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Opinion/Suggestion for mic.s for the starter

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Hitman, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. Hitman

    Hitman Guest

    Hey guys! I'm finding a lot of valuable input from this site already. Very cool indeed!

    I currently have an old SM57 and a new Beta 58.

    I am going to purchase a Stuio Projects C1 in the next day or so for vocals, acoustic guitar.

    I want to do some recording of my drum kit in a four mic configuration (snare - 2 o/h's - and a mic out in front of the kit). I would use the 57 on the snare and the C1 out in front. I don't know what to do for overheads?

    I'm looking to spend $100. I'm considering two Kel hm-1's or two SP B1's. I've read a lot of good about both mic.s, though I keep reading that the hm-1 is dark sounding. Would that work for o/h's? I would think it would be nice for the toms, but perhaps the cymbals would suffer. Maybe the opposite is true of the B1's?

    What are your thoughts? Do you have any other suggetions? Any help would be appreciated. :oops:
     
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    The HM-1 works great as an OH mic. Instead of thinking of the HM-1 as "dark sounding", I prefer to call it natural sounding.

    To my ear a lot of the less expensive mics, the Chinese ones especially, have a hyped up high end presence peak. The HM-1 doesn't do that. In my personal obsevations, the sound of the HM-1 comes very close to that of the much more expensive Neumann U87ai.
     
  3. Hitman

    Hitman Guest

    Kurt,
    Thanks for the response. It's so hard to make decisions based on other peoples opinions. For better or for worse the internet is full of opinion.

    Does my four mic set up make sense, and will it offer a usable drum kit sound? Does it sound appropriate to put a SP C1 in front of a drum kit to capture that perspective of a drum kit? Or do think a third hm-1 would do a better job? I like the fact that the C1 has the HPF and the -10db pad. The hm-1 does not, correct?

    I will be recording the vocals of my wife mainly. Her voice is full, but a bit hard on the high end. Would you recommend the C1 or hm-1 for this application?
     
  4. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    hey hitman, have you considered a kick mic as well? like an AKG D112 or an audix d6? they'll only set you back a couple of hundred (or less, I got my d112 brand new on ebay for 150)
    and it gives you a much better useable and controlled kick sound
     
  5. Hitman

    Hitman Guest

    I haven't been giving those mic.s too much consideration at this time for two reasons:

    1) At this time I can only afford a few mic.s so I'm looking for a few that can cover several areas.

    2) I'm looking to get more of an old school drum sound rather than doing the close micing thing. If that doesn't work for me, then yes the D112 or the D6 would be the next step.

    Just for reference, I'm going to be recording a small kit. 18" bd, 12" & 14" toms tuned more like an Al Jackson Jr. rather than a Tommy Lee.
     
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Hitman,

    Most "old school" recordings had the kick mic'ed. This goes back to the earliest Beatles and Rolling Stones recordings and before. You have to reach waaaaaay back to the 50's and before to find recordings that didn't mic the kick drum and most of those used only one mic on the drums if that. Often, the drums were simply picked up with the rest of the band using only room mics.

    I use a 4 mic set up on drums quite a bit but I mic the kick, snare and overheads placed above the toms at cymbal height. Sometimes I place the o/h mics over the rack toms, other times I put one over the racks and one over the floor. I always measure with a piece of string or wire to insure that both mics are approximately the same distance from the snare. The KEL HM-1 has worked well in this scenario for me as long as the drums are isolated pretty well from the guitar and bass amps.

    I would recommend 3 HM-1s for the OHs and snare and a D112 on the kick. You could go with just 2 HM-1's and your 57 on the snare but if you got 3 HM-1's, later when you can afford it, you can add some AKG C451's or something like them, as the overheads and dedicate the HM-1s to the toms... That should be a smokin' set up.

    Again, I want to say to everyone, get these mics for $99 while you can. I don't want to hear any sniveling later when the price of these babies goes up 100% or more ... they are worth it.

    It's been a good year for audio ... the HM-1 is part of this along with the release of a truly good affordable mic pre from Groove Tubes called "The Brick".

    Full disclosure I admit I have been pushing both the HM-1 and "The Brick" products very hard but for reasons others don't seem to understand. I push them because they are the only things in their category that is really any good. I see these types of products as a chink in the armor of the manufacturers who's MO has been to provide lots of features but no substance to the low end and mid priced customer. We vote with our Dollars ... and you can bet the farm the manufacturers watch and participate incognito on these forums. Next time someone questions my motivation, you would do well to ask yourself, what is their motivation? Why are they always going after me? I mean after all, who the f&%k am I to warrant all the attention? I'm just some internet "wonk" who moderates on a BB forum .... Whuts all the hub-bub, Bub?

    I don't get paid by the manufacturers or take kickbacks of any kind for good reviews. Occasionally I will be offered an "accommodation price" that usually amounts to dealer cost, but if I think something sucks, what the point in even paying dealer cost for it? This does not inspire a good review, it only motivates me to ask for review pieces I think I will like.

    There have been a couple of cases where the manufacturers really showed some class and understanding of what it really takes to perform a reasonable evaluation and to create a well written review, who in turn have allowed me to "just keep" the gear on an extended loan basis but this has only occurred after the reviews were written and published. I refrain from discussing any purchase or accommodations until after the review has been published intentionally, to avoid any conflict of interest. Examples of gear I have paid for ... SP mics, (B1, C3, C4's and a VTB pre all for my young friends studio) the Millennia ORIGIN (who also does not advertise on RO). Examples of gear I have returned, sometimes even at my own expense ... The RNP ... PreSonus M80. It makes no difference to me, if they advertise on RO or not. GT doesn't have an ad, yet I still push "The Brick", so there goes that argument. :roll:
     
  7. Hitman

    Hitman Guest

    Okay Kurt, two more questions.

    1) Do you like the HM-1's better then the SP B1's for overheads, and why? They are the same price and both have been recommended for this application.

    2) Should I get three HM-1's(or B1's), or one SP C1 and two HM-1's?

    I do want versatility. So I'm thinking option two.

    Thanks for the input. It is valued!
     
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Do you want a very bright and present sound ?... the B1s are the ticket.

    The HM-1s are much, much flatter in response ...

    My "young friend" I mention all the time, has the B1 I bought at his studio ... when I took the HM-1 over there to compare, he immediately thought the KEL sounded a lot better through the pres in his KORG D1600. I concur.

    Before I heard the the HM-1's I recommended the B1 as a cost effective solution ... however I don't think you will find anything where I raved about the sound quality of them. IMO they are better than what was available when they came out. Now that the KEL's are on the market, the HM-1's are what I am recommending in that price range. I honestly think the HM-1 sounds quite a bit like my much more expensive Neumann U87ai. I would be interested in other peoples take on the comparison of the two ... anyone out there agree / disagree?

    The B1, C1 and C3 all sound very similar to me ... and they work very well in situations where you might need that extra high freq boost. I still have the C3 I bought ... But the HM-1 is much more suited as an affordable "all around mic" for those with limited budgets, IMO.

    Perhaps the KEL HM-1 will become known as "The poor mans U87"?

    It's actually scarey how good some of the new stuff hitting the market is. :eek:
     
  9. Hitman

    Hitman Guest

    Is the lack of a HPF or -10bd pad an issue on the HM-1?

    I'm going to eventually be running these through a Presonus Firepod into my Mac and Garage Band. At the moment I only have a Tascam US-122 to get them into the Mac.

    So should I pass on getting a SP C1 for now and just get a matched pair of HM-1's?
     
  10. Antho

    Antho Guest

    I have to say at this point a huge thank you Kurt.

    so..."Huge thanks Kurt"

    I just finished listening to your mic tests with Davedogg. You know the u87, the SP series & ADK mics etc? Excellent recordings with excellent level matching etc,,,a very good basis to form opinions. What preamps did you use for those grabs? Nice guitar work BTW...it's still going over and over in my head :lol:

    The above posts are some of the snippets of info I was looking for re: the Kel HM1's and b1's etc.

    Those Kel's are so cute...I have to buy one anyway even if they didn't sound any good! Now I'm buying five. Or ten. Or twenty. I reckon they'd sell like hotcakes locally :)

    But really, I have heard the demo's of them on a variety of 'struments, and I was sold then This just confirms what I was thinking.

    Have you considered doing any more of those 'audio geek' sessions? with Vocals? and overheads? etc etc... It would be fantastic!

    Bye for now.






    .
     
  11. Antho

    Antho Guest

    I have to say at this point a huge thank you Kurt.

    so..."Huge thanks Kurt"

    I just finished listening to your mic tests with Davedogg. You know the u87, the SP series & ADK mics etc? Excellent recordings with excellent level matching etc,,,a very good basis to form opinions. What preamps did you use for those grabs? Nice guitar work BTW...it's still going over and over in my head :lol:

    The above posts are some of the snippets of info I was looking for re: the Kel HM1's and b1's etc.

    Those Kel's are so cute...I have to buy one anyway even if they didn't sound any good! Now I'm buying five. Or ten. Or twenty. I reckon they'd sell like hotcakes locally :)

    But really, I have heard the demo's of them on a variety of 'struments, and I was sold then This just confirms what I was thinking.

    Have you considered doing any more of those 'audio geek' sessions? with Vocals? and overheads? etc etc... It would be fantastic!

    Bye for now.






    .
     
  12. Hitman

    Hitman Guest

    Kurt,
    Thanks for all the great input. I am ordering a matched pair of HM-1's. I think this will be a great place to start.

    I want to check them out on my wife's vocal. She has a full voice that is cutting on the top end. The HM-1 may be a great vocal mic for her???
     

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