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Hi Kurt. I was wondering if you could give me some advice.

I'm still 'slowly' building up a modest setup here. At this time, I need at least one more good mic for recording acoustic guitar and vocal simultaneously, for example. I first thought about just getting a matched pair of SDs(C4's, NT5's etc.) but then realized it would be much more efficient to purchase a large diaphragm workhorse type of mic...for vocals, percussion, etc., and hopefully acoustic guitar. I seem to recall you mentioning that you get good results recording acoustic guitar with a large diaphragm in lieu of matched pairs of small diaphragms.

I'll one day hopefully purchase some really good mics and preamps(saw your've sold me on the MP-2NV ), but as of right now, all I have is an Avalon M5 and a Grace 101(and the few preamps on the mackie1402VLZ), and my main mic is a RODE NTK.

So, relative to what I can 'barely' afford, I was considering the AKG C414, the AT4050, or the Shure KSM44. They seem to be known as all around good mics. However, knowing the style of music I'm recording(usually mostly acoustic, raw, somewhere in between blues and folk), and knowing the preamps I have, I thought, given your experience, that maybe you could steer me in the right direction.

Thanks --Brian


KurtFoster Sat, 08/14/2004 - 10:43

You are off to a great start. I don't say much about Avalon pres but they are very nice. The M5 is transformer balanced all class A discreet ... very nice stuff!

Any of the mics you mention would serve you well. Now the hard part, which one?

The ATM 4050 represents a great value. I love AT mics! Great build, good sound and excellent customer service. The Shure KSM44 has gained a good reputation in the short time it has been on the market. I see Allison Krauss and Union Station using the KSM series in live venues a lot.

I choose the old standby the AKG 414 however.. No studio should be without at least one or two. The 414 offers an additional pattern as well (hypercardioid) for you to have in your bag of tricks. When recording vocal & guitar, this hyper tight pattern can help reduce leakage.

414's work great on a number of sources, drum overheads, toms, snare, hat (hypercardioid pattern is wonderful for this), acoustic instruments, vocals, just about anything you can throw at it. I think you will be very satisfied with the AKG 414..

Thanks for asking !

Bri Sat, 08/14/2004 - 13:14

Hey Kurt! Thank you for your advice and encouragement, I appreciate it very much.

Can you clarify the difference between the two AKG C414s...the B/TLII, and the B-ULS? I vaguely remember others at RO recommending one and not the other. Of course, now I see there are a couple new 'updated' versions as well.

I'm just slightly confused as to which one would be the best in my situation.

Thanks again,

KurtFoster Sun, 08/15/2004 - 01:07

The C414 B-TL II has the C 12 capsule and is electronically balanced .. it has more mid and top end than the C414B-ULS (ultralinear series) which is transformer balanced. The ULS has a bit flatter frequency response than the TL does.. but a lot of folks think the TL sounds better. You should listen to them both for yourself. Either one would be great!