Microphones . . . . . . . Opinions?

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parametric
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Microphones . . . . . . . Opinions?

Unread post by parametric » Wed May 22, 2019 4:15 pm

Given who we are (Musicians) and what we do (make Music, one way or another) . . . .

We might well use Microphones on occasion . . . :confusion-confused:

Whilst I'm sure we all have aspirations to the "Dream Machine" Mics we have heard of over the years -

Most of us can't have failed to notice the RASH of cheap condenser Mics on Ebay and similar -

in recent years . .

Question is - are any of them any good?

(A Shure SM58 is what I currently use for my vocal recording needs)

Most of us are never going to own a matched pair of Telefunken U47s (around €10000 each) :o

Or AKG 414 XLSs (Around £600 each)

At the Uni Music Dept where I worked, we were equipped with Neuman KM 84s (cardioid) and

KM 83 (omni) pencil condenser Mics, AKG 414s (Pair) D12 (Drum Mic) and a pair of Schoeps

"Collette Series" Pencil Mics. (We had a selection of Shure SM57s and 58s too for general use).

When the Facilities were refurbed, the question of new Mics came up and we were recommended

"Studio Projects" Mics - (C Series) That proved both very good and reasonably Priced . . .

both Large Diaphragm And pencil . . .

I think this was about the time the Chinese started getting interested, and as a result, we have a

plethora of amazing-looking condenser mikes with strange names available for little money . . . .

(Around Seven Quid - upwards.) :o :lol:

Question is - do they perform? :think:

It would be GREAT to know your opinions if you have bought one of these mics.

Were you pleased or disappointed . . . . ?

Do let us know . . . (Mentioning the Make and Model . . . )

parametric
Alesis Fusion 8SSD AND 6SSD - BOTH are 384Mb/120Gb SSD/Akai ADVANCE61/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash Ram/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu MATE 15.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

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Re: Microphones . . . . . . . Opinions?

Unread post by Miks » Wed May 22, 2019 4:41 pm

I used to use a SM58 for many years, but since 9 or 10 years I use a Shure 87 Beta (I have two of them, one as a spare - you never know... :wink: ). Never tried one of those cheap ones so I can't judge them... 0-)
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Re: Microphones . . . . . . . Opinions?

Unread post by Saul » Wed May 22, 2019 4:52 pm

Interesting question Chris. As with a lot of things these days, quality has increased and prices decreased. Look at the Yamaha FG800M I recently reviewed. Solid top, x-bracing and great sound for just £200.

I have 5 mics here at the moment and none of them would break the bank. I probably use the Sennheiser e614's more than the others. Full kit list is here by the way https://kit.com/yamuk/youtuber-kit
Sennheiser e614.jpg
Sennheiser e614
Sennheiser e614.jpg (14.51 KiB) Viewed 1048 times
I also use the RODE M5's which again are not expensive and produce great results.
RODE M5 Matched Pair.png
RODE M5 Matched Pair
RODE M5 Matched Pair.png (154.06 KiB) Viewed 1048 times
Lastly there is the RED 5 RV6 which I think is no longer available? Great sounding mic for very little money.
RED 5 RV6.png
RED 5 RV6
RED 5 RV6.png (351.88 KiB) Viewed 1048 times
Of course there are even cheaper mics out there worth taking a look at and more appearing every month or so. Great time to be a musician! (Y)
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Re: Microphones . . . . . . . Opinions?

Unread post by puremusic » Wed May 22, 2019 5:22 pm

It's interesting to read folks opinions. I rarely use the mics I have, so this is mostly academic for me though. It's not like even if I could afford my dream microphone I should ever buy it (Neumann U87AI).

I have a Shure Beta SM58A because I wanted off axis rejection, and less of the 58 signature sound, and I have an AT2035 which is great and clear when I don't need to worry too much about ambient noise. I got them mainly to begin learning to record samples or talk into. If I start doing a lot of talking into them in the future and start doing demos I'll be satisfied with them, though I think if I wanted to move up an Electro-Voice would have more presence. Since my voice isn't that interesting to listen to that might be a big plus.
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Re: Microphones . . . . . . . Opinions?

Unread post by puremusic » Wed May 22, 2019 5:25 pm

And I agree Saul I think those Rodes work well.
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Re: Microphones . . . . . . . Opinions?

Unread post by Derek » Wed May 22, 2019 8:07 pm

Plus one on the Red5Audio RV5. All of my Carreg Ddu vocal recordings have been done on this well priced microphone. It had a very good Sound on Sound write up and seems a bargain for £130. Most mics of this type all use the same capsules.

I don’t use a Shure on stage, but what I do use is escaping me right now and I am away from home, so cannot check! It is an AKG, but what model I cannot remember!
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Re: Microphones . . . . . . . Opinions?

Unread post by parametric » Thu May 23, 2019 12:47 am

I think there's probably never been a better time to get into recording . . . .

The mics have developed alongside the recording Tech. A combined front, so to speak . . .

When I first Joined the Music Dept at Uni - Field recording Kits contained Sony Pro Walkmans . . .

They were amazing (for Cassette), but the socketry was far too easily damaged by careless handling . . .

I repaired many (new pcb sockets), but the high density pcbs will only tolerate a FEW repairs before

they are destroyed - and INCREDIBLY expensive to place - almost the cost of a new machine . . .

(Always a problem with kit that has MANY users) I can't now remember what was used mic-wise . . .

Later, we moved to DAT - Casio DA-1, Teac DAP-20

(Identical to the Casio DA-7 but has XLR IN and Mic Preamps)

And the Best of the lot, the Tascam DAP-1 (Phantom Power and No SCMS). By this time, we had moved

to the RODE NT-4

RODE NT-4.jpg
RODE NT-4.jpg (4.87 KiB) Viewed 1012 times

Which is a brilliant one-stop solution to a stereo "crossed-pair" setup - without faffing about . . .

Great sounding too . . .

Beyond that, the Digital recorders appeared, initially the M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

(Which I have, and use) and the Roland R09, 'tho the Market seems these day to be largely

dominated by Tascam and Zoom.

Great Value to be had very reasonable prices . .

Basically, with Mics - as you move towards the "Names" - you're going to pay more,

the same is true if you want switchable characteristics (cardioid/omni/figure8 etc.) but that said . . .

REAL QUALITY can be had for relatively little money nowadays . . .

parametric
Alesis Fusion 8SSD AND 6SSD - BOTH are 384Mb/120Gb SSD/Akai ADVANCE61/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash Ram/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu MATE 15.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

NI Komplete11 Ultimate

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Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

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Re: Microphones . . . . . . . Opinions?

Unread post by SysExJohn » Thu May 23, 2019 12:00 pm

Interesting topic!

For live use, for Susannne, my wife (the talented one), I bought a Shure Beta 58A.
For making recordings at home a Studio Projects B1 (after reading Paul White's review in SoS (June 2005)).
But the one that gets aired most frequently is the mic for concert recording, a Zoom H2n "handy recorder" (with the add-on kit).

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Re: Microphones . . . . . . . Opinions?

Unread post by EXer » Thu May 23, 2019 12:26 pm

Nowadays the real problem is choosing.

I guess than too much is better than too little, but I feel it's a difficult task to choose a microphone among all that is available.

Internet doesn't really help: when one searches for "choosing a microphone" one gets millions of useless tutorials which explain the differences between dynamic/static and omni/directional (not to mention the even more useless tutorials which explain which mic is best for skyping or youtubing...), but once one knows which type of mic is best suited to one's application one is left with a plethora of models to chose from with hardly any clue about how to make an informed decision.

And I'm still looking for answers to questions such as:
- how far do differences go between particular mics with the same price tag?
- among the inexpensive mics, which ones should be avoided and which ones can be recommended?
- how does the quality improve as the price gets higher?
- is there a simple correlation between price and quality? (I guess the answer is ""that depends"...)
- would *my* ears really notice any difference between mid-priced mics and expensive ones?
- are the differences between cheap, mid-priced and expensive mics relevant for *my* applications?
- which mics are the best (whatever that means) within a given price range?
etc.

___

parametric wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:15 pm
Most of us are never going to own a matched pair of Telefunken U47s (around €10000 each) :o
Fortunately, for the budget conscious there are the cheaper Neumann U87s :mrgreen:
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Re: Microphones . . . . . . . Opinions?

Unread post by parametric » Thu May 23, 2019 12:57 pm

I agree <Exer>. It IS difficult.

I was fortunate to work IN a Music Dept where striving for quality at all stages was paramount -

as the outcome would impact the final mark for the degree.

Equipment chosen for the Sound Recording aspect of the course was therefore carefully chosen

not only for quality, but also servicability.

Loss of session time was not really an option due to the DEMAND for Studio Time and the

NUMBERS of users requiring it - so gear HAD to be quickly repairable - or swapped-out with

Spare Units, so sessions weren't lost. Much, I imagine like a Commercial operation.

This was a major part of my job - to get studios up and running with minimum down-time.

As far as choice of Microphones was concerned, We had a couple of BBC Engineers who used to

teach on the Sound Recording Courses.

(Their Microphone suggestions were obviously heeded, and unsurprising, was what was bought

for the Department.)

Their Teaching covered Microphone Selection and Placement for a wide

range of real-life situations - Orchestra Recording, Small Ensembles, Solo Instruments -

both Studio based, AND outside venue based.

In addition to the above, there were also Listening Sessions - to develop "Critical Listening" skills

to demonstrate the importance of Microphone Placement in achieving the Final Result.

These "examples" became "Sessions" that were recorded, and "marked" for quality -

which contributed to the Student's final mark.

In the third (final) year, Sound Recording Students were required to produce a portfolio including,

a solo instrument, another of a small ensemble, and a third which was a Multitrack piece, which could

either be a original work, or often, a "Cover" of a favourite Track . . . (This was a very popular choice).

So I have to admit, I've been fortunate to work in close proximity to a LOT of recording activity -

and have heard the results, in my many visits to the Department's Recording Studio and

Composition workstations.

THIS is the environment that I learned all that I know about Studio Craft and Recording.

My immediate superior was the Studio Manager, who went through the Technical Training Course

at the Beeb.

I'm indebted to him for all the Basic Knowledge I have and also the servicing insights he gave me.

Since my redundancy - I continue to impart what I know in here. ;)

Outside of my Job, the Recording Sessions I've done in some famous Studios have also given me an

insight as to WHAT microphones are generally favoured . . . .

In Abbey Road Studio 2, for instance - the Mics are stored in a side room, off the main Studio.

They are stored ON their stands (collapsed down), With their colour-coded cables for quick deployment.

A veritable SEA of AKG 414s (mostly) - which might suggest they are a GOOD Mic . . . . 8)

If, as a user, you DON'T have access to that sort of exposure, then the next best thing is

Peer-recommendation - from users you know and whose judgement you respect . . . .

FAR MORE reliable that advertising rhetoric.

Otherwise, reviews in respected Mags. such as Sound on Sound, fielded by reviewers that have "Ears"

are probably the next best thing . . . .

In the final analysis, it is YOUR EARS that will have the last word - commensurate with you financial means.

Either way - there are good mics out there, up to, or perhaps over £100 . . . .

The SM58 I use was around £100. I have thought about a condenser, as it will be more detailed,

but for now, the SM58 is fine . . . .

Perhaps all that confuses further, but hopefully NOT . . .

parametric
Alesis Fusion 8SSD AND 6SSD - BOTH are 384Mb/120Gb SSD/Akai ADVANCE61/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash Ram/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu MATE 15.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

NI Komplete11 Ultimate

Sector101 2x SYEMB06 / 4 x EXM-E3 128MB DRAM Module

BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/forum/vie ... =22&t=9217

Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
http://www.chrisnmiller.co.uk/Chris
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