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Thread: Mic Noob Recording Tin Whistles

  1. #1
    ScotsmanRS is offline Newbie
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    Smile Mic Noob Recording Tin Whistles

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    I'm a musician, but a bit of a mic noob and could use some advice!

    Right now, I record with a cheap mic plugged into the back of my Tyros 2 keyboard, but something in my T2 causes a bit of noise on the mic line, and the cheap mic doesn't help.

    So, after Christmas, I have about 100-200 to play with to get a setup which might produce a bit better sound. Right now, the most important thing I'll be recording is a tin whistle. I'm not sure how useful this is to you, but in case it's important, the range of my whistles is currently about 460Hz to 2960Hz, though if I buy new whistles in the future, it could get as low as 220Hz or as high as around 3140Hz. I may also want to record a djembe or a bodhran in the future, but if you think that would require a different mic, then that's not too important at the moment.

    What mic could I get with this limited budget? I also want to record this directly to my PC (which is a pretty fast computer I use to edit video) - will I need a mixer to do this? If so, could you recommend something simple but decent sounding? Overall, I only want to spend around 200, though I could go a little over budget if necessary.

    I hope that's not asking too much for a first question here, and I look forward to your suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Richard

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    tmix is offline 1K Silver Member
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    My Thoughts

    Richard,
    If your computer is modern at all and has USB or firewire then I would suggest you getting an audio interface with microphone preamps built in. It will eliminate the need (initially) for a mixer, because they basically function as one.
    If you are not going to record more than 2 tracks at a time you should be good to go for a while.

    i don't know what is available to you so I won't comment on brand names.

    As far as Microphones go A dynamic type microphone would work well on Tin Whistle and Bohran/ djembe. It would calm some of the shrillness that some tin whistles have and most have adequate frequency response.
    If you go with a condensor type mic so that vocals and acoustic guitar / mandolin type thing come out more pristine...watch out and not get an overly bright / cheap mic because the whistle will take your head off at the ears.
    Tom Menikos
    T-Mix Studios
    Mansfield Texas
    WWW.tmixstudio.com

  3. #3
    Jim Lad's Avatar
    Jim Lad is offline Why 2K?
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    Start here, Richard.... http://www.tweakheadz.com/guide.htm and drop back in before you buy anything.
    Cheers ♫
    Jim

  4. #4
    oretez is offline Hwy 50
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    just as a suggestion for one to audition:

    Sennheiser 421MD

    I've used them on things ranging from Kick drums, guitar cabinets, solo horns (and flutes), small horn sections mixed primarily as background accent, it is one of the few dynamic mic's that (occasionally) I'll use, in studio, on acoustic guitar and/or mandolin (though not typically my first choice for either)

    about the only mic that found to be as thoroughly flexible (not necessarily the absolute perfect mic in any given situation, except perhaps horn sections and congas, but reliably functional on most instruments) as the 421MD is U47fet, but that has a slightly different price point

    anyway for whistles and hand percussion the 421 is worth checking out

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    Ive heard the KSM32 do really nice work on a recorder...should be fine on a tin-whistle too.

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  7. #7
    Jim Lad's Avatar
    Jim Lad is offline Why 2K?
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    Well that's a $500 microphone which would probably cost 500 Quid in Scotland so here's a thing: Don't you think he should buy an audio interface first?
    Loved the video by the way.
    Who was that?
    Cheers ♫
    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Lad View Post
    Well that's a $500 microphone which would probably cost 500 Quid in Scotland so here's a thing: Don't you think he should buy an audio interface first?
    Loved the video by the way.
    Who was that?
    LOL...I didnt know he didnt have much money.

    Guilio Carmasi...he is a very busy session guy in LA...and the homereccer from hell...lol.

    He should go for the Line6 UX2 as an affordable interface...I try to push it here because it is the ultimate 2 channel interface...the UX8 is the only thing better.
    People here should know about those pieces.

  9. #9
    Richard Monroe is offline Been Here, Posted That
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    Hello Richard- Welcome to the board! This is a tough question, for several reasons.
    First is your budget. I can't believe the Neumann U67 was mentioned above. You have about enough money to buy the shock mount for a U67. Secondly, you need a proper computer interface and a mic, and you have about enough money to buy one or the other. Third, the needs of recording penny whistle and Djembe/Bodhran are somewhat different. Lastly, you are in Scotland, the home of my esteemed ancestors, and many of us are on the other side of the pond, and aren't as clear on what things cost where you are, so recommending gear at price, whether new or used, is difficult for us. The things that we think of as inexpensive alternatives may be more dear where you are. Money conversions can also elude us. I don't even know what a quid is.

    Your issue is also complicated by the fact that even if all of the above were not true, we don't all agree about what mics we would use to record a tin whistle. There is more than one way, as they say, to skin a cat. Let's start with this- you need a computer interface with at least one microphone preamplifier that transmits its signal by USB or firewire, and can provide "phantom" power to condenser mics. In your budget range, and for you needs, USB is more likely than firewire. In the USA, that would usually mean units by M-Audio, Line6, Lexicon, or EMU. Hopefully some of the members here who live in the U.K. can give you some guidance on what inexpensive interfaces are often used where you are, and what they cost.

    Next, you need a microphone. The most likely choices are a dynamic mic, or a condenser mic (known as a capacitor mic, I think, where you are). There are some sub groups as well. Ribbon mics are a subgroup of dynamic mics that use a thin metal ribbon instead of a diaphragm. Tube mics (valve mics where you are) are a sub group of condensers that include a vacuum tube in the signal chain. As far as the choice between the two groups, a lot depends on personal preference. The Sennheiser MD421 mentioned above is a German made dynamic that is a very good and versatile dynamic mic, but the price of a new one might break your budget.

    The cheap dynamic mic often favored in the US is Shure SM57. In Europe, similar mics by AKG and Sennheiser may be less expensive. If you can find one, I favor the older discontinued mic AKG D320, which comes in 3 versions-A,B, and C. If you can find one used, it will be cheap, and you could do a lot worse. For new mics, the price point on Sennheiser e835 might be better. For cheap condensers, I like small diaphragm condenser mics for penny whistle. I am a fan of the Austrian made AKG C2000B, which I have used with very good success on whistle, piccolo, flute, as well as Djembe. There are countless other options, particularly the Australian Rode mics, but first, I think you need some help from our brothers in the UK regarding your options in an interface. I wish I could be of more help. I'm hoping some board members on your side of the pond will chime in.-Richie
    Last edited by Richard Monroe; 01-03-2010 at 09:23.

  10. #10
    gecko zzed's Avatar
    gecko zzed is offline audio illusion
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    Richard speaks words of wisdom.

    Your first priority is to get a dedicated recording interface. Plugging a mike straight into your system is going to cause you no end of dissatisfaction.

    Your second priority is to get a reasonable mike. There are many choices available, and even relatively cheap mikes can deliver good results.
    http://homerecording.com/bbs/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=45599&dateline=1256715193
    I have a theory about that

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