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SM81 really the best condenser for $350? Condenser Microphones
Old 28th August 2007
  #31
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t.dizzle's Avatar
 

ATM450's kill SM81's. You'll see more 81's in live applications more than in the studio. That may not be true for local studios, but for the big rooms 81's are not that common.
Old 28th August 2007
  #32
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ddageek's Avatar
 

Nothing Kills the M81 ther may be others that give the tone someone is looking for!
The SM81 is nice flat SDC hard to beat for the $$$$$ and makes a great First SDC you can really learn what pres sound like !and mic placement!
You want more mojo go with the Josephsons!
Old 28th August 2007
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddageek View Post
The SM81 is nice flat SDC hard to beat for the $$$$$ and makes a great First SDC you can really learn what pres sound like and mic placement!!


The pad and HPF come in handy too.... If they were $200 mics, there wouldn't be any reason not to have one or two of them.



-tINY

Old 28th August 2007
  #34
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t.dizzle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddageek View Post
Nothing Kills the M81 ther may be others that give the tone someone is looking for!
Pipe down there, Ace. Right, 450's don't kill 81's. But lots of other sdc's do, but we don't need to go there. I personally would try everything in the locker before a SM81 in the studio.
Old 28th August 2007
  #35
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Peluso cmc6, is a great cheap SDC. I regularly choose it over many other more expensive sdc's.
Old 29th August 2007
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t.dizzle View Post
Pipe down there, Ace. Right, 450's don't kill 81's. But lots of other sdc's do, but we don't need to go there. I personally would try everything in the locker before a SM81 in the studio.
What sdcs would u say kill the SM81 at the same price range? I have heard recommendations for ATM450 for drum overheads, but not acoustic guitar.

Do you have any experience with AT4041?
Old 29th August 2007
  #37
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amr Kadry View Post
Do you have any experience with AT4041?
I almost feel sick about saying this, but I actually prefer AT4041's to KM84's as bottom snare mics.

stikestike
Old 29th August 2007
  #38
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The SM81's are worth the money...they are very good as overheads, and on acoustic guitar.
I used to own a 451, but it always seemed too "artificial" or hyped in the highs.
The SM81's always sounded better to me, so the 451 usually stayed in the case until I needed it as an extra for something like a ride or highhat.
It really started to bug the **** out of me when I used the 451 on the highhat....toooo crisp, so I sold the [email protected] on ebay.
Old 29th August 2007
  #39
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I say the 81, Josephson, or the 451 are all good reliable mics. If I were you, I'd stick to those three. The 81 and 451 are in just about every studio in the world and the Josephson is getting there. All three are good sdc's. You have to be carefull going the large diaphram road in that price range. Also, keep in mind the off axis response for overheads.
Druhm
Old 29th August 2007
  #40
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nukmusic's Avatar
 

4041 has a lot of output. be careful what pre you use.
Old 29th August 2007
  #41
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t.dizzle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by druhms View Post
The 81 and 451 are in just about every studio in the world
And the 81 sits in the closet collecting dust and getting rusty.
Old 29th August 2007
  #42
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FWIW, I've been using my 81s a little further above the kit than I used to, and the results are much better. I agree that they can sometimes sounds a bit "harsh" or "plasticy" (substitute your preferred negative buzzword...), but the extra distance really seems to help the sound.

Adding a Royer 121 to the front of kit helped more though.
Old 29th August 2007
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post

If you can get the Josephsons, you should jump on them. The few times I have used them they were accurate and didn't have any trouble with transients - not a "color" mic, but a really good realistic mic.
I'm not sure what would be different, but my C42s are quite bright (not really harsh though) and definitely scooped in the mids compared to other more neutral SDCs.
I like them alot but I would never describe them as "accurate" or "realistic".

I'd call them "clean and zingy"...

YMOV.

-Z-
Old 29th August 2007
  #44
Gear Head
 

Hmmm... so you guys got me thinking about LDCs. It seems that they would be more versatile, and some people do use them for drum overheads. At $300 the AT4040 and KSM27 seem like options. I've read more good reviews about the AT4040, but I would like to know if anyone has used either as drum overheads and if the results were any good?

I've seen a lot of people recommend the AT4050 or AT4047, but those are out of my budget.
Old 29th August 2007
  #45


I haven't used them close to drums before - I did notice that they are bright, but they don't have an fuzz or sluggishness or airyness to them.

It's like a wide Q boost at around 8kHz. It's easy to "undo" if you want flat.




-tINY

Old 29th August 2007
  #46
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The 81's can be kind of sterile sounding but in some cases they work well where nothing else does. I don't think they are better or worse than anything else, just a different flavor. If people have a bad opinion of them I think it is because they can be very unforgiving to the sound source, vs. something that makes anything sound good.
Old 29th August 2007
  #47
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that's the thing about shure condensers, reviews always say 'it hasn't got a hugely flattering sound but it's a very capable mic' - personally, I've come to like boring mics like the 81, there's an unhyped clarity there, but I must admit the real attraction is the fact you can get this metal windshield that allows you to use it as a '70's style television vocal mic
Old 30th August 2007
  #48
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

No one mentioned the AT4051's. Close to that price, just a bit more, maybe.
Old 30th August 2007
  #49
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beechstudio's Avatar
 

I have a pair of SM81's and AT4033's that get OH chores. Usually I go to the 4033's.
Old 30th August 2007
  #50
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There are times when the SM81 is just the ticket. Hi hat and some acoustic guitars come to mind, as does use on the acoustic sound of a DI'd electric bass, when you want some more high end and junk in the sound.

There are lots of times when the SM81 doesn't deliver the goods.

Personally, I'd hate to tru to record with fewer than four or five condenser mic flavors. You really never do know what's going to work on a given day, in a given studio, with a given player, with a given instrument....
Old 30th August 2007
  #51
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pootkao's Avatar
Bang for the buck?
Kel Audio HM-1

A seriously good mic for overheads. Nevermind its cheaper than borscht. Total secret weapon.

www.kelaudio.com
Old 30th August 2007
  #52
Man, the AT4041's sure do a great job on just about everything. Great drum overhead mics, IMO. They're about $500 for a pair.
Old 30th August 2007
  #53
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

I used 81's for the first time yesterday. Real nice. A pair XY in front of an acoustic into the Pacifica>C2. Sweeeeet.
Old 30th August 2007
  #54
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Tom Hakala's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amr Kadry View Post
Hmmm... so you guys got me thinking about LDCs. It seems that they would be more versatile, and some people do use them for drum overheads. At $300 the AT4040 and KSM27 seem like options. I've read more good reviews about the AT4040, but I would like to know if anyone has used either as drum overheads and if the results were any good?

I've seen a lot of people recommend the AT4050 or AT4047, but those are out of my budget.
just go with those AT4040 and stop visiting this forum. Otherwise you will start to be believe you just can't make a good sounding drum recording with those. Chase for an awesome drum take instead of let's say "which AT40XX mic to go". Just put the AT4040s hanging somewhere near the drums, make the drummer to feel good and confident about his drumming, get the best out of him and cut the perfect sounding drum take musically... and no one gives a **** about was it AT4040 or AT4047 or KM84...

just learn to use the gear you have and then all you gotta do is to enjoy the music!
Old 30th August 2007
  #55
Gear Head
 

Thanks a lot for this advice Tom. I was starting to think that myself... the differences I hear between the mics in recording on some websites are not so big... there are small noticeable differences yes, but most AT40XX mics sound similar (in recordings I have heard anyway). I was also leaning towards just buying what I like... I'm sure I can get a good recording with any good quality $300 mic.
Old 30th August 2007
  #56
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ScottTunes's Avatar
 

I'm gonna add to the confusion...

Take a listen to the EV RE200 SDC. Great on acoustic guitar as well as OH.

RE200 - Electrovoice


Same goes for the Crown CM700s. The Crowns are a bit more versatile too.

CM Series

Oktava-Mod offers some brilliant SDC and LDC mics, including the 012 (SDC) and 319 (LDC). Both of which will be better than the AT mics IMHO, and may even cost less.

As always, believe your own ears.
Old 30th August 2007
  #57
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Tom Hakala's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tifftunes View Post
Both of which will be better than the AT mics IMHO, and may even cost less.

As always, believe your own ears.
just curious, have you used those mics that you are recommending and not recommending?
Old 30th August 2007
  #58
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hakala View Post
just go with those AT4040 and stop visiting this forum. Otherwise you will start to be believe you just can't make a good sounding drum recording with those.
I think that is a misunderstanding. Most are not saying you can't get a good drum sound with x or y microphone. They are just giving an opinion of what is the best sound, in their experience.

And I would normally choose the small condenser over the large one for drum overheads as the off-axis response is typically a bit more even. Not a must, but I find with cymbals, you get less of that phasy effect when you hit them and they are moving. 4051 is far and away the best option for Audio Technica for this purpose, in my opinion. A few bucks more, but still reasonable. Your experience may be different, and that is ok, too. heh
Old 3rd September 2007
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hakala View Post
just curious, have you used those mics that you are recommending and not recommending?
...Meaning the Oktava-Mod mics will sound better as a rule than the AT mics.

And, yes, I have used the un-modded versions of the Oktavas, and AT mics.

I prefer both the Okatav and EV mics overt the ATs.
Old 4th September 2007
  #60
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
4051 is far and away the best option for Audio Technica for this purpose, in my opinion. A few bucks more, but still reasonable.

4051's are great The 4041's are a cardioid only version of the same mic.
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