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Looking at MDC/LDC options

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by sshack, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Happy New Year RO. I hope it's been a good holiday for the community.

    I'm looking into purchasing a pair of MDC or LDC as an addition to my mic locker and thought I'd throw it out to everyone for some opinions and comments.

    The primary use would be for drum OHs, but I can see using them for room mics, acoustic guitar, etc. as I always like to have mics that can serve double duty. I've been using Joly modded Oktava MK012s as my OHs for quite a while and with great success, but in the interest of something different I've been looking at a pair (not necessarily a stereo pair) of AKG 214s or the Shure KSM32s. I know both have excellent pedigrees and probably couldn't go wrong with either, but having never used them, I'm sure someone who has can offer some advise that would be helpful.

    I have a home studio that is basically a treated living room, nothing too fancy, but an all analog front end. I mostly record rock (sometimes heavy) and acoustic music and my budget is around $1000. I know I can get a set of the 214s for that, but if I went KSMs I'd probably have to get them on the used market and would most likely end up being two non-consecutive/non-paired mics which to me isn't that big of a deal.

    If anyone has other options worth considering, please let me know.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Unless you have a really great drum room (acoustically speaking), I would be very wary about using LDCs in this price range as overheads. You would have difficulty in finding positions for them above the kit that give decent coverage without triggering unpleasant off-axis responses. It's for that reason that SDCs are used for drum overheads in this situation. For this application, there is no problem with the higher internal mic noise level of an SDC versus an LDC.

    I think I would try out a pair of the Rode NT55s (they are available as a matched pair in a single carry case), or the Shure SM81s. In the next bracket up are the Neumann KM184s, which you may be able to find used - there's a pair on Ebay in Canada at the moment around your price range.

    Any of those SDCs would also do a good job on acoustic instruments.
  3. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Great point and well taken, thank you.

    Even though my room is treated, I wouldn't say that it's a 'great' sounding room, by any means. Funny thing is, I just sold my pair of NT5s last year because I never used them; not anything that I really regret...I sold them to a friend that really needed them. To me, the Oktavas (especially once they were modded) just sounded better.

    Alternatively, I have kicked around using a pair of ribbons as OH since I have used my AT 4080 as a mono OH and liked it quite a bit. If I had the cash I'd love to get a Royer SF-12, but maybe a cheaper Cascade (for instance) with the upgraded transformer would be an option.
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Hi sshack, to echo Bos and add a bit,

    I have a pair of new NT5 like you had and two Mojave MA200 for sale. I just sold a matched pair of MA100ST, the stereo kit that would have been killer. I hate to part will any mic. Clark got them here. Maybe look at those too. MA100's have Omni or Cardioid changeable caps. But they aren't cheap either, but a great value at the price.
    I compared them to a pair of matched DPA 4011 and although they didn't have the extra DPA sound, they were definitely excellent. But, I didn't need them now so... money is always needed. They are very versatile.

    I have a nice array of Royer mic's, 121, 122, SF 24 and they are all amazing. The Figure 8 will be good, better or best depending on your room. They pick up everything in a special silky smooth, open way. They take EQ exceptionally well. The SF series are choice as OH, choirs etc!
  5. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    Depending on the room I would lean to a ribbon or some other dynamic. But I like dynamics.
    My drum room is not that great but i have had okay luck the a Altec 639a.
  6. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    the thing w/ the nt5's is there is not pad, so they can overload if the drummer is bashing away, but they do sound nice. you can't go wrong w/ shure sm 81's, and i've read some very good reviews about cascade ribbon mics.
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The built-in pad is one of the reasons that I suggested NT55s rather than NT5s.

    To get good results from conventional Fig-8 ribbons as overheads you need a good room, as you get as much pickup from the topside as from the lower side aimed at the kit. A pair of Beyer M160 hypercardioid ribbons work well as overheads. Check out this SOS ribbon mic shootout - the drum overhead bit is Round 4, about 3/4 of the way down the page, although not all the mics are included in that section.
  8. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    I actually thought of, and have wanted for some time the M160, even considering the 160/130 combo (though together they're out of my price range really). However, that would probably be better placed in front of the kit rather than over it. My ceilings are standard 8ft, so there's not a lot of room over the top. I've done M/S in front of the kit before with some of my other mics and it turned out well.

    Padding the mics...I have the 10db pads on my Oktavas but I can/do also pad 20db on the preamp (ADL600).
  9. tifftunes

    tifftunes Active Member

    A single ribbon overhead, or out in front (ala Motown) would be fab!

    For dual OHs, I prefer the EV RE200 for SDC (well within your budget, and likely one of the best mics available for this and other tasks even at twice the price!), and Neumann TLM193 for "LDC" (tho they are sometimes considered medium sized).

    I also have and use the Oktava SDCs (Joly modded), and the Rode NT4, and in a large space, the Shure KSM44 (LDC).

    Speaking of Oktava-Mod, I just received a b-day present to myself - MJE-K47H LDC head for the MK012! Haven't had an opportunity to try it yet. But I've heard great things about it. It could also be a good OH, if rumors are true.
  10. sdelsolray

    sdelsolray Active Member

    Check out a used pair of Peluso P28.
  11. jkorten

    jkorten Active Member

    Do what sdelsolray says. I buy his hand me downs and his taste is excellent.

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