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Author Topic: Help me choose my first mic  (Read 8957 times)

Future_One

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Help me choose my first mic
« on: May 10, 2009, 09:35:32 pm »

I'm looking for a nice versatile mic.  I'll mainly be using it for recording vocals but will be recording some instruments too.  I make a variety of music styles from pop, dance, to acoustic and downbeat electronica.

After months of research I've narrowed the list down to four mics:

ADK A6
Rode NT1000
Audio-Technica AT4040
Octava MK-319 with the Michael Joly modifications

I have access to my flatmates AKG Perception 400 which is quite bright sounding so I'm thinking I should get something that has a different flavour to this.  

Thanks for your opinions!
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Bill_Urick

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2009, 06:55:46 am »

From that list, I'd go with the A6.
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Future_One

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2009, 03:30:13 pm »

+1 for the A6.  Cheers Bill.

I was leaning toward the Octavamod 319 with the A6 as my second choice.  The A6 will be more versatile though...  Tough choice  Razz
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Halfway Competent

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2009, 05:01:11 pm »

Future_One wrote on Sun, 10 May 2009 18:35

I'm looking for a nice versatile mic.  I'll mainly be using it for recording vocals but will be recording some instruments too.  I make a variety of music styles from pop, dance, to acoustic and downbeat electronica.

After months of research I've narrowed the list down to four mics:

ADK A6
Rode NT1000
Audio-Technica AT4040
Octava MK-319 with the Michael Joly modifications

I have access to my flatmates AKG Perception 400 which is quite bright sounding so I'm thinking I should get something that has a different flavour to this.  

Thanks for your opinions!


AT-4047.  Very Happy  (I know, it's not on your list, but I love it!)
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Future_One

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2009, 05:16:02 pm »

Cheers, I'll take a look at the 4047.

I'm just thinking about some different options.

I want to make great quality recordings.  I've got a nice room to record in but as far as mic pres go I've only got the preamps on my Mackie Onyx 1220 desk.  Very clean and plenty of gain but obviously not what you would call a quality mic preamp.

I'm now thinking I could stick with using my flatmates AKG Perception 400 and get a better mic pre.  I could afford to go with something like the Groove Tubes 'The Brick' or possibly a second hand Universal Audio Solo 110.

Or I could stick with my original plan and get another flavour of mic to use with the pres on the smackie desk.

Any opinions much appreciated.
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Bill_Urick

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2009, 06:04:20 pm »

Love the 4047 as well, but of the two (A6/4047) the A6 is the less bright. (I have a pair of each, as should you  Cool )

You could say the 4047 is a little more "hyped" and the A6 is more natural.

Edit: FWIW the 319, modded, is about twice the price of the A6.





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Future_One

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2009, 06:13:05 pm »

That Audio-Technica AT4047 looks like it could be just the ticket.
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Future_One

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2009, 06:16:09 pm »

Bill_Urick wrote on Mon, 11 May 2009 17:04


Edit: FWIW the 319, modded, is about twice the price of the A6.





I would get a used 319 from ebay and send it to Michael to be modified.  It comes in just within my price range.  Have you had any experience with the Octavamods?
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compasspnt

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2009, 06:20:35 pm »

Is there not some law, at least in certain states, that one's first microphone has to be a 57 or 58?
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Future_One

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2009, 06:23:37 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Mon, 11 May 2009 17:20

Is there not some law, at least in certain states, that one's first microphone has to be a 57 or 58?



Laughing

Actually that's an option I'm still considering.  If not now I'll definitely get one at some stage.
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Derek DiFilippo

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2009, 06:29:00 pm »

Hi Future_One:

The AT4047 is a cool mic.  I used to own one and I have some friends who love them.  You won't go far wrong with it.

If you have a chance, maybe try shooting it out against a Shure KSM32 and see which one you prefer.  It can be easy to hate on a Shure condenser... but I've shot it out against a bunch of mics, some of them much more expensive, and it's been a solid contender.

I've tracked male and female vocals with the KSM32 and with a decent preamp and a bit of compression on the way in, it's a good sound.  They take a bit of EQ well, which is nice because the KSM32 doesn't have an intentionally built-in vocal hype EQ curve.  The other mics I've used as parts of those sessions were: Gefell UM70s, Shure SM7B, Shure KSM44, Beyer M69 (doing the Bono-style handheld thing).  Preamp was a Hardy M1.

I've had the KSM32 on snare, kick, Leslie, guitar amp, bass amp, accordion, banjo, and vocals, etc., etc.  The KSM32 is not always the first choice but it's never made me want to sell it either.  (Unlike several other mics that have come and gone.)

******

I don't know the A6... sounds like I should check it out myself!

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Future_One

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2009, 06:46:07 pm »

Derek DiFilippo wrote on Mon, 11 May 2009 17:29

Hi Future_One:

The AT4047 is a cool mic.  I used to own one and I have some friends who love them.  You won't go far wrong with it.

If you have a chance, maybe try shooting it out against a Shure KSM32 and see which one you prefer.  It can be easy to hate on a Shure condenser... but I've shot it out against a bunch of mics, some of them much more expensive, and it's been a solid contender.

I've tracked male and female vocals with the KSM32 and with a decent preamp and a bit of compression on the way in, it's a good sound.  They take a bit of EQ well, which is nice because the KSM32 doesn't have an intentionally built-in vocal hype EQ curve.  The other mics I've used as parts of those sessions were: Gefell UM70s, Shure SM7B, Shure KSM44, Beyer M69 (doing the Bono-style handheld thing).  Preamp was a Hardy M1.

I've had the KSM32 on snare, kick, Leslie, guitar amp, bass amp, accordion, banjo, and vocals, etc., etc.  The KSM32 is not always the first choice but it's never made me want to sell it either.  (Unlike several other mics that have come and gone.)

******

I don't know the A6... sounds like I should check it out myself!




Thanks for that Derek. I had considered the Shure KSM32.  It seems to be a popular choice in this price range.

The AT4033-CL looks good too.  I'd like to do my own shootout but it would be very hard to to that where I live in New Zealand.
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Halfway Competent

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2009, 08:02:55 pm »

Future_One wrote on Mon, 11 May 2009 15:46



Thanks for that Derek. I had considered the Shure KSM32.  It seems to be a popular choice in this price range.

The AT4033-CL looks good too.  I'd like to do my own shootout but it would be very hard to to that where I live in New Zealand.


I own two 4033s...  But they are brighter than the 4047.

Listen:
http://www.tewsnet.com/dropbox/sample.mp3

Vocals = AT4047 via dbx 386 pre.  
Guitars = pair of AT4033 via Digi002 pres.

Also:
http://www.tewsnet.com/dropbox/Flaxen-Sample.mp3

Guitar = 2x 4033 thru DBX 386 pre.


If you've read my other posts, I'm probably starting to sound like a shill for A-T.  I'm really not, I just use 'em.  Smile
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Future_One

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2009, 08:10:28 pm »

Halfway Competent wrote on Mon, 11 May 2009 19:02

Future_One wrote on Mon, 11 May 2009 15:46



Thanks for that Derek. I had considered the Shure KSM32.  It seems to be a popular choice in this price range.

The AT4033-CL looks good too.  I'd like to do my own shootout but it would be very hard to to that where I live in New Zealand.


I own two 4033s...  But they are brighter than the 4047.

Listen:
http://www.tewsnet.com/dropbox/sample.mp3

Vocals = AT4047 via dbx 386 pre.  
Guitars = pair of AT4033 via Digi002 pres.

Also:
http://www.tewsnet.com/dropbox/Flaxen-Sample.mp3

Guitar = 2x 4033 thru DBX 386 pre.


If you've read my other posts, I'm probably starting to sound like a shill for A-T.  I'm really not, I just use 'em.  Smile


Awesome I'll have a listen to these clips after work.  Thanks very much for your input.  Cool
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compasspnt

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2009, 08:23:21 pm »

Halfway Competent wrote on Mon, 11 May 2009 20:02

If you've read my other posts, I'm probably starting to sound like a shill for A-T.  I'm really not, I just use 'em.



But do not forget that he is only Halfway Competent...
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rankus

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2009, 09:23:59 pm »

Future_One wrote on Mon, 11 May 2009 14:16

 I could afford to go with something like the Groove Tubes 'The Brick' or possibly a second hand Universal Audio Solo 110.



I would take a Brick over the UA any day... having used both.


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NelsonL

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2009, 02:06:39 am »

I think I would rather own an SM-7 or RE20 than any of the mics in the original list-- with exception that I've never used the A6 and can't comment on it.

Never used a KSM32, but having regular access to KSM44s I can say that once we got them our AT mics (4040 & 4050) never saw use again, although that's partly because the 44s were our only LDC pair, and so became very handy in a hurry.
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Derek DiFilippo

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2009, 02:34:11 am »

Hey NelsonL,

Once I had enough experience built up with comparing the KSM32 to SM7B and RE20, I sold them and bought more KSM32s.

******

Well, enough talk... following Halfway_Competent's example, here's some fodder to help let your ears decide.  Future_One, give these a tracks listen and see if they vibe for you.  I do other kinds of music that the KSM has sounded good on, but have these ones posted & handy.

KSM32 on Vox.  KSM32 over the Weissenborn as half-room mic, half weissenborn mic.  KSM32 in the kick.  SM7B on floor tom.   Gefell UM70s on bass amp, in Omni.  All vocal overdubs through a Hardy M1 --> API2500 --> LA3A --> 003 line input.

   http://home.cogeco.ca/~derekdifilippo/diego/04%20The%20Maze. mp3

******

Same as above but adding KSM32 on Banjotar.
   http://home.cogeco.ca/~derekdifilippo/diego/08%20The%20Loop. mp3

******

Same as above (KSM32 on Weissenborn), Gefell in Cardioid on Ac. Bass, and now with Gefell on lead vocal through the same chain as above.
  http://home.cogeco.ca/~derekdifilippo/diego/09%20Elie's%20So ng.mp3



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NelsonL

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2009, 07:00:25 am »

Hey Derek,

Nice sounding track, well done.

I've heard great things about the KSM 32s, but I also find my RE20 to be an excellent choice for some voices, including my own.

Truth be told, the last time I personally sang through an SM7, the KSM series didn't exist yet, and Clinton was still president-- but I do still have the LP to remind me that it worked well for that particular track.

Future One, if you're mostly recording one particular vocalist, then I'd suggest getting whichever mic suits their voice best. In my experience there's usually a clear winner.

Also, I inadvertently fibbed-- I had a 319 on loan for a year or so, but it was stock.
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Larry Villella

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2009, 02:11:46 pm »



I'm not shy about saying I own and like the A-T 4047.

The Hamburg Mk8 would be in a similar "color-zone".

The A6, a bit more neutral. Vienna Mk8 more sparkling.


I use the A6 or Vienna on acoustic frets, the Hamburg on Cabs and
Male Vox.  (Having more than one 'sonic-paintbrush is a good thing).


Having a few mics that are bright, neutral, and mellow is the
best way to cover a lot of Source-Material in my experience.

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rankus

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2009, 05:34:07 pm »

Larry Villella wrote on Tue, 12 May 2009 11:11


Having a few mics that are bright, neutral, and mellow is the
best way to cover a lot of Source-Material in my experience.




Best advice yet.


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Future_One

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2009, 12:18:07 am »

Halfway Competent wrote on Mon, 11 May 2009 19:02

Future_One wrote on Mon, 11 May 2009 15:46



Thanks for that Derek. I had considered the Shure KSM32.  It seems to be a popular choice in this price range.

The AT4033-CL looks good too.  I'd like to do my own shootout but it would be very hard to to that where I live in New Zealand.


I own two 4033s...  But they are brighter than the 4047.

Listen:
http://www.tewsnet.com/dropbox/sample.mp3

Vocals = AT4047 via dbx 386 pre.  
Guitars = pair of AT4033 via Digi002 pres.

Also:
http://www.tewsnet.com/dropbox/Flaxen-Sample.mp3

Guitar = 2x 4033 thru DBX 386 pre.


If you've read my other posts, I'm probably starting to sound like a shill for A-T.  I'm really not, I just use 'em.  Smile


Very cool. Cheers again for posting these up.
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Future_One

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2009, 12:24:27 am »

Derek DiFilippo wrote on Tue, 12 May 2009 01:34

Hey NelsonL,

Once I had enough experience built up with comparing the KSM32 to SM7B and RE20, I sold them and bought more KSM32s.

******

Well, enough talk... following Halfway_Competent's example, here's some fodder to help let your ears decide.  Future_One, give these a tracks listen and see if they vibe for you.  I do other kinds of music that the KSM has sounded good on, but have these ones posted & handy.

KSM32 on Vox.  KSM32 over the Weissenborn as half-room mic, half weissenborn mic.  KSM32 in the kick.  SM7B on floor tom.   Gefell UM70s on bass amp, in Omni.  All vocal overdubs through a Hardy M1 --> API2500 --> LA3A --> 003 line input.

    http://home.cogeco.ca/~derekdifilippo/diego/04%20The%20Maze. mp3

******

Same as above but adding KSM32 on Banjotar.
    http://home.cogeco.ca/~derekdifilippo/diego/08%20The%20Loop. mp3

******

Same as above (KSM32 on Weissenborn), Gefell in Cardioid on Ac. Bass, and now with Gefell on lead vocal through the same chain as above.
   http://home.cogeco.ca/~derekdifilippo/diego/09%20Elie's%20So ng.mp3







Thanks for those examples! Lovey songs there.  My girlfriend has fallen in love with them. The KSM32 seems to suit the vibe of the music perfectly.  I think that mic might be a bit too mellow sounding for what I'm after...  

I think I'm going to go for something a bit more hyped while still being on the darker tip if that makes sense.
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NelsonL

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2009, 02:30:04 am »

Hyped, as I understand it, means exaggerated, maybe even brittle top end.

So I'm not sure how a dark mic can be hyped, but maybe others disagree.
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Future_One

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2009, 03:06:04 am »

NelsonL wrote on Wed, 13 May 2009 01:30

Hyped, as I understand it, means exaggerated, maybe even brittle top end.

So I'm not sure how a dark mic can be hyped, but maybe others disagree.


Yes I may have picked my words wrong.  By hyped I just mean not necessarily neutral.  I'd like something with some character and thickness and not to bright and thin sounding.
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Halfway Competent

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Re: Help me choose my first mic
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2009, 12:13:04 pm »

Future_One wrote on Wed, 13 May 2009 00:06

NelsonL wrote on Wed, 13 May 2009 01:30

Hyped, as I understand it, means exaggerated, maybe even brittle top end.

So I'm not sure how a dark mic can be hyped, but maybe others disagree.


Yes I may have picked my words wrong.  By hyped I just mean not necessarily neutral.  I'd like something with some character and thickness and not to bright and thin sounding.


I agree with your definition of "hyped".  Hyped does not have to mean treble; any frequency band can be hyped.  Take the Beta 52, for example...  Very hyped low-end.  Based on your description, it still sounds like the 4047 is what you want, but there are other fantastic options, too.  Smile  I'm curious to hear samples of the ADK stuff!  
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