All about microphones

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by JoeH, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Hi all;

    With so many recent discussions on mics (Oktava's, Earthworks, GMs, Royers & ribbons, etc.) it's clear we should have a free-wheeling, random thoughs thread going on microphones. Rare, vintage, new, good, bad, and everything in between; it's all fair game here on this thread.

    Got a favorite? Got a tip? Got one to sell, or looking to buy?

    My own thoughts are on Ribbons these days. I've been using the Royer SF12 in a studio environment and really like it. (It's not MINE though, and I can't take it out on remotes! :-( I'm looking at the AEA stereo ribbon, and it seems to be just as highly rated, but not as expensive as the Royer. Anyone have any real world experience with both?
  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Good, slightly generic thread.

    I'll expand/expound -

    I have been looking at adding a pair of cardioids or multi-pattern mics recently - hell, I've spent the past 3 hours on e-bay looking for that elusive bargain!

    I too am quite interested in the stereo ribbons, especially the AEA (despite the fact that it's about the size of a Louisville Slugger and probably twice as heavy!)

    My prospects right now are:
    AT 4050 (pair)
    Original C414 ULS (pair)
    Microtech Gefell M300's (pair)
    Groove Tubes - any of their tube series mics (pair)

    As most of you know, I'm a big fan of omnis - but they certainly don't do everything in every situation. Though I have a few various pairs of cardioids, I don't have anything to "write home about" in that department.

    No, I'm not really looking for DPAs or Schoeps for the cardioid (in other words, I can't justify the $$ right now since I just blew $10,000 on other gear recently.) By the listing above, you can see my budget is in the $1000 to $1500 range for a pair (though I'd prefer to stay on the lower side of that - I have to buy an automated CD printer here within the next 4 weeks too! :twisted: )

    Of course, I'm open to suggestions. (About the mics - not suggestions like "It's 1:30 in the morning - get your ass in bed!" I'll leave that to my wife to complain about!)

    Thoughts anyone?????????

  3. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    I have a vintage U87 in immaculate condition to sell, and a KM86i also in perfect condition.

    I am interested in the Coles 4040, and a pair of Schoeps CCM8 Lg for a really tiny unobtrusive (almost invisible) blumlein pr for hanging in live concert recording.

    I am avoiding cardioids, except lottery money would be spent on a DBA 4015 pair.

    I also have an MS pr of Sennheiser MKH's on the shopping list, for their low low noise.

    I also have heard a rumour that DPA are finally working on a fig8 capsule, this will stir up the pidgeons and the market.

    Also I am waiting for the next gen AKG426 with the new low noise 414 capsules in it.

    So many fine mics, so little money and time.
  4. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    I'll swap my Rode NT5s for your M. Gefell 296s :wink:

    Seriously though, have you considered the AT4047? I'm curious as to how it compares with the 4050 in cardioid. I too am looking at the 4050 because it's multipattern, especially after what Joe had to say about them. The only thing is all of my LDCs will then come from the same company after I get my second 4060. Well I'll have my Oktava valve mic too. If only the 4060 was multi-pattern -but then I probably couldn't afford one -let alone two!

    I'm currently debating whether to buy Sennheiser MKH, Schoeps or AKG 426.

    I didn't know there's a new 426 coming out. Do you think this will sound the same as a pair of XLSs? I'm sort of confused about this one.

  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Thanks John, but I'll hold on to the M-Gs. :lol:

    I have considered owning a pair of the 4047s. I've had the pleasure of working with them numerous times and have enjoyed them each time. They do have a definite sound though, much different than the 4050s. I would love to use the 4047s on bones and trumpets as well as most anything jazz, but the 4050s are great for just about everything.

    Perhaps I'll get both, but not right now.

  6. ptr

    ptr Active Member

    Talking about Microtech Gefell, have anyone here lent an ear to their rather newish M960 Omni.

    It would be intersting to have a reaktion on how it stands up sound wise to the regular crop of Omni's like DPA 400X series/Neumann KM130 etc..

    I have no experience with MG mikes, but their heritage sends singnals that I perhaps should pay attention to?

  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I haven't tried it. To me, it looks like that microphone that boxing announcers speak into prior to a fight - the one that drops out of the ceiling. :lol:

    I don't doubt that it's awesome though.

    I'll be using the M296 this weekend on a local, excellent orchestra. I can't wait to see how nice it is!
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    So what do you guys think of Rode microphones?

    Their specs look great and the price is right...
  9. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    I had bought a rode K2 tube mic when they first came out and I just totally love it. Great on vocals with variable patterns between omni, cardioid, figure 8. then I used it on congas and percusion in December and the sound was full and very detailed. I just had to have a second one!

    I have a pair now and I just recoded acoustic guitar with them for a folk-rock project. It is a full sound, not boomy, and it sits well in the mix (vocals, harmonies, piano, bass drums, some keys, pads mostly). I am not sure I would use it for solo classical guitar but its sure a great mic and it has shined so far in everything I've recorded.

    Thus far I've used it on male vocals,jazz, salsa and rock- great sound. On jazz and salsa male vox between omni and cardioid, about 11 o 'clock- rock full cardioid- jazz female vocals for great results (I usually do an RCA D77 for these)

    The mics list for 1K but they sell for 700- you can find them around 600 if you look- full compass will do 600 and I hear guitar center will too. I got my second one at GC for $550 + tx because I brought in a quote for that. The k2 has become a favorite mic for me. everyone I talked to that has heard or has one has nothing but great things to say about it-
  10. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Has anyone tried the Classic II? I'd love to hear a mic that goes that tiny bit further than the other very good Rode valve mics. I have great respect for Rode -you have to respect a 'budget' company that spends $500,000 designing a capsule!

    I know the NT5 has been discussed a lot elsewhere on the site, but I think it has some very special qualities. It isn't the most detailed mic available, yet it remains very neutral, so it doesn't sound cheap. The LDCs are nice too, but they always strike me as rock vocal mics, especially the NT1000, but I'm not suggesting for a second that they are limited to that role, but they just sound particularly great for that purpose. I'd love to play with the NT2000 with its fully adjustable polar patterns. I've never had the pleasure, but a solid-state mic with this facility sounds like a wonderful tool. Has anyone tried this as an alternative to the AT4050 or AKG 414s?

    The NT5s are very well matched, but not perfectly so. I'd really love to have an omni version.

    BTW has anyone tried the AT3032 omni? It's probably unreasonable to expect a lot given its price.

  11. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Yeah the 4047 has a sound of its own. For some strange reason it can really clash with some voices in a most peculiar way -if they need someone to provide the voice for another Exorcist sequel, I'll just get my mother to talk into an AT4047! The transient response can be a little odd as well, but I think it's a wonderful mic.

    Now that you mention it, I think it would be great on brass, or anything with that sort of texture.

  12. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I just went out today to an un-named retailer (hint: GC) and listened to a half dozen different LD condensors including the following:

    Blue Baby Bottle
    Neumann TLM 103
    Groove Tubes GT66
    Rode NTK
    AT 4040
    AT 4050
    Blue Bluebird

    There is a relatively talented guitar player at our local GC and I had him play a little for me with each pair of mics.

    Hands down, the price per sound winner was the AT4040. It sounded every bit as good as the 4050 in cardioid (yes, different, but both sounds were quite desirable). So, needless to say, I came home with a pair of them.

    My thoughts on each were -
    Blue Baby Bottle - relatively insensitive. Don't get me wrong, their "sensitivity" was up there with the rest of them, they just didn't "grab" everything that was there, and in my opinion, this made them seem quieter.

    Blue Bluebird - I found these to be unrefined and sloppy. They seemed to pick up transients just fine, but couldn't resolve the complex sounds of the full-bodied guitar. (I don't know the make of the guitar, but the guy said it would be his first pick for acoustic guitar in the shop - and despite their reputation, I trust this guy.)

    Neumann TLM 103 - I found this mic to be the most dissapointing in the bunch. Not that it performed badly, just that it cost $1000 and to me, it didn't warrant that. It sounded fine - just not good enough to justify $2k on a pair. I'll save that for the MG M930s.

    Rode NTK - very interesting sound. I liked it a lot, but I felt that it would produce too distinct of a sound for what I need it for. I think it would be lovely on grand piano. However, I think that, on bone or trumpet, it would get too "fuzzy." When I have $1000 that I just don't know what to do with, I might get a pair of these.

    GT 66 - What have they done with my lovely GT mics. I used to love these guys, now, I'm rather unimpressed. It's almost like they are trying to sound like they have an old, ragged out tube in them. Over-hyped and too present. The older series GTs are great, these, not so great. The guy there insisted their SDCs are far better.

    AT 4050 - I love this mic! I will buy a pair! Every polar pattern responded almost text book! Smooth sounds, very efficient design, picks up everything.

    AT4040 - See above (4050) great sound, smooth, extended highs, resolved lows. I was hesitant about this mic, cuz I heard it was being made in PRC, but apparently it's made in good ol' Japan with the rest of the AT's. I got these for three reasons - they sound great, they had a great price tag, and the sales guy made me a deal - he gave me the pair of 4040s, a bunch more Auralex foam and a new QSC amp as well as the Monster Cables to hook it all up for a cool $1000 even.

    What intrigued me about the amp is, he insisted that it's every bit as good as some of the "boutique" amps on the market and it came in at $500. Well, I've been listening all night and so far, I've been impressed. I don't know that it will replace my Rotels, but I might just use it for surround or for my control room.

    Oh well, I'll stop rambling now...

  13. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member


    There's a guy on e-bay selling the 4050s for $465. I sent him a note asking if he has multiples - his response was that he has 5 and would combine shipping.

    If any of you are interested, the auction number is:

  14. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Cucco, you should have tried the k2 when you went to GC...
  15. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    They didn't have it in stock sadly.

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