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Is it worth spending $3000 on a mic?
Old 22nd May 2006
  #31
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye

i've been in PLENTY of situations where a $300 mic
sounded WAYYYYYY better than a $7,000 mic.
I agree, and have experienced the same thing more often than not...
Old 22nd May 2006
  #32
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robot gigante's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trebor Flow

My experience has been cheap is expensive in the long run, as one is never happy and always looking to the next level.
Precisely! That is true and not just with microphones!

Quote:
've been in PLENTY of situations where a $300 mic
sounded WAYYYYYY better than a $7,000 mic.
Also true. But at least you had the option of the expensive mic so you could pick the right one, because the right one will not always be the $300 mic.

I agree though, there are some great sounding inexpensive mics out there, I would add the AT4060 to the list of mics to check out, along with ribbon mics. But I think that they won't get that smooth 'detail,' 'realism' whatever you want to call it that a top end mic will... not that you always want or even need that, but when you do, it's worth it.
Old 22nd May 2006
  #33
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DeadPoet's Avatar
In order to cover as much ground as possible would this be a nice list ?:

SM-7, Korby CAT-4 and a ribbon (AEA ?) + off course usual suspects 421 & 57 because you never know

(I know the Cat-4 is in another price league)



Herwig
Old 22nd May 2006
  #34
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andredb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye
y
i've been in PLENTY of situations where a $300 mic
sounded WAYYYYYY better than a $7,000 mic.
[/B][/SIZE]

IT TOTALLY DEPENDS.

Good luck.
And it happens more and more often!!!

More like 500 better than 2000 but you have the idea!
Old 22nd May 2006
  #35
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

One of my best learning experiences: I remote recorded a band's live concert. The producer decides he wants to re-track the vocals in the studio and make them as good as the original record, says make sure I have the right mic. I say OK, find out the mic used in the Brit studio to track the vox was an Elam 251. I find a place to rent one, get it and also rent a U47, along with four of my own best vocal mics, three expensive mics and one NOT expensive.

We start to overdub the first song on the 251. Producer says the track is good, but wrong. Instructs the singer to try the U47. Nope, not right. We keep trying other mics....and other mics. All of them...not right vibe, tone, whatever. Producer just keeps saying NO, mics are good, room is good, but somethings not right.

Guess what he ended up with?

We used 85% of original vocal tracks, and a few punch-ins done on a beat-up '58. Seriously!

My advice is not to blow $3000 on a mic when your entire budget is 6500. Your infrastructure (cabling, patchbays, interconnect etc) is probably going to take a large chunk, and room treatment is going to hurt as well. I have three mics that cost me over $2k each, and how often do they get used? Not enough, honestly. They are MINE, and I love them (I'm a Glearslut, right?) but they would be a bad business decision if it was purely business.

Hope this helps.

Jim
Old 23rd May 2006
  #36
Gear Addict
 
lefthando's Avatar
 

Something that always needs to be considered is the client's PERCEPTION of the mic.

A strong 'name' goes a long way to build credibility with a (potential) client.

I'm not saying one should buy poor gear just because it's a name brand. It's just something one should consider when buying gear.

There are many examples of this that are experienced every day by all you commercial studio owners.

Not ideal, I know. But it's reality.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #37
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jdjustice's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lefthando
Something that always needs to be considered is the client's PERCEPTION of the mic.

A strong 'name' goes a long way to build credibility with a (potential) client.

Not ideal, I know. But it's reality.

You are totally correct. People that aren't neccesarily engineers but have some knowledge of pro audio gear expect a lot from a studio or engineer. They expect to hear "Neumann", "API", "Neve", "Telefunken" and others. They may not know what those things sound like, but they have heard of them. The company's reputation is crucial to attracting clients.

If I personally walked into a studio and saw a setup consisting of a Marshall microphone and Behringer outboard gear, I would run away. This is not to say that these tools don't have their place, but first impressions speak volumes......
Old 24th May 2006
  #38
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Rednose's Avatar
Save some $ for some slutty pres like API, Neve, Avalon and even GR.
You can get a nice pre amp/mic combo for 3 gs.
Any mic over a g will look impressive and sound golden.
So will the shiny pre in your rack!
Its all good stuff, don't worry, your going to need more than one mic.
You can get away with some slutty pres (even on your shure Sm7 and sm 57) for alot longer.
Old 24th May 2006
  #39
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GYang's Avatar
Affordable vs expensive mics

The old gearslutzs truth:

If you are not 100% sure that you need expensive gear, don't buy it.

I'm sure that I needed couple of top of the line, very expensive mics and never regreted purchase. What doesn't diminish SM57 use on some applications.

But expensive mic, assuming that one has good source to record, has purpose only with good choice of preamps, excellent tracking room, monitors, clean ears and enough time to play with that.
Old 24th May 2006
  #40
Gear Addict
 

It all depends on your clients! you don`t need a 3000$ mic for amatuers or crying
punks! If the music need it you will feel to pay 3000$ euro.
For 3000$ it should sound like 3000$. Means that you dont have to make compromisses.
Sure thing not all mics fits to all singers and rooms.

Maybe you try some mics for yourself and find out which one you like in recording and mixing.

ciao

Chester
Old 24th May 2006
  #41
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macr0w's Avatar
 

As someone who doesn't own a $3000.00 mic I would say to spend about $1500.00-$2000.00 at the most and concentrate on other gear. Get the Pearlman or a nice Peluso or something along those lines. You could get 2 Peluso 2251's for less than $2500.00 probably.
Old 11th June 2006
  #42
Here for the gear
 

DECENT MICS

No posts lately so I imagine you have already made your purchase? You didn't mention what type of work you will be or hope to be doing so that makes it hard to make any recommendations. Here is my take/philosophy if you will. An expensive mic will show all of the flaws of an acoustic space. And if your budget only allows for around 6-7 k you would be doing yourself a huge disservice buying an expensive (relative I know) mic. As you wouldn't have enough $'S left to use it really well.

If you plan on recording groups you will need several general purpose mic's. Familiar mic's make bands and artists feel a little more secure about your studio. Don't forget about Di's and headphone mixes.

Anyway here is my list of "usable" mic's that can produce high "demo plus" quality recordings.

A pair of Octava Mk012's

A pair or three 57's

A 58 or 2

3 pack e604's

A Beta 52 or other kick mic, I prefer the Beta.

A Shure pg/bg 4.1

A Shure ksm Series Mic, for you vocal/best condenser. I love this series of mic's. From the 27 to the 44 you can't go wrong. They aren't the "coolest" mic's but they get the job done and more times than not with bravado. Plus they are tuff and take some abuse.

I would also get some decent quality cans and distro unit.


A sans amp bass driver.

A pod Version 2 not the xt. Use the headphone out and split it, sounds so much much better than the regular 1/4 inch outputs. The pod is for scratch tracking some use it, some WON"T.

Almost all of the stuff mentioned holds it's value well and is easy to sell if you want or need to. It would make a nice platform to build off of.

Not counting the cans this should be in the 2 k range.

You will need at least 12 mic pre's preferably 16 to think about recording a group. I would recommend one half decent pre for general vocal/acoustic instrument work. Focusrite and several others make a usable mid priced unit. And the balance using a mixers pre's.

This list would only make sense if you plan on having a commercial studio and need to be prepared for whatever the day brings.

If you are wanting to do samples or something other well pay this no attention.

One last piece of advice, stay away from anything that says Behringer, unless it is a gate, comp or DI (use the Di for keys if needed other wise they color the sound to boldy for my taste). The only people who love that stuff are the ones who own it. Been there done that got the tee shirt. But you do see the comps and gates a lot out on the road.

That's my $0.02 Take it or leave it. There are many paths you can use to get to your ultimate destination.
Old 11th June 2006
  #43
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Knastratt's Avatar
 

Getting a mic that is "perfect" (for what's it used for) is priceless. Getting a great mic costs. It's a choice! Everytime!

Cheers - Pär
Old 11th June 2006
  #44
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

good mics are amongst the few things in this business that keep their value compared to some of the other expensive goodies out there. I've allways found it a good investment. And the trick is to invest in the 'future vintage' ones. New mics that will become classics in 20 years.
Old 11th June 2006
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djanogil
I'm in the process of building a new studio and buying new gear,
the budget is limited to $6500, and there are things that we need to get like Converters, Pres and we want one really good mic that has a sound that will bring something to the records.

I thought I could spend around $600 for a AT4050 or AKGc414,
and keep some cash for more channels of Pres,
but apparently something like the Gefell UM92 1.s seems to be what we're looking for.

Do you think the price difference between these mics is a lot audible and that it's worth spending all that extra cash?
I don't think you need to drop 3k in a mic at this stage, but you can most certainly produce excellent recordings with mics in the 1k range. If it were me, I wouldn't buy a bargain basement vocal mic, BTDT.
Old 11th June 2006
  #46
Gear Maniac
 

I had a UM92.1 and it was very nice. Moved up to the UM900 and it was nicer yet. Rather expensive but with lovely clarity and detail, in good ways.

Then tried an ADK Hamburg ($300) and though it didn't have the same level of detail/clarity, it was very musical and interesting - on some vocal things and acoustic guitar things I preferred it to the Gefells. I didn't really want to acknowledge the truth of my experience, but the ADK was clearly appealing. Its sound does not belie its cost.

If you're looking at Gefells, I would encourage you to listen to the Korbys - my experience is that they are even better than the Gefells.

Enjoy your search - the journey itself will be instructive.
Old 11th June 2006
  #47
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tmcconnell's Avatar
 

Go for the gusto

One great mic that has flexability (pad, rolloff, pattern) can go a long way - and you'll still like it when you have a lot of other great stuff. Get something warm. I would not suggest either the 4047sv or 414 as first choice although I own both and like them both in the right application, and they are both indeed very flexible and great values. You can buy cheap inline pads (I don't know how they sound), so I'd put the priority on pattern control. If you have a 500 dollar limit, the 4047sv is amazing for the price. I don't know what that one poster has against AT but I know a lot of pro's who love them. t.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye
you MUST listen for yourself and decide.
...
listen to lynn fuston's mic comparison cd (3d audio).
...
i've been in PLENTY of situations where a $300 mic
sounded WAYYYYYY better than a $7,000 mic.
[/B][/SIZE]
Hey Sqye. Now I know why my ears were burning. ;-)

Years ago, I put up six mics to try out on four singers for an album. The winner on three of the four was a Brauner VM-1. The winner on the fourth singer was an A-T 4033.

It so totally depends on the singer. I would spend the $3K on about 4 (maybe 5) mics instead. That way you have 4 times as many chances of finding the right one.

IMHO.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #49
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T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

I can tell you that The Gefell will most certainly be a good investment. The build quality, overall QC ,and sonic goodness of their microphones screams "instant classic"...no matter which MG you go with.....the um92.1 is great, as is the m990 and umt 800 and um900....
Old 23rd July 2006
  #50
Gear Addict
Yes.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #51
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

I always see people quoting the 414... like it, dont like it... harsh, love it, not my thing, all others like it, I do, I dont, wasnt as good as... was better than..use it, sometimes dont use it...

WHAT IS ..."IT"....


Which 414 is you peoples referring too? Jeeesh! The difference in them is alot more than a Hamburg-Vienna!tutt
Old 23rd July 2006
  #52
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vernier's Avatar
I used to rent mics, pre's, and limiters to find out what they were about. If you can find a place to rent from, it's money well spent.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #53
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GYang's Avatar
Neuman TLM49 for 1500 $, seems to me as the best investment in strong name+incredible sound this mic provides. Seems that absolutely all clients need to see Neuman badge somewhere in studio, even if they pick Rode or AT as 'go' mic.
I added it to my purchase list (although with over 40 k in LDCs only, I'm not short of excellent choices)
Old 23rd July 2006
  #54
Gear Addict
 

With a $6500 budget, I'd definitely consider buying a ribbon mic, in order to add a different flavour to what your other mics will bring - and it could also orientate your future investments...

Good luck !...
Old 23rd July 2006
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins
stay away from Audio Technica
Care to expand on that thought?
Old 23rd July 2006
  #56
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T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArchitect
Care to expand on that thought?
I 2nd that...I love my 4050s, and am very fond of their customer service.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #57
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by djanogil
we'll need 8 channels of Pres in various colours, I already have UA2108 and DAV BG1, and will order four more channels of tube based pres. We also need 8 channels of AD, it will be Lynx Aurora,
!
Seeing that you already got the UA 2108, I would definitely recommend getting a Shure SM7.

2108 + SM7 is a match made in heaven IMO, though I love the SM7 thru other pres too.

My other go-to vocal mic is a 414 B-ULS. But just about a week ago I tried it on a singer with a very loud, 'honky' voice and it sounded awful. The presence boost that works so nicely on a lot of singers was way too much on this guy. Every voice is different.

I really like the 'system' for mic choice that Mike Stavrou explains in 'Mixing with your mind'. Basically you rate voices and mics on a scale of 1-10 according to their hard/softness and you match a hard voice with a softer mic.

I though this theory to be very strange until I tried it myself and it works great. It's not about specific brands or models but about matching the right mic to a particular voice.

Although there are obviously a lot of other parameters besides 'hard' and 'soft', I really think that a lot of what we often do to 'better' a sound while tracking or mixing (i.e compression, EQ,etc) can be minimised by applying the hard/soft theory.

What I'm trying to say is that getting one 'great' mic may or may not work. I would forget about the 'recognition' client factor, most of the folks these days that would 'recognize' your gear won't record at your place because they got their own studio.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #58
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dreamsongs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim vanBergen
One of my best learning experiences: I remote recorded a band's live concert. The producer decides he wants to re-track the vocals in the studio and make them as good as the original record, says make sure I have the right mic. I say OK, find out the mic used in the Brit studio to track the vox was an Elam 251. I find a place to rent one, get it and also rent a U47, along with four of my own best vocal mics, three expensive mics and one NOT expensive.

We start to overdub the first song on the 251. Producer says the track is good, but wrong. Instructs the singer to try the U47. Nope, not right. We keep trying other mics....and other mics. All of them...not right vibe, tone, whatever. Producer just keeps saying NO, mics are good, room is good, but somethings not right.

Guess what he ended up with?

We used 85% of original vocal tracks, and a few punch-ins done on a beat-up '58. Seriously!

My advice is not to blow $3000 on a mic when your entire budget is 6500. Your infrastructure (cabling, patchbays, interconnect etc) is probably going to take a large chunk, and room treatment is going to hurt as well. I have three mics that cost me over $2k each, and how often do they get used? Not enough, honestly. They are MINE, and I love them (I'm a Glearslut, right?) but they would be a bad business decision if it was purely business.

Hope this helps.

Jim

I wish this was always the case as it would've saved me thousands of dollars. But in the end, it's the exception and not the rule...
Old 24th July 2006
  #59
Gear Maniac
 
commaKaze's Avatar
N - O.
Old 24th July 2006
  #60
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edvdr76's Avatar
Get a U87. Can't go wrong with that one. Altough many people diss it, to me its one of the best mics around. Very neutral sounding mic. Youll spend around $2300USD for a new one with shockmount. A used one will run you around $1500USD. thumbsup
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