Microphone purchase.

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CROYBOY89
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Microphone purchase.

Post by CROYBOY89 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:42 am

I have been doing alot of research on inexpensive condenser mics. And I am mostly considering the MXL 4000 and the MXL v63m. I want to use them mainly for vocals, and occasionally an acoustic guitar. I have been using an sm58, and have never really used a condenser before, and the reviews on those two seem pretty good especially considering the price. (and the mxl 4000 coming with another mic on MF). Any thoughts? I have a M-audio profire 2626 interface running pro tools mpowered 8.
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Re: Microphone purchase.

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:31 am

How a mic performs on vocals really depends on the voice, a mic that is great on one voice won't be on another. You should try a few out before you decide what to get.

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Re: Microphone purchase.

Post by CROYBOY89 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:03 am

How would I go about trying one before I buy?
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Re: Microphone purchase.

Post by space6oy » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:13 am

would probably have to find a studio that'd let you do that. & unless you're pals w/ someone doubt they'd let you free of charge.

that or just check return policies before buying...

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Re: Microphone purchase.

Post by gtivr6fan » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:30 am

AT3035 or the newer version the AT2035 .... biggest bang for the buck imho. 95$ at nova musik

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Re: Microphone purchase.

Post by sequentialsoftshock » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:10 am

You're not looking at super expensive mics here so my suggestion would be to just buy them along with maybe another one you're interested in and then return what you don't like. MusiciansFriend has a forty five day return policy. The Røde NT1A is another good choice for under $200.
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Re: Microphone purchase.

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:16 am

CROYBOY89 wrote:How would I go about trying one before I buy?
Walk into store, talk to sales assistant, sing into mics, listen to recordings, make choice.

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Re: Microphone purchase.

Post by CROYBOY89 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:07 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:
CROYBOY89 wrote:How would I go about trying one before I buy?
Walk into store, talk to sales assistant, sing into mics, listen to recordings, make choice.
I tried that once at guitar center.. they wouldn't let me.
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Re: Microphone purchase.

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:26 am

If they won't let you audition a mic then they don't deserve your business. Every decent pro audio place lets you audition mics, because they know that not every mic works on every voice.

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Re: Microphone purchase.

Post by sequentialsoftshock » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:32 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:because they know that not every mic works on every voice.
I'm not so sure the Guitar Center employees know this...
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Re: Microphone purchase.

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:14 am

If I ever meet any I'll tell them. You should too.

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Re: Microphone purchase.

Post by nvbrkr » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:39 pm

On vocals, I've preferred the SM58 over any cheap condenser microphone I've auditioned (I haven't tried out anything released in the last couple of years, though). Of course, It's a bit different thing with acoustic guitars.

I'm not sure if my comment helps you at all, but I just wanted to say that a good dynamic can work better than those bargain condensers.

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Re: Microphone purchase.

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:57 pm

There are some nice dynamics for vocals like the SM7B, RE-20 and others, but the SM58 really sounds like absolute s**t. You must have a really weird voice or strange tastes if you preferred the 58 to any cheap condenser. The NT1A is a bit peaky but it's much better than a 58, the AT2020 is pretty good on the right voice too.

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Re: Microphone purchase.

Post by meatballfulton » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:04 pm

CROYBOY89 wrote:I tried that once at guitar center.. they wouldn't let me.
I've gotten that before from lazy sales droids. They just quote the return policy: take it home if you don't like it bring it back.

Talk about stupid. No wonder they have so many "open box specials" on the floor...
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Re: Microphone purchase.

Post by nvbrkr » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:47 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:There are some nice dynamics for vocals like the SM7B, RE-20 and others, but the SM58 really sounds like absolute s**t. You must have a really weird voice or strange tastes if you preferred the 58 to any cheap condenser. The NT1A is a bit peaky but it's much better than a 58, the AT2020 is pretty good on the right voice too.
Well, try shouting into a cheap condenser and judge for yourself what the results are like. That's the only way I record my own voice. I can understand your criticism, but my experiences with that thing are probably just different.

I should have stated that the microphones most people use in the band context, typically 57/58, are worth trying in a lot of contexts before concluding that a condenser microphone is the solution to everything. Of course, one of the reasons project studios try out those microphones on certain vocalists is that the vocalists are just used to them. In general, I've found that the people who think a cheap condenser is a solution to their problems should just learn to use their voice in a proper manner (harsh, I know - I've just seen this a lot). They might also seek out a more "open" sound for their vocal tracks so that it would fit better with the backing tracks that they've tried to make sound like contemporary mainstream stuff. I think if you use more lofi sound sources on your backing tracks it's easier to get the vocal tracks recorded with a dynamic to work as well. Why the h**l do people want their stuff to sound like a Rihanna record anyway?

By the way, I wrote "any cheap condenser I've auditioned", not "any cheap condenser". Some of the condenser microphones we had at the small studio where I was working as an assistant in 2002-3 were: AKG Solid Tube, AKG C1000 & C3000, Rode NT1 & 2, Oktava MK-319 (I admit my boss had a questionable taste in mics - the MK-319 was mine though). A few others too, but I don't quite remember what they were (Sennheiser stuff?). I asked a client that actually had a voice worth recording for a microphone test and we ultimately had to conclude that the Shures sounded better than the AKGs or the Rodes. The sound might not be "open" or "glossy", or some s**t like that, but there's nothing that really bothers me about the Shures when they're used with a decent vocalist. The Solid Tube might have produced the most awkward-sounding results I've ever heard, btw. One of the reasons I didn't like those condensers was that Finns tend to have quite big problems with sibilants. Sometimes it just wasn't worth the hassle.

However, take this from someone who hasn't recorded anyone else since 2005. Of course, I like things that sound like s**t anyway.

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