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Best Mic to pair with NAGRA 4.2 for solo vocals Condenser Microphones
Old 1 week ago
Here for the gear

Best Mic to pair with NAGRA 4.2 for solo vocals

Hello! I plan to record solo voice (bass-baritone) outdoors with a Nagra 4.2 (mono). The music is referencing old field recordings (like this), and should include some ambient noise from the natural areas I'll be recording in. I would like to spend no more than $1000 on a microphone, which will go straight into the Nagra through a mogami gold cable. I am considering a TLM107, thinking that the Nagra and tape will warm things up and take care of color while the 107 will be neutral with good fidelity. Any thoughts/other recommendations?

One other consideration is a windscreen - I'll need to block out some decent winds. Was thinking of using this.

Thank you!
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
I'm assuming the 4.2 supplies phantom power (48v +/- 4v)...if not then that's another add-on box needed... otherwise it should work well.

According to the manual (link below), "When using microphones, connect them to the two XLR type connectors on the left side of the recorder. If the QPAU–T/QPU–T microphone preamplifiers are installed in the recorder, check that the switches corresponding
to each of the microphone inputs are in the correct position for the type of microphone being used. The possible selections are T–power, + 12 V and + 48 V phantom, powering or 200 Ω dynamic"

Switch no 43 is the relevant one, but make sure you have those QPAU's on board first !......


Here's another useful publication re Nagras: << see page 79 onwards for mic powering

I suspect the Guttman fluffy may not be sufficient, be prepared to use a cage-like structure eg Rycote zeppelin or Rode equivalent if you don't get sufficient wind/air-movement reduction.

Last edited by studer58; 1 week ago at 06:00 PM..
Old 1 week ago
Here for the gear

Yes I do have those preamps installed, so phantom power is not an issue. So you think the tlm107 is a good choice? Will I lose the high end with one of the heavier windscreens? Thank you for the help!
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
celticrogues's Avatar

That windscreen for the 107 will probably be fine in light winds, but I’d be hesitant to use it for anything more. Good windscreens for LDC’s are going to be quite big.

If it were me I’d look into something like a Sennheiser MKH40 or 50 or a Schoeps Mk41. All can be found used for around $1000.

Then get a better Rycote windscreen for it, at least a super softie, or even a BBG or blimp.

Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
Originally Posted by kserenbetz View Post
Yes I do have those preamps installed, so phantom power is not an issue. So you think the tlm107 is a good choice? Will I lose the high end with one of the heavier windscreens? Thank you for the help!
I don't think you'll be finding many 'authentic singers' out tilling the fields or hauling up water from the well as they sing ! At least not in Europe...perhaps in Nepal or rural Africa ? How much of your recording is likely to be truly "outdoors" ....vs in a wind-shadowed area, or indoors ?

You'd be well advised to make contact with "Simmosonic" Greg Simmons from this forum, who ventures out frequently to Asian locations to record indigenous folksongs, and has a very compact and effective rig. For example: Recording (audio&amp;video) acustic music with one mic anywhere

Sound Expeditions | Worldwide sound and music recording expeditions

Last edited by studer58; 1 week ago at 03:31 AM..
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
tourtelot's Avatar
You might check in with Bwanajim who hangs out here. He has a ton of experience recording music outdoors. You might say, he's outstanding in his field. (Sorry! Couldn't resist)

H has made a number of CD recordings in Cuba, far away from electricity and acoustic treatment.

He responds quickly to PMs if he's not away.

Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
Ive done countless Nagra IV field recordings
Schoepes CCM 41 l was a favourite in a small Rycote ball gag and furry on a Panamic boom
MKH T power mics are worth a look ,they go for peanuts on the bay
MKH 406 a particular favourite, a cardioid with plenty of grab and excellent in humidity
Old 1 week ago
Here for the gear

Thank you all so much for all of this input! I will definitely contact Simmosonic and Bwanajim for more input. I'm sorry for my delay in response, I have been vigorously researching all of your suggestions!

I'm very interested in the Schoeps and the Sennheisers. It seems that everyone is steering me away from an LDC. I looked into a blimp for an LDC, and besides DIY options, the only suitable one was for a Rode NT1, and it doesn't seem to be made anymore. I was hoping to use one so that in the future I could also use this mic for indoor recording, as my budget is limited, but I might have to reconsider.

Studer58, I agree with your comment about "authentic singers"! However, my goal is not for authenticity, but to capture the sounds of various ecological items (plants, insects, frogs, water, etc.) that are directly related to the music. So I will need to record in the true outdoors.

Of the recommended SDCs, from the shootouts, I think I like the Schoeps best. The MKH's seems a little boomier in the bass, where the Schoeps seems a little more natural (but also harder to find used in my price range).

I have a few follow-up questions:

1. Should I rule out the possibility of an LDC for these outdoor recordings? Or is there some way to buy or "easily" make an effective windscreen or blimp for something like the TLM107?

2. For the SDCs, is there a reason you are all suggesting mainly hypercardiods rather than cardiod?

3. The SDCs sound more "hyped"/intense than the TLM107 to my ears, and i'm wondering if the polar patterns can balance that (for example an MK21 or MK4 versus MK41, or the MKH40 vs 50)?

4. How do the Schoeps/Sennheiser(/TLM107)fair in humidity?

Thank you again for your help and expertise!!!
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
LDCs outside is lunacy
Hypers have more directivity and presence
RF MKH better in humidity and they never 'boom'
All need proper wind gagging and shock mounting
Old 1 week ago
Gear Nut
In addition to above;
SDCs tend to be more transparent, as well as being less cumbersome!
Old 1 week ago
Gear Addict

The little MKH 8050 (supercardioid) might be another one to consider; if the Nagra has a low cut/high-pass filter you should use it.

I have a very small Rycote blimp for it, the WS-10 kit (Rycote).
Old 1 week ago
Gear Maniac

LDCs can be used outside effectively, but there has to be a compelling reason (e.g. extreme low self-noise requirement) and skill with making wind-protection. I've posted before about a DIY windshield for an LDC MS pair: DIY windshield for LDC mid-side pair . Magnús Bergsson also uses NT1a LDCs outside in Iceland, along with a whole range of MKH SDC mics etc.: About | HLJODMYND - SOUNDIMAGE . So not entirely lunacy!

But an SDC mic is, of course, much more convenient and suited to the task and MKH (and other RF) mics have the considerable advantage of immunity to humidity. In terms of pattern, that will come down to what the OP wants to capture in terms of ambient noise: for a current series of outdoors folk music recordings that I am making I am using an SDC omni pair, which gives me the right balance between the musicians and the (wanted) ambience of birdsong etc. (see photo).


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Old 1 week ago
Here for the gear

norfolksoundman9, I actually had read your post about the DIY windscreen before I posted! Unfortunately I think the welding is a bit beyond me, and I don't know that i'm experienced enough to know if I did a good job making a windscreen. So it sounds like it is an SDC for me. Love the picture, that looks pretty close to what I'm aiming for!

I think it is now between the Schoeps Mk4(1), the Sennheiser MKH40, and the mkh8040. How much humidity can the Schoeps handle? Does it take rainforest-level humidity to cause problems, or is a muggy summer day in Illinois or Minnesota enough? It seems like the safe bet is the MKH40, but I just love the Schoeps sound...

PS: any examples of either mic with singing?
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