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Old 11-19-2019, 09:50 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Expanding on some of the things brought up already in the thread:

Information on what you are plugging the microphones into would be helpful--that is: the rest of the recording chain.

The SM57 is a very durable and versatile microphone. No one should ever feel bad about having one around.

I listened to the first cut you supplied and it was very listenable. Would someone with different tastes and more equipment have it sounding different? Yes, they could. Would some of those someones make it sound more like an example/goal commercial recording? Also yes. But bottom line (other than a desire to improve one's recording craft, which is admirable but not everyone's desire) is how much improvement brings how much reward in the goals for your music/recordings.

One thing that I'm personally unsure of (so this is not "expert advice"--far from it) is that in common lower-budget situations a less sensitive dynamic microphone might be a better overall choice. As mentioned already, condenser microphones are more sensitive: picking up subtle nuances and better they have a better high-frequency response. So there is an expectations that for vocals and acoustic guitar they are the first choice. And that sensitivity also makes them an expected choice in many "one mid-distance mic" picking up all vocals and instruments.

However, in many situations here (and elsewhere where recording advice is given) we are cautioned that treatment of the room is of paramount importance. A less-sensitive dynamic mic doesn't remove this issue, but I think it may reduce its impact, and also mitigates issues with outside noise, like street traffic outside the room. For the kind of strumming plus electric guitar music of that first song I don't think you loose that much with a decent quality dynamic like the SM57. Again: opinions, some informed by more experience than I have, differ on this.

If you're going to use only a single or a few mics, mic placement is also key, and overrides questions of what mic and what budget for improvement in that area in importance. If you're going to use one mic, it would be best if someone (else, ideally) could fill the "engineer" and/or "producer" role and concentrate on that while the musician(s) concentrate on what is most important: the music itself. In low-budget situations that may not happen. Personally, as I'm the "engineer" and "producer" on nearly all my recordings, I use multiple mics/recording channels* so that I can "fix it in the mix" for things that should never have been an issue in the first place.


*I actually use as few microphones as possible. I almost never mic any keyboards, bass, some guitars, use electronic drums primarily; and other acoustic instruments that would be mic'ed in a "real studio/real recording" like cello, arco bass, violin, sitar, tampura, viola, etc are MIDI tracks. I do like to use microphones on featured acoustic guitar, but I hate to track them live with other instruments, even my vocals (because my vocals are often not very good, and leakage into the guitar mics makes re-tracking them difficult).
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