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So which microphones would you start out with today?
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Lives for gear
 
IM WHO YOU THINK's Avatar
 

So which microphones would you start out with today?

i know many have old valuable collections from deals made over the years and buying things that went on to become gems, but if you were starting out right now, but with better knowledge than when you actually started, which mics would you have? What would you buy? Say for rap, RnB, folk,and Jazz, instruments and vocals.

Last edited by IM WHO YOU THINK; 1 week ago at 01:25 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Head
 
cat alley's Avatar
I'll never regret having a pair of Coles 4038 and a pair of Sennheiser MD441-N. The Coles are my go-to microphones for drum overheads and acoustic piano. They also work great on vocals, guitar amps, kick drum, woodwind & brass instruments, strings, among others. The MD441 is my go-to microphone for snare top/bottom, bass amp, and live vocals. It also sounds great on toms and guitar amps. I wish I had another pair of each.

Sometimes, I do regret having gotten a Neumann U87Ai. It's a versatile tool and always gets the job done. However, I never feel completely satisfied with the way it sounds without further tweaking. Some say it's an overpriced microphone; I totally agree. If it was today, I would have gotten a pair of Soyuz 023 microphones instead and still save some money.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Advanced Audio clones - amazing prices for stunning-sounding microphones. Have shot them out with mics costing 3x and 4x as much and they win. The 67 and 87 clones paired with a Neve style preamp are great for a crisp hip hop/pop/rnb sound in my opinion. If I want a smooth gooey vocal I reach for my R88.

Josephson C42s - my favorite overhead mics for a modern sound, just enough high end lift to make cymbals exciting without being overly bright. Also amazing on Acoustic guitar.

AEA R88 - Great on overheads/rooms. My go to piano mic. Sleeper for a smooth vocal. Amazing on brass/reeds/woodwinds and strings.

Beyerdynamic M88s - These are the most used dynamic mics in my collection. I love them on toms, snare, kick, any kind of cab, and often vocals. I also like the m201.

If I had to start over I would buy these mics immediately and avoid wasting my time with cheap condensers, too many 57s, and the like.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 

57/58
414
U67
R44 passive
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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Blaine Misner's Avatar
 

several m201's
several sm57's
pair of km184's
pair of 414's
u87
pair or ribbons (121 or 4038)

i could make a lot of records with only those mics, and they are all still being manufactured.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 

i'd get fewer but better mics - i'd start with a u67, then add a few schoeps.

btw, mics don't care about genre, register, sex...
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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IM WHO YOU THINK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i'd get fewer but better mics - i'd start with a u67, then add a few schoeps.

btw, mics don't care about genre....
I wouldn't say mics don't care about genre. If you're recording rap records,you won't be recording live drums often, so you wouldn't need a pair of high end OH mics. If you're on a budget, it would be close to pointless to buy them.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IM WHO YOU THINK View Post
I wouldn't say mics don't care about genre. If you're recording rap records,you won't be recording live drums often, so you wouldn't need a pair of high end OH mics. If you're on a budget, it would be close to pointless to buy them.
moving target: you were asking about what mics to get if starting over and my answer is i'd get the best mics i could afford.

dunno how you're going to record any source without using a mic - or do jazz, folk and r'n'b all use but samples these days? plus the u67 i mentioned certainly is a serious contender for any vocal recording (and on all sorts of instruments, as well as the schoeps)...
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Maniac
i'm actually in this situation currently.

i got really sick about 8 years ago and had to sell all my gear...left the business...stopped making records or working on music.

i'm just now thinking about setting up a new setup at home to see if i can still do this..or if i want to.

if i had to start over...and i basically do...this is what i'm thinking based on my 25 years of making records. these are mics i know always work great, are reliable and mostly hold their value over the years. at almost 50, i know that any investment now needs to be something i can turn around and sell eventually and not lose my ass on them like i have on most studio gear over the past 20 years.

2 coles 4038 ribbons
2 neumann u87's or u89's
1 shure sm7
2 beyer 201's
1 aea r88 stereo ribbon
1 akg d12
1 lawson fet 47/tube 251 combo
2 beyer m160 ribbon
1 pair earthworks tc120
2 sennheisser md421
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Moonwhistle's Avatar
 

C38b
441
421
M160 pair
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Lives for gear
I just finished putting together a mic collection again from nothing. I have not tested many of them.

I very much agree with the previus posts.

I won't put the entire list here I ended up with 65 mic's. To summ it up.

Coles 4038 pair & 121 clone(RM5)
47 & 67 clones (Advanced Audio, Lawson)
Purple TLM170, C48, U99S
Lot's of the best Large moving coil mic's I could find.
RE-20, EV38, DM1000, FV300, 441, ND868, B52, D12, PR40, EV666, few others
3 choices for Tom mic's (4+ each): UnidyneIII, MD409-U3, Yamaha MZ series mic's (105, 204, 205)
A single U87A, just because I wanted one to see what it was about and as a referance.

Since my first LDC tube was a Groove tube's MD1A in the late 90's, I decided to use/set up the Groove tubes power supplies and have all of the better Groove tube mics: MD1A, MD3, Velo-8T, MD6. Could not find an MD2 at reasonable cost.

For SDC, I decided to go with pairs of Sony C55P and CM3. One CM28(Advanced Audio)
Also found a really old SM81, the flavor that has a flat side to it- the old IFET circuit. Sometimes thats just the right sound for hats or acoustic guitar.

The only holes in my new collection are: 421, C800G, ELM251, KM84, 49. My room treament is only decent, not high level. So I decided to not get into the mic's that really need a well treated room like the 49 or Manley. Never did like all the bleed on 421.

I once had a C800(non-G) it did not get used enough other than a the Mid with a coles as the sides. Room MS for drums.

Also purchased a few specialy mic's. Sub Mic made from Sub speaker, SDC for kick drum that takes over 70SPL, no boundry mic's though.

In total I think 12 tube mic's. Should always be able to find the right match for a voice.

Three compleatly different scheems for a large drumsets. Should be able to get the right color drums for a song.

I went overboard. I plan to sell about 40% of the mic's I have once I have used them all and see what I really like. Spent about $50K, Never more than $2,000 on any one mic. Once I go through and clean out what I don't use, I expect I will use that cash to get a Chandler or Josephson or Bock.

Out of what I have used and tested, my favorites so far are: Coles 4038, MD409-U3, Groove tubes MD3.
I expect to use a pair of CM67se a bunch.

The hardests ones to find that I did buy were the EV38 and DM1000. Both have become very rare. Groove tubes MD2 and MD3 are also about impossible to find. The MD3 and U99S were flukes. Both purchsed as Buy it now 10 min after listed on ebay.

Everybody who has used a C37A loves them. The MD3 and one Josophson mic are clones of the C37A

Last edited by elegentdrum; 1 week ago at 02:07 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
sleepyhollos's Avatar
I'd pick up a c414, a pair if recording in stereo would be of any importance, a AT4047, and a simple SM57 and call it a day. I could get most jobs done to a decent standard, and even have options for many sources,
with those.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
I’m pretty happy with my mics. I’d maybe start in reverse order as I love my last two mics: Bock 251 and AEA44. Since I record a full band live it’d take an investment to get started. I have five SM57s I rarely use. I’d bypass those and get a MD441. RE20, 2 Peluso ribbons, AEAr84.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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IM WHO YOU THINK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
moving target: you were asking about what mics to get if starting over and my answer is i'd get the best mics i could afford.

dunno how you're going to record any source without using a mic - or do jazz, folk and r'n'b all use but samples these days? plus the u67 i mentioned certainly is a serious contender for any vocal recording (and on all sorts of instruments, as well as the schoeps)...
I think you're argument is being stated for the sake of argument and there's no need to go there. I could go further into making my point, but I had no real issue with your post beyond one sentence, and I gave an example of how I thought genre could effect microphone selection.. I don't know how that brought us to a snarky/defensive discussion on if certain genres use samples or how you don't know how you'd record a source without a microphone.

Of course one should get the best microphones they can afford, but that's not what you said. (And it's a given, so there wouldn't be much point in saying so).

You've since edited your post to include register and sex.


Rather than go into a long exchange about frequency responses and vocal registers, I'll thank you for your suggestions.

Last edited by IM WHO YOU THINK; 1 week ago at 12:22 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Tricky but...SM58...with the rest of the dough put into an expensive preamp (which is necessary to get the best out of the mic)..?

BUT... still no large-diaphragm style capture for acoustic guitar.

So, if I had to start out today, having reviewed and used/owned a range of low-to mid-range mics, I'd go for an Aston Starlight (or stereo pair). Great all-rounder, flexible, excellent sound a la KM84/184, decent price and build quality. Plus the lazer for cat.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
edva's Avatar
When I started, we used tape. There was no such thing as digital.
Now, this being the digital age, I would start out with several nice ribbons, because they play so well with digital, IMHO. Luckily there are many to choose from today - AEA, Cloud, SE, Beyer, etc.

Next, moving coil dynamics, such as 441, RE20, M88, M201, SM7b, PM9, etc. Depending upon what is to be recorded, would need multiples of these.

A few good SDC pairs, again many good options here - almost too many to mention - Schoeps, Neumann, Beyer, AT, Miktek, etc. etc. And I still have a soft spot for the good old Shure SM81.

And of course, a few good LDC's. Again, many good models available, all the usual suspects, to which I will add the mostly unknown brand Nevaton. On a moderate budget, I really like the Miktek brand here too. Another less-discussed LDC that I like is the Shure KSM44. One mid-priced mic that I would avoid would be the current iterations of what used to be a great model, the AKG 414.

My philosophy would be to "buy nice, don't buy twice". That doesn't mean it has to be the most expensive thing available though. Just that the quality and performance should be in the top tier.

(This generally mirrors the mic cabinet I currently have, with a few substitutions, but I do not have any mics which I regret buying or owning. The difference is that I would start with ribbons first if I was starting over. I did the opposite of that. Better late than never I guess).

Last edited by edva; 1 week ago at 12:32 AM.. Reason: +
Old 6 days ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IM WHO YOU THINK View Post
I think you're argument is being stated for the sake of argument and there's no need to go there (...)
no, i wasn't: i was referring to your comment 'If you're recording rap records, you won't be recording live drums often, so you wouldn't need a pair of high end OH mics' - now i don't do rap but mostly jazz, blues/rock and classical music so i guess this explains my mic choice (a bit better).

but back to topic (or one of the topics you raised): i never look at any gear (including microphones) from a perspective of genre but always from its function: my u67's or tlm170's got to record pretty much any style and lots of instrument/voices, my schoeps' even more, my desks don't care about what waveforms they need to twist either nor does any of the outboard - my gear is 100 % genre agnostic! and yes, it doesn't care about sex and register either.

i'm getting a bit upset if i get to read some marketing blabla that a specific mic is supposed to be especially well suited to record female singers! (btw: ever noticed this is much less getting advertised for male singers?) - but maybe i should ask my desk first before i plug in a mic or play back a track: hope it lets me work with a countertenor...
Old 5 days ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 

"Just a singer" here, who likes to make "practice recordings"-partly to perform better live locally.

So my fussy minimum for home would be...
AKG D790 for live/studio.
AKG P120 (Black)
Oktava 219 or 319

To bring to a Commercial Studio...
My Bock Soundelux U195
(superior to U87ai on me)
Chris
P.S. I also love the M88 and 441 on my voice,
along with the 44 ribbon & Sontronics
Sigma 2 ribbon.
Old 4 days ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Sigma's Avatar
like an earlier poster ribbons and digital go like bread and butter..not like tape days so for me

bk5 b
shure 300 series
beyer 160
rca paintbrush for the smaller ribbon vibe

then
re 20
re 15
sm7b
akg dual diaphram d200e
57
d112 [toms]
421

then
87
sony 38
adk tt1 tube
47 fet
km 84
451 with ck1 capsule

i'd be good to go on anything.. got all but 2 and they are in the studio where i =need thm on drum trcking
Old 4 days ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Also big U47 tube & FET style microphone fan too.
Soundelux U99 and Bock 67, are my fave 67 style.
Chris
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