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How About Those Microphones?


(@off-he-goes)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Topic starter  

I need to be enlightened on the topic of mircophones.

Could someone explain to be the type of microphone typically used to record both vocals and acoustic instruments. I'm looking at recording, and am weighing the options of getting a mixer and a couple mics.

Also, what seperates quality microphones. Everyone raves about Shures but they're expensive. Yet people also like behringer, which isn't expesnive. What's the deal?

Vacate is the word...Vengance has no place on me or her...Cannot find a comfort in this world.


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(@tim_madsen)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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If your thinking recording, your thinking condencer mics. Although it is true that you get what you pay for not everyone can pay several hundred dollars for a mic. I have a pair of MXL condencer mics (one vocal and one instrument, they're sold as a set) that I'm very pleased with. I payed $69 U.S. for them at Guitar Center, they normally go for $99.

Tim Madsen
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until they know how much you care.

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(@kalle_in_sweden)
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I have a Behringer XM8500 dynamic mic wich I find very good and for the price http://www.musiciansbuy.com/BEHRINGER_XM8500_MIC.html outstanding.
Its a copy of a Shure SM 58, and many users find the XM8500 as good as the SM58.

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(@greybeard)
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One thing to be aware of is that condenser mics need to be powered ("phantom power"), usually 48V or thereabouts. To get that, you'll either need a mixer with phantom power built in or a mic pre-amp with it.

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(@twistedlefty)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4166
 

for simple home recording a dynamic mic will do a fine job.
i am also using a behringer XM8500 and it sounds great to me. i have read that some pros are using them onstage now in place of the much more expensive (shure) types.
MF has them for around $20 on sale i think or 3 for $60
i think condensers can be a bit difficult to deal with as the sensetivity will pick up sounds in the background that you don't want. so you need a quiet place to set up.

#4491....


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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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I have the Behringer dynamic mics as well and if you want to notice any difference with a Shure or better you need a proper mic preamp. My humble Behringer mixer is totally unable to have the difference appear. On itself it is not really as good as the SM57 but you'll need a proper setup to really notice it. For basic home recording the berry mic should suffice no problem.


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(@saber)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 351
 

This is a good thread.

How is there a difference between different quality mikes? Does your voice sound better? Are there more effects or settings or something?

And what's the difference between a voice mic and an instrument mic?

Thanks.

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(@kingpatzer)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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Mic's have a certain character to them, as do pre-amps.

The combination of mic and pre-amp will impart their character to the sound.

In the lower-end pre-amp/mic world, there's not alot of difference to be found . . . and really pre-amps make a LOT more difference than mics in the lower and middle arena.

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(@off-he-goes)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1274
Topic starter  

Mic's have a certain character to them, as do pre-amps.

The combination of mic and pre-amp will impart their character to the sound.

In the lower-end pre-amp/mic world, there's not alot of difference to be found . . . and really pre-amps make a LOT more difference than mics in the lower and middle arena.

That's nice to know. So in the home recording on a budget aspect, there isn't really that much of a difference with an average preamp and an average mic. Makes my deciscion a fair bit easier.

Vacate is the word...Vengance has no place on me or her...Cannot find a comfort in this world.


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(@hueseph)
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The biggest difference between mics is the mics ability to faithfully capture sound. Often the mics documentation will come with a frequency plot and a diagram of it's pattern response which is supposed to display the effect of proximity and angle on the resoponse of the mic. That being said, there is no real standard as to how to measure these things and often the diagrams are useless in regards to defining what the mics characteristics truly are other than a general idea of how the mic rejects off axis sound and the approximate shape of it's polar pattern.

Likely the most noticeable thing between mics will be their sensitivity. Condensors are not inherently more sensitive but require a charge (hence the +48v)to boost the signal from the capsule. Because however this internal cicuitry boosts the signal, the capsule is more capable of detecting minute changes in sound pressure level. Definitely the mics of choice when recording acoustic instruments and vocals. Especially when there is a desire to capture the sound of a room.

Dynamic mics are less sensitive but do not require phantom power. They are also considerably more rugged. SM57's are often dropped and mishandled without too much concern. I'm not saying it ok to do it, just that the mics can usually take it. The thing with dynamic mics is that they can tend to be noisy. Due to their being less sensitive and general rugged construction, they are the choice for most live applications.

The bottom line though is that you can't really judge a mic by specs or written word, even word of mouth. The only way to really get the gist of a mic is to try it. If it sounds good, great if not too bad. Regardless of how expensive the mic is, if it sounds like crap, it won't work for you.

I'd bet on the SM57 for a good standard mic. You won't find a recording studio without one. It's a workhorse mic that you'll use for years.

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(@smokindog)
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I would second Hue about the SM 57, Also MXL makes some nice CHEAP condenser mics that are very good for the price--the dog

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(@dneck)
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I just got the mxl990 and 991 package for 100$ they sound really great I would highly suggest them. Im running them with a behringer eurotrack mixer that was like 180$ that came with preamps. Just plugged strait into my soundcard it has awsome quality.

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