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SD or LD for acoustic?

Member for

21 years 2 months
Thanks everyone who responded to my earlier post. You guys are great. I have a chance for a good deal on a Shure KSM 27 and an AT 4033. I'll have just one mic for recording strumming and fingerpicking on a Martin HD28--lots of bass, a bit less high end. (I thought I'd read somewhere that SDs are better for acoustics.) Which would be a better choice, a LD like the 27 or 4033, or a SD for $200-400? I'm new to all this and have to get something without hearing it first.

Also, my Korg D1200 recorder has 48v phantom power. Will this get good results or do I need a mic pre of some sort? Thanks again.


Member for

18 years 6 months

sheet Sun, 06/01/2003 - 13:15
Technically, the only KSM that is a "large" diaphragm is the KSM 44. The 27 looks like one, but like the 32 is more of a mid-size.

If you can get a deal on KSM-137's, that would be great. I have nearly every KSM mic. The 137 has the same diaphram as the KSM 32, but it is in a side address pencil mic body. It sounds pretty decent.

If I had to pick an Audio Technica mic to do guitar, and the guitar was bass heavy, I would not pick the 4033. Maybe the 4040 or the 4047. Both of these have a nickel plated diaphragm, and the hi-end to match. The 4040 is no a dual membrane like the 4047.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 06/01/2003 - 16:22
I've not used either of those two mics, but in terms of the small or large condensors on acoustic I've got some ideas.

Try both, you might find that for some applications the 27 is the best mic, but for others the 4033 is. Besides placing the mic in front of the guitar, you can also try placing it to the side of your head facing down towards the guitar's body. Minor variations in where the mic is and where it is pointing will make a difference, so spend some time tweaking: pointed at the twelth fret or pointing towards the bridge, 6 inches or 12 inches in front of the guitar, up buy the end of the finger board or down by the bridge or by your ear, etc. Also, very important can be where you are in your room. take the time to find the sweet spots in your room, one way of setting up a mic may sound lame in one place but great in another part of the room. Finally watch for weird reflections from music stands or anything else in the room.

I imagine the KSM is flatter than the 4033, so that if the track is backround the KSM might work better, but if big jangling chords are to be out front the the 4033 might be the ticket. It is too bad you only have on track to fool with. You'd be well served to at least run tests and record a little with both mics and see how they sound.

I've used an SM 81 (small diaphram), a Dragonfly (large Diaphram), and a pair of AKG C1000's (small diaphram) on acoustic.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Tue, 06/03/2003 - 12:14

There really is no right or wrong answer concerning the size of the diaphram and a microphone's suitablity to recording a guitar.

To answer your last question, yes you will need a mic preamp. It sounds as though your Korg D1200 has at least one built in (most mixer type things do). Better preamps generally sound better, but they cost more money. I would recomend that you find the mic(s) that you like first.

Member for

19 years 7 months

sdevino Tue, 06/03/2003 - 17:48
I have used Earthworks M30s, KSM32s, KSM44s, U87, MD421s, KM184s, SM81s, SM57s. Sometimes in stereo XY, sometimes placed for width, sometimes more ambient, sometimes multiple combinations on the same album.

Use what sounds good. If you want it to sound lke an earthy honest foly thing than I suggest you go for accuracy and use QTC1's and an Earthworks or Grace pre. If you just want it to kick ass in the mix use what sounds good.