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  #1  
Old 02-20-2019, 08:45 PM
AlfredFelix AlfredFelix is offline
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Default Condensor mic pickup for quiet gigs and recording

I mostly play quiet nursing home gigs and similar with my mom. If I need feedback control, I have other pickups so that isn't a concern. Also, the room I record in isn't treated well and due to life, it can't be treated too well. So, I was thinking of getting a clip on condensor mic to play the quieter shows & record with. I am thinking of the following three options:

1.) Audio Technica AT-831b
2.) K&K Meridian Pro
3.) DPA 4099g

I would love to get away with the cheapest option possible, but if the sound is actually natural pending on price, then I am willing to save longer and pay more. Do you all have any strong opinions on which one to get? For a basic recording and quiet gig, is the at831b natural sounding? I am looking to find a sound good enough for good recordings and honest replication at quieter gigs.

Lol, I know I am seeking a holy grail, but I greatly appreciate any opinions and help that you all can provide.
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2019, 09:07 PM
Johnny.guitar Johnny.guitar is offline
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Ear trumpet labs “Edwina”
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2019, 10:14 PM
Shredmaster007 Shredmaster007 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfredFelix View Post
I mostly play quiet nursing home gigs and similar with my mom. If I need feedback control, I have other pickups so that isn't a concern. Also, the room I record in isn't treated well and due to life, it can't be treated too well. So, I was thinking of getting a clip on condensor mic to play the quieter shows & record with. I am thinking of the following three options:

1.) Audio Technica AT-831b
2.) K&K Meridian Pro
3.) DPA 4099g

I would love to get away with the cheapest option possible, but if the sound is actually natural pending on price, then I am willing to save longer and pay more. Do you all have any strong opinions on which one to get? For a basic recording and quiet gig, is the at831b natural sounding? I am looking to find a sound good enough for good recordings and honest replication at quieter gigs.

Lol, I know I am seeking a holy grail, but I greatly appreciate any opinions and help that you all can provide.
If you're willing to use a mic on a stand and have phantom power, the ksm137 sounds awesome and is unobtrusive. I had an at2021 and a sm81 before that and like the ksm way more. I also tried a Bartlett clip on and the shure is in another league, the dpa would probably be closer (thanks to physics of having a gooseneck)
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:13 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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You'd be welcome to my MiniFlex 2Mic for a low price. (I don't need it anymore with ToneDexter.) The down sides are that its somewhat heavy (with two AA batteries attached to the goosenecks) and you might want an EQ device (something like a Boss GE7) to EQ it to your taste.

http://www.miniflexmic.com/products/model_1.htm

Another low cost option would be the iRig Acoustic Stage mic. The gigs need to be pretty low volume, however, or you'll get into feedback issues. I've also noticed that the system compresses with hard strumming if the volume knob is up past halfway. Its better to get the extra volume boost from your mixer or amp.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1NgeCrpnMc
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:39 AM
AlfredFelix AlfredFelix is offline
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First off, thank you all! I greatly appreciate your answers.

Johnny guitar, do you find the Edwina is at the mercy of the the room? I play and record in less than ideally constructed rooms. It has been my experience with lower quality condensor mics sounding poor in those environments. I was thinking a clip on style mic would be less susceptible. Do you find the Edwina is finicky about these things?

Shredmaster007, I suppose I have the same questions about the ksm137. How susceptible is it to the conditions of an untreated room that isn't well set up for acoustics or recording?

Guitaniac, I am considering the Miniflex as well. How do you feel it holds up to open strumming? Is the sound natural in that way? At quick research I am having trouble finding many recordings of it where people actually explain their signal chain.

Last edited by AlfredFelix; 02-21-2019 at 08:05 AM.
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2019, 08:51 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfredFelix View Post

Guitaniac, I am considering the Miniflex as well. How do you feel it holds up to open strumming? Is the sound natural in that way? At quick research I am having trouble finding many recordings of it where people actually explain their signal chain.
It works fine for all styles of playing. I do everything from heavy strumming to picking with bare finger pads. The only caveats, once again, are that its on the heavy side for a pickup system, and that you may want to use some EQ device with it which is a little more versatile than the three band EQ on a typical amp or PA mixer. I personally have found it to be a little overly strong in the low mids with one of my guitars. In the case of that guitar, a modest cut at 200 Hz with a Boss GE7 graphic equalizer is helpful. In the case of my thin-bodied classical, on the other hand, the overly strong low mid response was actually helpful.

Here's an old demo video from Doug Young, one of our AGF regulars. He identifies the amp which he's playing through, and also notes when he switches to running directly into a Zoom recorder.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K878aq7vFWg
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2019, 11:49 AM
Shredmaster007 Shredmaster007 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfredFelix View Post

Shredmaster007, I suppose I have the same questions about the ksm137. How susceptible is it to the conditions of an untreated room that isn't well set up for acoustics or recording?
I like it better than all of the other mics I've tried recording acoustic guitar in my untreated practice room (at2021, sm81, rode nt1, e935, st55, sm57/58, beta87a, bartlett mic, fishman matrix blend). It also get's the loudest out without feedback out of the bunch when playing through my JBL monitors. With the low cut filter engaged I don't need to EQ it at all.

The second runner up for me is the e935 - which might be an even better option since it's a great vocal mic as well. The e935 requires more gain than the condensers but has really good feedback rejection and of course doesn't need phantom power. I can turn the e935 up 2/3rds volume on my S1 Pro - I'd say it triples the volume of my somber J45. The e935 is more directional than the ksm137, so the tone (maybe phasing) seems to change more/faster to my ear when the mic moves around the sound hole - but it's totally workable.

I like the sm58 and at2021 the least.
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2019, 06:55 PM
AlfredFelix AlfredFelix is offline
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Shredmaster007, that mic does sound fantastic in the videos I could find. Thank you for the info! It is greatly appreciated. Currently, the ksm137 seems like maybe the best option.

Guitaniac, I sent you a private message. The Miniflex stuff seems cool in reviews.
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2019, 09:04 PM
Shredmaster007 Shredmaster007 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfredFelix View Post
Shredmaster007, that mic does sound fantastic in the videos I could find. Thank you for the info! It is greatly appreciated. Currently, the ksm137 seems like maybe the best option.

Guitaniac, I sent you a private message. The Miniflex stuff seems cool in reviews.
I played through the ksm137 and the e935 this afternoon and the 137 put a smile on my face. There might be better mics out there (neumann km184 and akg c414 comes to mind) but I don't feel the need to change.

They also make the ksm141 which is the same as the 137 but with an omni mode option, if you are more serious about recording that might be worth the extra money for the added flexibility, but I don't think you're missing anything with the cardioid pattern.
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2019, 09:26 PM
Shredmaster007 Shredmaster007 is offline
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Here is a track that I did with the ksm137, rode nt1. Just some reverb and compression, no EQ into an old focusrite 2i2. Room is untreated, 12x12x12 (pretty terrible for recording.)

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  #11  
Old 02-22-2019, 08:10 AM
AlfredFelix AlfredFelix is offline
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Shredmaster007, that sounds great. And now I am fairly sold on that mic. Is that just the ksm137 for guitar and the nt1 for vocals? Or both mics on guitar?

Also, I like your song. It's got a nice melancholy darkness underlying a pretty Melody and rhythm. It's a very nice sound.
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  #12  
Old 02-22-2019, 10:18 AM
Shredmaster007 Shredmaster007 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfredFelix View Post
Shredmaster007, that sounds great. And now I am fairly sold on that mic. Is that just the ksm137 for guitar and the nt1 for vocals? Or both mics on guitar?

Also, I like your song. It's got a nice melancholy darkness underlying a pretty Melody and rhythm. It's a very nice sound.
KSM 137 a few inches from the guitar, NT1 just on vocals tracked at the same time. Thanks for the complements I just kind of spontaneously wrote and recorded the song one evening. It's a bit whinny and cheesy but I liked how saturated and full the sound was so I kept it
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  #13  
Old 02-22-2019, 05:25 PM
JohnDWilliams JohnDWilliams is offline
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Original post mentions “clip on” and it’s hard to beat the DPA.

Using the same placement guidelines as a “real” mic, pointing at the neck/body joint, you can make very good recordings with it.

It isn’t any more feedback-prone than any other mic.
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  #14  
Old 02-22-2019, 06:01 PM
Shredmaster007 Shredmaster007 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnDWilliams View Post
Original post mentions “clip on” and it’s hard to beat the DPA.

Using the same placement guidelines as a “real” mic, pointing at the neck/body joint, you can make very good recordings with it.

It isn’t any more feedback-prone than any other mic.
Yep, dpa is nice - it's just pretty expensive. I think an sdc is more useful in general and probably more durable overall though. Can't think of a performance where I've seen a clip on, but plenty that had an sdc outfront (usually in addition to a pickup.) But that's just like my opinion.
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  #15  
Old 02-22-2019, 06:01 PM
AlfredFelix AlfredFelix is offline
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JohnDWilliams, Thank you. . I was hoping someone would comment with first hand opinion on those. They look super interesting to me.
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