Mic sale... which to choose?

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hummingbird
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Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by hummingbird » Sat May 27, 2006 5:46 am

Hey my local musical instruments etc supply store is havin' a big sale. They have some mics on sale -- I particularly want something that is suited to female vocal recording (my voice in particular is very sweet & high sounding).Which would you recommend.... please talk in layperson's terms, all these technical cardioid terms leave me comotose Here are the choices (in CA funds, slightly more expensive than US)Apex 410 Wide Diaphram Mic ($74)Sennheiser E840 Evolution Cardioid Vocal Mic ($75)Marshall Electronics MXL770 Condenser Mic (99)Audio Technica AT2041SP Studio Microphone Pack-contains 2 20 Series condenser mics ($195)CAD E300 Equitek Multi Pattern Externally Biased Servo-Condenser-transparent, airy uppers and mids, coupled with a rich silky smooth low end ($299, marked down from $459)(On the wish list - Neumann TLM49 Studio Microphone, $1,795)thanks!cheersVikki
"As we are creative beings, our lives become our works of art." (Julia Cameron)

Link: Vikki Flawith Music

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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by ernstinen » Sat May 27, 2006 10:14 am

Hi Hummingbird,Nick knows his stuff. Definitely try mics out with headphones you trust at the store. Or if you can, rent them before you buy.You own a Shure 57/58, correct? If so, buy a large diaphragm condenser. The Sennheiser you mentioned is a dynamic mic meant more for the stage.The price you quoted for the CAD E300 is REALLY low! I checked it out online, and something jumped out at me that might be a problem for a female vocalist: "Enormous upfront presence." The Shures have a similar presence peak, which often is a detriment to female vocals. I used to engineer audio for band videos, and if a female singer had a powerful voice, a mic with a presence peak would about blow my ears out. --- I myself always sang into a 57 when gigging, but it fit my smooth, masculine voice. One trick when testing out condenser mics at the store is the "keys" trick. Dangle your ring of keys near the mic, listening for clarity and any frequencies that are artifically boosted.Also, I've read really good things about the Rode NT 1-A. Street price for that mic is about $199. It's got EXTREMELY low self-noise, especially for a mic at that price. I'd definitely check that out as well.Good luck --- let us know what you decide!Ern

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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by nickbatzdorf » Sat May 27, 2006 3:08 pm

Just to be an ass: it compl*e*ments your voice - it doesn't say nice things about it. (I can't help it - this is one of those things that drives me nuts.)And while agreeing 100% with what Andre says, I have to say that I reviewed three Studio Project mics for Mix a couple of years ago and was really impressed. They have none of the cheap mic sound. But they're pretty bright and airy, if I remember right, so you really do have to see whether they work on your voice.Also note that you need to record your voice through a mic to hear what it sounds like, since the sound conducting inside your head makes it impossible to tell what's going on while you're singing.

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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by andreh » Sat May 27, 2006 4:19 pm

Quote:Just to be an ass: it compl*e*ments your voice - it doesn't say nice things about it. (I can't help it - this is one of those things that drives me nuts.)My mom thanks you, Nick...that would've driven her batty as well. Can we just call that one a typo (even though the "e" is so far away from the "i" on the keyboard)? Andre
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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by nickbatzdorf » Sat May 27, 2006 5:40 pm

Typo is fine. (I'm an editor - I can't help being this way...)

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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by nickbatzdorf » Sun May 28, 2006 9:39 am

A complementary mic combines well with the voice to form a complete sound; a complimentary mic would be one that's free, as in complimentary valet parking. Nomiyah, then go to the more expensive store to audition the mics! Are they really three times the price, though? If that's the difference, of course there's no reason to buy it there. But if it's a matter of, say, $40, it's well worth it. The mic has far more effect on the vocal sound than anything else.

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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by ernstinen » Sun May 28, 2006 10:31 am

A man goes to a restaurant, orders some takeout, and sitsdown to wait for his food.While he waits, he grabs a handful of peanuts from the bowl on the counter, and as he starts to chew, he hears a voice say, "That's a beautiful tie, is that silk? Very NICE choice!"Wondering who made the comment, he looks around and doesn't see anyone nearby who could be speaking to him. With a shrug, he pops a few more peanuts into his mouth.Next he hears the voice say, "Those shoes are stylin', myman. Are they Italian leather? They look GRRREAT!"He whirls around again but sees no one near him. He glances nervously around and then at his shoes, which he tucks self-consciously under the seat.He grabs another handful of peanuts. This time the voicecontinues with, "That suit looks FANTASTIC! Is it an Armani? Very nice!"Quite shaken now, he immediately calls the waiter over and says, "Look. I keep hearing these voices telling me how great my tie, my shoes, and my suit look - what's up with that? Am I GOING CRAZY?""Oh," the waiter nonchalantly replies. "It's just the peanuts." "The PEANUTS?" the astonished man asks, staring at the bowl beside him."Yes," replies the waiter, "they're complimentary." ******************************************Ern (With apologies to Drew)

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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by ernstinen » Sun May 28, 2006 3:17 pm

Quote:Ps, I noticed that adjusting a preamp is the same as judging a mic, I can't do it while singing. I have to record, listen, adjust, record, listen, adjust, etc.Very true. IF you can tweak WHILE you're singing and not recording, that makes the process faster --- And you also have to add into the equation the tweaking of your limiter/compressor. That can really change the sound of your vocals. (Nick is correct that the mic is THE most important part of the chain, though).Make sure your mic-preamp is really cooking. Get it up near the red (or over, in the analog days). Same with your limiter/compressor. Every little step that you increase gain will add to the fullness and clarity of your vocal sound. --- When we used to record to tape, pushing the envelope of the tape recorder also added to the big, warm sound that we're all striving for. It was called "WAY into the red." Digital recording limits that somewhat, but it's still good, IMHO, to experiment with the limits of every piece of the chain in vocal recording.Your ears are your friend! One of the biggest proponents of this style of recording was Ray Charles. Ern

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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by matto » Mon May 29, 2006 7:00 am

Quote:Make sure your mic-preamp is really cooking. Get it up near the red (or over, in the analog days). Same with your limiter/compressor. Every little step that you increase gain will add to the fullness and clarity of your vocal sound.Quote:If you want to get a good sound to your voice without digital peaking then the best thing is to record with the levels down lower so as to avoid going into the red and boosting the signal in post recording. Poor Vikki...

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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by ernstinen » Mon May 29, 2006 8:54 am

Quote: Poor Vikki... HaHaHaHa! It CAN be confusing --- Ern

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