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Author Topic: Any Starter Mics with Vintage Sound?  (Read 7988 times)

tfish1257

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Any Starter Mics with Vintage Sound?
« on: July 14, 2014, 04:06:22 am »

Hi all, new to the forum. Im also due to investing in recording equipment. I've spent my career as a musician on a pretty much no-budget recording method that involved playing straight into my laptop, sitting in my bedroom. While sometimes the flat sound can be endearing in its own flawed way, it makes it hard when Im trying to do full-band arrangements because my computers stock mic just doesnt have the full dynamic of sound.

Granted, i enjoy music that has a 60's retro sort of sound to it, or lo-fi analog, etc., but Im just wondering what mic I should consider buying that is affordable (like $100, yknow, for a poor kid such as myself) that i can make presentable pieces of music with. A mic capable of capturing vintage analog sound would be ideal, but like i said i dont know how much of that matters in regards to the mic as opposed to the software a recording is run through after the fact.
Any suggestions would be awesome. Cheers.
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klaus

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Re: Starter mics/vintage sound
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2014, 12:20:15 pm »

Can you fill me in what 'vintage low-fi analog sound' you are after? You don't by any chance meant the sound that was created with a Pultec, an LA 2A, a U67, into a Trident console, and cut on a Neumann lathe?
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Klaus Heyne
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Jim Williams

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Re: Starter mics/vintage sound
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2014, 12:44:41 pm »

$100? I'd invest in a library card.
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klaus

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Re: Starter mics/vintage sound
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2014, 01:24:08 pm »

...where you still have $100 left afterwards, because library cards are free.

So with that $100.- I would buy two sweet spot tickets to a Carnegie Hall (or local equivalent) orchestral performance and enjoy a glass of Champagne with my sweetheart during intermission.
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Klaus Heyne
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aremos

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Re: Starter mics/vintage sound
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2014, 01:42:17 pm »

Or buy an SM 57(58) & wait for more money to buy the interface you're going to need to plug it into.
(Don't worry about "vintage" right now.)
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Uwe

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Re: Starter mics/vintage sound
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2014, 02:23:05 pm »

Better yet, audition the Sennheiser e835 against other microphones in this range at your local Guitar Center or Best Buy.
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klaus

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Re: Starter mics/vintage sound
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2014, 04:28:41 pm »

...this from a former valued Sennheiser employee (truth in advertising here!)
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Klaus Heyne
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Uwe

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Re: Starter mics/vintage sound
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2014, 07:18:06 pm »

... who is not responsible for making this model outsell any other in this price range ...
The relevant point is 'AUDITION' various microphones in your price range and trust your ears, rather than following blindly someone else's taste and preference.
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Jim Williams

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Re: Any Starter Mics with Vintage Sound?
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2014, 11:45:01 am »

Ears need to be trained before they can be trusted.

No one starts out at the top of their field.
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David Satz

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Re: Any Starter Mics with Vintage Sound?
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2014, 09:53:22 pm »

The replies in this thread might be rather confusing to the original poster, if he's still with us. I think he asked an honest question and I'd like to try offering a more direct response, in case we haven't scared him off.

Basically, I don't think most people on this forum consider "vintage" to be a style or genre of sound, or that the term conveys any one particular feeling or impression that can be singled out for simulation or emulation. That very concept probably comes across to some people here as an insult, in fact. It's not as if one particular vintage microphone or console has "the" sound quality that all other equipment should strive to match, if that were possible to do.

Instead, I'd say that many/most people here sincerely feel that the best older equipment--in all its diversity--sounds better than most (though by no means all) of what's been made since--even though there is no one consistent, identifiable feature to that superiority. And while much of today's equipment performs measurably better in various respects than the equipment of half a century ago, these people don't respect equipment that they feel is designed primarily to conform to such measurements.

(I don't actually happen to share that viewpoint myself, but I'm trying to characterize it as fairly and respectfully as I can, so that the person who started this thread can get something from having posted here--even if it's not what he expected.)

As it happens, quite a bit of audio equipment now on the market, in all price ranges, does claim to recapture some aspects of vintage sound. Some of that equipment even sounds OK sometimes. So the original poster was on to something real with his question. But equipment specifically made for the purpose of having a supposedly "vintage" sound isn't what people mostly talk about here--or if so, not usually in a positive light.

--best regards
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klaus

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Re: Any Starter Mics with Vintage Sound?
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2014, 10:41:05 pm »

I think there is a fairly simple answer to the poster's question: You cannot get audio quality in microphones (or any other audio gear) for peanuts.  This business model simply does not exist. We can argue how much truly better more expensive microphones sound than less expensive ones, but I cannot think of a single model where, in comparison, another model at a fraction of its price reaches the same level of performance.  It does not exist.

I apologize for some of the snippy, less than helpful answers, but to most who frequent and post on this forum it is quite obvious that at $100 there is no serious contender for a place in a professional microphone arsenal.  No matter what advertising or home recordist forums may suggest.

There is a direct correlation between quality and price, as with few other consumer goods (wine is another field where  price portends quality, and for the same reason): no superior mic is sold cheaply, and no cheap mic can fetch a high price. The market regulates that correlation between perceived quality and price quite well in the field of products that appeal to the senses: wine, cameras, audio gear...

I don't need to mention names, but a few times in the past copy mics were launched and artificially priced at levels quite close to those of the original vintage mics these products were copying, with the result that, as soon as the mics hit the open, free market, used and even new prices dropped significantly and quickly-  a perfect example of self regulation in a market.
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Klaus Heyne
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GYMusic

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Re: Any Starter Mics with Vintage Sound?
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2014, 01:40:36 pm »

Some of my favorite personal recordings were made when I was younger and had no money to spend on Neumanns or whatever brand of nicer mics.  I was lucky to have an Ampex 350 machine and a home-brew mixer.  I had a few Shure, EV dynamics.  My favorite at that time was my Norelco D-24.  When I listen to those recordings today, they still have that "something" that sets them apart from how I record these days.  And, these days I have the nicer mics that I couldn't afford then.   It's more about the passion and the performance than it is the mics.  It helps to know how to use what tools you have.

Kai

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Re: Any Starter Mics with Vintage Sound?
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2014, 04:57:05 pm »

Im just wondering what mic I should consider buying that is affordable ... like $100
I would vote for a Shure SM57, original, non of the copies that are around that are said "sounding the same" (they do not).
You can't go wrong with that mic, it's a real classic and it's universal:
voice, el.-  and acc. guitars, drums, percussion, ... - almost everything sounds good with it.
For voice get youself the foam windshield with the plastic ring that is available for it.
If you want to see how that looks - the US president has two of those in front of him when he speaks to the public.

Regards
Kai
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klaus

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Re: Any Starter Mics with Vintage Sound?
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2014, 12:47:01 am »

A Shure SM57 is great advice for that price range. Thanks, Kai.

But let's keep die Kirche im Dorf: cumulatively, the SM57 ALONE will whittle down high end pretty quickly in a multi-track recording: with a -3dB point @ 11KHz at best, there won't be much liveliness left piling up a bunch of midrange-heavy tracks. 
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Klaus Heyne
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Kai

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Re: Any Starter Mics with Vintage Sound?
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2014, 04:35:02 am »

...with a -3dB point @ 11KHz at best...
Here's a measurement I made, using the substitution method.
Reference is a Bruel&Kjaer 4165 mic, source a Tannoy 6", distance 25cm.
Of course it's not a condenser, but there's usable frequency content up to 16kHz.
This doesn't say anything about the sound quality of this frequencies.
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