Thoughts on Rockville RCM Pro mics?

singularity6

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Anyone check out Rockville mics? Their RCM Pro goes for $60 on Amazon. I'm in the market for a mic. I don't need much, as I will never sing. I also won't be using mics for drums or guitar cabinets (I'll be going direct in for guitar and using VSTs for drums.) At the most, it'll be used for an occasional acoustic track, but mostly for video conferencing and recording lecture videos for my online classes.

I was originally looking at picking up an AT2020, but these are half the price.
 

RickP

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Yeah, I’d second @Ovibos on looking to a Shure SM57 or SM58. Under $100 brand new, last forever, very versatile, and you can always sell it later because everyone knows what they are.

Sorry, I’m not familiar with Rockville mics. If you decide to go any higher, the Shure SM7B is a great all around mic for just about any use at a very reasonable cost (sub-$400 used in great condition). It is particularly good at recording voice for podcast or broadcast. A lot of mic for the money.
 

Moondog Wily

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Yeah, I’d second @Ovibos on looking to a Shure SM57 or SM58. Under $100 brand new, last forever, very versatile, and you can always sell it later because everyone knows what they are.

Sorry, I’m not familiar with Rockville mics. If you decide to go any higher, the Shure SM7B is a great all around mic for just about any use at a very reasonable cost (sub-$400 used in great condition). It is particularly good at recording voice for podcast or broadcast. A lot of mic for the money.
Ditto on the SM57 and SM58 mics. Industry standard workhorses that can do it all. If you are going to be doing more speech recording than anything else, I would go with the SM58. They also make a PG58 which is the lower end version of the SM58 if you want to stay in that budget.

I use my SM7B daily (was singing into it just 15 minutes ago). Great mic and although I like the sound of my ribbon mic better (Rhode NTR), the SM7B is much less sensitive and more usable in a variety of situations. It would be my first choice if stepping up from the SM58 (or SM57).

As for acoustic track recording, I have found the Shure SM81L mics to be awesome, especially in a 90deg paring. One pointed at 14th fret and one running parallel with the strings. Best capture method I have found so far when recording acoustic guitar. I have yet to find an acoustic pickup that I like as much ;~((

Happy micin'!
MW
 

singularity6

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I appreciate the replies. I should have specified - I'm looking for a condenser.

I use my SM7B daily (was singing into it just 15 minutes ago). Great mic and although I like the sound of my ribbon mic better (Rhode NTR), the SM7B is much less sensitive and more usable in a variety of situations.

I was looking at an AT 2020 and considered going cheaper. These mics are priced in the wrong direction for me.
 

RickP

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I appreciate the replies. I should have specified - I'm looking for a condenser.



I was looking at an AT 2020 and considered going cheaper. These mics are priced in the wrong direction for me.
Keep in mind that your mic is critical in the quality of any product you make with it. It’s not the best place to cut corners, but you have to do what you think is best. While I realize they are calling the Rockville “Pro,” at $60 it is anything but professional level. The least expensive condenser mic kit I can recommend in good conscience is the Rode NT1A package. Great quality sound for the price, and includes the accessories you need for normal use.

Budget is always a consideration and none of us have unlimited funds, but so far as you’re able, go with quality even if you have to wait and save to get to an acceptable level. In my experience, buying subpar has only meant I had to buy again. Either way, best of luck in your endeavor!
 

LSchefman

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You don't really need a condenser for the uses you're talking about.

There's nothing more annoying-sounding than a bad condenser, and there are some execrable examples on the market - in fact, more bad condensers than good ones.

I would much rather record with a good dynamic mic than a crappy condenser. Incidentally, an SM58 is what Bono of U2 records his vocals with; Michael Jackson used an SM7B. The Shure dynamics, as well as other good ones, aren't junk and are worth the money.

The least expensive condenser I've heard that's remotely useful is the Rode NT series; those are relative bargains. A $60 condenser is not going to sound like a Neumann, or other good condensers that we use in studio-land. There's truly no point in buying one.

But...I'm one opinion, and you may have your heart set on a condenser. Just remember that you get what you pay for when it comes to recording gear. Also, if I recall, the least expensive A-T mics are not true condensers, they're electrets. It's kind of a different thing, even though they call them condensers.

EDIT - went to the Rockville site, and see that they're claiming the Samsung capacitors they use are the best on the market. That's simply not true. It's nonsense. Given what they're throwing in for the mic, you're getting a piece of gear that maybe cost ten bucks to make. Come on.
 
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singularity6

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I'm not settled yet. For what it's worth, my current mics either the mic on the $40 webcam I have, or I can snag my Blue Snowball ICE from work on occasion. Honestly, the Snowball serves my needs for video lectures, but I'd rather leave it at work. Besides, I have a powered XLR port on my interface. The AT2020 keeps showing up on "best bang for buck" lists. The Rockville did show up on one (and only one.) It also pops in my Amazon page all the damned time, so I thought I'd ask. In the end, I don't want to spend a lot (hoping $100 or less.) It's not going to be used to track vocals for songs. Mostly lectures, and maybe an occasional acoustic track.

A thought I've been having:

The Chinese companies are going to be taking centerstage soon enough (look at Joyo and Mooer for guitar stuff. Dalstrong has made quite a bit of growth with their kitchen knives. I'm sure there are other brands making a splash, too.) We've seen these patterns before in multiple industries. Basically, I was hoping to get a good deal. Perhaps I should look elsewhere!

I'll consider a Shure SM58.
 

Moondog Wily

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I appreciate the replies. I should have specified - I'm looking for a condenser.

I was looking at an AT 2020 and considered going cheaper. These mics are priced in the wrong direction for me.
The PG58 (SM58's little brother which sells for about $54) mentioned in the first paragraph of my initial reply may be your answer if you can bring yourself to the non-condenser space. Here is a link to a comparison between the SM58 and PG58 - https://www.audio-direct.com/shure-pg58-vs-sm58-which-is-better-and-why/ . Note that this article near the end states the PG58 weighs 22.5 oz and the SM 58 weighs 10.5 ounces. I found that hard to believe so I weighed them just now (I own both). My PG58 (purchased in 2006) weighs 11oz and my SM58 (purchased in 2014) weighs 11.5 oz. Point is, vet any information you read to ensure it's accuracy! Good luck!
 
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RickP

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I'm not settled yet. For what it's worth, my current mics either the mic on the $40 webcam I have, or I can snag my Blue Snowball ICE from work on occasion. Honestly, the Snowball serves my needs for video lectures, but I'd rather leave it at work. Besides, I have a powered XLR port on my interface. The AT2020 keeps showing up on "best bang for buck" lists. The Rockville did show up on one (and only one.) It also pops in my Amazon page all the damned time, so I thought I'd ask. In the end, I don't want to spend a lot (hoping $100 or less.) It's not going to be used to track vocals for songs. Mostly lectures, and maybe an occasional acoustic track.

A thought I've been having:

The Chinese companies are going to be taking centerstage soon enough (look at Joyo and Mooer for guitar stuff. Dalstrong has made quite a bit of growth with their kitchen knives. I'm sure there are other brands making a splash, too.) We've seen these patterns before in multiple industries. Basically, I was hoping to get a good deal. Perhaps I should look elsewhere!

I'll consider a Shure SM58.
Sounds like a plan. We probably gave you more than you asked for, but hey… it’s a PRS forum. Probably not the place best known for going cheap! ;)

But sincerely, good luck with whichever one you choose!
 

singularity6

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So, as an experiment (and because Amazon has a pretty good return policy,) I've decided to see what was up with the Rockville stuff. There's not a lot of independent reviews from content creators, so I figured "why not."

Notes:
  • My only experience recording anything is from recording video lectures with Panopto for my classes. That uses a Blue Snowball ICE (the cheapest one available!)
  • The included track was the only take attempted and unrehearsed (this is the first thing I've ever recorded in Cakewalk)
    • Yes, I know my skill level is limited
  • Signal Chain - My $400 Seagull S6 > Rockville RCM Pro placed about a foot away, aimed around the 12th- 14th fret > Axe I/O Solo > Cakewalk
    • My setup is in a finished portion of my basement that is in no way treated for sound recording
    • Even though I shut the door to the other room, I think you can hear the dehumidifier in the background when listening through decent headphones at higher volumes (sounds like a slight flangy effect.) This could also be from the room where I'm recording
  • Absolutely no editing was done. No effects were added. This is the raw track
Here's the track:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/34uoxlu8fbo3upv/acoustic sample.wav?dl=0

As far as the package, here's what I bought:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GP71Q3X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The headphones really aren't bad. I found them to be fairly light weight and comfortable. The sound isn't bad at all. They're not quite as clear or punchy as my AT M50x's, but they're 1/3 the price (they might even be a bit more "neurtral.") I took them to work for listening to music there. They'd probably be just fine for anyone looking for a budget set of studio monitors.

Based on the little bit of experience I have, the mic isn't any worse than my Blue Snowball ICE.

I'll mess around with it some more. If I decide I don't like it, I'll be replacing it with a AT 2020 or a SM58.
 

Moondog Wily

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So, as an experiment (and because Amazon has a pretty good return policy,) I've decided to see what was up with the Rockville stuff. There's not a lot of independent reviews from content creators, so I figured "why not."

Notes:
  • My only experience recording anything is from recording video lectures with Panopto for my classes. That uses a Blue Snowball ICE (the cheapest one available!)
  • The included track was the only take attempted and unrehearsed (this is the first thing I've ever recorded in Cakewalk)
    • Yes, I know my skill level is limited
  • Signal Chain - My $400 Seagull S6 > Rockville RCM Pro placed about a foot away, aimed around the 12th- 14th fret > Axe I/O Solo > Cakewalk
    • My setup is in a finished portion of my basement that is in no way treated for sound recording
    • Even though I shut the door to the other room, I think you can hear the dehumidifier in the background when listening through decent headphones at higher volumes (sounds like a slight flangy effect.) This could also be from the room where I'm recording
  • Absolutely no editing was done. No effects were added. This is the raw track
Here's the track:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/34uoxlu8fbo3upv/acoustic sample.wav?dl=0

As far as the package, here's what I bought:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GP71Q3X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The headphones really aren't bad. I found them to be fairly light weight and comfortable. The sound isn't bad at all. They're not quite as clear or punchy as my AT M50x's, but they're 1/3 the price (they might even be a bit more "neurtral.") I took them to work for listening to music there. They'd probably be just fine for anyone looking for a budget set of studio monitors.

Based on the little bit of experience I have, the mic isn't any worse than my Blue Snowball ICE.

I'll mess around with it some more. If I decide I don't like it, I'll be replacing it with a AT 2020 or a SM58.
V Cool! Glad you are satisfied!! Thanks for sharing the clips and specs!!!
 

singularity6

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V Cool! Glad you are satisfied!! Thanks for sharing the clips and specs!!!

I'm not sure I'm satisfied, yet. I suspect it'll work for my purposes, but I'm also curious as yo how other mics sound.

I'm also curious about how much it'll matter since I don't want to spend a lot of money (I'd probably get more use out of new pickups, or a bass, which I don't have.)

The headphones are fine, but kind of a bonus if I keep the set.
 
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