I am a hobbyist and have been recording with an AKG c1000 mic for a 5 or 6 years and feel like its time to try something new. I was breifly looking at a Rode NT1A which is around 250$, but am just beginning my search. Any suggestions?
It will mostly be for acoustic guitar (occasionally used for vocals).
TRY A REAL MICROPHONE and retire that C1000 ice pick with an electrical connection to hell, to some rather appropriate duty... like leveling a bar stool... or as a make shift tent stake....
I feel like its time to try something less painful... PLEASE go by something useful to understand what a microphone should be.
The suffering you've endured will pay you in benefits even if you just to go get an SM57!
Poor lad... the suffering you've been through of not knowing if those were hell spawn sharpening their claws on your driveway, or if your best friend had shoved ice picks in your ears for fun and profit.
Surely, you have got to know that coaxing anything that closely resembles the sounds that an acoustic guitar makes - out of a micropone of that calibre, is such a hideous task, that any reasonable microphone of less than stellar performance or response (either LDC or Omni) will seem like a breeze from the heavens.
4033's a great starter... maybe the 4020... Rode's fine.. not always the best for any given task, but plenty acceptable for novice work.... just ANYTHING but that C1000. oooof...
Whoever let you pay money for that microphone seriously did you a dis-service... either that or you pissed em' off and this was a cruel bit of justified revenge. In which case... you've paid for your transgression many times over.
As you have already learned, (if you still have any hearing left) it really doesn't matter what mic you have, if you don't have a concept of what your desire is... e.g. knowing where to put what to get what you want or need.
Almost anything you buy in the sub $500 range is not really considered "professional" gear... depending on too many factors and is generally a bit of snobery. In the professional arena, it's not a poor man's game. There's stoopid money been spent on gear... and I MEAN STOOPID MONEY.
Depending upon your level of expectation of final product, you really don't need to have the finest to achieve great results. You just hafta know how to coax it out of your performance.
The key is to look for value.
How do you look for value?
Look at what is on television, youtube, live, etc... that your work is close to. You'll eventually figure out what gear these folks use most of the time... and why do they use it?? Because it works for those situations, and they work very well... and they're solid, predictable and reliable.
[WRONG BUTTON CLICKED]
Where was i before I so rudely interrupted myself?!? Oh yeah...
You'll find that a dynamic is best for certain sources, LDC's for others, SDC's for others still... ribbons, multipattern condensors, omni's...
I prefer to figure out what the song is; dynamically and then tonally, and try to match what I need to capture with whatever the hell is in the mic locker that ain't used on something else.
It don't really make a flyin' rat's ass difference to me... I'm ok with using my ears to listen to the instrument and determine where to mic it for what I want.
You're on the right path when you you finally use something other than that satanic ice pick you've been suffering with needlessly for so long.
These thoughts should be put into some form of "Forum Wisdom" to help many. I wonder if there is any way this info could be integrated in the "system" other than putting such thoughts as a sticky. Over to you forum boss (aka audiokid)!