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Old December 1st, 2012, 01:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Mic recommendations for Acoustic and Vocal

Hi all,

I'm quite new to this home recording thing, and I'm looking to get a good quality microphone for recording original acoustic guitar parts as well as vocals. I actually have a Shure Beta 58 which I think is probably fine for vocals alone, but I'm leaning more towards an all around versatile mic that could pick up a live room performance of either myself alone, or possibly me and one or two more players at the same time. Would an omni-directional type be most suitable???
Am I asking too much??? Sorry if this is an unrealistic request, but I quite like some of the natural room sound I hear in certain recordings

I'm thinking approx 500 bucks as my max

Any help is greatly appreciated!!!

Cheers,
Jethro

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Old December 1st, 2012, 02:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You would probably like to have a "condenser" mike that runs on Phantom power..[active]. I don't know a lot about the brands, but others here know a lot, I'm sure.
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Old December 1st, 2012, 07:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've had a Rode NT1 for many years and it does exactly what you seem to be wanting. It does need phantom power but it records vocals and acoustic guitars very well.

It's also good as a room mic for recording other instruments. I set it about 3-4 feet away from my amps and use the Rode for recording electric guitars as well.

An all round excellent mic and not overly expensive.
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Old December 1st, 2012, 09:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I asked this question recently just to see what the guys at my local 'studio' shop would recommend. They tossed around a few possibles AT's, Senn but said in their view the best double up for vocal and acoustic that could be used live or studio is the Rode NT3. That would change if you went to vocal or guitar more exclusively though.

Theirs a good youtube of Colin Hay 'Land Down Under' using a pair of them.

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Old December 2nd, 2012, 07:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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SE makes a mic called x1, its cheap and really good on everything that has to do with guitar. I believe it has some qualities on vocals aswell, but I havent tried that yet.
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 02:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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First off, do you want to record singing and acoustic at the same time? Or would you be overdubbing?

Do you have phantom power on your interface?

Having a mic with omni or figure 8 patterns would come in handy to capture two people performing in a room.

I'd probably suggest a large diaphragm condenser mic with multiple patterns. You will have to have phantom power though. There are lots of them in the $500 and under category now - none of which I've heard. The Stellar CM6 gets good reviews over on gearslutz. But there are plenty of others.

If you only want or need a cardioid pattern, the AT 4033 is a fine acoustic guitar mic and ok for some vocals. It's going to be a big step up from the 58 clarity-wise. Voices are all unique though. Bono apparently uses that 58 mic in the studio quite often when he could use any mic in the world at any price. Which is a long-winded way of saying that for vocals, you really have to try the mics to know, and sometimes the cheaper one is the best.

Cheers,
Geoff
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 02:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I like the AKG C1000s Condenser.
IF you don't have Phantom Power, it works just fine with a 9v Alkaline Battery.

The new ones come with a Mic stand adapter and a windscreen.
It was my first Condenser Mic AND my second!

It will set you back about $200. Worth every penny.

For Acoustic guitar and Vocals you would be well served.
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 02:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the suggestions....

Curious...anyone familiar with the Blue "Reactor" Mic??? Our local shoppe recommended it as it has cardiod, figure 8, and omni features.
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 02:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sorry Geoff 738....I posted my last comment before seeing yours. To answer your question...I suppose I was hoping for a mic that would be good for a few different scenario's.

Vocal solo
Acoustic solo
Vocal and Acoustic simultaneously
Room situation with up to 3 players/singers simultaneously

I wasn't sure if the last two scenario's were even realistic...as I said, I'm pretty green in this home recording thing, but I suppose I have fussy ears and would just like to capture as honest of a mostly acoustic recording as possible, and I tend to like that live off the floor dynamic. I wasn't sure if there was an all around mic that would be versatile enough.
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 03:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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A Shure Beta mike and the SM 57 and SM 58 are 'dynamic mikes and they are meant for singers or other applications where the mike wants to hear from close-up, and is made in a way so the it rejects sound that is farther away than a foot or two. This is so that a singer onstage doesn't have the loud guitars and bass, etc. going into his/her mike.... This is what causes uncontrollable feed back, also. The condenser mikes, [phantom power/active] can hear a long way off... like a penny drop from 50 feet? So a condenser is for your situation of miking a group all at once. Mike positioning is key to good balance... or two or three condensers for more control... Best of luck!
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 06:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jethro View Post
Sorry Geoff 738....I posted my last comment before seeing yours. To answer your question...I suppose I was hoping for a mic that would be good for a few different scenario's.

Vocal solo
Acoustic solo
Vocal and Acoustic simultaneously
Room situation with up to 3 players/singers simultaneously

I wasn't sure if the last two scenario's were even realistic...as I said, I'm pretty green in this home recording thing, but I suppose I have fussy ears and would just like to capture as honest of a mostly acoustic recording as possible, and I tend to like that live off the floor dynamic. I wasn't sure if there was an all around mic that would be versatile enough.
Take home a pair of those AKG C1000s's.
You will still be under $500.
I think you'll love them.
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 01:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff738 View Post
Having a mic with omni or figure 8 patterns would come in handy to capture two people performing in a room.

I'd probably suggest a large diaphragm condenser mic with multiple patterns.

If you only want or need a cardioid pattern, the AT 4033 is a fine acoustic guitar mic and ok for some vocals.

Cheers,
Geoff
Ditto. And those 1000s are worth having a pair of. Figure 8 would be a great option. I don't know any to recommend in that price range but I bet there are a bunch.
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 04:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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This is the one that was recommended by one of our local shoppes

http://bluemic.com/reactor/
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 06:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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After looking at the cardiod pattern I thought it looked a lot like my b6 capsule. It's a very good head. I haven't seen this one but from the looks of it I like it (ok, I really don't like the looks of it but I can see me using one). I have a bottle rocket and I can't say enough good things about blue. Some guys here at work have the less expensive ones like Spark and Bluebird and we all love them. That seems like a good choice. It's right at the limit of your limit so make sure you just want one mic right now. There will be more. Just trust me on that.
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 08:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov0...les/rodem3.htm

Looks like what you're after. Inexpensive and seems to punch well above its weight. Haven't heard it myself but it's on my shortlist.

It's a small diagram condenser (SDC), but a decent large diaphragm condenser (LDC) will also do what you want. Matching voices to mics is pretty hit and miss, so maybe you should start with a decent mic for acoustic and take it from there.

SDCs are more prone to popping on voice (use a pop shield and don't get too close) but are often preferred for acoustic guitar. LDCs are often preferred for voice and also work fine on acoustic. In reality you can use both types for either and get good, if slightly different, results. I'd rather use a good SDC on voice than a crappy LDC.

I've got some pretty serviceable recordings of guitar and voice together on one LDC mic, with the mic positioned a couple of feet from the guitar, level with the shoulder of the fretting arm, pointing down towards the neck/body join. Adjust the mic position and your performance until guitar and voice are balanced. You really do need a condenser mic for that as you need to be some distance from the mic to capture both.

The downside is you need a good performance from start to end on both guitar and voice as you can't punch in to fix errors, you need to get the balance between guitar and voice right during the performance as it can't be changed in the mix, and you also can't treat guitar and voice differently with EQ, reverb, and compression.

Also, you may find you don't want that room sound after all. It really depends on the room. For most of us in rooms with less than ideal acoustics, the room sound needs to be minimised. Those reflections can mess up a recording.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 11:40 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I think a kiwi blue would work great too......
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Old December 4th, 2012, 02:42 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I think a kiwi blue would work great too......
Yeah, but I think the Kiwi's are 1000 ++
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Old December 4th, 2012, 09:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I think a kiwi blue would work great too......
They're rare as hens' teeth around here

Not too many kiwis in Latvia either ...
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Old December 4th, 2012, 11:55 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kiwi blue View Post
They're rare as hens' teeth around here

Not too many kiwis in Latvia either ...
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Old December 4th, 2012, 11:57 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm surprised they don't come out with a Kiwi all black Now THAT would be a rugged mic
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