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Affordable Microphone for acoustic and electric instruments into portastudio, etc


MILLO

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Type? Condenser? I've tried the ultra-famous SM57 (was it?) for acoustic and yuck! Anyhow, how about MXL 990 or Samson C01? Does anybody know about these?

 

Yes: low budget is an issue! I want to record acoustic instruments, as well asmic'ing an electric guitar cab (not too high volume levels). This is for in-house use.

 

Thanks!

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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try to Oktava (or Octava) MC (or MK) 012. Go on line though, and check for the Chinese knock-offs so that you can identify them when you see them. Because you don't want them. These mics sell for between $99 and $59 new. However, there is a kit, which includes the mic, a -10 dB pad and a couple of other capsules. Pretty handy.

 

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Yeah, I keep looking for these Oktavas and can't find them at those prices. Last time I looked was a few months ago, though... and they went for a lot more than that. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll surf the net tonight.

 

The last time I actually saw them selling for those prices was about 2 years ago at a Guitar Center, while I was living in Chicago.

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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yea ive found the sm57 and acoustic dont work too well, mostly it just couldnt pick any of the ginerpicking up. I had the MXL 990 and it was good while it lasted. Most of the reviews on them are very good but mine only lasted like 6 months and then probelms like buzzing and noise started to show up. I remember hearing about the octavas too, and i remeber them being really expensive too. I called sweetwater and they recommended these studio project mics, cant remember the model, but they where $100 a piece and supposedly pretty nice.
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ellwood,

 

thanks for the link to thread! There's another question: that's the Samson C01U, right? Does it also have a typical XLR connector, or just that USB connector?

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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I got Sonar 4 but I'm thinking of using the mic into a Tascam Portastudio I got, then load that into the computer. The computer is noisy and it's in the living room.

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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Originally posted by Boggs:

I gotta tell ya, the most versatile single mic I have come across is the Carvin CM68. Very little money and a versatile workhorse.

I used a CM68 for a long time before I bought the Carvin CM87S LD Condenser. The CM68 seems to be similar to the Shure SM58 which is pretty much the workhorse of the industry.

 

For what you are trying to do, look for a Large Diaphragm Condenser mic. That is going to give you the best sound. Some of the guys on my site use LD's by MXL and get great sound. These are around $50.

 

Lastly I wish I could find the link for you. There was an article written called the "All SM57" (I think it was the 57 and not the 58) that was very good. It was about a guy who recorded a song with only the one mic used. It was a true testament to the versatility of the Shure.

 

If I come across it I will post it.

 

Found it!

http://www.studioreviews.com/57song.htm

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Originally posted by Dazed:

...similar to the Shure SM58 which is pretty much the workhorse of the industry.

 

...look for a Large Diaphragm Condenser mic. That is going to give you the best sound. ...

 

"]...similar to the Shure SM58 which is pretty much the workhorse of the industry."

 

Not the recording industry.

 

You guys have to understand that the 58 came into being because PA owners complained that musicans were breaking their mics. The original ads had a guy pounding a nail with it, and 'hey, it still works!'. So PA company owners bought them in droves. It became a self-fullfilling thing... everyone saw them on stages being used by big stars, so they all wanted them... meanwhile, the stars hadn't picked them, the guy who owned the PA did. (It was a simpler time). It is similar to the Pro Tools thing, in that respect. It ain't the best, just the best known.

 

The 58 is a pretty mediocre microphone, blown away in sound by a lot of other options from Audix, Beyer, Sennheiser, AKG, etc. If you look at stages of artists who are known for vocals/lyrics, you tend not to see the 58 so much. Crosby, Stills, and Nash; Springsteen, Dylan, Tom Petty, Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, .....

 

The 57 is a very useful mic. Though it has the same capsule as the 58, it does sound different. I own one. (Don't use it much, but I've got a pretty cool mic locker to work from.) The main problem is that it has poor off axis response. Tom Petty used it as his main vocal mic on tour for many years, until he got Robert Scovill as his FOH guy. Robert is very picky, and got TP into the Neuman KM 150, which is a wonderful touring mic, but costs $1500. The much more visible look-alike, the 105, is around $500 but does not sound near as nice. Still, it is much better than the 57. (at 5 or 6 times the money)

 

Why do you think that the large diaphragm condensr is going to give 'the best sound'? "Best sound" is a moving target, but if you are looking for accuracy, you want a small diaphragm condenser. The vast majority of acoustic guitar recordings are done with a pair of small diaphragm condensers, though I am fond of working with a pair of dissimilar mics.... I always have a small diaphragm condenser in the mix but I might use a big dynamic like an EV RE-20 or Sennheiser 441 or 421; or a Beyer M-88, or perhaps one of the large diaphragm condensers or ribbons that I own. It would depend upon the song, the instrument, and what we were trying to achieve.

 

But there is no doubt that, in a mic recomendation, the overwhelming "go to" choice among any group of recording engineers would be a small diaphrgam condenser.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Bill your post makes a lot of sense but it sounds like you are looking at it from a "studio" point of view instead of a "home studio" point of view.

 

My writing partner owned a recording studio and had mic ranges from $100-$15000. While a $1000 or even a $500 mic sounds like it would work well, the acoustics in most peoples home studio would probably not do it justice. I suggested a LD due to my experience and the results of the recordings we have had.

 

As for the "work horse" of the industry it seems to be due to all the magazines, internet and everyone else saying that is what it is. I have known many a musician who swear by them for live applications. Some even used them to mic amps in the studio. I have no experience with these mics. I am kind of stuck on Carvin products.

 

Hope this clears up any confusion!

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The difference between a 'studio' and a 'home studio'? A part of it is knowlege. If you did not know that most studios use an SD rather than an LD for a given purpose and now you do, then you have gained a bit of knowlege. You win! There are few 'rules' involving mic choice, but knowing what has worked for the industry at large for years, and knowing why, is a good thing.

 

If you want to know why, you might look up the differences between an LD and an SD. This may help you to understand why a practiced professional may pick one over the other for any given task.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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this would work great for your situation:

 

http://www.samedaymusic.com/product--MSEMXLANVPK

 

i'm sure you don't want to spend a lot of bucks, but here you get two mics for $100 US. if your recording at low volumes the large diaphragm will work for electric, and the SD will be great for acoustic. you can mix and match and blend the two and find out what works for YOU :thu:

 

guitar center usually has these in stock.

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Excellent--thanks everyone! I'll call GC in the weekend and pay them a visit about the MXL's.

 

Just to add: I have one of those Tascam Portastudio 8-track hard-drive recorders w/ effects, whatever the model number is. I also have a dbx mini-pre tube preamp I got used in like-new condition for $40 and a Sony mini stereo condenser I used to use w/ my mini-disc recorder. I've recorded the classical (and other things, like my now-defunct Bossa Nova group) w/ the mic but when I pass the files to the computer they seem SOOOOOO soft, I need to crank the speakers and it still sounds pretty distant.

 

I'd like to have a setup in which I can record the classical by itself w/ THE classical sound (can do it w/ the Sony, but it seems like it gives a fairly weak signal--is it the mic or is it me w/ wrong positioning, transferring files to PC, etc?), as well as amplified acoustic/classical in an ensemble context, plus higher-volume clean and distorted electric guitar... and then, when I pass it on to the computer, I'd like to hear sort of how I hear it on the recorder, although I also need to crank up the volume on the recorder to get a nice output.

 

What was I doing wrong? Can you guess?

 

Since the tone I was getting when I recorded classical was the RIGHT thing, but just a week signal, I assumed I needed a different mic and maybe a pre-amp. Mind you, I have NOT tried this pre-amp w/ my little Sony mic yet. I should be able to try it tomorrow (no time today, gotta sit here writing transcriptions/charts then teach for a zillion hours).

 

Bill: I had no idea of the fact that for acoustics small diaphragms were used. I'll read about it. Thanks for the tips....

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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"I have one of those Tascam Portastudio 8-track hard-drive recorders w/ effects, ... I also have a dbx mini-pre tube preamp I got used in like-new condition for $40 and a Sony mini stereo condenser I used to use w/ my mini-disc recorder. ...when I pass the files to the computer they seem SOOOOOO soft, I need to crank the speakers and it still sounds pretty distant. "

 

 

Okay, to most guys whpo own computers, I suggest recording at the computer. Plenty of shareware and cheap programs to get you started. Once you have edited in the computer, you'll wonder how you ever did anything else.

 

About the Sony mic... try plugging it into your computer sound card. I want to see if it is what I think it is. If it works properly when plugged directly into the sound card, let me know.

 

The Tascam is okay, but put it on the highest resolution setting. Or better yet, just use it as a board to feed your sound card. Throw the dBx away, or sell it to someone.

 

If you want to set up an inexpensive recording rig, give me some parameters, tell me what you already have,and what your goals are, and what you realistically want to spend. We can do this by PM if you prefer,

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Bill: thanks a lot for your assistance. I'l try a few things this weekend (most likely Sunday afternoon--not much time), and based on that I'll ask you the next set of questions and give you the parameters you requested. I'll let you know how the Sony works into the computer. I sincerely appreciate it!

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

My MySpace Space

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