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Old 10-14-2020, 07:00 PM
SoggyBottomBoy SoggyBottomBoy is offline
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Default Can someone toss out some versatile mic ideas...

... I'd like one mic connected to my PC. I want to use it for Zoom, podcasting, recording informal vocal jams and some 'room recordings' with my kids playing acoustic guitar and singing.

My house is noisy like any family man, so it's not some perfect isolated recording environment. Room's about 10x10' or bigger with untreated walls.

Budget... sheesh $3-500? Will stick 'er on an arm and buy a Focusrite unless you guys tell me to get a USB.

Any ideas? I sure like the look of the Aston Origin, but I am anxious that a nice cardioid is going to pick up my neighbor's lawnmower!

Thanks!

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Old 10-14-2020, 11:14 PM
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:11 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoggyBottomBoy View Post
My house is noisy like any family man, so it's not some perfect isolated recording environment. Room's about 10x10' or bigger with untreated walls.
There's no mic that's going to solve all those issues.

Directional mics can only do so much. You can point them towards the sound source to minimize noise issues, but they're not going to solve a noisy house where sounds are loud enough to be bouncing off the wall behind you.

A small untreated room means you're going to have to close mic in order to minimize the room issues. On cardioid mics, this can introduce proximity effect issues. You'd be much better off with a larger, less square (square is the worst for recording) room.
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Old 10-15-2020, 09:11 AM
Chipotle Chipotle is offline
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Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
You'd be much better off with a larger, less square (square is the worst for recording) room.
And if you can't do that (I have the same room!), get acoustic panels for the room, either on the walls or floor-standing ones you can surround the mic/player with. At the very least, get heavy blankets, pillows, whatever you have and make a little "nest" to record in. The more of the room you hear, the worse it will sound... and a better mic will pick up more of the "worse".

And sometimes you just gotta wait until the neighbor finishes mowing the lawn. Sometimes that Harley that blasts down the street in the middle of a perfect take. You do what you can.

There are fairly recent threads here on both acoustic panels and mics that AGF'ers like. If you're also doing podcasts/vocals, I think a Large Diameter Condenser would be more versatile for you.
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Old 10-15-2020, 09:58 AM
anton anton is offline
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If by versatile you mean usable on alot of sources, in that price range I might look at one of the large diaphragm Audio Technicas. You could get a 4050 used, it has multiple patterns. Up your budget a bit and you could probably get a used AKG 414.

The Aston looks cool, but I might lean towards one of the more widely used brands that you see alot of folks use.

I think any decent mic is going to pick up on the problems you mentioned, not great room, neighbors making noise, etc. I don't think there is any way around that from a mic perspective. You could make some DIY acoustic treatment, and wait till the outside world is quiet. I deal with the same thing, its a pain, but cheaper than going into a studio for $80/hr.
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Old 10-15-2020, 10:04 AM
Aspiring Aspiring is offline
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I find my dpa core 4099 does a nice job of reducing house noise while still having a nice tone. It's in your price range too.
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Old 10-15-2020, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoggyBottomBoy View Post
... I'd like one mic connected to my PC. I want to use it for Zoom, podcasting, recording informal vocal jams and some 'room recordings' with my kids playing acoustic guitar and singing.

My house is noisy like any family man, so it's not some perfect isolated recording environment. Room's about 10x10' or bigger with untreated walls.

Budget... sheesh $3-500? Will stick 'er on an arm and buy a Focusrite unless you guys tell me to get a USB.
Hi SBB

I don't have a house full of kids, but my go-to all purpose mic is a Rode NT-3 ¾" diaphragm, uni-directional mic on a stand. I use it for everything from interviews (top of frame down), acoustic guitar (18" away from neck/body joint), and my talking mic for Zoom on a short stand adjacent to my screen aimed in the direction of my mouth.

I use a MOTU M2 interface (gave the Focusrite to a friend). The MOTU has lower noise floor and more output, has an on/off switch, and visual meters, and is USB-C to the computer. Either would do the job

Rode NT-3s can accept a 9v battery in the barrel instead of phantom power (the reason I originally bought a pair for remote recording). They turned out to be a gem of a mic with really great definition on medium sized instruments, and on speaking voices as well. The NT-3 is $269 at the time of this thread, and they were $220 a dozen years back. A bargain, but not cheap sounding.

For a casual self-contained recording setup, it's hard to beat a Zoom H5 or H6 with the built-in mics. They actually do a really nice job, and still can interface with computers.

Hope this adds to the conversation.




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Old 10-15-2020, 10:16 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is online now
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There's a gear master list for this sub-forum here:
AGF Members Masterlist for DAWs, Interfaces, and Microphones

There are a bunch of LDC mics on that list that fit in your price range. The list shouldn't be taken as your only choices. It's just what the folks here are using. But it might be a good place to get some ideas for mics to research.
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Old 10-15-2020, 10:44 AM
SoggyBottomBoy SoggyBottomBoy is offline
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This is a lot of great feedback.

Part of my challenge is that I teach classes (business classes, not guitar!) from in front of my PC several times a week for several hours along with podcasts, etc... Thus far, I've been using a FIFINE USB mic for this, but I'm concerned it is echo-ey and less than ideal. I've tried higher end condensers but they seem to pick up TONS of echo. I'd love to leave something connected to the PC and do my Zoom calls, teaching, etc... during the day and then sit back with an acoustic and record some slop sessions in the evening.

I'm wondering if a nice dynamic mic would work better for this. I'm going to test out a e835 into my pal's Behringer Uphoria interface and see how that goes. I can't have the mic RIGHT in my grill or it makes it tough to teach/zoom/etc, maybe 12 inches from my mouth on the desk?

Maybe I go with a dynamic for the day gig and a condenser for the evenings through a desktop interface? You guys are the best, thanks!
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Old 10-15-2020, 12:06 PM
keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoggyBottomBoy View Post
This is a lot of great feedback.

Part of my challenge is that I teach classes (business classes, not guitar!) from in front of my PC several times a week for several hours along with podcasts, etc... Thus far, I've been using a FIFINE USB mic for this, but I'm concerned it is echo-ey and less than ideal. I've tried higher end condensers but they seem to pick up TONS of echo. I'd love to leave something connected to the PC and do my Zoom calls, teaching, etc... during the day and then sit back with an acoustic and record some slop sessions in the evening.

I'm wondering if a nice dynamic mic would work better for this. I'm going to test out a e835 into my pal's Behringer Uphoria interface and see how that goes. I can't have the mic RIGHT in my grill or it makes it tough to teach/zoom/etc, maybe 12 inches from my mouth on the desk?

Maybe I go with a dynamic for the day gig and a condenser for the evenings through a desktop interface? You guys are the best, thanks!
A dynamic, if placed closer to your face, will dampen some of the room (echo), but, honestly, an inexpensive headset would be my first suggestion for your Zoom calls.

The problem is the room, and you can't fix the room with a microphone. You can minimize it by getting less (and less) sensitive mics, which force you to put them closer (and closer) to the source, so the signal-to-noise starts to push what you don't want (room echo) further in the background, but it's still there. If you try to sit back and record your guitar from a mic that's a foot or 2 away, it's going to get a lot of the room.

Get heavy drapes, bookcases, stuffed furniture or thick quilt/pillow throws, a rug, and a couple of well placed acoustic panels if possible.
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:46 PM
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As far as a mic in your price range, I'd suggest either a cardioid or hyper-cardioid sdc from 3-Zigma (ADK is parent company). They are on sale directly from ADK for $347 each. The design uses an amp body with swappable capsules. I've used their cardioid and omni sdc capsules as well as their 47 style ldc capsule.

https://adkmic.com/collections/3-zig...-tl-microphone

https://adkmic.com/collections/3-zig...-tl-microphone

I agree with the suggestion to use an inexpensive headset for your Zoom calls.
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Old 10-16-2020, 05:48 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoggyBottomBoy View Post
... I'd like one mic connected to my PC.
Just an FYI in case this hasn't come up already... to hook a mic like the Aston Origin to your PC, you're going to need an audio interface of some kind. You can't just hook the mic up directly. If you want to avoid an interface, your choices are limited to usb mics.
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Old 10-16-2020, 07:40 AM
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Understanding what the result of your trying different mics actually means, and having the echo (ie. room reflection) in all the recordings
Should be a red flag indicator ...... It's your room

As others have noted
The echo-y effect is the room not the mic.
Yes as others have noted you can get less sensitive mics and put them closer to your mouth even to the point of a headset USB mic (which are cheap on Amazon) and would probably mitigate most or the echo effect for teaching your business classes.
BUT that kinda defeats the intended purpose you stated in your title an OP "versatility" and for some music recording

Also as someone noted a square room (particularly a small 10 by 10 ) square room is the least desirable because it is one of, if not the most problematic, in terms of unwanted reflections .

So long term to get where you want to go consider the room first.
Can you at least put some absorber panels in the corners of you room mounted or portable on foot stands either in the corners or around your recording position ?

Trying to solve significant room issues with mic's is somewhat like putting a bandaid over skin cancer
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Old 10-17-2020, 08:26 PM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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My brother just bought an Audio Technica 2020USB. He does voice over work, auditions for commercials, etc. and uses it for that and also singing sometimes.

He just sent me a couple things and I was blown away by how good it sounds. And that's good compared to some fairly expensive mics I own along with high end preamps.

When it's important, he does his best to kill ambience in the room by hanging blankets behind the mic and behind him.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:45 AM
Steev Steev is offline
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I just taught a whole trimester of sound recording and Protools to a cohort of 210 university students online from home with a regular iphone headset. Worked perfectly. Everyone heard me and I could hear them fine.

As far as the mics for your room goes, I suggest a simple dynamic like a Shure SM58 or even a Behringer XM5800 (a cheap SM58 clone and not bad at all). These mics aren't sexy but they work well. Because they are dynamic and therefore less sensitive, you need to get a bit closer to them but the great advantage is they don't pick up your room and distant sounds as much as condensers.

Everyone should have a 58 and a 57 lying around. They are good mics and can double as door stops, hammers and the 58 isn't a bad fish scaler.
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