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Microphone recommendation

pppppppppp

New Member
Hi,

In my homestudio id like to sample few percussion instruments.
Shakers as well as a Cajon.

Do you have any recommendations for suitable microphones? (willing to spend for solid quality, but no need to have top notch item, is for personal use).

Also want to record some vocals, too. Can this be done with the same (type of) microphone or better invest in a separate one? Any recommended ones?

Thanks for your advice!
Cheers
 

gsilbers

Part of Pulsesetter-Sounds.com
try warm audio or stam audio mics. those are exelent for vocals and percussion.
 

studiostuff

Active Member
Small diaphragm condenser mics and ribbon mics have excellent transient response. (Great for percussion instruments.) If you want to go nuts, a well-matched pair of Neumann KM-84 mics (NOT KM-184) will hold their value quite well, and serve well in many situations.

I like large diaphragm condenser mics on vocals, but depending on the individual voice and musical style, some dynamic mics may serve you as well, and perhaps, cost you a little less. With voices, quite a lot depends on the voice, the musical style, and the result desired.

With large diaphragm condenser mics, you could spend a small fortune on each mic. This might limit your choices with different singers. Maybe it's better to have a nice collection of less expensive LDCs and a few dynamics to give yourself flexibility you might need with different singers.

Don't forget, you can rent these mics depending on your location to discover your own preferences, and which of them works on your current project.

If I had to pick one LDC for vocals, a Neumann M-49 (w/cardioid only switch) would be the one... even if it wasn't perfect on every voice. Buttah...!
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
Yeah, normally I'd suggest a Shure SM57 for percussion (and also vox). Dynamic mics have some natural compression that works well on percussion, at the expense of detail - which you don't always want for things that go boom. The SM57 is always a good choice for a good and versatile mic that will still be useful if you later decide to get a higher-end one.

But shakers kinda do want detail, and you probably want to record cajon from a distance (at least not close-up) to let the sound develop.

So a neutral large-diaphragm condenser, as opposed to a character one with an opinion, is probably the best choice.

If the mics studiostuff recommends are too expensive, you can get Shanghai-made Neumann U87 lookalikes, or Studio Projects is one of the companies that sells inexpensive mics that look expensive (and can be surprisingly good). The B1 is a good example.
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
MXL makes a U87-alike that's okay.

If you can afford $700 or so, the Audio-Technica AT4050 is a very good neutral mic that works well on almost everything. I've had mine for a good 20 years, and it's still the first one I pull out.
 

S.M Hassani

CodeUltra Sounds
I like the Aston microphones. Research their Origin and Spirit lines. Good all rounders at reasonable prices: $300 to $450. The build quality is fantastic and the sound is very “British” in a good way. (U.K made BTW)

https://www.astonmics.com/EN
 

erikradbo

Active Member
I've been recording a lot of vocals for pop productions, and if you want a universal vocal mic I'd definitely recommend a large diaphragm condenser. I've used these for percussion as well, but here it's often better with a dynamic mic.

However, if you want one, a LDC is the way to go. This one is a real gem for it's price: https://advancedaudio.ca/products/cm47 . It's "inspired" by Neumann U47 (prices at around $4000, or the original one for around $13000 ), a classic vocal mic used on numerous recordings. In practice inspired means it tries to copy it, and in my opinion it does a great job for an amazing price (but it's still $795). It includes a tube preamp.

Sound on sound tested it: https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/advanced-audio-cm12-cm47

Can't recommend it enough if this is within your range, works well with percussions as well. In one of the reviews someone even preferred it for overhead drums micing.
 
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MHP

Audio Engineer & Producer
In the mid-price range I would also recommend the AKG C414 XLS.

It is a standard in many professional studios, has a neutral frequency response, low noise, switchable polar patterns and the current price of <700€ in Europe is very fair. It can be used for all kinds of acoustic instruments and I got also some good results with female voices.

If you are more on a budget I can recommend the mics from Rode, e.g. NT1-A (LDC, good for vocals) or NT5 (SDC, good for acoustic instruments / stereo). They are a bit less neutral but have an excellent price-to-performance ratio.
 

burp182

Active Member
Because of the large amount of odd-order harmonics in percussive instruments, I prefer a ribbon in most cases. If you want to see the issue in a pretty straightforward way, set up a large diaphragm condenser and then softly jingle some keys in front of it and listen to the unique distortion that accompanies the original sound. Ribbons are fairly immune to the problem.
While dynamic mics will generally yield less detail at the top end, they also do a reasonable job at sidestepping the distortion issue.

As always, YMMV.
 

erikradbo

Active Member
If you are more on a budget I can recommend the mics from Rode, e.g. NT1-A (LDC, good for vocals) or NT5 (SDC, good for acoustic instruments / stereo). They are a bit less neutral but have an excellent price-to-performance ratio.
+1 for NT1-A from Rode, just be aware that it can be a bit harsh or bright, which can be devastating or great depending on the singer when it comes to vocals. For this reason I know some people prefer the NT1, but again, it can be a bit duller (as compared to NT1-A being brighter).

Beware of the terminology confusion here though: Rode started with NT1 some 15 years ago, then made an upgrade called NT1-A around 2010, then a couple of years ago came out with a new mic called NT1. So if you're checking comparisons, make sure which "NT1" you are reading about.
 

Jeremy Gillam

Active Member
I love my Mojave MA-201FET, great for vocals — pretty much everything sounds good going into that thing. Mojave mics are generally highly regarded I believe and considered to rival many much more expensive options.
 
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