Getting strong GAS and deep diving into Microphones.

Troubleandahalf

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Studio Condensor Mics to be precise.

To recap, at the beginning of the pandemic I decided wifey and I were going to record some songs. So I pillaged CL and FB marketplace for sweet deals on a nice home studio setup.

Almost as an afterthought I got her a Sterling ST51 microphone, and we were totally happy with it. Having nothing to compare it to.
Fast forward to last week and the diaphragm seems kaputt, and I'm far out into the weeds of trying to find a decent replacement. Or at least the next mic to go into a shockmount. I am already sure that there will be more than one new one coming in here.

Yesterday I was at Strait Music here in Austin, and for 59.99 said why not and i'll be having that to a Mackie EM91C with shockmount and xlr cable. I've sang a bit on it and there are times when I'm rather impressed with myself, and others where the low end is problematic. it's been an EQ fix and since we're painting the house, I'm not entirely on my A equipment.

Now to the next mic.
I'm considering the AT2035, the MXL990, and the guys at straight are all about the Warm Sounds 47jr.
I've also decided that the extremely rare event will occur - I'm going to buy new.
Which of these three would y'all prefer? Also feel free to add other suggestions (just not the Neumann TL102 or 103, I'm extremely, perhaps dangerously, close to running the credit card for it)
Cheers
J
 

Telekarster

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Warm Sounds 47jr.
I think you mean Warm Audio ;) In any case, we've been using the WA 67 tube condensor and love it, but that's not in the price range I'm seeing here, however just saying that the WA mics seem to be nice. Also check out Rode mics. I've used their mics and like those as well. I'm a bit partial to the AT2035 vs. the MXL brand mics, but at the end of the day, in those price points I don't think you can go wrong with either of em. FWIW and good luck in whatever you decide!
 

bottlenecker

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Studio Condensor Mics to be precise.

To recap, at the beginning of the pandemic I decided wifey and I were going to record some songs. So I pillaged CL and FB marketplace for sweet deals on a nice home studio setup.

Almost as an afterthought I got her a Sterling ST51 microphone, and we were totally happy with it. Having nothing to compare it to.
Fast forward to last week and the diaphragm seems kaputt, and I'm far out into the weeds of trying to find a decent replacement. Or at least the next mic to go into a shockmount. I am already sure that there will be more than one new one coming in here.

Yesterday I was at Strait Music here in Austin, and for 59.99 said why not and i'll be having that to a Mackie EM91C with shockmount and xlr cable. I've sang a bit on it and there are times when I'm rather impressed with myself, and others where the low end is problematic. it's been an EQ fix and since we're painting the house, I'm not entirely on my A equipment.

Now to the next mic.
I'm considering the AT2035, the MXL990, and the guys at straight are all about the Warm Sounds 47jr.
I've also decided that the extremely rare event will occur - I'm going to buy new.
Which of these three would y'all prefer? Also feel free to add other suggestions (just not the Neumann TL102 or 103, I'm extremely, perhaps dangerously, close to running the credit card for it)
Cheers
J

Of those three, without having heard any of them, I would personally only bother checking out a warm 47jr. I do have an AT 3035 (the 2035 is a cheaper version), and it's good for lots of things, but even a budget copy of a FET 47 should beat it for most things.

Look into a Miktek MK300. I think it's the best LD condenser at this price point, but I'm planning to get a warm 47jr to use with it in mid/side configuration.
 

woodman

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The MK300 is a true jewel! Gobs of bang for the buck. It's my first-string LDC at this point. Also bought a Warm Audio WA-14 for my wife's voice (warm mids, no "presence peak") and found it was also great for acoustic guitar, although it doesn't exactly have monster gain. No experience with the 47 models, but just to say the Warm Audio line brings a lot to the table.
 

Troubleandahalf

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"Warm sounds" haha yes I guess I meant Warm Audio.
This has been quite the revelation; I'm glad my Sterling broke.
So I did do the deal for a used twice and then put away MXL770. Boy howdy, such a level up for us. Now I really want to know what a 5000 dollar mic sounds like. Because this thing is so much better in every way than what we had. My wife's voice sounds amazing and I even feel like I can tackle any song put in front of me and sound good.
I appreciate all the good recommendations, as I am given to understand that one may own an entire locker full of microphones.
By the way, the Mackie is also quite a value at 59 bones including shock mount and cable. Very direct and punchy. Gonna give it a go at electric guitar room action tonight.
Thanks y'all!
 

studio

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"Warm sounds" haha yes I guess I meant Warm Audio.
This has been quite the revelation; I'm glad my Sterling broke.
So I did do the deal for a used twice and then put away MXL770. Boy howdy, such a level up for us. Now I really want to know what a 5000 dollar mic sounds like. Because this thing is so much better in every way than what we had. My wife's voice sounds amazing and I even feel like I can tackle any song put in front of me and sound good.
I appreciate all the good recommendations, as I am given to understand that one may own an entire locker full of microphones.
By the way, the Mackie is also quite a value at 59 bones including shock mount and cable. Very direct and punchy. Gonna give it a go at electric guitar room action tonight.
Thanks y'all!
i would be very careful about setting a nice condenser mic
in front of a guitar amp. Especially in Texas. Everything is
louder over there!
 

Ben Harmless

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This is a risky hobby. You may wind up with a closet full of weird (mostly old and obscure, dynamic or crystal) mics with strange connectors that you take out twice a year - once to look at, and once to try pointing at something. ...Or that's me. I'm some kind of weird microphone fetishist. It's something about the way function meets industrial design (which also interests me) that I just find hugely enticing.

What I'd recommend against is working up the price range incrementally. $150 mics can make good recordings, and you can do a LOT with a small pile of those. Typically though, if you decide to spend a little more, you're not going to see a linear increase in quality between that and $600-$700 mics - with some exceptions, of which that Miktek Mk300 is reportedly one, though I haven't used one myself.

That said, just buy what you can afford that also won't hold you back. Some mics have cool color. Some just give you more of what you like. I'm a big fan of Audio Technica for the value-to-money ratio. My (subjective) experience has left me unimpressed with the Warm Audio mics. I have a few really nice mics that I treasure, but I also have a pile of dynamics that do the jobs they're asked to do. I don't put them all to work as much as I should, but that's the life of a microphone fetishist, I suppose.
 

Nogoodnamesleft

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I would like some oktavas for acoustic things. Otherwise nothing ever sounds as good as an on-ish-axis 57 for electric guitar to me. I always pick that stem. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I've had good results with a 57 pointed at roughly the 12th fret of an acoustic guitar. It's a surprisingly versatile microphone. And probably the only thing Abbey Road and I will have in common in our mic collections for a long time.

Mics in general - welcome to a never ending and very very deep well of options. Thankfully there are a lot of affordable options. Right now I record in an open concept apartment so, between the fridge, neighbours, and someone in the basement parkade with straight pipes that he likes to rev at random times of the day, I've been sticking with dynamics. Thankfully even the top end options in that side of things are relatively affordable (SM7B, RE20, MD 421, etc.).

Someone mentioned the AT 3035. I had one of those and loved it. It actually was so sensitive it let me know I had a slow leak in my toilet tank.
 

Esquire Jones

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I went through a mic acquisition phase and did a lot of research.

Now I’m perfectly happy using the bare bones standards from Shure : 57, SM7B, and SM81.

I have a Rode and some AT mics for stereo recording if needed (4041’s and 2035’s)

I’ve used the big guns in pro studios for years and yes they do offer more. An intangible, 3-D quality. It’s true.

For me? Meh. If I can’t get it going with the basic tools it’s just never going to happen.

Plus my room sounds like a shoebox even with the acoustic panels I bought and installed. I say get down to creating some music and have fun doing it.
 

Ben Harmless

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I went through a mic acquisition phase and did a lot of research.

Now I’m perfectly happy using the bare bones standards from Shure : 57, SM7B, and SM81.

I have a Rode and some AT mics for stereo recording if needed (4041’s and 2035’s)

I’ve used the big guns in pro studios for years and yes they do offer more. An intangible, 3-D quality. It’s true.

For me? Meh. If I can’t get it going with the basic tools it’s just never going to happen.

Plus my room sounds like a shoebox even with the acoustic panels I bought and installed. I say get down to creating some music and have fun doing it.

This is sage wisdom. I couldn't sit on my hands enough to follow it, but it's solid. I always figure that my house has limits, so if I want to record something nicer, I'll go to a studio. I still do that, 'cept now I bring a pile of microphones with me.

The SM81 being the balance to the dynamics is a solid, solid choice. I defy anyone to record say, any acoustic instrument with an '81 and their favorite other mic and tell me that the results are in different leagues. They won't be. If I'd had a pair years ago, I may have avoided my destructive microphone addiction.
 

Troubleandahalf

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I don't think I'll go too crazy (famous last words...) as I'm still in the market for a 12 string (and I've just picked up a bass). Also I'm getting killer vocal tracks from wifey with the MXL770. However, local studios advertise mic rental. Rates seem reasonable enough that I want to avail myself of trying out a Neumann or something.
This is being a wonderful discussion though, enjoyable new content!
 

Esquire Jones

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I don't think I'll go too crazy (famous last words...) as I'm still in the market for a 12 string (and I've just picked up a bass). Also I'm getting killer vocal tracks from wifey with the MXL770. However, local studios advertise mic rental. Rates seem reasonable enough that I want to avail myself of trying out a Neumann or something.
This is being a wonderful discussion though, enjoyable new content!
Yeah renting mics is a great way to get first hand experience! I used to rent mics years ago and had fun doing it.

Ultimately I think knowing the tools you’re working with is very useful too. The mics today generally are very usable. So many great recordings have been made with the Shure classics.

The only caveat (IMO) is mic preamps. Not to go down the rabbit hole or anything but I’m a believer in a good outboard pre.

Again there are tons of great units. Find one that works for you and go to town. I use a Great River transformer based unit mostly to pair with the Shure mics.
 

klasaine

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I had my mic phase as well.
Go tos are an old SM57, WA47jr. , Sterling active Ribbon and a pair of Sterling SDCs (mostly for acoustic stuff). I do usually run them through a Warm Audio wa273EQ (Neve 1073 clone, 2 chs worth).
 




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