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Knives&Guitars 08-17-2015 01:56 PM

Help!=Recording Microphones
 
I am looking for advice on Great Recording Microphones to record my acoustics.
Unfortunately in today's world, it is nearly impossible to find a store that has all the mics I am interested in hearing side by side. Would rather listen to first..than buy and return. ..
And that leaves the less than desirable method of listening to sound bites via personal or Youtube. I say less than desirable...as I do not always know the exact sound of that guitar and the exact placement of the mic used.
Here are the parameters:
1. I like spaced pair recording( not necessarily matched)
+ either two small condensers or One Large Diaphram and one small diaphram
2. I like open Air sounding mic..That captures the Dynamics, the high end..the Sparkles.
3. I like the slight edge-and the more open bass(not proximity though) that a well placed Cardioid pattern produces. Omni is wonderful...but for my tastes I liked the slightly focused-defined? sound that Cardioid gives.
4. I have a slightly wilder playing style...going from heavy Clear Rhythms to single notes. My guitars have lots of Overtones=sparkles...lots of bass and fullness and defined notes.
+ I need mics that either by themselves...or in combination with a mic mate, will capture my wide dynamic volume range...the sparkles, the bass the fullness.
5. Now for the problem...Budget! Unfortunately some mics that I have heard..are completely out of my price range. And example of a mic that I heard...that Seemingly had most of the desired sound qualities I liked...was the SERN17...but that mic is $1000 and so far..I have not seen anything used. Plus..I need two mics! so that is doubly out of my price range.
What I would like to keep the price is at around $500 each. Which hopefully gives me some latitude..I have found a mic, that I am considering that cost in the $700 range for $500 on an open box deal...and other mics that are $400 new in a slightly used for $275.
What I have tested and or heard
I have just become REBORN to Music and Guitars in the last 8 months...and very happily so...my Inner Child was lacking...and Acoustic guitars have brought back a great passion in me...Loving it!
I use to do some recording back in the 80's owned Neumann(sold it), and I still have three Sm81. While they are great mics..I find them on a bit lacking on the Openness -liveliness that I would like to hear.
Mics that I have heard via the internet that are up for consideration are the Audix SC25A, Sennheiser E914 ...What I like about these mics(only hearing on the internet again..and...very little samples) Is that both of them seem to capture the overtones. I am slightly afraid of the Sennheiser...wondering if with my style it might produce an uneven -dynamic range...as with the Audix and its slightly larger capsule it might tone down the abrasivness of my style of playing...It could be that the two combined would work excellent...But as we all know Theory and practice are often completely different.
I have also heard some reasonable sounds from the AT4033 Cl...but have also heard that they might have a more higher end presence? But again..sometimes these things we hear about a mics characteristics are due to the guitar or to the positioning..
While I do like Rode...I do not seem to like the sound of small diaphram Rodes on Acoustic. Some of their more expensive larger Diaphram mics might work well though.
And I have heard some nice recording on acoustic from the Avantone 12...but I also know from some listening tests on vocals that it can be sensitive in certain areas..But I am certainly open to discussion on this mic as well.
So my friends...I don't ask for much...I just ask for everything! ha ha...a great sounding mic that sounds open, Can Capture both lows unmuffled and capture the sparkles-overtoness, cardioid pattern, and all of that for a price tax of under $500 new or used.
Eagerly awaiting your responses!

MikeBmusic 08-17-2015 02:38 PM

Microphone choice for recording acoustic guitars is very much a personal choice, so I'm not going to advise any particular makes/models, sorry! ;)

What are you using for an audio interface/preamps?

Do the room you record in have acoustic treatment?

Von Beerhofen 08-17-2015 02:48 PM

I can't really tell you what to buy as I haven't bought one sofar myself but I think getting an idea of what's out there is a good start.

So here's my collected data from several forums and tech sites, only pricing is Euro or $, to get a quick idea what pricerange you'd like to be in.
No details about frequency responses, you can find out yourself but what I think is important is to determine wether you'll go for a large diapragm or a more directional set or a combination of both. In general the small diapragm captures transients better but the larger ones are better at capturing warmth and depth. Ofcourse there are exceptions to the rules but they're usually in the top end of pricing.

If you have 1000$ or more then a combination of mikes is probably the better option as it allows you to tweak things more. if this is just for a homerecording in good quality I'd probably go with the microphones which have fully variable polar characteristics, so they can be used for multiple purposes and environments.

If you don't have much knowledge about stuff like that I'd simply go with directional condenser mikes and the ones under 3 - 500$. With those choices are matched pairs, stereo x/y which I think is a limmitation since you can't widen the field, it's fixed, and the ones with or without additional filters, which let you change the frequency response or not.

Most of these require phantom power, some can do both battery operated or phantom.

I've always felt the frequency spectrum of mikes is more important then what people say about them, but that's just me but it's wise not to neglect overall impressions which are about warmth, seperation and more of such superlatives.

Anyway, here's the list, hope you do better then me because after 3 years I still haven't made a decision, lol.

Beyer Beyerdynamic MC930
Sure KSM 9 (Vocal) 699.== KSM 137 360.== KSM141 492.== KSM44 800.== KSM32 550.== Beta 27 383.==
Sennheiser E906 120.== (used) E914 219.==
SE Electronecs 1A 75.== (used pair) T2 582.== 2000 40.== (used) 2200A II 150.== 2200T(ube) 270.== (used 200.==) 4400a 469.== (400.== used) Z5600A II 659.== GM10 (guitar mount) 500,== (used 150.==)
AKG C451E 250.== (used) C451B 333.== (stereo. also 65th Anniv. in black) 869.== C535 245.== C414 888.== C414B ULS ????? C414 TL2 ????? C414XLII 950.== C422 (stereo) ???.== C214 333.== TLM103 990.== Perception 420 (multi-capsule) 250.== C460 (multi-capsule USED) 300.== Perception 120 109.== (USB) 200.== C2000B 126.== C3000 259.== C3000B 100.== (USED)
Rode IXY 130.== (stereo) K2 579.== (stepless variable capsule) NT2A 269.== (multi-capsule) NT1A 189.== (matched pair) 380.== NT4 X/Y Stereo Condenser 358.== NT5 (matched pair 311.== Thomann) NT55 (Matched Pair/2 capsules) 559.== NT6 314.== NT1000 259.== NTK1 ???.== (used 300.==) Classic II Anniv. (Tube) $2099.== iXY iOS (stereo for Ipod) 150.==
Neumann TLM 49 900.== (used) TLM 102 555.== (used 400.==) TLM103 1100.== TLM 127 2300.== KMS104 500.== (bundle Thomann 507.==) KMS105 500.== KM184 639.== U87 2500.== (used 1700.==) KM184 1000.== (pair used)
Oktava Mod HST-11a ????? Oktava MK012-01 200.== (matched pair 299.== Thomann) MK012 (multi-capsule matched pair) 489.== MK 012 20 Black (incl. 4 capsules) 351.==
Royer Ribbon R121 1400.==
Audio Technica Genesis Studio AT4033CL SDC4021 SDC4051B SDC4041 SDC4022 AT4050 AT2050 (multi pattern) 250.== (used 150.==)
MXL 770 90.== (used) 990/991 package ($79.==) Genesis (250,== used) V67i Tube Double Diaphragm 449.== V69 ME Tube ($300) V69 XM Tube 379.== V76T Tube 299.== CR24 90.00 (USED)
CAD M179 ????
DPA 4090
DAP Audio CM87 150.== (used)
GATT LD7
JZ BT 201/1 A 149.==
JZ BT 201-3 279.==
JZ BT 201-3s stereopair 549.==
Schoeps M222 + NT222AC-DC A 1499.==
Schoeps CMH 54 cu
Schoeps CMC 6 MK2 Stereo set Omni A 2099.==
Schoeps CMC 6 MK4 Stereo set Omni 2000$
Schoeps CMC 6 MK21 Stereo set Wide Cardioid
Schoeps CMC 6-4g stereoset 2099.==
Schoeps CMC 64
Lewitt Audio LCT 640 $800.==
Brauner Panthera 900.== (USED)
Microtech Gefell UM70, M70, M94, M300, M930 1250.==
Mercenary Audio KM69 $1230
Telefunken Ela M 260 $2895 (matched pair)

Ludwig

Knives&Guitars 08-17-2015 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeBmusic (Post 4605757)
Microphone choice for recording acoustic guitars is very much a personal choice, so I'm not going to advise any particular makes/models, sorry! ;)

What are you using for an audio interface/preamps?

Do the room you record in have acoustic treatment?

While I do understand your points to be extremely valid...It is absolutely...with out doubt..the total chain that creates the sound...the Audio interface, preamps, room sound...NO doubt..undebatable.
But in my humble opinion...you have to start somewhere..and while all of the other factors mentioned...has great effect upon the recording...the Microphone is the most important...Not an end all..but it has the most important influence of the sound.
And while Microphones absolutely have different characteristics and become a personal choice...as you stated..
That is in essence of what I am asking...your personal knowledge of the mics that have the characteristics that I mentioned.
My hope...is that there will be other members out there..that have a personal knowledge of Microphones with the characteristics I mentioned...and help guide me in the direction I need to research.
I am sure there are lots of other choices of which I am not aware of that members can at least introduce me to.

Doug Young 08-17-2015 02:57 PM

First, I'd forget 99.9% of what you read on the internet. Words just don't really capture the experience or sounds, and everyone has opinions that may or not help you.

I think you just simply have to get some experience with some mics before you even can ask a reasonable question. Get some mic that you see frequently recommended and that's fairly "normal". Your AT4033 would be a good example. Try it and see how it goes, learn about mic placement, your room, your guitar, etc. Then, if you're not happy, you can ask very specific questions that may get you better answers - like "what mic will have less sibilance", or "what mic will have more/less proximity effect" and so on. There are places you can go to try out mics, tho none may be near you. Some places will let you try and return, some may even send you multiple mics for a "shootout", knowing you'll return at least one of them.

The good news is that people make good recordings with all kinds of mics. There are very few truly bad choices in the $500 per mic range. So get started with something and learn from that.

Knives&Guitars 08-17-2015 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Von Beerhofen (Post 4605766)
I can't really tell you what to buy as I haven't bought one sofar myself but I think getting an idea of what's out there is a good start.

So here's my collected data from several forums and tech sites, only pricing is Euro or $, to get a quick idea what pricerange you'd like to be in.
No details about frequency responses, you can find out yourself but what I think is important is to determine wether you'll go for a large diapragm or a more directional set or a combination of both.

If you have 1000$ or more then a combination of mikes is probably the better option as it allows you to tweak things more. if this is just for a homerecording in good quality I'd probably go with the microphones which have fully variable polar characteristics, so they can be used for multiple purposes and environments.

If you don't have much knowledge about stuff like that I'd simply go with directional condenser mikes and the ones under 3 - 500$. With those choices are matched pairs, stereo x/y which I think is a limmitation since you can't widen the field, it's fixed, and the ones with or without additional filters, which let you change the frequency response or not.

Most of these require phantom power, some can do both batery operated or phantom.

I've always felt the frequency spectrum of mikes is more important then what people say about them, but that's just me but it's wise not to neglect overall impressions which are about warmth, seperation and more of such superlatives.

Anyway, here's the list, hope you do better then me because after 3 years I still haven't made a decision, lol.

Beyer Beyerdynamic MC930
Sure KSM 9 (Vocal) 699.== KSM 137 360.== KSM141 492.== KSM44 800.== KSM32 550.== Beta 27 383.==
Sennheiser E906 120.== (used) E914 219.==
SE Electronecs 1A 75.== (used pair) T2 582.== 2000 40.== (used) 2200A II 150.== 2200T(ube) 270.== (used 200.==) 4400a 469.== (400.== used) Z5600A II 659.== GM10 (guitar mount) 500,== (used 150.==)
AKG C451E 250.== (used) C451B 333.== (stereo. also 65th Anniv. in black) 869.== C535 245.== C414 888.== C414B ULS ????? C414 TL2 ????? C414XLII 950.== C422 (stereo) ???.== C214 333.== TLM103 990.== Perception 420 (multi-capsule) 250.== C460 (multi-capsule USED) 300.== Perception 120 109.== (USB) 200.== C2000B 126.== C3000 259.== C3000B 100.== (USED)
Rode IXY 130.== (stereo) K2 579.== (stepless variable capsule) NT2A 269.== (multi-capsule) NT1A 189.== (matched pair) 380.== NT4 X/Y Stereo Condenser 358.== NT5 (matched pair 311.== Thomann) NT55 (Matched Pair/2 capsules) 559.== NT6 314.== NT1000 259.== NTK1 ???.== (used 300.==) Classic II Anniv. (Tube) $2099.== iXY iOS (stereo for Ipod) 150.==
Neumann TLM 49 900.== (used) TLM 102 555.== (used 400.==) TLM103 1100.== TLM 127 2300.== KMS104 500.== (bundle Thomann 507.==) KMS105 500.== KM184 639.== U87 2500.== (used 1700.==) KM184 1000.== (pair used)
Oktava Mod HST-11a ????? Oktava MK012-01 200.== (matched pair 299.== Thomann) MK012 (multi-capsule matched pair) 489.== MK 012 20 Black (incl. 4 capsules) 351.==
Royer Ribbon R121 1400.==
Audio Technica Genesis Studio AT4033CL SDC4021 SDC4051B SDC4041 SDC4022 AT4050 AT2050 (multi pattern) 250.== (used 150.==)
MXL 770 90.== (used) 990/991 package ($79.==) Genesis (250,== used) V67i Tube Double Diaphragm 449.== V69 ME Tube ($300) V69 XM Tube 379.== V76T Tube 299.== CR24 90.00 (USED)
CAD M179 ????
DPA 4090
DAP Audio CM87 150.== (used)
GATT LD7
JZ BT 201/1 A 149.==
JZ BT 201-3 279.==
JZ BT 201-3s stereopair 549.==
Schoeps M222 + NT222AC-DC A 1499.==
Schoeps CMH 54 cu
Schoeps CMC 6 MK2 Stereo set Omni A 2099.==
Schoeps CMC 6 MK4 Stereo set Omni 2000$
Schoeps CMC 6 MK21 Stereo set Wide Cardioid
Schoeps CMC 6-4g stereoset 2099.==
Schoeps CMC 64
Lewitt Audio LCT 640 $800.==
Brauner Panthera 900.== (USED)
Microtech Gefell UM70, M70, M94, M300, M930 1250.==
Mercenary Audio KM69 $1230
Telefunken Ela M 260 $2895 (matched pair)

Ludwig

Great response! thank you so much for your very helpful guide...Keep them coming!
Yes..I forgot to mention..as I just heard them last night on the internet..was your very first listing the Beyers 930.
While the XY is a good technique...It does not suit the type of stereo separation that I like. XY seemingly..in the small amount of situations I have heard this in..gives more of a single large diaphram effect.
That is why I am looking for "Spaced" pair Two mics...near 12th to sound hole and the other on the other side of the sound hole closer to the bridge sound.
And I should have mentioned..while I like the Ribbon mics...as they are very open...one of my key requirements...I still tend to like the condenser-cardioid edge....a mic that has both types of sound..would be Ideal!
While AKG is a great mic..It is probably not the sound I would desire for my acoustics...
And the Neumanns 103,103 and 84's you mention are the Neumanns that I would consider....but still think that they are still on the...tiny bit lacking in the openness department..but just a tiny bit. maybe with my guitar they would work great.

Von Beerhofen 08-17-2015 03:13 PM

I don't think you can go wrong with the Neumans, they're the industry standard. However I doubt if I could get much more out of them then AKG's in my environment, which is just a living room. You need the right room for those and I don't have that.
On top of this the importance for me is to be able to make a decent recording in my room to be able to store ideas, not for studio recording purposes. My room is totally unsuitable for that no matter what mikes I'd be using.

If you have the space for a soundproof room then I think the Neumans are probably your best and reasonably cheapest choice for making a recording which you could take to a real studio for mastering. Ribbon mikes are great but expensive but if your recording environment isn't purposely build you won't get much more out of them then a pair of AKG's or Rhode's.

Ludwig

Knives&Guitars 08-17-2015 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doug Young (Post 4605778)
First, I'd forget 99.9% of what you read on the internet. Words just don't really capture the experience or sounds, and everyone has opinions that may or not help you.

I think you just simply have to get some experience with some mics before you even can ask a reasonable question. Get some mic that you see frequently recommended and that's fairly "normal". Your AT4033 would be a good example. Try it and see how it goes, learn about mic placement, your room, your guitar, etc. Then, if you're not happy, you can ask very specific questions that may get you better answers - like "what mic will have less sibilance", or "what mic will have more/less proximity effect" and so on. There are places you can go to try out mics, tho none may be near you. Some places will let you try and return, some may even send you multiple mics for a "shootout", knowing you'll return at least one of them.
The good news is that people make good recordings with all kinds of mics. There are very few truly bad choices in the $500 per mic range. So get started with something and learn from that.

Thank you Doug, I highly value your opinion. And your opinion is very close to my profession recording engineer friend...whom I have had many talks with...Go out and listen!!
But unfortunately Doug...this is not completely possible for me. Due to some very, very restrictive circumstances..I have little time to do that...I am giving some extreme care nursing to my mother. My time outside the house ...at this moment is beyond...limited.
And as well..I am not a complete novice( I am in just perpetual learning motion)...I was a bit into recording in the past.
While the argument can be made...as you did..that great recording can be made with the cheapest of mics..(my professional engineer friend says he has two thousand dollar mics for guitars..but he can use Sm57's and get a great sound) This is my opinion...does not work for me...It is not that I could not get a great recording with my already Sm81's that I own...I believe that I can..But I want more that a great recording...I want a great recording that captures the openeness...the dynamics of my style. And as I mentioned..that is one of my problems..I play with a much great dynamic style than most..NOT BETTER..no way...I am no great player..but..I GET GREAT TONES...beautiful tones..My accomplishment..is my tone..not my ability. Sometimes a simple beautiful tone and a simple melody can capture the heart as much as masters of the past, with their complicated and defined=historic compositions. Sometimes..it is just about the beauty of tone.
I should further say Doug..that I stopped playing guitar for many, many years...cause I could never get the sound I really wanted...Now, through experimentation I can get the sound I always dreamed in my head.
So I say..guide me gentlemen...give me Ideas, directions in order to maximize my future listen tests...so I can make best use of the time when I do get to test mics.

ChuckS 08-17-2015 03:16 PM

You could consider 3 Zigma CHI mics. They consist of a head amp and swappable capsules. The head amps are either transformerless or with transformer output. Their SDC capsules are cardioid, hyper-cardioid, free field omni, or diffuse field omni. Their 4 LDC capsules are all cardioid, with various frequency response. They are around $500 each, new, with shockmount, including head amp and SDC capsule (head amp with transformer output and LDC capsules are slightly more).

I have a pair of cardiods, a pair of free field omnis, and a 47 style LDC. I typically record in a stereo spaced pair arrangement. I like them a lot. To me, the omni SDC's seem maybe a bit more open/natural and the cadioid SDC's a bit more focused. The 47 style cardioid LDC seems a bit more open than the cardioid SDC.

Mbroady 08-17-2015 03:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Knives&Guitars (Post 4605769)
But in my humble opinion...you have to start somewhere..and while all of the other factors mentioned...has great effect upon the recording...the Microphone is the most important...Not an end all..but it has the most important influence of the sound.

I would have to respectfully disagree with this statement. A Set of wonderful (expensive) mics in a lousy sounding space will just capture the lousy sound. There are some ways around this using mic placement but I would rather have a set of good mics in a fantastic sounding room, then great mics in a "bad" room.


With that said, there are so many great mics out there. Sure, if one can afford it,
And find it, you can get a bunch of vintage tube mics.

For modern makers u can check out bees neez and pelosi. 2 makers who have a grasp on the vintage sound without the vintage price.

The 2 mics I have for my recording set up is a Neumann m149 and an AKG 414. Both are exceptional in there own right. The 414 is crisp and clear while the m149 is warm and sweet. Both these mics are exceptional.

Trevor B. 08-17-2015 03:21 PM

Big topic!!! Other than passing along what I'm using I'd suggest listening to some of the clips folks here on the forum are posting. I have a matched pair of Gefell M300s but still have a ways to go on the "recording learning curve". I'll find the thread with those mikes recording a member here who's far ahead of me on the above mentioned learning curve and post it shortly. In the meantime check out this terrific youtube video featuring terrific arrangements, great playing and a wonderful tone from a pair of AT 4050s.
http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=397123

Trevor B. 08-17-2015 03:29 PM

Hopefully this link will work so you can hear the Gefell M300s.
http://dcoombsguitar.com/Guitar%20Music/Rebecca.wav

I realize that the mikes used in the links are a bit pricier than your budget but they sound great to me.

Joseph Hanna 08-17-2015 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Knives&Guitars (Post 4605769)
while all of the other factors mentioned...has great effect upon the recording...the Microphone is the most important...Not an end all..but it has the most important influence of the sound.

It probably won't make a difference in your thought process but I'm gonna disagree, vehemently :)

Experience, investment of time, mic placement, mixing, learning, failing and ultimately successes, are the single most primary elements in getting a great guitar sound. Of course the player and his or her's abilities might be coequally as important. The room is absolutely the next fundamental key as any mic, anytime, can dud out in a poor or even mediocre room. The characteristics of the instruments (in this case presumably guitars) are vital and if indeed a guitar has intrinsic sonic problems there's not a mic on the planet that gonna make things sound good.


All of the above (I suppose) can live under the umbrella of "experience" but all of them are far more important than mic choice. As Doug mentioned there are folks here making great recordings with all sorts of budget-like mics. In the end it ain't the mic.

rick-slo 08-17-2015 03:47 PM

Lots and lots of mikes you could choose. Results largely depend on your guitar(s) and how you play it, your recording room, and how you position the mikes.
However to generalize, I would go with small cardioid condenser mikes (a pair of the same ones). Many of these mikes have been discussed in prior threads that you can browse through. Good luck, recording is both fun and aggravating.

Andy Howell 08-17-2015 04:51 PM

I use the Bayerdynamic M930 pair and find them to beep very natural. I haven't tried the small condensers from Mojave but after using other mics in this range I reckon they'd be worth trying!


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