Will you say NO to Cheap Mic?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by ray1018, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. ray1018

    ray1018 Active Member

    Apr 25, 2005

    Samson,Behringer,Wharfedale and so call Cheap or Valueable Mic in the market! Wil you use it fir serious recording? Like a Drum Mic Set from Samson for Drum Recording?
  2. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    Will you say no to cheap mic? Yes, I will say no, I didn't always and always regretted it.
  3. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Lake Ki-Chi-Saga, Minnesota USA
    I actually have a couple of "Cheap" mic's that are useful.

    A friend of mine called me up out of the blue and told me that Guitar Center was blowing out some Oktava MK-319's for $99 a pair.

    That was the best deal on a pair of mic's I had ever got! IMHO These mic's are very musical + tasteful for $50 each, I use them for acoustics all the time, especially for singers in stereo.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I still have 8 Radio Shaft PZM microphones from 20 years ago. They are balanced out, I use two 6 V batteries in them since they cannot be phantom powered. Original cost, $29 each. Sure, cheap microphones like those Octava's are a great bang for the buck. But all that gold that glitters isn't always. Have you ever used a telephone pickup coil to mic a guitar amplifier? I have. Cost? $.98. It all depends on what kind of sound you are going for. I frequently use SM58's in place of Neumann U87's. Really. Believe it. I'm not crazy. I'm not crazy. I said I'm not crazy. You can't make me. I'm not crazy. I want to go home.

    I am at home! Thank you. I'm not crazy
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  5. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    Rainy Roads WA USA
    RS PZM....classic Crown takeoff...I think I still have one in a box in the closet somewhere and I bet the condenser mic that I got with it is in the same box...probably in their original cases...maybe those are collector items now Remy...batteries not included...

    Ok using old telco parts is really dating yourself....the receivers used to also make great test tone signal monitors for tracing paths too!!
  6. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    I would gladly try any mic out. You never know a new sound may open your ears to more creative recording techniques.
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    The main problem I find with the really cheap manufactured mics is self noise. Also resonance from the bodies adds to the poor sound. The Octava 319 is a special mic and have become one of the DIY'rs go-to mics. The Michael Jolly upgrades of that model as well as several others in the Octava line are supposed to rival some German companies offerings.

    No one 'needs' a particular mic but having the one you want sure makes recording fun.

    Many Shures and an 87 just for fun
  8. dyson

    dyson Active Member

    Dec 12, 2005
    Hello there, my first post.

    I just searched this, the 'Microphones' forum for the term 'self-noise' and read the three threads that were returned.

    I have a pedantic kind of question (or questions).

    Does the term self-noise refer to a pre-amp in a condenser mic?

    Is Self-noise possible from a dynamic mic? ie SM57, considering that it only a transducer.

  9. dyson

    dyson Active Member

    Dec 12, 2005
    Little more searching found a 'Tech Tip' from David Stewart at sweetwater dot com about self-noise, including the following statement:

    'A lot of self-noise, particularly in very sensitive mics, is caused by molecules randomly hitting the diaphragm. On top of that there is the self-noise of the wire used in the coil of moving coil mics, or the noise of the electronics in condenser mics'

    So Self-noise from a dynamic mic would most likely be due to ambient EMR interference in the coil, I'm guessing.
  10. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    Moving air molecules striking the diaphragm is what we engineers call "sound". In conditions of zero sound levels, there would be a balance between the number of molecules hitting the front side and the rear side in any reasonable time period, resulting in no net output at audio frequencies. During the compression and rarefaction of sound waves, there is never a balance, and the diaphragm tends to follow the waves, giving an electrical output.

    The self-noise of a dynamic mic is the Johnson noise of the impedance of the coil (reflected through an internal transformer, if fitted), and has a voltage value of sqrt(4kTR) per sqrt(Hertz), where k is Boltzmann's constant, T is the absolute temperature in degrees Kelvin and R is the Ohmic value of the impedance at the frequency.

    The same formula applies to capacitor (condenser) mics, but with the addition of the noise of the active buffers or amplifiers built into the microphone body.

    Any interference picked up is not counted as noise due to the microphone.
  11. Shadow_7

    Shadow_7 Active Member

    Mar 22, 2010
    I have more cheap mics than I do great mics. They have their uses. Like if you're supplementing someone else's project with just one of many tracks and you don't want to have your track stick out. Or if some ***y thing comes over to borrow a mic, you don't want to give her a great mic, because you want her to come back again to get a better mic. And hang out a while to check out your..... collection. Or if I'm just hanging virtually with the jones and do not want to get caught up in any who's got the bigger..... mic collection competitions.

    For more serious and potentially commercial projects I'd be hesitant to use them in the presence of better options. Unless I need X number of mics and only have < X number of good mics. I always long for better mics, but I can't really justify acquiring cheaper mics, for anything more than satisfying curiosity.
  12. dyson

    dyson Active Member

    Dec 12, 2005
    Thanks very much, you've given me the comprehesive answer, now I hope the next person searching 'self-noise' will find your post! Should I make a new thread called Microphone 'self-noise' - Definition Please...

    Anyway, thanks again.

    BTW My mic collection is quite humble at the moment Shure SM57 - ATM33a (Budget Audio Technica small diaphragm) - AKG Perception 400. At the levels I record at self-noise will not be an issue.
  13. TDMS

    TDMS Guest

    NO, I wouldn't say no although from a technical point of view it would be unwise. I took a $100 Shure SM58 mic and got good sounds on a singer that I could't get on a mic 3 times it's price. I always remember one thing, learn the rules and then know when to break them.

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