What would be a good all round microphone?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Lukedrummer, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. Lukedrummer

    Lukedrummer Guest

    This summer I am planning to buy a new condenser microphone for my studio. (I am using a MXL990 right now) I am willing to spend $350 max but if it would be worth it I could probably spend more. I would like it to be as versatile as possible so I can get my money's worth out of it.

    Things I would like to use the mic for:

    -room mic for drums
    -acoustic guitar
    -possibly recording a guitar/bass cab

    What would be a good mic in that price range? :biggrin:
  2. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    Rainy Roads WA USA
    A Shure SM7B would set you back $349 and I have no idea what you could do with the extra $1
  3. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    Rode, AKG, AT. Search those brands and your budget.
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    For versatility and all-round performance in an LDC in this price bracket, it's hard to beat the Rode NT-2A. You should be able to get one for $350 cash.
  5. llatht

    llatht Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    Adrian, MI
    The Audio Technica AT4033 sounds good on just about whatever you put it in front of. I use mine for vocals and acoustic guitar, and I know for a fact there are many people who use them for drum overheads....Very silky on the top end without being harsh. They're $400 brand new but you could find one on ebay for less. I got mine for $260 a couple years back, and it'll definately hold that value for a long time too (which says alot). One of the best investments I've made since I started recording.
    Many also speak highly of the Blue Baby Bottle in that price range. Use the search engine and you'll find all kinds of great info. Chances are, if a certain few mics keep coming up again and again in the threads with great reviews, it's probably a safe bet.
  6. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2003
    The Blue Ball microphone is the best "all round" mic I know of.
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Scottish Humor!

  8. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    Oct 31, 2007
    Central Indiana, USA
    From my experience, I'd recommend either a Rode NT2a or an ADK microphone.

    Usually the NT2a is $399, but like Boswell says, you should be able to get one for $350 if you bargain. Or get a Rode NT1a (it's like the NT2a, but with only one 5 um diaphragm capsule). There is a special anniversary pack for about $230.

    But lately my "go to" mic has been an original ADK Hamburg edition; now it's reached the Mark 8 variant. The ADK Hamburg Mk8 (U-47-like character) and the ADK Vienna Mk 8 (C-12-like character) run about $350 a piece. I also heard some good reviews of the ADK S-51 Mk 5.2 (about $200), but I've never used it. You can read ADK's story on their website, ADK. No, I don't work for ADK or anyone who sells them, I just like my microphone.
  9. Lukedrummer

    Lukedrummer Guest

    Well I read the description about the adk vienna mk8 and its designed for all the purposes i want to use it for. I'll definitely do more research on it and consider it when I go to buy a mic.
  10. Lukedrummer

    Lukedrummer Guest

    I looked on ebay and saw a Rode NTK for about $250, and thats a really good deal considering its normally 600 i think. Has anyone here used it? It seems like a really nice mic that would work for everything that i want to use it for.
  11. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    Luke -

    You don't provide a location, but if you're anywhere near a place that will let you try some of these mics...

    Try them!
    There are many worthy suggestions here, but you'll have to hear which suits your purposes.

    Speaking of which - what mics do you already own and what do you usually use them on?
    Is this new mic going to replace one of those, or is it going to complement them?

    I'll never protest the purchase of a workhorse mic, I just want to make sure you're not being redundant.
  12. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    Vashon Island, Washington
    Home Page:
    I owned a Rode NTK for a while, but I sold it. I found the sound to be somewhat "grainy".

    Consider the Rode NT3. These are medium diaphragm (3/4") condensers. I own 3 of them and have used them on everything with good results... very colorless, sensitive and inexpensive.

  13. Lukedrummer

    Lukedrummer Guest

    I have 4 Shure SM57's
    4 SM58's
    1 MXL 990
    a not too good audio technica drum mic pack
    Most of the mics are my dads that he doesnt use anymore but are still in very new condition. As you can see I have plenty of 57's to do various recording jobs with but I'm lacking a good vocal and all-round condenser mic. Also I like the sound of anything tube so thats why the Rode NTK caught my eye, I'm sure I could upgrade the tube for even better results also.
  14. tubefire

    tubefire Guest

  15. Shadow_7

    Shadow_7 Active Member

    Mar 22, 2010
    I had an AT 4033a, it was a good mic no doubt, but the EQ characteristics were such that it didn't favor a baritone voice. And if you have a bad acoustic space, it might be problematic as it picked up everything. It was almost OMNI in nature from what I recall. Definitely a good value though. AT4040 might be a good compromise, a little more generic version (flatter EQ graph) meant to replace the 4033.

    Sm7b is a good recommendation if you have a bad room. $350 isn't much compared to what's out there. KSM44 / AT4050 / others run twice that for ONE mic easy. There's plenty of fine cheap mics, just be aware that they don't always do well on EVERYTHING. Somethings, sure, but not everything. There's almost always some compromise that favors something less. It's why there's $3K mics with 3Hz - 50kHz abilities. And some not so sensitive with super high SPL ratings. A guitar amp might not sound loud at 100 yards, but at 6" (where the mic is), it's thunderous. And sometimes you want that to wash out the unwanteds. And sometimes not if your mic doesn't favor that type of input. Or radically changes character in that context.

    MXL 603
    AT 3035
    and others, each with their quirks. There probably isn't one specific mic at that price point for all. But that really depends on what you consider good enough.

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