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Yet another Mic Selection Thread - Help, too much choice!

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Yet another Mic Selection Thread - Help, too much choice!

Postby Mark Thomson » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:38 am

Hi folks,
I'm in the process of upgrading a home recording setup and need some help / advice.
I had a very basic setup about 10 years ago, then moved to a combination recording at home using a Zoom H4 for simplicity or visiting a friends Studio for something a bit better.

I now have an opportunity to try and put something better together at home, and have made a start with some bits of kit / treatment, but I feel I'm getting lost in the plethora of mic choices out there......

I primarily play and record solo Finger style Guitar (normal acoustic guitar and a baritone harp guitar), and have been in the habit of doing so using 2 mics (usually x-y), but I also do stuff where the guitar is a supporting element and needs to be recorded with a single mic.

Using fingernails, I'm concerned about getting some mics which are too bright / crisp and emphasis the nail attack over the tone of the guitar (but maybe thats a mic position thing?). Budget wise I have £1k max to fund the mics.

So what I'm looking for is - A pair of mics I can use for stereo recording but also singly, and which will sound nice with both the normal guitar as well as the baritone harp guitar for £1k or under.

Just as a guide here are two (very rough mp3) recordings as an example of what I will be predominately trying to do with them.

https://app.box.com/s/442od1qpsqvtbzvwz5px (Baritone Harp, demo recording using a spaced pair of C414s at my friends, excuse the breathing!)
https://app.box.com/shared/j4sv9fpnmv (Normal Guitar, demo recording using a Zoom H2 at home)

Thanks, and apologies for being another person asking about mics....
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Re: Yet another Mic Selection Thread - Help, too much choice!

Postby The Elf » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:00 am

Within that budget, I think you'll find that a lot of votes, mine included, would go to a pair of Rode NT55. In cardioid they're very good; in omni they're superb.

But you're correct that other elements, including placement are critical. If you want to avoid over-emphasisng the pick sound then your placement needs to support that aim.

For technique try some seaches in the forum and in the SOS articles.
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Re: Yet another Mic Selection Thread - Help, too much choice!

Postby John Willett » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:46 am

£1,000 is one of those watershed prices which is in the gap.

Yes, under £1,000 I would probably agree about the NT55 - though the Sontronics STC-1 are also well worth looking at as is also the Line Audio CM3, which is an exceptional mic. for the price I hear.

But, spend a little over £1k and some serious mics come into the picture, EG: Gefell M300, Neumann KM184, MBHO, etc...
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Re: Yet another Mic Selection Thread - Help, too much choice!

Postby Ron Snijders » Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:27 am

Another question might be if you mind looking around eBay and/or buying second hand.
If I look at my own mics, I got my pair of KM143 used for around 800 pounds and my (separately bought, but very closely matched) pair of C414 XL-II new for around 1050 pounds. A new matched pair of KM184s run at around 950 pounds here, VAT included.
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Re: Yet another Mic Selection Thread - Help, too much choice!

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:55 pm

I agree with all three previous posters!

A pair of CM3s is next on my shopping list... now that I've got myself kitted-out with some stage-lights, but that's another story!
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Re: Yet another Mic Selection Thread - Help, too much choice!

Postby The Elf » Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:59 pm

Please let us know how you get on with the CM3, Mike. It would be nice to be able to add a viable option at that price level.
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Re: Yet another Mic Selection Thread - Help, too much choice!

Postby Mark Thomson » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:48 pm

Thanks for the replies folks, the NT55 was certainly something I had been looking at

The Line Audio CM3 wasn't one that I had been aware of, but sounds intriguing and a very reasonable price too.....what impact does the sub cardoid pattern have i.e. can I still use them for x y or would I be better looking at another approach?
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Re: Yet another Mic Selection Thread - Help, too much choice!

Postby Sam Inglis » Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:51 pm

To throw another name into the pot, you could consider Hebden Sound -- beautifully made British mics that are within your budget, and certainly not over-bright or harsh-sounding.
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Re: Yet another Mic Selection Thread - Help, too much choice!

Postby The Elf » Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:57 pm

The Hebden mic's do look interesting to me too, but lordy, don't you just hate it when a company sets all its prices to 'POA'!!!

It leads me to wonder what they have to hide and simply makes me turn away and look elsewhere. I don't want to begin a chain of correspondence just to find out a price! Silly.
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Re: Yet another Mic Selection Thread - Help, too much choice!

Postby Guy Johnson » Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:29 pm

+1 indeedy.
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Re: Yet another Mic Selection Thread - Help, too much choice!

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:40 pm

Likewise.

CC
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Re: Yet another Mic Selection Thread - Help, too much choice!

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:34 am

So... Hugh, Matt, Chris et al... any chance of a review of the CM3 while I'm saving my 5p's?
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Re: Yet another Mic Selection Thread - Help, too much choice!

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:36 am

I have a couple of CM3s and rate them quite highly, provided you can work with the wide cardioid polar pattern.

I haven't used them a great deal, because I have MKH options

But for interest I just threw them up on guitar in the studio and they delivered a reasonable sound, not as nice as the MKh8050s, perhaps more reminiscent of the NT5, certainly no worse. But you'd need a reasonable room and they wouldn't work for singer guitarists as there would be too much bleed, unless of course you tracked separately.

Unfortunately I'm flat out for the foreseeable future, so won't have time to post up samples.

Actually I used one on Saturday to mic a Steinway for monitors. I inserted it in a round hole in the frame with a foam bung and it really worked rather well. Easily as good as my C411 stuck on the sound board underneath trick.

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