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miketurn
KVRist
 
133 posts since 22 Jun, 2015

Postby miketurn; Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:23 pm Condenser Microphone - Opinions

I currently own a Rodes NT1A which is considered by many to be a great mic, which I believe it is, but for my vocals specifically, I find it can be a little harsh at times.
I have watched many videos of people using this mic and they sound great, so I am aware that it is more me than the mic itself.

I am obviously going to continue to work on getting better vocals with my current setup, but I have just been looking around because it is a typical thing to do to look to replace your gear :)

I hesitate to say this, but without getting crazy, if anyone has any other microphone recommendations (in the price range of the following) they would like to share, please do so. I have researched tons of mics and have been thinking about the following as a possible future purchase, but honestly I am a bit overwhelmed...
Main two uses for this mic will be male vocals and acoustic guitar (maybe an electric guitar amp)
Max Price: $300

Condenser
MXL V67I
MXL 990
AT4040
Sennheiser MK4
SE Electronics sE2200a II C
AKG C214
Shure SM86 (not sure if this one is more for live use)
Shure SM87C (not sure if this one is more for live use)

Dynamic
SM57
SM7B (but now way too expensive, was $300, then $350 and now $400!)
Electro Voice RE-20 (also expensive, out of my price range)

If anyone owns any of these and have anything you would like to share, please do so.
What would be the best is comments from people who have or have owned a Rodes NT1A and now have one of the mics from the above list, or have another mic to recommend.

Thank You
Last edited by miketurn on Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:56 pm, edited 15 times in total.
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
8367 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:30 pm Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

Have you considered large diaphragm dynamics or ribbon mics? I use a cheap ribbon mic on my own voice which I prefer to any of the condensers that I have. If I could justify it I'd consider getting an RE20 or an SM9. (Oops, I meant the SM7B, don't ask me where that 9 came from, faulty memory)

Have you heard about the SM-57 mod that removes the transformer? I've thought about trying this. The thing that you have to be careful of is that the element is no longer protected against phantom power.
Last edited by ghettosynth on Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
miketurn
KVRist
 
133 posts since 22 Jun, 2015

Postby miketurn; Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:03 pm Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

@ghettosynth
Thank You for your response and for reminding me about mentioning dynamic mics, I actually have researched many dynamics as well and have updated my list above.
Interesting your comment about ribbon mics, no I have ignored those completely to be honest, I would never thought about considering them, but I would imagine they are out of my price range, but I will do some research. Is there any particular reason why you prefer a cheap ribbon mic over your condensers? I have never used one, but I imagine them to have a warm vintage type of sound if that even means anything :) (some people get mad when you say things like this)

I have considered the RE20 and the SM7B but they seem to be getting more and more out of my price by the day.

Funny you mention the SM57 modding, my intention was to get the SM57 and keep it as is, but I did wander into many discussions regarding this which made me consider this as well. There are apparently many different types of mods you can do.
A couple people mentioned the possibility of adding a switch that could turn the transformer on and off, giving you the best of both worlds but I couldn't really find any more info on it. I wonder if it is worth doing, if the differences are only minor than probably not for me, but I wonder. The main thing I fear about buying a SM57 is apparently they are constantly being "faked" which makes things rather confusing. Oddly enough though, it seems many say that the "faked" ones don't have transformers :)
Last edited by miketurn on Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
sazb30
KVRian
 
1100 posts since 11 Sep, 2008, from UK

Postby sazb30; Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:34 am Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

Buying a new mic can be quite overwhelming, so I sympathise! It's also a bit of a lottery because microphones all have their own particular frequency response that (ideally) needs to be matched with the character of the voice for best results. I've been through this many times and buying what looks to be the best bang for buck, or has the best reviews, just doesn't cut it I'm afraid.

Ideally, you need to try out different mics, but I appreciate that this is not always possible. You can narrow things down a bit by searching according to the character of your voice..
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skipscada
KVRian
 
1208 posts since 22 Oct, 2004, from Schmocation

Postby skipscada; Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:55 am Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

Check out reviews and forum comments on the dynamics Beyerdynamic M201 and M88. Not very expensive in Europe, possibly more so in the rest of the world.

http://europe.beyerdynamic.com/shop/m-201-tg.html
http://europe.beyerdynamic.com/shop/m-88-tg.html
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RichieWitch
KVRist
 
353 posts since 15 Jun, 2015

Postby RichieWitch; Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:53 am Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

This one will be just past your budget unless you do what I did and buy it used on eBay, however, the Blue Microphone Baby Bottle is an amazing vocal mic. I've done side-by-side comparisons with my Rode NT1A and my MXL (cheap) ribbon mics, and the Baby Bottle just blows them all away.

I paid just over $200 on eBay, and that included the original wooden box, shock mount, and logo-ed pop filter, all in the original package. If you keep an eye out for one, you can get a great price. Normally goes for $400.
Scotty
KVRian
 
1204 posts since 22 Dec, 2002

Postby Scotty; Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:03 am Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

The MXL v69 ME gets a lot of use here especially on male vocals and acoustic guitar. I mentioned on another thread that I choose it sometimes over my Neumann u87i and my U67 Mike Joly clones.

If you want to hear on an acoustically drive track with male vocals in a project studio environment you can check one of my recent songs here. Vocals and Guitar is MXL v69 ME. (stereo pair on the guitar).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDP9yx7RFTA
Asusp9712Core,RayDats,OASYSPCI,Cubase9,KorgLeg,Avalon737s+2022,UA4710D,6176,DCS,LA610MK2s,Neve, ARC2, Soundtoys,UADOCTO,AdamA7X, SphereMics, BCF+R2000s, DrmBrut,MiniLog,Volcas,MoogSubPhat,EnsqDP4,VirusC,Scope,MinBrut,Plugiator,NIS61 Ultimate,ComposrsCld.
miketurn
KVRist
 
133 posts since 22 Jun, 2015

Postby miketurn; Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:07 am Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

@ghettosynth
I did some basic searching on ribbon mics and they aren't even as close as expensive as I thought, I for some reason didn't think that they made inexpensive ones. I have to do some more research on what they sound like, the problem is there are tons of them and now my search for a mic has expanded :)
Someone in another thread, mentioned "tube" based mics as well, which I was trying my best to avoid, but now those are on the table as well.

@skipscada
Thank You for the response, I don't think I have ever heard of this company before.
I quickly looked them up though and the M201 TG is about $300 and the M88 TG is about $400.

@sazb30
Thank You for the response, yeah it is a tough thing to purchase because there are so many different variables to consider. I agree something that would be great would be the ability to be able to test them all out, but kind of tough to achieve this. You are kind of stuck guessing and just ordering something and hoping you made the right decision, and I imagine most retailers don't take microphone returns. That is a good idea to focus more on listening to singers that have similar voices to myself, well I am off to find some videos of singers who sound like a bag of cats being swung at a brick wall :)
miketurn
KVRist
 
133 posts since 22 Jun, 2015

Postby miketurn; Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:17 am Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

@RichieWitch
Thank You for your response, ah, I forgot to mention the Blue products I looked into considering, which were the Spark and the Bluebird.
I heard of the Baby Bottle before, but you are right I overlooked this one due to its price, but the fact that you say it blows away the NT1A does leave me curious.
Funny you mention that you have some MXL ribbon mics, because I was just looking up the MXL R144, is that one of the ribbon mics you have? You say the Baby Bottle blows this one away too, hmmmm, I will have to look more into this Blue product.
miketurn
KVRist
 
133 posts since 22 Jun, 2015

Postby miketurn; Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:30 am Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

@Scotty
Hey Scotty, yes I remember you from my other thread, thank you very much for sharing this example, it is a beautiful tribute.
Sounds good even on my laptop speakers, you mention your more recent videos use the MXL v69 ME mic, so I will check those out as well. Thanks again
IIRs
KVRAF
 
6740 posts since 24 Mar, 2002, from sheffield, england

Postby IIRs; Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:07 pm Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

I don't know how much they cost your side of the pond, but you should add the Aston Origin and Spirit to your list. I particularly like the Spirit: great mic at any price.
kgdrum
KVRist
 
256 posts since 12 Sep, 2005, from NYC

Postby kgdrum; Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:40 pm Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

The biggest improvement with the sound of the microphones I use was achieved by adding a good preamp to the signal chain.
Are you going from the mic directly into a soundcard or I/O ?
From my experience the preamps in most soundcards don't mate well with condenser mics,as it usually sounds harsh,grainy etc.....
I previously did this with a Rode NTK and hated the sound of the mic with my voice once I added a Great River pre to my rig everything improved dramatically, the NTK now sounds great!
Now the problem is my damn voice lol

IMO a good mic pre will improve the sound of a mic dramatically,fwiw imo most microphones will not sound as they were intended to sound unless the signal chain includes a proper preamp.
Before you spend more money on a mic I humbly suggest you try a good pre and see how your present mic or mics sound.......

Good luck :tu:
2012 Mac Pro,3.3 GHz 6 core 32g ram,OSX10.10.5,RME FF UCX, DP9.12, Great River ME-1NV preamp,a few microphones,UAD2, K10U & way too many VI's & plugins, Vdrums,Focal Twin 6 monitors, Shunyata conditioners/cords, multiple hard drives..eSATA
miketurn
KVRist
 
133 posts since 22 Jun, 2015

Postby miketurn; Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:28 pm Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

@IIRS
Oh man where are you guys finding this stuff, no I never heard of this company either, I quickly looked them up and they are available here, the Aston Origin is about $300 and the Spirit is about $400, and of course you favor the more expensive one just to mess with me! :)
Is it just the fact that you like that it has multi patterns, or does it sound better in general?
I am just kidding of course, the site I looked them up on seem to share the same reviews for both the mics so it is hard to tell which one people are talking about, but they seem to get great reviews overall.
Not to say that other people are not aware of this company, but my main concern though is if I go with a mic that is a little off the beaten path, if I don't like the mic, it will be harder to sell, if it can't be returned .
Seems that many reviews compare them to the SM7B which they say it beats.
I will have to do some more research on these, but I thank you very much for your recommendation.

Edit: With a little more research, it appears these mics are more well known then I had thought, when you mentioned that you were from overseas I figured they were more popular where you are, but they seem to be building quite a name for themselves here as well, which is pretty cool.

@kgdrum
Thank You for your response, yes I will be using these mics with an audio interface that contains a preamp, as well as the phantom power to power the condenser.
I do agree with what you are saying, but I am trying as much as possible to look the other way because throwing a new audio interface / preamp into the equation may add some confusion to my growing mic list to check out. You are right though, that that might be an underlying issue that can make a lot of testing of mics, unnecessary.
To be honest on occasion I have been searching around looking at audio interfaces, I prefer audio interface / preamp combo units as opposed to two separate pieces of gear. I will probably make a separate post about this in the near future.
Like you mention, it would also help if I had an amazing singing voice that would sound good on everything. :)
Last edited by miketurn on Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
8367 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:42 pm Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

miketurn wrote:@ghettosynth
Thank You for your response and for reminding me about mentioning dynamic mics, I actually have researched many dynamics as well and have updated my list above.
Interesting your comment about ribbon mics, no I have ignored those completely to be honest, I would never thought about considering them, but I would imagine they are out of my price range, but I will do some research. Is there any particular reason why you prefer a cheap ribbon mic over your condensers? I have never used one, but I imagine them to have a warm vintage type of sound if that even means anything :) (some people get mad when you say things like this)


Just for the reasons that you describe. I have a deep voice and the condensers just sound harsh. I did a bit of a shootout with them in the same setting and I clearly preferred what the ribbon mic did. It is a pain to work with mind you because it needs a lot of amplification.

I don't have high end condensers really. A CAD M179 and an AKG-C2000B are my only large diaphragm mics besides an old Octavia which has so much handling noise that I just don't use it.

I considered the RE20 but it seems to be getting more and more out of my price range as well.
I have not heard of the SM9 but I just tried looking it up and didn't find anything on it, I did find a KSM9, is that what you are referring to? if so, that is out of my price range as well.


Corrected above, SM7B. About $400.

Funny you mention the SM57 modding, my intention was to get the SM57 and keep it as is, but I did wander into many discussions regarding this which made me consider this as well. There are apparently many different types of mods you can do.
A couple people mentioned the possibility of adding a switch that could turn the transformer on and off, giving you the best of both worlds but I couldn't really find any more info on it. I wonder if it is worth doing, if the differences are only minor than probably not for me, but I wonder. The main thing I fear about buying a SM57 is apparently they are constantly being "faked" which makes things rather confusing. Oddly enough though, it seems many say that the "faked" ones don't have transformers :)


While, electrically, it would be easy enough to add a switch, I think that practically, it would be more effort than it's worth. Just buy a really old SM57 from a pawnshop. BTW: not getting a transformer is probably not a win, the big deal with the fakes is that it's not the same capsule.
kgdrum
KVRist
 
256 posts since 12 Sep, 2005, from NYC

Postby kgdrum; Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:49 pm Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

IMO preamps in most i/o's are not really "up to snuff".......
btw what is the I/O are you actually using ?
See if you can borrow or rent a good preamp for a day.
Try this with your present mic, that you already have and know, than you can make an informed decision re: if you need another mic....
No matter what condenser mic you already have (or buy)if the preamp in the i/o is substandard you'll never know how good the mic can sound.
A case in point, a mic like the SM7b needs a good pre to sound like it can sound,few if any preamps in an I/O can do justice to a mic like this.

I had my eye on a few mics to replace what I have and have never bothered after adding a good pre,now the mic sounds fine my voice is a different story!

:tu:
Last edited by kgdrum on Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2012 Mac Pro,3.3 GHz 6 core 32g ram,OSX10.10.5,RME FF UCX, DP9.12, Great River ME-1NV preamp,a few microphones,UAD2, K10U & way too many VI's & plugins, Vdrums,Focal Twin 6 monitors, Shunyata conditioners/cords, multiple hard drives..eSATA
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