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Entry Level Mics for recitals/classical ?

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by ParkerTee, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. ParkerTee

    ParkerTee Active Member

    Hi , I am always interested in recording for solo recitals / solo concerts untill recently I have the opportunity.

    Usually the recording situation will be a soloist + a accompaniment.( violin + piano, clarinet + piano , french horn + piano ,etc...)

    As you can see the instruments range is quite large , so i need something that i versatile.

    Its just a very beginner level so I might try out with a pair of mics below USD 300.

    Below are some of my considerations , feel free to add more for me :

    1) MXL 603 pair
    2) sE Electronics S1A pair
    3) Behringer C2 pair

  2. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    This really depends on your other gear. I'd even be tempted to use a couple sm57’s. Though they MAY not sound as bright out of the gate they will eq nicely and sound less phasey.
  3. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    shure sm57
    EV re16 / re20
    Audix om2
  4. ParkerTee

    ParkerTee Active Member

    Anymore recommendations???

  5. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    Wow! that seems pretty rude. Are you disregarding what's already been posted? Do you want a thousand choices?
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    A used pair of AKG C391. Cascade used to make a stereo ribbon. If Avantone had a stereo ribbon that would be best in class budget setup. Lastly the aforementioned pair of SM57 in XY. All of these are light years ahead of the MXL, SE Elect or Behringer. The Audix mentioned are decent as well but I'd go for the 1250 minis.

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  7. musicproducer

    musicproducer Active Member

    And let's take a rabbit trail here - none of the mics will sound right if they're not positioned correctly, so you'll need to have an idea ahead of time what you might want the recording to sound like; and how much closer (if any) to the 'audience' you want the performer to sound compared to the piano.
  8. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    I would NOT consider using a dynamic pair unless I really had to. For recitals and choral work, they don't have huge amounts of clarity up top, and they tend to be a bit dull. The 3 mics in the first post would all sound better for this kind of recording than a 57.

    With this kind of recording, the room is critically important - so you need a good sounding room. Then you have mic placement and orientation. All these things have more impact on the result than mic choice in reality.
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Respectfully, I have to disagree if you mean the mxl behringer or se electronics. To a new recordist those are terribly brittle and sibulant. They can be made to work but none of them take eq particularly well either.

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  10. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Hmmmm For recitals and string quartets, it's very rare that I have too much HF. We'll have to agree to disagree - but this is what sound is all about. everyone has a preference, and I have no issues with selecting these small diaphragm mics. I have the behringers alongside some fairly old AKG451s, and the difference certainly isn't hundreds of pounds worth to my ears. I import quite a few microphones from China, and quite like the MXLs. I've only heard a colleagues end result with the SE mic, but I didn't find it unpleasant.

    I don't find any difficulty with eq?

    However - none of them are good for voices close up, and then I do agree about them being prone to excessive sibilance. Used in an X/Y or even A/B mode on a group of musicians, the extra top end presence always works for me.
  11. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Thank goodness everyone doesn't like the same things or it would be a dreary world.

    I think the difference is your experience level verses the OP. To a beginner the Audix might be a better route than the cheapest options.

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  12. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    I was the Principal Examiner for Music Technology for a few years, and back then, one half of the exam involved recording direct to stereo, things like orchestras, choirs, small ensembles - stuff that had a natural balance of their own. Schools and colleges were often running on tight budgets and it was quite common for them to try to do this kind of thing with all kinds of mics. Cheap condensers were very common, and the only ones that had that brittle sound - great word, sums it up nicely - were those who bought AKG C1000s because their recording kit didn't have phantom. These fitted the brittle description and many of the examiners commented on them. The other cheaper pencil mics weren't so bad. I would have to agree that offer zealous eq, rather than gentle 'crafting' could make them sound nasty - but I always put it down to an eq error rather than a mic error. Many of the weaker candidates didn't even know how to turn the eq on, so we got to hear plenty of almost accidental recordings where mics were placed visually rather then by listening, and what was recorded was simply random.

    I suspect that a really clueless beginner might well have an advantage from a more 'refined' mic, but maybe it's a bit like Marmite (US readers might need to do some Googling), you either hate it or love it - never the mid ground.
  13. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    From wiki (because I had no idea what it was)...

    "The British version of the product is a sticky, dark brown food paste with a distinctive, powerful flavour, which is extremely salty. This distinctive taste is reflected in the British company's marketing slogan: "Love it or hate it."

    That's one hell of a marketing slogan. LOL

    And you do exactly what with this stuff? :)

    I have no right to talk. After all, I live in a country that gave the world Spam. And I ain't talkin' about unwanted email, either.
  14. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Marmite has been banned from one quite large country! It's far more than the wiki description. It's a very old traditional British product. We have Bovril, which many people believed won WW2, and Marmite. You drink Bovril, you eat Marmite. The 50% who love it, usually have it on toast, although some people prefer bread, and a few even drink it. The other 50% feel it is disgusting, and should be banned. There is even a vegetarian version - Vegimite, that is hated by everyone apart from a few hardy veggies. The UK has now started sticking Beef Jerky in a few places, and of course you can always eat a dish containing a sheep's heart, liver and lungs minced up with onion, oatmeal and served after being simmered for three hours in an animals stomach! This is of course disguised by calling it Haggis!
  15. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Being of Scottish descent, I'm quite familiar with roadkill - woops - sorry...I mean Haggis. ;)

    Paul mercifully left out the part where while cooking it, you let the windpipe hang out over the edge of the pot to steam out the "impurities". Uh.... Ya.
    As if that little gem alone wouldn't in itself be enough to sway most sane people from eating it. LOL

    Growing up, one Sunday per month, (usually the first Sunday, and don't ask me why because I have no idea) my grandmother (born in Glasgow) would make this vile concoction for a family dinner.

    My Grandfather ( from Aberdeen) loved it.
    Although, looking back now, I'm not sure he loved the haggis as much as he loved that my grandmother would also let him drink as much single malt scotch as he wanted to on that day.
    So apparently, if you drink enough Glenfiddich, then you're not quite as bothered by eating something that came from the Hannibal Lecter Recipe book. LOL

    When we got old enough, My sister and I simply left on that particular Sunday, and would return with a Pizza. We would eat it in the basement as to not upset my grandmother....or the Gaelic Gastric Gods. ;)
  16. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Big fan of both the single malt and even haggis! Still wear a kilt nearly every day even in cold Montana.

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