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Old 12-15-2005, 09:06 AM
Matt Brown Matt Brown is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Xiamen, China
Posts: 42
Default Condenser?

I just bought the Mbox 2 and am now exploring microphones. I'm thinking 100 dollars for a decent Shure mic. Any suggestions?

Also, what exactly does a condenser do? Does it have to do with keeping vocals level, or is that the job of a compressor, or...? In any case, how do you achieve that kind of quality: Keeping vocal volume (or any instrument's volume) relatively constant, even when it's volume changes dramatically in reality? I heard that's the purpose of a compressor - to keep sound even.

Direction and instruction would be much appreciated. I'd like to make the best choices on my recording equipment, and need a good understanding of it before I can do that.

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Old 12-15-2005, 11:08 AM
benunh benunh is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 76
Default Re: Condenser?

Hi Matt,

What you're asking about keeping vocal levels 'constant' is the function of a compressor. You can either use a hardware version in which case whatever compression you use going in is printed to 'tape' or you can use a plugin once you have already recorded your track to even the vocals out but maintain the ability to change the amount of compression. I use both methods, hardware to give a little bit of compression going in, then plugins to add more later if I need it.
For a beginner, I would suggest the plugin route as it won't cost you anything (use the free ones that come with PT) and leaves room for you to learn and fix any mistakes you make while learning without ruining your tracks.

For your other question, your choice of mic would depend on your subject matter. If you are only going to have one microphone I would suggest a condensor and lucky for you a few decent ones have emerged on the market for under a c-note. I'd start by checking out Audio Technica's AT-2020 as well as most of the large diaphragm MXL mics. Cheap and effective.

Rock on

'All Things Sound'
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Old 12-17-2005, 12:24 PM
yoursickstudio yoursickstudio is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: myplace
Posts: 252
Default Re: Condenser?

i would check out Audio Technica also
bit more above your 100 price

everybody has got to have an sm58 so maybe you should start with getting that one... but no condeser.
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Old 12-19-2005, 09:51 AM
superpenguin79 superpenguin79 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 4,783
Default Re: Condenser?

Welcome to the boards Matt, For $100 if you are looking for a condenser I would suggest that you may want to save a little while longer to get a mic that will be really worth its value. You get what you pay for when it comes to microphones honestly. Although you can score a Shure SM57 or SM58 Dynamic mic around your price range, these will not be the condensers you are looking for.

I would also suggest to see if you can't get hold of a good used Oktava MK212 which fall around this price range and retailed for $600 brand new and sound like a lot of the higher end Neumann mics that you will see in professional studios because of their capsule designs. The grills on these mics are slightly restrictive, but you can get a good mic mod to open up the grill when you get down the road if you like. I would suggest for now to go out to your local music store and test out all of the condensers and listen to them as you test them and see which sounds the best with your voice. This is the best way to get the best sounding recordings. Goodluck with your purchase. peace
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Old 12-29-2005, 05:02 AM
Darbilly Darbilly is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Rio de Janeiro / Brazil
Posts: 77
Default Re: Condenser?

MXL 2006.
A fine mic for the price.
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Old 12-30-2005, 08:50 AM
Charles D. Ballard Charles D. Ballard is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: North Hollywood, CA
Posts: 632
Default Re: Condenser?

Also, what exactly does a condenser do?
Just so you know what a condenser (microphone) is...

A dynamic microphone converts acoustical energy into electrical energy by attaching a coil to a diaphragm in a magnetic field. The vibrations in the air move the diaphragm which moves the coil that’s surrounded by a magnet. That creates an electrical signal.

A condenser microphone converts acoustical energy into electrical energy by placing two electrically charged thin metal plates close together. The vibrations in the air moves one of the plates and changes the distance between the two plates. Because these plates are electrically charges (this is why they need that +48v “phantom” power), the “capacitance” changes with the vibrations and creates the electrical signal.

-Charles D. Ballard, M.P.S.E.

"I bent my wookie"
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