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mic selection for home recording (what would you do?) Condenser Microphones
Old 1 week ago
  #1
mic selection for home recording (what would you do?)

Sorry if this is long winded...

So, I've got a batch of songs I want to record, and I'd like some new mics for the project. Problem is, my budget would require me to sell some (or all) of the mics I currently possess to invest in something new. Here's what I'm currently working with: electrovoice re20, re15 and 635a, audiotechnica 4041 pair, audiotechnica 2021 pair, 2 sm57s, and an akg d112. Nothing wrong with any of those mics, I've gotten good results, just looking for a change, and some are kind of irrelevant to the sound sources I'll be tracking. Selling all of these mics would give me about a $1000 budget, give or take a few bucks.

Here's some options I'm considering:

-get a nicer dynamic and a cheaper condenser. Something like an sm7b and a 3u audio warbler (or something similar). Maybe throw in something like a beyer m160 also if I can budget it.

-take the entire budget and invest in one nicer condenser. Some that have caught my attention are: the gz 3u audio series, the stam sa87, telefunken cu29, soundelux u195.

I'll primarily be using these mics to track vocals, acoustic and electric guitar. What would you do in this situation? I've attached a recording of mine from a few years back so you can hear more or less what kind of style it will be. Thanks!
Attached Files

08 Lonely Street.m4a (5.34 MB, 530 views)

Old 1 week ago
  #2
Oh and this will be recorded with a ua apollo and the uad pres. I had to get rid of my hardware because of space restrictions.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Nut
 

So if it were me, I'd skip the SM7B, hang on to the RE20, the AT 4041's, and the 57's. I'd sell the D112, the RE15, the 635, and the AT 2021's and put that money toward the Warbler or whatever LDC.

Selling an RE20 only to buy an SM7 doesn't make a lot of sense to me because they perform the same basic function. SDC's are always good options to have around for acoustic guitars, which was one of the instruments you mentioned. That's why I'd keep the 4041's.

As I understand it, people who record music are basically required to have two 57's. Even if you were to get rid of yours, I'm sure you would find two more you didn't know you had in a closet or something. I've literally given away all my 57's more than once only to discover some time down the road that I've managed to acquire two more I know I didn't buy and have no idea where they came from. Last time that happened, I decided the universe was trying to tell me something. Also, they work well enough on guitar cabs.

Something else to think about: just because you don't need to record other instruments right now, it doesn't mean you won't want to down the road. An RE20, two 57's, a pair of 4041's, and a yet to be determined LDC covers a lot of ground, mic-wise. You could conceivably record drums with that list, should the need arise. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to sell everything only to discover you need to buy something similar down the road. That's a good way to spend more money than you needed to.

Just my .02.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Here for the gear
 
terryaudio's Avatar
 

I'd keep em all except the AT's. Get a tube condenser or two and have a local tech (or me) mod and trick em out to take the edge off. More condenser vibe. Dynamics are solid. Then just some mic pres.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Thanks for the replies. I understand the logic of keeping a number of these mics. My main problem is selling a number, or most of them, is my only way of investing in something new atm, and that’s something I’m excited about. I think of it as a good way to try something new and learn more about mics in doing so. I can always rebuy them in the future if I really miss something.

I think what I was really trying to ask in the o.p. is if you think it wiser to split my budget into 2-3 mics (dynamic, condenser, ribbon for example) or invest in one higher end condenser as a jack of all trades (500-1000 fet or tube mic). Keeping in mind that it will be used almost exclusively on vocals, acoustic and electric guitars (I plan on sequencing drums just to record over and re-record them later on if necessary, but that would most likely be at a different space with different equipment).
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by terryaudio View Post
I'd keep em all except the AT's. Get a tube condenser or two and have a local tech (or me) mod and trick em out to take the edge off. More condenser vibe. Dynamics are solid. Then just some mic pres.
Did you have any specifics in mind?
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

That u195 will blow you away, and it is great on guitars.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Head
 

I know the SM7 is a GS favorite but it is not going to offer any real improvement over your EVs, IMO.

Plus EV 635 is one of my favorite mics on guitars, and so cheap on the used market that it makes no sense selling it.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Nut
 

I guess you could sell it all and try to find one LDC that suits your voice and the guitar tone you want and the acoustic guitar sound you want, all for $1k. (U195 may be just what you're looking for.)
I agree with everyone else that an SM7b is not a step up from an RE20, it's just a slightly different flavor of large diaphragm dynamic. Unless you try one and confirm that is it definitely better on your voice than the RE20 (which is possible but not certain), I wouldn't bother with selling an RE20 just to buy an SM7. And if you're using an SM7b for your vox, there goes the main reason to look into an LDC (which I suspect is something you're really itching to do).

Do you want "stereo SDC acoustic guitar sound" or do you want "mono LDC acoustic guitar sound"? Both can be great.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
edva's Avatar
You could sell everything except one 4041, then get a nice LDC that includes a figure eight pattern, and you could use either as mono guitar mic, use the SDC on guitar and the LDC on vocal for live tracking, or use the 4041 as the center mic in a Mid-Side set up, for stereo guitar. Good luck.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by adampaulson1217 View Post
Thanks for the replies. I understand the logic of keeping a number of these mics. My main problem is selling a number, or most of them, is my only way of investing in something new atm, and that’s something I’m excited about. I think of it as a good way to try something new and learn more about mics in doing so. I can always rebuy them in the future if I really miss something.

I think what I was really trying to ask in the o.p. is if you think it wiser to split my budget into 2-3 mics (dynamic, condenser, ribbon for example) or invest in one higher end condenser as a jack of all trades (500-1000 fet or tube mic). Keeping in mind that it will be used almost exclusively on vocals, acoustic and electric guitars (I plan on sequencing drums just to record over and re-record them later on if necessary, but that would most likely be at a different space with different equipment).
The only way for you to buy a new mic right this second, right now is to sell all of your other mics. Again, if it were me, I'd sell the redundant mics/mics you've outgrown (the 15, the 635, the D112 - redundant, covered by the 20 and 57's; the 2021's - upgraded by the 4041's), and put that money towards an LDC, saving up for the rest of the money.

I'd take the time in the meantime to audition LDCs. Getting suggestions on GS about which $1000 mic to buy is cool and all, but you won't really know whether any mic we suggest is going to work on your voice, for example, until you get it in front of you and try it out. Try it against other mics.

A U195 is a great mic. A U195 might also enhance unflattering things in your voice. It would be a pitty to find that out AFTER you buy one.

I'll admit my biases here: I rarely sell anything. I don't make purchases very regularly. When I do sell something, I make sure I have a damn good reason. When I buy, I try to get exactly what I need while making sure I won't want to replace it down the road. I audition mics. I audition monitors. I research. And I'm patient.

Buying gear, selling it for a loss and then rebuying it down the road is paying half again as much money for the same gear.

You have the start of a decent mic collection. Enhancing that collection rather than starting over makes more sense to me.

But, you know, that's just my take.
Old 6 days ago
  #12
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by adampaulson1217 View Post
Sorry if this is long winded...

So, I've got a batch of songs I want to record, and I'd like some new mics for the project. Problem is, my budget would require me to sell some (or all) of the mics I currently possess to invest in something new. Here's what I'm currently working with: electrovoice re20, re15 and 635a, audiotechnica 4041 pair, audiotechnica 2021 pair, 2 sm57s, and an akg d112. Nothing wrong with any of those mics, I've gotten good results, just looking for a change, and some are kind of irrelevant to the sound sources I'll be tracking. Selling all of these mics would give me about a $1000 budget, give or take a few bucks.
Here's an unpopular opinion for Gearslutz: you have enough gear for now. An RE20 can give you a great vocal sound, or, if you want something different, a 4041 should fit the bill just fine. You'll learn more and be able to appreciate the gear that you do have by using your current mics to their potential. Also, you'll learn their deficiencies and then be better able to know what you should invest in later.

All of the mics you've listed have their uses. But if you really want to change your collection at the moment, you could try to sell the 2021 pair, and maybe the D112. But I'm not sure that would give you enough cash to play with to get something that'd be enough of an upgrade do make it worthwhile.

However, you probably know your needs better than I do. If you never record drums, you probably don't need a d112 or maybe even both 57s. If all you do is the instruments you've listed, maybe you are better off just having a couple really good mics. But if I were you, I don't think I'd postpone your project until you have the gear you want. In my experience, there's always another piece of gear just out of reach that you'd prefer to have for your next project.

All this to say: don't let your gear hold you back.
Old 6 days ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 

I'd keep the EV's-all fine mics (especially the RE15!), one SM57, and one AT4041.

Guessing if you sell the rest, you'd get $350 to $400.

In that range, put the Oktava 219 or 319 on your shortlist.
Based on hearing your voice on that clip, it'd be a very good choice.

You can pick up an excellent used one, at Guitar Center online for under $200.
They now have a 45 day return policy, so that'd give you time to review them.
You'd also have the option of modification later, if you wish.
(my stock 219 and 319 match my voice so well-I doubt I'll ever do that!)

The new Soundelux U195 is a terrific mic (T-Funk CU-29 is excellent too),
but I prefer having a variety of vocal microphones first. IMHO they would be a smart choice to consider expanding into, later on when you can afford to add them.

BTW for BGV's and harmonies, make sure to experiment with the EV 635a!
On certain voices also, it can sound first rate on lead vocals.
Chris
Old 6 days ago
  #14
Lots of good advice here! I think I’ll end up holding onto the re15 and selling the re20. I never really bonded with the re20 on my voice (kind of brings out the sharper tendencies, and usually always prefer the re15). The 4041s are great, but again, I have an acoustic with plenty of top end, and I feel like those mics w that guitar kind of overdue it in the department. I actually just sold that pair for 350, anyway, so I’m on my way to a new ldc. Keep the replies coming, it’s really helpful!
Old 6 days ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Adam, how "treated" (or not) is your room?

You may want to consider improving the recording area, along with everything else.
Chris
Old 5 days ago
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Adam, how "treated" (or not) is your room?

You may want to consider improving the recording area, along with everything else.
Chris
To be honest, not very treated. It’s literally a bedroom shared with my girlfriend so my options there are somewhat limited. I’ve been doing my own recordings in sub-optimal rooms for the past ten years or so and with well placed duvet blankets and whatnot I haven’t had a problem getting guitar and vocal sounds that work for me. I’ve almost always had friends with improved monitoring rooms do my mixes so that isn’t an issue. I’ve built some panels in the past, so might do that again but it’s a bit of a task.
Old 5 days ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
I dig RE15.
Old 5 days ago
  #18
Here for the gear
 
Progger's Avatar
The premise of this thread is interesting to me, and I like the possible solutions that it's inspired so far! Kind of a home studio resource management game. Warcraft with switchable patterns and capsules. I'll play! And I'll start off by agreeing that you should at least keep your 57s and AT-4041s. In my opinion, Audio Technica's 40xx series mics are incredible for the money. And, in fact, if you're looking for a do-anything LDC, the AT-4033 is well worth trying out: it's relatively inexpensive but an honestly very special mic. Insane quality for the money, competes with mics many times its price. I will never, ever sell mine. And the SM57 is simply the most useful $100 mic ever made, in all likelihood.

Others have mentioned the Soundelux 195, and I've never used one but it seems to be lovely. I would also be very curious to investigate the Miktek CV3 and CV4, they seem to be very well-loved, well-made, and relatively affordable (although by no means cheap).

Top of my list at the moment, though, is a Gefell Mt71s or UMT70s. World-class quality and also affordable but not cheap. German. I do tend to love gear made by Germany and Japan (Audio-Technica).
Old 2 days ago
  #19
Gear Head
Love the Gefel UMT70s mentioned by Progger, that's a great sounding mic for the money. The Soundelux U195 is also a fine microphone in this price range.

Hard to imagine selling mics to buy more mics. I cannot sell mics, even if, I do not care for them. A "great microphone" IMHO is,
whatever sounds best on the source you're recording. You never know when that mic that you cannot stand, will have it's days in the sun.


Keep your mics!
Old 2 days ago
  #20
Lives for gear
To the OP. I understand your explanation about the RE20 not working on your voice. That’s a decent reason for you to move on from it. But that mic, your RE15, and your 635 are mics I would love to add to my collection. My advice is, you should sell a car, a kidney or some firearms to finance your new mic purchases and hang on to these greatest hits mics from the golden age of EV. They will only become more valuable.
Old 2 days ago
  #21
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
To the OP. I understand your explanation about the RE20 not working on your voice. That’s a decent reason for you to move on from it. But that mic, your RE15, and your 635 are mics I would love to add to my collection. My advice is, you should sell a car, a kidney or some firearms to finance your new mic purchases and hang on to these greatest hits mics from the golden age of EV. They will only become more valuable.
What he said. Sell plasma. Keep your mics.

Or sell your RE20, RE15 and 635 to Bushman.

Last edited by Mag J; 2 days ago at 03:56 AM.. Reason: added winky face
Old 2 days ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Anyone else notice a pattern regarding those EV's?Chris
Old 2 days ago
  #23
Haha true about the ev mics. So I ended up selling only some of the mics. I guess I just feel I had some that were superfluous at the moment. Maybe I’ll regret it in the future, who knows? I sold the re20, because I really only ever got it as a dynamic vocal mic option, and for whatever reasons, it really isn’t too flattering on my voice. The re15 sounds much better, and I also prefer it on acoustic and electric guitar, so that one is staying. The 635 is staying, because as mentioned previously, it’s not really worth enough to sell and sounds solid on guitar and vocals, as well. 57 is staying. D112 is going, because I’m not tracking drums. All the sdc’s are going, because while they have they’re use, I’d rather have an ldc if I had to choose. That’s that for now. Thanks for all the advice!
Old 2 days ago
  #24
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mag J View Post
What he said. Sell plasma. Keep your mics.

Or sell your RE20, RE15 and 635 to Bushman.
At the right price, Merry Christmas to us! But the OP’s last post Scrooged that idea.

Last edited by Bushman; 2 days ago at 05:55 AM.. Reason: Hadn’t read previous post
Old 2 days ago
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
At the right price, Merry Christmas to us! But the OP’s last post Scrooged that idea.
Yeah. I saw that. The Grinch who stole a good idea.

Bah humbug.
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