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Pick one of four please

Not looking to generate a raging debate,...just looking for a quick, basic forum member poll.

Four microphones...pick one from these four...and say why.

CAD Equitek E200 - multi-pattern dual diaphragm - $400
Sure KSM 44SL... - multi-pattern dual diaphragm - $700 w/case, shock mount
AT 4050/SM...... - multi-pattern dual diaphragm - $600 w/case, shock mount
AKG C414B/ULS... - multi-pattern dual diaphragm - $800

Thanks!

Comments

Profile picture for user hargerst

hargerst Thu, 03/29/2001 - 11:24

Even though the CAD E200 is based on my design, I'd probably go with the AT4050 or the Shure, if I had to limit myself to one of those four choices.

alphajerk Thu, 03/29/2001 - 11:54

um E, none of the above.

if it were FREE, then i would go for the AT4050 or the Shure KSM44 [just to hear what it sounds like] but i wouldnt spend any money on those right now.

Profile picture for user anonymous

anonymous Thu, 03/29/2001 - 17:14

If those were the only possible choices...I'd quit and become a full time mechanic...life's too short to accept mediocrity at any level.

miroslav Fri, 03/30/2001 - 05:59

Fletcher and alpaha..I understand what you are getting at...but are you not a bit harsh?

All four of these are "junk" mics?

I would LOVE to be able to throw $2K on a mic,...but it isn't that easy/simple.

So...give me some of your choices...that you would actually pay for.

Royer, Neumann...???

Looking for a Multi-Pattern... Card, Omni, 8

Thanks guys

PS
Fletcher...what's the buzz on the new FMR RNP pre-amp....$$$, mono-stereo,...???

lflier Fri, 03/30/2001 - 06:04

Harvey, I didn't know you helped design the E200! I think it's a very cool little mic, especially on drums and on some acoustic guitars where I want a big bright rock tone. Nice to use on backing vocals too.

Really, Miroslav, although I wouldn't want the E200 to be my only condensor, if I had to pick any one of the other three, I wouldn't cry. They are all a little different, but the way I figure it, if I can't make a good noise with any of those mics it's the operator's fault, not the equipment's. And - dirty little secret here - I actually prefer the sound of all three of the above to a U87 in most situations. I am just not all that crazy about U87's. But that's just me. Only way to really decide on a mic is to try a bunch and compare for yourself. And don't assume that you will prefer the most expensive ones, although, unfortunately, I have now seen the most expensive recording console around and it really does sound way better than anything else.... AAGGHHH!!! :D

--Lee

miroslav Fri, 03/30/2001 - 06:38

Lee, alpha, Harvey...everyone is here, there and everywhere...
Wow...I'm getting dizzy...which forum is this?
I guess it's like food...can't eat the same thing all the time...

Anyway, I agree with you Lee, I'd like to get more detailed responses from alpha and Fletcher on their posts above.

Yeah...can't argue that hearing a $2k mic, into some $2K pre followed by a $3K comp onto a $20K(?) 2"-30ips-16-track, is going to make me have to change my underwear...but there must be less costlier ways to STILL capture some great sounds...

I too can dream about VERY high end gear, for those of you that can afford it...I HATE YOU!!!
Just kidding.

I try to think in terms of the whole package, the big picture, and the weakest link...you got to have balance. All the equipment has to like each other, and work together.
Maybe having one or two very high end boxes/mics will make a BIG difference AND still work well with the rest of the low/mid gear but...it's hard throwin' down BIG bucks for one item when you have a studio that might need several things.
"...time keeps on slippin', slippin'…into the future..."

Wait,...the NY LOTTO is 6 million dollars this Saturday...
.

Profile picture for user anonymous

anonymous Fri, 03/30/2001 - 15:32

OK Miroslav, you ask for an explanation...fair enough. The 'max' you have mentioned was about an $800 mic. In my limited experience with the microphones you mentioned, I honestly didn't find any of them especially useful for any application...so in my twisted opinion, you'd just be wasting whatever you spent on them.

It seems to me that you're looking to get the "one mighty microphone" that will be all things to all tracks, especially vocals. It's not going to happen. They'd be a OK addition to an otherwise reasonable collection, but none of them say "main mic" to me.

If that were my $800 budget, I'd bail on the concept of a lg. diaphragm FET condensor all together. I'd either save up another $150 and try to grab a Soundelux U-195, or look into a couple of good dynamics, like an SM-7 &/or an MD-441, even a Beyer M-88. Some of the MBHO stuff has really impressed me lately, but frankly, I don't know how much that stuff is going to sell for...I have a feeling it's in that price range, but don't hold me to it.

Of the ones you outlined, I'd have to say the CAD and the Shure seem the least egregious to me, but far from what I would consider a really good 'utility microphone'. Hey, could just be me, and the way I work...doesn't mean that any or all of them couldn't work out wonderfully for you, just means they don't do jack shit for me.

The RNMP is slated to come out in a couple months, but I have no idea what that is slated to sell for either. Over the years, one of the things I've kinda learned is to wait. If I can't afford what I really want, get nothing and wait until I can get what I really want. Funny, but those investments are always the least expensive in the long run as I have equipment I'm happy to use for many more years than the "quick fix" less expensive crap that you'll outgrow in a couple of years.

Best of luck with your search...but [to me] life really wasn't made for a whole lot of compromise. If you have great songs, and an excellent ability to perform, a Shure 57 is perfectly capable of capturing the performance...anything else is either gravy, or a compromise.

Profile picture for user hargerst

hargerst Sun, 04/01/2001 - 17:42

Originally posted by Lee Flier:
Harvey, I didn't know you helped design the E200! I think it's a very cool little mic, especially on drums and on some acoustic guitars where I want a big bright rock tone. Nice to use on backing vocals too.
--Lee
Lee, let me clarify my original statement, since I didn't "help design the E-200", although it was largely based on my original mic design.

I designed the "MIC" for IMC in Fort Worth around 1987 - 1988, but they decided against releasing it, even though we showed it at the 1988 AES show.

I mentioned how disappointed I was to my friend, Dick Rosmini, who was consulting for CAD at the time, and he asked if he could use my mic design as the basis for a new mic that CAD wanted to put out. I sent him all the paperwork, and that lead to the birth of the CAD E-200.

Ang1970 Mon, 04/02/2001 - 00:04

I definitely dig where Fletcher's comin from. And there are definitely a lot more than 4 mics in your price range. But for argument's sake, I'll say the 414.

It's got a lot of "personality". Which (to me) means you can get it to do some interesting things. With some finesse you can make it "smooth", "squishy", "bright", "harsh", etc.

The shure looks interesting. I'd like to take it for a drive.

alphajerk Mon, 04/02/2001 - 09:16

well you really didnt state what you are USING it for.

in that price range, the Soundelux U195 KILLS a Neumann TLM103. so far i've used it on both the kick and a bass cab and sounds WONDERFUL on both of those sources, carioid only. it doesnt sound as good on my voice as their U99 [almost $2k] which sounds to me like the AT4050 WANTS to sound like, but doesnt pull it off... especially the top end. although i would really like to put it up against a 4060, which i havent done.

the Royer R121 is a lovely mic in that price range... i want to try out the SP1? from them as well for just a little more than the R121. it sounds nice on a variety of sources.

you just asked what WE would choose. im not in a position to offer suggestions when i dont know what you have to work with already or what you are trying to capture with it. even then, im probably not one to offer much advice :D

i wanna try out the Soundelux R1 [david marquette makes a modified version of that mic that triples its price somehow] but its a FET large diaphram for @$500.

miroslav Tue, 04/03/2001 - 04:59

Fletcher, alpha and the rest of you guys and gals...thanks for all the ideas/suggestions!

What am I going to use the mic for? Well,...mostly vocals, acoustic guitar and maybe as second, ambiance mic. More so, I have about $2K to throw on some new toys. I was planning to grab a couple of the FMR RNCs with the neat rack mount I've seen on the Mercenary site, so that's about $500.

For the remaining $1500...I was trying to squeeze out a decent Pre and mic (I know…asking a lot). Why these particular four mic choices...they fit my price range, were all multi-pattern and would compliment my otherwise meager mic collection. It currently consists of an AT4033, a Sennheiser 441U, a few older EV PL76(?) condensers, a couple of SM57s and one of the new tube MXL V77 which was a gift, but not a bad sounding mic overall…good on crunchy electric guitar.

In the past, I've not had the need for a massive microphone collection. There was always someone around with extra microphones when needed. But now I wanted to add a few more…just to give me some additional choices and flavors.

I really wasn't looking for "THE 1" microphone to cover everything. The only reason I was considering a multi-pattern is because it WOULD give me more than one flavor right of the box. I would definitely consider moving up from the $800 to $1200 or even the remaining $1500, if I knew I could get something that would "knock my socks off". So feel free to suggest alternatives in the higher price range.

Oh, and Fletcher…funny how you mentioned becoming a full time mechanic as an alternative…isn't that what a lot of audio engineering is…fixing something that doesn't work!!! Besides, I think most of us would make more money as auto mechanics anyway…ha, ha, ha!

Thanks again all!

alphajerk Thu, 04/05/2001 - 21:36

give the Soundelux U99 a try @ $2k, its kinda bright but its a great ambience mic and unbelievable on my voice... of course you dont have that but ive used it on ALL kinds of stuff and always sounds cool in one of the pickup patterns. the U97 is no longer made, im trying to get my hands on one anyways to try it out. the R1 isnt made either i dont think.

ThreeDogg Thu, 04/05/2001 - 22:19

Howdy.
Well. Not to come off sounding like an ass since I've only been a member of this forum for a short time, but some people here have egos that are WAY too big. To even suggest that spending $800.00 on a mic is a waste of time is simply being foolish. If someone (as earlier mentioned) can't get a decent to good sound out of ANY of the mics mentioned- possibly with the exception of the E200- sounds like ass and is built like crap... no way I'd ever attach my name to the peice of junk (it is cheaply constructed and sounds very tinny. It's no wonder all of the catalogs describe it as being a "general purpose / room mic." There may be some good use for it- I have yet to discover what, but you'll never find it in my mic locker)- then there is obviously a problem. Not everyone in the world has the $$$ to drop on a single mic. There were no explainations given as to why these mics are such *poor* choises. There were only holier than thou attitudes running rampant. We're here to help each other, right? We're not here to boost egos by making oneself feel big by knocking someone's question, simply because you've "made it" in the industry. Try to be truly constructive (even though this post may seem to be in contrary to that remark).

ThreeDogg

Ang1970 Fri, 04/06/2001 - 11:33

I got a couple E100's, they sound pretty cool on toms (ymmv). Also used em for snare, hh, amp'd guitar. Basically, whenever a "thin" sound is needed. If I walked into a studio to do a vocal session and the E200 was their best mic, I'd feel pretty uncomfortable, but I'd probably get thru it.

There is a reason for those suggestions to get a more expensive mic. I will attempt to illustrate.

If you have, say, $100 for a mic, you get a sm57 and call it a day. Years later, when you own 1000 other mics, you still end up using the 57 on your guitar cabs and snare maybe 80% of the time. Other specialized dynamics and small condensers have the same type of appeal. It doesn't hurt to have a palette of these to choose from.

If you have $1000 to spend on an "all purpose" mic, you get your 414 or AT or whatever. Then you throw it up next to the 57 and think "ya, this is worth about $200 more than the 57." Unfortunately, you paid a lot more than that. After you get some more mics, maybe you'll use it consistently in place of a $150 dynamic, or maybe you'll just pull it out when you need something "different". It doesn't make you cream when you hear it, but you can't bring yourself to sell it cuz you paid so much. (With the possible exception of the 414, which as I said before has a personality. You might want to have 2 actually. But that is not to say you want it to be the only mic in the studio. It will splash that 414 sound across every track you record with it.) With that same $1000 you could have mic'd half the band with specialized dynamics and small condensers.

If you wait and save up >=$2000, you can get an "all purpose" you can really sink your teeth into. Why settle for mediocrity? Get the mic that will set you apart from that studio across the street (whose best mic is a 414). You will really be more satisfied that you got what you paid for after your first session with it.

That was a very broad generalization, but I hope it helps you understand that this advice comes from hard earned experience, and not just chest-beating for inflated egos. Years from now, you too may find yourself dishing out the same advice, and simultaneously kicking yourself in the butt for not taking it the first time. :)

Kevin F. Rose Wed, 04/11/2001 - 09:50

Originally posted by miroslav:
Fletcher, alpha and the rest of you guys and gals...thanks for all the ideas/suggestions!

What am I going to use the mic for? Well,...mostly vocals, acoustic guitar and maybe as second, ambiance mic. More so, I have about $2K to throw on some new toys. I was planning to grab a couple of the FMR RNCs with the neat rack mount I've seen on the Mercenary site, so that's about $500.

For the remaining $1500...I was trying to squeeze out a decent Pre and mic (I know…asking a lot). Why these particular four mic choices...they fit my price range, were all multi-pattern and would compliment my otherwise meager mic collection. It currently consists of an AT4033, a Sennheiser 441U, a few older EV PL76(?) condensers, a couple of SM57s and one of the new tube MXL V77 which was a gift, but not a bad sounding mic overall…good on crunchy electric guitar.

In the past, I've not had the need for a massive microphone collection. There was always someone around with extra microphones when needed. But now I wanted to add a few more…just to give me some additional choices and flavors.

After seeing the dialog go on for some time you finally add some info to help the scenario...
It seems what you need is a mic pre and not *just* a mic. The 57, 4033, 441 and MXL probably could cover a lot of ground sonically when teamed with a decent mic pre.
The 4050 is basically (flame away)a 4033 with a pattern option so...
For 1500 you can get a damn fine (2 channel)mic pre that will make your current mic locker sound completely new to you when coupled with the RNC. On the low side in pre-land a used Peavey VMP-2 runs around 650 and can serve as a great direct for bass as well. A Demeter, Averill/Api, Great River (dual mono) would run between 900-1700 and get you two more channels unless you decide to hear the upcoming verdict on the RNMP.
One of my favorite mics for acoustic guitar is the 4050 and 4033 due to it's brightness and bizzare upper end character. They share the same locker with 184's,121's, sm2, m269, U95 , U87's, 421's, 57's etc. etc. and somehow when a big acoustic guitar comes in the 4033 tends to do the right thing to eliminate the woofiness inherant in their sound.
Like the quote from the movie Vernon Florida states, "if you got a cheap camera you get a cheap picture" throw your own bunny (my version of YMMV).

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