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Must have microphones?

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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Jadoube » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:35 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 7:21 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 11:09 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 11:58 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 5:58 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 10:34 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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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby John Willett » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:37 am

Funkyflash5 wrote:I'm also in the "just started mic'ing up" stage, .....

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.

Sounds like a pretty sensible way to start to me.

Just remember that a microphone is mature technology and good ones last for decades - so buy wisely and spend the maximum yo can afford on mics - that way you won't have to keep buying again. :thumbup:
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:39 am

John Willett wrote:You mean a copy - a clone is exactly the same as the original, a copy isn't.

I'm not convinced the definition of those terms is that exact (if you'll pardon the pun)... The Oxford English dictionary defines Clone as: A person or thing regarded as an exact copy of another and Copy as: A thing made to be similar or identical to another...

So a Clone is an exact Copy... and a Copy could be identical like a Clone :-)

The point is that people use the terms interchangeably and context is crucial as either could mean an exact, identical device or something that barely resembles the original but shares some desirable key characteristics. For example, people talk about 'Hammond Clones' all the time, yet the clones all use entirely different technology and few even look vaguely similar!

H
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Alba » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:26 pm

Hugh, what's your desert island mic? I mean if you could only have just one microphone, which would you choose?
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:38 pm

Hmmm... that would be a tough call.

A Shure Beta57 can do pretty much everything tolerably well, doesn't need phantom power, and would survive desert island conditions...

But if I had phantom power available it would be a toss-up between a Neumann KM84 and (slightly cheating here because it's a stereo mic) a Neumann SM69FET.

...But then I also really love my Royer active ribbons, and my Sennheiser MKH, and my Gefell M930s, and my Soundfield ST450-2, and my DPA 4060Cores, and... and...

:ugeek:
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby ore_terra » Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:08 pm

To be fair, since you’re imaging that there’s electrical power in that desert island, I dont see why we shouldnt be considering phantom as well :lol:
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby John Willett » Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:12 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
John Willett wrote:You mean a copy - a clone is exactly the same as the original, a copy isn't.

I'm not convinced the definition of those terms is that exact (if you'll pardon the pun)... The Oxford English dictionary defines Clone as: A person or thing regarded as an exact copy of another and Copy as: A thing made to be similar or identical to another...

So a Clone is an exact Copy... and a Copy could be identical like a Clone :-)

The point is that people use the terms interchangeably and context is crucial as either could mean an exact, identical device or something that barely resembles the original but shares some desirable key characteristics. For example, people talk about 'Hammond Clones' all the time, yet the clones all use entirely different technology and few even look vaguely similar!

H

I know that people do seem to use the two interchangeably - but saying "close" does seem to imply a product equal to the original, and very few "clones" seem to be fully equal.

That's why I prefer to say "copy".

There are a very few companies that try to make exact copies of discontinued mics - FLEA for example - and I am happy with using "clone" for these types as they are very close to the original - and you pay the price for the quality.
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:41 pm

John Willett wrote:That's why I prefer to say "copy".

Hang on -- you're confusing me now. :D I can't cope with this stress on a Sunday afternoon!

John Willett wrote:...a clone is exactly the same as the original, a copy isn't.

John Willett wrote:...very few "clones" seem to be fully equal

:?
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby John Willett » Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:01 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote: :D I can't cope with this stress on a Sunday afternoon!

:mrgreen:

All I was really trying to say was that I am very weary of the word "clone", as it implies that the copy is fully equal to the original - whereas, in most cases, it isn't.

That's all. :thumbup:
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Wonks » Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:49 pm

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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:46 pm

And the Sharks with the frickin lasers.... :bouncy:
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Ramirez » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:29 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Hmmm... that would be a tough call.

A Shure Beta57 can do pretty much everything tolerably well, doesn't need phantom power, and would survive desert island conditions...


This is interesting. You'd take it over dynamics like a Beyer M201 or M88, or a Sennheiser MD421 / 441, for instance? I've never used the Beta57 much, only on a few live gigs, and never given it much consideration... but now I'm intrigued!
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:44 pm

The M201 is a fabulous mic indeed,, but I'd be upset by seeing it get scratched and ruined by the sand, and the MD421 is a great mic ruined by a stupid clamp that annoys and frustrates me every time I use it! :-) I just think the 57 (orig or beta) would cope better, and I'd be less upset if it got damaged!
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby John Willett » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:52 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:... the MD421 is a great mic ruined by a stupid clamp that annoys and frustrates me every time I use it! :-)

Actually I LIKE the clamp on the MD 421.

It locks in and holds the mic. safely in any position - if the mic. is hand-held there are no protruding bits. It's a much more elegant solution than having a big fat traditional type of clip that would not hold the mic. safely when pointing downwards (eg: for a saxophone).

It's easy to put on and remove and I like the design very much. :thumbup:

But my mic. body and clip do come from the 1970s (or 80s) and they may have made them better back then. ;)
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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby twotoedsloth » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:12 pm

I'm really surprised that you like the mount for the MD421.

We have four MD421s and I rarely used them because I would get frustrated with the mount, so I'd go and grab something else, usually a Beta57 (for drums) or a 441 (for trumpet or trombone).

We got some new Rycote mounts, and I've rediscovered the MD421s, I use them on most of my Jazz recordings these days.

Back on point, my must have microphones would probably include an AKG c422, or pairs of DPA 4006s and Neumann TLM 193s.
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