Condenser Microphone - Opinions

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
IIRs
KVRAF
6731 posts since 25 Mar, 2002 from sheffield, england

Post Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:51 pm

miketurn wrote:Hey guys, wow love to see the interactions that are going on here, I have read through the posts quickly, once I can read through them with a little more focus, I will respond more properly.

@IIRs
Crazy little tidbit I came across, the Aston Microphones you mentioned are actually made by the two founders who started sE Electronics which I coincidentally mentioned one of their mics in my original post. Both of these UK companies get great reviews. As I mentioned was there a reason you prefer the Spirit over the Origin other than it has the multi pattern option? Thank again for your recommendation, I am still looking into them.
Sorry, missed your question...

I found the Spirit had a richer warmer low end than the Origin, when compared directly on my voice.

Also the Spirit offers a 20dB pad as well as 10dB which is nice when close micing drums. They sound fat on toms! (Incidentally, a plus point for both mics: that grill means i don't worry about them taking stray hits!)

Mostly the polar patterns however: the Spirits sound great as a omni pair, or in figure 8 as a blumlein pair.

Obviously that's not so important if you just want a vocal mic. The Origin will do a good job on most voices, but for a bass or baritone I would lean towards the Spirit.

miketurn
KVRist
155 posts since 22 Jun, 2015

Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

Post Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:22 pm

@JCJR
Ahh funny you mention that, the second I saw you mention Stevie Wonder using it, I had a flashback realization that I have seen him using this on a televised performance or two, may have actually been the same one in the video you provided.
I had not known about Ray Charles though.

Interesting to see broadcasting mics being used by so many musicians. That is why it really has been a tough microphone to try to keep off my list, they keep creeping back on. I wonder if all broadcasting mics offer these benefits.
SM7B and RE20 are the most popular, but as I mentioned I went through a list of them, which I still wonder how they compare. I have watched some videos but still hard to say if any will help my vocals out.
Their price and the possibility of needing some extra gear to get the most out of them does not help, just don't want to invest in all of that and then find that I am not satisfied with my purchases.

miketurn
KVRist
155 posts since 22 Jun, 2015

Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

Post Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:40 pm

@IIRs
No problem, thank you for getting back to me.
Yeah so far very difficult to make a decision still, these mics have been on and off my list a few times now, so hard to tell.
There are many mics on my list but not being able to test them is tough, I can't necessarily just go buy a whole bunch at once and then sell / return the ones I don't want, but that would be nice.

Funny you mention the grill, I watched quite a few videos on these mics, and I was watching one and out of nowhere the product rep just whacks the table hard with the top of the mic on purpose just to show what it can take, just really took me off guard when watching, because I wasn't expecting it :)

@ghettosynth
Thank You for the info and the videos, I think I have only seen one of those, I will watch the others.
Yeah you might be right about just devoting the mic to one purpose because it does sound like more work, but you just lose the ability to go back if you don't like it. You have 2 so it isn't as big of a deal to you, but if I bought one for $100 (scared to get cheaper price offers because they might be fakes) and modded it, it better sound good.
Wow I wouldn't think that a Cloudlifter style component could be put inside a SM57, that would be a cool upgrade, do you know if that has ever been done?
I was going to ask you, (some say the SM7B has a transformer and some say it doesn't, not sure if maybe the different versions changed) but last I heard, Shure mentioned that it does and that it is different than the SM57, I wonder what would happen or if it is possible to get a replacement 7B transformer and put it in a 57?

I mentioned a video to you on a different thread, check it out, the guy compares the SM58 with the SM7B, interested to see what your thoughts are.

JCJR
KVRAF
2339 posts since 17 Apr, 2005 from S.E. TN

Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

Post Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:34 pm

miketurn wrote:@JCJR
Ahh funny you mention that, the second I saw you mention Stevie Wonder using it, I had a flashback realization that I have seen him using this on a televised performance or two, may have actually been the same one in the video you provided.
I had not known about Ray Charles though.

Interesting to see broadcasting mics being used by so many musicians.
Both guys have used many types so far as I know. It has been claimed that Ray used RE20 live a good bit, but I couldn't find any video of him using it. I think a goodly number of his studio recording was with condenser mics, but on the other hand he was so talented it is hard for me to find fault with the live performances on lowly sm58.

A good mic is just a good mic. That EV RE50 I mentioned liking is a TV newsman mic but it is a very flat high fidelity omni with zilch proximity effect. Sounds great on a good singer or many other recording uses. An ancestor of the RE50, can't at the moment recall the model number, was used a lot in yesteryear for orchestral recording because it is so flat and clean. Nowadays omni or cardioid small diaphragm condensers are more frequently used where in the past would be tasked to a flat omni dynamic, but RE50 and its ilk are still great sounding mics. Regardless that maybe most of them are sold for newsmen to poke in some politician's face. :)

Back in the 1970's didn't have much money and built a real time analyzer, and an EV PL9 was the flattest mic I could afford to use as analysis mic. It is a long-discontinued omni dynamic with very similar properties to 635 or RE50. It was sold as a live performance instrument mic, though it would have worked as well for newsman mic. And it did great for home recording good vocalists. It just doesn't look very impressive, just a tiny little inexpensive plain mic. Judging by looks, a singer wouldn't have much faith in it.

I like large and small diaphragm condensers as well. Back in the 1980's and 90's would borrow various mics to test, and the easiest "discrimination test" between MOST dynamics versus decent condensers was with hand percussion, egg, afuche, tamborine, wood block, finger cymbal. I would line up several mics, set the gain the same on all of em, wear headphones and go down the line of mics playing hand percussion into each. Small diaphragm condensers tended to have the cleanest transient and high freq response. Some large diaphragm condensers had about as good response, but some were more "smeary" on the transients. Some dynamics were "almost as clean" though most run of the mill dynamics including sm57 did a very poor job on the top octave and transients. Some dynamics are "almost condenser-like" on the high transients.

Vocals don't necessarily need such clean transient response. It was just an easy way to hear "most obvious differences" between the different kinds of mics. If a singer has somewhat rough edged tone then maybe the accurate response ain't so desirable and you would maybe want to "round off the rough edges" with a less accurate mic. Kinda like smearing vaseline on the camera lens to make a "better" portrait of an acne-pitted face.

It seems common practice for many folks to use mics as equalizers. Rather.than adjust an EQ, keep dragging out mics til you find one that adds the desired EQ to the voice. Probably makes some kind of sense or it wouldn't be such common practice.

But unless trying to hide defects, a really flat "true picture" seems a good starting point, then polish with EQ.

fedexnman
KVRAF
2355 posts since 4 Jan, 2005

Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

Post Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:45 pm

There's the Shure SM57 Tab Funkenwerk transformer mod $199 ..... also ..,

ghettosynth
KVRAF
11097 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

Post Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:46 pm

fedexnman wrote:There's the Shure SM57 Tab Funkenwerk transformer mod $199 ..... also ..,
Yes, I was going to mention this. This is probably the best alternative to modding your own. However, note that it is the same price as two new SM57s, one modded, one not. You can probably sell the modded one on ebay for about the same price as a new one if it doesn't work for you.

miketurn
KVRist
155 posts since 22 Jun, 2015

Re: Condenser Microphone - Opinions

Post Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:40 am

@JCJR
Thank You for this response.
I agree, I like the idea of recording more of a true representation and then EQ, especially if you only have a mic or two to choose from. I guess if you have a stocked mic locker that you can pick from, choosing a mic that already has an equalized response could equal less work later, because you already have an idea of what you are getting.

@fedexnman
@ghettosynth
Funny you mentioned the "Funkenwerk transformer" because when doing a search for a SM7B transformer I saw a few mentioning this. Turns out that the 7B transformer is pretty expensive so by the time you bought that and a SM57 and spent the time, it probably would not be worth it.
And yeah, ghettosynth makes a good point that the cost of that mod would equal the cost of buying two new SM57s, so it would have to offer something extra special to justify the cost.

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