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New microphone or compressor?
Old 11th October 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 

New microphone or compressor?

Hi,

I have a neve 1073N and Burl b2 bomber but I feel that my recordings are missing something. I am currently using a $400 microphone. Should I buy a more expensive mic or a compressor?
Old 11th October 2013
  #2
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Plush's Avatar
Always honor first the source. Improving the source and the source pick up ( the microphone) is always the first place to start. Buy a very good microphone before buying anything else.
Old 11th October 2013
  #3
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DSPDiva's Avatar
 

I agree. The 1073 and the Burl are great pieces already, but they're only going to sound as good as what you're putting through them. Start by coming up with a price range and determining what you're mainly going to be recording. You might just be using the wrong type of mic. Another thing could be your room. Is it treated? Maybe the room you're in is compromising the sound of the mic. These are all things that could be a factor.

Which mic is the one you're using?
Old 11th October 2013
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I agree with the above. Don't think about the price of the microphone, but think about it's appropriateness. What are you recording and what mic is recording it? Make sure the two things play nice together.
Old 11th October 2013
  #5
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Jackie Moon's Avatar
Aftersteam, are you trolling around ?
I mean the Neve and the Burl are some of the most expensive preamp and converters out there and yet you only have one $400 microphone ?
Old 11th October 2013
  #6
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archfrenemy's Avatar
 

Depends on the mic you have now and your results with it. Depends on whether you are just tracking or mixing. It also depends on the music / type of instruments / current room treatment / vocalist preference.

Chances are that mic improvement or addition is the right direction though...
Old 11th October 2013
  #7
Definitive a new Microphone.

R.
Old 11th October 2013
  #8
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSPDiva View Post
I agree. The 1073 and the Burl are great pieces already, but they're only going to sound as good as what you're putting through them. Start by coming up with a price range and determining what you're mainly going to be recording. You might just be using the wrong type of mic. Another thing could be your room. Is it treated? Maybe the room you're in is compromising the sound of the mic. These are all things that could be a factor.

Which mic is the one you're using?
No the room is not treated. I am using a rode nt2-a mic. I am only recording vocals.
Old 11th October 2013
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie Moon View Post
Aftersteam, are you trolling around ?
I mean the Neve and the Burl are some of the most expensive preamp and converters out there and yet you only have one $400 microphone ?
Haha no. I ran out of money buying the burl and neve so I didnt have enough money tot buy a microphone.
Old 11th October 2013
  #10
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archfrenemy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by afterstream View Post
No the room is not treated. I am using a rode nt2-a mic. I am only recording vocals.
In that case. You are going to get a much bigger impact from room treatment than an upgraded microphone and it doesn't have to cost as much. Even a world class 10k microphone does not yield more definition and clarity unless the room allows it. If you are in a small room, then the troubles are usually low end focused which tends to really muddy up vocals. I would start with bass traps in the top of each room corner, and some absorptive treatment behind you (could be on the wall or a movable gobo). No Auralex foam kind of treatment. (There is a dense closed cell 2" acoustic foam insulation for housing that can be helpful in DIY though if layered) That Auralex stuff will do nothing for lows and lower mids which are the worst culprit. That should be enough to offer some serious improvement in vocal presence, articulation and definition.

As far as store bought stuff... I have had good results with acoustimac's $60 bass traps, and realtrap's gobos and portable vocal booth. Although the portable vocal booth is definitely not an all in one solution that some people make it out to be if placed behind the mic, it does help once you have done some basic room treatment. I also use it as a mini point of reflection gobo. Their full size folding gobos make a massive difference and are an awesome non-permanent solution to sound treatment.

Everything else I have is DIY which saves a ton of $. You don't need or want a vocal booth. They are for isolation when tracking full bands and not controlling trouble frequencies during tracking. A booth will cause more problems and not fix them. Once again... Avoid the foam.
Old 11th October 2013
  #11
Gear Addict
 
Delphino's Avatar
 

Try the sm7b.

I run it into an Electronaut m63 and it sounds absolutely gorgeus!! Have used it for voice and acoustic gtr so far. I am truly amazed by that mic.(and the pre)

Before the sm7b I used the brauner phanthera.
Old 13th October 2013
  #12
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by afterstream View Post
Haha no. I ran out of money buying the burl and neve so I didnt have enough money tot buy a microphone.

So you spent 5 Grand on a preamp and converters and $400 on the actual device that picks up the sound of your voice? How did you hear about the Neve and the Burl? Was it on Gearslutz by any chance?

had you taken the same money you put into a top converter and a legendary preamp and re-distributed it more in favor of the mic and room treatment, it is my firm opinion that you would not have as strong a feeling of "something missing"
Old 14th October 2013
  #13
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archfrenemy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
So you spent 5 Grand on a preamp and converters and $400 on the actual device that picks up the sound of your voice? How did you hear about the Neve and the Burl? Was it on Gearslutz by any chance?

had you taken the same money you put into a top converter and a legendary preamp and re-distributed it more in favor of the mic and room treatment, it is my firm opinion that you would not have as strong a feeling of "something missing"
joeq has a point... This is one of the downsides to Gearslutz. All of the high end gear boasting around here can cause people to focus purchasing power on gear that has a relatively low impact on overall sound. The Neve and Burl are amazing pieces that will you will likely want to keep for a lifetime, but they probably offer a 15% impact on your signal chain at the most... That 15% cannot even truly be appreciated unless the other 85% is already in place. That other 85% is going to be room / sound treatment, microphone / placement, source / performance and the experience / ear of the engineer. You may have started purchasing gear a bit out of order, but you would likely have made those purchases eventually anyway. Now it is time to re-focus on the rest of your signal chain and you will have world class studio.
Old 14th October 2013
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archfrenemy View Post
joeq has a point... This is one of the downsides to Gearslutz. All of the high end gear boasting around here can cause people to focus purchasing power on gear that has a relatively low impact on overall sound. The Neve and Burl are amazing pieces that will you will likely want to keep for a lifetime, but they probably offer a 15% impact on your signal chain at the most... That 15% cannot even truly be appreciated unless the other 85% is already in place. That other 85% is going to be room / sound treatment, microphone / placement, source / performance and the experience / ear of the engineer. You may have started purchasing gear a bit out of order, but you would likely have made those purchases eventually anyway. Now it is time to re-focus on the rest of your signal chain and you will have world class studio.
first thing i advice any young engineer is to not listen to gearslutz.
i dont think there is any other site on the web with more missinformation honestly. this thread is a perfect example.

to the OP: treat your room first. if that is not done right you will never get any decent results. the better your recording chain gets the more you will hear the bad room. room treatment is expensive -but mandatory. anyways room - then mic. a compressor should not be on your radar at all at this point. it wont improve anything. do it itb for now.
Old 14th October 2013
  #15
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by archfrenemy View Post
The Neve and Burl are amazing pieces that will you will likely want to keep for a lifetime, but they probably offer a 15% impact on your signal chain at the most...
yes
did not mean to imply anything wrong with such a nice preamp and converter! Only the order of priorities with a limited budget

Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
first thing i advice any young engineer is to not listen to gearslutz.
so listen to this ^^ advice on Gearslutz and don't listen to Gearslutz!
Old 14th October 2013
  #16
Gear Addict
 
DSPDiva's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by afterstream View Post
No the room is not treated. I am using a rode nt2-a mic. I am only recording vocals.
I mean, the nt2-a isn't THAT bad, but you could probly do better, especially in an untreated space. There are plenty of budget ways to treat your room. As an intern I helped make acoustic panels for one of our production room. All we used was plywood a bit of padding and a layer of thick fabric. You just have to know what the problems are with your room. Maybe you should look into a mid priced microphone and put some of your money into the treatment. You also never answered the question about the price range. And for the guy that posted on GS to never listen to GS...well...that's just confusing and there are plenty of knowledgeable people here.
Old 14th October 2013
  #17
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Jimbo's Avatar
The correct answer is "neither".

The OP needs to upgrade the transformers in both his preamp and converter for better performance, then take the preamp out of the signal path, and run the mic straight into the Burl.

There. I nailed it.
Old 14th October 2013
  #18
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archfrenemy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
The correct answer is "neither".

The OP needs to upgrade the transformers in both his preamp and converter for better performance, then take the preamp out of the signal path, and run the mic straight into the Burl.

There. I nailed it.
Awesome... The only thing you left out was an obvious necessity for upgrading to ultra high end cables! Horrid advice, but truly awesome.
Old 14th October 2013
  #19
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
I would save for a great mic and think about some decent budget compressors.

There are many affordable and pro sounding compressors to be had, but I would talk with the good dealers on this forum about auditioning mics to find "the one".

I would get an FMR PBC-6a ($475) And then think about the best possible mic I could get for $3K-$6K and go hunting.
Old 14th October 2013
  #20
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delphino View Post
Try the sm7b.

I run it into an Electronaut m63 and it sounds absolutely gorgeus!! Have used it for voice and acoustic gtr so far. I am truly amazed by that mic.(and the pre)

Before the sm7b I used the brauner phanthera.
I hate to say it to everyone. But I think I am going to buy an sm7b. I like the low base sound to it. I think I am going to sell my burl b2 and then buy a cheaper AD converter and maybe buy sound/room treatment stuff?
Old 14th October 2013
  #21
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
So you spent 5 Grand on a preamp and converters and $400 on the actual device that picks up the sound of your voice? How did you hear about the Neve and the Burl? Was it on Gearslutz by any chance?

had you taken the same money you put into a top converter and a legendary preamp and re-distributed it more in favor of the mic and room treatment, it is my firm opinion that you would not have as strong a feeling of "something missing"
You are exactly right. I bought both based off gearslutz forum posts.
Old 15th October 2013
  #22
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
I would save for a great mic and think about some decent budget compressors.

There are many affordable and pro sounding compressors to be had, but I would talk with the good dealers on this forum about auditioning mics to find "the one".

I would get an FMR PBC-6a ($475) And then think about the best possible mic I could get for $3K-$6K and go hunting.
If I go down to a sm7b microphone and add a compressor and add room treatment. Will I get a better quality sound?
Old 15th October 2013
  #23
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by afterstream View Post
You are exactly right. I bought both based off gearslutz forum posts.
I would hang on to the Burl...that's a pretty heavy duty piece...even if you don't appreciate it now, you might grow into to that one.

Selling it to get an SM7b isn't going to get you full price of admission back on your investment. Plus an SM7b is only $360 new. You could snipe a used one for less on Ebay in a months time after saving some pennies.

The Burl is a centerpiece...and a lovely one at that.
Old 15th October 2013
  #24
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by afterstream View Post
If I go down to a sm7b microphone and add a compressor and add room treatment. Will I get a better quality sound?
You really sound like you have relatively little experience...audio is about fine tuning things...trouble-shooting, and learning how to train your ear to make decisions.

Forget just spending money on things...where are you placing your mic in your room? Are you facing a wall directly (you could be creating standing waves!) Have you stomped your feet and clapped your hands looking for the best transient response where you're set up?

Moving your mic so that it's getting the best acoustic ambiance it can from the space you are in should be first...then some light treatments might be corrective and good to have. I usually keep three or four 3x3 FT plywood slats from Home Depo around for clients who have rugs in their homes so I can show them how good reflective surfaces can be.

A compressor will help you control your dynamics and make for a (hopefully) easier Wav file to edit and mix. But if you don't understand compression very well you might wind up abusing it without realizing it.

None of these are magic boxes which will instantly make for better recordings. These are tools...and you should focus on learning about the craft and getting to better understand what's good about what you already own so you can really dig into what to buy next seriously.

The Burl is one of the best AD converters money can buy...not much sounds better or as good as that thing...so focus on learning first...and then maybe save up for an SM7b if you're willing to spend a little on a new mic.

Personally I would AUDITION mics...as many as you can try...to find the RIGHT ONE. If you use the search engine on this website you will find all the good dealers on here will mail out loaners on a credit card if you pay for shipping to try mics out.

No two human voices are the same and finding something that is "MAGIC" on you should be the priority.

Compressors are a different shade of grey...there's tons of designs...but early on something simple and relatively inexpensive is best...this way you can learn how they work and how not to abuse them. The FMR PBC-6a is MORE than a pro tool...it's a great price on a fantastic design...and it's deep enough that you'll be learning more about it still half a year from now if you use it regularly...while still being relatively simple to operate.
Old 15th October 2013
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by afterstream View Post
If I go down to a sm7b microphone and add a compressor and add room treatment. Will I get a better quality sound?
add the room treatment. add a better mic - forget about the compressor. you dont need it. and it will most likely do more harm than good when not used by a skilled engineer.
honestly - apply for an internship at a good studio. make them the coffe for a month and you will learn a lot more than here.
Old 15th October 2013
  #26
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
add the room treatment. add a better mic - forget about the compressor. you dont need it. and it will most likely do more harm than good when not used by a skilled engineer.
honestly - apply for an internship at a good studio. make them the coffee for a month and you will learn a lot more than here.
I definitely agree with the internship part. Work experience is key...and most people start as flies on the wall.

Nothing is a magic bullet...but somethings are more magic than others when you take the time to learn what your own tastes actually are.
Old 15th October 2013
  #27
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by afterstream View Post
You are exactly right. I bought both based off gearslutz forum posts.
So you read some posts that recommended the high-end preamps and converters. Did you somehow MISS the 1000's of posts that recommended high-end microphones?

How about all the posts that told you not to believe everything you read on Gearslutz?
Old 15th October 2013
  #28
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archfrenemy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by afterstream View Post
I hate to say it to everyone. But I think I am going to buy an sm7b. I like the low base sound to it. I think I am going to sell my burl b2 and then buy a cheaper AD converter and maybe buy sound/room treatment stuff?
Personally, I would probably go a similar route. That Burl is definitely overkill at this point. You can get a good interface for pretty inexpensive these days no matter what you read on Gearslutz. You are not going to be able to hear the difference between interfaces at this point anyway...

SM7b is a good starter mic. It does a good job of rejecting outside noise / a bad room sound. That and your condenser will give you some options and you should have what you need to deliver some good tracks with the right room treatment in place.
Old 15th October 2013
  #29
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chet.d's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by afterstream View Post
I think I am going to sell my burl b2 and then buy a cheaper AD converter and maybe buy sound/room treatment stuff?
I would encourage you to give that a little more thought...

Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
I would hang on to the Burl...that's a pretty heavy duty piece...even if you don't appreciate it now, you might grow into to that one.

Selling it to get an SM7b isn't going to get you full price of admission back on your investment. Plus an SM7b is only $360 new. You could snipe a used one for less on Ebay in a months time after saving some pennies.

The Burl is a centerpiece...and a lovely one at that.
A lovely one at that indeed.

My 2 pennies worth would be that in considering my experience with cheaper converters (like ensemble for example) and with the B2, I'd choose for almost any task, on any day of the week and even in an untreated room...
a 58 (or 7/800-ish R84, 160 etc) into that pre into the B2
vrs
a 2k ish mic into a cheap DA.

No question getting it right w/ a mic is priority but, the money that selling the B2 mic will add to fund a mic??... will not outweigh the benefit of keeping it converter goodness IMO. I realize others will see it a bit differently but the B2 is too important in my world.
Old 15th October 2013
  #30
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Gretschman's Avatar
 

Hey , don't be concerned about any of this , no body on this sight
ever got everything right when they started out .

Spending a lot of cash on a microphone hurts your brain !
Somehow you think that there is a shortcut or a middle of the road
compromise on the microphone deal.

But everyone is telling you the truth on the pecking order of buying equipment .

Buy a quality mic first .

If I was starting out , I would buy a Gefell mic.
That way you have a mic that is always killer and the resale value is very good .
Go to their web sight and look around,
Read reviews on " Sound on Sound " and Tape Op .

You can get a nice Gefell M930 for $1200-$1300
It's a real nice mic .
Of course they have a lot of nice ones to choose from .
JMO
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