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Lets play: Recommend me a mic!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
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Barncore's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Lets play: Recommend me a mic!

Max Budget: $300-400 (but willing to buy 2nd hand)

Application: Multi purpose studio recording. Not for super loud stuff like drums or guitar amps though (but hey you never know), more like acoustic instruments, percussion, vocals, etc.

Sound: I favour a warm/smooth/full sound over a bright/harsh sound. Mostly interested in something that offers a euphonic 3D sound and proximity effect. Fidelity is important. I want wow factor. I'm a sucker for heaps of "character".

The space: It's a fairly small treated room. 6 baffles total. (although the space will change in 1-3 years probably)

Follow up question: My preamp is in my interface - Audient iD14. Is that good enough? Or would i get more bang for buck if I got a cheaper mic + a little preamp box?

Thanks!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barncore ➡️
Max Budget: $300-400 (but willing to buy 2nd hand) [. . .]
Sound: I favour a warm/smooth/full sound over a bright/harsh sound. [. . .]
I really, really wanted to play, but. . .

I favor a bitterly bright/harsh sound over a deliciously warm/smooth/full sound - and I've insufficient recent experience in the price range.


But wanted to at least bump your thread. Hopefully it will attract more reasonable responses.


Best wishes,

Ray H.

EDIT: @ Barncore - of course I tease a bit. . .but it is true that I am unqualified to express coherent thoughts or useful advice in the price range. The responses from others below are indeed more reasonable.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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PdotDdot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Electro Voice RE20 or PE20. Should be about your price range and it will work nicely on everything you throw at it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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bambamboom's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Your budget is a stretch. I've never heard anything in that price range that I would call "euphonic". Having said that, what you might need to do is get a decent mic and then rely on plugins to get you to where you want to be.

Your Audient is not a bad device, but based on what you are describing you would probably like working with the Unison pre's on one of the UA devices where you can patch in Neve, API, Helios, Manley etc virtual pre's rather than the cleaner audient Preamps.

Having said this, something like an Apollo twin is about 2x the price of your audient.

Regarding the mics, it sounds as though you'd like a tube mic, but there are not really any decent options in your price range. If you can increase to around $500 a few start to appear, like Avantone CV12 (though it's in the brighter spectrum), one of the darker Warbler models, and others. You might be able to pick up one of these used.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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andersmv's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Vanguard Audio V4. I haven’t found anything in that price range that can compare.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #6
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andychamp's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by PdotDdot ➡️
Electro Voice RE20 or PE20. Should be about your price range and it will work nicely on everything you throw at it.
I second this,even though the RE20 has practically no proximity effect.
But I consider this a good thing.
And there *is* low end available to EQ in, it's just not exaggerated by the mic.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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Progger's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Not sure how much these mics go for in Oz these days, so I'm not sure if they'll still be in your budget. But these are all great multipurpose mics in that price range:

E-V RE20 (mentioned above)
Beyerdynamic M88
Sennheiser MD421
Heil PR30 or PR40 (caveat: I haven't used these personally, but I know good folks who love them)

A very impressive-sounding mic on a budget, to my ears, is the NoHype LRMV ribbon. Very affordable, with a warm, dark-ish sound and nice character. That might fit your taste really well, and the price is certainly good.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by PdotDdot ➡️
Electro Voice RE20 or PE20. Should be about your price range and it will work nicely on everything you throw at it.
Sounds like he wants a strong proximity effect, so that's a bad choice. Fine mic though.

And since a warm/smooth/full sound is desired, I'd look at some ribbon mics. Cascade Vin Jet or NoHype LRM, for example, both $300 or less.

Depending on various other factors, a good dynamic could fill the bill, and you can easily get a great one for under your budget and then some. PS your interface is fine
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
What mic(s) do you already own?

Even the simple and low cost Shure SM57 can be a great character mic if you have a transformer micpre with low input impedance.

If you want to stick with your Audient's preamps then the Beyer M88 or passive ribbon mics are good bets. Even some of the super cheap ribbons might be cool for the kind of thing you are after.

Sound that brings terms like euphonic and 3D to mind I don't think are achieved just by a mic purchase. This kind of sound is a result of many things being done correctly: the right mic, a nice preamp, a colorful compressor, proper mic placement, a room that doesn't suck, and a great source.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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Shure KSM-32! You never have to look back
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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MandoBastardo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
3U Audio Warbler MKIV is a warm, detailed LDC well under $400. Or the even darker Warbler MKV. 3U Demo thread gives a rough idea of the various tonalities.

The NoHype LRM-2 is a great option too. As well as the superb stereo SRM-1. Just slightly over budget.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Maniac
SE T2. I wouldn't say it has tons of character but it's a very nice sounding clean mic with a smooth top end. I've been happy with everything I've tried it on.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Rode NT1 (black) is a nice sounding mic, and I would guess... Sells for le$$ there vs. here in USA.

IMHO Shure KSM32 and SE T2 are somewhat superior, but are over $400 US Down Under.
Chris
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Have a look at J-P's No Hype website ... his ribbons might be your thing, but perhaps not your first mic(s) ... but the Line Audio's might be ...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
ccg
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
My first thought is an M88. I love RE-20s, but I'd rather have an M88 for things like acoustic guitar.

In my rehearsal room, which is different than the studio space, we use AT 4040s for lots of demos. I'd get one or two of those and add an M88 when you can. The good news is that the M88 will stay with your forever even when you have "better" mics if you choose to upgrade or build your collection. The 4040 is a decent enough utility mic that you'll end up using it as well.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barncore ➡️
Max Budget: $300-400 (but willing to buy 2nd hand)... I want wow factor. I'm a sucker for heaps of "character".
at $300-$400 you are going to need to get your "wow factor" from whatever you put in front of the mic. At those price ranges, "wow" is probably not included built into the mic - if it ever was.

I remember a friend who was house-hunting and said something to real estate agent about wanting "charm". She was told: 'oh charm will cost you an extra $100,000"

Quote:
Follow up question: My preamp is in my interface - Audient iD14. Is that good enough? Or would i get more bang for buck if I got a cheaper mic + a little preamp box?
Definitely not. A "little preamp box" that is purchased with the leftover budget after you get a mic will almost certainly be no better than the preamps built into your interface. Even really expensive good preamps will only make a subtle difference, and they cost more than your total budget, including the cost of your interface.

Keep in mind that just because they are in a separate box does not make them "that" kind of preamp. If you took your entire budget and put it into a one channel preamp you might still be hard pressed to call it an "improvement". And you would have no microphone!

Work with your interface preamps for now. Almost anything modern will be clean enough to get good results.

In any case a dollar added to your mic budget will always be much more easily audible than a dollar added to your preamp budget. Get your room and your mics sorted first, then start saving up for preamps.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Guru
 
PRE-cisely!
Chris
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #18
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Barncore's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Thanks for the responses so far everybody.

A quick note. Forget what i said about proximity affect, i thought it meant something else until i looked it up. Most important is depth of sound. E.g. the source sounds like it's its own "full" entity.. Dunno how to articulate it. 3D? Somebody please tell me if there's a word for it, it would make researching mics much easier!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLast ➡️
What mic(s) do you already own?
This will be my first. Have been getting by with creating everything inside the box, but wanna open up some possibilities.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barncore ➡️
This will be my first mic Have been getting by with creating everything inside the box, but wanna open up some possibilities.
Mics themselves don't make things 3D or create some magical sound out of thin air.

Talent in front of the mic and the talent behind the recording console (or at the keyboard and mouse of the DAW) are what make great recordings that have space, detail, depth, and whatever other magic you care to describe.

If you think of mics as tools rather than the idea that some special one is going to provide automagical properties to your recordings you will advance faster in making quality recordings.

If you seek the holy grail you will be chasing windmills for a long time. A $99 SM57 with talent in front of it and someone who truly understands mic placement, eq, compression, and reverb will make a professional sounding recording while someone without these skills will make crap even if they have a mic that costs thousands.

There are many good audio tools (mics but other gear as well) around lately even at the lower price points so that part isn't really all that difficult.

The gear is lucky if it's 10% of the equation. 90% is as I said before, the talent on both sides of the mic.

Not to say there aren't differences between mics and other gear but it's much more about choosing the way you want to work than there being one (or even a few) correct magic mic(s).

If you have $400 to spend on mics I would say get an SM57 and a decent $300 condenser. The current Rode NT1 is a good place to start or the Tech Zone X2 Vintage or a number of others. You could also go a different route with the Beyer M88 which is a very high quality dynamic mic but recording quiet sources I think you might be served better having a higher output condenser and still having enough to pick up a 57 so you can have a basic studio standard dynamic as well to work with and learn.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
Here for the gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barncore ➡️
Max Budget: $300-400 (but willing to buy 2nd hand)

Application: Multi purpose studio recording. Not for super loud stuff like drums or guitar amps though (but hey you never know), more like acoustic instruments, percussion, vocals, etc.

Sound: I favour a warm/smooth/full sound over a bright/harsh sound. Mostly interested in something that offers a euphonic 3D sound and proximity effect. Fidelity is important. I want wow factor. I'm a sucker for heaps of "character".

The space: It's a fairly small treated room. 6 baffles total. (although the space will change in 1-3 years probably)

Follow up question: My preamp is in my interface - Audient iD14. Is that good enough? Or would i get more bang for buck if I got a cheaper mic + a little preamp box?

Thanks!
I love my EV RE20 for everything from upright bass (really good) to overly squeeky vocals. But, make sure your preamp/interface has plenty of gain if you're going to use it on acoustic stringed instruments. --- On the cheap end, cheaper than your budget, you might try a Studio Projects B3. No problem with gain. It's a large diaphragm cheap mic, but it sounds better than that, at least to me.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #21
Here for the gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLast ➡️
Mics themselves don't make things 3D or create some magical sound out of thin air.

Talent in front of the mic and the talent behind the recording console (or at the keyboard and mouse of the DAW) are what make great recordings that have space, detail, depth, and whatever other magic you care to describe.

If you think of mics as tools rather than the idea that some special one is going to provide automagical properties to your recordings you will advance faster in making quality recordings.

If you seek the holy grail you will be chasing windmills for a long time. A $99 SM57 with talent in front of it and someone who truly understands mic placement, eq, compression, and reverb will make a professional sounding recording while someone without these skills will make crap even if they have a mic that costs thousands.

There are many good audio tools (mics but other gear as well) around lately even at the lower price points so that part isn't really all that difficult.

The gear is lucky if it's 10% of the equation. 90% is as I said before, the talent on both sides of the mic.

Not to say there aren't differences between mics and other gear but it's much more about choosing the way you want to work than there being one (or even a few) correct magic mic(s).

If you have $400 to spend on mics I would say get an SM57 and a decent $300 condenser. The current Rode NT1 is a good place to start or the Tech Zone X2 Vintage or a number of others. You could also go a different route with the Beyer M88 which is a very high quality dynamic mic but recording quiet sources I think you might be served better having a higher output condenser and still having enough to pick up a 57 so you can have a basic studio standard dynamic as well to work with and learn.
I like what you're saying, a 57 and a $300 condenser. That covers a lot of bases and takes into consideration gain, which can be a problem with interface/preamps.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
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vernier's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Yep I'd probably seek out some sort of dynamic mic.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLast ➡️
Mics themselves don't make things 3D or create some magical sound out of thin air.

Talent in front of the mic and the talent behind the recording console (or at the keyboard and mouse of the DAW) are what make great recordings that have space, detail, depth, and whatever other magic you care to describe.

If you think of mics as tools rather than the idea that some special one is going to provide automagical properties to your recordings you will advance faster in making quality recordings.

If you seek the holy grail you will be chasing windmills for a long time. A $99 SM57 with talent in front of it and someone who truly understands mic placement, eq, compression, and reverb will make a professional sounding recording while someone without these skills will make crap even if they have a mic that costs thousands.

There are many good audio tools (mics but other gear as well) around lately even at the lower price points so that part isn't really all that difficult.

The gear is lucky if it's 10% of the equation. 90% is as I said before, the talent on both sides of the mic.

Not to say there aren't differences between mics and other gear but it's much more about choosing the way you want to work than there being one (or even a few) correct magic mic(s).

If you have $400 to spend on mics I would say get an SM57 and a decent $300 condenser. The current Rode NT1 is a good place to start or the Tech Zone X2 Vintage or a number of others. You could also go a different route with the Beyer M88 which is a very high quality dynamic mic but recording quiet sources I think you might be served better having a higher output condenser and still having enough to pick up a 57 so you can have a basic studio standard dynamic as well to work with and learn.


Yup, this. RE20 is a great mic BUT...none of the mics that cover the same ground are $4-500 except the SM7B and other broadcast mics. Meaning the other general purpose mics I have for 'RE20 type uses', save for maybe kick drum, were cheap. RE11, AKGs, even Sm57 and variants, the odd Beyer. Hell, even my kick drum mics were generally cheap.

As to '$400 with character'...ribbons. SE, Samar, and NoHypeAudio would get my $400.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Cary ➡️
I love my EV RE20 for everything from upright bass (really good) to overly squeeky vocals. But, make sure your preamp/interface has plenty of gain if you're going to use it on acoustic stringed instruments. --- On the cheap end, cheaper than your budget, you might try a Studio Projects B3. No problem with gain. It's a large diaphragm cheap mic, but it sounds better than that, at least to me.
Just FYI, I specifically sought out a clean AKG D112 for vocals and it was designed originally (I head) as an upright bass mic.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #26
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
a mic is just a tool which allows you to record anything which makes some kinda noise...

i do NOT select mics according to a specific sound i might have in mind (imo this concept is flawed if not entirely wrong) but focus on functional aspects which are appropriate for the job.

your budget doesn't allow to get a high quality multipattern ldc which would be the most versatile tool, giving you the most options in terms of applications - imo the next best thing would be to get a used sdc (such as an akg c460b/ck61) and a pop filter (for use as vocal mic) - that said, a 'handheld' condenser mic might also be a useful.


[i'm an elitist snob who's got nothing but expensive gear made not too far from where i live so i cannot comment on cheapish gear made abroad, manufactured by kids in sweatshops, under conditions that are highly damaging to health and the environment and which are in disregard of minimum social and political standards - i'm almost sure though that you could find a multipattern ldc which besides being a useful tool first and foremost exactly fulfils those criteria which i just critiqued]

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 4 weeks ago at 12:33 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
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cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I agree with what DeeDee said above..
I'd also suggest maybe a used Shure ksm32, very good mic for that money, can record just about anything quite well, it doesn't have the typical topend boost.



Cheu
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
a mic is just a tool which allows you to record anything which makes some kinda noise...

i do NOT select mics according to a specific sound i might have in mind (imo this concept is flawed if not entirely wrong) but focus on functional aspects which are appropriate for the job. [. . .]
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 ➡️
I agree with what DeeDee said above. [. . .]
START OFF-TOPIC:

Then why specifically - aside from manufacturing location, and ignoring this thread's focus for a moment - do you favor [as I'm assuming to be true] the Neumann TLM 170 R microphones over the two newish [XL*] AKG C414 options? What aspects and unique functions of the Neumann TLM 170 R are so compelling in that comparison? How is that different from the diverse sets of specific sounds? [1]

Seems like I would have a clearer grasp on this by now. It really has nothing to do with specific sounds? [2]

I more understand the functional delta with Austrian Audio's OC818 and allow that that is a different kind of thing to some extent - but still tend to think others are focused on sound differences and company cultures as primary drivers that set preference for the AA brand/model.


Thanks,

Ray H.

[1] It seems that the noted AKG mics come with significantly more functional options. And I'm guessing the preference would still hold for you, even if the AKGs were still manufactured in Austria?

EDIT: [2] The interpretation I keep in my head is that you don't select a mic because of the way it sounds. But you do select a mic - in part - because of the way it doesn't sound. . .that is, preferring more transparency, or so to speak?

END OFF-TOPIC
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #29
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
can't speak for cheu but i assume we're both thinking that a variable pattern ldc would offer the most options (and on this, i guess a couple more folks could agree)...

___


on the other aspect of my reasoning i know that i'm not getting much support though: i'm convinced that most any 'engineer' overestimates the importance of his/her gear choice in terms of its impact on 'sound' and cannot tell from listening to a single track recorded on average/normal conditions what gear was used, let alone specific details of the recording session (from room to gear to settings)! - therefore and to get to the point/your question:

in terms of 'sound', imo it doesn't matter whether you're using a tlm170r, a tlm107, any version of the 414, an oc818 or a mkh twin etc.!

pls note that i'm not saying they sound or actually behave and capture sound all in the same way! nevertheless, this for me usually isn't the basis to decide which mic to use:

it's the differences in terms of functional aspects and/or (to a lesser degree) specs/unique performance characteristics other than frequency response which let me favour one model over the other (such as the ability to remotely control the pattern or to adjust pattern after recording/while mixing, high spl capability, low self noise, not much variation in terms of fr when used with different patterns/off-axis colouration).

___


in doing so, i suspect i'm as much biased as some other folks are in terms of matching fr/'eq' but then, i guess most folks rely on their experience/habits/attributions/stereotypes to some degree!

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 4 weeks ago at 05:36 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #30
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Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Groove Tubes MD1A
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