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Doug

Microphone Test Number 1

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eddiez152    129

Do your next test in front of the sound hole about 12 in out. Point toward the sound hole but at an slight angle placing the actual mic where the neck joins the body.

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carol m    64

I listened before reading other's preferences. I liked 3 and 4 the best and maybe 4 as the best. An interesting test - this may confirm my cloth ears.

Now I'm going to check the rest of the thread and see if I have expensive tastes or I'm just a no-good cheapskate - but it's useful to know that the difference between an expensive and a cheap mic is so small.

I'd like to hear the difference between dynamic and condenser mics - any chance of that Doug?

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Tekker    1
ok so here's the list:

1) AKG C451 B

2) Josephson C42

3) Line Audio CM3

4) AT 4051

Interesting, I'm really surprised #2 wasn't the $100 mic. I guess I won't be getting the Josephson mic. :D

I almost put the AKG as number one (because it is the most expensive) but being more expensive doesn't always mean "better" and I've heard a lot of folks raving about the AT mics, so I figured that mic may have had the best sound.... Guess not. ;)

-tkr

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carol m    64
Interesting, I'm really surprised #2 wasn't the $100 mic. I guess I won't be getting the Josephson mic. :D

I almost put the AKG as number one (because it is the most expensive) but being more expensive doesn't always mean "better" and I've heard a lot of folks raving about the AT mics, so I figured that mic may have had the best sound.... Guess not. ;)

-tkr

So which would you get Tekker?

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Tekker    1
So which would you get Tekker?

The AKG out of these four mics and if money was no object (since it is the most expensive).

-tkr

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starsailor    20

Great thread, I was surprised the AKG was bottom of my list but I don't honestly think I have the ears for this yet and have a slight hearing problem due to using too many powertools without protection which doesn't help, that said I still preferred 2 and 3.

Thanks for the links Carol, I'd also be interested in Dynamic/ Condensor comparisons, I've been getting conflicting opinions on mics. from various sources recently looking at getting a soundhole pick up but some sources said you're better off with a Condensor to get a good recording sound for guitar, then other sources have said no don't use a Condensor for doing your songs use a Dynamic as there's less background noise, I must admit condensdors pick up everything I did a song recently and mine picked up my Dog Woodstock a yappy Terrier barking and he was in the house and about 30+ feet away from my studio and the Doors and windows were all closed. I'd kind of like a bit more clarity on what's best as it comes across as what you use is very much a personal preference as well. so it's harder to get a definitive answer.

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Tekker    1
....then other sources have said no don't use a Condensor for doing your songs use a Dynamic as there's less background noise

Eh, don't listen to those people. lol ;) Unless picking up background noise is a serious issue, in which case go with an internal pickup.

Condensers will generally sound clearer and brighter than dynamics as condensers are much more sensitive. The condenser will also likely be closer to how your guitar sounds in person.

It really depends on the sound you are doing for, but as a general rule of thumb, condensers RULE on acoustic guitar. :winkthumb:

-tkr

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thodwris    1

This is a very interesting thread,thank you for opening it Doug...I didn't want to post any opinion as I am quite a beginner,but by reading this,there is a lot to learn.Thank you all for your efforts and the posts...

All the best,

Theo

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starsailor    20
Eh, don't listen to those people. lol ;) Unless picking up background noise is a serious issue, in which case go with an internal pickup.

Condensers will generally sound clearer and brighter than dynamics as condensers are much more sensitive. The condenser will also likely be closer to how your guitar sounds in person.

It really depends on the sound you are doing for, but as a general rule of thumb, condensers RULE on acoustic guitar. :winkthumb:

-tkr

That's the kind of answer I'm looking for, wasn't too sure about a soundhole pick up I've been moving the Mic around a bit as I originally had it pointing towards the soundhole and it came across too bassy, want a lghter sound where all the strings ring out the way I had it positioned just dulled everything bit too muddy, have varying degrees of control over vocals and playing (LOL) but want conrol over the Mics.

All my recordings this year have been on a cheap plastic electret mic that I got for $10 off Ebay this is where everyone says yeah we noticed (LOL) I have a couple of Dynamic mics bought one the other day still cheap I'm afraid which I'm going to try this week, is it better to use a dynamic mic for vocals.

If I'm going off thread a bit please stop me but Dougs test has got me thinking a bit about how I do things.:winkthumb:

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Doug    12

The next test I do I will drop the Josephson and the Line Audio and I will add a dynamic and a cheaper condenser - an MAudio Pulsar. I'll post the next take in wav format and mp3 so you can attempt to hear the difference.

The next test I'd like to do is to test the same mics with different preamps. This is a bit trickier because I don't know how to create exaclty the same sound for the two tests. So I've decided that I will play a piece of acoustic guitar from my home stereo and record it with one preamp and then the other. I've heard that mic/preamp matching is important so we'll see.

I'm starting to get the impression that I'm going to be flogging a lot of stuff on ebay soon ;).

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Tekker    1
That's the kind of answer I'm looking for, wasn't too sure about a soundhole pick up I've been moving the Mic around a bit as I originally had it pointing towards the soundhole and it came across too bassy, want a lghter sound where all the strings ring out the way I had it positioned just dulled everything bit too muddy

Sound hole pickups are designed to be placed over the sound hole, they don't get the boomy sound that you normally get from miking the sound hole.

is it better to use a dynamic mic for vocals.

For vocals there really isn't a general rule as there are many people who prefer one or the other for different reasons. In this case it depends on the particular mic in question and how it fits the vocalist's voice and the style of music. I've heard many people on various recording message boards say that the Shure SM58 was the best mic for their voice after auditioning several mics that cost several hundreds or even up in the thousands of dollars.

You may not always want a bright condenser mic on vocals as it is very easy for a condenser to be "too" bright and sound harsh. Condensers are also a lot more susceptible to picking up sybilance, which is when high frequency syllables such as 'S', 'T', 'P', 'C', etc. get recorded at a much greater volume than the other syllables. There are also darker sounding condenser mics which handle syblinance better.

Having said that I personally tend to like condensers for vocals, but that may be because I don't have the right dynamic mics. With all the great things I've heard about Shure SM7 on vocals, when I get one of those it may change my tune. ;)

-tkr

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starsailor    20

Thanks for all the info. Tekker, I do get syblinance (haven't heard that term before) on my recordings, it comes out slightly in my latest sends the vocal over the top on those syllables. I've got an SM58 that I've never used as I was getting on fairly well with the Condenser, the AArdvark is good to go, the soundcard installation went fine can I use Reaper with it computer wasn't happy with extra RAMs still 256 But the Q10 seems ok with that as it's a few years old I'm keen to see how the recordings come out but thought I'd get straight with Mics too so it's a good set up from the off, I'll have a look at the SM57 too don't mind having a few back up mics, I'm still keeping the Soundblaster which has done fair recordings running that through a laptop for my Mixcraft program so I'm feeling reasonably happy that I'm heading in the right direction, thanks for your input Tekker you're always a Mine of information:winkthumb:

Cheers

Chris

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Tekker    1
I'll have a look at the SM57 too don't mind having a few back up mics

The mic I mentioned above is actually the SM7, which is a different mic than the SM57.

Shure SM7B from zZounds.com!

Since you already have an SM58, you wouldn't need the SM57 (unless you wanted it for an electric guitar amp or something) because the SM58 and SM57 are essentially the exact same mic, but the SM58 has the rounded cover and pop filter screen inside.

-tkr

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Doug    12

I think what these tests have proven is that for the intents and purposes of high quality home recording, you really do not require expensive microphones. You'd be really hard pressed to select between the most expensive and the least.

By the way, the prices I posted were retail prices to show the variation. I bought most of these mics used over ebay and don't advocate paying retail value for them. In fact If I were to start over, I'd stick with the cheapie, but such is the nature of GAS.

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carol m    64

Exactly Doug. I've moved on from thinking a better microphone was the way to go and set my sites on...... a much better guitar........:helpsmili

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kidhaiti    0

Hi doug,

great thread. the best thing i get from it is i 'd be happy with any of these results if I 'd bought one of these.

I've been keen to get a mic for awhile now and will feel more comfortable lookin at one of the cheaper options after listening to the samples.

I would love to hear a comparison of a small diaphragm v's lg diaphragm condenser (if you have one?) at 12th fret and sound hole for both.

if your up for it .

cheers

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