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Can you have too many microphones?

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Re: Can you have too many microphones?

Postby hobbyist » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:36 pm

Arpangel wrote:I guess no, if you're Skywalker Ranch, or Abbey Road etc.
I'm thinking of "rationalising" my mic collection. I use my handy recorder more than ever these days, and on the advice of folks here I bought a Rode stereo mic, which has been really useful with the handy recorder.
So I'm going to do an experiment on our next session, I'm going to set up my usual rig, Sennhiesser MKH40's, plus the Rode/Tascam set-up. And see if the Rode can make an "acceptable" result. Bare in mind we are a free-improv group recording in my living room, so "acceptable" can have the bar set pretty low! :D
I need funds to populate my Buchla case, and if the Rode and handy recorder can do a reasonable job then I might exchange some of my mic's for modules. I'm not sure yet, but I'm just not using some of my mic's anywhere near enough, well have to see how the next session goes. But no doubt, if I let some of them go, I'll need them a couple days after, obviously!

Yes.

For me ten is enough.
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Re: Can you have too many microphones?

Postby blinddrew » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:20 pm

CS70 wrote:Well , as others say, you may end up with a bunch of cheap and cheerful mics which you no longer need as you've got better ones.

The issue with unloading inexpensive stuff tough, it's always the same - if you bought it new, it's unlikely you're gonna recover any of the money. Beginners won't know where to look for used stuff and won't trust themselves in buying it, and more experience people know that they're inexpensive so they won't give u much.

So in the end of the day you're usually better of keeping them for the odd occasion when you may need them.
Having a couple of cheap mics around can give you a few more options sometimes to either take a bit of a risk (microphone in an exposed position perhaps) or to try something more experimental (gaffa a length of hosepipe onto a mic and trail it round the drumkit).
If there's a situation where you're after an effect, rather than fidelity, sometimes a cheap mic with a less-than-flat, or poor off-axis, response can speed you towards that sound.
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Re: Can you have too many microphones?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:58 pm

Arpangel wrote:.... you'd have to have a damn good reason to ditch the MKH's.

You're not wrong -- they're absolutely superb microphones. I actually have ten altogether -- 4x20s, 3x40s, 2x30s, and 1x50 -- and I use them all the time for all sorts of things.

I think you probably can have 'too many' mics, But that threshold will obviously vary enormously depending on what you need/want to do with them. I think I've got over 40 mics in my collection at the moment, covering all the bases from the venerable SM57 up to a Soundfield ST450mkii, with (mostly pairs) of all sorts of high-quality mics in between -- SDCs, LDCs, ribbons, and dynamics.

But I think that's the point, and I agree with Bob and JW here, that it's well worth buying the best you can because then you won't outgrow them, they'll last your whole recorsing career, and they will hold their value well for when you finally decide to downsize.

I have a policy where I review my equipment each year, and if I haven't used something for a couple of years I seriously consider disposing of it. And on that basis I did sell a couple of Neumann TLM103s last year that I wasn't using. They were/are very good mics, but I just found I always preferred using other LDC mics in my collection, and I no longer do the kind of big jobs where I needed the extra pair of mics.
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Re: Can you have too many microphones?

Postby zenguitar » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:04 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:Oh yes; almost certainly...

But let me know if you're selling any!
Now that’s what I call ‘entering into the spirit of things’. :clap:

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Can you have too many microphones?

Postby Arpangel » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:05 am

That's a good point Hugh about reviewing your stuff every year, makes sense.
I made a couple of buying mistakes early on, I bought a couple of cheap SDC's and they were tonally notright, also noisy. But I used them and they "did the job" but maybe not ideally. It wasn't until I managed to buy better ones like the MKH's that I realised there was a huge leep in overall quallity. My advice to anyone is save as much as you can, and buy the best mic you can afford, you just can't get away with cheap mic's, it's easy to make a good mic sound bad, but its impossible to make a bad mic sound good.
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Re: Can you have too many microphones?

Postby Sam Inglis » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:55 am

I possibly have one or two more mics than I need...

I think I have just basically acknowledged that my urge to collect things needs to be channelled somewhere! They're more useful than china figurines and smaller than cars. And since I bought nearly all of them second-hand, I hope they'll keep their value.
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Re: Can you have too many microphones?

Postby Arpangel » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:07 am

Sam Inglis wrote:I possibly have one or two more mics than I need...

I think I have just basically acknowledged that my urge to collect things needs to be channelled somewhere! They're more useful than china figurines and smaller than cars. And since I bought nearly all of them second-hand, I hope they'll keep their value.

Buying seccondhand is good, it's the only way to loose as little money as possible. Like, never buy a new car, same thing. But getting a good mic used can be a bit dodgy, you have to be very careful.
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Re: Can you have too many microphones?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:18 am

No, you can't have too many mics*, but, as others have suggested, you can have the wrong mics. I don't have too many but there are a couple I might change at some point.

* I have 32 (I think) mics, mostly live/stage mics varying from cheap and cheerful to good/excellent. Some of the cheap ones are worth so little as to be not worth selling.
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Re: Can you have too many microphones?

Postby shufflebeat » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:00 pm

I'm in the process of passing down some unused gear (i.e. an entire pub/small club system) to the next generation of family in Ireland. It was done for me and now I understand why.

I hope they look after my gear better than I looked after the ould fella's. Ah, the stupidity of youth.

Still, feels good.
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Re: Can you have too many microphones?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:10 pm

:clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Can you have too many microphones?

Postby ManFromGlass » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:36 pm

I am going through my CD and music book collection giving them away to a younger generation. It does feel good. Soon I will do that with my percussion instrument collection as I rarely use some of them anymore.

I don’t have many mics and rarely have the chance to use them so they will be next, but I suspect I will sell them except for a few faves. I like to take care of everything that passes through my hands. I even keep original packaging when I purchase new. I notice that I tend to place more value on something I have purchased, except for those few free things that have great memories attached to them.
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Re: Can you have too many microphones?

Postby John Willett » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:07 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:.... you'd have to have a damn good reason to ditch the MKH's.

You're not wrong -- they're absolutely superb microphones. I actually have ten altogether -- 4x20s, 3x40s, 2x30s, and 1x50 -- and I use them all the time for all sorts of things.

I think you probably can have 'too many' mics, But that threshold will obviously vary enormously depending on what you need/want to do with them. I think I've got over 40 mics in my collection at the moment, covering all the bases from the venerable SM57 up to a Soundfield ST450mkii, with (mostly pairs) of all sorts of high-quality mics in between -- SDCs, LDCs, ribbons, and dynamics.

But I think that's the point, and I agree with Bob and JW here, that it's well worth buying the best you can because then you won't outgrow them, they'll last your whole recorsing career, and they will hold their value well for when you finally decide to downsize.

I have a policy where I review my equipment each year, and if I haven't used something for a couple of years I seriously consider disposing of it. And on that basis I did sell a couple of Neumann TLM103s last year that I wasn't using. They were/are very good mics, but I just found I always preferred using other LDC mics in my collection, and I no longer do the kind of big jobs where I needed the extra pair of mics.

I have 14 MKH mics - 2x20, 2x30, 2x40, 2x800, 2x8020, 2x8040, 2x 816F.

I do have a TLM 103 that I want to get rid of - used it only once and won't use again since I got my Gefell M 930 pair - just like Hugh I suppose; it's an excellent mic., but I have others I use instead.
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Re: Can you have too many microphones?

Postby John Willett » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:10 pm

Arpangel wrote:
Sam Inglis wrote:I possibly have one or two more mics than I need...

I think I have just basically acknowledged that my urge to collect things needs to be channelled somewhere! They're more useful than china figurines and smaller than cars. And since I bought nearly all of them second-hand, I hope they'll keep their value.

Buying seccondhand is good, it's the only way to loose as little money as possible. Like, never buy a new car, same thing. But getting a good mic used can be a bit dodgy, you have to be very careful.

You have to be *very* careful when buying s/h LDCs that have been used for vocals - especially if they have been used by a smoker as the diaphragm(s) are likely to be contaminated and would therefore need cleaning or replacing.

Especially with Neumann U87s and the like, a studio may sell of an old mnic and buy a new one as replacing the capsule would cost more than selling and buying new - so be careful.
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Re: Can you have too many microphones?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:52 pm

Arpangel wrote: But getting a good mic used can be a bit dodgy, you have to be very careful.

You do have to do due diligence, of course, but the majority of my mics are second hand. Especially when you're talking about up-market condensers (sorry, capacitors) I think the majority of people have the sense to care for them and treat them well which, in my experience, tends to make them a lower risk and better than average second hand buy.

In the early years I went through a lot of second hand mics, buying and selling. It was a great way of finding the mics I liked and had a use for without losing that much money.

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Re: Can you have too many microphones?

Postby hobbyist » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:47 pm

ManFromGlass wrote:I am going through my CD and music book collection giving them away to a younger generation. It does feel good. Soon I will do that with my percussion instrument collection as I rarely use some of them anymore.

I don’t have many mics and rarely have the chance to use them so they will be next, but I suspect I will sell them except for a few faves. I like to take care of everything that passes through my hands. I even keep original packaging when I purchase new. I notice that I tend to place more value on something I have purchased, except for those few free things that have great memories attached to them.

That is the hazard of growing old. I look back and cant believe how much stuff we got rid of when we downsized and moved out of our house. Looking at the apartment I wonder how I accumulated so much in the first place.
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