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  #16  
Old 01-04-2015, 02:36 PM
HighAndDry HighAndDry is offline
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Very interesting. a couple opinions that the rodes may be a bit thin. But yes blindfold tests vs our personal perceptions is always interesting as well. That does look like an almost too flat to be real graph.
my budget is 3-400 . Thanks again everyone.
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  #17  
Old 01-04-2015, 04:17 PM
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I do some home recording; almost exclusively solo acoustic guitar, but occasionally some vocals and occasionally some recordings at church.

I've used the Oktava MC-012 (sdc, used around $125-$150); the ADK A6 (medium diameter condenser $169 new with rigid mount or $229 with shock mount, cable, pop filter, and metal case); 3 Zigma CHI with cardioid capsule (new around $500 with shock mount, cable, and case). I've had good results with all of these, but prefer the 3 Zigma over the others.

I'd suggest recording in stereo using two mics
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  #18  
Old 01-04-2015, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighAndDry View Post
my budget is 3-400 . Thanks again everyone.
I assumed you meant per mic. Recording in stereo with 2 mics is definitely recommended, so that means 150-200 per mic. Lots of choices, but not a lot of reason to prefer one brand/mic over the other without more ideas of what you need. But there are quite a few examples of less-expensive mics here, people have posted examples with Oktava's, ADKs, Audio Technica, MXL, Rode, and many more. My impression is that in a blind test, you won't be able to tell the difference between properly done recordings with different mics in this range, or if you can, you won't find a mic that everyone agrees is "better". You can often get mics on trial and return them - so look at stores with good return policies and give something a try.
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  #19  
Old 01-04-2015, 09:11 PM
Dr.Agave Dr.Agave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larpy View Post
Here's the SM81's frequency response, according to recordinghacks.com:

[IMG][/IMG]

That's pretty flat.

Too flat maybe? Seems like the SM81 is respected more than it's loved.
While frequency response plots are informative and useful, they provide a one dimensional view of microphone performance. By itself, it just isn't enough information to characterize a microphone, or any other device for that matter.

And I don't disagree that the SM81 may be more respected than loved.

The KSM44 though, that's a mic I love!
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  #20  
Old 01-05-2015, 05:24 AM
Andy Howell Andy Howell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
I struggle a bit over the Rode mics. Fran Guidry's done some money ab tests with a rode, and i couldnt tell any difference blind. But in my own use, they have always sounded a bit thin, with a sizzly high end. Could be my imagination, since I cant pick them out blind.
I know what you mean about that and have always thought much the same. I recently invested in a pair of Beyerdynamic MC930s with which I am very pleased not the cheapest though but comparable to a pair of NT55s.
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  #21  
Old 01-05-2015, 05:46 AM
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I did not like the overly sibilant quality of the matched pair of Rode NT5 mics that I owned for several years. Seemed to accent the "ess" sounds coming off of the guitar, especially the neck mic in my space pair or X-Y setups. Moved over to a pair of Shure mics (KSM 137) that work much better for me with solo instrumental acoustic recordings.
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  #22  
Old 01-05-2015, 01:05 PM
HighAndDry HighAndDry is offline
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Yes I meant per mic. I should have mentioned on my original post that I own a Rode NTK and 2 Rode NT1As. I have used these for a lot of acoustic recording and have gotten some pretty good results. Sorry I didn't mention that earlier.
What I don't have is a small diaphragm condensor. I see those used pretty frequently for acoustic guitar so I thought that I should have one. Perhaps I don't really need one. But I probably will still pick one up.
Another question. I frequently do vocal and guitar simultaneously. Would a small diaphraghm on the guitar pick up less of the vocal? (Of course the large diaphragm vocal picks up a lot of guitar, so that's almost a moot point)
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  #23  
Old 01-05-2015, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighAndDry View Post
Yes I meant per mic. I should have mentioned on my original post that I own a Rode NTK and 2 Rode NT1As. I have used these for a lot of acoustic recording and have gotten some pretty good results. Sorry I didn't mention that earlier.
What I don't have is a small diaphragm condensor. I see those used pretty frequently for acoustic guitar so I thought that I should have one. Perhaps I don't really need one. But I probably will still pick one up.
Another question. I frequently do vocal and guitar simultaneously. Would a small diaphraghm on the guitar pick up less of the vocal? (Of course the large diaphragm vocal picks up a lot of guitar, so that's almost a moot point)

Seems to me you already have decent mics. If it was me, I'd spend the $400 on something else that would make a bigger difference. This is always controversial, but I've not found the internet wisdom about SDs vs LDs to be true. There are differences, which can be spelled out easily, but there's probably more variation between specific mics than these sizes as a class, and it's doubtful that you'll hear a significant difference that is due to the LD vs SD when recording guitar. (I'm sure someone will disagree, so you may have to spend your $400 to find out for yourself. Just keep in mind that you really need to try a lot of mics before you can reach a general conclusion.)

As far as picking up your voice less, any mic good enough to pick up your guitar well is going to pick up your voice just as well, given that your voice is about the same distance from the mics and probably louder. LD vs SD won't help with that. The one type of mic that can help is a figure-8 mic. You can aim one at your guitar with the null aimed at your mouth, and one at your mouth with the null aimed at your guitar. Fran Guidry has a demo of this on his homebrewmusic site, and you can probably find others with a search. It works surprisingly well, but a good figure 8 mic tends to be expensive (and you'll need 2), and if you really want isolation, what most people do is overdub - sing and play separately. There are various approaches to doing this, and there are others here who can go into more detail on how they approach it.
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  #24  
Old 01-05-2015, 05:45 PM
HighAndDry HighAndDry is offline
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I think that might be the ticket Doug. For now just get something else for my studio. Especially if the small diaphragm doesn't make that big a difference. I wonder if I could tell in a blind test. You do a lot of testing so your opinion is valued.
Thanks for the tips on vocal and guitar. Yea it is pretty hard to get around leakage. I am pretty versed in recording so I am able to the guitar and vocal separately.
Thanks again to doug and everyone. I learned a lot from this thread
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  #25  
Old 01-05-2015, 06:59 PM
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Just in case you might have an interest, here's a pair of AKG 451B mics for sale (I'm not affiliated with the seller, and know nothing about these).

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=366722
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  #26  
Old 01-05-2015, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighAndDry View Post
I think that might be the ticket Doug. For now just get something else for my studio. Especially if the small diaphragm doesn't make that big a difference. I wonder if I could tell in a blind test. You do a lot of testing so your opinion is valued.
Thanks for the tips on vocal and guitar. Yea it is pretty hard to get around leakage. I am pretty versed in recording so I am able to the guitar and vocal separately.
Thanks again to doug and everyone. I learned a lot from this thread
Here's a blind test from Fran Guidry:

http://www.homebrewedmusic.com/2009/...lips/#more-415

with 2 LDs and 2 SDs, so see if you can pick out which is which.

Having lots of mics to choose from is fun, and can be instructional, and it's not that there's zero difference between mics, but I think SD vs LD as a class is just too generic and vague a distinction. There are other ways mics can make a big difference. Having different polar patterns for example, lets you do different micing techniques. And then there are ribbon mics, which are definitely very different sounding. But different condensers, especially in the same general price range, are unlikely to do anything dramatic to "move the needle" in your recording.
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  #27  
Old 01-06-2015, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
Here's a blind test from Fran Guidry:

http://www.homebrewedmusic.com/2009/...lips/#more-415

with 2 LDs and 2 SDs, so see if you can pick out which is which.

Having lots of mics to choose from is fun, and can be instructional, and it's not that there's zero difference between mics, but I think SD vs LD as a class is just too generic and vague a distinction. There are other ways mics can make a big difference. Having different polar patterns for example, lets you do different micing techniques. And then there are ribbon mics, which are definitely very different sounding. But different condensers, especially in the same general price range, are unlikely to do anything dramatic to "move the needle" in your recording.
Great posts, Doug. As you know from our past discussions, for me the biggest difference between SD and LD has had to do with the amount of ambient or room noise they pick up. Since I'm not in the best recording situation (old houses are kind of generally noisy) there is a need for a mic that focuses on the guitar and not on the room. For whatever reason, the LD mics I've tried tend to pick up a lot more room noise than a cardiod SD mics.
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  #28  
Old 01-06-2015, 07:57 AM
Dr.Agave Dr.Agave is offline
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Originally Posted by ukejon View Post
Great posts, Doug. As you know from our past discussions, for me the biggest difference between SD and LD has had to do with the amount of ambient or room noise they pick up. Since I'm not in the best recording situation (old houses are kind of generally noisy) there is a need for a mic that focuses on the guitar and not on the room. For whatever reason, the LD mics I've tried tend to pick up a lot more room noise than a cardiod SD mics.
DPA, who sprung from acoustical measurement company Bruel & Kjaer, has an excellent comparison of the attributes and detriments of small, medium and large diaphragm condenser microphones.

Please note that this an engineering narrative. It doesn't tell you which microphone type is best for your artistic expression, it gives you the technical basis for the differences.

Enjoy.

http://www.dpamicrophones.com/Websit...Diaphragm.aspx
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Last edited by Dr.Agave; 01-06-2015 at 08:13 AM. Reason: Fixed link
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  #29  
Old 01-06-2015, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ukejon View Post
Great posts, Doug. As you know from our past discussions, for me the biggest difference between SD and LD has had to do with the amount of ambient or room noise they pick up. Since I'm not in the best recording situation (old houses are kind of generally noisy) there is a need for a mic that focuses on the guitar and not on the room. For whatever reason, the LD mics I've tried tend to pick up a lot more room noise than a cardiod SD mics.
I use my Schoeps hyper-cardiod mics for my videos, which I shoot in an untreated room, for the same reason. The tighter pattern may help reduce the room acoustics a bit. But I think it's not so much that they're SDs as that they're hypers.

You can see some interesting polar graphs in that dpa link The one about the interference of the mic size itself on the sound field is really interesting.
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Last edited by Doug Young; 01-06-2015 at 11:34 AM.
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  #30  
Old 01-06-2015, 12:22 PM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
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Originally Posted by ukejon View Post
Great posts, Doug. As you know from our past discussions, for me the biggest difference between SD and LD has had to do with the amount of ambient or room noise they pick up. Since I'm not in the best recording situation (old houses are kind of generally noisy) there is a need for a mic that focuses on the guitar and not on the room. For whatever reason, the LD mics I've tried tend to pick up a lot more room noise than a cardiod SD mics.
Years and years ago Doug and I did some not-at-all-scientific comparisons of a bunch of mics and noticed that every mic sounded just like they said they would on Gearslutz. Amazing!

Then a while later I started testing in a more scientific way, with controls on as many variables as possible, and suddenly all those clear and obvious differences were gone!!! It's nearly impossible to overstate the importance of making comparisons in a careful manner by:

using exactly the same source
level matching with painful precision
blinding the samples

There are well established psycho-acoustic reasons for each of these and it's simply not humanly possible to avoid these issues.

So next time you're comparing your SD and LD mics, set one of each up in the same spot, use a test tone to tweak the levels, record the test tone followed by one performance on both mics at the same time, fine tune levels in post using that test tone, then do a double-blind comparison of the samples in an ABX comparator.

This is a lot of work. Unfortunately, doing a less careful job gives _bad_ information, which I consider worse than no information at all.

Fran
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