The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
low end but rocking: modest home studio mic choices
Old 19th July 2007
  #1
Gear Addict
 
hw2nw's Avatar
 

low end but rocking: modest home studio mic choices

I'm working on my home studio, upgrading and adding some mics so I can finally track a full drumset and have more mic choices for a variety of projects (mostly rock, but I do work on film scoring, etc). I have access to great acoustically treated rooms so I'm more worried about the mics at the moment. Generally I can rent/borrow the nice Coles/Neumann style stuff but it's always nice to own your gear . At the moment I already own a Shure SM7B, a few SM58s, and a Studio Projects C1. Here's what I have on my "to get" list, let me know if you guys recommend anything else/instead:

- (3) Shure SM57's (can use em on anything)
- (1) Sennheiser 421 (tom/elec guitar/kick)
- (2) Rode NT5's (overheads/even acoustic)
- (1) EV RE20 (kick/bass amp)
- (1) Neumann TLM103 (vocals/room/winds)
- (1) Audix i5 (snare)

used this puts me in the ~$1700ish category, I'd like to stay around that. Any other ideas?

Thanks so much guys.


PS- As a guitar gear junkie, I can't believe how much more of a black hole of gear recording is!!
Old 19th July 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
FossilTooth's Avatar
 

Screw the TLM 103, there are better sounding options that cost less IMHO.

And....get an m201 for snare. Sure, the i5 is cooler than the 57 (this month) but the m201 is a killer snare mic, not just a "marginally better" one.

That said, I like my i5 plenty. But the 57 has been beating it out when it comes to multi-miced guitar cabs. But, if I have to use one dynamic mic on electric, then it's i5 all the way.

The nt5's should tide you over for a little while. I had mine for about 5 years before I sold them.... and I made some cool records in the meantime.

As much as I love the RE-20, in your budget, the beta 52 is a very suitable choice and would help free up funds to get an m201, or splurge a little more on your LDC. And, a single MD421 always seems lonely to me, and feels out of place in lower budget studios. Another place to free up some cash so you have a few great pieces? Or are you doing a lot of full band tracking?

However, the 421 is a cool alternative kick mic choice as well, even if it's fallen out of style in that application for its lack of flabby, hyped bass response.
Old 19th July 2007
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Get one or two Audio Technica AT4047/SV's. Around $549.00 each. Really killer mics. Not hyped and work on just about anything.
Old 19th July 2007
  #4
Here for the gear
 
kidklash's Avatar
 

You might consider the following for your mic locker :

Apex 205 ribbon ($82USD at Full Compass)
Studio Project B1 LDC (around $120USD new)
CAD GXL 3000 LDC (around $60-$70USD new)
Sennheiser e609Silver cardioid dynamic (around $110USD new)
EV 635 omni dynamic (around $75USD used)

They're all very useful, low cost mics.
Old 19th July 2007
  #5
Hey that looks pretty good. I recommend a better KD mic. If you had a D112 you might be able to get away with KD and bass cab. I'm picky about my kick sound. I like my beta 52 in combination with an SM-57 pointing at the beater. I'd say ditch the RE-20. Too many LDDs. You're not going to need the 421, RE-20 and SM-7 at the point you're at. You're going to have to go to a few sessions to find out what you like for each source in general. In my opinion that's the next step. Do you like SDCs or LDCs on OHs and acoustic guitar? Are you happy with your kick sound?

I would say get the mics you were planning to get but swap the RE-20 for a good KD mic and do bass direct. Also you might be better off with a peluso or AT 4047/4050 instead of the Neumann and if you pick the AT you'll save some cash. I assume the C1 has got a high end bump. You might want to try a flatter (frequency response) LDC to have another flavor for vocals.

Here's my situation. I have:
1 Shure Beta 52 (kick)
4 SM-57s (snare electric guitar)
1 AT4033 (vocals, glockenspiel etc.)
1 Oktavamodded MK-319 (cello, some vocals)
2 Oktava MK-012 (OHs and acoustic guitar)
in the mail I have an Apex 205 ribbon coming (trumpets, melodica, vocals, mono OH, snare, ele. guitar?)
next i hope to get 2 MD 421s (electric guitars, floor tom?) and a Peluso 251 (vocals, OH, acoustic)

If you take my suggestions I think you'll be pretty happy with the sounds you'll be getting. The thing is, you just have to guess right now and then use your ears to decide what sounds you don't like. Then you go back on gearslutz and try to figure out an alternative! You did a pretty good job assembling an introductory mic locker. Good luck
Old 19th July 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hw2nw View Post
PS- As a guitar gear junkie, I can't believe how much more of a black hole of gear recording is!!
If you're a guitarist, you owe it to yourself to pick up a 421. It's the balls on distorted guitar!
Old 20th July 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 
TurboJets's Avatar
The OktavaModded MK-012 is really sweet. The clarity is unbelievable and the self-noise is on par with the quality AT mic's.
Old 20th July 2007
  #8
Gear Nut
 

hey, i just recently sold my md421's, and the only thing that i miss it on is guitars, kick drum, and bass cab heh (definitely get one) for toms, if you can look into the audix d2's, i like them better than the 57's and the 421's (you might as well just use the 58's you have until you have a bigger budget)



i think you have the right idea with what you are planning on doing with your mics, but i see one problem. i personally think that you could be looking for mics that are different that what you already have.for vocals, I HIGHLY recommend using your sm-7 right now, going to a studio really listening to mics until you really know what you are looking for, and get a quality LDC.

good luck with your search, i'm going through a similar phase right now
Old 20th July 2007
  #9
Gear Addict
 
hw2nw's Avatar
 

so many great responses, thanks so much guys.

You are all probably right about not needed so many LDD, esp. the RE20. I'm just partial to it because I've heard some great bass amp tones from it. However, I just did a session on Tuesday where I used a 421/57 on the bass cab and it sounded stellar, so I may be able to cover my bases with that.

For guitars, the 421/57 combination is one of my favorites, the only thing better being a 121/57.

Kick drum I'm not so sure about. I'd just throw a 421 on it but lately I've been enjoying a D112, with proper placement it gets some great sounds. I liked the Audix one too but it was a while since I remember hearing it (there's also the D6 that comes in the kit with those other mics, maybe it'd be worth it to have some extra choices around).

Again, you guys are right about the vocal mic, to loosen up some money to get a better one. For me, it feels like a crapshoot trying to find a good LDC under $1k. The TLM103 isn't great on my voice but on others I've liked it, my favorite is an original C12 (ouch, but it sounded incredible). Perhaps I can get a Peluso P12 if I cut some of my other costs?

I don't need to use all the mics all the time. More than likely I'll be tracking instruments separately, so many of the mics can pull double duty.
Old 20th July 2007
  #10
Gear Addict
 

An M88 could come in handy. Great on kick, bass etc and hypercarioid which can be handy. Also still surprises me how easy it is to get a great vocal sound.


Oh and I agree about M201 especially on snare. I'm such a beyerslut. They don't look as impressive as my RE20 but they see just as much use.
Old 20th July 2007
  #11
Old 20th July 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
 
johnwayne's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6strings View Post
If you're a guitarist, you owe it to yourself to pick up a 421. It's the balls on distorted guitar!
Definitely. I love the 421. I have 2 AT 4050's which get ton of use. Overheads, guitar cab, Acoustic, vocals. These two work good on many sources.
Old 20th July 2007
  #13
Gear Nut
 
HighKing's Avatar
 

I second cutting out the TLM.

Why not get a U195? Great mic that can be used on a variety of sources.
Old 20th July 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
 
octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6strings View Post
If you're a guitarist, you owe it to yourself to pick up a 421. It's the balls on distorted guitar!
An e609 is worth picking up for guitar players as well.
I actually don't use the 421 much for guitar- toms, yes.

Other mics to consider.

RE20 (Great on kick- I use mine on snare all the time too).
M88 (Sounds great, means I can use the RE20 on snare).
Old 20th July 2007
  #15
Gear Addict
 
hw2nw's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HighKing View Post
I second cutting out the TLM.

Why not get a U195? Great mic that can be used on a variety of sources.
Forgot about the U195, I really like that mic. Something like that or the Peluso P12 would be pretty awesome for vocals I think.
Old 20th July 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 
deve's Avatar
 

I could get myself in big trouble for recommending a behringer product here, but b5 gives me the sound I want to hear from snare bottom. Surprisingly on any snare. I'm sure cad, mxl or sp has similar products in the same price range but I haven't tried them.
Old 20th July 2007
  #17
Gear Addict
 
ScottTunes's Avatar
 

To cover a huge variety of instruments, including voice, skip the Neumann TLM 103, Sennheiser MD421 and EV RE20 (which will cost about $1700 alone), and get these:

Electro-Voice
N/D468 (guitar cabs, horns and toms) three of ‘em, if possible
N/D478 (guitar cabs, snare, vocals)
N/D868 (best kick and bass cab mic for the $$$)
RE200 (SDC for drum OH, acoustic guitar)

Shure KSM44 for a "go to" LDC. It covers nearly every need well enough, some would say beautifully (that’d be me for sure).

With this setup, you’re 90% covered with excellent quality microphones for less than some of your proposed mics (though they are also excellent choices, just more expensive).

By the way, I have all of these mics, and use them regularly. FWIW, I can vouch for their usefulness. However, you'll rarely see anything written about the EVs. They aren't the popular mics d'jour...
Old 20th July 2007
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tifftunes View Post
Shure KSM44 for a "go to" LDC. It covers nearly every need well enough, some would say beautifully (that’d be me for sure).
Totally agree. One of the easier mics to get vocals sounding right - usually just toss it up and do a dab of comp and you're done - works great on a wide array of voices and sits well in dense mixes in my experience.
Old 21st July 2007
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Coyoteous's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucasmusic View Post
- interesting, but I don't think I'd want Sweatwater's customers picking my mics!

There's a lot of standard fare/common sales associate recommendations and some good mics. Sure, they sell a lot of AKG C 1000 S's, but that certainly doesn't make it good - I know, I have one! (only paid $75 for it, to friend of a friend that needed cash - it's really not worth that)
Old 23rd July 2007
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
For me, it feels like a crapshoot trying to find a good LDC under $1k.
audio-technica!

used 414's can be found for around $500 as well
Old 23rd July 2007
  #21
Gear Head
 
robskane's Avatar
 

Scratch the Neumann off the list. Look at The Audio Technica 40...series, they're a good bang for the buck.

Old 23rd July 2007
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Working with that budget I would:

Drop the NT5's in favor of Kel HM-1's. Great sounding mics and will pick you up a few hundred for spending elsewhere.

I would drop the 103 in favor of a pair of AT4050's or a 4050/4047 combo.

I would also drop the RE20 in favor of an SM7B

I would lose the 421 in favor of a Beta52 and an additional 57

The money you save replacing the NT5's with the Kels should leave enough for an e906 or two.


Thats what I would do.
Old 23rd July 2007
  #23
Gear Addict
 
hw2nw's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArchitect View Post
Working with that budget I would:

Drop the NT5's in favor of Kel HM-1's. Great sounding mics and will pick you up a few hundred for spending elsewhere.

I would drop the 103 in favor of a pair of AT4050's or a 4050/4047 combo.

I would also drop the RE20 in favor of an SM7B

I would lose the 421 in favor of a Beta52 and an additional 57

The money you save replacing the NT5's with the Kels should leave enough for an e906 or two.


Thats what I would do.

Thanks for the great recommendations!!


On a similar and related note, what are some good value boom mic stands I can get for general use?
Old 25th July 2007
  #24
Gear Nut
 
wallawannabe's Avatar
 

+1 on Fossil's view of the 103.

I had my first experience with one this past weekend. Even if it cost $300 less, I still wouldn't have been impressed.

It's like when Mercedes put out that crappy little hatchback a couple years ago for like, $25,000. Neumann should know better.

Either way, I still drive a 10 year old Sable.
Old 25th July 2007
  #25
Gear Addict
 
hw2nw's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wallawannabe View Post
+1 on Fossil's view of the 103.

I had my first experience with one this past weekend. Even if it cost $300 less, I still wouldn't have been impressed.

It's like when Mercedes put out that crappy little hatchback a couple years ago for like, $25,000. Neumann should know better.

Either way, I still drive a 10 year old Sable.
Yeah I ditched out on the 103. I got to play with one and just wasn't bonding with it either. More than likely I'll be getting a Peluso P12 since I'm a huge fan of the AKG C12s.
Old 27th July 2007
  #26
Lives for gear
 
goldenlotus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hw2nw View Post
Yeah I ditched out on the 103. I got to play with one and just wasn't bonding with it either. More than likely I'll be getting a Peluso P12 since I'm a huge fan of the AKG C12s.
Let us know what you think of the Peluso.. I've been eyeing one for awhile.
Old 27th July 2007
  #27
Lives for gear
 
A LaMere's Avatar
 

Hmmm....

that's a lot of sm57's... which I don't think sound that great on toms personally.

I really only need 1 or 2 sm57's ever.

Not a big fan of the rode's, but that's just for me I guess...
I like the oktava mk012 a LOT better... but, maybe they're more expensive??
not sure on that one...

1 vote for the re20 and 421, both classics and gems in my opinion...

Best of luck with it!! whatever you may decide...
Old 27th July 2007
  #28
Lives for gear
 
espen askelad's Avatar
SM7 on bass amps, kick drum, and voices... nice.

from there, some lower priced mics I really like:
*Crowley & Tripp Naked Eye - really nice sounding ribbon at a fair price.
*Shure KSM141 - I have two. Omni or cardioid. Like 'em for bright, clean rock overheads, omni stereo room mics, snare... and vibraphone.
*AT 4047s are great. Kick, bass, front of kit... they get the midrange (low mids in particular) on the drums in a way I like, and roll of some of the brass. Also can be great on some vox and guitars.
*Sage Electronics Bova Ball. Wild spherical omni.

my favorite drum setup at moment is the N.E. or 121 as a mono overhead, 141s in omni 4" off the floor about ten feet from the kit in a triangle from the kick head, Bova over the drummer's right shoulder, I5 on snare, 4047 outside the kick, ATM25 in the kick.
Old 27th July 2007
  #29
Gear Addict
 
hw2nw's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by A LaMere View Post
Hmmm....

that's a lot of sm57's... which I don't think sound that great on toms personally.

I really only need 1 or 2 sm57's ever.

Not a big fan of the rode's, but that's just for me I guess...
I like the oktava mk012 a LOT better... but, maybe they're more expensive??
not sure on that one...

1 vote for the re20 and 421, both classics and gems in my opinion...

Best of luck with it!! whatever you may decide...
I was just going for the most possibilities, thought you could never have too many 57's

I still am looking at 421's for toms, the re20 is a great mic but maybe I'll purchase that down the line when I get the basics in.
Old 27th July 2007
  #30
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hw2nw View Post
I was just going for the most possibilities, thought you could never have too many 57's

I still am looking at 421's for toms, the re20 is a great mic but maybe I'll purchase that down the line when I get the basics in.
What is up with 421's and toms? They're expensive, huge-ass mics that have the worst designed clips in the world. Yes, they sound pretty good, but considering the overheads capture a majority of the sound, seems to me like money allocated in the wrong place, especially if the drummer has 3-4 toms; that's like $900-$1200 (used) for tom mics.

I just sold my 421's because I couldn't justify owning them. I didn't like them for electric guitars either, I have a nice ribbon and SM7B which I prefer for my setup.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump