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$20 mic v's $12,000 mic. Condenser Microphones
Old 5 days ago
  #31
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
Given the cost difference, the obvious choice is the Pentax. Unless one has tons of money (and even then...).
Sure, a valid point. Especially in the case of someone putting together a basement studio who has $10k to spend and is coveting a Sony C800.

You could buy the latest SSD iMac, Logic, Audient ASP800 pres, MOTU 828, a nice drumset, a bag of nice mics, a decent guitar, bass and amp, Mackie MCU Pro, Adam A7x pair, cabling, stands, headphones, etc...

Or a Sony C800.

Who's going to make some music?
Old 4 days ago
  #32
There is no way I would put this $20 mic in a studio, as we hear in this single test, it's too noisy for quiet stuff and craps out with loud stuff, so it's unpredictable. However, when it hear people say "this $1000 mic does a good job but doesn't really come close to the C12 it was based on" it does make me think "why", if a $20 mic can get this close in certain circumstances , why can't a $1000 mic nail it"?
Old 4 days ago
  #33
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It can. Mics well under $1000 can. Confirmation bias and all.
Old 4 days ago
  #34
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Funk View Post
There is no way I would put this $20 mic in a studio, as we hear in this single test, it's too noisy for quiet stuff and craps out with loud stuff, so it's unpredictable. However, when it hear people say "this $1000 mic does a good job but doesn't really come close to the C12 it was based on" it does make me think "why", if a $20 mic can get this close in certain circumstances , why can't a $1000 mic nail it"?
From what I've read, one needs the tube, the transformer, and the capsule to "nail" the sound. If one or more of these are missing, one can get close, but not all the way there.

If I recall correctly, Klaus Hein doesn't think any mic(other than an original C12) at any price nails the sound. This includes those 10K+ Telefunken clones.

I think one reason is the tubes available nowadays. No mic with a new tube is going to get the sound due to the quality of the tubes available nowadays. This is why many go with NOS(New Old Stock) tubes to replace tubes that came with their mics.
Old 4 days ago
  #35
Gear Guru
I have a $15- Monoprice mic I love. Bright and hot for my dull voice. I've used it to record tracks and gotten good results. My Oktava 319 sounds a lot bigger and my 2500 tube sounds very warm and organic. Putting a price tag on sound to me is stupid. People that spend a lot on gear aren't and anyone buying a $10K mic probably has a very good idea why they are buying it.

The tracks you made sound cool and I'd argue even a ceramic or crystal element mic might be "better". Those are really cheap. The telephone buzzy crunchy breakup might fit the retro vibe. So laid out as an argument one vs the other, I think makes no sense, as what you're recording has no bearing to the strengths of the "expensive" mic......
Old 4 days ago
  #36
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robert82's Avatar
Featuring Neumanns, a big console, and high end rack gear gives prospective clients confidence (whether warranted or not) in your experience and credentials.
Old 4 days ago
  #37
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Featuring Neumanns, a big console, and high end rack gear gives prospective clients confidence (whether warranted or not) in your experience and credentials.
It's like saying that Satriani can't play the guitar without an Ibanez.
So that if you give him a Charvel (with floyd and 24 frets) he can't do a concert.

But, don't worry, I understand the limited mindset of those clients, and what you are saying.
Old 4 days ago
  #38
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimi777 View Post
It's like saying that Satriani can't play the guitar without an Ibanez.
So that if you give him a Charvel (with floyd and 24 frets) he can't do a concert .

But, don't worry, I understand the limited mindset of those clients, and what you are saying.
Your example seems to work better for the opposite point of view.
Satriani probably wouldn’t play a Charvel for recording or in front of an audience.
And if he had a guitar tech who insisted that the Charvel is perfectly acceptable because it is 93% as good, that argument would possibly cause that person to be out of a job.
But if some bright-eyed kid wants to show you that he’s the next Satriani, he’d be happy to get the chance to audition on whatever decent guitar was at hand.
The instrument does not, to any large degree, define the artist. But the best artists deserve the best instruments.
Price does not equate exactly with sound quality, but there must be some reason that a Stradivarius is often preferred over their high school instrument by artists who can afford one.
Old 4 days ago
  #39
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Your example seems to work better for the opposite point of view.
Satriani probably wouldn’t play a Charvel for recording or in front of an audience.
And if he had a guitar tech who insisted that the Charvel is perfectly acceptable because it is 93% as good, that argument would possibly cause that person to be out of a job.
But if some bright-eyed kid wants to show you that he’s the next Satriani, he’d be happy to get the chance to audition on whatever decent guitar was at hand.
The instrument does not, to any large degree, define the artist. But the best artists deserve the best instruments.
Price does not equate exactly with sound quality, but there must be some reason that a Stradivarius is often preferred over their high school instrument by artists who can afford one.
But ,the funny thing is that Satriani used a second hand Kramer with tuning problems for the first two albums and they still sell very well (because they are good albums)

His words:
“I bought it only because it had a first-generation Floyd Rose with no fine-tuners, and I was shunning that whole idea during the early '80s: I was a no wah-wah, no-vibrato bar kind of thing. But I picked it up anyway and eventually I realised that the thing was really great if you wanted to play out of tune all the time. [laughs] The guitar itself was always falling apart and [guitar tech] Gary Brawer was continually trying to fix it.
“But I had a connection with it, and that became the guitar that I used for my first EP and Not Of This Earth, and then Surfing. And by then I had purchased a second version of that Pacer that had just three single-coil pickups; it was even worse than the two-humbucker version that I had."
Old 4 days ago
  #40
Gear Guru
People who keep insisting gear doesn't matter don't really get that musicians choose gear and instruments that are inspiring. You simply hear more/different. Cost really is irrelevant since if you spend a lot of time working with something your time has to be worth something......... Mics are like instruments, gotta feel right.

I always recommend people buy a great instrument for a kid who wants to learn. Less barriers between the kid actually wanting to play, and ditching it to go play with his friends.....
Old 4 days ago
  #41
Gear Maniac
 

I bet there are a shed load of people ordering up those $20 mics as we speak.
Old 4 days ago
  #42
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pquinn View Post
I bet there are a shed load of people ordering up those $20 mics as we speak.
So when they break their 12'000 mic in the middle of the night, they have a good backup that can let the project going forward without interruption
Old 4 days ago
  #43
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimi777 View Post
But ,the funny thing is that Satriani used a second hand Kramer with tuning problems for the first two albums and they still sell very well (because they are good albums)
eventually I realised that the thing was really great if you wanted to play out of tune all the time.
“But I had a connection with it, and that became the guitar that I used for my first EP and Not Of This Earth, and then Surfing.
Again, you prove the other side. Satriani WAS the wide-eyed kid then. He played and recorded with what he had and knew. He clearly says those first guitars were POS. He wasn’t chosing to record with a crappy guitar over better, more tunable guitars he had. How long has it been since he put that first guitar down?

That is a different case than my friend who will always record his voice with a 57 and is no longer interested in trying anything “better”. To him, that’s the exact right mic for his voice and genre, he knows how to work it... case closed. It isn’t a crappy mic that he uses because it gives him a cheap 75% of a better mic. It gives him 100% of what he wants.
He has enough education to know that 110% is not an achievable goal.
And his amp knobs don’t go to 11.
Old 4 days ago
  #44
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Again, you prove the other side. Satriani WAS the wide-eyed kid then. He played and recorded with what he had and knew. He clearly says those first guitars were POS. He wasn’t chosing to record with a crappy guitar over better, more tunable guitars he had. How long has it been since he put that first guitar down?
I'm only proving that if you listen his first albums they sound good regardless the gear he used.
Old 4 days ago
  #45
Gear Guru
Ummm usually when you have a label release you have people that do a lot of work to make you sound good....... People keep bringing up Nebraska, and I'm sure the engineers had choice words for mastering that! I do however think that using what you're comfortable with is key to a great performance. The 57 is such a mainstay since people perform with them and know how to use them, not really because they are such great mics......

Good engineering can do wonders and a great performer will sound great no matter what. Just not as great.........
Old 4 days ago
  #46
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimi777 View Post
I'm only proving that if you listen his first albums they sound good regardless the gear he used.
I’ll accept your judgement on that. Some of our ancient ancestors ate very well in spite of their lack of tableware and refrigeration. I’m not sure these opinions have much to do with the topic.
Old 4 days ago
  #47
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
Ummm usually when you have a label release you have people that do a lot of work to make you sound good....... People keep bringing up Nebraska, and I'm sure the engineers had choice words for mastering that! I do however think that using what you're comfortable with is key to a great performance. The 57 is such a mainstay since people perform with them and know how to use them, not really because they are such great mics......

Good engineering can do wonders and a great performer will sound great no matter what. Just not as great.........
I can tell you with direct experience that:
I have also a 100$ guitar modified with swapped pickups, besides pricier others that have better brand or a better aspect... and I can it play well exactly like a $$$ studio guitar.
(every engineer can really only eq an electric guitar once is recorded or apply some delay or do a re-amp...).
I use my fingers. My finger sounds good, a 12000 guitar won't make me a better player.

so the thing is just that in my opinion I'm not surprised by the fact that the 20$ mic can sound "quite similar" in the recording, to the 12000$ one, with a solid performer.
Old 4 days ago
  #48
Lives for gear
 

Fun, thought provoking thread!
I only did some "highlight" reading, will review it fully by tomorrow.

The el cheapo sonic wonder, of a dynamic I found,
is the AKG D790. When I've sung live with it, around town, many a fellow singer asked what it was. On the typical live "Mackie & under" mixer pre's, it was blowing away all the usual suspects-57/58/Beta's/Blue/etc. and keeping right up with a buddy's Neumann hand held. (it sounds better than that Neumann on my voice) Around $60 used.

Chris
Old 4 days ago
  #49
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And yes I already bought a backup one, in case the price goes way up from my GS friends buying them! Chris
Old 4 days ago
  #50
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimi777 View Post
I can tell you with direct experience that:
I have also a 100$ guitar modified with swapped pickups, besides pricier others that have better brand or a better aspect... and I can it play well exactly like a $$$ studio guitar.
(every engineer can really only eq an electric guitar once is recorded or apply some delay or do a re-amp...).
I use my fingers. My finger sounds good, a 12000 guitar won't make me a better player.

so the thing is just that in my opinion I'm not surprised by the fact that the 20$ mic can sound "quite similar" in the recording, to the 12000$ one, with a solid performer.
Sure if you put good pickups in a cheap guitar why wouldn't it sound good?..... With the above clips sure a cheap mic will sound similar. That's a very vintage vibe, and old blues guys used cheap mics and usually cheap guitars since that's mostly what they could afford. Someone on here was talking about a great guitar picking up his cheapo guitar and said it sounded like exactly like the guy, but playing on HIS guitar. Bono loves singing thru a 57 and his voice will cut with a good engineer and chain.... It makes no sense if someone loves a piece of gear to restrict them by forcing something sonically "better" on them. Hell I string my electric with strings not meant for it because I play better with them....

No guitar will make you a better player unless the guitar action is holding you back. My point was simply that great gear can be inspiring. My plywood Yamaha isn't going to hold my attention like my Collings. I can make great music on both. I write on the Collings and get bored with the Yamaha after a while, although certain songs benefit from the thwappy sound I can get from it... I can't make my $20- Monoprice mic have the sheen and depth of my LDC. I can however eq my LDC to sound like the dynamic. Response is a different animal since physics are involved. I would never gig with an LDC as a result, but in the studio? Easier to take away than to add......Make music with whatever you like but there is always something better, that's why music is a journey not a destination.
Old 4 days ago
  #51
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Like Ardis, I'm also a big fan of keeping some Oktava vocals mics handy too.
Chris
Old 4 days ago
  #52
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Like Ardis, I'm also a big fan of keeping some Oktava vocals mics handy too.
Chris
Oktavas were Russia's answer to Neumanns and are very good mics (if not made on a Friday afternoon or a Monday morning!). I would bring mine into a studio that has a great selection of mics in a heartbeat. I know how it works with my voice and would at least use it as a reference. Being comfy with what you know is the key to a great performance, especially in a strange environment....

I would also bring my Argonne mic which sounds like a bad telephone but kills on harmonica!...... The above vocal would sound really great thru it since the song has a killer vibe and the mic would compliment it. Very cool track BTW.......I think you can buy ceramic elements for pennies although I got a NOS to match the age of the body...... Modding an old mic is really fun and they aren't complicated electronically......
Old 4 days ago
  #53
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
People who keep insisting gear doesn't matter don't really get that musicians choose gear and instruments that are inspiring. You simply hear more/different. Cost really is irrelevant since if you spend a lot of time working with something your time has to be worth something......... Mics are like instruments, gotta feel right.

I always recommend people buy a great instrument for a kid who wants to learn. Less barriers between the kid actually wanting to play, and ditching it to go play with his friends.....
I'm sorry but none of this is true, at least not in the absolute way you state it. ie:

1. Nobody here is insisting gear doesn't matter. It's a question of degree.
2. Many (most?) musicians don't simply choose instruments (and certainly not gear) because they are "inspiring." Cost and other factors almost always play a part. And really if a musician needs some top-end gear to be "inspired," I can't say I think much of that musician.
3. Cost is almost never irrelevant.
4. Any kid who is going to ditch music to go play with his friends because he didn't get a pricey instrument to play was going to ditch it anyway.
Old 4 days ago
  #54
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
Sure if you put good pickups in a cheap guitar why wouldn't it sound good?..... With the above clips sure a cheap mic will sound similar. That's a very vintage vibe, and old blues guys used cheap mics and usually cheap guitars since that's mostly what they could afford. Someone on here was talking about a great guitar picking up his cheapo guitar and said it sounded like exactly like the guy, but playing on HIS guitar. Bono loves singing thru a 57 and his voice will cut with a good engineer and chain.... It makes no sense if someone loves a piece of gear to restrict them by forcing something sonically "better" on them. Hell I string my electric with strings not meant for it because I play better with them....

No guitar will make you a better player unless the guitar action is holding you back. My point was simply that great gear can be inspiring. My plywood Yamaha isn't going to hold my attention like my Collings. I can make great music on both. I write on the Collings and get bored with the Yamaha after a while, although certain songs benefit from the thwappy sound I can get from it... I can't make my $20- Monoprice mic have the sheen and depth of my LDC. I can however eq my LDC to sound like the dynamic. Response is a different animal since physics are involved. I would never gig with an LDC as a result, but in the studio? Easier to take away than to add......Make music with whatever you like but there is always something better, that's why music is a journey not a destination.
This otoh is spot on IMO. Although I would contend music is both a journey and a destination. And frankly for me it's mostly about the destination. I've said this before: if I could push a magic button and make songs migrate from how I want them to sound in my head right to the tracks, I'd be all over it.
Old 4 days ago
  #55
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Featuring Neumanns, a big console, and high end rack gear gives prospective clients confidence (whether warranted or not) in your experience and credentials.
Agree. High end gear has many values beyond what it sounds like; reliability and customer attraction being two. Spending time educating a customer that my $30 iSK might be a good choice is zero sum and will ultimately cost me cred. I don't have to convince anyone that U87 is a solid performer. I've had customers come to me simply because I have them, and they don't. So it's paid for itself over and over.

If I went back into the video business, first thing I do would be to invest in quality cine cams and lenses. Too many people have a Blackmagic with a cheap Canon lens at home. Sure, I could do the job with a Blackmagic, and an educated customer knows they are hiring me for my experience and eye. But educated customers are the exception, not the norm in the low to mid end of this kind of business.
Old 4 days ago
  #56
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Microphone genius though he is, I have a friendly disagreement with Klaus Heyne,
comparing the vintage AKG C12, vs. the Flea C12. That "cheapie" Flea 12 (only around $4700!), would make me every bit as happy to sing through!
(it was "love at first listen")
Chris
Old 4 days ago
  #57
Here for the gear
 
CupcakeKitten's Avatar
 

Hello new friends <3

TBH buying a mic *that* cheap is like buying a super cheap handbag. It might look fierce on an Instagram pic and carry your stuff, but it doesn’t feel nice, doesn't smell good, doesn’t look that great IRL and at one point your stuff will fall all over the floor and you’re stuck cleaning up the mess ^^.

Seriously tho I think you end up making yourself extra work trying to fix a half-baked recording than just being able to rely on the quality from the start.
Old 4 days ago
  #58
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edva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CupcakeKitten View Post
Hello new friends <3

TBH buying a mic *that* cheap is like buying a super cheap handbag. It might look fierce on an Instagram pic and carry your stuff, but it doesn’t feel nice, doesn't smell good, doesn’t look that great IRL and at one point your stuff will fall all over the floor and you’re stuck cleaning up the mess ^^.

Seriously tho I think you end up making yourself extra work trying to fix a half-baked recording than just being able to rely on the quality from the start.

Buy nice, don't buy twice.
Old 4 days ago
  #59
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by CupcakeKitten View Post
Hello new friends <3

TBH buying a mic *that* cheap is like buying a super cheap handbag. It might look fierce on an Instagram pic and carry your stuff, but it doesn’t feel nice, doesn't smell good, doesn’t look that great IRL and at one point your stuff will fall all over the floor and you’re stuck cleaning up the mess ^^.

Seriously tho I think you end up making yourself extra work trying to fix a half-baked recording than just being able to rely on the quality from the start.
Ouch! The smell of cheap plastic fake leather is stuck in my brain. When I had a night mastering job, I started to do some substitute teaching in the day. Having no suitable clothes, I got the cheapest possible “teacher clothes”, including some nice-looking dress shoes from a clearance rack at Payless. The first day I subbed, the shoes were a problem. They squeaked when I walked, and they just reeked of that weird plastic smell. So each night I would do things to clean, wax and manipulate those stupid shoes to get rid of the squeak and smell. After a month I just gave up and threw them in the trash. You can’t survive the ridicule subbing in a jr. High class when every step is a squeak, and I noticed teachers in the lunch room starting to look around with that “What is that smell” look when I sat at the table.
THIS IS NOT OFF TOPIC!
Shoes or microphones, a clone has to do more than look OK.

Last edited by Bushman; 4 days ago at 03:27 AM..
Old 4 days ago
  #60
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
... a clone has to do more than look OK.
I don't even think they have to look OK. My early-adopter Pearlman TM1's with the black spray paint and the bowling-trophy engraving have done really, really right by me. But so has Dave, who has tinkered with them and made them better maybe 4 or 5 different times.
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