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Must have microphones?

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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby blinddrew » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:14 pm

I was just going to add that! :)

Just for fun, here's how the other half live:
In decreasing order of purchase price :)
Shure Beta 87A - my main live mic. Doesn't seem to get much love round here but I like how it works with my voice. Think it was the princely sum of about £200 when I bought it.
Sub Zero valve mic - my go to vocal recording mic.
Xaudia ribbon mic - from the same people behind the Extinct Audio ribbons reviewed a couple of months ago. Really nice on guitar cabs and pretty good for female vocals too.
Gear4Music 7 piece drum mic set - kick mic, 4 other dynamics and two SDCs. Doesn't get much more cheap and cheerful.
sE2200 - my first proper mic (cheap second hand)
Studiospares S1200 (x2) - cheap SDC with omni, cardiod and hypercardiod capsules.
Kustom dynamic mics (x2) - came with a PA, keep them as back ups for live really.
AKG D5 - got it free in a songwriting competition :) Whisper it, but I prefer it to an SM58.
Realistik (Tandy) pzm plate microphone (x2) - given by a band mate years ago. Keep meaning to get around to adapting them for phantom power but I'll need to get them back from that piano player first. Ok, these were cheaper and cheefuller. :D

Funnily enough, the top three get the most usage.
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Wonks » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:45 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:
jaminem wrote:Dynamics especially are bomb proof...

One caveat. There's an awful lot of fake SM58's out there.

CC

And fake SM57s,
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby John Willett » Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:21 pm

Wonks wrote:
ConcertinaChap wrote:
jaminem wrote:Dynamics especially are bomb proof...

One caveat. There's an awful lot of fake SM58's out there.

CC

And fake SM57s,

And fake Sennheiser evolution series ... and both Shure and Sennheiser radiomics.

I have even seen people faking an old Gefell M692/UM70 mic. :madas:
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:08 pm

I'm resisting the temptation to put up a long list of microphones....

This may have been covered, but just to pull back and talk about what 'sort' go mics you'd need might be useful.

A range of vocal mics is useful because it's important, in my opinion, to match the mic to the voice, so the sort of range I'd look for is:

Something with 'air' - my pick Beyerdynamic MC740

Something with 'cut' - my pick Neumann U87

Something 'neutral' - my pick Neumann TLM193

Something that can be 'abused' - my pick Shure SM7b

Then I'd need a small diaphragm condenser stereo pair, either cardioid, or multi pattern:

Budget end Rode NT55 - my pick MKH 8040/8050/8020

I'd then want something for mono miking individual acoustic instruments, for which I'd use the TLM193 or MKH range.

I'd look to having at least one good dynamic, which for me would be the Beyer M201 over the SM57, which also doubles up as a reasonable voiceover mic.

If you're recording drums, you may wish to a range of tom mics to add to the above - I use Audix D2/D4, and then a kick mic, Sennehiser e602 or e902.

Maybe then a nice ribbon. I have a Naked Eye, but if buying today would go for an AEA Nuvo N8.

Of course, these mics are only worth considering once you've sorted out your room acoustics.

Bob
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby forumuser653351 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:29 am

My personal choice of mics are as follows:
Neumann TLM 102
Lewitt LCT 441 Flex
These seem to be of similar quality and they sound a bit different so I feel that between them I can cover a wide variety of sources - what doesn’t work on one, works on the other. I wish I could have afforded better LDCs but they give a good performance and I like them (until I listen to more expensive mics).

MBHO with diffuse omni capsules - matched pair. Really nice open sounding mics that I got for recording classical music.
Sontronics STC-1S - matched pair. Good for overheads and a general purpose SDC (yes KM 184s would be so much better!)
Line Audio CM3 (wide cardioid) - matched pair. Very very good for the money

XAudia XM10 ribbon mic. I do love ribbon mics and this is one area I want to upgrade and expand, the XAudia is nice but a bit noisy for anything critical and exposed.

Sennheiser 902 kick mic. Not used this yet but it was on special offer!

Audix i5. I find the Audix i5 to be nicer for my ears that the SM57.

I have tried to buy the best I can afford, I’m sure that as and when I can afford it I will update my mics but I hope that the ones I have chosen will still be useful and used. As has already been mentioned by others mics are a long term investment and it’s worth getting the best you can afford.

I think most people would agree that a U87 is a studio standard (although I can’t help feeling that other mics of a similar sort are equally as good and a certain amount of the popularity is down to the name and the fact that everyone uses them - a topic for another time when I am feeling brave to open it up, oh, I just have!). Then a pair of quality SDCs, such as KM184. Then it’s down to what you intend to record and making sure you have mics to cover your needs. Bob's comments above are excellent as usual.

Great question and responses all round, good luck with the studio :)
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby James Perrett » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:25 pm

forumuser653351 wrote:I think most people would agree that a U87 is a studio standard (although I can’t help feeling that other mics of a similar sort are equally as good and a certain amount of the popularity is down to the name and the fact that everyone uses them - a topic for another time when I am feeling brave to open it up, oh, I just have!).

Do a search on previous posts from people like myself and The Elf regarding the U87. There's a good reason for it being a studio standard...
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby forumuser653351 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:47 pm

James Perrett wrote:
forumuser653351 wrote:I think most people would agree that a U87 is a studio standard (although I can’t help feeling that other mics of a similar sort are equally as good and a certain amount of the popularity is down to the name and the fact that everyone uses them - a topic for another time when I am feeling brave to open it up, oh, I just have!).

Do a search on previous posts from people like myself and The Elf regarding the U87. There's a good reason for it being a studio standard...

I knew I shouldn’t have said anything!

Just to clarify my U87 comment. I love the U87, I’ve used it a lot and it is a brilliant mic. If I could afford it I would buy one. I just feel that there are other mics that are equally as good but the U87 seems to steal the headlights. Also it could be said that the U87 gives a certain sound to the recording, which is fantastic and justifiable a standard. This is great and can be used to ones advantage, however, I also feel it’s interesting to expand the sound palette by using non standard and less familiar sounds. If everything sounded similar it’s arguable not so interesting (but makes good commercial sense). e.g. why should we use a SM57 on a snare just because it's the sound of a rock snare - let's not get stuck into thinking that only one sound is right. Of course it all comes down to using the right mic for the source and to achieve the sound you want to achieve.

Yes The Elf uses the U87 and I respect him greatly (and the mic and others who use it).

No offence was meant towards the U87 or those you use it. I reiterate, I love the U87, I just don’t want to be limited by a standard, no matter how good it is. This is just my opinion as it is now, and is neither right nor wrong :)
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Wonks » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:24 pm

I doubt that anyone who uses one would argue with you or would use it exclusively for everything and everyone, or fail to have a number of other mics around to try out and then use the best one for the job.
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby ore_terra » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:00 pm

I also think that no matter how “standard” a mic, I dont see how you can consider it always gives the same sound when it’s used with completely different voices or instrument each time, different gear and mixed with different ears ;-)
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby forumuser653351 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:37 pm

ore_terra wrote:I also think that no matter how “standard” a mic, I dont see how you can consider it always gives the same sound when it’s used with completely different voices or instrument each time, different gear and mixed with different ears ;-)

Hi Ore Terra

If your post is related to my previous comment, please may I clarify, I did not say ‘always gives the same sound,’ I said ‘it could be said that it gives a certain sound’ - so not quite so definitive and I was referring to what could be perceived to be the inherit sound of the mic. Of course you are completely right, the same mic on different sources, gear, and ears will sound different - I apologise if I seemed to be suggesting other wise.

Thank you for your perspective :)

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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:46 pm

I think the problem is there are lots of mic makers who will tell you their mic is special and sounds just like a U87 but at a fraction of the cost. And quite likely a few of them might do, but the majority don't. That's marketing for you. So, if you want a mic that does general purpose vocal as readily as a U87 what do you do? Do you rake through loads of mics or do you buy a U87?

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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:06 pm

blinddrew wrote:Shure Beta 87A - my main live mic. Doesn't seem to get much love round here but I like how it works with my voice.

I've got a pair of Shure SM87As and I really like them. Good sounding and very versatile. I also like the styling... so you're not completely on your own! :-)
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:22 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:I think the problem is there are lots of mic makers who will tell you their mic is special and sounds just like a U87 but at a fraction of the cost. And quite likely a few of them might do, but the majority don't. That's marketing for you. So, if you want a mic that does general purpose vocal as readily as a U87 what do you do? Do you rake through loads of mics or do you buy a U87?

There is all that... But there's also the longevity/maintenance aspect as well as the potential resale value to consider.

A U87 can be serviced and repaired with a guaranteed quality, and will continue to be so for many decades to come. The same is much less likely to be true for many of the low cost 'as good as' mics.

And should you decide to give up your studio in the future, there's a very good chance that your U87 will sell on for something close to (or more than) your purchase price -- such is their on-going demand. Again the same is much less likely to be the case for an 'as good as' model.

All of the above is not to veto the alternatives, many of which are well made, sound good, and are attractively priced... But long-term support and future value should at least be carefully considered, even if subsequently decided irrelevant.
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:31 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:But long-term support and future value should at least be carefully considered, even if subsequently decided irrelevant.

There's support and support. I'm not going to tell the story again, you'll find it on the forum if you go back a bit but Neumann's support is amazing!

CC
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Jadoube » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:35 pm

I read through all of this for fun and games... "Must have microphones?"
Name me a recordist that can't go on about her\his microphones all night long? No such animal.

I have to agree with some meat and potatoes standard mics like the u87, AKG c414, 451, Shure SM7,57,58 and one I always use, the Sennheiser MD421.

You may find other choices (and I sure do love to try!) but I know if I just need to "get it done" because music awaits, I've got enough and more with these microphones. I don't actually own any of them... if I am in a studio then it's usually a sure bet they will have most of these "standards" or my local music gear emporium will rent me some for a reasonable rate. My own microphone collection contains oddball or lesser known mics that resonate with me; they have strange quirks and subtle differences I enjoy, My "sound" perhaps.

So OP I think if you are building a commercial type recording studio there is a bit of an expectation that you will have some or most of these microphones... although 2 thoughts;
- might be a difference regionally? For example Europe Vs North America? Your market might have some expectations.
- Trends come and go; when I started the studio I worked for had two Neumann U-67s that no one liked or used except for me...(I recorded all the 'weird' bands). It sounds like total madness now, but then the U87s were in constant demand and the U67s got dusty. No one wanted their darker sound because it was the 80s! So you may need to consider that a bit. Your mic collection is a draw to engineers... or at the least, you don't want it to put them off.

Or has it all changed drastically since I really paid any attention? It's possible!
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Dave B » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:21 pm

Jadoube wrote:Name me a recordist that can't go on about her\his microphones

(Coughs discreetly)

:D
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby John Willett » Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:09 am

Jadoube wrote:- Trends come and go; when I started the studio I worked for had two Neumann U-67s that no one liked or used except for me...(I recorded all the 'weird' bands). It sounds like total madness now, but then the U87s were in constant demand and the U67s got dusty. No one wanted their darker sound because it was the 80s! So you may need to consider that a bit. Your mic collection is a draw to engineers... or at the least, you don't want it to put them off.

Or has it all changed drastically since I really paid any attention? It's possible!

Well, Neumann has just re-released the U67 at a price of over £6,000 and there are none in the shops yet, as they still have not made enough to meet all the pre-orders. :mrgreen:
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Humble Bee » Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:58 am

John Willett wrote:
Jadoube wrote:- Trends come and go; when I started the studio I worked for had two Neumann U-67s that no one liked or used except for me...(I recorded all the 'weird' bands). It sounds like total madness now, but then the U87s were in constant demand and the U67s got dusty. No one wanted their darker sound because it was the 80s! So you may need to consider that a bit. Your mic collection is a draw to engineers... or at the least, you don't want it to put them off.

Or has it all changed drastically since I really paid any attention? It's possible!

Well, Neumann has just re-released the U67 at a price of over £6,000 and there are none in the shops yet, as they still have not made enough to meet all the pre-orders. :mrgreen:

When I saw the price on that one I desided that if I really need a U67 I will buy a clone, for certain.

Or decide that I don't need a U67 and buy a genuine Gefell UM92 for €2500... that's pretty Neumann as well...
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Funkyflash5 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:58 pm

I'm also in the "just started mic'ing up" stage, but here's what I've got, and some thoughts:

Sm57 x3 Currently used for snare and rack toms, but will be getting better tom mics soon.
Sm58 x2 I do some live sound as well, so having a couple for live vocals makes sense for the money
Beta58 My favorite dynamic on my voice
Beta52 Kick drum, about a 3rd of the way from the batter head, slightly off-axis
Senn 835 Sounds good on my friend who has a more Robert Plant type voice, mostly for live or scratch vocals
Audix I5 x3 Guitar cabs and snares, also works well on sax
La120 x2 Sdc with card and omni capsules, drum overheads and room mics
Apex 205 x2 moded, used for drum overheads, rooms, and Violin/viola
Fathead Guitar cabs, vocals, strings including upright bass, currently on loan to a friend who has a much more expensive and large mic locker, because it just sounds that good
Audix f12 Low tom, and sometimes cab for bass or baritone guitar
MXL V67N Hung from the ceiling as a room mic, mostly for capturing rehearsals so we remember what we came up with
AT853 x3 Don't know what I'm going to use these for, but the price was so low I couldn't resist


My approach has been to mostly find mics that can do several things well, making sure that I've got enough to have something adequate for everything, and buying them all used. At this point, the only mics I bought new were the pair of LA120s. I've got the backup of my friend with a bigger locker, that if there's something I need for a bit, like LDCs for vocal overdubs, I can borrow it.
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby John Willett » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:34 am

Humble Bee wrote:
John Willett wrote:
Jadoube wrote:- Trends come and go; when I started the studio I worked for had two Neumann U-67s that no one liked or used except for me...(I recorded all the 'weird' bands). It sounds like total madness now, but then the U87s were in constant demand and the U67s got dusty. No one wanted their darker sound because it was the 80s! So you may need to consider that a bit. Your mic collection is a draw to engineers... or at the least, you don't want it to put them off.

Or has it all changed drastically since I really paid any attention? It's possible!

Well, Neumann has just re-released the U67 at a price of over £6,000 and there are none in the shops yet, as they still have not made enough to meet all the pre-orders. :mrgreen:

When I saw the price on that one I desided that if I really need a U67 I will buy a clone, for certain.

You mean a copy - a clone is exactly the same as the original, a copy isn't. and there is no real clone of a U 67.

Oh - the price of a new U 67 is about the same as a good second-hand one - so, pretty fair really.


Humble Bee wrote:Or decide that I don't need a U67 and buy a genuine Gefell UM92 for €2500... that's pretty Neumann as well...

Well, as Gefell is still owned by Georg Neumann KG - the company Neumann started in 1928, you could almost say that Gefell is more Neumann than Neumann (as Neumann Berlin - the 1946 company - is now owned by Sennheiser) ;)
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