2 of the Best Budget Multi-Pattern Microphones

2 of the best budget multi-pattern microphones - decibel peak

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If you’re looking for an excellent omnidirectional microphone, the only way to get one is by using a multi-pattern microphone.

That’s why I decided to write about 2 of the best budget multi-pattern microphones.

After researching, I decided to nominate the ART Pro Audio C3 and the Samson CL8a.

Now, you’ll certainly find more affordable multi-pattern microphones like the Samson C03. However, I NEVER compromise quality for affordability.

On the other hand, you’ll learn that these two microphones compete with some of the most expensive multi-pattern microphones on the market.

Keep reading to find out why and which one is right for YOU…

ART Pro Audio C3 Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphone

I came across the ART Pro Audio C3 during my research and couldn’t believe it…

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How could such a high-quality microphone be priced so low?

  • Microphone Type: Large-Diaphragm Condenser
  • Polar Pattern(s): Cadioid, Bi-Directional, Omnidirectional
  • Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
  • Dynamic Range: N/A
  • Features: Low-Cut, -10dB Pad, pattern selector
  • Accessories: Shock-Mount, Storage Case, Carrying Pouch, Windshield

It’s one of the things that comes up most often in customer reviews. I also kept hearing about the C3’s “warm” and “smooth” sound.

Now, you might already know that most condenser microphones sound “harsh” in the high-end.

It’s VERY common, especially when we look at budget multi-pattern condenser microphones.

However, the ART Pro Audio C3 provides the same warmth as a ribbon microphone at an incredibly low price.

What’s the most shocking part though?

NOBODY’s talking about this microphone, I couldn’t even find a demo.

You’ll also be impressed by the quality and the amount of accessories ART Pro Audio includes with the C3. It’s everything you’ll need!

The storage case is heavy-duty and the shock-mount is rock-solid.

If you ask me… The ART Pro Audio C3 is the best budget multi-pattern microphones on this list. It’s also one of the best out there; PERIOD.

If I hadn’t found such an amazing deal on the Golden Age Projects TC1, I would’ve most likely purchased the Art Pro Audio C3. I highly recommend it!

Samson CL8a Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphone

Just like ART Pro Audio, Samson also makes high-quality (yet affordable) microphones.

Samson CL8A Multi-Pattern Professional Studio Condenser Microphone

To be completely honest though, I say the CL8a isn’t nearly as great as the C3.

  • Microphone Type: Large-Diaphragm Condenser
  • Polar Pattern(s): Cardioid, Bi-Directional, Omnidirectional
  • Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
  • Dynamic Range: N/A
  • Features: Low-Cut, -10dB Pad, pattern selector
  • Accessories: Microphone Clip, Carrying Pouch

If you’re looking for warmth, then the Samson CL8a isn’t the right choice for you.

It sounds more “modern” with some harshness in the high-end.

However, I was disappointed to find out what the CL8a bundle included (or didn’t). It’s surprising considering that the CL8a is more expensive than the ART Pro Audio C3.

It’s also not typical of Samson, even the Samson C03 includes a storage case.

The Samson C02s included the case, shock-mounts AND windshields.

I definitely think that a windshield and/or pop-filter would’ve been appropriate for the CL8a.

That being said, the microphone clip should be good enough considering that the Samson CL8a has an integrated shock-mount on the microphone capsule.

It’s got some flaws, but the CL8a is still one of the best budget multi-pattern microphones.

I recommend it over the Audio Technica AT2050, but I still choose the Art Pro Audio C3!!

ART Pro Audio C3 vs Samson CL8a

To get a better idea of the differences between the ART Pro Audio C3 and the Samson CL8A, you can go ahead and consult this comparison table…

ART Pro Audio C3Samson CL8a
TypeCondenserCondenser
Polar PatternsCardioid/Bi-Directional/OmnidirectionalCardioid/Bi-Directional/Omnidirectional
Frequency Response20 – 20,000 Hz20 – 20,000 Hz
FeaturesLow-Cut/-10dB Pad/Pattern SelectorLow-Cut/-10dB Pad/Pattern Selector
AccessoriesShock-Mount/Storage Case/Carrying Pouch/WindshieldMicrophone Clip/Carrying Pouch

As we’ve already discussed, the major difference is in regards to accessories.

The ART Pro C3 is definitely the winner, especially in regards to PRICE.

However, simply looking at the specifications isn’t enough to distinguish these two microphones. For example, the Samson states that the CL8a’s frequency response is 20 – 20,000 Hz.

It’s partly true, but you’ll have LOTS of difficulty picking up anything below 40 Hz.

That’s especially true depending on how far you place the CL8a from the sound source.

That being said, I believe that the Samson CL8a specializes more in the high-register while the ART Pro Audio C3 has more focus in the bottom-end.

That’s not something you’ll find out from reading the manual (or the specs)…

Do you really need a multi-pattern microphone?

That’s an excellent question to ask yourself…

If you don’t need an omnidirectional microphone, then you may not need a multi-pattern microphone. Which of these polar patterns do you plan to use?

Multi-pattern microphones might be versatile, but sometimes it’s better to specialize.

On the other hand, some of these multi-pattern microphones sound SO good that you may want one just for the sound quality.

It’s also an excellent option if you could only afford one microphone right now.

So, I think every recording studio could use a multi-pattern microphone.

If you’re not sure where you’d use an omnidirectional polar pattern, you need to read this article I wrote on recording drums with ONE microphone.

That’s primarily why I ended up purchasing the Golden Age Project TC1.

Summary: 2 of the Best Budget Multi-Pattern Microphones

The ART Pro Audio C3 and the Samson CL8a are 2 of the best budget multi-pattern microphones. The C3 is one of the best; PERIOD.

However, I still recommend checking out the Golden Age Project TC1.

That’s the multi-pattern microphone I personally use, so check it out!

If you also decide to do some research of your own, you might also find some other relatively affordable multi-pattern microphones.

If you have the budget, I also recommend checking out the Aston Spirit and the CAD E300s.

So, which multi-pattern microphone do you record with?

Let us know in the comments and feel free to ask me any questions there as well. Thank you for your time, I hope that you found what you were looking for!

ART Pro Audio C3:

Samson CL8a:

Sources

https://artproaudio.com/product/c3-multi-pattern-fet-condenser-microphone/

http://www.samsontech.com/samson/products/microphones/condenser-microphones/cl8a/

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