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  #16  
Old 01-23-2011, 01:18 AM
paulchevin paulchevin is offline
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Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
Paul,

Try a TLM 103.

Ty
Ty,

Sadly, like a lot of people here, I simply can't afford that kind of money! This is why I have built up a collection of several different types of mic........ for less than the price of a single TLM 103. The results may not be quite as good, but they are more than adequate for most purposes.

For a mic in its price range the Rode NT3 is capable of very good results........ although like most mics it works better on some acoustic guitars than others.

Paul
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  #17  
Old 01-23-2011, 05:46 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Paul,

I don't know where "here" is but you can always rent. I think DreamHire in NY does that.

More to the point, and not at you directly, until you hear a really good mic with the right preamp, and get a sense of what that sounds like, you just don't know.

I have had numerous back and forths with guys about their latest greatest mic find. Because of what I do, the chances are pretty good that I've heard the one he's talking about. There are always exceptions, but the chances are also good that it doesn't sound as good as a really good mic and the chances are even better that he has never heard a really good mic so he has no basis for comparison.

On a few occasions, the guy does go for it and rents the mic. He has a "Holy F**K!" experience and suddenly the mic becomes affordable because he can hear the difference. A lot of that "can't afford" stuff goes right out the window. The few times it hasn't happened that way, it's because his comparison was done on a Mackie mixer in an unfinished basement with the mics a foot or more form the source, or some other WTF? setup.

The guys in the first camp usually get back to me and say, "Wow! I never knew I could get sound like THAT. It's amazing! Thanks!"

For example, for acoustic guitar, rent a Schoeps cmc641. Start at the "off the neck joint" position. Have someone else play your guitar. Put on some really good headphones like the Sony MDR 7506. Move the Schoeps around a little to see what happens and wait for the happy spot in your brain to light up. Remember the position, grab the guitar, hit record.

-Ty Ford
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  #18  
Old 01-23-2011, 04:50 PM
paulchevin paulchevin is offline
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Ty,

My "here" referred to people on this forum.

It's clear that you and I live in different worlds!

If you are lucky enough to have a perfect recording environment, which many of us haven't, and if you have unlimited financial resources, which many of us don't, then it obviously makes sense to buy a locker full of the World's top microphones.

However, I have neither and I'm guessing that as the OP on this thread was running a shootout between a Behringer B5 and a Rode NT3, he has some of the same limitations I have. I hope that my comments have been of some help to him.

I simply cannot justify buying or renting expensive microphones for the level I'm working at. In fact, if I was to spend more money it would be on better preamps rather than better microphones as I think the former would probably provide more benefit.

I have tried many different LDC's for recording my solo acoustic guitar. One problem is that they pick up far too much of the room ambience (which is not good in my house). Second, when a jet goes overhead, it sounds like the bomb has dropped! Add to that all the traffic noise, dogs and slamming doors from next door and I might get one useable take in 20 attempts.

SDC's are better, but I still have problems with ambient noise. The Rode NT3, with fairly good off-axis rejection, is better still and with close miking it becomes manageable - the only time I have to re-record is if a plane comes over!

A pair of TLM 103's in a perfect recording environment would probably produce a better result, but they would clearly be a total waste of money in my situation. Meanwhile, the pair of Rode NT3's makes life bearable and produces a respectable result which I consider to be a better and more detailed than most of the cheap Chinese condensers, just as long as I apply a bit of HF roll-off.

I would love to record in a professional studio one day, but sadly that would cost me money - given that I don't make anything out of my music, I can't justify that.

Paul
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  #19  
Old 01-23-2011, 05:28 PM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Paul,

There are a thousand ways to say, "No." OTOH, "yes" usually suffices for a positive response.

1. I don't have a perfect recording environment.

2. "SDC's are better," which is why I suggested the cmc641.

For anyone else who wants to cross that line and find out, in this country, here's the contact info for the distributor. Redding can hook you up with a rental facility. Nice folks. Tell them Ty said to call about places that rent Schoeps.

Redding Audio, Inc.
97 South Main Street, Unit 10
Newtown, CT 06470
United States

Phone: +1 203 270 1808
Fax: +1 203 270 2934
Email: sales@reddingaudio.com
Web site: http://www.reddingaudio.com

BTW, if you don't want to rent a suitable preamp, buy an RNP from Mark McQuilken at FMR Audio. http://www.fmraudio.com/rnp.htm

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #20  
Old 01-24-2011, 05:38 AM
paulchevin paulchevin is offline
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Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
which is why I suggested the cmc641.
Ty,

I said that an SDC was better, but not as good as the NT3 at rejecting the ambient noise. It is minimising this which is the most important issue for me.

Also, have you seen how much a pair of CMC 641's cost here in Europe?:

http://www.thomann.de/fr/schoeps_sch...mc_641_set.htm

Just look at other threads on this forum at people who are trying to figure out if they can afford a pocket recorder. Your suggestion is something that many of us aspire to, but it is simply not relevant to our situation in the here and now.

I'm quite sure that the CMC 641 is a lovely microphone, but is it really 10 times better than say a Rode? No, of course not. In fact, there are plenty of successful studios which use Rode microphones (as well as cheaper Chinese ones) regularly to produce commercial quality music. People listening to MP3's on consumer gear are very unlikely to notice the difference.

So for people wanting to do demos and Youtube videos, the cheaper microphones are more than good enough.

I am familiar with the RNP (and for a while I had a RNC), but if I were to buy a new preamp it would probably be this one:

http://www.recording-microphones.co....c-preamp.shtml

It has been thoroughly tested by 2 top sound engineers here in the UK. The same guys give some excellent advice on microphones too. You'll note that they have even started selling a very cheap and cheerful mic called the Golden Age Project FC4, which is based on the same capsule as the MXL 602 and CAD GXL1200. They have proved that such a cheap mic, that costs around 1/20th of a CMC-641, is more than capable of producing results that most of us here would be proud of:

http://www.recording-microphones.co....crophone.shtml

Don't get me wrong. I'm sure you know what you're talking about and I respect your opinion. You are undoubtedly also correct in saying that a really good mic will produce better results. All I'm saying is that the difference is not sufficient to justify the huge additional expense for amateurs on a tight budget.

I think we may just have to agree to differ.

Paul
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  #21  
Old 01-24-2011, 07:57 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Originally Posted by paulchevin View Post
Ty, All I'm saying is that the difference is not sufficient to justify the huge additional expense for amateurs on a tight budget.

I think we may just have to agree to differ.

Paul
Paul,

Ok. So now I know you're in Europe. I'm sure there's someone near you from whom you can rent a pair of cmc641. Al I'm saying is try it. All you're saying is, "no." So I guess we're done.

To anyone else reading this post, please keep in mind that experiment is key to advncement.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #22  
Old 01-24-2011, 08:06 AM
moon moon is offline
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I'd call myself an amateur trying to do the best I can with what I can afford but I kind of like to hear both sides. I want to learn what people think is the best gear and why but I also have to try to figure out what is the best in a certain price range - as well as what just isn't worth spending money on at any price.

The great thing about a forum is that you can chat with a whole range of people and learn something from their experiences.
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  #23  
Old 01-24-2011, 10:46 AM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
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Experimenting can be very educational but Ty, in reality, how much good would it do for an amateur recording in an untreated living room to find out that multi-thousand-dollar microphones will present a pristine auditory image of their crummy recording space?

Don't get me wrong, I love reading this stuff and gaining some insight into how "real" recording enthusiasts and professionals get the results they do. But I think you and Paul are coming from such different sets of assumptions there's not a lot of common ground.
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  #24  
Old 01-24-2011, 11:25 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Mr. Hutto;

I can only show you and Paul where the water is. I can not make you drink it. I think he made his point very well.

Ty Ford
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  #25  
Old 01-24-2011, 02:45 PM
Sage97 Sage97 is offline
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I can only show you and Paul where the water is. I can not make you drink it.
There are different prices for water and alas, tap water is the best I can do right now. I do appreciate the education. I'll upgrade to bottled water when I hit the jackpot one of these days.....
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Last edited by Sage97; 01-24-2011 at 02:51 PM.
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  #26  
Old 01-25-2011, 06:53 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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""Invest in that which is eternal, everything else fades away.""

Which reminds me. In a lot of cases, if you look at how many "enh" mics you'll find in someone's collection and add up what they paid for them, they'd have been better off buying a really good mic once than buying all of the others.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Last edited by Ty Ford; 01-25-2011 at 06:55 AM. Reason: content
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  #27  
Old 01-25-2011, 08:16 AM
Sage97 Sage97 is offline
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Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
""Invest in that which is eternal, everything else fades away.""

Which reminds me. In a lot of cases, if you look at how many "enh" mics you'll find in someone's collection and add up what they paid for them, they'd have been better off buying a really good mic once than buying all of the others.

Regards,

Ty Ford
I don't have a mic collection so I can comment for those who do. What you're saying does make a lot of sense.

Now I'm wondering.....are mic applications similar to guitars? One guit better suited for fingerstyle, one for strumming, one for ....? Does that translate to mics?

Everything else does fade away. Expensive mics, Estebans, colored TVs, memories, people...

How does that Kansas song go?
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  #28  
Old 01-25-2011, 12:08 PM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Originally Posted by Sage97 View Post
I don't have a mic collection so I can comment for those who do. What you're saying does make a lot of sense.

Now I'm wondering.....are mic applications similar to guitars? One guit better suited for fingerstyle, one for strumming, one for ....? Does that translate to mics?

Everything else does fade away. Expensive mics, Estebans, colored TVs, memories, people...

How does that Kansas song go?

Oh Sage One,

To a certain degree yes. The path to enlightenment for microphones has been very interesting for me. I've been on it a long time. There cheap mics that are perfect for many applications. There are expensive mics that are perfect for similar or other occasions. Live sound vs studio sound comes to mind, but I had recent live recording event to which I brought my pair of cmc641 and a stereo bar. We used them as drum overheads. Later, back at the studio I was listening to the tracks.

Conventional wisdom might have been that this would be a bad choice. When I soloed the cmc641 (I didn't know it was them because the tracks weren't labeled) I stopped and thought, "Huh? What mic is that? It sounds really natural and open versus the other mics (SM 57, SM 57, MD421) I've heard so far. Well, duh! I was the stereo drum overheads and they sounded great!

A really good mic will outlast you and may even increase in value. Remember to put them in your will or to have someone who knows their value sell them for you and give the money to you widow.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #29  
Old 01-25-2011, 01:07 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Aloha,

I have to agree with Ty here: experimentation is key to advancement.

Yes, it's true, most players are not professional recordists. Most are trying to record on the cheap with cheap mic's or A mic in most cases. However, 95% of the time, their results sound cheap as well. If you don't agree, then listen to how bad 99% of the acoustic home recordings sound on YouTube. The rooms are all terrible & untreated.

As players, we may all wish to record. But achieving good recordings means investing more time & money into molding our increasing knowledge, DIY room treatment & the best equipment we can afford into a compatible signal chain that is selected & appropriate for the music at hand.

That's simply more commitment than most players can conceive of. Of course, the terrible sounding recordings are clearly the result of lack of commitment & from bad compromises - like using cheap, crappy mic's.

I believe, as Ty does, that all players - even if they do not have the funds to pursue the best equipment at the moment - should at least know the differences by exposing themselves to all levels of equipment, including the best. Otherwise, how could you know?

Sometimes, sharing that in these forums elicits negative feedback from players who never envision investing much money or energy into recording, and who resent those who are, or who feel the info is inappropriate. I could not disagree more. Everything people read here helps with gaining knowledge, even if it's learning what you don't want to do for yourself, or about better stuff that others find a way to get & use.

And Paul Chevin, I hear your pragmatic approach, & something like the decent Rode 3 would make sense for you. However, the CMC641 isn't 10X better than that Rode - it's 100X better. You can clearly hear & even feel that when using good monitors (not computer speakers). You should rent a Schoeps for future reference, just to know the difference.

And Brent, don't censure Ty for exposing others to the notion that better exists out there. He's just trying to help. And he helps more than most. He & Paul & all of us here have lots in common in simply discussing mics.

IMO, most players have no business even trying to record, being as close-minded as they are to experiencing the best or even considering putting a couple hundred bucks & little time into DIY room treatment. If you settle for cheap & don't want to know....then that's the sound you will get.

Even after gigging for nearly half a century, one of the reasons why I avoided getting into recording my music for decades was because I recognized that I couldn't commit the money & time that the pro's do in getting great results - that knowledge. I'd never be as good. Most players try to use the same cheap stuff for everything they try to record: one mic, one pre, etc. And then wonder why they get the same sound - the same lousy sound - in their recordings.

Just because we have DAW's now at our disposal in our homes now doesn't mean that anything has changed - you still need the knowledge, the space & good equipment (like choosing great mic's) that are most appropriate to the music at hand.

You can stick as many H-2's as you like in front of something. But it'll never sound even mediocre unless you use it creatively & correctly in a treated space with some basic mastering knowledge. And even then, the self-noise of its onboard mic's & cheesy pre's preclude even average pro recordings from resulting, IMO.

For me, on my iMac/Ensemble/Logic rig, DIY-treated home studio/space, & decades of front-end knowledge, I recognize that the best I can achieve will be cleanly played & recorded raw tracks so that a mix master can add his/her magic to it for pro level mastering. And my projects are decidedly non-commercial. For me, it will still be better to get a pro engineer involved for a final product - even after all I've committed here.

Knowing that, I put a lot of priority into acquiring the best front-end rigs I can afford & into gaining knowledge of how to use them. That means investigating mic/pre combo's like the CMC641's with an A Designs Pacifica for example, or U87 or MA-200's with a Pendulum MDP-1, or P28's with a Great River MP-2NV & learning how to treat & use my room with techniques like creative mic placement.

But it is obvious to me that there is no substitute for great mic's in any mix. Cheap mic's are a place to start...and leave, quickly. Even only three years ago, I was using mic's like ADK A6 (cheap & very good sounding) on acoustic guitar. I moved up & on. BTW, that ADK A6 beats the heck out of the mic's used in the OP's shoot-out here, AND IT'S CHEAP (@$130 used)!

You just have to be curious enough to find out what a great mic is and which work best for your music & your rigs. Renting, as Ty & I have suggested many times, is a great way to do that. I've rented hundreds of mic's to try out here in the Islands because our stores don't have many pro choices.

Just trying to help. Be curious enough to check out even what you can't yet afford. That knowledge will save you thousands in the longrun. You'll be the winner & your recordings will drastically improve. That approach has sure helped me!

Thanks for the shoot-out, OP. Of the two, I liked the NT-3. Usually, Rode mics' edgey high-end have me running for the exits soon. But it worked here on the baritone's frequencies & is a much more accurate mic that the B5. Didn't make me want to own either mic, though.

alohachris

Last edited by alohachris; 01-25-2011 at 06:14 PM.
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  #30  
Old 01-25-2011, 06:50 PM
Sage97 Sage97 is offline
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Ty and Chris,
Any chance of posting some home studio recordings with mics you like? It would be great to hear an LDC sample for vox and maybe an SDC pair for acoustic guitar? I"m sure they sound great. I'd certainly love to hear what I am missing.

Chris,
Thanks again for the iMac/Apogee Duet suggestion. I'm loving it but I still have so much to learn.

Meanwhile back to the original discussion.
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