbon is also unaffected by heat or humidity. Great sound, even better build.
9. Neumann U87 Ai Set Z - Nickel
If the Shure SM57 is the most famous dynamic mic, then the Neumann U87 is clearly the most well-renowned condenser microphone of history. Used in basically every studio, the U87 has been on literally way too many classic records to name. It simply captures an incredible, natural sound on any source you put it up to.
10. Josephson e22S
Josephson is a company that seemingly gets nothing but praise; praise that they’ve rightfully earned, that is. The E22s was designed specifically for Steve Albini, who wanted a mic that sits comfortably in tight spaces and captures unmatchable quality of sound. This condenser is super convenient, and sounds incredible all the way.