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  #1  
Old 08-25-2005, 05:56 PM
asiabackpacker asiabackpacker is offline
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Default Mic Recommendation

Hi there,

Basically, I am looking for advice on what mic to buy.

I have spent many hours searching on this topic, but still don't feel confident or knowledgable enough to make my purchase. Part of the problem with mics is that you can't generally return them if you don't like them, and you can't really try them out before buying them. And I haven't been able to find information specific enough to my objectives yet.

I currently have an Octava MK319, which has worked fine while I have been learning PT for the past year and a half, but now I am kind of ready to take it to the next level. I want a mic that is going to give me the ability to make my recordings sound more professional. I want to achieve a cleaner sound with a mic that picks up more of the nuances of my vocals and guitar playing than I am able to achieve with the $70 Octava that I have currently.

As far as buget, I don't want to spend a thousand bucks. I was originally looking at mics in the $300-400 range, but would be willing to spend as much as $600 if it would make that big of a difference, but am relatively flexible.

I am just recording my own music-singer/songwriter type stuff. All acoustic, vocals and guitar. Think folk, Nick Drake/Iron and Wine type stuff. I don't know if I should mention any of the models I have been looking at, or just see what you guys have to throw out as suggestions.

Look forward to hearing back from ya.

Thanks in advance for any help!
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2005, 07:16 PM
fantompowr fantompowr is offline
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Default Re: Mic Recommendation

how bout an AT4040? I have one and it's awesome for acoustic guitar and vocals. I've used it on everything from acoustic guitars to percussion, drum overheads to vocals. Under $500 US too.


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  #3  
Old 08-25-2005, 08:24 PM
asiabackpacker asiabackpacker is offline
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Default Re: Mic Recommendation

That is actualy the main one I've been considering! The guy at the music store recommended it yesterday after I described what I'm looking for, but I just needed a second opinion.

I haven't found one bad review about it.

I didn't throw out any model names in my initial post, but was curious if that model was going to come up in this thread, and sure enough...it must be a sign.

Though I won't make it back to the music store until tomorrow afternoon, so if anyone has any other opinions feel free to throw them out.

I was actually initially considering the Rode NT2A, but the guy in the music store said that I would be paying a lot more to have a variable pattern mic, which I would not really need for what I am doing, and would get a much better quality mic for less money with the AT4040. Any other opinions here?

Thanks for your feedback sba!
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2005, 11:55 PM
Third Eye Studios Third Eye Studios is offline
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Default Re: Mic Recommendation

This deal here on a 414 TLII is pretty sweet and IMO might be perfect for what you described (all acoustic vocals and guitar). It's the older TLII model, which explains the low price, but still a good deal anyway. It's a tiny bit over your budget though maybe?
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  #5  
Old 08-26-2005, 09:16 AM
mkosacek mkosacek is offline
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Default Re: Mic Recommendation

I recently purchased a Studio Projects C3 (~$150 used on eBay). It is multi-pattern and all that. I've so far only tried it on vocals but it beat the pants off the other "budget mics" that I have had (MXL 990, AT3035). As soon as I get time, I want to try acoustic guitar, percussion, etc. all the reviews I have read were favorable as well.
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2005, 10:01 AM
superpenguin79 superpenguin79 is offline
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Default Re: Mic Recommendation

1. what type of room will you be using to record in and will it be a good all around mic, or will it be for a specific purpose/instrument?

This will make a big difference in which mics will sound the best on your recordings depending on how your room is acoustically treated and what not. If it is in your home and not professionally treated, I would definately reccomend cardioid pattern mics of sorts for the best results. If it is well done acoustically you can get more experimental with the mics. A good room, good instrument, good player.. etc will have a big part on how everything sounds in that price range.
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  #7  
Old 08-26-2005, 11:40 AM
asiabackpacker asiabackpacker is offline
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Default Re: Mic Recommendation

I am just recording at home-not in a studio. Basically, just looking for an all-around mic: vocals, acoustic guitar, maybe a few other miscellaneous acoustic instruments.

Interesting recommendation about cardioid pattern being effective for home recording-I was wondering about the pros and cons of cardioid vs. tube.

Have heard lots of good things now about that AT4040, and it's a cardioid pattern.
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  #8  
Old 08-26-2005, 12:17 PM
superpenguin79 superpenguin79 is offline
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Default Re: Mic Recommendation

You could go with the AT4040, but for the price and for all around mics for what you're looking for I might reccomend investing in a couple SM57's, and a couple Apex 435's if you are looking to do acoustic instruments and vocals. The 57's are about $80 brand new and are tried and true in this industry. The Apex 435's are about $70 brand new with shockmount and translate very well for acoustic guitar and cymbols. If you are doing bass guitar or drums, you could even afford something like a D112 for kick drum or bass cab with this budget for $600 and a couple mics would give you more versitality than just a single mic. You would have more options for mic placement, recording in stereo, and overall imaging.

Regarding Cardioid vs. Tube... well, Tube is not a pattern type, Tube is the type electronic component that you would have which means the piece of gear is either Solid State or Tube based by the way they are constructed. Tubes are warmer, look sort of like a light bulb and you have to be more careful with to prevent from blowing them like light bulbs basically, and Solid State mics with the proper placement can do a great job also, but it is a matter of preference. Microphone pattern types include: Cardioid, Super-Cardioid, Omni-directional, hypercardioid, figure 8, and pressure gradient.

Over time if you built up a proper room with acoustics you could always add more mics to your collection and pre-amps would be your next consideration also... That is a whole 'nother discussion though... This would be my best opinion for the $$ though in a home environment. Goodluck
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2005, 10:13 AM
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ejwells ejwells is offline
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Default Re: Mic Recommendation

A decent large diaphragm condenser like the ones mentioned above will be your best all around multi purpose mike for voice and acoustic instruments.
A single 414 TLII would be a dandy start, as they're drastically reduced in price, and offer multiple patterns for multiple applications. I'd personally stay away from $69.00 Chinese made large diaphragm condensers (if it costs 70 bux new, it's probably made in China). Some folks like 'em, I personally think that you get what you pay for. I'm also am not wild about China, although I do occasionally enjoy some of their food
A good rule of thumb is: any mike that costs less than a decent mike cable is probably not a great mike. Rode makes a pretty decent entry level condenser. So do AT and AKG.
For $600.00 you can get a dandy condenser. Shop around.
I know I got my TLM103 Anniversary Edition for $699.00 new.
They're now $1100.00 or so.
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  #10  
Old 08-28-2005, 01:01 PM
asiabackpacker asiabackpacker is offline
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Default Re: Mic Recommendation

OK peeps, so here what I got in the end...

The guy at West LA Music was a very good salesman, and also seemed to know his a#% from a hole in the ground. He sold me on the "ultimate" setup for micing an acoustic guitar.

The AT4040 (thanks for your feedback on this one) as the main mic to sit in front of the sound-hole, and then a Shure KSM109 to point at the headstock of the guitar and pick up a different range of sounds and frequencies. So far all I know is that it sounds better than what I had before, but I am still playing around with placement and positioning to achieve the right sound-I guess that is what it all comes down to.

Thanks again for all your feedback!

Elliott
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