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Need tips for a condenser microphone!

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Arnstein, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. Arnstein

    Arnstein Active Member

    My budget is about $500, and I need a tip for what condenser microphone I should get.

    I will be recording acoustic and electric guitar, folk instruments(like the gambian kora, violin/riti), voice, and generally sample noise and sounds.
     
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Audio Technica AT4051. Also the AT4050. I try to buy my mic's in pairs and that's also what I recommend to others. Generally I think the SDC is going to better for your spectrum listed than a LDC.
     
  3. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    +1 on the pairs idea.

    I recently got my hands on a Rode NTK, and want to use it for some stereo applications, but lack a stereo partner.
    Plus it's always good to have two of everything. Noah's Ark and all...

    Anyways, I think you might be interested in ribbon mics - for the sources you mention (minus voice), I really like my Fatheads which come in your budget as a pair. Been very happy w/ it on *female* vocals too.
    The real deal in ribbons costs twice that, but there is something about a ribbon on any acoustic source that I love (amps, as well).

    Otherwise, I agree with John that SDCs are the better choice vs LDC. Not as appropriate for voice, but will perform admirably on all of your other sources.
     
  4. Arnstein

    Arnstein Active Member

    In Norway the AT4050 costs 1250USD :/
     
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Ouch. Maybe some of our European friends can suggest something. I don't know what Neumann KM184's go for but in the US they are more expensive than Audio Technica. For budget consideration there are the Rode NT55's. These do admirably for their price point.
     
  6. Arnstein

    Arnstein Active Member

    The NT55 is a little bit under 500USD, so that works perfectly!
     
  7. Arnstein

    Arnstein Active Member

    I'm really settling for the NT55 now, but I just have to ask before I order:
    What's the best mic on these 5 pages for 3200kr or under?
    http://www.procom.no/mikrofoner/kondensator.html?p=1
    It's in norwegian, but I guess you understand where you should press to get to the next page :p
     
  8. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I would try to find a good reputable dealer of used pro audio items. On the page you linked for that price limit, the only two options I even see are the NT55 and the AT4041. In either case I would still save my money and try to get a pair. The NT55 also happens to come with an omni capsule so is perhaps more versatile than the AT4041 which is the fixed capsule version of the AT4051.
     
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I generally don't recommend these but I did some rock 'n roll recording for a friend. I used my API 3124's for the front end. He wanted me to use his Octava 319's(?) for cymbal & Tom overheads. I think he got the pair for $100 US? I thought they sounded absolutely fine, I was a little amazed at their fine sound and found them 100% adequate. No modifications, right out of the box. I like my Shure SM 81's on overheads along with my Beyer M 160 on overheads and also my AKG 414's on overheads. But I was amazed at those little cheap 319's. Yeah sure, I also like Neumann KM 84/86 series of small diaphragm condenser microphones which would also include the later KM 184, etc.. Rode 55? Yeah sure. No problem.

    It was good for me. Was it good for you?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  10. Arnstein

    Arnstein Active Member

    Thanks for all the advice! I also got these recommended today:
    1. http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SweetMicPkg
    2. And also the AKG P220 + 2x Samson C02.
    3. AKG C214 + Shure SM57

    Are these suggestions better than one Røde NT55?
     
  11. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    1) The case and foam is about $125 of that amount.
    2) meh....the low end AT and AKG mic's are just that. Low end.
    3) The C214 is supposed to be a cardioid only version of the C414 but I have not found that to be accurate sonically. The SM57 is always good to have on hand.

    I think I'd stick with a bag full of SM57/SM58's or buy the single Rode NT55 and save as quick as possible for a second NT55. Other opinions may vary.
     
  12. Arnstein

    Arnstein Active Member

    I guess I'll go for the 2x NT55 then! Thank you everyone for helping me, and I think you, TheJackAttack, have answered every topic I've started, even the ones before I got the monitors and Onyx.

    Edit: And if it takes too long time before I can afford the second NT55, I'll buy a Shure SM57 for instruments.
     
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Arnstein, Microphones, like Lays potato chips are such that you can never eat just one. The suggested microphone packages from Sweetwater are all perfectly great. Having some matched microphones as stereo pairs are my favorite way to purchase microphones. I like buying them in pairs. They don't have to be what we used to refer to as " matched stereo pairs". That was important back in the day when these microphones were not mass produced like they are today. The consistency is much greater and so it's no longer necessary to obtain " matched pairs" but just the same model pairs purchased at the same time. All capsules age on condenser microphones. And when they age, their consistency changes. That's why it never works well to purchase a single condenser microphone now and then another matching one some time later, in the future, for stereo. When you do that, they'll always sound different from each other because they are. And I find that SDC (small diaphragm condenser) microphones are more consistent sounding to each other than their LDC brethren.

    Happy hunting
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Better? Different. Some people are getting good results with acoustic instruments with the AKG C214. A 57 is a must have simply because its a 57....the Samsons I'm iffy about...the perception doesnt get a lot of love. Better? I dunno. Have fun and remember theres no rules.
     
  15. Arnstein

    Arnstein Active Member

    I've heard that I should buy a large diaphragm condenser mic to get more bass sounds. Are there any good large diaphragm mics on this page for 4000(norwegian kroner) or less?
    http://www.procom.no/mikrofoner/kondensator.html
     
  16. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    In short, no. Cheap large diaphragm condenser mic's tend to sound muddy and not actually perform like you intend. The reality is for most folks, a small or medium diaphragm condenser works better until they can afford a more high end LDC. By the way, I would categorize the C214 and the C414 as medium diaphragm capsules.
     
  17. Arnstein

    Arnstein Active Member

    I got my NT55 today, and I tried recording a quick improvised version of Stella by Starlight, but what hit me is how low the sound of the mic is! On the mixer it is +50db gain, and the volume for the channel is maxed out, and still it's very low sound of the recording! Check it out here:

    http://www.arnsteinkleven.com/Stella.mp3

    Edit: I listened to the mp3 now, and I realize that the sound is okay on the mp3, but not in Logic. I guess it's a setting in Logic that I've screwed up! (the mp3 is a bounce from the Logic recording) Anyone have a clue about what it could be?
     
  18. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Turn up the main bus fader in Logic itself. Don't worry about the screen image. At 24 bit you will never max out the FFT image. Also likely, the omni capsules will need a little more gain than the cardioid capsules.
     
  19. Arnstein

    Arnstein Active Member

    But won't I have to turn all the other channels down then? (i.e if I use MIDI tracks as well as the audio tracks) Turning just the audio track up isn't enough!

    And thanks for the quick answers :D
     
  20. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Are you describing playing back the whole mix from logic, or are you describing your piano track being to soft in the mix itself? Or are you playing back the piano track from logic while other things are playing through the mixer too?
     

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