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Choosing the right mic

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Ben10, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. Ben10

    Ben10 Active Member


    I've got Beyerdynamic TG-X 80.
    Now I'm planning to create a home studio and hear advices to change it to some better mic, most probably a condenser mic.

    I'm not sure what to choose: continue using my Beyer until I'm sure I do not need it and then buy smth. like Neumann and Co. when I "grow up", or buy some mid-range condenser right now?

    Well.. If that makes sense - I'm baritone, sing both with strong and "soft" voice, mostly rock-n-roll-type stuff...

    By the way - what are your thoughts on buy a pre-amp, instead of using built-in preamps of an audio-interface? I can spend several hundreds on preamp, if that will really change the sound to the better.

    Thank you!
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Nothing wrong with this microphone. Whether it is correct for your voice is beyond me knowing in a forum where I can't hear it. As to preamps and interfaces, you don't mention what you have now and most folks need better microphone technique and gain staging rather than new equipment.
  3. Ben10

    Ben10 Active Member

    Thank you for the reply!

    Right now I got only my iMac and that mic =) And choosing an interface + possibly mic preamp + possibly another mic.

    What did you mean by "need better... gain staging"?
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    You can't do anything about gain staging until you get a real audio interface. In simple terms gain staging is managing the volume levels at each different point of gain. That might be only one point if the preamp is built into the interface or it might be several stages in a full mixer or external preamp+interface/converter.

    Boswell has some good advice for you in your other thread.
  5. Ben10

    Ben10 Active Member

    Do you mean, that TC Electronic Impact Twin would be more than enough, and a stand-along mic preamp is not necessary? (Meaning, it will not make my voice considerably more pleasant? =))
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The Impact Twin has a pair of decent preamps built in. Spending additional money on a preamp would not be beneficial as a beginner. Perhaps a better mic after you wring all you can from the one you have would be a 2nd step.
  7. Ben10

    Ben10 Active Member

    OK. What mic would you advise? - not a beginner's variant, but something "in the middle" as I do not see any sense (+lack money) to buy a pro-level mic for demos at a home studio...

    If that matters - I'm baritone, sing both with strong and "soft" voice, mostly rock-n-roll-type stuff... my favorite sound - Depeche Mode, INXS, U2
  8. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Do this one step at a time, but make your steps part of a journey.

    Get a good-quality expandable audio interface for your Macintosh. Use your existing microphone for a while - a quality interface will bring out the best in it. Over time and with some experience under your belt, it will become evident whether the microphone is suited to your voice or not. If the answer is that you are dissatisfied with the vocal tone in your recordings, you can then consider what next step you should take.

    Don't forget that there is more to getting a good recording than having a suitable microphone. Acoustic treatment of the space you record in and diligent experimentation to find the best position for the microphone are just as much part of the recording process as choosing the right equipment and getting the gain levels correct.
  9. Ben10

    Ben10 Active Member

    Thank you!
  10. husky band

    husky band Guest

    Looking at your present setup

    Like others have said, your mic is not your weakest link in your system, it is a lack of a dedicated interface. When it comes to buying one it is important to know just how many channels you need to record at once. If it is a drum kit, you're probably gonna want 8. If it is you using midi drums and virtual instruments etc. Then 2 will do fine. The class in interfaces for the Mac is Apogee. High quality and expensive. However, there are less expensive alternatives that work just fine. I've had good luck with Presonus although I only use PC. Mic's are like guitars, you can't have too many but, you're probably gonna have to spend a lot of cash to really improve your sound with another mic. So, my advice is to get yourself a quality interface and work with it for a while before you consider buying anything else.

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