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I have just finished a location recording session with a classical vocal sextet and really enjoyed the whole experience and am really very inspired to do a lot more of these in the future. For this session I borrowed a pair of RODE NT5 SDC's and Audio-Technica AT4040 LDC's. Now that I have decided to pursue doing more mobile/location classical recordings I will need to buy my own mics. My budget is around £450 for a stereo pair and I would like the option of different pickup patterns etc.

Firstly should I buy a pair of small diaphragm condensers or large diaphragm condensers and why?

Having had a quick look around I'm interested in :-


JZ Microphones BT201/1s pair + cardiod capsules (I would need to add additional capsules when I've saved up for them)
Oktava MK012 pair + cardioid, hyper cardioid, omni and -10db capsules :- £382
RODE NT55 pair + cardioid and omni capsules :- £455



CAD M179 pair multi pattern :- £370
RODE NT1000 pair multi pattern :- 438
RODE NT2a pair multi pattern :- £450 pair

What would you recommend?

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TheJackAttack Mon, 02/17/2014 - 13:14

You need to skip the large condensers right now. You should also forget about multiple pattern pencils in your price range. You have beau coups to learn yet. For this type of recording you need a pair of sdc cardioid pattern or a stereo Blumlein ribbon. If you go the sdc route you need to learn coincident stereo patterns and how they are affected by position, height, slap back echo, excessive reverb etc. You could start with Oktava or Rode but if your goal is to get paid then you need better.

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Boswell Mon, 02/17/2014 - 15:34

The NT55s are reasonable mics for their price. The pair I have get more use with their omni capsules either in an A-B configuration or else as outriggers to a centre pair rather than with their cardioid capsules, as I also have higher-quality SDCs that do not have the option of swapping to omni capsules.

You have to be a little careful with the Rodes on singing voices, particularly those voices with a tendency to be strident, as you can get a tiring edge to the sound in the 2.5 - 3.5 KHz range that EQ does not remove without destroying the character of the voice.