• Microphones
  • Started by Leonard Scaper
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Re: Microphones
Reply #15 on: March 27, 2018, 00:19:25
It's interesting you mentioning room acoustics @Leonard Scaper. I my little studio box-room I have everything wrong in some ways but what I do have above my monitor ( a repurposed 32" samsung TV) is two full shelves of paper the length of the room  open file holders. I wonder if all this paper actually acts to absorb some stray top end ( and possibly a bit of bottom since it is mass) as my little room is quite dead, Even with parallel walls etc. if one room has quite a bit of adsorbing potential perhaps it stops extreme reverberant effects. If you think of the sound absorbing properties of leaves on trees well paper is just repurposed leaves ;-)

"Love and Life is all about connections"

Re: Microphones
Reply #16 on: March 27, 2018, 11:30:20
@MrBouzouki ......that paper is not actually absorbing much sound, nor are the leaves on the trees. Softer materials (more porous) absorb sound while harder materials reflect it. We measure that with Noise Reduction Coefficient where 0 = most reflective and 1.0 = most absorptive. Within that scale wood is around NRC 0.2 and fiberglass insulation is NRC 0.9. The sound wave has to be able to pass through material fairly easily in order to be absorbed by it. As it passes through, friction is created between the sound wave and the cells of the absorbing material and the sound wave is sheared off as heat energy.

Those shelves of paper, though, are improving your acoustics through diffusion since they are not forming a smooth surface. One of the problems with our small square rooms is that the sound waves are reverberating in regular patterns without losing much energy. Those regular patterns allow the waves to crash into each other in the room causing a great deal of auditory confusion. Your shelf of paper is breaking up those patterns and scattering the sound waves around more haphazardly....that is a very good thing. As the primary (incident) sound waves are scattered into more diffuse and weaker spectral waves, the air in the room, which is actually a good absorber, degrades them and the room begins to sound more...musical. That is also why trees make good diffusers of sound....especially evergreens.

There will always be a place even in an unimproved room where the microphone doesn't pick up as many standing waves, btw.
Listen to your room and once you find that sweet spot stick with it.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

"Special thanks to Steve Gleason for making me who I am today." Leonard Scaper

Lenny's Tunes: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=540680


Re: Microphones
Reply #17 on: March 27, 2018, 18:00:22
« Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 18:04:49 by Bluedusksun »
I used to like recording in a variety of places to get a unique sound (bathrooms, cabins, churches), and it still do it but only for specific aspects, but I'd much rather now a days get as controlled a sound as possible and add the effects later in post. Once you record with a certain natural effect you are sort of stuck with it. Since I'm learning more and more about mixing, the options are literally endless with what you can do if you have a well recorded natural clean track.

With one of my old old band rooms, the owners actually rebuilt and upgraded their recording studio and I got to witness the progression. I never got to use it though cause the prices tripled because of it. The had their sound booths built very interestingly, the first poured concrete for the floor (guess for cancellation purposes) and then used something called rotten cotton on the remaining five walls. They built the rooms with specific dimensions that they had a professional map out for optimum acoustic output. Ever since I have flirted with the idea of making a makeshift studio room.

My old vocal teacher, her husband had a studio that they did from scratch built into their old house. He did everything by the book, then realized half way through by experimenting that the acoustics were shit in the house so he had to start over with some none conventional improvements to manipulate the sound. He sort of salvaged it, but he told me some places no matter how you try or what you do the acoustics will be shit.

I've used bass traps and panels before, and all I own are musical equipment and books, so maybe all that stuff is helping diffuse the sound. Honestly when I go record at my family's cabin (uninsulated wood house) I get a certain sound that I love, but I barely get over there anymore. I'm actually recording drums and other things at my shop/office, which seems to be a very controlled environment. I'm going to do some experimentation this year with the place, find that sweet spot you were talking about.

A big thing I had to learn with the acoustic stuff is that there are two different things. One is sound cancellation (I play drums enough said), and the other is actually the acoustics that you are talking about above. Sound cancellation is easy, the actual art of acoustic engineering is an entirely different beast.

Thanks for the tip with the Omni, I'm looking up the remaining polar patterns and there proper uses, it's all very interesting. The more I learn the more I realize how little I know. It's going to be really fun playing with the effects of the capsules, I'm getting the Omni and the Cardioid.

I actually emailed the Michael Joly guy and he got back to me. To update those Oktava's it's going to be in the ball park of about $240 dollars. They are probably going to cost about $300, so the investment is about $550. This isn't that bad because if you buy the already updated mics off his website I think they are around $1100. I consider it money well saved for something else.


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;ó
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On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

Re: Microphones
Reply #18 on: March 27, 2018, 22:47:24
I had no idea good mics cost so much! I use a Konig KN-MIC50 for all my recording needs. I chose it because it was the second cheapest mic on Amazon (£9.99)!  ;D ;D

Re: Microphones
Reply #19 on: March 27, 2018, 23:26:57
I had no idea good mics cost so much! I use a Konig KN-MIC50 for all my recording needs. I chose it because it was the second cheapest mic on Amazon (£9.99)!  ;D ;D

I never know if you're joking or serious @DanJames  ...............    You are joking this time, right?  :)

@MrBouzouki  's stacks of paper on open shelves may be creating some nice diffusion in the corners of the room I think? That should be beneficial in a box type room.

NT1 is supposed to be a very good mic at that price. I don't know why they need to charge extra for the shockmount,  though. I think that is just wrong.  >:(
Someday I want to get some of those AKG C414's we used to use them to mic choirs. Just two of them set to "wide" in front of a 70 -80 member choir...Phenomenal!


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.

Re: Microphones
Reply #20 on: March 27, 2018, 23:34:03
 Not joking at all @Bill from November Sound , thatís what I use. Just imagine how amazing iíd sound with a $500 mic !  ;)

Re: Microphones
Reply #21 on: March 27, 2018, 23:40:47
You're unbelievable @DanJames  ..... you're like some kind of a superhero.  :D

Re: Microphones
Reply #22 on: March 28, 2018, 02:01:16
thats hardcore @DanJames ! love it! im just another idiot trying to buying happiness :)
great to hear about eveyones mics and how they do. mid priced mics are so good now adays.
i started with that and then started buing vintage neumanns and a microthech gefell that i hated. then i bought a pair of
neumann km84 and havent looked back. i can afford to be a bit lazy when micing with them so thats not good at all always
but great sometimes. actually i have three. one is funky and have way less bass so i use it to closemic guitar sometimes.
no boominess and no eq needed! :) i could fix it but i need it the way it is now.

@Leonard Scaper i tried the same peluso that you use some weeks ago. it sounded really great ofcaurse but the recording
ended up in the audio graveyard because of me being to carefull and tense when recording :/
i started with just that one (as i think you use to do) but ended up with 2 more mics just in case (as i think i use to do)

i really love audiotechnica AT4031, a forgotten mic. 100 bucks on ebay i think. so nice stereo spread when stereomicing and hardpanning.

regarding dry vocals i heard this thing about the 70s, that they used to hang a huge duvet from hooks in the ceiling in the middle of the room around the mic. probably much much more effective than the small ones people use now adays. and far away from all the walls too. id like to try this but with my pace someone here will probably beat me to it :)

Re: Microphones
Reply #23 on: March 28, 2018, 04:18:29
@tuff bransch

That sound of that pair of Neumann Km84's you have is exactly what I am ideally trying to achieve, just trying to duck the price tag by doing the Joly Mod. I really adore the Neumann sound, but not so much the Neumann price. I've also really dig the Telefunken mic sound, must be something about German engineering.


You are the second most ridiculous person I've met on this forum so far, with @LePlongeur taking the lead. This endears you to me, so kudos.

Honestly if you are recording into a $10 mic and it sounds that good, then I am far more than impressed. The girl I have been recently doing covers with has been recording herself on her goddamn iphone. I guess it just really shows you how much raw talent bleeds through. I do digress though, you really would sound that much better out of something decent. I don't worry too much about the costs, I see it as an investment. After all you have to spend money on something, am I right? Much love


Re: Microphones
Reply #24 on: March 28, 2018, 12:53:16
Not joking at all @Bill from November Sound , thatís what I use. Just imagine how amazing iíd sound with a $500 mic !  ;)

This is exactly what I was hoping to hear when I started this thread!

@DanJames ....I went back and listened to your excellent contest entry and that microphone is perfect for your voice in that song. I'm betting that a good audio engineer would not hesitate to choose a microphone like that in a studio setting if he had the creativeness to audition it.....no matter how much it cost.

But......I'm also betting that in the setting of a sparse acoustic arrangement you'd be hearing some things with that mic that you didn't like. When the vocal is right out there front and center with little extraneous affects and the song depending on that vocal completely.....that's when those ridiculously expensive microphones earn their keep.  ;)

@tuff bransch ....I just read a review of that AT 4031. It really impressed the reviewer with its edginess on acoustic instruments. I had a Small Diameter Condenser for a while but I just couldn't get tight with it. I guess I'm spoiled with the full sound of my big ol' LDC.

I like what you said about using that specific mic on your guitar for a specific reason. Good microphone technique definitely leads to less EQ processing, which in turn can result in a more open and natural sounding mix. You definitely have that kind of sound.

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Re: Microphones
Reply #25 on: March 31, 2018, 15:18:04
I just use my old trusty SM58 for vocals. I find it slightly too quiet and when recording inside, I have to turn up my gain, fiddle with EQ and add my trusty reverb...

I also use the same mic when busking live through my Roland Cube Street, but again, when up against all the outside ambient noise, people, traffic and such, I find I still have to turn up the volume all the way, the EQ to full reverb and all the settings up high, although I have to be cautious with the gain, lest I sound like a robotic bug.

I'd love a more expensive, clear, more powerful mic but I can't afford it and also if I had one of the ones that pick up every single teeny tiny noise, I'd never be able to do anything as all it'd pick up is traffic!
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Re: Microphones
Reply #26 on: March 31, 2018, 16:07:35
@monty_lameer ....good to see you posting a bit more. Hey...while you're here why don't you slide over to the contest thread, give those songs a listen.....and cast your votes.  :)

I have heard your material and you make that sm58 sound like a million bucks!!!

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Re: Microphones
Reply #27 on: March 31, 2018, 16:27:04
« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 16:34:18 by monty_lameer »
Aww shucks! Thanks!  ;D

I will definitely head on over to the contest area!

...wait a minute...voting closes tomorrow and it's 12.30am right now! Con sarn it. I'll have to vote in the next one.

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Re: Microphones
Reply #28 on: April 27, 2018, 04:26:51
As a music producer I have researched and tested a wide variety of microphones, including for drums, pianos, guitars and so on. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of mics that are good for vocals but rather than naming them I would recommend anyone who thinks about purchasing a vocal mic to reflect on these points first:

1. A microphone is one of many elements in the signal flow, which is usually sound source > mic > preamp > A/D conversion > audio interface > DAW, and this is just one half (the other ending with monitors or headphones). It doesn't make sense to use a top-notch mic if you feed it into a substandard A/D converter. The whole signal chain has to be consistant, starting by the sound source itself.

2. More importantly, a good condenser mic will hear a lot more of the recording space than you do yourself because your brain tricks you into focusing on what you want to hear and disregarding background noises. So it is at least as important to either improve the room acoustics (usually impossible in a "bedroom studio" context) or to avoid recording the room altogether (which in most case proves more efficient) as it is to use a good microphone.

3. Each voice has its very own sonic idiosyncrasies and a mic that works wonders on a particular voice can sound dull with another. This is very different from the mics that are used for drums for instance, which are almost always the same because they almost always work well. It is not unusual in a professional studio to use a $100 SM57 on vocals rather than a vintage $10,000 U47, just because it sounds better for this voice or for the song's genre. You can't be sure a mic will sound good for your voice until you actually test it thoroughly.

That said, there are a few mics that are very popular because they do work well in a lot of situations by Neumann, AKG, Audio Technica, Rode, Shure, Blue, SE Electronics... My favorite mic is not so popular but would definitely deserve to be and is increasingly used even in pro studios for its versatilty: the Lewitt Authentica LCT 640.

Re: Microphones
Reply #29 on: April 27, 2018, 12:27:48
@Lophophora ..... Anyone who is trying to wrap their head around microphone choices and use would do well to read your above insights on as they offer a very informed perspective.

That Lewitt looks like a very cool mic with all those digital controls for switchability. Sound On Sound compares it very favorably with AT 4050 which is kind of an industry standard.