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Overhead MICS

Discussion in 'Room & Overhead' started by jespo03, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. jespo03

    jespo03 Guest

    I'm looking into buying some overheads for my Tama Artstar. It seems to me that the AKG c1000S or the Røde NT5 are my options so far? Any thoughts one those or any oher recomendations?
  2. shock

    shock Guest

    I've just recently tested 6 pairs of overhead mics in the studio. I did like the Schoeps CMC 6 MK4 and the Shure SM81 the best.
  3. heyman

    heyman Guest

    I like the royer 121 or 122's - plus they sound great on Brass, percussive instruments as well as Acoustic and elect guitar.
  4. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    My advice is to stay away from the AKGC1000's...you will be ultimatley disappointed.

    I have a pair of the NT5's, and although they are OK, and are a good value for the money, there are other much better choices, such as the Neumann KM184s (which I used on my last session, and they blew me away! :) ), or the AKG 414ULS's.

    These last 2 might be a bit out of your price range, but I have just heard that Sennheiser just released a new mic designed for OH miking, the e914 (or maybe its the e916??? Sorry!). It is supposed to be pretty amazing for the money. Should be available within the next few weeks from what I have heard.
  5. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    studio projects c4! great value and at 320$ the pair...
  6. Fede

    Fede Active Member

    I disagree about the Neumann KM184 being better (at least categorically) than the NT5.

    Just a few weeks ago, me and about 8 other audio engineering students made a series of blind tests to find out exactly what we should think of different mics for different applications.

    The first session we had was on an acoustic guitar (steel strings). We tested Neumann KM184, Røde NT5, AKG C408, AKG C451/CK91, DPA 4011, DPA 4006 (even though it's omni as the only one in the test), ADK SC-1, and another one which I can't remember right now...might have been Behringer B5.

    Like I said it was a blind test - no one knew which recorded file was which, and we made a tournament-style competition out of it. The winner was Røde NT5, but the Neumann KM184 was a close second. (Actually the two DPA's and the two AKG's came out last....three cheap mics and the Neumann "won")

    The next session we did was on drums overheads. A few more mics where in this test - again a blind test, but this time with a more flexible point-rating system. Røde NT5 once again turned out as to be the winner.

    I think the Neumann KM184 and the Røde NT5 sound very similar, and there are probably a lot of cases where the KM184's will do a better job than a Røde NT5 would, but so far I have only experienced it the other way around....

    Last year we also tried the two head to head in a live SR situation. An old Argentinian and his acoustic guitar were alone on stage. While setting up the mic for his guitar (KM184), we found out that it was actually picking up his his voice so well that we decided to try and do it with just that one mic.

    Then, just to do SOMETHING, we decided to use the opportunity to test the NT5 against it, so we took an NT5 and placed it similarly to the KM184. None of us could tell the difference over the PA, except that the NT5 didn't feed as easily, even though it's output was a tiny bit louder than that of the KM184. Very minor differences could be detected in headphones, and I think to most of us it was just a bit different - not better vs. worse..

    Anyway, based on my own experiences so far, I won't be buying a KM184 as long as there are NT5's. I'm ofcourse not saying that DoubleHelix is "wrong" or anything - but for me there is no doubt that the NT5 is everybit as good as the KM184 and is about one fourth the price...

    Just my experience/2 cents....
  7. tedcrop

    tedcrop Guest

    I would have to disagree with the previous post. I had NT5's and sold them. Them KM184's are much better-to me in every application where I have used them (overheads, acoustic guitar) As a matter of fact I recorded a nylon player and used the NT5's in stereo and thenthe same guy came back in and recorded with the 184's and same placement, same guitar, same peramp and we were astounded at the difference.

    And if you are going to put more of the low end in the overheads(toms and snare) the 184's are hands down better. to-me. But they are expensive 1k for the pair. If you shop around
  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    There are probably 10 mics you could add to a list that in a stage setting or blind test would sound very similar and hard to differentiate in that setting....The real test would be the separation and the way one would 'sit' in an ensemble recording.My feeling is the true depth of field and true sonic clarity of a Neumann as opposed to others would win out.Not to say that the Rode isnt a good product and well priced.I personally like Older AKG 451's for acoustic guitars ,SC-1s for drum overs, and SM81's for damn near everything.KM184 is not my fav Neumann...And the Royer 122 is an extreme drum overhead as well as any other source you'd like to put it on..In my opinion ,the best of them all.
  9. johnny16

    johnny16 Guest

    Stay away from the C1000 mics. They are pieces of crap. Any Rode Mic will sound better. A pair of Rode NT5 is less than $300 on ebay. I'm willing to bet on it that anyone who has the NT5 and C1000 would agree that the NT5 kills the C1000.
  10. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    I recently tried my Oktava MK319s as overheads for a live recording - considering the recording conditions, I was quite pleased. I have also used NT5s for overheads, but like what I got from the Oktava much better. I recently saw an ad from GC selling the 319s for $70.
  11. Fede

    Fede Active Member

    C1000S is generally one of the most hated mics in the world, but I must say I don't fully understand it. I had three some time ago - now I'm using NT5 and yes - the NT5's are way better....but I never thought the C1000S sounded BAD as such....they are just pretty dark and don't go very high i frequency as overheads, but I've always felt that sound that was there was actually quite nice...

    ...but maybe that's just me. I used them in a very dead room, mostly. That might have something to say, but I used them as both overheads and hihat, and it always sounded very smooth I think.....just not much sound in them in the higher frequencies...

    I can better understand the general hatred for the C3000S...those things sound horrible.
  12. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    I have a pair of NT5s and I think they can be wonderful in certain situations, and not so good in others. In my experience, they excel on loud sources that have lots of sharp transients. Just for curiosity I set them up outside my window on Halloween when there were fireworks going off, and just as I expected, the performance was astonishing. I do feel that they lack something when it comes to low level detail, in which they can lack transparency. The point is though, that when they work, they work extremely well.

    If you like to beat the crap out of drums, they will sound very exciting! Make them suffer and your efforts will be greatly rewarded!

    I think everyone should have a pair of these, even if they also own 451s or 184s, as they definitely have their own character, and can justify their existence apart from being a cheap alternative to the 184.

    John Stafford
  13. Ellegaard

    Ellegaard Active Member

    I haven't personally tested the Røde NT5's against the Neumann KM184, but I've heard from lots of sources that there is virtually very little or almost no difference between the two - also based on blind tests like the ones Fede is referring to. In a specific overhead blind test on the conservatory in Copenhagen, the NT5's were the clear winner followed by KM184, Behringer B5 (yep, I'm serious) and ADK GC-1. The microphones that did worst in that test were AKG C480 and C451, and DPA 4006 and 4011.
  14. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    I tend to agree with Dave on this. It isn't just how the mic sounds by it self but how it fits into the mix. So a shootout is not the best way to judge a mics capabilities. I'm sure many mics sound great on their own but how do they sound once combined with other sources. If you are recording just classical guitar or choirs by themselves the best sounding mic might fit the bill. But seeing as many of us record a variety of sources I believe mic choice comes down to the application. This is not to say RODE doesn't make a nice mic because they do (I happen to like RODE) but there is a reason major studios and some of RO's respected ears (Kurt, Gaff, Fletcher, RM, Dave and others) choose the mics they do. Years of experience have shown them what works and what doesn't. Not that the cheaper mics don't have their applications but the better mics play well with others and are usually more versatile. Take the D112 for example. By itself on kick drum it's not the prettiest thing I've ever heard but put that kick into a mix and it sits well and sounds great. On top of that it sounds great on bass cabs and I have even used it for heavy sounds on guitar cabs and it worked well.
    Just my 2 cents.
  15. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    The shootout only proved what you liked best on that kit, with that player, with those mics, coupled to whatever gear, in that room and in that moment in time. One minor change in any of those conditions or in any of dozens of other variables would very likely yield much different results. You do now have a frame of reference within the context of how the shootout was done, but it is not an absolute proof one way or the other.

    Oh yea, the C1000 mic SUCKS!
  16. Ellegaard

    Ellegaard Active Member

    I believe these opinions are not only based on one single shootout.

    Somehow I get the sense that every time someone asks for the opinion on cheap gear and microphones, they get a slightly cynical "you-get-what-you-pay-for" answer. Should someone experience that the same stuff sounds better under some circumstances than the ten times more expensive microphones, it's always due to "that player", "that kit", "that room", "coupled to that gear", etc.

    I don't question the quality of quality gear, but I think the tendency is that many people have opinions on so many things they've hardly put their hands on.
  17. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    I think it probably works both ways. Folks that can afford the big guns could be hard to convince that an inexpensive piece will give a classic a run for its money.

    At the same time, folks who have never fondled a high-end mic (I fit in this category) may be pleased as punch with their purchase - and it could be for one of several reasons:
    May not have had the opportunity to compare it to the big dogs.
    Might not have the ears / monitors / space to hear the difference.
    Might not have the knowledge or experience to get the best out of it.
    Might not be recording talent that will push an instrument / microphone to its limits.
    It just might be that good after all.

    I'm no making any claims here - I just do the best I can with what I can afford.
  18. Fede

    Fede Active Member

    It always depends on the combination of factors, but I think it's true that just because much of the cheap gear, claiming to sound "as good as a U87" or what have you, it doesn't mean that they're necessarily all the same....I for one firmly believe the NT5 to rank at the very top of mics for purposes like overheads - no matter what cost.

    Which reminds me - we also had two AKG C414 TLII in the overhead test, and that particular day they SUCKED! Really, really bad. I don't know what that was about, I usually like them very much for overheads - but not that particular day....
  19. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    hey fede what have you tried the c414 TLII on other purposes? hi-hats, snare...
    i've just ordered one and i'm looking forward on trying that baby on almost everything!
  20. tedcrop

    tedcrop Guest

    How about the c430's

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