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  #31  
Old 07-01-2012, 05:45 AM
71jasper 71jasper is offline
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Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
You mean like the Les Crane show model?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Elec...-/220717496284
They used to use these mics along the foot of the stage for NYC plays/musicals. They were outstanding until replaced by body mics, which sound like crap.
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  #32  
Old 07-01-2012, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by iim7v7im7 View Post
Hi,

I am looking for a condenser mic to record my acoustic flat top, Gypsy and Archtop guitars in a fairly live reflective home environment (wood floors, windows etc.). ... I want something that will work well on a boom placed near the guitar pointed towards the 12-14th fret that won't pick up the humidifier 15' across the room but will capture the dynamics and beautiful tones of my instruments.
Bob, you've sort of gotten the advice I'd give scattered thru out this thread, but let me make a stab at it in one place. Rather than ask "what mic", I'd step back and as "how can I best record my guitar?" given my setup. The full answer could get long, but basically, my suggestions would be:

- Fix the noise in your room - really simple, turn the humidifier off while you're recording. These are just the things we have to do in a home environment. I have to turn off air conditioning, wait for the gardeners to stop the leaf blowers, get my wife to turn down (or off) the TV in the other room. I've gone as far as throwing the breakers for every room in my house except my recording room when I could get away with it, to kill all the little noise makers in the house :-). Overkill, but you get the idea.

- Fix the acoustics in your room if needed. You don't have to get crazy and acoustically treat your whole room, but if it's too reflective, trying to tame it a bit, even a rug, pillows and so on may help a little. Try different spots in the room. Check out Fran Guidry's blog on use just 2 acoustic panels to create a better sound: http://www.homebrewedmusic.com/2011/...oadband-panels
Note - this addresses the "reflective" part of your issue, not ambient noise. But something like this is cheaper, easier to store, and likely to work better than a reflexion at creating a local acoustic space.

- Finally, record in stereo, and given your room acoustics, plan on close micing. For "capturing the beautiful tones", stereo will go an immensely long way. Mics matter way less than people will lead you to believe. They're all different, but the difference is subtle, something you come to appreciate with a lot of experience, when you get really picky. But it tends to be splitting hairs - especially in the narrow application of recording acoustic guitar, trying to go from a 99% sound to a 99.9% sound. Going from mono to stereo, tho, is huge.

It sounds like you were hoping some mic would magically ignore your room acoustics, but as others have said, any mic that picks up the nuances of your guitar will also pick up every nuance of your room, for better or worse. I would recommend a cardiod - directional mic - in your case, and there are also hypercardiods that reject the most sound from behind. But again, we're talking about moving the needle by a fraction of a percent, not a night and day difference, and just rejecting from the rear won't fix noise in a reflective room.

Everyone loves to recommend their favorite mics,of course. But just as an example of the differences between mics, here's a recording with 2 pairs of large condenser mics. I recorded these simultaneously with identical signal chains, and the mics side by side each other. No processing, no EQ, no reverb, no "studio tricks", just the raw sound of these mics. One set cost $5K each and are pretty highly regarded mics for guitar. The other pair retail for $100 each (I got them for $50), and no one here would dare recommend them for guitar- just not fashionable or cool. Can you tell which is which?

A
B

There are differences in mics, especially if you look at different types (ribbons, dynamic, etc), but perhaps this will set expectations of the kind of difference mics can make.
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Last edited by Doug Young; 07-01-2012 at 11:25 AM.
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  #33  
Old 07-02-2012, 04:38 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Hi Doug,
With just my computer speakers, the most discernible difference between those 2 pairs, for my ears, was near the beginning as you hit the major 3rd, 5 & 2nd notes (end of the first bar) when the notes are hanging together for a second.

Either pair would be fine as long as the engineer came with it:-)

By the way I think the cheaper ones are pair B.

HE
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  #34  
Old 07-02-2012, 06:13 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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+1

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #35  
Old 07-02-2012, 10:27 AM
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I don't want to hijack the thread with the guessing game, just thought it might be useful to clarify to the OP how subtle the difference in mics can be.

B="Brauner VM1s" ($5K each), A="AT2020" ($100 each).

Of course move either one by an inch, and you might get different sounds.
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  #36  
Old 07-02-2012, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
I don't want to hijack the thread with the guessing game, just thought it might be useful to clarify to the OP how subtle the difference in mics can be.

B="Brauner VM1s" ($5K each), A="AT2020" ($100 each).

Of course move either one by an inch, and you might get different sounds.
um, which way?

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #37  
Old 07-02-2012, 10:48 AM
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um, which way?

Regards,

Ty Ford
Left, or right, up or down, forward or back, right? :-)
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  #38  
Old 07-02-2012, 10:48 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
I don't want to hijack the thread with the guessing game, just thought it might be useful to clarify to the OP how subtle the difference in mics can be.

B="Brauner VM1s" ($5K each), A="AT2020" ($100 each).

Of course move either one by an inch, and you might get different sounds.
Doug,
That's why they're worth the same basic amount if they don't come with the engineer.

HE
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  #39  
Old 07-02-2012, 11:11 AM
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Doug,
That's why they're worth the same basic amount if they don't come with the engineer.

HE
Exactly. All these recommendations to buy this mic or that, or get this mod or that, won't make as much difference as changing how you use them, where you place them, what room you chose to record in, whether or not you shut off the humidifier, etc. Or for that matter, how you pluck the strings.
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  #40  
Old 07-02-2012, 05:36 PM
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They are another thing which makes a difference - sometimes, I would argue, quite a large difference. There are lots of inexpensive mics which will never give you a decent, natural sound no matter what you do with them. I think it's important to choose a mic carefully.
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  #41  
Old 07-02-2012, 06:00 PM
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They are another thing which makes a difference - sometimes, I would argue, quite a large difference. There are lots of inexpensive mics which will never give you a decent, natural sound no matter what you do with them. I think it's important to choose a mic carefully.
I'd hope no one buys a mic that will never give a decent sound on anything - I imagine those would have a pretty limited market!

But in this scenario, is there any mic - no matter how great - that will get rid of his humidifier noise? And will any mic choice make a bigger difference in the final recording than just fixing that? It's all a matter of *relative* importance. Fix the big problems first, then spend hours trying to eek the last percent of improvement out of different mics - which gets expensive, as I well know :-) There are so many variables in recording, mic choice is just one. Everything matters, but not everything matters the same amount, so I'd suggest starting with where you can make the greatest gain. If that's a different mic, then great, its just a matter of buying the right one. But if there are bigger problems to solve, go after them first.
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  #42  
Old 07-03-2012, 02:44 PM
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I'd hope no one buys a mic that will never give a decent sound on anything - I imagine those would have a pretty limited market!
Mics are like every other product: good marketing and bad product trumps bad marketing and good product every time.

For acoustic guitar, assuming you're looking for a natural sound, you need a fast & flat mic. Not all mics will be good for that. Quite a lot of low-end mics won't be much good for anything. It's an important choice to make, and an expensive one, which will have a big influence on the quality of sound you can capture. It would be a real shame if you made the effort to fix the room but didn't make an effort to get a mic with the best possible performance at its price point.
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  #43  
Old 07-03-2012, 06:00 PM
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Maybe we should have a list of these over-marketed bad mics to stay away from! There are so many mics, I imagine it might be faster to list the bad ones than all the good ones.

They've done lists like this on gearslutz a few times - bad purchases and so on, but oddly they often end up containing the same items as the "best" threads. One person's crap is another's ideal.
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  #44  
Old 07-03-2012, 06:27 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Default Doug, When was the last time......

Aloha Doug,

.......that you made a recording of your music using a 2020?

Fran when was the last time you reached for a 2020 instead of your KSM 44?

I rest my case. And I wouldn't either, despite yet another demo here about mic difference subtlties. There ARE differences that you can hear AND feel.

And neither would Rick, Sdel, Bob, Ty, Glenn, etc. We may have once when we were starting out like the OP, but not with the knowledge we have now. Over time, we've learned to split the hairs when it comes to mic selection & hearing subtle or stark differences.

And with your first rate recording signal chain, it's not really fair to inadvertently infer that the OP that he can achieve the same results using a 2020 as with a VM-1, right? That the differences are negligible - they're not.

It's not smoke & mirrors with the VM-1. That mic will kick the crap out of a 2020 (& most other mic's at every price level) on vocals or instruments everyday of the week - especially on entry level signal chains. It's all in the richness and reality that we hear.

Yes, differences among mic's can certainly often be subtle. But they also can be pretty great too. It's in the ear of the player, engineer, recordist & listener.

BTW Doug, I think that your suggestions to Bob RE: other things he can do to improve his results besides a mic upgrade are right on!

I totally agree that room treatment will make a bigger positive difference to the OP than upgrading gear at this point.

alohachris

Last edited by alohachris; 07-03-2012 at 06:55 PM.
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  #45  
Old 07-03-2012, 06:50 PM
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.......that you made a recording of your music using a 2020?
No, I have good gear, so I use it. This is just an example of what the expected range of difference might be between 2 condenser mics. Certainly some mics exhibit other differences. I have posted recordings with the 2020's and a Zoom H4n. I thought they sounded fine. I'm sure the Brauner's would sound good thru the H4n, too. Good gear helps, but it's not the only thing that matters in a recording. Probably not even the most important thing.

Quote:
I totally agree that room treatment will make a bigger difference to the OP than upgrading gear at this point.
Exactly, that's my only point. Reading the internet, you get the idea that certain things make HUGE differences, that are actually pretty small relative to everything else. I wish I could find that Dave Moulton article on how things can look like molehills from one perspective and mountains from another, and how hard it is to keep them straight. I totally agree, *everything* matters - good gear makes a difference, how you use it makes an even bigger difference. But in this case in particular, Bob has a couple of big problems that the difference between even the most dramatically different mics isn't going to solve. You have to solve the big problems. Until you get rid of the mountains changing molehills won't help much.
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