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Must have microphones?

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Re: Must have microphones?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:46 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 6:06 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 6:22 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 7:31 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!

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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!

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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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