Confused on which overhead mics to purchase

Discussion in 'Room & Overhead' started by swiftiey, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. swiftiey

    swiftiey Guest

    Firstly I'd like to mention that I am planning to use the microphones as overheads.
    Ok I have narrowed down my choices to these, in order of price.

    AT 4041
    AT 4051
    AKG 451
    KM 184

    What I really want to know is how much better the more expensive microphones are, is it a very significant difference? In general how do they stand up against each other?
    I don't know how to phrase the question too well, but I think(hope) you guys know what I'm getting at.

    Thanks :)
  2. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    I don't know about anyone else... but any of those will work for you... all microphones are like lenses and filters to me. If the room and cymbals are really bright and I need to compensates I'll use some ribbons on the OH... out in front of the kit. If it's metal and i want bright and tight then the 451's... if i had nothing but one sm57, then it could work... i would just palce it uniquely... there are few "bests" as opposed to many options.

    Maybe... get the most inexpensive pair and see how they work for you... if they do you have money for something else... i
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I've used everything from the $50 Octava's to my Neumann U67's & 87's. But my overall favorites have been Shure SM 81's & AKG 414's. However, my general rule of thumb is crappy sounding cymbals get the small capsule condensers. Good sounding cymbals get the large capsule condensers. Large capsules on crappy cymbals generally sound like somebody beating on metal trash can lids. Yup, not a pretty sound. The small capsule condensers make lousy cymbals a little sweeter in the high-end. And like Recorder Man indicated, placement is just as important as selection. Especially with less than desirable acoustic surroundings. And just like him, I'm also happy to use SM57's with completely satisfying results.

    Overhill. Over Dale. Never liked Dale to begin with.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  4. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    Dec 4, 2007
    Toms River, NJ
    sm57's as drum overheads?

    sounds dangerous.....

    and my middle name is danger....
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    SM57's will work just fine as overhead's. You might want to tweak in a couple DB of extra high frequency boost. But that's it. We like the condenser microphones as overhead's since they offer an extended high frequency response with a little less rolloff. But you infect many find a higher degree of consistency & control utilizing the SM57's. Especially since they have a more bandwidth restricted response, reduced sensitivity to extraneous trash & less chance of overloading the front ends of microphone preamps. No danger there. Only smart conservative audio engineering.

    Shure one of Americans greatest microphone companies
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  6. DonnyWright

    DonnyWright Guest

    All are good, but my personal fave is the 184's. the 184's are great for acoustic guitar, piano, percussion, all kinds of things. They are the most liquid of all the nicer SDC's.

    Also there is a new mic the AKG C214 which is a cardioid only version of the C414.
    Way cheaper and has the pattern everybody uses 414's in most of the time.
    (don't flame me on this, I know other patterns are nice to have)
  7. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    I have not tried as many different things as many here, but I've found that in my home studio with its 7' 10" ceiling I like the sound of SDC NT55s better than my C414s. The cymbals are a mix of A and K Zildjians. (I can barely stand good cymbals. Trash cans drive me nuts.)

    Now I'd love to have the overheads a few feet higher. I wonder if the better off axis response of the SDCs make them work better when in a low ceiling room. One of these days I'm going to record in the church and see if I don't like the 414's better with the overheads set higher. Anyone have thoughts on this? (Of course, maybe I just like brighter mics on overheads - but that's too boring an explanation.)
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Bob, since we're dealing in the digital world and you mathematics guys know what I mean. Try taking your overhead mic tracks and delaying those ever so slightly. It can be quite effective since we're talking time & distance. Fake it. Sort of like fudging your taxes. I don't know how to do that myself since my math is so awful. Fudging my taxes that is.

    Now I want a hot fudge sundae
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  9. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Neat! kind of like increasing the pre-delay on your reverb to make it sound closer.
  10. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    "increasing the pre-delay on your reverb to make it sound closer."

    I thought it was to make the space bigger? Or is it a knock-on effect?
  11. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    When you are closer to a source, you hear the source before the echo. Also when the space is larger, the echo lasts for longer. So a little of both.

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