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Is it worth spending $3000 on a mic?
Old 20th May 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Is it worth spending $3000 on a mic?

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?
Old 20th May 2006
  #2
Gear Nut
 

What style of music? Are you recording other acts?
Old 20th May 2006
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Honestly, there isnt a single mic that sounds best on all singers. It doesnt exist. By all means get a nice expensive mic but accept that it wont always be the best choice on a particular source.



M
Old 20th May 2006
  #4
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by moogus
Honestly, there isnt a single mic that sounds best on all singers. It doesnt exist. By all means get a nice expensive mic but accept that it wont always be the best choice on a particular source.



M
Hey... if it's the only mic you got... and someone is paying you for time, it is absofreakinlutely the best mic for the job. Better not tell them otherwise...
Old 20th May 2006
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
joelgtrnut's Avatar
 

Are expensive mics generally MUCH better than cheaper ones.... I would say mostly... not always. Usually the quality control, craftsmanship, design, sound etc... is superior on all levels on a really nice mic. Then again, a great mic could sound terrible on the wrong source. Maybe try to find an really nice mic that has a good reputation for being versitle so you can use it on many different things. There are so many options that I don't know what to recommend. You've got to identify what you are planning to use it on.
Old 20th May 2006
  #6
Gear Nut
 

If you have to ask, it's probably too much. I'd spend my money elsewhere. I would think you can get a very good mic for around $1K and have 5 left for pre's and converters and different flavored mics.
Old 20th May 2006
  #7
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
hi,

i got a Rode K2 because i had store credit and wanted something new ... 700.00 new and for another 100.00 i got a NOS tube ... will let you know how it sounds with the tube changed .. sounds good on its own ... i just need to do some test recording sa before and after ...

email me if you would like to know ... i do not check this forum that much

[email protected]
Old 20th May 2006
  #8
NL5
Lives for gear
 
NL5's Avatar
 

How many channels of pres/converters do you need? If you're only recording in stereo, it would probably be a good idea, otherwise I'd spend my money more evenly distributed amongst the different pieces.
Old 20th May 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
 
jdjustice's Avatar
Yes, an expensive mic would be great, but they all sound so different and as previous posters have stated, no mic sounds great on everyone.

Consider an AT4047 for about $500.00 USD. This mic is GREAT for the price, some people think it can be a bit bright, but with all the money left over you could get a Pearlman for $1.5K and still have money for a C414 or BLUE Blueberry at $1k... of course everyones tastes in mics are different, but the 4047 is a workhorse and so is the C414.


Cheers,

J.D.
Old 20th May 2006
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Thanks guys for your replies,
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,
as for the mics I already have AT4033, Oktava Mk012s, SM57 and ATM25 for drums.
I spoke with my partner and he's ready to pay the price for a top mic,
and as the mic is the second most important link in the chain (after the source),
I think it's needed for the sound we're aiming for.

P.S I'm really keen on the gefell UM92, I've got a feeling I really gonna love it!!
Old 20th May 2006
  #11
MDM
Gear Addict
 
MDM's Avatar
I think and AKG414 is quite a good 'alround' mic.
Old 20th May 2006
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDM
I think and AKG414 is quite a good 'alround' mic.
Ok but does it have a distinctive sound ?
I'm looking for smooth, round warm sound with personality and character.
That's why I talked about the Gefell,
having said that I will also eventually need a multi purpose multi pattern LDC,
and I would then consider the 414 or 4050.
Old 20th May 2006
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
axtrak's Avatar
 

While the UM92 is an amazing mic, something like a Brauner Phantom can give you very good results for 1000€. Don´t forget a Shure SM7, it´s cheap and can sound wonderful. But if the UM92 is your mic, buy it and you won´t regret it.

Alex
Old 20th May 2006
  #14
Lives for gear
 
RedWallStudio's Avatar
 

It is definitely close to impossible to say there is one mic that will work for all vocal applications. IMHO, instead of spending 1800 of your your budget on a U-87, get 3-4 other mics that will have will give you options, and be useful elsewhere in the studio. Get an RE-20, an SM-7 an AKG 4050 (for example) to start out with and go from there... my guess is you will probably find regular uses for all of those and they will give you nice options to go to for vocals.
Old 20th May 2006
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Knastratt's Avatar
 

Brauner Phantom?
Old 21st May 2006
  #16
I really like expensive gear, but making good recordings, unless they have to closely emulate something that uses it, doesn't require it. It's become a cliché, but it's really in your ears, taste, experience, and imagination. You just have to make a LOT of recordings to get good at it.
Old 21st May 2006
  #17
Lives for gear
 
allencollins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDM
I think and AKG414 is quite a good 'alround' mic.
agreed. It's the best value for a mic.
stay away from Audio Technica
Old 21st May 2006
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Go for the Gefel.

Dont get 'tube based pres', just get ones that sound good and compliment the colors you already have. Dont think about whats inside them.


M
Old 21st May 2006
  #19
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMike
If you have to ask, it's probably too much. I'd spend my money elsewhere. I would think you can get a very good mic for around $1K and have 5 left for pre's and converters and different flavored mics.
My thoughts exactly.
Old 21st May 2006
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwhitney
I really like expensive gear, but making good recordings, unless they have to closely emulate something that uses it, doesn't require it. It's become a cliché, but it's really in your ears, taste, experience, and imagination. You just have to make a LOT of recordings to get good at it.

I couldnt agree more. Great gear for the most part makes getting a great sound much easier. You have a beautiful, ultra high end gear throughout your signal chain and you can pretty much blindly walk up, turn knobs randomly and just get different flavors of great (this is obviously an exaggeration but you get the idea..).

Working with mid level gear simply requires that you get a lot more creative, precise and on top of your game. It takes a lot more work to get to the same place but in many cases you can still get there.
Old 21st May 2006
  #21
Lives for gear
 
robot gigante's Avatar
I think it's worth it along with a couple/few other inexpensive mics to round off your collection. So maybe get a few other things first and then save up for one.

The Brauner VM-1a hasn't let me down and works for a lot more than what it doesn't work for.

Not a big fan of 414's myself. Versatile maybe, but kind of harsh to my ears.
Old 21st May 2006
  #22
Lives for gear
 
DAWgEAR's Avatar
 

I think you'd be better off with a small variety of good (approx $1000 or less) mics rather than one great $3000 one. Also, how about a good ribbon such as an R121?
Old 21st May 2006
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
tgrokz's Avatar
 

i have done vocals sessions with an AT2020 and a c414, and i actually prefered the 2020 to the 414 on several occasions.

just because its a chunk more money, doesnt always mean it will sound "better". sound is what you make it. that was kind of cheesy and i'm long overdue for sleep.
Old 21st May 2006
  #24
Lives for gear
 
GYang's Avatar
The answer depends on how you foresee future spending or development of studio. If you ask the answer in high-end forum, you probably expect really great results from what you will purchase.
I regret almost 90% of lower or mid-end purchases related to mics, pres and EQs (exception is fairly affordable Speck EQ).
I did countless tweaks, but at the end of the day all my ATs, Rodes, newer Neumans and some other are used so rarely (although Rode NTK sometimes is mic that does the trick FWIMC).
Affordable doesn't equal to being less high-end gear (look at DAV pre, Speck EQ, TFPro comps, RNC), still mic is probably that part of final sound that might require different approach.
I don't recommend any particular mic, but within 3k budget I would try to find nice, used U87i and do Inner Tube mod. I was amazed how good it sounds and it is incredible bang for buck.
Old 21st May 2006
  #25
Gear Addict
 
lefthando's Avatar
 

Something I found when I purchsed my one and only 'good' mic (u87) was that it just became my sound.

What I mean, is that because of a lack of experience with other, 'better' mics, I just got used to working with the 87 in all types of situations. I told my clients it was a good mic, it had the 'name', and my records turned out really well. It's all I had to work with so I made the best of it.

I don't think it really matters what you use, just use it well.
Old 21st May 2006
  #26
given your whole budget, no I wouldnt spend 3000. But something like the Peluso or Pearlman mics will get you something special at about half the price.
Old 21st May 2006
  #27
Registered User
 

Doesn't it depend on what your trying to achieve?

My experience has been cheap is expensive in the long run, as one is never happy and always looking to the next level.

From my experience if you want to make a recording where the singer is standing there right between the speakers, live in the flesh, totally present and real, then I personally have never managed to acheive that with a buget mic.

I had them all at one time or another, Rode NTV, Rode NTK, TLM 103, M147, KIWI, AKG 3000 AKG414, and more !!

Then one day I tried a BLUE Bottle with B6 (I'm sure other high end mics would be the same U47, U67, Korby etc) and there was that total realism, my voice captured with breathtaking realism. I have come to understand that this presence is due to the quality of the capsule and the mics electronics, which capture every subtle transient (it is transient information that gives the brain the illusion of physical presence).

I believe this is what one pays for in an expensive mic, I have yet to hear this quality in a lesser model - if this type of physical presence between the speakers (so to speak) is not of importance then $3000+ on a mic is surely wasted, a SM7 or SM58 can capture a wonderful rock vocal track, but not in the same way as a Bottle or sim or better quality mic.

Trebor
Old 21st May 2006
  #28
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante
Not a big fan of 414's myself. Versatile maybe, but kind of harsh to my ears.
I love my AGK C414 TLII mic. Sounds wonderful through an Avalon 737. It is really very smooth. I am also looking at this Gefell mic but I have no plans to sell my C414. Now my TLM-103 is another story.

-Gary
Old 22nd May 2006
  #29
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

There are some big advantages to never having a singer point at the mike and ask "What's THAT!"
Old 22nd May 2006
  #30
you MUST listen for yourself and decide.

rent mics.

borrow mics.

test them out.

listen to lynn fuston's mic comparison cd (3d audio).

LISTEN. LISTEN. LISTEN.

on LOTS of different singers and instruments.

different rooms. different patterns. TUBES. ETC.

MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS.

DON'T LISTEN TO ANYONE HERE - INCLUDING ME.

SOME OF MY FAVORITE MICS, INLCUDING THE ALESIS AM62 (GT 67).
414 & 4033 CAN BE A FEW HUNDRED DOLLARS -
VERY FLEXIBLE, GO A LONG WAY
RECORDING ACOUSTIC GUITARS, PERCUSSION,
MALE AND FEMALE VOCALS IN MANY STYLES.

especially don't listen to people who tell you to spend a lot of money,
or to buy a mic because of it's name or reputation.

that's just bs.

USE YOUR EARS (if they're any good) heh

if NOT, use ears of people you TRUST, people who have GOOD EARS.

i've been in PLENTY of situations where a $300 mic
sounded WAYYYYYY better than a $7,000 mic.


IT TOTALLY DEPENDS.

Good luck.
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