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So I got a surprise late birthday check from a relative and I have decided to treat myself to a mic purchase for my modest home set up.

Most of the stuff I do at home is for myself, friends or local singer songwriters who don't have the budget to go into the big studio. My set up at home;

Focusrite Mbox pres (I have a hamptone JFET "in build")
Mics: AT4047, SM57, SM58, MXL 603s
KRK Rp5's
among other things...

obviously I don't do drums at home, just overdubs. I'm looking for another color option for mainly guitars (electric and acoustic), Rhodes, hand percusion, etc... (and maybe Vox)

Two mics I am most interested in are the Blue Ball (I have read both poor and glowing reviews, many giving comparisons to a ribbon like sound) and the Nady Rsm-2 Ribbon. I am also interested in the shiny box ribbon, which is a little cheaper than the Nady, but is rumored to be the same mic.

I would also love other suggestions in the $100-$150ish range. (such as maybe the Electro-Voice 635a?)

anyway, any advice you all can give would be greatly appreciated.

thanks, Hopeless

BTW - my room at home is not great, nor completely silent so I am leary of figure eight patterns, I'd love advice on this as well.

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anonymous Thu, 09/01/2005 - 10:20

Recently purchased a KEL HM-1 based largely by the positive reviews on this board and it definitely adds a new color to your mic collection. Great for guitars. It's only 100 bucks too. Sennheiser E609 Silver (also 100 bucks)is another great guitar mic. Or you can save the money for the cadillac of guitar cab mics in my opinion - Sennheiser 421.

anonymous Mon, 09/12/2005 - 23:14

If I were to choose between the the blue ball and the nady I would go with the ball. Why? For one IMO the blue comes from a quality company and being large diaphram phantom powered dynamic mic it is unique, where nady is IMO a dealer of cheap budget equipment. Also I own a blue ball and personally wouldn't waste my cash on nady stuff. In all fairness I have heard decent reviews of the nady and have never used it, but it is a low end mic and good ribbon mics sell starting at around $1000. At $99, which you should be able to get the blue ball at, the ball IMO is priced at its value. I have tried it on gtr amps, snare, voice and overheads, and while I think it is a versitile mic of sorts (its size and shape can limit placement) it has worked best for me on gtr amps. I like the tone I get from it especially when combined with another mic. I think that it sounds simular to a 57 but different and smoother. And it is unique! I think that rain0707 makes some good suggestions and I would also add the beta 57 to his list, which is the improved version of the sm57. I own and like it.
As far as figure 8 patterns, I like to do a version of MS stereo sometimes when record guitars. I close mike the guitar amp with a beta 57 (or other) and use a figure 8 mic about 3-5 away. The close mic will be the mid channel. Record the figure 8 mic to two channels on your mbox (using the same input) or copy to another track after recording. Pan the tracks hard left and right and flip the phase of the right track. You get close mic sound and two different distant mic sounds which you can play with the level and panning to achieve different tones and ambiance and on some tracks like gtr solos it has really worked well for me. However it is not necessarily phase corherent. This also works with amped acoustic gtr and if you have the player face the rear of the figure 8 you can get the sound of the acoustic in the mix as well. If you have a not so great sounding room tricks like these might help get around that, so it may be worth investigating.