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I've been looking at these 3, they're at different prices here in Argentina. which one should I go for?

the aI'm is to record mainly all-round vocals and an ocassional acoustic guitar in my home studio. I've got a Mackie vlz-403 mixer with very good mic preamps and phantom.

any ideas? cheers!


hueseph Thu, 04/22/2010 - 15:25

The only one of those really worthy of considering for vocals is the NT1. That's not entirely true. The C03 is cheap. The AT2020 is also dirt cheap. Either might possibly be useful for something. One of those things might even be micing vocals but it depends on the singer. The NT1-A is twice the price of either of those mics but the quality is at least twice that as well.

I have an AT2020 and I use it when it works. It's not a particularly nice mic.

I'm going to say it now since you will hear it over and over again: the most versatile and valuable mic you will ever get especially at this price range would be a Shure SM57. Good for vocals. Good for acoustic guitar. Good for micing amplifiers, drums, horns and just about anything you put it in front of. Yes it's a dynamic and that's ok.

A condenser mic is going to expose every noise and flaw of your room. They are more sensitive. That is their nature.

anonymous Thu, 04/22/2010 - 17:04

+1 to everything hueseph just said.

If you're at a stage in your recording experience where you can't afford a decent condensor mic, you're probably at a stage where, due to your room and the rest of your rig, you're not ready for a condensor anyway. That's not a slam, it's the reality of the situation.

ferchis Thu, 04/22/2010 - 19:36

oh, and, as regards the rig, I honestly think I might not need anything else since I've got a fairly decent mixer with fantastic (in my opinion) pres (mackie vlz-403), phantom, and the recording interface is a great sport for anything I record with it!!! so... I think that it is probably the room which will present a couple of drawbacks.

how can I work around that? is there anything in particular to do or take into account when preparing the room for good vocal recordings?


soapfloats Thu, 04/22/2010 - 21:32

I'm a little late to the party, but I'll jump in.

I own and the 2020 and it makes infrequent appearances.
For the price, it's a fine mic. Particularly for a source I'm not overly concerned about (I've got the mic, the channel, and the band wants it, so...)
I think that over time you'll find it's very source dependent, as hueseph pointed out.
This isn't to say that I never get a track I'm happy w/ from it - I just usually get a better track from something else.

The 57 is one of the greatest mics ever made. It's been around twice as long as I've been alive, and there's many reasons for that.
Start there, then save for Rode, or another similarly priced/performing condenser.

Finally, considering the room.
Use your ears. I'm guessing it's not a big space, so beware of reflections, especially w/ a condenser, which capture more of the room.
The best thing you can do is experiment w/ moving both the mic and the performer around in the room until you find the best spot.
If that's still not satisfactory, add some furniture (couches and bookcases work best), and see how that changes the equation.

Hope that helps.

hueseph Thu, 04/22/2010 - 22:24

There aren't many people who have voices low enough that an SM57 is incapable of capturing it for the most part. Often people will employ a high pass filter on vox anyway so......

If your voice is particularly low, consider a Beta 52 or an SM7. Both dynamics once again and worth the money you put into them. But of course it's your money and you will spend it as you wish. Don't say no one ever warned you about the background noise, the computer fan, the clock in the next room, the flutter echo from poor acoustics all getting into every track and being compounded the more tracks you record.

Incidentally, what interface exactly?

anonymous Thu, 04/22/2010 - 22:55

ferchis, post: 346804 wrote: thanks a lot guys. btw, is it true that the sm57 is useful but mostly designed for high frequencies, and that low ones don't really get caught in the take, at least not as accurately as with a condenser?


I'm a low baritone. When I recorded my band, I passed up several condensor options and stuck with a 57 on my voice, because it mitigated the sub-harmonics (boominess) of my voice without losing the low end character, since I project so potently.

anonymous Sun, 04/25/2010 - 14:12

I know I'm a little late but it might be worth checking out the Telfunken M-80.

It's touted as the "SM57 killer" and I tested it out against an SM57 and Beta 58 a while back and it was much more clear in the high end, and had much more to boot.

It also doesn't have that cloudy 800 that the SM57 has no matter where you put it.

I would also recommend (as I have in about 3 other posts) the SM7B - it's an "expensive" SM57 but with it's history in the business (Red Hot Chili Peppers vocals, Metallica vocals, Michael Jackson vocals) it's probably a good idea to check it out. They were last selling them for 250$ at NAB (ones that had been used for the Olympics broadcast)


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