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Thread: Some Thoughts about "Better", "Best", and Mic Recommendations

  1. #11
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    Perceptions and expectations play a role as well. I don't read of too many people romanticizing the Sony C800 G, for instance.

    The analogy of the Mercedes Benz is a good one. Anyone who researches safety, handling, performance and repair history might choose a Lexus or Acura instead. Nevertheless, and despite ready availability of data from Consumer Reports, Edmunds.com and others, people still buy expensive, dangerous clunkers all the time. There's no evidence that Cadillac or Jaguar is going to go out of business in the near future, or that sales of Suburbans, Corvettes or M-Class SUVs will drop off despite dismal repair records.

    There are mics that can be compared to musical instruments, and perhaps that's the best way to understand the cache they acquire. However, as a newcomer to recording, I'm more than a little surprised at times at how reluctant more experienced recordists are to criticize certain mics made by a well-known German firm. Is it brand loyalty? Courtesy to colleagues? Or is it like Mercedes Benz -- they make some very, very fine cars, so let's pretend their lemons aren't really lemons?

    Just curious....

    Best wishes,

    Mark H.

  2. #12
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    First: I was thinking about a mic almost like a tool (well it is a tool ), say a wrench. I have a wrench set that's like $20 for bunch of them. A profesional mechanic also has wrenches but his maybe $20 for each. Well, we both can tighten the nut (may I even say equaly tight). So what is the difference.... ? eeeeeh...
    As someone who worked as a field service mechanic on construction rental equipment for 9 years,I feel qualified to answer that one.Is a Snap-On wrench that much better than a Wal-Mart wrench?........You better believe it is.The difference is how much skin you get to keep on your knuckles with a wrench that ACTUALLY fits the nut or bolt as opposed to one that half ass fits.

    How does that relate to microphones? I am not sure that it does,necessarily.While wrenches are used in a very specific manner,to loosen or tighten nuts and bolts etc,microphones are used in the creation of art. A nut or bolt threads up in a specific manner,and if you get it cross threaded,you did it wrong.

    However,with things like mic selection,placement etc.,it is a lot more subjective.What sounds good to YOU on YOUR song.If you like a RS ball mic on a cardboard box for your kick drum sound,I can't tell you it's wrong.I may not like it,but hey it's your art.


    Peace

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    Well, if you wanna use the mechanic and his tools, consider this:

    The guy who tinkers with his car on weekends only need the tools necessary to work on that particular make and model. If he doesn't have the world's greatest tools, it's no big deal, since he can take his time and find a "work-around" for a problem, or buy another cheap tool that'll get the job done. Since he only works on weekends, those tools will probably last a long time, and "do the job".

    Now consider the "pro" mechanic's situation; he doesn't know what's gonna come thru the door next, so he better have a wide range of tools available. And, since he's using those tools every day for 8 to 10 hours a day, six days a week, they better be decent tools.

    Now suppose you have a friend who's a "pro" and you talk him into coming over and working on your weekend car, using your tools. Can he do a better job than you can, on your car, using your tools, in your garage?

    Probably yes, since he does this stuff for a living, 48 to 60 hours a week. He knows all the little tricks to get around things that are driving you crazy.

    ("Can't adjust the doofus, cuz the thingy's in the way? Loosen this one screw on the thingy a little bit, and it swings out of the way, so you can get to the doofus.")

    D'oh!!
    Last edited by Harvey Gerst; 06-04-2002 at 11:13.

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    Nicely put.

    I ask vague questions but try to at least give ballpark dollar figures and explain my upgrade reasoning (as in the other thread).

    The analogies (I've seen many of them in other arenas as well) are true. Typically, the more you pay the better it plays. I have a 5-6 year old Washburn acoustic, most who have played her drool over it, and I recently tried to trade her in for new hardware but the music shop laughed and said the condition was marginal... in the same breathe they said to "keep it, it's a beautiful guitar, but not fit for resale ". That said a lot to me about "looks" as opposed to "functionality."
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    Damn good analogy,Harvey.

    Sounds like you might have "turned a wrench or two" somewhere along the way.Most people don't realize that in the mechanic biz,there is no such thing as a 40 hour week.

    One thing I often had to do,especially to work on Bobcats(wretched things to wrench on!)was to modify and invent tools to do specific things and reach places that the standard stuff in the old tool box wouldn't do.I guess that could be analogous to mic mods etc.I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has "customized their toolkit".I think it might make some good reading.

    Well,off to work for me.It's not so bad though,punching buttons in an air conditioned t.v. station beats the hell out of knucklebusting for sure!

    Have a great day everyone!

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    strmkr, Harvey,
    excelent points there. I would think that any analogy would come short at certaint point.

    Just like Harveys guitar analogy, though very good one, didn't make it all the way for me, my wrench one didn't realy do it for strmkr.

    I guess my point is eeeeehh..... ????
    Well, I guess I am just trying to convince myself that with my one and only mxl2003 and some 57s. I can record the things I want in the way that I won't have to make excuses for. (wishfull thinking??? )

    I am still not sure about that and just recently I recorded my wife with it and though it sounded good it didn't sit in the mix well.

    It was so obvious. I think it's firs time I actualy could say now I know what it means "does not sit in a mix". Now it could be ofcorse the rest of the mix that is bad.

    Anyway I'm getting off topic here. In the end it's about music and making it sound good whatever "good" means to you

    cheers

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