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A novel microphone setup
Old 26th September 2012
Lives for gear
Play's Avatar

A novel microphone setup

Hi guys,

I'm looking for some pointers to help my microphone set up. All I have at the minute is a pair of Earthworks QT30 microphones and a Yamaha Sub Kick on the way.

I have a small control room-come recording space (maybe 15x9x8, room inside a room, lots of treatment, sounding warmer by the minute.)

The main things I'd like to record here are acoustic instruments and a voice. So I'm looking for a spot mic, either LDC or SDC which is good at picking up bass and midrange and an out-and-out vocal mic for dynamic vocals.

I'm going to use the Earthworks as room mics/overheads and the Yamaha Sub Kick on a drum kit I'm trying to record. My idea is to get a good picture with the Earthworks mics but to get a bit closer with something which will pick up kick, snare and the brash of the cymbals.

So I want the Earthworks for room, something for the midrange and a yamaha sub kick to emphasise the thump and subsonic roundness.

For the vocal mic, something dynamic.
Old 26th September 2012
Mojave MA-200 and SM7

Typical GS
Old 26th September 2012
Originally Posted by enzodrum View Post
Mojave MA-200 and SM7

Typical GS
Yep. I really dig the setup you're going for- sounds like a recipe for some awesome sounding, very natural recordings, assuming your room sounds good. I think for your drum kit needs, a tube LDC in front of the kit would do a lot just to add some warmth and color. It would also be great for vocals and acoustic guitar, or most stringed instruments. There are a bunch of good options out there for LDCs- the Mojave mentioned above is great, or, depending on your price range, there are alllll kinds of good options. The SM7b would also be good to have around for guitar and bass amps, a close snare mic if you need it, and a solidly performing vocal mic.

Good luck!
Old 26th September 2012
Gear Maniac
Rascal Audio's Avatar
Are you going to put a close mic on the kick (something in addition to the subkick) and snare? The Earthworks will capture the overall kit, but usually you want something to capture the kick separately, and I don't think you'll be satisfied with only the subkick on it. The subkick is appropriately named, b/c it emphasizes the ultra lows and body of the drum, but clarity, definition, attack, etc.... not so much -- rather incomplete on it's own (and I don't think you'll find the Earthworks make up the difference).

To round out the drums snag an SM57 or Audix i5 for the snare and an AKG D112, Shure Beta-52, Beyer M88, etc for the kick.

For pencil mics there are many good ones in a variety of price ranges. Personally I'm a fan of AKG C460 and 480, Josephson C42, Oktava MC012 (modified), AT4051. For LDC also lots in broad price ranges: AT4047 and AT4050 (both of which are also great for instruments), AKG C214 and C414, Neumann TLM103, TLM49, TLM67, U87, Shure KSM32 and KSM44, and tons more. Spend some time searching these forums, and you'll find lots of good recommendations.

I don't recommend you buy something without trying it, however (assuming you can get your hands on them). Microphones are like crayons. You will prefer some colors and not others, so people's recommendations can be a guide, particularly if you see the same models mentioned over and over. But it is not gospel, so try them before you buy them if you can.

Old 26th September 2012
Lives for gear
It sounds like a perfect set up for a Recorderman or Glyn Johns drum technique, which requires a mic for kick and snare in addition to the overheads. The 57, SM7 or MD421 get the most love on snare. For kick, if you're using the subkick in addition, a 57 might be all you need, but most folks use a larger diaphragm, dedicated kick mic. The Earthworks are perfect for the overheads...

For vocals, and to supplement the Earthworks for acoustic instruments, and to round out your choices, you might benefit from two other mics.
1. LDC-most have extended frequency response but warmer mids than the SDCs you have. Can be great for vocals, but how they'll sound on your voice varies a lot. For example, I've tried a lot of the inexpensive ones, and things like the Blue Bluebird, MXL V67m and so on sound bright and harsh on my voice. I ended up going with a modded Apex LDC, and some Oktavamod MK219/319 mics.
2. Ribbon-you can go from $50, on sale at GC versions, thru mildly modded ones from Oktavamod or JJ, thru midrange like the Blue Woodpecker ($800 from Ebay or Hello Music) to serious iron like the Coles or Beyerdynamic. Again, you're going to have to try stuff because how they sound on your sources and in your room can be very different. I love the fact that with a decent ribbon, I can just put it up in the room and get a great guitar sound (unlike an SM57 where I have to move the mic just so and fiddle with compression/EQ).

So, how much is your budget?
Old 26th September 2012
Lives for gear
Play's Avatar

Thank you, everyone. Really good advice to hear.

I maintain that I'd like an LDC (tube is a good shout) which I'd use at kick drum level and I think I will benefit from having an SM7 for the snare.

Perhaps I should go for a pair of ribbon mics for snare and hi-hat.

Shure SM7 - £300/$500
Tube LDC - £400/$700
Ribbon pair or single ribbon - £1000/$1600
2-Channel mic preamp - £2000/$3230

My interface is an RME UFX, I think I want to stick with it for now.
Old 27th September 2012
Lives for gear
Play's Avatar

I like the look of the Mojave MA-300 for the LDC.

Royer R101 Ribbon.

Neve Portico.

Does that sound about right?
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