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  #1  
Old 10-18-2017, 02:30 PM
loco gringo loco gringo is offline
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Default Microphones For ToneDexter

If a person were wanting to purchase one mic for the purpose of Dexterizing guitars, lets say $400.00 max, what would be a good choice? Maybe discuss lesser priced mics as well. Would a mic in the $400 range give you a better dual purpose mic, say Dexterizing as well as a recording mic, than say a $150 mic?

Let's assume said person has no mics and can't experiment with several that they have on hand.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:06 PM
NoodleFingers NoodleFingers is offline
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As I recall, James May (one of the inventors of ToneDexter and its primary spokesman) has said that good results can be achieved with a wide variety of microphones.

But I also think he has said that small-diaphragm condensers seem to give the very best results, and he has mentioned the Shure SM81 as a particularly good choice on several occasions.

A brand-new Shure SM81 can be had on Amazon (and other places) for about $350. A good used one can be found on eBay for $150 or less, so I think it meets your criteria.

P.S. The Shure SM81 is a very popular studio mic for acoustic instruments.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:17 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
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I've been experimenting this last week with exactly this.

I tried a couple of ribbon mics (Beyer m500 and MXL r40) and did not get a sound I liked, I might try again with more time.

I tried an Oktava MK012 cardioid capsule and got nice results. Then I tried a Line Audio CM3 - my favorite so far. Both are small diaphragm condensers.

The large diaphragm condensors I have tried haven't worked well yet for me (Rode NT2, Oktava MK319). I am awaiting a ISK Pro Audio Starlight to see if that does the job better.

I am liking the SDC because in general, these are the mics that have the LEAST personality. Personality tends to drive prices up

I would second the previous poster and recommend the Shure SM-81. It's a fantastic acoustic mic and usable on all kinds of sources.

Remember that, ideally, once you train the Tonedexter you'll not need the mic again for awhile (if ever). So it would be smart to purchase something you know you'll use post-Tonedexter.
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Last edited by Gordon Currie; 10-18-2017 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:32 PM
loco gringo loco gringo is offline
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Looks like that Octavia can be bought new for $199.00. The Line Audio doesn't seem to be for sale in the US, but they are on ebay for about $150.00, shipped from Europe.

Is the SM-81 considered better than these two mics? I know that is somewhat subjective.
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Old 10-18-2017, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loco gringo View Post
If a person were wanting to purchase one mic for the purpose of Dexterizing guitars, lets say $400.00 max, what would be a good choice? Maybe discuss lesser priced mics as well. Would a mic in the $400 range give you a better dual purpose mic, say Dexterizing as well as a recording mic, than say a $150 mic?

Let's assume said person has no mics and can't experiment with several that they have on hand.
It's a very good question. The SM81 is a gold standard, and in our experience will always yield great results on any guitar. And it's a good mic to have in your mic locker, if you are into recording.

However, the new Slate ML-2 is every bit as good in our experience. It is not quite available yet, that's the downside. Slate tells me that it will be available very soon, before year's end for sure. It has other advantages if you are into recording, as it comes with some software modelling capabilities that can give it a bunch of other personalities in your recording environment. But for purposes of Dexterizing your instrument, it can't be beat. And that's not just for guitar, but other instruments including upright bass.

I believe that the mics with the flattest on axis response will yield the consistently best results across all instruments. You can go to recordinghacks.com and look up the response of most mics if you want to check a particular one's response curve.

We haven't tried these, but based on their response and price, have reason to believe they would work well: Line Audio CM3, Rode NT5, Marshall MXL-600, Sterling ST-31.
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Old 10-18-2017, 06:49 PM
loco gringo loco gringo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James May View Post
It's a very good question. The SM81 is a gold standard, and in our experience will always yield great results on any guitar. And it's a good mic to have in your mic locker, if you are into recording.

However, the new Slate ML-2 is every bit as good in our experience. It is not quite available yet, that's the downside. Slate tells me that it will be available very soon, before year's end for sure. It has other advantages if you are into recording, as it comes with some software modelling capabilities that can give it a bunch of other personalities in your recording environment. But for purposes of Dexterizing your instrument, it can't be beat. And that's not just for guitar, but other instruments including upright bass.

I believe that the mics with the flattest on axis response will yield the consistently best results across all instruments. You can go to recordinghacks.com and look up the response of most mics if you want to check a particular one's response curve.

We haven't tried these, but based on their response and price, have reason to believe they would work well: Line Audio CM3, Rode NT5, Marshall MXL-600, Sterling ST-31.
I would be in for that ML-2. It is on Sweetwater's site for $149.00. However, no ship date shown, yet. On my radar for sure.
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:07 PM
MiG50 MiG50 is offline
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I wonder how well the AKG C214 would work in this application. It's a bigger capsule, but pretty amazing frequency response for the money.

Anyone try a good omni mic for this? Earthworks TC20 would be fun to try.
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:39 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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I've used a Shure SM81 to train my ToneDexter. I got the SM81 from Musician's Friend during a sale and I had some BackStage Pass cash back to apply to the price, so the final price came to about $250.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiG50 View Post
I wonder how well the AKG C214 would work in this application. It's a bigger capsule, but pretty amazing frequency response for the money.

Anyone try a good omni mic for this? Earthworks TC20 would be fun to try.
We've tried low cost measurement mics, which are omnis that have very flat response. They work well. The cheapies, like the Dayton Audio EMM-6 ($50) have a high noise floor level which makes them unsuitable for recording, but they work fine with ToneDexter because Dexter ignores the noise during training. The TC20 would surely work.

The omnidirectional pickup pattern WILL affect the sound that the mic perceives of your instrument. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. In our experience so far, it has been very usable at least and sometimes excellent. One thing to point out is that you need not worry about capturing more room sound with an omni., because Dexter limits how much of that is captured anyway, regardless of whether omni or cardioid pickup pattern.
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  #10  
Old 10-19-2017, 11:13 AM
MiG50 MiG50 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James May View Post
We've tried low cost measurement mics, which are omnis that have very flat response. They work well. The cheapies, like the Dayton Audio EMM-6 ($50) have a high noise floor level which makes them unsuitable for recording, but they work fine with ToneDexter because Dexter ignores the noise during training. The TC20 would surely work.

The omnidirectional pickup pattern WILL affect the sound that the mic perceives of your instrument. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. In our experience so far, it has been very usable at least and sometimes excellent. One thing to point out is that you need not worry about capturing more room sound with an omni., because Dexter limits how much of that is captured anyway, regardless of whether omni or cardioid pickup pattern.
I've always liked omnis for acoustic guitar, since they are almost perfectly flat in their frequency response, versus the hyped frequencies and proximity response of a cardiod mic. Earthworks are probably the gold standard, but there are a lot of great options. I bet an AKG 414 in omni pattern would work amazing, although it's a lot of cash. I bet there are places that would let you rent one for a couple hours or a day.
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:58 PM
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El Conquistador El Conquistador is offline
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What do we think of an AKG Perception 170?

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/P170

at $89?

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Old 10-19-2017, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Conquistador View Post
What do we think of an AKG Perception 170?

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/P170

at $89?

Steve
I wouldn't choose that one, the graph is not very flat. There's an 8dB spread between 5KHz and 10KHz.
http://recordinghacks.com/microphone...Perception-170
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:14 AM
LookerBob LookerBob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiG50 View Post
I wonder how well the AKG C214 would work in this application. It's a bigger capsule, but pretty amazing frequency response for the money.

Anyone try a good omni mic for this? Earthworks TC20 would be fun to try.
I have tried an AKG C414 XLII, and I liked what I got with other mics better, it had a harsher top end... I think those may be the same capsule, though they do sound different.

My favorite so far when training TD has been an Ear Trumpet Myrtle.
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Old 11-07-2017, 01:17 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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James,

What would be the drawback of EQing the mic signal to taste (rather than shaping the tone by experimenting with mic positioning)? Does running the mic signal through extra circuitry cause some kind of latency problem?
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  #15  
Old 11-07-2017, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by guitaniac View Post
James,

What would be the drawback of EQing the mic signal to taste (rather than shaping the tone by experimenting with mic positioning)? Does running the mic signal through extra circuitry cause some kind of latency problem?
No drawback and no latency problem, it's just more complicated that's all.

You can run the mic through a mixer/EQ if you want to sculpt the tonal balance and ToneDexter will make it sound like that when it trains. Just make sure whatever device you use has it's output reduced to mic level and can tolerate 48V phantom power.
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