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Help me round out my mic locker
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Help me round out my mic locker

Hello!

I've recently started to pivot from live sound to recording and am working on fleshing out my recording capabilities with the goal of doing a lot of single source tracking at home (vocals, guitars, etc.) while also being able to track full bands at remote locations (practice rooms, live shows, and occasionally studios).

I already had a thread where I obsessed about preamp selection, and feel pretty good about my choices there, and so now I want to turn my attention to my mic locker.

Here is what I currently have:

Shure SM7b
Studio Projects B1
Shure SM58 x 3
Shure SM57 x 3
Sennheiser E609
Sennheiser E604 x 3
Sennheiser E835 x 3
AKG D112
Heil PR48
Behringer XM8500
CAD CM217 x 2
Blue Encore 100 x 2
Behringer ECM8000

As you can see, I'm pretty well covered on dynamic mics for live sound type applications, so I think my next steps should be a pair of ribbons, a quality LDC, and maybe a matched pair of SDC's as well.

I'm leaning towards 2 Beyerdynamics M260s, a Telefunken CU29, and maybe 2 SM81's.

This seems like a versatile array of mics, and I'm thinking the ribbons would be my go-to for overheads, but could also see work on electric and acoustic guitar and maybe even vocals if the song calls for it.

The Telefunken would be a primary choice for vocals, drums room mic, and acoustic depending on the room. I already have a bright/flat-ish LDC with the SP-B1, and so warm seems like a good direction to go. I'm also expecting that shelling out for a higher budget LDC will put my SP B1 to shame, so I look forward to a bump up in quality there.

The SM81s could serve as overheads when I don't feel comfortable using ribbons and could otherwise be great for hi-hats, cymbals, acoustic, etc. I think these would help balance out the otherwise dynamic heavy mic collection I've assembled for live sound reinforcement, and would also replace my ridiculously cheap CAD SDCs (got them both for like $30 in college lol).

I've also looked at C414s, but I've gotten great sounds with a friend's BK5s on overheads through my Dakings and am pretty sure I will be chasing a ribbon sound on overheads. If I did go for C414s, I've heard the older ones are better, but they tend to be significantly more expensive. While I'm open to spending more money than the above mics, budget is a consideration, so probably not going to spring for a vintage U67 anytime soon, for example.

Any and all thoughts would be greatly appreciated! You guys were an awesome help with gaming out my preamp upgrade path, and I can't wait to see what suggestions you come up with on this.

Cheers!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Maybe you could choose something with variable patterns for the SDCs...like CAD e70's...but I see you've had CAD and moved on.

By the way...which Daking Pre do you use and how do you like it?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
Maybe you could choose something with variable patterns for the SDCs...like CAD e70's...but I see you've had CAD and moved on.

By the way...which Daking Pre do you use and how do you like it?
Hello hello people,

Thanks for the suggestion. I hadn't come across that CAD mic before. I'll take a look!

Using the Mic Pre IV and I've only had a chance to use it on a few drum recording sessions and it performed admirably. I really like it! Really snappy highs, punchy, and it definitely has a vibe that isn't overbearing but is definitely present. High mids bump. Used it on overheads, kick, and snare, and was really happy in all three applications. I feel like it would be really cool to track an entire project with Daking pres one day.

I thought the DI was good but not particularly exciting on my electric guitar, but would probably work really well for reamping later, or maybe for bass. Felt detailed and big, but not overly hyped in a particular way, if that makes sense. For a comparison, the DI on my Golden Age Pre73 has a "sound" that I quite like on my electric guitar, with a bright but smooth quality to the highs whereas the Daking is more subtle.

Again, this is just after a couple of sessions and some brief experiments. There's plenty written about these pres, most of which I agree with. Probably one of the better documented pres on these forums in terms of consistent characterizations that rang true to me once I tried them for myself.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
Ribbons. Get good ones. Coles 4038 or AEA 84 or Royer 121 all 3 are workhorse.
The 4038 is the strongest ribbon type sound of the 3. Great Overhead, can be great for some for vocals & guitar cab.
The AEA will be the most useful for you I think. More common in the USA. Often used on vocals, guitar cab, overheads
The Royer is many peoples first choice for Guitar cab to compliment an SM57. But not as often as overheads or for vocals.

LDC Tube: I suggest some shopping at Advanced Audio. If they are too much look at Warbler.

SDC: Line Audio CM3 for decent on the cheap. If you want good ones, the battery version of used Sony C55P are very nice for SDC under 800 each.

The current SM81 is not the same animal as the mic that gained fame. Only the old ones with a flat side have the good internals. But by now, the old ones are losing signal stringth because they were the first generation of electrete mic's.
If you want that sound out of shure now, look at the KSM137.

In general you are thinking about it right.

Get first: Line Audio CM3, get a pair for overheads. (I think of them like SM57 but for Condencers. Cheap, decent, Small)
Second, LDC Tube, pick one. I suggest CM67se as a starting point. $1K for a mic that is along the lines of a U67.
Then Ribbon. Start with one good one vs two ok ribbons. I suggest you get a single Coles or AEA 84 as your first good ribbon. If you dont want to spend that much, look at bumblebee, RM5, or Fathead mic. A pair of coles are the ultimate overheads for drums if you want cymbals under control.

Once you get some ribbons the SDC's can be used for ride and hats. Also with a figure 8. Mid-Side stuff can be cool. If you get one good LDC and Ribbon, you can use them for a stereo room mic (Mid-side) for guitar and singing

A coles is one of the thicker mic's with class there is. Great for any single track you really want to take up a ton of musical space. Since modern stuff tends to be packed in with tons of tracks, That flavor is not used as often depending on what you are doing.

4038 is my fav mic in the world. To me there are only two mic's better than coles. The AEA 44 and RU4. But they cost even more and don't do the same thing. USA voicing vs. BBC voicing. Ribbons are easier on the ears than LDC's.

For preamps, give Revive audio a look
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
In general you are thinking about it right.

Get first: Line Audio CM3, get a pair for overheads. (I think of them like SM57 but for Condencers. Cheap, decent, Small)
Second, LDC Tube, pick one. I suggest CM67se as a starting point. $1K for a mic that is along the lines of a U67.
Then Ribbon. Start with one good one vs two ok ribbons. I suggest you get a single Coles or AEA 84 as your first good ribbon. If you dont want to spend that much, look at bumblebee, RM5, or Fathead mic. A pair of coles are the ultimate overheads for drums if you want cymbals under control.
Thanks so much for the detailed and thoughtful response. I have a lot of mics to research!

In terms of Ribbons, I thought the Beyers might be a cut above your chinese ribbons like Fatheads, but not cost quite as much as your Coles, AEAs or Royers. I also thought the hypercardiod pattern might be helpful for non-ideal rooms (esp. low ceilings) and that they would be a little less precious to haul around as opposed to the high end ribbons.

Having said that, I've heard nothing but good things about the Coles and the descriptions are hear sound pretty much like the sound I'm looking for in overheads, so given your endorsement here, I may reconsider and hold out for the Coles likes you suggest. It's a lot of outlay, but you've given me the Line Audio CM3's to look at, which I think would save me a lot of dough on SDC's.

Are the Line Audio CM3's as good as the reviews suggest? One potential drawback I've heard is that they have a wide cardioid pattern and my not be ideal for poor rooms - which is a reality I may be facing. But the price is so tempting I may be able to overlook that, especially if they perform admirably on OH and acoustic duties. I'll also check out the C55P's you suggested, although at that price I'm in Shure KSM137/Neumann KM184 territory.

I'll definitely take a look at the CM67se as well. I've been wary of clone companies in general, but something "U67" sounding is also extremely tempting.

I didn't know that about the modern SM81's - thanks for sharing that bit of info.

Thanks again, you've given me a lot to chew on here.

Cheers!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Head
 

As I understand it, mic technique is way more important, no? And I wonder if you don’t have 99% of what you need to make great recordings?

Maybe that can be your, “thing.” Record entire records on dynamics; that you know well, understand their limitations, and use the mics/proximity effects to their fullest advantage. It might be an interesting and unique way to roll.

Oh...sorry...I guess I’m not playing the game right...SPEND! BUY! ACQUIRE! The ultimate recording is just $5000 away.

Whew. That was a close one.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arsonculture View Post
As I understand it, mic technique is way more important, no? And I wonder if you don’t have 99% of what you need to make great recordings?

Maybe that can be your, “thing.” Record entire records on dynamics; that you know well, understand their limitations, and use the mics/proximity effects to their fullest advantage. It might be an interesting and unique way to roll.

Oh...sorry...I guess I’m not playing the game right...SPEND! BUY! ACQUIRE! The ultimate recording is just $5000 away.

Whew. That was a close one.
I appreciate the sentiment behind getting the most out of what you have. Thanks for chiming in.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post

In general you are thinking about it right.

Get first: Line Audio CM3, get a pair for overheads. (I think of them like SM57 but for Condencers. Cheap, decent, Small)
Second, LDC Tube, pick one. I suggest CM67se as a starting point. $1K for a mic that is along the lines of a U67.
Then Ribbon. Start with one good one vs two ok ribbons. I suggest you get a single Coles or AEA 84 as your first good ribbon. If you dont want to spend that much, look at bumblebee, RM5, or Fathead mic. A pair of coles are the ultimate overheads for drums if you want cymbals under control.
The more I think about it the more I think you're right that I should get a pair of SDC's first, then an LDC, then the ribbons (and save up for something nice). SDC's cover me for OH purposes and give me nice stereo and spot miking options for drums and acoustic instruments. This will probably give me the most bang for back in terms of tracking versatility.

Not seeing any Line Audio CM3's anywhere here in the states - so I'm looking for something a little further up the food chain. Probably Beyers.

For now I should be able to get decent vocals out of my SM7B until I can save up for a nice LDC - I appreciate the suggestions and thanks again!

Ribbons will have to wait and when I do I'll probably go with the Coles and get a pair.

Cheers!
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