Suggestions for Mics to get

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by cvr, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. cvr

    cvr Guest

    I'm looking to spend up to $1300 and am in desperate need of some new mics. I don't have much now, but have the purpose of slowly building up my studio as funds permit. I would like to get at least 2 microphones with the $1300, but would be open to any food for thought :) I've been looking at stuff like Neumann TLM 103, AKG C 414 B-XLS, Røde K2, NT4 and NT5s, Beyer M 130 & M 160. I'd also love any input as to how these might work with my existing gear.

    My current set up consists of:
    • 2 sm57's
      1 Behringer B5
      Firepod
      MacBook Pro
      Cubase LE

    My main focus will be on:
    • solo viola (live and studio)
      solo flute (live and studio)
      viola and/or flute and piano (live and studio)
      flute and/or viola and guitar
      andean wind instruments (pan flutes, bamboo flutes) (live and studio)
      andean wind instruments, string instruments and percussion instruments with guitar
      choirs of around 15-25 members (live)


    Thanks!
     
  2. Simmosonic

    Simmosonic Active Member

    Are you looking for a stereo pair, or two different mics to complement your options?

    On a $1300 budget, and considering what you record, you might consider a Rode NT55 (or perhaps a pair?):

    http://www.rode.com.au/?pagename=Products&product=NT55

    It's based on the NT5 but with removable capsules, a built-in pad (0dB, -10dB, -20dB) and high pass filter (flat, 75Hz or 150Hz). With the NT45-C cardioid capsule it is assumedly the same as the NT5 and is reasonably good value. With the NT45-O omni capsule fitted, I reckon it performs way above its price point.

    Also worth considering on your budget would be DPA's stereo 4060 kit, which they call the SMK4060:

    http://www.dpamicrophones.com/module.php?MID=101&itemid=SMK4060&PID=&function=pdescription

    It's a stereo kit with a pair of their little 4060 hi-sensitivity omnis.:

    http://www.dpamicrophones.com/module.php?MID=101&itemid=4060-BM&PID=&function=pdescription

    These mics have an extraordinary text-book off-axis response due to their tiny 5.4mm diaphragms, but with the higher self noise (23dBA) that goes with a small diaphragm. A bit noisy for distant recording of soft sounds, but no problem for close miking.

    A recording friend of mine in Sydney has one of these kits, and raves about it for close miking acoustic instruments.

    Alternatively, if you're not looking for a stereo pair, the IMK4060 kit is worth considering because it contains numerous ways of attaching the mic to different instruments.

    http://www.dpamicrophones.com/module.php?MID=101&itemid=IMK4060&PID=&function=pdescription

    I have been recommending omnis here, which you may feel uncomfortable with. But a true omnidirectional capsule has numerous advantages over other responses. Firstly, it has a proper low frequency response, which can really make a difference in some situations (all directional responses rolloff the low frequencies at distances greater than 30cm or so). Secondly, it doesn't have proximity effect, so you can get very close without any boominess. And thirdly, it has much lower handling noise, so attaching it to an instrument is not much of a problem.

    On the downside, omnis will capture more of the room sound when used at the same distance as a directional microphone. That can often be traded off against the ability to put the mic closer (without proximity effect) and end up with the same degree of direct/reverberant sound, but a more detailed signal (if detail is required).
     
  3. cvr

    cvr Guest

    I'm not decided on the whole stereo pair vs. different mics at this point. I keep going back and forth. It would be nice to have a matched pair for overhead at live concerts, but I also think I would like something better for the solo instruments that would double well as a live mic(s). I guess nothing I do depends on having a stereo pair, but it would be useful.

    I was looking at the NT55 after my original post and that does seem like one (or two) to consider. I like that they come with both the cardioid and omni capsules.

    I hadn't considered the DPA's, they look very interesting for close miking the solo instruments. Would they be useful in a choir concert? And also since they mount on the instrument I'm wondering if they'd pick up too much bow noise or breath noise or piano hammers?
     
  4. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    IMHO, the Rode NT5-type mics are too bright for Violin & choral recording. I'm not a big fan of them on most guitars either. I'm not bashing them - I own a pair and have no intention of getting rid of them.

    For your work I'd look at the AKG Blue Line mics, probably with a pair of Cardioid capsules, a pair of Omnis, and probably one Figure-8. These have a very flat frequency response and give very good results.

    I have used them with great success on choirs (MS & ORTF), XY on guitar, a single mics on Flute and Clarinet - they are very versatile and nice sounding mics.

    I tend to like a brighter mic on piano, depending on the instrument, but for the rest of the stuff you list I think they'd be a great match.
     
  5. Simmosonic

    Simmosonic Active Member

    I haven't used them for choir, but I would expect very good results considering their almost textbook response. Omnis are often used with great results on choral recordings. There are quieter mics than the 4060s for that application, however. My recommendation was based on their versatility for the *overall* range of sounds you want to record, of which choir is only a small part.

    As for close miking by attaching them to the body of an instrument, yes, you will get more of all of those noises. But you can also use them at a distance, if desired, like any other microphone. Stick them on a mic stand. At short distances, like 1m or so (studio close miking) they'll be fine. At longer distances, you'd have to consider the noise again if recording a very soft sound source from a good distance.

    If you're on a budget, however, they'll offer you the quality and character of DPA, with the only trade-off being a bit more noise.

    A similarly priced mic with lower noise (e.g. Rode NT55) won't have the excellent off-axis response and therefore won't sound as natural. It's all a trade-off when budgets are concerned...
     
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I'll always recommend Beyer M130/160 figure of 8 and HyperCardioid ribbon microphones. Warm, lush with incredible transient response and no harshness. Perfect on flutes, females, plucked instruments, harpsichords, bowed instruments, etc.. Not everything needs to be a crunchy metallic sterile condenser sound. Extra noise when used 30 feet away from the oboe solo perhaps. Not so noisy in the studio up close or in a tighter miked studio situation.

    Nothing sounds like a ribbon but a ribbon
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I'll agree with Remy -
    For solo or spot mics, I can't imagine that I reach for any mic faster than either the M130 or M160. Granted, as she mentions, great distance from a quiet source equals a bit of extra noise, but it's managable if you don't get too much distance.

    Your next upgrade after that - you'll be begging for a nicer pre. The Presonus is okay, but for those ribbons, you're gonna want a big open sounding preamp (a la Grace or Millennia...perhaps DAV although I find them to be a tad too dark on ribbons)

    Cheers -

    J.
     
  8. Simmosonic

    Simmosonic Active Member

    I really have to audition this MS combo some time soon, I hear so much good being said about it.

    You might find these special anniversary models interesting:

    http://www.beyerdynamic.com/cms/Broadcast_Studio_Video_Pro.5.0.html?&L=1

    Sometimes I have to make outdoor recordings in very humid conditions, and condenser microphones don't like it. Ribbons don't suffer from humidity, so this combo is of interest to me (in a good windshield, of course).
     
  9. Duckman

    Duckman Active Member

    Or TRP - easier on the wallet, and perhaps even easier on the ears.
     
  10. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    :cool:
     
  11. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    AKG Blueline

    AT 4051s

    Rode NT2As

    AT 4060s

    Blue Woodpecker

    Coles 4038 Ribbon Microphone

    A very good CHEAP omni is the Behringer ECM 8000 flat response and you can get two of them for under $200.00

    What ever microphone you get make sure you get a good suspension mount for it.

    Best of luck :wink:
     

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