good stage/studio condensers

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Ted Nightshade, Dec 9, 2001.

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  1. Ted Nightshade

    Ted Nightshade Member

    Dec 9, 2001
    Hello all,
    I do a lot of mostly acoustic music with vibraphone, percussion, acoustic guitar, and some Leslie 122. I have a couple pair of Neumann KM184's that do me pretty well. None of the cheaper mics I tried (Audix, AKG, EV, etc.) seemed even close to me as far as balance, clarity and even response. I avoid EQ and processing whenver possible, so the basic mic tone is important. I use Manley mic pres, which I love for their spatial and smooth sound. I have a solid state Pendulum mic pre that is super clean but just too two dimensional and dry for my taste- inevitably it gets used on the least conspicuous tracks. I have bunch of SM57's that never leave the closet.
    Anyhow, as I have both live sound and recording needs, I tend to look for gear that works well in both situations. Most live sound just seems muddled and harsh to me, even at top dollar events. I try to keep the stage volume extremely low so the mics don't have to be shoved too far down the throats of the instruments. A more distant placement always sounds more natural to me, as long as it's a good placement! I'll be using Meyer powered speakers live.
    So, what should I be shopping for that is an improvement on the KM184's that is solid enough for a lot of road use? I like the small diapraghm sound, but a couple mics of larger diaphragm would be good too. Keep in mind this is all nearly acoustic, really class instruments, more of a jazz or classical aesthetic than a pop or rock one.
    Any suggestions?
    If I want to read MikeTholen slamming on my Manley pre's I know of some other threads to read. Maybe our goals and the instruments we're recording and the context is just different.
    Turn me on, dead man!
    Ted :w:
  2. PlugHead

    PlugHead Active Member

    Jul 2, 2001

    IMHO, the very best for this task is B & K (DPA) 4006, 4011, or their high voltage equivalents (higher SPL, longer cable runs). They are THE pro choice for any acoustical instrument, with minimal colouration. These, with the appropriate pre's (Manley is OK, I won't slam them, but others are better at neutrality) yield ultimate stage sound: I was fortunate enough to both perform behind them, and hear/do the recording (radio broadcast) with them - top drawer IMNSHO.

    Thay also have some killer specialty mics as well, but not for the faint of pocketbook!


    PlugHead Productions
  3. Ted Nightshade

    Ted Nightshade Member

    Dec 9, 2001
    I'll check it out! Any other contenders?

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