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Thread: Need some help selecting microphones for multiple applications

  1. #1
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    Need some help selecting microphones for multiple applications

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    I'm trying to get back into recording on my PC and I'm trying to determine which microphones will serve my needs the best.

    I would like the ability to record vocals, drums, electric guitar, bass guitar and acoustic guitar. For the time being, I will only be recording one or two instruments at a time, so I'm hoping that some of the mics I will purchase will be suitable for multiple purposes.

    Here's what I currently have to work with...

    Computer:
    - PC running XP Pro (P4)
    - M-Audio Delta 44/Delta 1010lt (haven't decided yet)

    Mixer/Preamps
    - Mackie 1202 VLZ Pro
    - 2 ART Tube Preamps
    - Bellari Tube Preamp
    - Alesis NanoCompressor

    Microphones
    - Shure SM58 (somewhere...)
    - Senheiser Evolution vocal mic (not sure of model number)
    - 2 Behringer ECM8000 mics
    - Rode NT-1
    - AKG Dynamic mic (not sure of the model #)

    So at this point, I've used the Rode for the vocals and some acoustic guitar work, the ECM8000 mics for acoustic guitar and the Senheiser and Shure SM58 for micing the amp cabinet (I think it was the Senheiser - the results were only so-so as I recall). For bass guitar, I've gone direct and just used the NanoCompressor and one of the tube pres.

    So far, I haven't recorded drums, but I'd like to start exploring it. I'm planning on going with a 4 mic setup for now, with the two ECM8000's as overheads.

    That leaves me with a need for a mics for the snare and kick drums, and I also need a better mic for the guitar cab.

    I'm on a (tight) budget, so for now, I'd like to go with two mics - I'm assuming (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that there's a mic that can be used on the snare and the guitar cab, but I will require a seperate mic for the kick drum.

    Thanks for the help!

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    Quote Originally Posted by amonte
    I would like the ability to record vocals, drums, electric guitar, bass guitar and acoustic guitar. For the time being, I will only be recording one or two instruments at a time, so I'm hoping that some of the mics I will purchase will be suitable for multiple purposes.
    Sennheiser MD421, MD441
    Beyer M88, M201
    Shure SM57, SM-7, KSM44
    Josephson C42

    EDIT:

    I'm on a (tight) budget, so for now, I'd like to go with two mics

    Humm, lets see, only two mics... I recommend a Sennheiser MD421 and Oktava MC-012.
    Last edited by DJL; 08-06-2004 at 09:20.

  3. #3
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    You can use the 58 on snare, and buy a kick mic, either the AKG D112 or Shure Beta 52. Kick mics aren't great on a lot else though; bass cabinets, and guitar cabs if you want a real chunky sound. Vocals if you're a little crazy.

    The 58 should be fine on guitar cabs. You can get a different guitar cab mic, like a Senn e609, but you shouldn't have to.

    When using a 58 on instruments, I like to unscrew the ball, remove the foam, and put the ball back on. Dunno if it makes a big difference in sound, but it looks cool cause you can see the capsule inside, plus it's protected from stray drumsticks.

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    The SM-7 is the most versatile mic I own. It's very good for vocals, guitar cabs, snare, and metally tonal percussion like steel drum and glockenspiel. It's also decent on tamborine.

    The BLUE Baby Bottle is the second most versatile mic I own. On the right voice it kills on vocals. It's also amazing on guitar cabs (if it doesn't clip the inputs of your mic pre) and really good on acoustic. Anything that resides heavily in the midrange will do well with the Baby Bottle.

    The Josephson C42 is also pretty versatile. It sounds good on everything I've tried it on so far: acoustic, tamborine, shaker, glockenspiel. It can be a little bright sometimes, so if you want a very gentle tone, this is not the right mic. I personally love it though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mshilarious
    You can use the 58 on snare, and buy a kick mic, either the AKG D112 or Shure Beta 52. Kick mics aren't great on a lot else though; bass cabinets, and guitar cabs if you want a real chunky sound. Vocals if you're a little crazy.

    The 58 should be fine on guitar cabs. You can get a different guitar cab mic, like a Senn e609, but you shouldn't have to.

    When using a 58 on instruments, I like to unscrew the ball, remove the foam, and put the ball back on. Dunno if it makes a big difference in sound, but it looks cool cause you can see the capsule inside, plus it's protected from stray drumsticks.
    Interesting...that might be worth trying out. I have to see if I can dig up the 58.

    Is there something close in the sub $200 range that works better on snares than the SM57? What about guitar cabs?

    btw, I do appreciate the other suggestions - they're just out of my price range at the moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amonte
    Is there something close in the sub $200 range that works better on snares than the SM57? What about guitar cabs?
    I've never used one, but the Sennheiser e609 gets a lot of recommendations for guitar cabs, and also some for snare. I can't imagine it on snare since it looks like it would get in the way. Also it would get a lot of bleed from the hat. e609 is around $100.

    Beyer M201 gets a lot of recs for snare. I've been shopping for one myself. Used is around $150.

    The good ol' 57 is a trusty standard on both snare and guitar cabs, and it's tough to beat the price.

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    I have actually had good luck with 609's on toms too. I haven't ever had a problem with extra bleed on snare with them. They aren't really much harder to place either (unless the gap between kick, rack tom, hi hat and snare is really small).

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    Quote Originally Posted by xstatic
    I have actually had good luck with 609's on toms too. I haven't ever had a problem with extra bleed on snare with them. They aren't really much harder to place either (unless the gap between kick, rack tom, hi hat and snare is really small).
    This could be a bit of a mistake on my part - but - if I'm only using a mic on snare, a mic on kick and two overheads, would a bit of bleed on the hat be that bad?

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    Quote Originally Posted by xstatic
    I have actually had good luck with 609's on toms too. I haven't ever had a problem with extra bleed on snare with them. They aren't really much harder to place either (unless the gap between kick, rack tom, hi hat and snare is really small).
    What would you say is the difference between the e609 and the SM57?

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    I really do not like the e609 on snare.

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