I know it's probably been asked 1000 times before here, but i am looking for a recommendations for a second microphone, i own a SM57 but feel i need something better for recording acoustic guitar and vocals etc.
I am looking at condenser mics under £150 that are natural and detailed, nothing harsh;
Studio Projects B1/B3 (is there any difference other than polar patterns switch?)
Would anyone recomend any of the above, or have other recomendations?
thanks for the rec. I record both types of guitar. both options would be over my budget. unless i get lucky on ebay.
I have mostly been looking at large diaphragm mics as i figure they will be more versitile in the long run as i need to use it for vocals. plus might try micing guitar cabs or using it as a room mic,
am i right in thinking a large diaphram wold be better for these and in general, more versitile?
A lot depends on the type of acoustic recording environment you have. Using an LDC on an acoustic guitar is very unforgiving of a poor acoustic space, and if your envirnonment falls into this category, you may well be better off with a single or pair of SDCs, or continuing to use your SM57.
Under studio conditions, vocals are usually recorded with an LDC. Under non-ideal acoustic conditions, I have found that it is usually easier to get away with an LDC on vocals than it is using one on a guitar.
That said, your £150 budget does not stretch to top quality mics. There are many mics in this price range, a lot of them similar-sounding and Chinese-made. As a personal preference, I would avoid the AKG Cx000 range and also anything from a low-price German manufacturer beginning with B.
If you are determined to get an LDC, and don't need one immediately, then as you mentioned it may well be worth you while to keep an eye on Ebay and bid sensibly on mics that you know would be good for your purpose. For example, there are some RODE LDCs coming up (NT1-As and NT2-As) that would be worth watching. The NT1-As are either BIN or are likely to finish within your budget, but the NT2-As may go over. There's also an A-T 4033A, which is a versatile good-sounding MDC. However, I'm conscious that in the past when particular items on Ebay have been pointed out in these forums, the Ebay price takes a jump, so I'm merely illustrating the sort of thing you could look for.
Contributers to these forums are always ready to give an opinion on things such as microphones, so if you see one you like the look of, come back here for some comments before comitting your cash.
I have two SP B1's, not used it very much, and recently got me a Superlux S502 (ORTF stereomic), which I think so far sounds better. I record mostly classical (choir) stuff.
The B1's to me sound sound shriller/thinner than the (rediculously cheap) S502. which is based on the Superlux S241 mic. So maybe you could consider the S241?
If you're seriously on a budget then try the Samson C03 large diaphragm multi pattern condenser. Well within your budget and will blow away the 57 !!!!!!
I've regularly used one of these on vocals, acoustic guitars, violins, guitar amps and even a double bass. And when I've told them how much it cost they don't believe me !!!
If anyone says they don't like them ask them if they've ACTUALLY TRIED ONE ?
I have heard the Samson. You can keep it. The low end on it is flabby and unresponsive and the top end is brittle.
....on vocals, acoustic guitars, violins, guitar amps and even a double bass....
I am sure it does give you something that can be recognized as whatever instrument and deliveres matching its price, but last time I listened
it was far from anything I would like to use. Don't expect much better critics for it on the pro audio forum section.
We are talking "budget" mics here ! It's very good value for money !!!!!!
I cirtainly wasn't comparing it with a Neuman U87ai
Perhaps, Big K, no mic under £150 is worthy of the "pro audio forum" but unfortunately some people have a budget to stick to and they want to get into recording because they are as passionate about it as you and I.
In actual fact, if you want to be blunt and honest, technically you won't get any "natural sounding condenser" for under £150
And believe it or I can even hear the difference between my C03 and my Neumann TLM 103. And yes, believe it or not, I do prefer my neumann. However it did cost me more than £150.
How about coming up with some constructive comments like Boswell did !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'll agree with ACIDMAN that you are not going to come up with a "natural sounding" LDC for under $240 (£150 today). As I said in another thread recently, I don't think there is an LDC that is widely liked for under $500. ACIDMAN may be right that the C03 is the best LDC in its price range. But my experience is that there is a bigger gap between the LDCs in this price range and those at $600-800 than between low price SDCs and ribbons and their higher priced competition. Moreover, I am very skeptical about the comment that the C03 "blows away the SM57." I have not tried the C03, so I can't say for sure. But I've tried enough LDCs in this price range and listened to enough recordings made by them to form the basis of an opinion. It is very common for someone to get a cheap LDC and really like the brightness of the mic compared to a 57. If the mic isn't the worst of the lot, it may not even seem that harsh when listened to in isolation. But it will show up as harsh on some things (often vocals) and harshness will build up when it is used on multiple tracks. You will often hear experienced people say, "All of the mics in this price range are crap, but I've had good luck with X." But X changes from person to person, and I've given up on the category. (I've concluded the it was indeed "good luck.") In contrast, good dynamics - like the 57 - are definitely pro quality and can be had for under £150. The best go for under $350.
In the SDC category the Rode NT5 is under £150, others have recommended others in that price range. The SM81 is a bit more. Yes there is a gap between these mics and DPA and Earthworks, but they are widely regarded as quality mics. SDCs tend to be less forgiving on vocals than either LDCs or dynamics.
There are also Chinese made ribbon mics on the market like Cascade and Avantone that are in your price range. I've used the Cascade Fat Head and like it on most instruments. I don't like it much on vocals.
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