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Looking for a mic


(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5384
Topic starter  

I'm in no hurry but I've been thinking about getting a new mic. I'm not really happy with my dynamic Behringer mic (the cheapest they've got, 10 bucks) espescially when it comes to recording accoustic guitar. Now I don't care about mic'íng electrics, the GT8 will go into the mixer directly, and all pianostuff is done digitally too. So what would be a nice type of microphone for vocals and accoustic guitar? I'm not too sure on the differences between condenser, dynamic and all those. Help appreciated!


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(@kalle_in_sweden)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 780
 

What I understand is that a large membran condenser mic is best for vocal recordings and a pair of small membran condenser mics are best for recording of acoustic guitar.
Some quotes from http://home.earthlink.net/~rongonz/home_rec/microphone.html#condenser :
"Small diaphragm condenser mics have the best high frequency response and quickest transient response of all the commonly available microphone types. For this reason, these mics are most often used as drum set overhead mics (to faithfully capture cymbals and stick attacks), for acoustic stringed instruments like guitars and violins. The one downside to small diaphragm condensers is that they tend to have more self-noise than other types of microphones.
Since condenser mics are intrinsically more sensitive to higher frequencies, it's possible to combine the warmth and fullness of a large diaphragm with the high frequency detail typical of small diaphragm condenser mics into a single microphone. These large diaphragm condenser mics are the mainstay of recording studios everywhere, especially for recording vocals, pianos, horns and other acoustic instruments."
My guess is therefore that a large membran (diaphragm) would be the best compromise for you.
There are several good chinese made Neumann U87 clones on the market, Behringer B-1, B-2 , C-1 and C-3 is just example of that.
But there are lots of them.
/Kalle

Tanglewood TW28STE (Shadow P7 EQ) acoustic
Yamaha RGX 320FZ electric guitar/Egnater Tweaker 15 amp.
Yamaha RBX 270 bass/Laney DB 150 amp.
http://www.soundclick.com/kalleinsweden


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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

I think you would be very pleased with a large diaphragm condenser mike in a shock mount.
a utile mike . great for both instruments and voice. there is a wide range of brands and prices with these mikes.
I have a 70$ CAD GXL2200. a good mike, but I can sense that for a few hundred more I would be very pleased. I am not there yet. this mike suffices. most popular are the Audio-Technica AT series, and the Rode NT1-A. Shure, Sennheizer also have economical but high performing mikes.
another mike for vocals and acoustics would be a ribbon mike. there are some working vintage ribbon and tube mikes on eBay.

there is a broad price range for microphones. from 60 to 5,000 dollars. pick a budget and get a catalog.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2198
 

Vocals and acoustic guitars are two completely different acoustic signatures and require different mics to sound good. Now, as in all recording gear, it's not just the mic. A lousy pre-amp will suck the life out of the best mic, and a great pre-amp will make even a poor mic sound ok.

So, having said that, if you don't have a good pre-amp, save up and get yourself a "real" pre-amp before worrying about mics. If you don't already have a favorite, the very best "bang for the buck" may well be the FMR "Really NIce Pre"

If you have your pre-amp taken care of, I really like Rode mics these days. The NT2A is a really good vocal mic for a reasonable price. The variable high pass filter is well engineered and does really help dial things in.

For acoustic guitar, I'd take a serious look at the NT3. If you want a stereo guitar signal, seriously consider the NT4

Basically, for Vocals you'd want a large diaphragm cardoid mic. For acoustic guitar, a medium or small diaphragm cardiod will be better.

Now, if money is no object, take a look at the ribbon microphones out there . . .those things do sound great . . but spendng $5k on a mic is above me :)

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


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(@moonrider)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1309
 

I'm in no hurry but I've been thinking about getting a new mic. I'm not really happy with my dynamic Behringer mic (the cheapest they've got, 10 bucks) espescially when it comes to recording accoustic guitar. Now I don't care about mic'íng electrics, the GT8 will go into the mixer directly, and all pianostuff is done digitally too. So what would be a nice type of microphone for vocals and accoustic guitar? I'm not too sure on the differences between condenser, dynamic and all those. Help appreciated!

How much do you want to spend?

Decide that first, and I can help.

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation


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(@hueseph)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1553
 

I agree that a good preamp would be a better investment. Things about condenser mics: they can cause as many problems as they solve. Due to their wider polar pattern and higher sensitivity, you will tend to get more background noise. As well, if your room does not particularly sound good, this will be more apparent using a condenser. A good quality dynamic mic should not be overlooked. (sm57/58, Sennheiser MD 421 and for your voice, maybe an Electrovoice RE20)

Recently I purchased an AT2020. As much as I was somewhat dissappointed with the overall sound of the mic(it looks like a large diaphragm condenser. It's not. The capsule is about 1/2" which isn't bad necessarily. You get what you pay for.), there are definitely some things that I do appreciate about it. A pop screen is almost an option, which means you can get intimate with this mic and it wont hurt the diaphragm. The mic is designed for you to get close to it, which gives you two major benifits:
1) You don't get as much room noise.
2) you can take advantage of proximity effect, so any lack of bass response do to it's design is made up for.

That being said, additional mics you might consider:

Rode NTK Tube condenser.
AKG C414 which is great on acoustic guitar and on some voices.

https://soundcloud.com/hue-nery/hue-audio-sampler


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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5384
Topic starter  

Hmm, I could have sworn I already responded but it got sucked into the void I guess...

Anyway, thanks for the detailled replies people! My budget is not yet set because ti depends on what I need more then what I can get. If a $700 investment into a pre-amp plus two mics will be a huge improvement then I'll safe up, if there's little difference between a $700 and a $200 setup I'll go with the latter. For now I'll try some of the suggestions and see how different mic pre-amps influence the sound.

When I know more I'll be back!


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(@scrybe)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2246
 

I actually really like a apired set of Rode NT5's for acoustic guitar work - in the UK they retail around 200 quid (for the pair, properly balanced, a shock mount stand attachment bit, and pop shield) which, straight conversion, would be around US$400, but its worth checing with your local major retailers as I'm painfully aware that UK prices in music gear are generally much higher than everywhere else.

For vocals, if you've got a decent room for it (or one of those portable sound booth thingys I see advertised everywhere) you might wanna try the AKG C 4000 B which, I believe retails around UK 220 quid (or US$ 440 at straight conversion, again check prices locally). If I was going cheaper than that, I'd probably play it safe with the Shure SM58 or SM58S if you're gona gig with it (the 58S has an on/off switch) for 70 quid UK (140 USD str8 convers.).

hth

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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