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all these new mics: recommendations?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by cdp, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. cdp

    cdp Active Member

    Hi everyone.

    I'm putting together a studio here in southern Brazil, and soon I'll have to get several mics. However, its been a good 2 or 3 years since I've tried any new stuff.

    Now I'm noticing all the new ultra-cheap condensers. Companies like m audio, behringer, samson, marshall... heck, in some cases, prices are as low as 40 bucks.

    This studio will be used for educational purposes, but it would be nice to get mics that could meet the needs of a pro. And the budget is, you guessed it, low.

    I'm looking for opinions on the new stuff. Has anyone here used any of the new small and large diaphragm condensers?
  2. soundpro

    soundpro Guest

    Check out SE electronics at http://www.seelectronics.com they have some fantastic mics spanning all price ranges. in personal opinion the gemini is up there with the big boys like Neumann U87 but at half the price! The best ones for a budget would be the SE 3300 (large diaphragm condensor) and the SE1A pencil condensors, they come as a stereo pair and are not expensive at all. The Z5600 is a great low budget valve microphone, excellent for vocals. They are chinese made so that explains the low cost, but they are made very professionally and have excellent specifications.

    I wouldn't advise behringer microphones, the low budget mics are noisy and don't have anything close to flat frequency response. Usually the bass is muddy and the top end isn't very clear. It's worth spending a litle bit more on some quality microphones, otherwise you'll be replacing them in 6 months time anyway, especially if students are using them all day.

    Check out AKG too, they also have a great selection of condensor mics ranging from cheap to obscene! The C4000B is excellent for multi purpose applications, including vocals, but the cheaper ones will be capable of similar results and you wont get the noise you would get with cheaper manufacturers.

    Dynamic wise, you can't go wrong with shure, the SM57's and SM58's are a must for any mic cabinet, and if you can afford the sennheiser MD421's they are the best mics I've ever used for drum recording, tom toms esecially. (a bit pricier tho)
  3. Although I'm not a fan of the Chinese-made microphones, I was impressed with the Marshall MXL 603s in a sound comparison test (the CAD m177 and m179 were nice, too).
  4. ericbarthel

    ericbarthel Guest

    Although I hear that so many of the Chinese capsules suffer in the quality control department, I've had success with Cascade mics. I got my 2 as freebies from Baview Pro Audio (with the small Summit Audio preamp) and they've both been pleasent surprises.

    I suspect you can get them elsewhere, but don't know...

    Good luck!
  5. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    While there surely are others, the Audio Technica 4000 series mic's are some of the the best valued, most commonly used, and are real good sounding mic's currently in the marketplace at this time. Some would even dare to say great mic's. I'm being specific to the 4033, 4047, 4050, 4060 as I own those (except the 4033) and use them very often.
  6. cdp

    cdp Active Member

    Thanks for all the great advice!

    Actually, I own a bunch of cool mics myself, like some ATs (pair of 4050s), bunch of shures, a soundelux, some akgs, crowns... But it's all stuff that's been on the market for centuries. So, one day I check back on the gear mags and... now there are all these new, cheap mics, none of which I know much about.

    I wish I could get my client 10 km184s, but my budget is "academic." So its off to the land of behringer, samson and whatever else costs around (hopefully under) 100 bucks.

    Since students will be using these things, they don't have to be great sounding. They may even get stepped on every once in a while. What's the best I can get in sound quality and build under my circumstances?

    I'm checking if we can get SE Electronics and Cascade here in Brazil. Most of what I've seen are the mass-mass-mass market Samson and Behringer mics. They scare me.

    Once again, thanks for the great advice, and I'll be cheking back in case anyone has any more tips.

    Take care.
  7. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    With budget in mind, definitely look at the AT 2020. I bought a pair from an ebay store for $82 each and have been very pleasantly surprised. Very good drum OH's, good on guitar amps, better than expected on grand piano. I'll be trying them as a pair for a small choir soon.
  8. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the AT 2020's have gotten madd prop's for like $99 and I found an ebay store under the ID yourmusicstore.com that's selling AT3035's for $139. he's got like 50 of them left. I bought one last week and it shipped right away new in the box.

    There's really no need these days to settle for a $70 MXL990 (just as an example) when the prices of some of the well-known mics are streeting so low right now.
  9. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Woohoo, thanks for the tip on the 3035, Coyote! I've been meaning to pick up another one, just did. That's a killer price and an amazing mic for the money.
    Hey cdp, can I come visit your new studio in Brazil? I loooooove Brazilian music, people, food. Do you know the singer Sylvia Torres?
  10. cdp

    cdp Active Member

    Well, it seems I'll be looking for a 3035 then. The price I have so far is about U$500.

    The studio isn't mine: I'm just putting together the gear, helping them with room isolation and treatment, and making sure everything is working for the first semester of 2006.

    And Brazil is pretty cool, I agree. Sylvia Torres makes some nice music, but I prefer traditional samba and bossa, and experiments crossing those styles with electronica. The music is one of the high points of living here.

    And then there are the beaches.

    Take care.
  11. Chance

    Chance Guest

    I just finished a project for GC-pro and they demo'd a tube mic by Hosa !? It was very warm and smooth. It had a variable pattern switch. GC had no info to give me. It being a Hosa (a cable company) I am suspecting lo-end. I am used to my C-12's and 414's, but for a lo-end mic it sounds very good. I did a search for Hosa, but couldn't find a site. I wanted to see the spec's on this mic and the price. You only get what you pay for, but it might be a good disposable type mic for lo-end projects where you might want to keep the hi-end mics in the closet
  12. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    That's interesting about the Hosa mic. How smooth was it? Like AT 30 and 40 series smooth? Or Oktava cardioid smooth?

    Also, you said it was multi-patterned...did it have a figure 8 pattern?

    By the way, I received my new AT3035 yesterday from the guys at yourmusicstore.com on ebay. They have more than 40 AT3035's left at $139 each but I was reluctant to say much about the deal here because I don't know them as a vendor.

    The mic was NIB as they said, comes with the AT reg. card and is genuine AT product. I auditioned it last night and sure enough it's the real thing. Nice and smooth freq response that's fabulous on acoustic guitar and so smooth and accurate on vocals. I tested the mic with my Martin OM16GT which is one of the most balanced guitars I have and the freq response was as accurate as any 3035 I've ever heard with that sort of AT signature "sound" (if that makes sense).

    My vocals (while nowhere near as sweet as the Martin) were represented in a very focused and proportionately dimensional capture that was smooth all the way across the spectrum. up close, warm, and intimate with no grit or mud anywhere to speak of.

    I'm not affiliated or associated with these guys in any way so rest assured I'm not advertising for them. But it's too good of a deal for me not to say something.

    The only thing I didn't like was that it took UPS 7 days to get it here.
  13. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    I just got my 3035 from that ebay vendor an hour ago. Glad to hear yours is the real deal, Coyote. It's my 2nd one. I just cut some vocals on a cowboy western CD project, the singer asked me about the mic, he was very pleased with the results and astounded when I told him what it cost.
  14. Chance

    Chance Guest

    When you asked "how smooth is the mic" I don't quite know how to explain it except that the sound is typical of a Hi-end tube mic. As for the variable pattern yes there is a fig, 8 pattern. I used this mic on ac-guitar, and on vox
  15. GuyJohnson

    GuyJohnson Active Member

    Mics I like: In no particular order, apart from condensers first.

    CAD 179
    GT 33
    SE1 A
    Senn 421

  16. Chance

    Chance Guest

    This is wierd I can't seem to find hosa's web site. Any one know if they have one ? They must I guess
  17. Adore

    Adore Guest

    The AT 3035 costs 220 € new in Europe

    on ebay someone is selling them for $132

    how does the AT 3035 compares to the SP C1 ?
  18. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Hosa's site is : http://www.hosatech.com/
  19. Adore

    Adore Guest

    How much did the HOSA costed and which model did you record ?
  20. Chance

    Chance Guest

    They had 2 tube mics, a silver one and a black one. it was the black one I demo'd. Ah ha. hosa tech I'll check it out in a few

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