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Quran Recording

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by micguy, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. micguy

    micguy Active Member

    I'm looking to buy a mic. I'm only going to be using it to record "Quran" (I've attached a sample if you don't know what that is)
    I want a very good sounding mic, but don't need "the most professional, best studio mic ever" since I'm only using it for that one specific thing. i rather not spend more than i have to, but im willing to spend a little more to get a very good sounding mic.
    ive considered the rode ntk and the sm7b

    while keeping in mind the intended application, please suggest the best mic for the following price catagories:

    also what is the best preamp to go along with your recomended mic.
    quran on rode ntk >>>>>

    best sample↓↓


    Attached Files:

    • 001.mp3
      File size:
      819.9 KB
  2. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Have you done any recording before? The idea of "good sounding" is relative. What will be the medium this is listened to or consumed on? Will it have the effects and the atmospheric music in the background? What will you be using to record? What kind of pre-amp or console/interface?
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    It's a little hard to tell what the true character of the mic is in your sample, because there's so much reverb on it, which has a tendency to subdue definition and clarity. I'm not saying you shouldn't use whatever reverb you want, or however much you want, but when you are testing mics to see which sound best, you're better off to listen to them "dry" so that you can focus in on the actual sound of the mic.

    It also depends on the environment in which you are recording.

    If you are in a space which is acoustically untreated and highly reflective, then a dynamic mic like the SM7 might be a better choice for you than a condenser like the Rode, because dynamic mics tend to be less sensitive to their surroundings than a condenser will.

    If you do go with the SM7, you'll need a preamp capable of delivering sufficient gain, as that particular mic has a lower output - not only lower than condensers, but also lower than many of its dynamic counterparts as well.

    I would suggest a preamp capable of delivering gain up to around 65-70 or so. The Grace m101 is an exceptional pre for this; very clean, transparent ( not "colored" as other pres which have transformers or tubes) and has a nice amount of available gain ( 68 db). Or, you could get a pre with lower gain and add a Cloudlifter, which is an inline gain booster, which uses the phantom power from your preamp and converts it into additional gain for the mic by +10-20db.
    (A higher gain pre will also not only give you far more headroom for condensers, but will also allow you to use ribbon mics as well, if this is something that may interest you in the future.)

    If you do end up with a condenser mic like the Rode, then any decent preamp will do the job, as condensers don't require as much gain to work at their optimum - HOWEVER - you should still get as good a preamp as possible, the best you can afford, because it will affect the sound of the mics you use - in either good or bad ways, depending on the pre.

    A good preamp is also something you'll never not use. It will always prove itself to be useful, in any situation using a mic, regardless of the type of music you will record now or into the future. Good preamps also tend to allow mics to sound as they should.

    Now...if you go with a standalone hi-end preamp like Grace, or Millennia, or Great River, you'll need to make sure that your conversion system is of high quality as well, as most of these mic preamps don't have computer connectivity.
    This starts to add up in money, but as most anything else, you'll generally get the quality you pay for. A good mic, preamp and conversion system will last you a lifetime. Remember that your signal input setup is like a chain...the quality will only sound as good as the weakest link in that chain will allow it to sound.

    I know you're trying to save money... who doesn't? We all like to get the best gear we can at the lowest possible cost. But I can tell you from personal experience that you'll end up paying a lot more in the long run by making small improvements every so often, than you would to just bite the bullet and get something good from the start. It will also save you a lot of time futilely trying to get "okay" gear to sound like "really good gear", which you never really will.

    Like most who start with inexpensive gear, you could continue to go through various lower cost mics and preamps over time, stepping up each time you buy, spending money every year or so, all in an effort to search for the sound that you truly like but haven't quite yet achieved, or... you can suffer once and then never have to worry about it again ;)

    IMHO of course.
  4. micguy

    micguy Active Member

    essentially i just want a mic suited for that kind of sound that i can add reverb to make it sound close to the sample(someone mentioned that for quran you need good mids and highs) (i dont really know what that even means but i posted a sample so you get the idea of what kind of recording ill be doing.,

    currently i record in an untreated room, but am planning on making a little studio soon, which will be acoustically treated.

    also that sample was recorded in a very high-level professional studio. will I be able to replicate that with a reverb effect or do i need an actual reverb "machine" (don't remember what its called)
  5. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Your best bet for space creation would be a Bricasti Reverb. They are exceptional at re-creating infinite types of very natural sounding spaces, along with a fair share of super-natural spaces as well.

    But they ain't cheap.

    To me, the sample I heard sounded pretty much like any decent reverb processor plug in that comes with any popular DAW platform. Nothing special, but not bad, either.

    There are other reverb plugs available; Lexicon, Waves, T-Racks, Valhalla ... all make good sounding reverbs. Again, nothing that really stands out, but they are all still pretty good.

    It seems as though there's a lot of reverb being used in the sample; much more than what you'd find in a typical commercial mix, but then again, what you are doing isn't really "typical", so I'll defer to your personal preference on this.

    As far as mics go, they are all over the place price-wise and quality-wise. If you can afford one, I'd suggest an AKG 414, it's an industry standard mic, very good quality, built well, and gives you many options built right into the mic... 5 polar patterns, including Omni, Wide Cardioid, Cardioid, Hyper-Cardioid, and Fig 8. Pads include -6, -12 and -18db settings, and 3 hi pass filter settings, selectable at full range, 40hz, 80hz and 160hz.

    The 414 is a highly respected studio mic, a workhorse that has become as such because of its quality and the controls that are built into the mic. It's a microphone that will last you a lifetime and that you can use for virtually any application; vocals, acoustic instruments, brass, drum OH's, room miking... in short, you'll never regret having one.

    Your mic preamp will matter too, though... if you go with something cheap/entry level/budget, no matter how good your microphone is, you'll never get the optimal results intended for that mic. But again, if you get a nice preamp, you'll use it for everything, and it will become a distinct factor in determining the sonic quality of your signal chain.
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