Need budget mic recommendation

Get that song on tape! Errr... disk?
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Re: Need budget mic recommendation

Post by øøøøøøø » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:28 pm

Larry Mal wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:06 am
what I think I am reading here and suggest that there is no benefit to using an LDC rather than a Shure SM57 until you reach the level of Neumann microphones? I feel I must be misreading that.
I don't think you're really misreading that (though I'll allow that, as-phrased here, it's a bit of an oversimplification). Nothing is always true.

But the overall point is that cheap condensers, while they can be seductive, often have some serious problems. While I love condensers on guitar cab (and in fact usually start with a U67), I'd tend to reach for a well-suited dynamic or ribbon on guitar amp over an inexpensive condenser, most times.

--
having a good all around LDC might be more useful overall than an SM57 which is less useful in my opinion.
See, this is where it can get tricky-- what counts as a "good all around LDC." I run the risk of sounding snobby here, but this is very much a "no free lunch" scenario. Making a condenser mic at low cost that will pass signal is trivial. Tons of manufacturers can do it. But to make a good large capsule condenser is expensive and challenging.

If "good all-around LDC" is what's desired, this starts at U87 and 414-EB for me (perhaps 414-B-ULS if we're being a little generous). The Baby Bottle does not, for me, qualify (nor does any MXL I've heard).

If a user can't afford at least that, then they cannot afford "a good all-around LDC" (much like I can't afford "a piano as good as a Fazioli.") No free lunch. Harsh reality? Maybe. But good condenser microphones are expensive instruments.

A common scenario: I was recently given a pair of the latest "popular affordable condenser that's a great value" to review for a magazine. At first, I was like "hey, you know what? These things don't sound too bad!" And I used them for awhile, and used them and used them. It took about a month for me to become very annoyed by a few attributes, including a sneaky unpleasant off-axis coloration. Now they're strictly for "demo duty" only.

This happens over and over and over. I think it's why "cheap condenser du jour" always fades away, to be replaced by another while the time-worn 87s and 414s of the world just keep right on going.

--
I am only saying that if the budget is such, then there are "better" choices out there than the SM57 that can be made to do more for one than what the SM57 is really good for in my opinion.
Perhaps (or perhaps not!) but that's really another discussion. The OP wanted something to record his DRRI that cost $100. To me, given that application and price point, the SM57 is a no-brainer.

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Re: Need budget mic recommendation

Post by oid » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:54 pm

øøøøøøø wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:19 am
I'm sorry, oid, if you think my posts are off-topic. I maintain that they are not.
I did not say they were off topic, beyond the scope of the question yes. Theory only helps those that know it and can make things muddier for those who do not, especially when it is used out of context.

The 2001 is one of the worst mics MXL made (for most uses), think most everyone agrees on that and far from representative of anything but the 2001. If memory serves one of the folks over at GroupDIY did some tests on that mic when it first came out and discovered the HF hump could be greatly decreased by removing the inner layer of mesh from the grill and even more reduced by some other simple tweak, think that was the 2001. He just bought it for the body and decided to play some before gutting it.

It should be said that frequency response and polar patterns are measured in an anechoic chamber at a single fixed SPL and can vary greatly from the real world, especially without good acoustical treatment, but even then, are not quite proper. They have their uses, and can provide a general idea of how the mic will respond, but often tell little of the actual sound of the mic in practice unless you have a good deal of experience. The sound of a mic is far more important than any chart, as the SM57 shows, surprising how much it is like the 2001, wonder if that is what they were going for with that thing.
Last edited by oid on Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need budget mic recommendation

Post by eggwheat » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:41 pm

Nothing ‘wrong’ with an sm57 on a guitar cab...they can work very well and indeed be the best choice even with a mic locker stuffed with expensive and exotic items. Nothing better for the money. You can also sometimes sub in a 58 instead since they have very similar capsules, the grille is different which changes the frequency response above 5khz..but if you take the 58 grille off it sounds almost the same.

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Re: Need budget mic recommendation

Post by fuzzjunkie » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:48 am

I will agree with most (all?) of what Brad said and why he said it. I’ve had the same experience debating 48 vs 96 and microphone selection at least.

I will also offer up another microphone choice at a similar spec and price point to the Shure, the Audio Technica ATM650. It is designed for mic’ing guitar cabinets and drums. It can accent that same mid range crunch that the Shure is used for and can handle volume and fast transients just as well, since it’s also a decent drum mic. It has a better proximity effect than the SM57 to my ears though, and the bass spectrum can sound warmer if you want a slightly more full response. Not enough to screw with the guitar placement in the frequency spectrum, but enough to hear a difference.

It’s not the first mic I would reach for, but if you need an extra mic on toms or a 1st ir 2nd mic on an amp, it can hit the sweet spot.

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Re: Need budget mic recommendation

Post by eggwheat » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:23 pm

Whole song recorded with nothing but SM57’s! Fun experiment. https://youtu.be/Qkh3LYlwaFo

There was a thread on gearslutz about it a while back.

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Re: Need budget mic recommendation

Post by somanytoys » Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:32 pm

I am just a home hack recorder, but I've liked the mics that I've bought and used on my amps, especially having no other reference but them to skew my opinion of them. I don't know if I've ever used an SM57, so I have no real opinion on that, but it is widely used as a standard.

The ones that I have are all Sennheisers - the e609, the e906 and the MD 421 II. The e609s are always under $100 (I'm pretty sure), and I recently bought a e906 that was on sale for about $100 (usually $200). And like Brad said, the 421 is a lot more, like $300 - 500.

Other people may have a more experienced opinion on these, but they work for my purposes.

Just another suggestion to complicate your decision.
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Re: Need budget mic recommendation

Post by eggwheat » Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:57 pm

That track with all 57’s is actually really good..when I had a listen on the studio speakers it felt like everything sat together really well. They also do one with an IPad and 57’s iirc.

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Re: Need budget mic recommendation

Post by Maggieo » Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:56 am

I really like the SM57. With guitar cabs, it's all about placement for me. And as someone with a giant-sized voice, it's my preferred vocal mic, only because I don't have a Senheiser MD-409. (Yes, I'm a total Jame Murphy fangurrrl.)

Once you grok its proximity effect, you can use it to great advantage.

Oh, and I've been playing with it through a JHS Colourbox preamp and have had some very promising results.
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Re: Need budget mic recommendation

Post by panoramic » Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:42 am

sennheiser 609's have served me well with homerecording guitar rigs, i prefer them to 57's
if you want to hear some super lo-fi stuff recorded with e609's let me know I have a ton of crap up on bandcamp
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Re: Need budget mic recommendation

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:38 am

I almost bought a 906 over Christmas.
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Re: Need budget mic recommendation

Post by somanytoys » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:47 pm

Maggieo wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:56 am
Oh, and I've been playing with it through a JHS Colourbox preamp and have had some very promising results.
That's pretty cool, I hadn't thought of trying that.

I'm very happy with my Sennheisers, but I just bought a couple more mics because they were on sale - an MXL 990 condenser and an Audix i5, which also comes with a cabgrabber mic stand (they cost like $50 alone). Haven't gotten the i5 in yet, but read good things about it (vs other similar things). It will be nice to see how these mics all differ, and hopefully and more importantly, which pairings might complement each other best.

I'll have to pull out my Colourbox and check out using it with a couple of the different mics, that's a cool idea - thanks!
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Re: Need budget mic recommendation

Post by somanytoys » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:49 pm

Larry Mal wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:38 am
I almost bought a 906 over Christmas.
I don't think you'd regret it. But everyone has their own ears & opinions.

I'm nowhere near skilled/experienced enough to have or offer a strong opinion in this area, I'm just trying to make what I have work for me.
-David

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Re: Need budget mic recommendation

Post by dezb1 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:12 pm

Superlux pra-628 mkii great mic and you can just hang it over your amp no need for a stand.

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