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  #1  
Old 06-06-2022, 01:36 PM
Ken Carr Ken Carr is offline
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Default Cheap condenser mic for live performance?

I have a cheap MXL 1006 condenser mic that sold for about $100 20 years ago. You can get them used today for about $35-$40. I used it the other day playing delicate fingerstyle guitar (steel string and nylon string) in a wedding ceremony in a church with high ceilings and a nice PA system. It sounded really good. I have been wanting to get a nice studio quality small diaphragm condenser to use for live performance, but it will be while before I can make some more music gear purchases. Does anyone else here use a cheap condenser mic for amplified performance? Do you think it's worth it to have a $800-$1000 mic for live amplification purposes? I know a more expensive mic should get me more clarity and detail, but this is not for recording purposes. Do you think that level of sonic detail is worth the expense of a KM184? If you had a $200 budget, what mic would you buy for amplification?
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Old 06-06-2022, 02:06 PM
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I don't know anything about the higher price range you reference, but just over your lower budget is the Rode NT-1A, which I know and love and have used for some home recording. Going for $220 at Sweetwater

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...ser-microphone

I'd never use it in the the live settings I habituate, bars and breweries, and I don't even think I'd use it at my more sedate Farmer's Markets. It picks up everything.
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Old 06-06-2022, 02:35 PM
Ken Carr Ken Carr is offline
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I would be using it without monitors in a more quiet setting.
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Old 06-06-2022, 03:13 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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i bought a Rode NT1 in (I think) 1999) to record my last (ever?) albium, and have used it for years as a performance mic.

Works for me.
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Old 06-06-2022, 04:45 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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The OP asked for a small diaphragm condenser, which the NT1 isn't.

I personally wouldn't use a sdc for live performance, but if you decide you want to do that then realize all your individual PA components need to be up to the task or you're wasting your money on the high end mic.

f you want to try out a SDC then pick up a Behringer C2; they sell for less than $50 for a pair and are a pretty good mic considering their low cost. I picked up pair to see exactly what that kind of money buys, and was surprised by their sound.

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Old 06-06-2022, 04:55 PM
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After seeing several reviews, I bought a Blue Ember, SDC, with side-facing element, which is different from most end-facing mics in the SDC category.

I have been very happy with it for recordings and playing in my garage. (not live performance at a venue, but similar)

I find it has a nice warm tone, reasonable rumble isolation on a standard stand, and feeds a nice signal to the board or interface with no fancy pre-amps in line.

Its $99, at last check, and I think it performs well above this price point.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...rophones-ember
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Old 06-06-2022, 05:37 PM
MarkF_48 MarkF_48 is offline
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Early this year I picked up a used RODE M3 SDC off of eBay. I have not used it to live mic an acoustic guitar, but have used it to record and I was fairly impressed with how it sounded. It's frequency response is fairly flat, has a pad switch, high pass filter switch, and can be operated by a 9 volt battery if phantom power isn't available.
I did a search of this forum for the RODE M3 and it seems a few here may be using it to mic an acoustic live.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...ser-microphone
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Old 06-06-2022, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
The OP asked for a small diaphragm condenser, which the NT1 isn't...
More than decent sound in your video and magnficent playing!
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Old 06-06-2022, 09:08 PM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
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Relatively inexpensive and work very well for solo fingerstyle guitar in a live performance setting (as well as in the studio):

- Oktava MC-012 mic amp with a hypercardioid capsule, with Dorsey or Joly mic amp modifications if possible.
- 3 Zigma CHI HA-TLII mic amp with hypercardioid SD capsule.

Both of these mic amps have many different SD and LD capsules you can attach and use for a variety of recording needs.
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Old 06-08-2022, 10:56 AM
Ken Carr Ken Carr is offline
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After reading more about this, it seems like the Rode M3 might be a good choice.
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Old 06-08-2022, 04:35 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Carr View Post
After reading more about this, it seems like the Rode M3 might be a good choice.
The M3 does sound like a good candidate. It's Rode's economical sdc, using a back charged electret capsule design.

I have a pair of NT3s and although they are OK, I have to say they are rather pedestrian and nothing really stands out. They are also large and HEAVY, so be prepared to clamp them down solidly on a good stand.

If you want a microphone that's less obtrusive with a bit more high end sparkle you might audition a Rode M5. I don't own one as I have plenty of mics already, but it shouldn't be difficult to find a good reviews (HERE is Sound On sound's review) either here or on Youtube.

Last edited by Rudy4; 06-09-2022 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 06-08-2022, 05:09 PM
Driftless Driftless is offline
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I use an audio technica atm-350. There is also a "pro 35" version that's cheaper. It's a small diaphragm condenser that has the advantage of a miniature form held by a clip on gooseneck mount.
I've clipped them to archtop pickguards, classical guitars, banjo rims, mandolins, violins, and flat top steel string guitars. On my martin, I clip it to the edge of the soundhole and position it inside the body to point at the top behind the bridge. It also has a low cut switch that's perfect for guitar.
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Old 06-08-2022, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Carr View Post
I have a cheap MXL 1006 condenser mic that sold for about $100 20 years ago. You can get them used today for about $35-$40. I used it the other day playing delicate fingerstyle guitar (steel string and nylon string) in a wedding ceremony in a church with high ceilings and a nice PA system. It sounded really good. I have been wanting to get a nice studio quality small diaphragm condenser to use for live performance, but it will be while before I can make some more music gear purchases. Does anyone else here use a cheap condenser mic for amplified performance? Do you think it's worth it to have a $800-$1000 mic for live amplification purposes? I know a more expensive mic should get me more clarity and detail, but this is not for recording purposes. Do you think that level of sonic detail is worth the expense of a KM184? If you had a $200 budget, what mic would you buy for amplification?
Check out the shure SM-81 microphone. It has long been something of an industry standard for recording acoustic guitars. It's a classic studio mic that you find in real recording studios and it's not too expensive. Buying used will save you money.
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Old 06-08-2022, 11:27 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Hi Ken,

For live performance I use an $80 Shure SM57. I have not risked using a condenser mic for a live performance because they are much more prone to damage if dropped. In fact, I get good results using an internal UST piezo through a Fishman Aura Spectrum DI preamp combined with the external SM57 mic.

The Rode M3 would be a very nice condenser mic for live use. These are supposed to be fairly sturdy, and you will of course be careful not to drop it anyway.

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  #15  
Old 06-09-2022, 02:08 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
The OP asked for a small diaphragm condenser, which the NT1 isn't.

I personally wouldn't use a sdc for live performance, but if you decide you want to do that then realize all your individual PA components need to be up to the task or you're wasting your money on the high end mic.

f you want to try out a SDC then pick up a Behringer C2; they sell for less than $50 for a pair and are a pretty good mic considering their low cost. I picked up pair to see exactly what that kind of money buys, and was surprised by their sound.

correct Rudy, I confess tat I read about his larger mic MXL 1006 and simply rerferred to my Rode NT1 of similr size.

I did have a matched pair of Chineses built SE1 small condensers which an ex professional recording engineer said he thought weer very good - then stole them.

The only small condensers I have currently are AKG CS1000s perfectly good but rather bulky.

Ebay has a lot but brands I'm unaware of.
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I'm here to help and advise only

By request, I offer one to one lessons/meetings/mentoring via Zoom! See: https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=589058

https://www.youtube.com/user/SillyMoustache/videos
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