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Suitable microphone for "quieter" percussion

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Suitable microphone for "quieter" percussion

Postby tc99 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:51 pm

I am doing some recording of percussion sounds.
I don't often record things live, and the mic i have is a Shure SM58

The problem is that i am turning the gain right up to get the signal, as i am
ofter playing the percussion relatively quietly. This of course is adding noise
to the recording.

Would there be any other mic that would be more suitable to these lower levels of recording?
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Re: Suitable microphone for "quieter" percussion

Postby Jack Ruston » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:58 pm

Yeah a pair of small diaphragm condensors, or just a single one would be a good choice. Top name brands like Neumann and DPA make really excellent but very expensive versions. On a budget, brands like Rode, Beyer and SE make some really good microphones. Have a look at a few websites and get an idea of costs and models, then try a search for specific model numbers on here, and you'll find lots of stuff.

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Re: Suitable microphone for "quieter" percussion

Postby molecular » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:06 pm

I don't think I'm the only person on this forum who would go straight for my Rode NT55s, even if a number of way more expensive mics were available (which they're generally not...)

The other revelation to me was recording some gentle percussion (tambourine, shakers, rattlers and bits of metal) through a sontronics sigma ribbon microphone. It added a great deal of weight to things that were otherwise coming across as insubstantial. I loved it.
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Re: Suitable microphone for "quieter" percussion

Postby The Elf » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:10 pm

molecular wrote:I don't think I'm the only person on this forum who would go straight for my Rode NT55s
No, you're not the only one!

molecular wrote:even if a number of way more expensive mics were available (which they're generally not...)
In my case they very often are - and I still go to my NT55s!
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Re: Suitable microphone for "quieter" percussion

Postby Ron Snijders » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:20 pm

The Elf wrote:
molecular wrote:I don't think I'm the only person on this forum who would go straight for my Rode NT55s
No, you're not the only one!

molecular wrote:even if a number of way more expensive mics were available (which they're generally not...)
In my case they very often are - and I still go to my NT55s!
Could you lift a tip of the veil on why? I recently bought a pair of Neumann KM143s, hoping to be done on the SDC-field for a while. But if there's a reason why the NT55s are a definite go-to mic for some applications, it wouldn't break the bank to pick up a pair either (They'll obviously fill in the lack of both real cards and true omnis.)

(Forgive me my noob-question, I don't have much experience recording yet, I just like pretty toys, that's all )
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Re: Suitable microphone for "quieter" percussion

Postby molecular » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:31 pm

The Elf wrote:
In my case they very often are - and I still go to my NT55s!

I can't figure out whether to be envious of this situation or not...
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Re: Suitable microphone for "quieter" percussion

Postby molecular » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:42 pm

Ron Snijders wrote:Could you lift a tip of the veil on why? I recently bought a pair of Neumann KM143s, hoping to be done on the SDC-field for a while. But if there's a reason why the NT55s are a definite go-to mic for some applications, it wouldn't break the bank to pick up a pair either

I can't help with any technical details, and I've never used the Neumanns... I bought a handful of mics from a guy on ebay and the nt55s were among them. Having tried them on a clarinet, some percussion, a snare drum, as overheads and on an acoustic guitar I decided they were one of the best purchases I'd made. They just have a tendency to sound realistic without much work.

I've only really had a chance to compare them some much more expensive DPA and Josephson SDCs and I really couldn't describe the difference as one of quality.
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Re: Suitable microphone for "quieter" percussion

Postby The Elf » Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:17 am

Ron Snijders wrote:
The Elf wrote:
molecular wrote:I don't think I'm the only person on this forum who would go straight for my Rode NT55s

No, you're not the only one!

molecular wrote:even if a number of way more expensive mics were available (which they're generally not...)

In my case they very often are - and I still go to my NT55s!

Could you lift a tip of the veil on why?

The NT55 really do sound good. The omni caps turn in a great sound, regardless of price. When time is money you turn to gear you know can rely on.
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Re: Suitable microphone for "quieter" percussion

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:55 am

The omni capsules on the NT55s are very good and comparable with the Km183, though not quite as quiet. Whilst the cardioid capsules are excellent value for money, when compared to something like the Neumann TLM193 or Sennheiser MKH family of mics, they start to sound a little grainy. But you get what you pay for.

An interesting cheaper alternative is the Sennheiser e614 which I use mainly for live work. They deliver a more neutral sound and I've always been pleased with the result when I've used them for recording live percussion.

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Re: Suitable microphone for "quieter" percussion

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:43 pm

I use a Rode NT4 (stereo X/Y pair with the same cardioid capsules as used by the Rode NT4, NT5, NT6, and NT55), and it tends to be my go-to mic for sound design purposes because it just captures what I'm listening to without much hype at the top end, and is very quick to set up.

I'd love to try out the omni capsules though, as I've heard so many good things about them (even in this thread)


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Re: Suitable microphone for "quieter" percussion

Postby tc99 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:37 am

hi

thanks all for the reply's.
It's going to take a bit of research but this has provided me with some really good starting points!
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Re: Suitable microphone for "quieter" percussion

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:27 pm

molecular wrote:The other revelation to me was recording some gentle percussion (tambourine, shakers, rattlers and bits of metal) through a sontronics sigma ribbon microphone. It added a great deal of weight to things that were otherwise coming across as insubstantial. I loved it.

Thanks for the tip as I have one of these beautiful beasts.

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