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Thread: Condenser? Dynamic?

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    Condenser? Dynamic?

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    I have an 8 track analoge machine and a decent dynamic mic. Just one. At the moment it picks up everything pretty good although i have to use two seperat tracks for drums (ie: i record the snare and bass on one track then re-record the cymbal and hit hit on another track after) I was thinking of gettin a condenser mic: will cut out any hiss and room static? (seein as it only picks up one direction). Will vocals sound clearer on it? Drums? Is there a general rule for buying mics to make demos with? Like always go for condenser? Cheers.

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    You have some misconceptions about mics. Dynamics and condensors can be cardiod (pick up from the front mostly) or omni (pick up from all directions) or figure of 8 (pick up from the fron and the back but not so much from the sides). Condensor mics are generally more accurate in what they pick up. Their design allows them to react to sound more quickly than MOST dynamic mics. As a result, if you have a crappy room to record in, that crappyness will translate to tape.
    Vocals can definately sound great with a Large Diaphram Condensor but sometimes a dynamic will be what you'd want, depending on the style and context and the particular vocalist. I know you're looking for a simple answer but I don't believe there's a simple one. I will say this, I think if you're doing recording at home, I'd get one or two (or in my case, 20).

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    Just to expound on what Trackrat said, condenser mics are generally more sensitive than dynamics, and will tend to pick up more room noise. The plus side is that they also pick up more detail and presence in what you are trying to record. On most voices and styles of music, this is a desirable thing, but it does require a quiet room to record in. Using a highly directional mic to pick up only the source and not the noise will only work if the noise is very directional, and there are no reflective surfaces in the room. This is usually not the case, and the directional mic will only diminish the signal to noise ratio slightly. That leaves you with two options, either find a way to make the room quiet, or build an inexpensive Iso booth in the room. This can be something as simple as a PVC pipe frame and some heavy blankets, which can be put up and taken down at will.
    In my opinion, any halfway serious home recordist should have a condensor mic.......at least one. These days there are some pretty good ones for very little money. Keep in mind that most condenser mics require phantom power, so you will need a preamp or mixer that supplies it.
    Good luck, RD

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    If you never used one before, you will be thrilled with the results. But they will pick up more "ambient noise" in your recording environment.
    Start off with a marshall or other inexpensive mic to try out.


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    Cheers guys!

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