8 inputs / mic lines. What mics would you choose?

Kurt Foster

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Joined
Jul 2, 2002
Location
77 Sunset Lane.
scenario; recording to analog tape. 8 mic lines from the studio into 8 mic inputs in C/R. recording bands live. rhythm section, then overdubs, horns if needed, vocals last.

assume there's 5 - sm57's and 2 - 414's in the collection already. we're on a tight budget. what 8 additional mics would you choose for the mic locker?
 

paulears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
Lowestoft - UK
Do you mind second hand? AKG451's are often on ebay and really nice mics on acoustic instruments and easier to get them into tight spaces. I am also a great lover of Chinese LDCs - the ones that are cardioid and big I really like. I've got quite a few for when we used to do big band stuff and I know people slate them, but some are rather similar to the 414 type of sound. With your 57s, 451s and some other cheap condensers could be cheap(iso) and very useful. For the warm sound - the 57's would be enough for me.
 

Nobtwiddler

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Location
Millbrook, NY / Sharon Ct.
Haha
this is a great question.
I returned to my roots so to speak about 15 years ago, putting together a system that would allow me to do 8 track recording,
in remote locations out of the usual studio confines. I figure if you can't make a record on tracks, then you should be recording!

So I designed and built a little setup, that later grew a bit bigger.

And when I was setting this all up, and specifying the gear I wanted for this endeavor, I asked my neighbor (at the time) and dear friend
Eddie Kramer, if I was only gonna have 8 mics, (give or take) what should they be?
And here's what we came up with:
1- AKG-D30
2- AKG-451
3- AKG-414
4- Neumann-U67
5- Coles-4038
6- Neuman-Fet 47
7- Neumann-KM 84
8- Neumann-KM 56

And of course a few more as options.

Here's a few shots of the eight track set up.
First pic showing the mixer with the 8 x Helios modules / Neve mixer / API mixer
Second pic showing the Radar 6 loaded with 1 x 8 channel Ultra Nyquist Card, for 8 in / out.
Third pic, showing the mics I actually ended up with for this remote rig project
Since then, the rig has expanded a bit ....
 

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Kurt Foster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2002
Location
77 Sunset Lane.
interesting choices, both. gotta love the Eddie Kramer reference. nice mic locker!

the 451's are beyond my pay scale and a D30 would be too if i could find one. i can't invest in vintage gear at vintage prices.

i'm thinking i want something a little newer to stand the test of time cause obviously i must think i'm going to live forever.

the 47 and 67 and the KM84s are cloned in various versions. i would consider them .., both for price as well as reliability.

i don't know about a Coles. they are cool but again so expensive for such a delicate mic. this is going to be a tight space crammed with a lot of musicians at the same time trying to cut a side an hour. ribbons scare the crap out of me. again i'd go for some cheaper clones if they were decent. that way i wouldn't feel to bad if they were bumped into or a wind blast stretched the ribbon or if phantom power were acedentally applied. or maybe a Royer or two?

i already had a pair of 414's on the list. imo desert island mics. a pair makes for a perfect m/s mic'ing rig. ....

thanks for the suggestions Paul and Nobtwiddler.
 

Nobtwiddler

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Location
Millbrook, NY / Sharon Ct.
OK, I gotcha.
Affordable, and in a tight small space...
(buy used)

Kick - AKG D12 Reissue. Amazing mic, many sounds NOT THE 112~!
Snare - Beyer 201, Audix D-3, D-2.
Toms - 421, 57's, Shure Beta 98's,
Overs - 414's or 451's, or a clone of Km- 84
Gtr - 57, Sent 421, Senn, 609, Beyer 160, or Cascade ribbons, (don't be afraid of them!)
Shure SM-7 or Senn 441 for cutting vocals live in room.
 

dvdhawk

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Location
Western Pennsylvania, USA
It depends on just how tight the budget is and the genre. Of course you could do a lot worse than just buying 8 more SM57s or 58s for under $800, but you wouldn't be here soliciting opinions if you wanted to do that.

Rock, Blues, Country, Pop for ≤ $1500:

KICK / BASS: Audix D6 Large Diaphragm Dynamic Cardioid $199 each
SNARE / INST / VOC: Heil PR20-UT Dynamic Cardioid Inst/Vocal $99 each
TOMS / PERC / INST: Sennheiser e604 Dynamic Cardioid Drum Mic $350 3-pack
PAIR of SDCs: Rode NT5 Small Diaphragm Condenser $429 matched pair
ALTERNATIVE (to your 414) VOCAL MIC: Shure SM7B Dynamic Cardioid Vocal Mic $399 each


HI-HAT / OH / ACOUSTIC GUITAR: Either the Rode NT5s or your AKG 414s
GUITARS / HORNS / LESLIE: Your Shure SM57s

You could get that down to under $1100 if you substitute Shure SM57 / SM58 or Heil PR20 / PR22 for the drop the SM7b and also substitute A-T Pro37 or similar SDC for the the Rode NTs (which are already a good value for money).


Potential Alternates or Upgrades:

DYNAMICS:

E-V RE20 $449 Kick / Bass / Low Brass
Shure Beta52a $189 Kick / Bass *I'm not a fan, but some people like them
Senn MD421-ii $399 Kick / Bass / Horns
Heil PR-22UT $119 Utilitarian Dynamic Vocal / Instrument
Heil PR-30 $259 Almost Anything
Heil PR-31BW $269 Almost Anything
Audix D4 $179 Toms / Percussion
Audix D2 $129 Toms / Percussion

SDC:
A-T Pro37 $169 HH / Overhead
AKG 451 $549 HH / Overhead / Acoustic Inst
Shure SM81 $349 HH / Overhead / Acoustic Inst
A-T AT4033 $399 All-Purpose LDC / Vocal / Overhead / Acoustic Inst
A-T AT4050 $699 All-Purpose LDC / Vocal / Overhead / Acoustic Inst
 

paulears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
Lowestoft - UK
I picked up two 'faulty 451's last month, one was 42 pounds, the other 55 (which I thought a bit much). My hope was one good preamp and one good capsule, and one crackled like mad - but the centre pin was tarnished and the spring a bit weak. 5 mins later it was perfect, and the other worked perfectly - so I guess the seller didn't know about phantom!

One question - Never even seen a D-30 in real life, what's the attraction? Not having heard one, I need a steer - like the Shure 61 and 63's I bought recently - always open to new useful mics. The D-30 is maybe just not popular in the UK?
 

Kurt Foster

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Joined
Jul 2, 2002
Location
77 Sunset Lane.
ok folks. clarifications. i won't be multi mic'ing the drums. it will be kick / snare / 2 overheads at most, Abbey Road - Glyn Johns technique. very minimal mic'ing techniques for the rest of the instruments as well. will most likely be taking bass direct. thinking a lot about how Motown used to di instruments through a monitoring amp in the L/R.

it's gonna be drums, bass, 3 guitars, 2 keyboards (piano / organ or Rhodes - Wurlitzer electric pianos) first pass. horns, vocals any additional tracks will be overdubs. i am planning for 8 mic lines into C/R from the floor (i may decide to go with 12), so it's gotta be a minimal set up. i may mod some older Shure mixers to pre mix 3 or 4 mics or lines into one input.

think 1966.
 

pcrecord

Quality recording seeker !
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Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Location
Quebec, Canada
scenario; recording to analog tape. 8 mic lines from the studio into 8 mic inputs in C/R. recording bands live. rhythm section, then overdubs, horns if needed, vocals last.

there's 5 - sm57's and 2 - 414's in the collection already. we're on a tight budget. what 8 additional mics would you choose for the mic locker?
I'm not sure I follow, you record on a 8 track tape and you already have 7 mics. You want the last one mic to add or 8 more to have alternatives ?

If it's only one more, I'd say, you need a good vocal mic. An LCD that can work with most voices. Usually a U87, a clone or one inspired on it is the first best choice.. But then I read no vocal ??

So I guess a good bassdrum mic.. A D112 if you want it flat or a E602 or E902 for a pre-eq one. (depend on the style of music)
I suspect the keyboards goes DI.. If there is an acoustic guitar, maybe a small conderser... if not sm57 are good.. or E609
 

Boswell

Moderator
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Location
UK
I can't imagine having a mic collection without at least one ribbon, especially if you are playing the traditional recording card.

The last addition I made to my growing ribbon collection was an AT4081. This is really sweet as a mono drum overhead, on brass and on amplifier cabs, and also copes well with shrill instruments or voices. Not the quietest of microphones, but is fine when used close to the source. It needs phantom power for the internal buffer. The extra half-octave at the top end over a normal ribbon is like the difference between a Beta57A and an SM57. A recording friend who has both the 4080 and the 4081 says he was amazed when he used the 4081 for a pair of female backup harmony singers, one each side of the fig-8, where the resulting tonal quality fitted so well with the solo artist belting it out into an LDC.
 

paulears

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Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
Lowestoft - UK
I had a couple of really old STCs - 4033's which I sold quite cheaply because I just didn't like the sound. They were a combo design. Dynamic and ribbon that could provide different polar patterns, but I found them thin and uninspiring - so somebody got a bargain - they also weighed a ton! I've now only got one ribbon - kept for the occasion al M/S, but I wished I had got a pair (always how I do things now - at least two of the popular ones - is my unwritten rule.
 

Kurt Foster

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Joined
Jul 2, 2002
Location
77 Sunset Lane.
thanks again people. i am getting a better ideas as to what to buy. you all have brought some ideas to the table that hadn't occurred to me.

Marco, i want a selection to choose from for different things. and just cause' there's only 8 tracks doesn't mean there won't be more than 8 mics. i'm thinking sub mixers. i agree i'm going to want something along the lines of an 87. that's why more than 8 mics. Bos, i actually agree about having at least 1 ribbon. i like to buy mics in pairs if possible. for the AT4041 that would be healthy chunk of cash ..... (thinking) ....
 

Boswell

Moderator
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Location
UK
Bos, i actually agree about having at least 1 ribbon. i like to buy mics in pairs if possible. for the AT4041 that would be healthy chunk of cash ..... (thinking) ....
The AT ribbons are the AT4080 and 4081.

The friend I mentioned borrowed my 4081 and used it with his one in X-Y Blumlein on a string quartet in a very reverberant hall (no audience these days!) I haven't heard the result, but he said it came out with a little too much natural reverb, although the imaging was excellent.
 

Davedog

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Joined
Dec 10, 2001
Location
Pacific NW
I'm surprised at this question coming from you especially with your mic collection history.

Here's my suggestions.

Kik Mic: ATM25 It will be used. Don't bother with the overpriced reissue. One will be available if you're diligent and quick on the trigger. They never last long and for a good reason. Another for KIK would be an EV N/D868. I have all the regular kik mics...D6, Shure 52, etc....These two will get YOU what you look for in a kik drum mic. They didn't scoop them or fiddlefuck around with the frequency response. You get everything in a mic capable of handling 140dbs.
SDC pair: AT4041 electret condenser. Bullet proof and new generally discounted below 500 a pair. I have 4. They are sweeter than the 451 AKG, a bit soft in the high-end but clear so it's all there. Very good in an X/Y drum overhead and will be more than acceptable on most acoustic instruments.
Budget RIBBON: Royer 101. Discontinued so it too will be used. They retailed for 800 and the prices are still 800. THIS is a real ribbon for everything you can imagine a ribbon on including vocals. I use this as half of my guitar setup along with an ancient Unidyne III Shure. I've tracked every kind of horn know to man with it. Superb mic. The new budget ribbon Royer R10 is reportedly awesome also although I've yet to try one. Heck its a Royer.....
LDC: An U87 clone at your budget. But I fear that you would tire of most of the ones I have heard including the Warm Audio. Although to their credit they did voice their original release as the pre Ai 87. They sound great out of the box but after a bit if you have any kind of ear and ,of course, any kind of history with the originals that you start to notice the deficiencies. I would go with the Mojave 200 or even the Microphone Parts 87 clone. Marco can tell you more about them. I recently bought an SE-12 and it sounds great. Very early 414ish. They are kits but they also will build them out for you which I recommend. The BeesKnees mics are interesting. They make very high-end stuff but there are budget mics in the line. I have heard a recent recording with all the vocals done with an ELLY model which is one of the budget models in a U47 fet clone.
 

Davedog

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Joined
Dec 10, 2001
Location
Pacific NW
One more thing. I'm sure you can appreciate where this suggestion is coming from. IF you have the numbers to go sorta all-in on an LDC, the Soundelux/Bock family especially the older ones are incredible mics. I use my U195 for so many things even ahead of my older U87 (pre Ai). Buy once etc etc.......A couple of my fellow producers tend to borrow my U195 for those special voices and they have plenty of high-end kit to choose from.Lots of reviews over the years on these. The U99 is also a very very special mic. Of course for around the same numbers you can get a Cathedral Pipes Saint Jean Baptiste which is a mic voiced like a U47fet. I forgot to mention their ribbon, the Seville. It is my 'other' quality ribbon mic in the collection. A bargain at the price. Seriously.
 

Kurt Foster

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Joined
Jul 2, 2002
Location
77 Sunset Lane.
after more research and opinions, i am thinking i should scale down my expectations and just get a few real classics.

i'm leaning towards a U87ai, a pair of 414's, a pair of Royer ribbons , a pair of 421's, 3-SM 57's the ATM25 and a pair of the AT4041's Dave recommends. i think that these mics will do the job. i may skip on the 87 for the moment. that will shave almost 1/3rd off the total.
 
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