Anybody using a Shure LDC?

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by Rich_S, Dec 29, 2020.

  1. Rich_S

    Rich_S Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I'm looking for a LDC mostly for acoustic guitar and vocals. $300 is a do-able price. There are a ton of LDCs in this range, the Rode NT-1 and NT-1A are obvious choices, but there are many others. There's also the Shure SM7B, which while not a condenser is functionally similar: wide, flat response for vocal and acoustic instruments.

    As I got farther down the rabbit hole, I realized that there are a couple of Shure LDCs that are not mentioned often, but the few reviews I saw were quite good. A $500 KSM32 would be nice, but I'd probably settle on the $300 SM27.

    Is anybody using a Shure LDC, and how do you like it? Why are they so infrequently mentioned compared to the competition.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
  2. loudboy

    loudboy Tele-Meister

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    They're good, solid mics - a definite step up from the Chinese entry-level LDCs.

    Another solid choice are the Audio-Technica 40 Series.

    Workmanlike, they won't give the magic that a real high-ender can give you, but they'll generally give you a recording that sounds just fine.
     
  3. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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  4. still_fiddlin

    still_fiddlin Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Well, really, they don't have a lot of LDC mics, at least historically, in that price range.

    I have heard some really nice female vocal recordings done on the KSM32. The noise specs for the KSM44A are insanely low, but it's a $1k mic (not that the KSM32 is cheap), and there's a lot of competition up there. I suspect you'll find them in a lot of studios, but not not a lot of home recorders. Still, those would be on a list to try if I was going to add another LDC and had a windfall to fund it...
     
  5. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    Shure definitely makes pro grade gear- it may not be popular in MI circles, but in the live sound and recording worlds it's pretty standard. Like any manufacturer, they have their higher and lower end models but in general it's a class above the Chinese made junk at Guitar Center.

    The KSM32 is an outstanding mic, you can often find them for around $300 used. I love the SM7, but it is a little dark on top (which can be good or bad depending on what you want). You'll also need a preamp with a good amount of clean gain, more than the standard PC interface preamp. Sorry, but I've never used an SM27. Shures are also legendary for their ruggedness, I'd buy a used Shure sight unseen without hesitation.
     
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  6. Rich_S

    Rich_S Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Funny you should say that. The AT4040 is the other mic I'm considering. From the shootouts I've seen on YouTube, they both outperform the NT-1.


    I'm not considering going with any of the industry-standard high-end LDCs. I'm 61, and my recent COVID infection seems to have drastically increased the tinnitus in my right ear. I doubt I'd be able to detect the difference between a $300 mic and a $1000 mic. "Good enough" is good enough at this point in my life. I just want something that's different from the rest of my locker: SM58, SM57, e906, e840; they're all pretty much the same.
     
  7. t-ray

    t-ray Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I have had a 4040 for almost 10 years, and it works great. Recorded my daughter's voice with it on this track. (Ignore the guitar - a scratch track direct in from acoustic.)

     
  8. Ben Harmless

    Ben Harmless Friend of Leo's

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    I used to use a pair of KSM32s in a live environment very frequently. My impression of the Shure condenser offerings is that they're pretty neutral for LDCs. They're good for flatter overall response, but with the detail and transients that you're looking for. It's been awhile, but I seem to remember the 32s being cardioid - though that's good in most home environments. The 27s I believe may be a medium-to-small diaphragm, though the distinction is sometimes irrelevant. I'm actually an enormous fan of the SM81 SDC, which isn't sexy anymore, but is very flat, detailed, and honest. It's the mic I want on many things if you have a good sounding source. Trendy, newer mics be damned.

    I also like the ATs. I have a pair of 4033s (in fact, technically small diaphragms) which I really like on my acoustic and similar sounds, but they have the capacity for more brigtness that one might want on every track. I also like the 2035s for budget choices. They have a midrange emphasis that makes things sound kind of chewy (technical term) whether that's good or bad. No more or less color than a 57 though. I've been wanting to try a 4040 to see if it's got some of the 4033 magic with more of a bigness (technical term) than the 4033s, but haven't found a used one that I want to snatch up, and I don't really need a new mic at full price.
     
  9. Rich_S

    Rich_S Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    The Shures are the other way 'round: oddly, the KSM32 has a 3/4" capsule, and the SM27 is 1". The AT4040 is 1"; I think some of the AT20xx mic have small capsules, though they look like LDCs.

    I'll probably end up with the SM27. I want to buy it locally to support our brick and mortar store, literally called Brick and Mortar Music. I know they carry Shure; they stock the typical SM57, 58 and maybe a couple Betas, so I'm sure they can order an SM27 for me. If they can also order the AT4040, I may have some more thinking to do.
     
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  10. Rich_S

    Rich_S Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I need to record my acoustic guitar this weekend, but I haven't bought a LDC yet. OTOH, I'm thinking that maybe my SM57 or e906 would do a better job of recording the acoustic, while rejecting the snoring border collie.
     
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  11. t-ray

    t-ray Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I normally use my SM57 to record my acoustic. I usually position it near the 12th fret, pointed towards the sound hole. I think it does a fine job, especially since the guitar is only one of many layers in a mix. Perhaps one of these days I will do a comparison with my AT 4040.
     
  12. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    I can hear you chomping at the bit,
    however my suggestion is that you
    wait a little while longer, save some more
    bucks and then plop your money down on
    the REAL mic of your choice.

    You'll never go wrong with an actual Shure.

    The SM7B is all the rage right now but you
    don't seem like the type of guy that follows
    trends too closely. But tried and true formulations
    are your best friend. What have you heard using your mic of choice,
    namely the Shure SM27, that you could live with listening to
    for years on end? That's what you could shoot for.

    Sometimes having that sound in your headspace
    will determine what equipment to use. Example is when
    Woody recorded a song way back and had me panting
    for a PAF pickup he was using! I needed that sound!

    Have fun researching and yes, support the brick and mortar shops!
     
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