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Advice please on choice between mics

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by mr-kite, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. mr-kite

    mr-kite Active Member

    Hi, I'm new here and it's great to see so much excellent info :D

    I'm a pro musician,Im new to home recording but have spent quite a bit of time in some very good studios doing session work so Im not a complete noob.

    Anyway, I am stuck on what to buy for my basic setup. I have an Apogee Duet for my macbook (Logic) and, now for my money I can either get
    - an AT4050
    or
    - a Rode NT1-A and an SM57 (possibly 2)

    I've done a lot of reading and from what I understand the AT4050 is a good reliable general-use mic and I can probably get a fairly clean recording of vocals/instruments and then work with that in Logic. But I'm wondering, would it be more useful to have the combination of both the Rode and 57? I know you can do a hell of a lot with just 57s anyway

    Note that I'm not expecting to make incredible recordings, I know I'll have to spend months and years experimenting with whatever gear I wind up with to work out things for myself. But I want a good general-purpose mic setup to be able to put together relatively good-sounding stuff.

    Cheers!
     
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    What sources are you going to be recording? What type of room will you be in? I have a pair of AT4050's they're great, but if we're talking about a closet for a vocal booth, then a 57/58 is better. Ditto for a guitar amp. Drums in a large room, they're fine. So is the Shure KSM32 at about the same price. Sure, you should have at least (1) 57. But LDC's require a better acoustical environment or they end up putting too much of the room into your mix, and their off-axis pick-up tends to be more colored which just aggravates this. Anyway, fill us in!
     
  3. mr-kite

    mr-kite Active Member

    Sources: male vocal, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, cello, piano....minimal drums!

    I have a smallish room that I'm setting up as much as possible with foam, but it's by no means ideal. But I'm planning to "learn by doing" and adapt it as I experiment.

    Thanks for your help :)
     
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Well, a 58 ( or a 57 with a pop screen) could double for the vocals and guitar amps. Then a decent stereo pair of SDC's
    like Rode NT5's (the NT55's offer more bells and whistles, like omni/cardioid capsules and HPF/Pad switches, but at a higher $), Shure SM81's, or A-T 4051's, Any of those will do very well on acoustic instruments and percussion. A "smallish" room, even made reasonably "dead" will not flatter an LDC...
     
  5. mr-kite

    mr-kite Active Member

    OK..Well if I record vocals/guitars in my "smallish" room with the SM57, I could get access to a reasonably large, acoustically dead room (practice room) and use that for the strings/piano/acoustic stuff. In any case the piano would have to be somewhere like that as I don't own one myself ;) Would then it make more sense to get an LDC over SDC?

    Another idea for consideration... is that I may want to make some basic live recordings of small-scale classical music (eg solo cello, string quartet) in reasonably-sized venues, so is there any advice on a mic I could use reasonably for the piano/strings stuff and also for a basic live recording in a bigger space? This is one reason i'd been thinking of the AT4050, but as you know Im a noob and Im very aware I may be barking up the wrong tree :D
     
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    You have to think about the purpose of the recording and how it is going to sound. A solo cello might need a single mic to capture the instrument plus some room reverberation, but will result in a mono recording. This will sound flat and maybe dull to anyone who is used to stereo and is listening to the music rather than listening for something like instrument technique. At least a stereo pair of mics is normally used even for a solo instrument.

    Moonbaby's suggestion of a pair of Rode NT55s is good, as they give you the option of the various co-incident cardioid configurations (X-Y, ORTF etc), and also, using the omni capsules, the spaced-omni configuration for wider instrumental groups, choirs and other spread sound sources. Omnis are also often used on piano because of their extended low-end response that has the chance of capturing the bottom octave of a 9ft grand in the right acoustic environment.
     
  7. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Why does everyone think that they have to have an LDC on something for it to sound "good" ? LOL ! !
    Don't get me wrong, there are many good apps for them, but only for the right source in the right room...
     
  8. mr-kite

    mr-kite Active Member

    Thanks very much for the help....really useful. Going for a pair of NT5s, dont quite have the budget for the 55s along with other stuff I want to buy but I can pick up some omni capsules for them too.
     

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