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I need help with 2 major decisions

Discussion in 'Recording' started by dax, Jan 9, 2003.

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  1. dax

    dax Guest

    Okay, I am laying out my budget for a mic (or mics) for about $500 dollars. And a converter/preamp box from $800 to $1000. I am so torn on this please help!

    1 I got $500 dollars to spend on microphones. I have been thinking of getting the (AT 3035) and the (Rode NT1000) both together cost $500 bucks.

    OR? should I get the (Rode NTK)? $500 bucks by itself.

    As far as my mic uses, I do all my tracking be myself, I wanted the 2 mics to give differant flavors, but I have read so many good reviews on the NTK I dont know if I would be better off with just that by itself???

    Okay Problem number two : Converter/ Preamp.

    Its pretty simple, should I get a Aardvark Q10 or a MOTU 896? (as far as sound quality goes?)
     
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Get the 2 mics and the Aardvark if you have a PC and the Motu if you have a Mac.
     
  3. dax

    dax Guest

    Well there ya go. Thanks Fats. You and this bored, are the best resourses I have found on the web, period. Thanks fats for always answering my annoying little questions. :w:
     
  4. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    My opinion on the microphone selection differs from that of Fats just a bit. I don't think you have given us enough information to make that choice yet. What do you plan on mic'ing? What style or styles of music? Do you have any other mics?

    Personally, I love the NTK, and have it on my short wish list. It is great for vocals (M + F), especially male rock vocals, and can be used on lots of different sources. I saw one going on Ebay *brand* new for $388, and was sorely tempted to pick it up, but unfortunately, I have one or two more purchases that are ahead of the NTK right now! That would leave you about $100 left over for another microphone, and if you could stretch that just a *bit*, you might be able to pick up a second mic. In fact, if you could stretch it to $200, you can easily still get your AT3035!

    The 2 mics you list are both large-diaphragm cardiod mics with similar specifications. I know that each has their own unique sound and it is hugely powerful to have several mics to choose from for a given job, and I think this is where Fats is coming from in his recommendation. The more mics you have in your cabinet, the more versatile you will be in your ability to effectively mic multiple sources. I just think that the NTK has a unique flavor to it due to the tube, and will sound unique compared to the other 2 that I would think would sound more similar.

    Plain and simple, a good mic just sounds better than a cheap mic (Fats reminds me of this all the time!), and although all of these mics are on the lower end of the scale, the quality of the NTK is much better imho than either the NT1 or the 3035 (I also know that Fats loves Audio Technica, so I'm sure he will disagree here!)

    Good luck!
     
  5. Pez

    Pez Active Member

    I needed a shock mount for my U87 but instead of buying the original shockmount I realized that I could get a studio projects C1 and use it's shockmount for the U87 and not only save money on the shockmount but get a free mic to boot! There are reports that a C1 sounds as good as a U87. I have both and it's not true. The U87 has a warmer top end and more power and sounds quite a bit different. However for the money the C1 is quite good - amazing bang for the buck actually. You might actually be better off getting it and putting your extra money into a nice mic pre. If you have the cash in the bank you might also consider buying a good (German) vintage mic that won't go down in value 2 years from now. You will spend more than your budget but if you're serious about recording it may be a wise option. Just be sure it's in good condition before you plop down the big bucks. Why invest in stocks when you can have an investment that will also have utilitarian value?
     
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    DH
    You're correct! The reason I recommended the 2 mics is, one of them was an Audio Technica. Better 1 Audio Technica and one Chinese mic, than no Audio Technica at all!!! If I could recommend 2 AT over the Rodes' that's what I would do. But it is better to have 2 mics' rather than one. It's twice as many :D ..... Fats
     
  7. millionvalve

    millionvalve Guest

    I always feel like investing in one element at a time, properly. If you NEED 2 mics, then do it. If you can live with one for a while, put your resources towards it whole-walletedly. Especially on a mic: a) you get what you pay for and b) in comes out.

    Here's my small-timer's two cents:

    I just bought a Blue Baby Bottle mainly for female vocals. (I got it on ebay for $428.00 which included the custom pop screen/shockmount and shipping.) You can buy the same package new for $500.00 plus tax.

    It is a really nice sounding mic. I tested it alongside an NT 1000, a KSM32, and a Blue Kiwi ($2 grand, but I wanted to hear it).

    For the female vocals, I thought it sounded best for $500. The Rode NT1000 sounded sorta cheap in its high-end...emphasis. The Baby was also darker than the Kiwi, which I liked.

    From what I've found, many inexpensive ("under $1K") mic manufacturers (Studio Projects, Marshall, Rode, etc) are making these cheap Chinese 1" condensers with EQ-hyped upper mids that are all trying to "sound just like a Neumann for 10x less". I'm no snob (prior to the Blue I've been recording vocals with an SM-57 and making people not believe it) but I wanted something quality that wasn't trying to "pass" for something it wasn't. It's lack of upper-hype is ballsy in this market, and it IS *smoov*. The Baby Bottle is no-frills. There's no pad switch and no pattern switch. The only thing I paid for that I can't use is their cherrywood box. (But it *looks* nice, so I'll just say thanks.)

    The KSM was a close second.


    As a guy who needs one mic to do it all (well, besides the SM-57, which is collecting some dust), the Baby Bottle was a great choice.

    best-
    .nick
     
  8. mixman77

    mixman77 Guest

    We appologize for the inconvenience, but this member's posts have been deleted.

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    [ January 29, 2003, 01:34 AM: Message edited by: SonOfSmawg ]
     
  9. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    I thought they were "Focusrite" mic pres, not Neve...
     
  10. mixman77

    mixman77 Guest

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    [ January 29, 2003, 01:35 AM: Message edited by: SonOfSmawg ]
     
  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    DH
    You're right1 The 001 has Foucusrite pres. And not the good ones frome their Red range but rather the pres from the Platinum range. Digidesign is in a partnership with Focusrite. I have read a lot of dispariging things about these pres but I think they are useable. Much better than a Mackie pre .... Fats
     
  12. mixman77

    mixman77 Guest

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    [ January 29, 2003, 01:36 AM: Message edited by: SonOfSmawg ]
     
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Mix77
    It is amazing at how good even the cheezo equipment can be made to sound. IMO it can happen when the person who is operating it doesn't try to get sounds like they were from a "real" or "vintage" set up but rather they take the ball and run with it, using the medium as part of the pallet. Simply use the tools that you have and do the best with it. The dynamics and effects that come stock with Cubase VST are fine. There's really quite a lot that can be done with it if the songs and the performing is up to snuff. Mackie pres are mentioned all the time because although they are much disparaged, they are a defacto standard which all others may be quantified. I have tracked some great acoustic blues records on an 8 Bus Mackie with the best outboard available being a Drawmer 1960 (rrroowwllllffff)!!! While a lot of newer gear isn't of the same quality as "real" or "vintage" pieces, it really is quite useable. It's all in what you want. Mics and speakers are another story ….. Fats

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It's my opinion, I'll play with it if I want to!
     
  14. mixman77

    mixman77 Guest

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    [ January 29, 2003, 01:37 AM: Message edited by: SonOfSmawg ]
     
  15. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I was actually expressing displeasure with the Drawmer. Traded mine for an EL OP, … now were talkin... I don't know if I can say that real quality consoles are going to be around much longer except in a few major recording studios. There may be say 500 to 1000 of these in the US but the rest of recording will be on DAW's. And at that point, unless you want to spring for major high buck, high resale items like Manley, Neve, API, United Audio like that , it's all pretty much cheezo. Get the cheapest thing that works. In my case ( which btw is total overkill imo) I have Cubase with Dakota card and two AI3's. The front end is a couple of AMEK 9098's and UREI 1178 , LA 4's and an EL OP. If I need more pres I go to the Mackies. It doesn't really make that much of a difference in the end. It all goes through the computer and comes out with that "it's been through a computer" sound. But that is becoming the new defacto standard. Can't fight it. …. Just don't spend a ton of money on it. It's a waste .
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  16. Soup

    Soup Guest

    It sounds like you are still purchasing your own gear. I can speak for Mix in that he gets to play with all the new toys. And the pro consoles WILL be around for a long time because they have that sweet sound that digital consoles just don't have. That I know to be true, I work on them everyday. Mackie? I would listen to what the pros have to say about that.

    Soup
     
  17. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    So Soup, what kind of consoles do you see as "pro", what are you woking on eveyday, and do you own it or does it belong to a studio that you work at? .... Just wondering??? .... Fats
     
  18. mixman77

    mixman77 Guest

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    [ January 29, 2003, 01:38 AM: Message edited by: SonOfSmawg ]
     
  19. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Soup,
    No I am not still buying equipment, as a matter of fact I have been doing this for 30 something years and currently I have been selling equipment left over from my business. I owned and operated a commercial 2" 2000 sq. ft. facility in the SF Bay Area for several years until 2 years ago when I decided to get the hell out of California and retire (at age 49 btw) on the money I earned….. Fats

    Mix77,
    First let me say I am glad that anybody posts here. Even you :D . It's what it is all about. But I don't need to be told to "EZ up!" I asked Soup a perfectly reasonable question with no attitude intended. I think I deserve a better answer than, "Just take what he says as gospel, because believe me he is a studio god" kind of thing. I for one am not willing to accept blanket statements just because someone is "supposedly" above me. (BTW I too have made and sold "real" records. Some of them distributed by Virgin among others. Check my profile for the details if you wish. Seems that you too are guilty of not knowing who you are speaking with.)
    I just wanted clarification of what is being called a 'real console". The reason I asked my last question of Soup is, to own one of these bad boys you have to have a hell of a cash flow just to keep up on the maintenance. Most of the readers here at RO own and are working in home studios and that is generally what we discuss here. It's not as if the average home studio owner can go buy one of these things and plop it in there living room and it will run forever with out any attention! I had an MCI 600 that cost almost $5K to keep running in a commercial facility over a 5 year period. I think it was reasonable to ask if "Soup" himself is the owner of a large format console or if he works at a "Major Recording Studio" as I was speaking of where said maintenance is of no concern to him. As we all know a lot of these rooms, with the exception of the largest that accommodate national acts, are closing down fast because they can't compete with the home recording revolution. Walter Sear has his studio on the market as we speak! I also stand by my statement ....

    You as a sales person in the retail end of the music business should be the first to acknowledge that the market for large format consoles is rapidly shrinking. I admire your willingness to defend your associate / client but perhaps you're the one who needs to EZ up. To hear this from someone who doesn't seem to know the difference between a cheap Focusrite mic pre that is in the 001 and Neve pres (to tell someone "Look at the Digidesign Protools 001 bundle. The interface has two NEVE preamps in it " does a real disservice. There is a world of difference). Everyone, this is a perfect example of how you can't believe what they tell you at the music store. Those cheap Focusrite pres in the 001 are sh*t! I suspect you may have the ass at me because I am always advising readers not to spend too much cash on the mid line crap that is sold in most commercial music stores and in your perception that endangers or makes difficult your position as a salesperson …. Fats
     
  20. mixman77

    mixman77 Guest

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    [ January 29, 2003, 01:39 AM: Message edited by: SonOfSmawg ]
     
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