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OK! Here is where I need your help. Mics on budget ideas.
Old 14th March 2004
  #1
Gear Addict
 
Nevelicious's Avatar
 

OK! Here is where I need your help. Mics on budget ideas.

Alright gents! I need ideas. I have some misc. mics such as a few 57's and a 52. I need to cover all areas from LG diaphram for male female rap, rock and pop, too overheads and toms. I have a budget of around two grand. Help me out!

I have some good preamps already such as a 737, isa 428, 473 etc.
Old 14th March 2004
  #2
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I think it's foolish to buy cheap condensers until you are fully equipped with the "meat and potatoes" dynamic mikes. To me, this means

4 to 6-57s
4-EV-RE-15s
4-Senn 421s
3-EV RE-20s
3-Beyer M-88s
3-EV-635as

Most people would be utterly shocked both by how great a recording one can make with this selection and by how many of their favorite records have been made using ONLY some of these mikes while the U-47s sat in the closet.
Old 14th March 2004
  #3
Gear Head
 

Ok, I'll play.

How many is a few '57's? Let's say a 'few' is 4. So you've got 4 57's and a '52, which covers your kick.

You could use some 421's as kick options and tom mics, so let's get two of those: $400 ebay. You could also use them on guitar cabinets or a bass cab or even SOME vocals.

Let's add a Shure SM7- good for lots of vocals, guitar cabinets, etc. Should be great for your rappers.
$300 used.

You need some small diaphragm condensors-let's get two flavors there instead of one higher dollar pair. Let's get a pair of MXL 603's (brighter)and a pair of Oktava MCO12's (darker): $400 total for both pairs. (You'll have to match the Oktava's yourself at a GC or the like). These will be good for Drum OH's, as well as any acoustic guitars, stand-up, strings, Leslie, etc. So we've got $900 left.

Let's get two ADK LD's: a Hamburg (rounder, darker) and a Vienna (brighter) for $299 each. Good bang for the buck mics.
Let's get the tube MXL V69 with our last $300. You don't have a tube mic here; ya oughta have one and this one's pretty highly recommended at it's price point.

Sounds like you need options, so I elected to try to cover a LOT of ground rather than just make a few higher priced choices. Between the SM7, the two ADK's, and the V69 I'd think you could cover about any vocal duties well. Between the two matched pairs of SDC's, I'd think you could cover any drum OH's situation and/or any acoustic instruments/stereo stuff.

How's that?

Chris
Old 14th March 2004
  #4
Lives for gear
 
toledo3's Avatar
 

Bob 's comments are on the money.

Also, the lowly crown soundgrabber II ($59 from BSW), is a great thing to have around. It is a very unique tone that eqs well. It can be good on acoustics, room mic, drums.... but, believe it or not, it can be killer on vocals if you just sing right into it- very airy, and it will sound like the performer is singing right into your ear.

Most of the chinese condensers are more troule than they are worth. I know your "gearlust" is at a peak, so you have to listen to us about this. You plug in a chinese LDC and at first you will probably be attracted to all of that treble.... but later you will be beating your head against a wall trying to get rid of the sibilance around 7-8k WHILE ALSO trying to get rid of the hardness around 3k.
Old 15th March 2004
  #5
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

The other problem with cheap condensers (and some expensive ones) is the need to match vocal sounds using eq. in order to punch in a better phrase a few weeks later. People's voices can change a remarkable amount from day to day.
Old 15th March 2004
  #6
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

I was "foolish".

But it was a great learning experience for novice, who has time
to screw around finding out what they like (or don't!).

In a situation though where you're under deadline pressure to put out an important demo and/or product Bob's logic seems spot on.

Having said that...

If there's still room in the budget after getting enough appropriate
dynamics, check out the Studio Projects B1.
They run under $100 street each, so you could get a pair and only use up about 10% of the budget.

There's been a lot of discussion of the B1 over at www.studioforums.com on how well it works on various instruments, by those wiser than moi.

Chris

P.S. With all due respect, IMHO the MD421 is a good vocal
microphone, not just for "some" vocals.
Will also work for up to a vocal trio BTW.
Old 15th March 2004
  #7
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Should add that I have a B1, and although the voice is moderately (really) prone to some sibilance, it sounds very nice as a vocal microphone IMHO. If you look at the frequency response graph it's quite flat up to 2 kHz, and the rise from 6 Khz
on up is less pronounced than most other Chinese LDC's.

Unfortunately, due to the poor acoustics at home, am planning to sell it shortly. Nothing against it, like many other condensers it's doing a excellent job at telling me how terrible the room sounds!

Chris
Old 15th March 2004
  #8
Lives for gear
 
toledo3's Avatar
 

The B1 is just the kind of thing I am talking about.
Old 15th March 2004
  #9
Lives for gear
 
toledo3's Avatar
 

And chessparov,

Don't be too certain about the B1 not being great b/c your room is "bad".
Old 15th March 2004
  #10
Don
Gear Maniac
 
Don's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by toledo3
And chessparov,

Don't be too certain about the B1 not being great b/c your room is "bad".
Ditto that..
Old 15th March 2004
  #11
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Don and Toledo, that's certainly a valid point of concern regarding the B1, based on the limited amount of info I posted here.

Have tried it, however, in a good sounding room and can attest it
was quite nice sounding. It works better on me than a 414 B/ULS
FWIW-unless you EQ/de-ess the snot out of one .

The B1 wasn't up there with the Telefunken USA's, Manley Gold Reference, or Studio Projects T3(!) tried out at NAMM.
(big surprise)
But for under a hundred bucks it seems like an excellent value.
For someone who can use it on instruments other than voice,
it's reputed to excellent, price aside.

This is coming from someone who went;
AKG C1000(gasp)>AKG C3000B>Rode NT1 (original)
All long gone now.

So I've already served the harsh portion of the Asian condenser tour of duty.

Chris

P.S. Not a troll, I'm curious Toledo, did you try the B1?
Old 15th March 2004
  #12
Lives for gear
 
entropy's Avatar
I'm with Chessparov on this one.

I recently did a mini mic pre shoot out of sorts with some fairly budget models and thought the Studio Projects stuff came out favourably when compared to the Rode NT1a and the NT1000. I'm not saying it kicked arse 'cause it didn't, but at the price it goes for, it's a great buy. The Rode's are twice the price and certainly aren't twice the mic, yes they smoother around 4-10k but only marginally.

I will be doing a proper budget mic and mic pre shoot out shortly and will post results.
Old 15th March 2004
  #13
Gear Addict
 
fatty's Avatar
 

i concur. for those on a budget the b1 is a pretty good mic. maybe if i had better pres then it would be the other way around, but at the moment the b1 sees action more often than the 57.
Old 15th March 2004
  #14
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Also, the 57 and the 421 are the worst vocal mikes of the ones I mentioned!
Old 15th March 2004
  #15
Gear Addict
A Beyer ribbon, m500 or m260 is a worthy mic to add and you can find them used for $200 or so. One caveat is I find alot of variability in them so you might have to try a few before you find one you like. They can be useful for vocals, horns, fiddle, and guitar amp.
Old 15th March 2004
  #16
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Come on Bob, you must be kidding about the '57!

O.K. here are guesses of how you rank these for vocals, other things being equal:

1) M88
2) RE20
3) RE15
4) 635a
5) SM57
6) 421

If I nailed these, is that good for free mastering on one song? heh heh

Just kidding, but was this close?

Personally, it seems I fall into the small percentage of those who are pretty sibilant on the M88. Love its tone though.

Less of an issue with the EV 635a (less sizzly),
but I think the Unidyne III's sound better on me, relatively speaking/singing.

Chris
Old 15th March 2004
  #17
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Bob (and anyone else), do you think there is much substance to claims that "certain" SM57's
are much better than the others?

Maybe it's just an overactive imagination,
yet a SM57 "Unidyne III" (made in USA) I have sounds better than any other '57 tried so far.

It makes the other "hecho en Mexico" ones seem thin in comparison.

Chris
Old 15th March 2004
  #18
Lives for gear
 
toledo3's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by chessparov
Bob (and anyone else), do you think there is much substance to claims that "certain" SM57's
are much better than the others?

Maybe it's just an overactive imagination,
yet a SM57 "Unidyne III" (made in USA) I have sounds better than any other '57 tried so far.

It makes the other "hecho en Mexico" ones seem thin in comparison.

Chris
A few vintage 545's I have are significantly more detailed and airy than than any other 545 or 57 I have... much smoother at the same time....

The "unidyne III" refers to that style of cartridge... that type is theoretically still used in newer models. You can still get new 545's as well.... have not tried any newer ones.

From a few experiments, my conclusion is that the cause of the changes in sound are about equal between the cartridge and electronics. This was determined by swapping cartridges between 545's and 57's, and also by just hardwiring the capsules to wire and testing them that way.
Old 15th March 2004
  #19
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

That "much smoother/more detailed" is how this SM57 sounds.

I also have a Shure 546 that sounds better than the two other 545's previously owned.
Same positives as the above SM57, except it's brighter in tone.

Chris
Old 15th March 2004
  #20
Lives for gear
 
toledo3's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by chessparov
That "much smoother/more detailed" is how this SM57 sounds.

I also have a Shure 546 that sounds better than the two other 545's previously owned.
Same positives as the above SM57, except it's brighter in tone.

Chris
The capsule is probably just in better condition. The 546 probably saw most of its use on instruments, saving it from the spit and the resulting decaying foam insert. In my experiece the 545/546's sound the same.... at least as much as can be expected. And there is also the 54.
Old 15th March 2004
  #21
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Good point.

Chris
Old 15th March 2004
  #22
Lives for gear
 
jdier's Avatar
 

RE 20

Just saw Westway to the World, the documentory on the Clash.

They show Joe Strummer singing lead vocals for London Calling into an RE-20.

I never really lusted for one (in my non-pro home studio) but now it is all I can think of.

Strange how one comment, or image can suddenly change my mind on things.

For what it is worth I have found that for vocals (in my small very limited experience) that here is how I like my mics:

SP C3
421
SP B1
Old 15th March 2004
  #23
Moderator emeritus
 

Bob, I asssume that since the RE-15 is no longer in production, you'd accept an RE-16 as a substitute?
Old 15th March 2004
  #24
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by chessparov

The B1 wasn't up there with the Telefunken USA's, Manley Gold Reference, or Studio Projects T3(!) tried out at NAMM.
(big surprise)
But for under a hundred bucks it seems like an excellent value.
For someone who can use it on instruments other than voice,
it's reputed to excellent, price aside.

This is coming from someone who went;
AKG C1000(gasp)>AKG C3000B>Rode NT1 (original)
All long gone now.
I gotta ask...

What value is there in a mic that sells for $100 and then six months later when you outgrow it, you can't get **** for it? What's the most you can get for it? Half???

That's no value IMHO. Especially if you outgrow it in 6 months or a year. In that light an SM58 or Audix OM2 is a much better value.
Old 16th March 2004
  #25
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Jay, on the other hand the most you'll ever be out is the $80 or so
vs. buying a new U87.

Seriously, overall it seems like a nice microphone to me.
If and when any home recording gets important enough to do proper acoustical treatment, I'm planning to get the SP T3.

BTW I agree with other pro AE's, like Scott Dorsey, who think the SM58 is inferior to the SM57 on vocals anyway, due to the influence of the foam and basket=less clarity.

Dave, as you may know, all you need to do on a RE16 is to take the foam out of it to enhance clarity for recording purposes.

Chris
Old 16th March 2004
  #26
Lives for gear
 

My Personal Faves

I recommend you check out the CAD M9, Oktava 319 & 219. I've had many cases when the Oktava 319 beat out everything in my humble mic locker. The CAD M9 is a recent acquisition. Seems to always sit well in the mix. I've also had some great tracks using a MD 421 on rock stuff.
Old 17th March 2004
  #27
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by chessparov
Jay, on the other hand the most you'll ever be out is the $80 or so vs. buying a new U87.
But, if you bought a used U87 for $1500 you can resell it for $1500 without a problem. That's not really the point.

The point is that spending $100 on something that's crap, that you don't want to use is tossing money into the street. You'd be better off spending that $100 on something that you will be using in 10 years like a 421 or SM57, 635A etc.
Old 17th March 2004
  #28
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Fully understand your point Jay.
With all due respect, other AE's like yourself
think well of the B1, including Mike Rivers
who is a no nonsense kind of guy IMHO.

The thing that shuts me down on sensitive condensers is poor acoustics at home-and when the wife wants to watch Oprah!

So let's just say my "studio" environment is a bit less professional than yours.
At least I literally got to hear it firsthand.

Chris
Old 19th March 2004
  #29
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
What value is there in a mic that sells for $100 and then six months later when you outgrow it, you can't get **** for it? What's the most you can get for it? Half???
I have a friend who got butt-f*cked when he purchased his pair of TLM-103 before the big price drop.

He is now high and dry, and owning them forever, because they have lost their resale value.
Old 19th March 2004
  #30
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
That kind of thing is unavoidable but it tends to happen more often with low priced imported gear. Sure, Neumann had the price drop but now I see new TLM103's for about $950. Besides, what's so bad about buying a quality piece and owning it for life? Unless I went into full-time mastering for the rest of my life I doubt I'd sell my pair of 103s, at least one of them gets used on every session. I can't say the same thing about the MXL V67, that gets used as a talkback mic when I feel guilty about not using it.
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