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Any Feedback On My Choices For Studio Mics/Mic Preamps?

Discussion in 'Preamps & Processing' started by Inhouse1, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. Inhouse1

    Inhouse1 Guest

    I posted this on a similar forum and have yet to get a response. May be that the board is less active than when I was last there BUT, I kinda need some feedback soon.

    I've done my homework on mics, at least mics that fall within my budget. I have figured out that cheaping it on a studio mic isn't a good choice through various boards/forums/sites, so I've narrowed my choices down to the Behringer B-2 Pro, Shure KSM27, and Rode NT1A. Once my mic budget is feasible to go over 300, I'll be looking at the Shure KSM44, AKG 3000B and Rode K2 as upgrades once I can afford more but FOR NOW I've got my eyes on the B-2 Pro / KSM27 / NT1A.

    Now, the Behringer is the cheapest, the Shure has better ratings/reviews and all 3 are supposedly good mics. I'm not familiar as much with the Rode mic line, other than their premium mics are often used in a lot of bigtime studios. Neumann's are NOT an option for me, as I'm a financially strapped artist like alot of you.

    I basically need a little input on one of the listed mics in the $300 range and some input on my preamp choices or feedback on the components if you've used em.

    As for the mic preamps, I'm looking at the M-Audio DMP3 and M-Audio "Audio Buddy" for mic preamp choices. The Audio Buddy is fairly cheap in comparison to a lot of the preamps out there, and its regarded as a "poor man's preamp" however I've seen considerably more positive comments/reviews on it than anything negative. Being that it is roughly $80, that would work great I'd think until I can afford better. As for the DMP3, I haven't done AS much background on IT, so I'm at a loss. The reviews have been good, but past that, I'm in the dark. My sound card is going to be an M-Audio, so, it will at least be working with another M-Audio component.
  2. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    What do you plan to record? Your singing? If so your best bet is to try the mics out first and choose the one which best flatters your voice.

    Audio Buddy's are good value and will phantom power & amplify a vocal mic with little noise.. just don't expect it to add any "character" to the sound!

    A word of warning: condensor mics usually have a hotter output than dynamic mics, so if you hang your mic over a drum kit or point it at a roaring Marshall stack you may well find the Audio Buddy has too little headroom and distorts in a nasty cheap sounding way.. if you plan to record these kinds of very loud sources I would suggest either a better preamp or a mic with a pad switch, or both.
  3. supercharry

    supercharry Guest

    I think you should consider more options as far as mic choices. Consider Audio Technica 4033, it might be within your budget and its a really good mic for the price. Dont bother to get the behringer mic, you could save that to earn more for a good preamp. For the preamp consider how many inputs you will need before you choose anything else.

    just my .02
  4. Inhouse1

    Inhouse1 Guest

    I forgot to detail its use, I apologize. I'm basically planning out a small studio in my home, until I can afford to upgrade to better equipment. I'll only be recording hip hop artists' vocals with it.

    Yeah I've read that about condensor mics somewhere. I'm not sure if my intended use will drag it to the lengths of heating up or overheating as my use is different than what you described.

    I'm definitely gonna get the better preamp. I know its no good to cheap yourself in the mic dept and the preamp goes hand in hand as far as getting the best possible. I've come to learn if you low-ball on either, you're only hurting yourself. But, I've seen rave reviews from the extremely low-budget artists for the Audio Buddy, so I was just curious what the word was from you guys. I always try to get first hand feedback on products, as its definitely a big factor in the decision making for me.

    I'm definitely not "SET" in stone on those, but through my research and learning, I've been pointed towards the condensor mics for my particular use for them and I try to stay at least with name brand gear that has a good rep behind it. Thus, through process of elimination, I got down to those 3.

    What's up with the B-2?

    As for the pre-amp, I'm not sure on how many inputs I'll ACTUALLY need as I'm not versed in music gear. I'm only gonna have a 1 mic setup, so I imagine I'm just going to need one in jack for the mic. I don't know if its recommended to be recording two artists at the same time doing what I'm doing.

    I'll start doing some background on the 4033 now, so thank you guys so far for the input, keep it coming.
  5. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    Male vocals? You should seriously consider an SM57 :wink:

    Breathy female vocals will probably need a condensor mic though..
  6. rudedogg

    rudedogg Guest

    i'd go with the 4033 or the studio projects c3. the c3 goes on ebay all the time for ~$275

    i'd also save $200 and get an FMR Audio RNC (Really Nice Compressor).

    They are great on vocals and can help get a more upfront vocal if needed.

    As for mic pre, I would start with whatever built-in pre you get with your digital interface, and save up for a nice pre. Get an avalon if your doing hip-hop/rap/rnb

    once you have enough money for a nice mic, get a Soundelux u195 or ifet7, you will love it i promise.
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    The 'other dogg' is spot on here. The B---ger is a toy. The KSM27 is kind of vanilla but very clear. It does have a funny bump in the curve that kind of lends itself to instruments rather than vocals in general. The Rode is kinda 'fizzy' in the highs but with the right preamp can sound great. It is, unfortunately, a hit or miss on certain types of voices.

    The Audio Technica 4033 is a studio standard mic. Most large studios have several as it sounds good on most things. I have one and I love it. It is almost as irreplaceable to me as my SM57's.

    The mic pres in your card will work till you can get a 'real micpre' The advice to get the RNC for your signal chain is great advice.

    The Studio Projects C3 has patterns and is a damn nice mic for the money. It also seems to like the RNC as a front end.

    luck to you.
  8. MadGuitrst

    MadGuitrst Active Member

    Aug 15, 2001
    Philadelphia....home of brotherly shove
    With all due respect to everyone who has posted I have similar but slightly different opinions and thoughts.

    AT4033 - I have one, have had since they were kinda new on the scene. They can be good for many things but guess what? I HATE it on my voice, just hate it; however, I've hear it sound great on others. It can have a tough sounds to it, accentuating any rasp you might have. I hear it that many rappers like it

    I would definitely consider the Studio Projects B1. It is under $100 and is a good all around mic that you should find useful even hen you get better mics.
    For less than $300 you can have the C1 and B1 and be pretty well covered. The C1 is colored in present kinda way (not thick) and the B1 is neutral. Unless you are ging to use the extra patterns of the C3, why pay for them?

    The KSM27 s a decent mic, no doubt. It is clean and dry sounding. I bought one and sold it......still have a B1. In all, I'd say the B1 kills it for price vs performance.

    Behringer B2....I'd say forget about it, really.
    Do NOT consider the AKG3000

    The ADK mics (Hamburg and Vienna) are supposed to be good, but I haven't used them.

    The RNC is a great compressor recommendation. It sounds very nice and will always have a home in your studio. You really should have a compressor.

    The DMP is a great little clean preamp. Forget the Audio Buddy, just forget it.

    A good little color pices for preamps is one od the small Joemeeks, such as the newer 3Q or the older VC3Q. The Q means it has an EQ....it's simpled but effective and sounds good.

    The bottom line here is this:
    The biggest bang for your buck could be a Studio Projects B1 and a Joemeek VC3Q if you can find one of Ebay used (they're discontinued).

    For your applications I would say get an AT4033 used and a Joemeek 3Q.
    They're available and should yield a big meaty sound for the work you want to do. Throw in a Studio Projects B1 for to have a clean mic and you should be pretty well off. Really, for your applications, I think this is good advice.

    Oh, FWIW, the AT4033 goes especially well with the Joemeek IMO.
  9. MadGuitrst

    MadGuitrst Active Member

    Aug 15, 2001
    Philadelphia....home of brotherly shove
    ooops - double post :oops:

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