1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

One LDC for home studio.

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by dannyh, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    1,937
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Location:
    North Texas
    If this has been covered ad nauseum, I apologize in advance, but a search didn’t yield much recent coverage...

    I’m thinking about buying an LDC for home studio use. It would (initially) primarily be used for acoustic guitar, and perhaps some electric guitar amp mic’ing (though I’ve had pretty good results with a 57) but there would probably also be some vocal work, some drum overhead mic’ing, and who knows what else in the near future. I’d like one general purpose LDC, and I’d like to stay around $400 max if possible.

    I’m recording with Logic, with a FR Scarlett 2i2 interface. I have heard Focusrite preamps are pretty good, but if someone thinks an outboard preamp should be taken into consideration, I’d appreciate that input as well. I’m kinda a newb, but I have been recording some things for personal use, and also for some other peoples projects as well, but I haven’t really found a mic that suits acoustic guitar recording, at least to my ears (what I’ve tried are an SM57, 58 and Beta 87).

    I have found the Lewitt 441 to be an interesting candidate for the money, at least on paper and through demos I’ve heard. Any opinions on the Lewitt? What other mics would you suggest.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Biffasmum

    Biffasmum Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    263
    Joined:
    May 12, 2019
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Hey Danny. There are plenty about and it's all pretty subjective. I have an AT2020 which is far better than my playing or singing. If you have a few more coins to throw at it Rode do some good entry-level mics that won't blow the budget. The NT2A also has the ability to change patterns and a pad when you stick in front of loud things:
    https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/rode-nt2a
     
    dannyh likes this.
  3. nico

    nico TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    66
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    AKG 414.
     
    dannyh likes this.
  4. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    1,937
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Location:
    North Texas
    yes the C414 is amazing (or at least the old ones were, I’ve heard varying opinions on the newer models). I’ve recorded some acoustic at another studio through a 414. That’s actually what lead me to the Lewitt; I’d read some comparisons and I liked the multi pattern options like on a 414. Not that I think the Lewitt would be the equal of a the AKG, but it seemed like a possible “useable poor mans version”. I’d prolly need to stick with a poor mans version .
     
  5. nico

    nico TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    66
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Right. My first two LDCs were silver 414EBs. I got lucky, and they both had C12 / CK12 capsules. One eventually had to be repaired.

    I don't have the expertise to give you a rundown on all the various 414 models out there, but I can tell you I also own a 414EB with the nylon capsule, and it also sounds very good, and they're usually a lot cheaper than the ones with the gold capsule.

    I vaguely recall (this was years ago) that a cap or resistor had to be clipped out of the circuit. I don't recall the details, but it is relevant if you get one of those old microphones. If buying used, it's usually already done, but good to check into it.

    I now have and use a dozen reasonably good microphones, and the 414s are the only LDCs I own, YMMV.

    I wish I knew more about modern re-creations, but I can only share what's worked for me
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
    dannyh likes this.
  6. still_fiddlin

    still_fiddlin Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    2,910
    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    The LDC I have that I like is the Miktek MK300, which works great for guitar or vocals.

    I've seen good reviews and recommendations from folks I've heard do good recordings with the new version of the RODE NT1. A smoother top end than many of the LDCs in that price range, or even higher. it has low self noise and a pretty good max SPL too.

    I would not bother with an outboard preamp at all.

    P.S. (Edit) multi-pattern is only important if you can use it, and you really must have a good space to make use of figure-8 and omni patterns. So, before spending $1k on microphones, plan to spend a fair amount on treatment, is my serious recommendation. I've got a pretty well treated space, and I don't use anything but cardioid, because in our house, there's always noise coming from somewhere, so the only thing I want entering the mic is what I'm recording, and that means cardioid.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
    dannyh likes this.
  7. t-ray

    t-ray Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    1,442
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Location:
    Vermont
    dannyh likes this.
  8. Audiowonderland

    Audiowonderland Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    405
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    Location:
    Usa
    I like the AT4050 but there are so many great options...
     
    dannyh likes this.
  9. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    9,344
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
  10. still_fiddlin

    still_fiddlin Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    2,910
    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    Pretty sure it was Woody's discussion of that mic that prompted me to get it a little over 3 years ago. It works better for my vocals than the C214 I was using (which I still like for acoustic guitar), though lately I've decided an SM58 is often just fine, when I'm in my more typical gravel road range these days :).
     
    t-ray likes this.
  11. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    1,937
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Location:
    North Texas
    [QUOTE="still_fiddlin, post: 10382073, member: 31499"

    P.S. (Edit) multi-pattern is only important if you can use it, and you really must have a good space to make use of figure-8 and omni patterns. So, before spending $1k on microphones, plan to spend a fair amount on treatment, is my serious recommendation. I've got a pretty well treated space, and I don't use anything but cardioid, because in our house, there's always noise coming from somewhere, so the only thing I want entering the mic is what I'm recording, and that means cardioid.[/QUOTE]

    Ya know, that's a good point...thanks.
     
    Ed Driscoll likes this.
  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    26,385
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Big a$$ topic.

    I tend to lean toward what others say is good when buying stuff I don't know much about, but at the same time LDC mics all seem to have a personality, and it's possible you get better results from 2-3 used ones that are all a little different.
    Home studion budget mics are very trendy! A new good one will get lots of excitement, then the next new one dominates internet discussion and the last one is no longer hot, yet is still a good tool.
    Tons of very good LDCs out there on the used market, that have been used by enough better home studio and lesser pro studio recordists.

    Old GT mics, MXL, Oktava, ADK etc.

    Follow ebay auctions and google the models that are up for auction.
    You can easily get 2, 3, 4 or even 5 LDCs for $400, all of which will sound a little different but deliver good recorded sound in a home studio. Mics work best in multiples!

    Again though, google each one that comes up and make sure it's been discussed and is a good serviceable mic.
     
    t-ray, dannyh and Esquire Jones like this.
  13. Esquire Jones

    Esquire Jones Tele-Meister

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    114
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2020
    Location:
    Scottsdale
    Lots of right answers to this question.

    After all these years, decades actually, I still use my sm57’s and sm81 most frequently.

    Any LDC is going to capture your fridge and the neighbors dog.

    Of course, the 57 and 81 like to be paired with a good preamp and generous compression.

    And I like the 57 for any attempts at vocal recording.
     
    dannyh likes this.
  14. JohnnyJumpUp

    JohnnyJumpUp TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    84
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2019
    Location:
    California
    dannyh likes this.
  15. t-ray

    t-ray Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    1,442
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Location:
    Vermont
    Wow, yet another high quality budget option. There are so many to choose from. Good luck, OP!
     
    dannyh likes this.
  16. t-ray

    t-ray Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    1,442
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Location:
    Vermont
     
  17. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    1,937
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Location:
    North Texas
    Yessir, realizing that more...& I thought speakers were a rabbit hole lol.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  18. still_fiddlin

    still_fiddlin Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    2,910
    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    IMHO, the differences between good LDCs are a lot more subtle than speakers. There may be a few that stretch things a bit, but by and large, if they go too far from what a good mic of that type should sound like, they're not going to last in the market. I like and keep the mics that make my life easier, but I've also figured out that most things can be fixed, often by simply learning how to use mics and placement with certain kinds of input, but also with EQ and things like de-essers. Still, if I have the choice to use a mic that I know will reduce the amount of sibilance I get in a vocal track, that's the one I'll pick. Unfortunately, you really don't know that until you have used a few mics on different voices. So, that's why buying used, good mics are a nice option because they almost always have either uses or can be resold without problem.

    Audio Test Kitchen is a site where they let you listen to hundreds of microphones to see how their response sounds with different inputs. It can help you lose some angst over picking the wrong mic, because for my old ears, it's hard to find a clunker. (But what I do listen for, beside the vocal and acoustic guitar samples, is whether I can listen, repeatedly, to an entire mix that uses that same mic, and how that feels.)

    https://app.audiotestkitchen.com/sessions/default/frequency-curves

    Sweetwater also has a mic shootout page that can also be illuminating (or dumbfounding... ;)): https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/the-ultimate-shootout-roundup/

    Good luck. Don't spend to much time in the rabbit hole. Just get a good mic or two and start pressing the red button (or "swinging the hammer" as Woody might say).
     
    dannyh likes this.
  19. loudboy

    loudboy Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    129
    Joined:
    May 21, 2003
    Location:
    Sedona, Arizona
    I would look at Shure KSM Series and Audio Technica 40 Series.

    Good solid mics, not too much personality (which is good for an all-rounder, and a nice step up from the entry level Chinese stuff.
     
    beyer160 and dannyh like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.