Cheap(ish) vocal microphone

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Isaac Adni, May 5, 2016.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    (y)
     
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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  3. Isaac Adni

    Isaac Adni Active Member

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  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    You would need to balance how well a microphone captures your voice against how well it rejects the reflections from your untreated room. It's usually easier at the mix stage to tame problems in the vocals than it is to do anything at all with unwanted reflections.
     
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  5. rmburrow

    rmburrow Active Member

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    Shure SM58, SM-7, EV RE-20, Sennheiser MD421; how much money do you want to spend?
     
  6. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    +1 on the shure(s)
     
  7. joey2000

    joey2000 Active Member

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    Almost certainly yes. An "LDC" (large condensor) to be precise. And there are very good ones in your price range.

    PS: any reason you can't treat the room a bit (making that an absolute yes beyond any reasonable doubt)? "Treating" a room doesn't have to involve a ton of money or effort.
     
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Because of its sensitivity, a condenser will tend to pick up more of the environment that it's in - moreso than a cardioid dynamic.

    Something like a Shure SM7 would be a good choice for an untreated room; although dynamic mics - especially the SM7 in particular - will also require a lot more gain for the mic to work at its optimum - more than a condenser does, so you'd need a pre amp with a beefy amount of available gain; 60db minimum, but better with 65-70db. You can also add an inline gain boost ( transformer) like the Cathedral Pipes Durham, or the Cloudlifter to an existing preamp that may be shy on gain. These inline devices work by taking the 48v normally required for a condenser, and converting it into additional input gain.

    Depending on the model, a condenser will be more sensitive to nuances - which is good for things like vocals and acoustic instruments - but ... it will also pick up more of the room than a typical dynamic will - as mentioned, if you've decided on a condenser mic, you may want to consider doing some acoustic treatment in your recording space, particularly in the upper mids and highs.
     
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    I humbly disagree. Low prices LDCs are in general harsh. And treating a room is usually time consuming and fairly expensive, especially relative to a budget condenser mics cost.

    Care to elaborate on your statement?
     
  10. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

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    My favourite drum overhead is the dynamic Beyer M201, a hypercardioid.

    Never, ever, believe anything told to you as a rule about microphones. It could be good common sense guidance and honest opinion, but you should always try everything for yourself. I've got some cheap SDC mics - side fire, Chinese, in a polycarbonate case, and just discovered the harshness that they have to a small degree makes them really good on toms - I thought they'd overload and sound horrible, but they really don't.

    I hate absolute rules - make your own!
     
  11. joey2000

    joey2000 Active Member

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    There are a great many users of (for example) the Rode NT1 who would disagree. To each their own.

    Because? "Treating a room" is a broad term; some basic stuff would not take that much time or money. I'm not saying turn it into a professional studio.
     
  12. joey2000

    joey2000 Active Member

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    That's at the very least a good rule of thumb. The problem is most places aren't set up to try out diff mics in various ways...
     
  13. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Rode is one of the worst offenders of harsh midrange. Any of these 'great many' users have any 'great recordings' of note? You can put lipstick on a pig but it's still stinks. There is nothing smooth about Rode mics, even the ones that sound good. Beyond that the nt1a is far more commonly used and worse than the already questionable nt1.

    "Basic stuff" still isn't cheap. A basic set of first reflection panels, and a couple bass traps is easily $500-1k if you make them yourself. That's the cost of 5-10 budget LDCs.
     
  14. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    Name one
     
  15. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Unlike more expensive mics, I think the problem with Rode is their consistency... and I can't say exactly why, but I've heard original NT1's ( the "black" models) that sounded pretty good, yet I've heard other original models that didn't.
    I did get a chance to work with a newer NT1A ( silver), and I found it to be harsh in the upper mids, with a top end that sounded brittle to me.

    But there are other determining factors as well - the type and quality of mic pre, the monitors, and the room...

    I don't believe that anyone is saying that you can't use a cheaper condenser - you certainly can - but a $50 AT2020 ain't gonna sound like a U87 no matter what you do to the signal.

    I think all this has become academic though, as the OP hasn't posted back since May...
     
  16. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Sm-57 is the best budget mic ever!!! Lol
     
  17. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    I agree SM57 and SM58 will never be a bad choice for recording. There is one thing to consider tho ; The preamp should have enough gain to get a clean signal for lower volume sources like vocals and acoustic guitars..

    I recently did a mic shootout with 4 mics and the 57 holded is place very well. Althought, the ISA preamp was very high to get the same volume as the others
    For those having low power preamps, a condenser is a better choice even with it's disavantages. Time to go in a closet full of cloths ;)

     
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  18. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Lol Marco this is a bad example cuz all the mics sound good!!!! I liked that t47 a lot.

    I've gotta ask you about exactly why you think the 57/58 gain level is an issue? Is it pre amp noise? I've not really noticed gain being a problem w the 57, even the sm7b which is notoriously low gain, I've never had issue with. Is it noise? Is it that a basic budget interface pre wouldn't have enough gain for some sources? Is it that the gain level is too high to be out of the pre amp sweet spot? Something else??

    I think you've nailed down an important point that with a little DIY you can far, far, exceed the price / performance ratio that plagues so many 'budget' mics.

    The video quality is excellent btw!!! Can't wait for more. I subscribed.
     
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  19. joey2000

    joey2000 Active Member

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    Penalty, 15 yds for goal post move ;) You didn't say harsh midrange, you said harsh in general.

    Probably, but I don't have one offhand. And-? So that's the logic? If I don't have a so-called "great recording" to throw out, Rodes suck? You seriously don't think there are people out there who would take an NT1/1a over a comparably priced dynamic, in fact rightfully so because they sound better on it? Whatever....

    You can call anything a pig; that doesn't make it a pig. You're entitled to your opinion, just as I am. Agree to disagree.

    I haven't gotten big into room treatments as yet, but I very seriously doubt you have to spend anywhere remotely that much, esp DIY stuff. Of course that depends how good or "professional" you want or need them to be....
     
  20. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    If you want them to actually perform properly and not just look the part, its going to cost you, even if you DIY.

    I built 2 broadband absorbers that measure 36 inches long x 18 inches wide x 6 inches thick and they cost me over $200 in materials to construct.

    I built a cloud that is suspended over my mix position using the same dimensions and that was over $100 to make.

    By the time you then take into account bass traps as well to treat the low-end frequency end of the spectrum, which are bigger again and use more materials to construct, there is not much change out of $1000 to correctly treat a room, even at a DIY level.

    If you don't want to take the time to treat a room correctly, you may just as well spend half that cost on overpriced foam "acoustic" tiles...but I assure you that you will be wasting your money on a band-aid solution that does not address the problem and still be left wondering why your mixes sound crap and don't translate well to other environments.

    Room treatment should be one of the first considerations to take into account. Considering the cost of treating a room (even at a DIY level) is relative to the cost of a decent microphone, mic pre amp, interface or converters. Its no good having great mics, pres and the like if you are recording in a small untreated room which is nothing more than a reverb chamber if left untreated.
     
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