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A versatile budget mic for acoustic instruments? Condenser Microphones
Old 17th September 2011
  #1
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A versatile budget mic for acoustic instruments?

Hi!

I've spent last week browsing through this forum in search for a mic that would work well for a project I'm about to start. It's a mixture of synth-based beats and some various acoustic instruments (violin, cello, trumpet, classical guitar, trombone and maybe even some church organs), so the arangements will be quite dense. Later on, the vocals will be recorded too, but it's another story. I will be forced to record the performances mostly in untreated spaces and rooms I won't have a chance to adapt for the recording prior to the session.

I will be recording everything to my Zoom H4n (not that great, I know, but that's the only option I have). I already own a Rode NTG-2 hyper-cardioid microphone but I'm not sure if it's all that great either.

Also, my budget is pretty limited. I won't be able to spend more than $150 on the microphone.

So, the question is: could you please recommend me a sub-$150 microphone that would work well for recording acoustic instruments in not-so-great spaces and will not muddy-up the mix when stacked with other recordings from the same mic?

Kind regards,

Tom
Old 17th September 2011
  #2
CAD M179!
Old 17th September 2011
  #3
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Jimsi's Avatar
 

AT2020 or AT2035 $100-$150
Old 17th September 2011
  #4
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Yep either that AT or the CAD will be great mics for you!

Jim
Old 17th September 2011
  #5
I have owned bothe the CAD M179 and the AT2020 and 2035...I sold the AT's and still own the M179. It is a really good all around mic. My favorite mic for acoustic instruments though is my Nady RSM 4 with a cinnemag xformer and a 1.8 micron ribbon. If you are handy you could buy the mic and do the mods yourself for around your price. Not sure that I would suggest that for you though because a ribbn may not offer the versatility that you are looking for. I think your biggest hurdle is going to be your recording system. How are you editing these tracks after you record them to the h4? Wiil you be importing them into a daw for mixing and editing?
Old 17th September 2011
  #6
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Thank you for the suggestions!

How does the CAD M179 handle untreated rooms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bater View Post
I have owned bothe the CAD M179 and the AT2020 and 2035...I sold the AT's and still own the M179. It is a really good all around mic. My favorite mic for acoustic instruments though is my Nady RSM 4 with a cinnemag xformer and a 1.8 micron ribbon. If you are handy you could buy the mic and do the mods yourself for around your price. Not sure that I would suggest that for you though because a ribbn may not offer the versatility that you are looking for. I think your biggest hurdle is going to be your recording system. How are you editing these tracks after you record them to the h4? Wiil you be importing them into a daw for mixing and editing?
Yes, my workflow is: record on the Zoom, bring files into Logic, edit, mix, master and bounce

- Tom
Old 17th September 2011
  #7
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Also, I don't mind getting an used microphone instead of a new one!
Old 17th September 2011
  #8
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I've heard a lot of good about the cad m179. When I get home I'll post a link to a site where you can a/b a bunch of mics and it's on there.
Old 17th September 2011
  #9
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jpgerard's Avatar
Line Audio CM3 - nice even polar response, flat frequency response, definitely sub 150 bucks.
Old 17th September 2011
  #10
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mcgruff's Avatar
 

I'd stick with the Zoom. It's actually pretty good. I'm not sure if a cheap mic will give you any improvement.
Old 17th September 2011
  #11
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How does the CM3 compare to other budget SDC microphones and the M179?
Old 17th September 2011
  #12
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I've listened to a few Superlux S241 samples, I think it sounds nice (at least on a guitar). Is it actually the same mic as the CAD e70, just without the exchangeable capsules? What do you guys think about it? Is it as good as the M179?
Old 17th September 2011
  #13
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inwardheel's Avatar
 

www.littleblondie.com

DUH!!!!!!!!!!
Old 17th September 2011
  #14
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you can easily fond a used Oktava MK012 for under your budget. It will probably pick up slightly less room than most LDCs. It sounds great as-is and when you have a spare $100 you can send it to Michael Joly for a mod which makes it a lifetime keeper mic.
Old 17th September 2011
  #15
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CAD M179 is really hard to beat
Old 18th September 2011
  #16
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I'm sure you'll soon get unbiased opinions on the CM3 but personally I think it's above anything in its price range and above, you have to do extensive comparisons with a Schoeps or so to find a mic it doesn't beat for neutrality. PM me for samples as I have a few clips from CM3 users but I can't post them. I can however direct you here: Line Audio Design CM3
Old 18th September 2011
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpgerard View Post
I'm sure you'll soon get unbiased opinions on the CM3 but personally I think it's above anything in its price range and above, you have to do extensive comparisons with a Schoeps or so to find a mic it doesn't beat for neutrality. PM me for samples as I have a few clips from CM3 users but I can't post them. I can however direct you here: Line Audio Design CM3
Sorry to the OP this is a little OT.

I saw those mics and being a micaholic became immediatly interested. Have they been around long, what would you compare them to and do you ever find them used (a search on ebay for lineaudio or line audio was fruitless (many hits and still none of these Swedish beauties (who cares if they're chineese with bleached hair, I still want to try them out, they might be great :-)).

Thanks

Back OT. The Oktava 012 (possibly my favorite bang for buck all time mic) is a good one and would do everything if you bought the correct capsules for your applications. This however could end up costing a fair amount (some of the Lomo & Red capsules are quite pricey (well worth it :-).

The M179 is a good all rounder. Since it has a constantly variable pattern, you can use figure 8 to get an extremely tight pattern if needed (make sure the back side is pointed at something acousticly dead). In omni mode they are pretty flat & neutral sounding making them ideal for a lot of diferent applications.

I'd recomment the M179.

That's my .02
Old 18th September 2011
  #18
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jpgerard's Avatar
Hi Dogoth, I'd suggest you check the thread I put on my previous post. Closest is a wide cardioid Schoeps combo. They're hand made in Sweden. I'm surprised you didn't find them on eBay... did you look for "Line Audio CM3"? But why would you want to buy them used, given that they sell under 100 Euros each??? In any case they're not widely available for reasons I'll never understand. They are easily found in Sweden (of course) and I stock them but don't know other dealers out of Scandinavia. Since there's no advertising it could explain why most dealers aren't that interested... They're not SM57's - people don't walk in and grab them without question... if you need more samples etc., just PM me, thanks!
Old 18th September 2011
  #19
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Cascade Fat Head seems to be a great ribbon for the low end on an instrument. Teachers at my school compare it to a Royer, I cant remember what model.

Ribbon Microphones - Cascade Microphones FAT HEAD
Old 19th September 2011
  #20

If low note on a church organ are on the menu, look at the low-freq response of these mic you are considering.

The M179 is hard to beat for low-freq extension with an inexpensive mic.




-tINY

Old 20th September 2011
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tslesicki View Post
I've listened to a few Superlux S241 samples, I think it sounds nice (at least on a guitar). Is it actually the same mic as the CAD e70, just without the exchangeable capsules? What do you guys think about it? Is it as good as the M179?
I'm a big fan of the Superlux S241 and was the one who first mentioned that they are probably one and the same as the e70.

I also own a Zoom H2 and use if often.

Unless you're planning on getting a separate preamp for the mic and then sending that to the line-in of your Zoom device, which would then give that mic a fair chance to shine, I think yo'd be better off with the zoom built in mics. They do an ok job. On the H2 I keep the recodring level in the middle and the volume at 100. The trick is in mic placement and distance.
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