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$5k for microphones. one "flagship" or a collection?
Old 14th April 2020
  #1
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drockfresh's Avatar
$5k for microphones. one "flagship" or a collection?

Been working with keyboards for a long time, finally getting back to recording musicians in a room.

Have a small locker:
Ribbons x 2 (160- great!)
AT 4050 (never use it)
A few dynamics

Want:
Mic for baby grand, Vocals, tube combo amps and leslie
Room is pretty decent sounding now

I prefer to buy something that "usually works" and can be "set and forget"

Last edited by drockfresh; 14th April 2020 at 04:43 PM..
Old 14th April 2020
  #2
Gear Nut
 

I'd start with finding the right stereo pair for your piano - haven't used baby grands much, no idea what works best. Luckily, cheap dynamics always work on combos and Leslies, 421 / 57 / RE20 etc.
Old 14th April 2020
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffsochor View Post
I'd start with finding the right stereo pair for your piano - haven't used baby grands much, no idea what works best. Luckily, cheap dynamics always work on combos and Leslies, 421 / 57 / RE20 etc.
Very good suggestion. Thank you

I actually like the ribbons alot on the leslie
But I usually have mics set up and just - point and shoot - working fast
not too much a/b/c ing things
that's why i need stuff that "usually works"
Old 14th April 2020
  #4
Gear Addict
 

This isn’t gearslutz sexy but for your needs and requests and budget I’d say get a pair of used U87ai and get back to work.
Old 14th April 2020
  #5
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The rental place near me has a big Peluso collection and some Neumann

I will rent some 251 , 47 and 67 types to try out in my new space.

And some pencil mics for the piano.

Probably will help focus search a bit.
Old 14th April 2020
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanBarley View Post
This isn’t gearslutz sexy but for your needs and requests and budget I’d say get a pair of used U87ai and get back to work.
Love that suggestion. Especially the "get back to work."

It seems many of the great recording spots in Tape Op seem to have a lot of old tube mics - a collection of similar mics. I kind of wish there were a world with only 3 mics to choose from.
Old 14th April 2020
  #7
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I think I would divide and conquer. . .not attempting to solve the equation in one go.

SDC Schoeps first. And I would want three [or four], which would put me over budget. . .at least, new.

Then, the next time $5000 came along, I would go for a great 251 clone.

But - you know - different strokes for different folks,

Ray H.
Old 14th April 2020
  #8
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of course it's nice to have piece of über-gear but it won't automatically guarantee you stellar results...

...so definitely a collection!

but how many new mic do you really need? are all of your dynamic mics crap so you cannot use them? what preamps/converters are you using?

get a pair of sdc's for the piano and maybe an alternative for vocals (although i can't see why you're not using the at ldc you have), maybe also something for the leslie's low end.
Old 14th April 2020
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
of course it's nice to have piece of über-gear but it won't automatically guarantee you stellar results...

...so definitely a collection!

but how many new mic do you really need? are all of your dynamic mics crap so you cannot use them? what preamps/converters are you using?

get a pair of sdc's for the piano and maybe an alternative for vocals and you should be fine!
Thanks for the suggestion! Will start looking at the sdcs for the piano.

I have great preamps (stereo tree-audio) and converters (2 channels of burl).

I tend to go for dark, wooly, thick tones from my keyboards so built some nice -to my ears - signal chains. I don't like super-accurate - bright - without some mellowing of the highs for digital recording.

Won't be doing any classical music or choirs.
Old 14th April 2020
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
Thanks for the suggestion! Will start looking at the sdcs for the piano.

I have great preamps (stereo tree-audio) and converters (2 channels of burl).

I tend to go for dark, wooly, thick tones from my keyboards so built some nice -to my ears - signal chains. I don't like super-accurate - bright - without some mellowing of the highs for digital recording.

Won't be doing any classical music or choirs.
Sure Coles would need some eq but I'm sure they would sound great on a piano. Then you would have allot of $ left for s really good main mic.

If you're into recording vocals the same time as playing the piano a sm7b is great to have!
Old 14th April 2020
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen View Post
Sure Coles would need some eq but I'm sure they would sound great on a piano. Then you would have allot of $ left for s really good main mic.

If you're into recording vocals the same time as playing the piano a sm7b is great to have!
Thanks but I don’t believe in Eq. Just kidding (sort of).
Old 14th April 2020
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
Thanks for the suggestion! Will start looking at the sdcs for the piano.

I have great preamps (stereo tree-audio) and converters (2 channels of burl).

I tend to go for dark, wooly, thick tones from my keyboards so built some nice -to my ears - signal chains. I don't like super-accurate - bright - without some mellowing of the highs for digital recording.

Won't be doing any classical music or choirs.
looks like we're using a much different approach: regardless of genre but also of situation, i (mostly) don't use gear which leaves a typical sonicc imprint of any kind, whether that's dark or bright, warm or cold...

i could easily do with a pair of multipattern ldc's and/or a trio of sdc's for pretty much any of my work (assuming we're talking about recording isolated instruments in the studio).

but then i can hardly think of any situation in which a single u67 wouldn't do either - so sinking 5k on a single or a couple of mic's shouldn't be a problem! :-)

[i could also adopt to all but dynamic mics but of course i'd have to adapt my technique - now THAT is something i do not necessarily like doing but mainly due to rhe fact that i have to do so all time, even under conditions which at first glance may seem like being 'perfect' but of course also when working in areas of conflict where pretty much everything is a challenge...]
Old 14th April 2020
  #13
Collection for sure.
AA, Gefell, Coles, are good options. I'm sure there are a dozen more.

I would probably get a couple of Gefell 903's a Tube mic from AA and keep working, as well stated earlier. (I like 903's better than the U87i anyway.)

I would likely not spend all 5k on mics.
Old 14th April 2020
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
loiks like we're usung a much different approach: regardless of genre but also of situation, i (mostly) don't using gear which leaves a typical sniic imprint of any kind, whethwr that's dark or bright, warm or cold...

i could easy so with a pair of multipattern ldc's and/or a trio of sdc's for pretty much any of my work (assuming we're talking abput isolated instruments in the studio).

[i could also adopt to all but dynamic mics but of course i'd have to adapt my technique - now THAT is something i do not necessarily like doing but mainly due to rhe fact that i have to do so all time, even under conditions which at first glance may seem like being 'perfect' but of course also when working in areas of conflict where pretty much everything is a challenge...]
Interesting and pro approach. I don’t have lots of external clients so can color away as I see fit on the way in. I kind of hate mixing so I try to print exactly what I want so mixing it super fast. I don’t mind accuracy but it needs something to work ITB for me.
Old 14th April 2020
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpanderson80 View Post
Collection for sure.
AA, Gefell, Coles, are good options. I'm sure there are a dozen more.

I would probably get a couple of Gefell 903's a Tube mic from AA and keep working, as well stated earlier. (I like 903's better than the U87i anyway.)

I would likely not spend all 5k on mics.
Thank you.
Old 14th April 2020
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
Interesting and pro approach. I don’t have lots of external clients so can color away as I see fit on the way in. I kind of hate mixing so I try to print exactly what I want so mixing it super fast. I don’t mind accuracy but it needs something to work ITB for me.
Then your mic choice and placement is vital to your capture. This is a healthy strategy in my mind and goes a loooong way to get your final sound early. A robust analog front end is rarely (maybe never) a bad decision.
Old 14th April 2020
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpanderson80 View Post
A robust analog front end is rarely (maybe never) a bad decision.
Thanks. Totally agree. Please let me know your favorite mics for a robust analog front end.
One thing I don't want to do is buy , sell , try over the next few months.
spending all that time hunting and re-selling. need some workhorses.
Old 14th April 2020
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
Interesting and pro approach. I don’t have lots of external clients so can color away as I see fit on the way in. I kind of hate mixing so I try to print exactly what I want so mixing it super fast. I don’t mind accuracy but it needs something to work ITB for me.
i'm a huge fan of commiting to tape or daw too, but mainly out of habit... - if i don't like the sound i'm getting, i prefer to change mic positions and/or use filters rather than use non-adjustable filters built-into mics etc.

(imo there's nothing these days which cannot get achieved itb - although i have to confess that i went back to fully mixing on desks and some outboard a few years ago - but that's another discussion)
Old 14th April 2020
  #19
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I'd got with a few different things over one expensive mic. Spend some more time with your 4050, that mic can do a lot of things.

You don't mention which dynamics you have, but I'll still say having good dynamics around is always helpful. I love Beyer M88s and have 3 of them. You mention tube amps and Leslie. I use M88s on those sources A LOT. Old EV re and pl series are great. If you want more bite out of an amp, AKG D100e are great, cheap and look amazing.

In condenser land, there are a lot of great and useful mics that aren't too expensive. Your mention of dark and warm lead me to the AA CM67se. I wrote the Tape Op review and I'm still kicking myself for not buying it. If things turn around, I'll have one this year. Other mics in their line are great too. 4050, and sE T2 are both mics that work on a lot of sources.

I love my Octava MC012 on drum overs and the soundboard of my upright piano. I don't doubt that they would work on you baby grand. They are incredibly cool mics.
Old 14th April 2020
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
I'd got with a few different things over one expensive mic. Spend some more time with your 4050, that mic can do a lot of things.

You don't mention which dynamics you have, but I'll still say having good dynamics around is always helpful. I love Beyer M88s and have 3 of them. You mention tube amps and Leslie. I use M88s on those sources A LOT. Old EV re and pl series are great. If you want more bite out of an amp, AKG D100e are great, cheap and look amazing.

In condenser land, there are a lot of great and useful mics that aren't too expensive. Your mention of dark and warm lead me to the AA CM67se. I wrote the Tape Op review and I'm still kicking myself for not buying it. If things turn around, I'll have one this year. Other mics in their line are great too. 4050, and sE T2 are both mics that work on a lot of sources.

I love my Octava MC012 on drum overs and the soundboard of my upright piano. I don't doubt that they would work on you baby grand. They are incredibly cool mics.
Thanks Tony! I do have an M88 and love it. It's usually brighter M88 vs mellower 160 ribbon decision when I'm tracking with what i've got. Will take a look at those Octavas!
Old 14th April 2020
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
I prefer to buy something that "usually works" and can be "set and forget"
Microtech Gefell UMT 70 S will usually work, especially on the sources that you mention and with a nice balance between vintage and modern. Ultra flexible mics that will help you out in most instances. They are the cheapest multi pattern mics with the classical M7 capsule. No sharp highs, just a classy sound. Their sound sits in between good dynamics and classical condensers. Buy a pair. I think you will love them. (I have many high end microphones, often for recording classical, but for your situation and how you wish to work the best I can advise are these Gefells.)
Old 14th April 2020
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
Microtech Gefell UMT 70 S will usually work, especially on the sources that you mention and with a nice balance between vintage and modern. Ultra flexible mics that will help you out in most instances. They are the cheapest multi pattern mics with the classical M7 capsule. No sharp highs, just a classy sound. Their sound sits in between good dynamics and classical condensers. Buy a pair. I think you will love them. (I have many high end microphones, often for recording classical, but for your situation and how you wish to work the best I can advise are these Gefells.)
Great suggestion. Thank you !
Old 14th April 2020
  #23
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Could probably get:

Schoeps CMC6 X 2
Gefell UMT 70s x 2

For the budget.
Then rent a tuber if I have mission critical vocal recording session.
Old 14th April 2020
  #24
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Plug the UMT 70 S into a tube amp and you'll have a great vintage vocal sound.
Old 14th April 2020
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
Plug the UMT 70 S into a tube amp and you'll have a great vintage vocal sound.
Brilliant. Good to know and Ive got toob amps. Thanks !!
Old 14th April 2020
  #26
Gear Nut
 

As ribbons go, a friend recorded this, Yamaha C7 (def on the bright side as grands go), used an AEA R88, flat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh6WZHnR3fo

Also a second for the UM 70 pair, love it on piano and dark vocals. The newer ones are transformerless, branded UMT, not as good.
Old 14th April 2020
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffsochor View Post
As ribbons go, a friend recorded this, Yamaha C7 (def on the bright side as grands go), used an AEA R88, flat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh6WZHnR3fo

Also a second for the UM 70 pair, love it on piano and dark vocals. The newer ones are transformerless, branded UMT, not as good.
Wow that AEA R88 sounds great!!!

I do love the idea of a stereo mic (no futzing with phase) but can you just have ribbons? I do love the 160 pair that I have (The LCD soundsystem drum overheads! lol!) But... more ribbons?

Too bad about the transformer vs transformerless UM70 because I really don't want to be chasing down microphones. OF COURSE the good one is harder to find and not new. It's always something, right?
Old 14th April 2020
  #28
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Matched Pair of 4038 is always tempting

(Even if the stereo bar costs.. $300 )

Matched 4038
and Matched Shoeps SDC
is an idea
Old 14th April 2020
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffsochor View Post
As ribbons go, a friend recorded this, Yamaha C7 (def on the bright side as grands go), used an AEA R88, flat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh6WZHnR3fo

Also a second for the UM 70 pair, love it on piano and dark vocals. The newer ones are transformerless, branded UMT, not as good.


Sounds awesome!

What I like about ribbons (and Coles in particular) is that they sound very natural.

Still vote for Coles + a highend LDC!
Old 14th April 2020
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen View Post
Sounds awesome!

What I like about ribbons (and Coles in particular) is that they sound very natural.

Still vote for Coles + a highend LDC!
Ok we got a vote for stereo ribbons

Plus a nice LDC
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