• Condenser mic - searching for recommendations
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Condenser mic - searching for recommendations
on: February 21, 2020, 11:03:39
Hi kitcheners :)

I am planning on upgrading my current mic and interface to improve my recordings :) (I currently have a bayer dynamic mic). I was thinking of buying a good condenser mic.

I would be really greatful if you could do give me some tips on:

- which condenser mic brands and models you recommend

- what to watch out for when looking at mic specifications

Thank you :)
Rachel
Rachel  ::Rachel::
https://.com/rachel_debattista


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Re: Condenser mic - searching for recommendations
Reply #1 on: February 21, 2020, 11:43:50
Hi @Rachel_D ... when I was looking for a mike I did a fair bit of research and went for the Rode NT1 and  SMR shock mount kit. (NT1-KIT)

The combination of the anti-shock mount and all metal pop filter is a good combination in my book. It has one of the lowest noise floors of all microphones I believe at only 4.5dBA of self-noise.

The NT1a is a different mic, still good but I believe the NT1 is superior in specification hence the higher price.

You obviously need a good interface to get the phantom power from.  It works fine with my Yamaha UR22 first generation interface that I got when I first bought Cubase. You can pay silly money for an interface if you don't already have one with phantom power and your budget, aspirations, will decide how far you want to go.


https://www.rode.com/microphones/nt1

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Re: Condenser mic - searching for recommendations
Reply #2 on: February 21, 2020, 11:44:39
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 11:46:56 by LePlongeur »
Beyer has carried a lot of mics over the years, so comparing is difficult, @Rachel_D

If you are not happy with the coloring or the Ďsoundí of your current mic, it would be nice if you could identify what it is that is bothering you. I.e. what characteristic of your setup do you want to improve.
Please remember that condenser mics need phantom power to operate. So you need a set that is able to deliver that or you will need the aid of batteries. A lot of batteries that is.

Are you thinking of a single mic or would you be interested in a pair?
As a rule, the large type mics sound slightly warmer.

My suggestion would be to wait untill others post their suggestions so you can choose your approach, but my first idea would be to check what it is you are looking for and to check if your gear supports condensers.
Kind regards, Gus


Edit, MrB has post his views. His mama didnít raise no fools.....



Re: Condenser mic - searching for recommendations
Reply #3 on: February 21, 2020, 16:52:29
@Rachel_D ....remember that when you record with a large diameter condenser (LDC) microphone (1" capsule) you are going to be picking up a lot of room sound. I like to think of it as recording the room with you singing in it rather than just recording your singing. A dynamic mic rejects a lot of that room sound. For that reason you need to think about how your room sounds.

One microphone that I found to be a compromise is the Shure KSM32. It has a smaller capsule (3/4") so it does not pick up as much room sound.

Small rooms can bring a lot of low frequencies into your sound that you'll want to be EQing out. My room is notorious for 200 Hz to 400 Hz but I have found ways to deal with those frequencies through room treatment so I use my LDC tube condenser fearlessly.  :D

Also, every microphone has a response curve that shows which frequencies it rejects or highlights. Think about your voice and where you might want to highlight or diminish and see how each mic curve looks.

And keep in mind that most dealers have a very forgiving return policy so you can try out a mic and see how you like ti.
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Re: Condenser mic - searching for recommendations
Reply #4 on: February 24, 2020, 17:42:23
Hi @MrBouzouki  , @LePlongeur  and @Leonard Scaper

Thanks so much for your detailed replies! :)

@LePlongeur Ė I am mostly in search of capturing better quality vocals. Itís difficult to describe what I want, possibly because I have only owned one mic up to now (which is dynamic) and I havenít ever tried out a condenser mic up to now. Iím not sure whether this reasoning is fully correct (please do let me know if Iím not correct about this): but I have this idea that given that my vocals are more on the soft/breathy/delicate side of the vocal-timbre spectrum, they could benefit from the condenser type given that it is more sensitiveÖ.. I have not considered using a pair - I wonder what that could sound like!

@MrBouzouki  and @Leonard Scaper  Ė Coincidentally, I was in between Rode (I was looking at the NT2A) and Shure (Shure KSM32), and so it was very interesting to read your advice! Thanks for pointing out the fact that NT1a and NT1 are different (in fact I am being more conscious about the subtle differences in the names which result in different specs). However, I am finding it really difficult to compare the Rode and Shure counterpart and determine which would sound best for me just from the specs and the response curve :S .
 
With regard to the interface, I am inclined to purchase this one: https://www.uaudio.com/audio-interfaces/arrow.html . Do you have any advice about it?

Thanks for highlighting the importance of the room, I guess Iíll need to experiment a bit with the location of the mic in the room. Iíve just moved to a new space and seeking to finally set up my recording/songwriting area :) ÖIíve just started so at the moment I am in quite a big (almost empty) room, surrounded by hard reflective surfaces, I guess it would benefit if I introduce more materials of an absorptive and diffusive nature.

Rachel


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Re: Condenser mic - searching for recommendations
Reply #5 on: February 24, 2020, 18:05:12
hi @Rachel_D , i think you are going to love a condenser microphone, it is spectacular  ::headphone:: ::headphone:: ::headphone::  and indeed i think it will record the nuances and sound of your voice perfectly

perhaps @budhabuilding can also give advise, when it comes to buying gear i always ask his advise, and he knows quite a lot about interfaces / soundcards and what microphone to choose
me, myself, and Pie


Re: Condenser mic - searching for recommendations
Reply #6 on: February 24, 2020, 19:08:03
HI @Rachel_D

My personal opinion about mics and preamps/soundcard...

Rode Nt-1 is very smooth for the budget ... and extreme quiet.
high frequency can be a bit to enhanced for budget condensers.. Like NT1A

If you want high end, i would go for the AKG c414.
If you want to go for a little lower budget ... maybe se4400 se electronics.
It looks and feels like the AKG but has another sound.

If you want to go for low budget...
Maybe the t-bone sc400 super cardiod large condenser .. (so less room)
It's also very quiet.

Personal i don't like nt2a... it's more like the NT1A

About sound cards, personally i would not buy the Arrow.
You have to many options and this make it sometimes very slow to record.
Technology must not get you out of the creative zone.
(left brain right brain problems ;-)

So i personally would go for the new Motu, M-Audio, Saffire, Yamaha/Steinberg, Rode or SSL.
If you are on a tight budget  i would even consider the Behringer Uphoria. (great value for money)

If you want to go for multi use... maybe a zoom h4n PRO could work....but then again it's a lot of tech with lot's of settings... Zoom H4n Pro is a soundcard, recorder, pre-amp and mics ;-)


Hope this helps...

greetings

Hans



Just set all my solo  music free at https://budhabuilding.bandcamp.com


Re: Condenser mic - searching for recommendations
Reply #7 on: February 25, 2020, 00:10:58
Hi @Rachel_D   Ö. this is a really useful site. It's a US company but at least you can get the idea of what different Large Diaphragm Condenser mics sound like with male and female vocals.

Some mics are better for male vocals but others excel on female vocals.

https://www.sweetwater.com/feature/vocal-mic-shootout/

We use the Avantone CV12 for Melissa's voice. It isn't too expensive compared to others and Taylor Swift used it for her earlier albums and she could afford to use any mic she wanted.
I also kind of liked the sound of the Audio Technica AT 4033 when I heard it in a YouTube mic shootout. I would probably buy that if we didn't have the Avantone.
To me the Warm Audio WA 87 at the bottom of the page sounds really good with the female vocals.

I, of course, don't know about the pricing and availability of any of these mics in your part of the world. 
Bill
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound

November Sound is based on the Mother, Father & Son musical trio of Melissa, Bill & Will. I'm the father so anything I post will have my wife singing and/or my son playing percussion.


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Re: Condenser mic - searching for recommendations
Reply #8 on: February 27, 2020, 22:30:25
Thank you @Dutchbeat  ! :)

@budhabuilding - thanks so much for your detailed advice! There are so many products and so much to learn! Iím currently searching about the different mics/interfaces that you indicated :)

@Bill from November Sound  Ė thank you for giving me the US perspective :) I found that link really helpful and a good read! I will check what is available in my side of the world (on my little island).

I really appreciate all your help! :)


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Re: Condenser mic - searching for recommendations
Reply #9 on: March 03, 2020, 10:13:10
I found this very useful link for you @Rachel_D as described by Chris Selim at Mixdown Online

300 Condenser microphones compared with other using the Audio Test Kitchen

This might be interesting for @budhabuilding  @Bill from November Sound and others.



https://www.audiotestkitchen.com/


Re: Condenser mic - searching for recommendations
Reply #10 on: March 08, 2020, 13:36:15
@MrBouzouki greet website... thanks!!!!


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Re: Condenser mic - searching for recommendations
Reply #11 on: March 08, 2020, 22:43:35
Hey @MrBouzouki

Apologies for my late reply, I finally found some time to watch the video. Thatís an extremely informative website, an interesting experiment and a very clear explanatory video on how it works! :D Thanks a lot for the link! (itís interesting to note that the website is also another Ďkitchení!)

Rachel



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