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New Mic locker
Old 30th April 2003
  #1
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
New Mic locker

Hi all,

I am leaving the current studio I am involved in and taking it to the next level. I record acoustic, rock and traditional music with live drums etc. I'm trying to narrow down my mic list. Here is what I have

1 C-414 ULS (with easy access to a 2nd)
1 x SM57
1 x Sm58
1 x D112
Access to an old U87


The proposed new additions are

2 x KM184
2 x U99
1 x E47
1 x Sennheiser 441 (used)
2 x SM57
2 x Beta57

I reckon future additions (next year) would be a 251, Royer ribbon and maybe a Beyer M88 used?

Pres for now are 8ch Millenia HV-3D, Vintech 1272 with API? to come next year.


I'd love to hear your thoughts and questions,

cheers,
Ruairi
Old 30th April 2003
  #2
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Re: New Mic locker

Quote:
Originally posted by Ruairi

The proposed new additions are

2 x KM184
2 x U99
1 x E47
1 x Sennheiser 441 (used)
2 x SM57
2 x Beta57
I'd love to hear your thoughts and questions,
In your position, I'd probably wait on the U99 and get two or three used Sennheiser 421's (For toms and electric guitars), and instead of buying the Beta 57's, I'd look for another small diaphragm condenser pair to complement the KM184's. But an excellent call on the 441 - I wish I had a pair!
Old 30th April 2003
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
You may want to check out the Josephson C-42 for an alternative or addition (per Dave) on the small diaphram microphones.

Tim T
Old 1st May 2003
  #4
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Dave,

I really like the idea of having a pair of the U99 for stereo rooms etc. Maybe it wouldn't be as necessary as I think. I've found the Beta 57s to be really good for live stage recording - a market which I am trying to capture more of. In fact I just did a really good live female vocal recently with the Beta through a 9098 pre and all were pleased. Not too poppy or essy with nice projection.

I'm actually going to rent a bunch of 421s for a long session I have in June so I'll be in a position to know whether they suit me at that point but they do seem to be an industry standard - I've just never used 'em.

Other small diaphragm condensers - any suggestions besides the Josephsons (thanks Tim)?

Thanks for the input Dave, anyone else?,

cheers,
Ruairi
Old 1st May 2003
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
fishtop_records's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You really should have one or two 421s.

I'd suggest some BeyerDymanic M201s instead of the beta 57s.
They are very nice for drums (esp. toms) and
sell for under $200 each.

I've got a Beyer M500 ribbon that I picked up
used, it has converted me to the ribbon religion,
so that says you should look at the
AEA R84s instead of (or in addition to)
a pair of Royers.
Old 1st May 2003
  #6
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I remember reading somewhere that a studio without the EV 635a omni dynamic is like not having a coffee maker.
That one, along with the Shure SM57 (or other Unidyne III),
and the Beyer M88 can compete with an expensive Neumann on vocals (wiser AE's than humble moi have said this).

Chris
Old 1st May 2003
  #7
Gear Addict
 
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I would really suggest that you do not get the neumann km184's. You can do alot better for around the same amount of money...
Schoeps, DPA, Josephson.... or atleast get the km84's.


Also, i would strongly reccommend a pair of ribbon mics. The sound you get from them is very different then any of the mics you have or want and would round out your collection better.
I have the AEA R84's and i love them

Marshall Simmons
Old 1st May 2003
  #8
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: New Mic locker

Quote:
Originally posted by Ruairi


The proposed new additions are

2 x KM184
2 x U99
1 x E47
1 x Sennheiser 441 (used)
2 x SM57
2 x Beta57

Ditto on the Josephson substitution for the KM184.

A good pair of small diaphragm omnis might also be great. I love my earthworks QTC's and use them on tons of stuff. People have the mistaken impression that omnis are only useful in a great sounding room. I submit the opposite is true: in a really crappy room omnis are even MORE useful than cardioids.

Why? Because the near-absence of proximity effect means you can get in REAL close to the sound source, thus minimizing the room sound even more than you would with cardioids that would have to be placed 2-3x as far away.

I would consider the Lawson L47mp as a fine alternative (and cheaper?) to the E-47.
Old 1st May 2003
  #9
Gear Nut
 
madrigal's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
ditto again on the ribbons, especially as beyers are relatively cheap over here (if you're in dublin, I think Big Bear have some discounted m160s), great on precussion, and pretty useful on a lot of other stuff like brass instruments
Old 1st May 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Fishtop,
I think I used the Beyer M201 once in a live situation - they are a SD condenser right? I remember liking it. I kinda feel like ribbons are a luxury I just can't afford right now but then again...

Marshall,
I was actually in touch with you a while back about a pair of KM84s you had for sale but I found some closer to home. In the end that sale fell through so I never got them. Did you sell your '84s? The main reason I'm drawn to the KM184s is the price I'm getting 850 bucks for a pair brand new in wooden case from a reputable source. That said I will look into the Josephson and DPA options - I would be using SD for general acoustic instrument duties, Drum OHs, room mics etc. I'll look into the ribbons as well.

Littledog,
I find myself using Omni more and more these days and my room sounds pretty poor. The earthworks series look really good and are pretty cheap too. The Lawson looks great but I am getting a really good price on the E47 so I think I'll stick with it for now.

Madrigal,
are you in Dublin? I will look at Big Bear's site although I stopped shopping there a little while ago, I'll tell you the story if you are interested - poor customer service.

Thanks all for the info, it is exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for,
Ruairi
Old 1st May 2003
  #11
Gear Nut
 
madrigal's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
yeah, I'm in dublin alright - just getting started out here, hoping to set up a place of my own before year's end. Good to see another irishman on the board - we're a rare breed!

I'd be interested in the BB story alright. The only reason I recommended them in the first place is cos their m160 prices are actually quite reasonable (as opposed to their prices for everything else - $$$$$££££££££££££££!!!!) and I often wish it was possible to get decent gear here as opposed to having to go to the US...

Anyway, enough of the rant. Good luck with the gear acquisitions, and PM me if ya got any slanderous gossip about BB!!
Old 1st May 2003
  #12
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Madrigal,

The Big Bear thing relates to a Focusrite Octopre I bought from them for a gig I was recording. Started the session on a Sunday night, high pressure - session musicians on €400 a day and the focusrite D/A card was dead. I rang Focusrite on the Monday morning and they shipped a new unit to me no questions asked which got to me on the Tuesday morning - excellent excellent service. Meanwhile I needed a backup so Big Bear sent me a unit on the train which I got in the late afternoon Monday - excellent service too.

The problem arises when it comes time to return the 2 units, the faulty one and the temp. I asked them to collect them and the guy says that I have to send them back at my cost. I got really really pissed off but said nothing as I was in the middle of a session. The shipping was only like €25 but I thought it was a ****ty thing to do so I wrote a nasty email but decided not to send it. I thought that the best thing to do is vote with my wallet.

On Monday I am buying €35000 worth of new gear for my new studio - no points for guessing where I'm avoiding.

cheers,
Ruairi
Old 2nd May 2003
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey!

I remember now. Unfortunately, i did sell them... sorry

You are really going to be dissapointed with the performance of the 184's. It may be the cheeper option, but you'll want to upgrade in a year or so. I've never heard the josophen, but i own the schoeps system and i've heard the dpa standard series... The 184's seem overly bright and harsh compared. Atleast the 84's were really smooth. They have a transparency about them that was great, but i liked the schoeps better. The schoeps can be purchases pretty cheaply, and then expanded as your budget and needs grow.


Don't forget about pre's!!!!!


i only have a couple mics, but i have an equal amount of pre options so i can get lots of sounds from a small but high quality collection...

I'm probably going to sell my pair of KSM32's
Great mics for alot of things, but i could use another high quality pre instead.

Marshall
Old 2nd May 2003
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
fishtop_records's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
>>I think I used the Beyer M201 once in a live situation
>>- they are a SD condenser right? I remember liking it.

Acutally, they are dymanic. They look like larger
version of the high quality small condensers mentioned
by others, KM184 and Josephson C42, etc.

They will not sparkle on an acoustic instument
like the 84/184 or C42, but they are wonderful
for drumkits and guitar amps.

And ditto on preamps. Many mics sound
much better with good to great pres.
Even a cheap SM57 can sound good with
a wonderful preamp.
Old 2nd May 2003
  #15
Lives for gear
 
StuartMac's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ruairi, like everyone else I'd definitely recommend at least THREE MD421s. Contact Bruce at Funky Junk in London (0207 609 5479 or www.proaudioeurope.com) as they usually have good old ones in great condition for around £130+VAT. For what it's worth, I prefer the older MD421-U5 to the new MD421-II, but I guess that's subjective. Whatever, these mics are excellent on toms, and I also love them in combination with an SM57 on the front of guitar cabs (with the capsules as close as possible) with another one on the rear of the cab blended in as well. Given that it's also often ideal for kick drum and some singers, you really can't have too many! Personally I would drop the Beta 57s in favour of more 421s.

The 441 is also an outstanding mic. I particularly like it on floor toms, and is again a good option to have for vocals. All the Abba vocals were apparently recorded with 441s.

I also second the M201 from beyerdynamic. It's my first choice top snare mic, and you can get them at Thomann in Germany for £87 plus £10 delivery!

For ribbons, look for the beyerdynamic M160. I was hung up on waiting until I could afford a pair of Royers, until someone whose opinion I respect enormously told me he actually preferred the M160 nine times out of ten. Considering this was someone I'd phoned looking for a Royer (which he had in stock at more than twice the price!) I took on board what he said. He also pointed out that the beyer M160 is the mic of choice for recording strings at Abbey Road. If you're recording traditional instruments at all, I think you should really consider at least one of these (about £315 from Funky Junk, slightly less from Digital Village but without the expertise!) and possibly the M130 figure 8 pattern mic to add to it for M-S recording.

I realise many people here don't like the KM184, but I have to admit I'm really happy with the pair I've got. I use them on overheads a lot, and in X-Y for certain acoustic guitars. On my Martin acoustic for finger-picking parts they sound outstanding. For another pair of SD condensors, there IS always the Rode NT5 set if your budget is getting tight. I'm not a huge fan of Rode stuff, but these are alright, and pretty good for the money. I often stick them on hi-hat and ride (which almost never makes it onto the mix anyway).

It's also worth considering the AKG 451b. Good all rounders, and can be bought for £170 from Digital Village, so a pair is only going to be around £90 more than the Rode set.

If you can find any, I love Groove Tubes GT67 valve mics for rooms, particularly in Omni. I was also surprised at how good they are on acoustic guitar for a big strummy thing. These could be had ridiculously cheap a month ago from Digital Village (£499 for a PAIR!) and I think they are possibly about to get more stock to blow out like this again. I bought an ex-demo one for £350 from them, and it's turned out to be an excellent option for a vocal mic as well.

Final mic recommendations from me (I know, I know, thank Christ!) would be a couple of Audio Technica 4033s (£169 each from Digital Village). Don't be fooled by the low cost. These are great mics on a number of sources, but I find them outstanding on overheads and they regularly beat out my Neumann TLM103s for certain vocalists as well.

Finally, if you're recording a lot of acoustic instruments, I'd seriously look at trying out a Buzz Audio MA2.2 mic pre. It's a favourite in Nashville for that very purpose, and it makes a great choice for most voices as well. Contact Alan Stewart at ASAP Europe (0207 231 9661). He's very, very helpful, and does the Soundelux stuff at excellent prices too.

All the best.

PS You can get a matched pair of KM184s for £500+VAT from Studiocare in Liverpool.
Old 2nd May 2003
  #16
Gear Guru
 
NathanEldred's Avatar
 
7 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Re: Re: New Mic locker

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
In your position, I'd probably wait on the U99 and get two or three used Sennheiser 421's (For toms and electric guitars), and instead of buying the Beta 57's, I'd look for another small diaphragm condenser pair to complement the KM184's. But an excellent call on the 441 - I wish I had a pair!
I'm with Dave...for all around starters I would go with a pair of Soundelux iFET7 instead of the U99 since you are talking about stereo recording. With the $1000 saved you'll have plenty of money for some 421's and misc stuff. I personally prefer the iFET7's in "vocal" mode for room and overheads, etc. They are a little flatter in the high mids and highs to my ears, making them able to be used in more applications than the U99 which seems to have more of a rise in those frequencies. The U99 is a great female pop microphone or where you want lots of presence though. DPA's are lovely for acoustic instruments. The OSA preamps may be a viable option to the 312. The amount of headroom on these quite is impressive IMO. Good Luck!
Old 2nd May 2003
  #17
Lives for gear
 
lowswing's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
consider buyind a pair of beyer m160 ribbon mics, they are relative cheap and by far the most used mic in my studio (I'm recording the same music you said and have quit nice mic collection), I do with them all, OH ac and e-gtr, percussion, strings brass...
Old 2nd May 2003
  #18
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Marshall Simmon

You are really going to be dissapointed with the performance of the 184's.
It depends - the 184's worked better for me on a particular Taylor guitar (in an XY pattern) than any of my other mics. And it could be worse - he could be planning on buying AKG 460's...
Old 2nd May 2003
  #19
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Hi guys,

thanks for the input, I'm going straight into a session but I'll respond later tonight. Lots of interesting food for thought though,

cheers,
Ruairi
Old 2nd May 2003
  #20
Lives for gear
 
RKrizman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
It depends - the 184's worked better for me on a particular Taylor guitar (in an XY pattern) than any of my other mics. And it could be worse - he could be planning on buying AKG 460's...
I always find myself more amazed than I probably should be at the sound of my 184's on acoustic instruments, the top of a Leslie, and hand percussion, especially when going through an Avalon 737. Maybe not the perfect SD mic, but deserving of more than the harsh criticism it always gets in forums.

-R
Old 2nd May 2003
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Meriphew's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Marshall Simmon

You are really going to be dissapointed with the performance of the 184's.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have a pair of KM184's that I use when recording my Gibson Gospel acoustic. I'm very happy with the results I get.
Old 2nd May 2003
  #22
Gear Addict
 
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i don't want to discourage the people that own the km184. If you are happy with the mic, then punk rock!


My only question to yall would be, "have you tried anything better then them?"


Marshall
Old 5th May 2003
  #23
Lives for gear
 
StuartMac's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have tried some of the mics that seem to be considered "better" than the KM184. In some applications they WERE more suited to the task than the Neumanns, but a lot of the time the KM184s were just perfect.

Incidentally, Digital Village are blowing out Groove Tubes GT33s for only £129 at the moment, or £239 for a matched pair! This is the FET version of the GT44 mid-diaphragm tube mic.
Old 5th May 2003
  #24
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Marshall Simmon

My only question to yall would be, "have you tried anything better then them?"
Why yes, but thanks for asking.
Old 7th May 2003
  #25
Jtt
Gear Addict
 
Jtt's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Nathan: How is the iFet7 on male vox???

-J
Old 8th May 2003
  #26
Lives for gear
 
barforama's Avatar
 
21 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by StuartMac
I have tried some of the mics that seem to be considered "better" than the KM184. In some applications they WERE more suited to the task than the Neumanns, but a lot of the time the KM184s were just perfect.

Incidentally, Digital Village are blowing out Groove Tubes GT33s for only £129 at the moment, or £239 for a matched pair! This is the FET version of the GT44 mid-diaphragm tube mic.
How do they compare to the GT44? I bought a pair of GT44's a month ago and they've like become my first choice overhead-mics. One placed 5 feet directly above the snare, the other drummers-shoulder heigh at the drummers right, 5 feet from the snare and pointing at the snare also. It takes a little adjustment to get the balance right, but it's worth it.
My bottom line is; If the GT33's are anything like these I'd probally get a pair of those too. I mean; at £239 it's ridicullous not to do it :-) ...beeing a slut and all
Old 8th May 2003
  #27
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
An update

Hello all,

thanks again for all the input. Here is an update on my new locker

what I have

1 x 57
1 x 58
1 x D112
1 C414 ULS

New additions

1 Soundelux E47
1 Soundelux U99
2 x KM184 (spectacular price on a stereo pair - can't be beat)
2 x Sennheiser 421
2 x Sm57
1 Beyer M160 Double Ribbon

Again pres for now are Millenia HV-3D 8ch, Vintech 1272

I have yet to find a used Sennheiser 441 but i will get one shortly if not two. This leaves me without a stereo pair of Large diaphragm condensers. I though about a pair of AT-4060 but I did not realise they are cardiod only, I may just get another 414 cheap to a least give me a pair for now. Any other ideas? Maybe I should just hold out for a pair of ifet 7s?

cheers,
Ruairi
Ruairi
Old 8th May 2003
  #28
Lives for gear
 
StuartMac's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
barforama, the GT33s are pretty similar to the GT44s. I've only done a direct comparison very briefly, and the differences are fairly predictable in a FET vs Valve kind of way (slightly softer transients and subtly richer mids on the 44), but the two models are perhaps closer than you suspect. Buy 'em!!

Ruari, did you use the studiocare contact for your KM184s? They also have great prices on 414s (particularly the TLII model at £400 +VAT) but I still think you should look at a pair of 4033s, which you could get for £340 a pair in DV! Alternatively you could buy a pair of multi-pattern 4050s for a whole lot less than two 4060s, with a (broadly) similar sound.

At the moment I am smitten with the Groove Tubes GT67 multi-pattern valve mic, which I got for all of £349 on a blowout deal. Wish I could afford another!

Finally, if you go onto ebay.com (NOT ebay.co.uk) and type in 441, there is a guy selling a pair for $600 (I think as a "Buy It Now" deal) and I seem to remember he was willing to ship them internationally. Worth a look.
Old 8th May 2003
  #29
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Stuart,

I forgot to thank you in particular for your original bost which was as informative as it was long. I am indeed getting the KM184s from Studiocare, I had found them through ebay and their prices do seem especially good.

I will investigate the 4033/4050 situation further - I generally try to avoid buying stuff in the U.K. because the exchange rate is horrible but it's not too bad right now.

I was dissappointed to find that the 4060 is cardiod only as I use omni and fig 8 quite often - maybe I should really look into those 4050s.

Thanks for the lead on the 441's,

cheers,
Ruairi
Old 8th May 2003
  #30
Lives for gear
 
lowswing's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
if you look for a pair of LD from AT don't buy other than the 4047 imho their are the most unique sounding mics they ever made they sound big for oh and male vox as well as any place that i useally used u47fet (though they not really the same)
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