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Dynamic Mics: when, where, and how many to get
Old 22nd October 2013
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Philip Marinelis's Avatar
Dynamic Mics: when, where, and how many to get

Hi all,

In a recent thread I ask about some condenser microphones. Getting great suggestions there but on a sidenote a very good producer/engineer and well respected forum member (I won't say who in case he doesn't want to be mentioned) suggested I also need to expand my dynamic microphone collection.

Up until now I used to record acoustic music, more in line with the acoustic music and remote guys so my natural tendency is to use condenser mics for the most part. This means I have little experience with dynamic mics besides the obvious uses for toms and guitar cabs. I know hand percussion is another application but I usally use condensers there too.

Now, I seem to be booked for a little more varied projects :

Local Folk, World = 50%
Singer/Songwriter, Jazz = 30%
Indie, Alternative, Blues, Funky, Soul = 15%
Electronica, experimental = 4%
all the rest = 1%

The sound I'm looking for:
1. Jazz with vintage vibe
2. Jazz modern sound
3. World Music and/or cinematic: warm & sometimes lush
4. Last album of Dr John type of thing
5. Kings of Leon sound
6. "The National" mood
7. "Feist" charmingness

I have or have access to 6x57's, 3x58, 2xGefell (MD100 & 110), 2xD112, 1x421 and after the posters suggestion about dynamics I rememberd I also have but almost never used an EV N/D757SB, an EV N/D308B (the egg) and a vintage Beyerdynamic m69 which needs servicing.

The mics suggested to me were (put in qouotes)

“2+ Sennheiser 441
1-2 more 421's
1 RE20
2 EV 635A's
Some other misc. EV's for tone
1 Shure SM7
1-4 Shure 545's - smoother 57's
1-2 Beyer 201
Some Audix dynamics. I like the D6 for kick, and the I5's for a less cracking and less phasey sounding snare.”


The problem is I'm unfamiliar with their sound and their applications.
What do you use them for?
In which Genres?
Do you find they could be used extensively for the acoustic stuff?
If not, would It make sence to build such an extensive collection to cover about 20% of my projects?

In other words, considering the work I get, how much of this list should I cover and where to start from?

I will try to get permission to post some clips from projects i've worked on to give you an idea of my sound
Old 22nd October 2013
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
You list looks good and includes a mic I really want, the 441. The Audix D6 is really specific. A better (IMNSHO opinion) modern BD mic is the Sennheiser e602. Also add a couple of Beyer M88s to your list. They just sound great an almost every source.

Here's an articly I wrote about dynamic mics for Trust Me, I'm a Scientist.
Focus and Power: An Ode to the Dynamic Microphone
Old 22nd October 2013
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
Philip Marinelis's Avatar
Thanks, nice article by the way!
Old 22nd October 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Do you own any ribbon mics? If you're recording mostly world, folk and jazz stuff then I'd treat myself to a ribbon before buying a dynamic...
Old 22nd October 2013
  #5
Lives for gear
 
AlexK's Avatar
 

Beyer M201s, M160s, Sennheiser MD421s/441s, EV RE20s are all dynamics capable of some (at times) startlingly 'hi-fi' recordings but with the dynamic vibe you're looking for (the 160s are ribbons).

Coles 4038s as well - stunning.

Ribbons & dynamics are generally my go-to mikes before condensers. A good selection of ribbons too is really helpful. Ribbons have a great deal of extremely useful characteristics which I find makes my life much easier in the studio than most condensers...
Old 22nd October 2013
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
Philip Marinelis's Avatar
Ribbons: ATM I own or have access to an oktava and a pair of SE R1. The studio I use, is planning on geting a pair of Royer 121's. I want to check the Coles and AEA.

My guess is dynamics will find their use in the more "electrified" projects. Since I don't have so many of those, I'm trying to figure out which ones to try first and see where I will stop.

Do you see them used for brass, drum OH, stringed instruments, ac gtrs or piano on such projects?

Sent from my GT-I9300
Old 22nd October 2013
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Dynamics are wonderful on brass if you want a direct/in your face sound. I record a lot of ska punk and the trumpet usually gets an audix i5. Still haven't found what works perfectly on a trombone for me, but a 57 or i5 sure work good.

On acoustic guitar I usually put a LDC on the 12th fret and a dynamic (beta 57a) on the body, then hard pan. Gives a detailed and deep sound, without being muddy or anything gross like that.

Bass drum mics like a d112 work great on an upright bass, blended with an LDC. A ribbon does the job without needing more than one mic, r121 all the way.

Broadcast dynamics are really darn versatile, also. Sm7, re20, pr40. I've used an sm7a on everything from a kick, to a snare, guitars, upright bass, brass, vocals, and more. A lot of guys here seem to dig the re20, which I don't have access to right now, but in my limited experience with it the re20 is every bit as good as an sm7. The pr40 is also great, but I use it mainly on vocals and toms.

And the i5 works great on snare, but IMO the 57 or 421 beat it. The i5 is slightly better all around, to me at least. I've tried it on everything at least once. If you were doing jazz with a vintage vibe I might even use them as overheads, with an LDC as a third overhead, just for color/detail.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
Philip Marinelis's Avatar
Thanks! I'm starting to get the picture. I'll start trying the 421 on different sources to get the feel of a more open and detailed dynamic than an sm57.
Then add probably an sm7 or re20 and experiment more on drums and cabs with the ones I have (Gefells, EV).
Then go for a D6 to have an alternative inside kick mic.
Then build from there...

I've used the d112 on cello along with two km184's for a cellists album. A pain to time align all three as I had no assistant but really worth it.
Sent from my GT-I9300
Old 22nd October 2013
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Marinelis View Post
Thanks, nice article by the way!
Thanks, man. Enjoy your dynamic journey.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
I love, love, love me some 441s or the Beyer 201. Both sound great, very natural, but a thing to remember is most dynamics require a preamp that can provide a fairly large amount of gain cleanly to get a decent level out of. That, or pairing them up with something like a Cloudlifter will do a similar job as well.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
Philip Marinelis's Avatar
Thanks for the heads up. I believe I have the preamp side covered. Not an ideal situation but I'm not in a harry to upgrade to.

By the way, has anyone paired a dyn with a tube pre?

Sent from my GT-I9300
Old 22nd October 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 
KRStudio's Avatar
 

Don't upgrade till you master the mics you have access to. The 441, 201 and 635A cover so much ground. 421, RE20 and 545 fill in the gaps. Moving coil you are covered. Can't think of anything else you need other than green bullet, original not RI.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #13
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Avening's Avatar
 

Some of the best folk vocals I've ever recorded have been from a SM57. Dynamics are awesome in this respect. Search for Damhnait Doyle on Youtube ... SM57 every time. It just works on her voice. I was blown away the first time I put that mic in front of her. I had a great U67 and U47 ready to go and the SM57 was so much more charismatic and raw.

I've also worked with Feist as well, and we used dynamics on her voice a bunch of times. SM57's, SM7's, 58's ... they all sound great. It's a nice gritty and honest sounding approach that's perfect for the genre.

Just food for thought.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #14
Deleted User
Guest
dynamic mics succeed often because they dont pick up the whole (****ty) room. Condensers are so sensitive that it is hard to NOT put them before dynamics, but in the end the drawbacks of dynamics could be their advantage. Personally i believe its more important that a chosen mic should fit perfectly in the application than talk about "wich mic sounds better......"
from the technical side condensers are the "better" microphones, but in a practical way dynamics are often the tool to get the desired results.
I did some trombone recordings (overdub) without a headphone, right in front (of course reversed angled) of the studiomonitors with a 441, and because this is a dynamic supercardioid, there is NO bleeding from the monitoring, could not imaginate doing so with a condenser succesfully.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
Philip Marinelis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KRStudio View Post
Don't upgrade till you master the mics you have access to.
That's my plan.
I've been doing live sound for 17 years and during that time about 15 albums plus misc studio stuff and never had access to other dynamics than 57's, 58's, d112, beta 52, senh 835s.


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Old 23rd October 2013
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
Philip Marinelis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avening View Post
Some of the best folk vocals I've ever recorded have been from a SM57. Dynamics are awesome in this respect. Search for Damhnait Doyle on Youtube ... SM57 every time. It just works on her voice. I was blown away the first time I put that mic in front of her. I had a great U67 and U47 ready to go and the SM57 was so much more charismatic and raw.

I've also worked with Feist as well, and we used dynamics on her voice a bunch of times. SM57's, SM7's, 58's ... they all sound great. It's a nice gritty and honest sounding approach that's perfect for the genre.

Just food for thought.
Thanks, nice to know.

Sent from my GT-I9300
Old 23rd October 2013
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
Philip Marinelis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Personally i believe its more important that a chosen mic should fit perfectly in the application than talk about "wich mic sounds better......"
Absolutely, I remember recording some music for a tv comercial. We wanted a dry, gritty ac gtr sound. What worked best in the end was a 5$ pc mic for net chatting.


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Old 23rd October 2013
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
Philip Marinelis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
dynamic mics succeed often because they dont pick up the whole (****ty) room.
Luckylly I won't have to worry about room sound that often.

This is the room I'm using now, desinged for tracking and audio post. There is a seperate control room to use when tracking.



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