recommend mic & preamp please

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icedsushi
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recommend mic & preamp please

Post by icedsushi » Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:22 pm

So I'm ordering a Guitar Rig Kontrol because I wanted a foot controller. I also need to buy a microphone that could serve dual purpose for recording or gigs. I'd like to get a single top quality mic.

The Guitar Rig Kontrol has the bonus of an audio interface built in, so no need to carry another interface. It has 2 inputs which is just enough, one for guitar & one that I could use for the mic. But the inputs only switch between line level & instrument level. What kind of mic should I get that can be used with this? No need for a hardware mixer. Is there some kind of super small battery powered mic pre that can go between the mic & Guitar Rig Kontrol?

hauselektriq
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Re: recommend mic & preamp please

Post by hauselektriq » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:00 am

My advice concerning the mic situation is going with SM58 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SM58) for performances and SM57 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sm57) for recording. Both of these are cardioid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardioid) and will only pickup what is close to them compared to other mics I've used. The SM58 has a ball of 'foam' around the pickup to help with unwanted loud noises, bear splashes and squeals during live gigs and practice. The SM57 I use for recording with a double pop filter for vocals. These are the best you can get new as far as a 'bang for your buck' and the frequency pickup range is very wide. If you decide to check them out, look at the 'Shure' brand. The knock-offs are super crap. I know. I've used those as well.
Aspire 4730Z, 4GB DDR2, Win7 x64, Live 8.2.1, Traktor Scratch Pro, MPK49, Launchpad, nanopad, nanokey, nanokontrol, Audiobox, SM57, SM58b

icedsushi
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Re: recommend mic & preamp please

Post by icedsushi » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:38 am

I know those are the industry standards, right? I was thinking to spend a little more money to get something nice, yet not too expensive that it would be too delicate to take on gigs. Budget is about $800 or below. Been considering the SE Electronic VR2 which is at the top of my price range. I'm thinking it would be good for studio & live use & pretty versatile as well. It's a ribbon mic which typically have attenuated highs, but this one has extended frequency response, so I'm guessing it would sound somewhere in the middle of a typical ribbon mic & a condenser.

What about mics with a figure 8 pickup pattern. The other side is pointing towards the audience, that's OK?

hauselektriq
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Re: recommend mic & preamp please

Post by hauselektriq » Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:34 am

You are right. They are industry standards at least to fall back on. I remember seeing a mic at Guitar Center last week that could be changed between 4 types of mics (including the figure 8/bi-directional) with the switch on the mic itself. It contained each of the 4 which I was impressed with. I can't remember the name of it though. 'Blue' brand perhaps? It looked like an old ribbon mic. Fancy stuff. The majority of ribbon mics have a figure 8 pattern which can be good if you are recording an entire band at once and want a little of the other instruments and/or vocals in the same track. This can contribute to an ever so slight wall of sound if done properly. I personally would never use a bi-directional mic as it would pickup things I don't want blended in with my intended sound. The one benefit I can see to using a bi-directional mic (for me, at least) in a live situation is if it's being recorded to be an intended 'live album'. The audience and ambience would add greatly to it. The SE Electronic VR2 has a much lower range than the SM57/58; 20Hz vs. 40Hz. The reason I use the latter is because I want nothing other than what cardioid provides. It's all preference on what you want to be in the recording. Whatever you get, buy new. If you don't like it or it's faulty, you have the warranty to fall back on.
Aspire 4730Z, 4GB DDR2, Win7 x64, Live 8.2.1, Traktor Scratch Pro, MPK49, Launchpad, nanopad, nanokey, nanokontrol, Audiobox, SM57, SM58b

Ben_Binary
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Re: recommend mic & preamp please

Post by Ben_Binary » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:30 am

Rhodes mic's are awesome too.
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dancerchris
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Re: recommend mic & preamp please

Post by dancerchris » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:37 pm

The Shure SM-57 (SM-58 is the same with ball filter) is the closest to a dual purpose mike out there. It is cheap and you can use it to record both in the studio and for live music. However it is really best for recording amps and drums (i.e. loud sources) and because it is a dynamic mike it will require a really good preamp, something most of the input boxes don't have. (I am talking at least $500 for a decent preamp that will make a SM57 shine). Most good studio mikes that work with less (condensers) are very sensative and are not suitable for the road.

My $0.02
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MPGK
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Re: recommend mic & preamp please

Post by MPGK » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:51 pm

Depends on your voice and your music!

The classic Shure SM58 is great for loud rock music for most male voices, especially higher ones, it's known for "supporting" the voice in the low mid frequencies, which is a good thing if you're fighting a wall of guitars and snares.

I'd compare with a Sennheiser e935 or e945 though, they have a finer resolution in the higher frequencies and carry more "airiness" and provide a better speech intelligibility. Personally, I always carry my Sennheiser mic to gigs because I have a "bottom-heavy" voice and in 95% of the cases, SM58s are already provided by the audio techs in charge.

icedsushi
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Re: recommend mic & preamp please

Post by icedsushi » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:15 pm

dancerchris wrote:The Shure SM-57 (SM-58 is the same with ball filter) is the closest to a dual purpose mike out there. It is cheap and you can use it to record both in the studio and for live music. However it is really best for recording amps and drums (i.e. loud sources) and because it is a dynamic mike it will require a really good preamp, something most of the input boxes don't have. (I am talking at least $500 for a decent preamp that will make a SM57 shine). Most good studio mikes that work with less (condensers) are very sensative and are not suitable for the road.

My $0.02
I won't be micing loud sources or overdriven guitar amps, so it doesn't have to be able to take the highest of abuse. Mostly clean sounds at medium or low levels. I'll be plugging the mic into an Audio Kontrol 1 so it's not an expensive pre. Since my pre isn't the best and I'm not doing super high SPL, maybe I should spring for something a little more expensive, I have a higher budget for it.
MPGK wrote:Depends on your voice and your music!
I have a more mellow voice, not so deep, I'm just starting to get into singing & hopefully develop my own style, maybe even some talk-singing type stuff. I won't be doing a hard or strained rock vocal style at all. I want an intimate close up full range sound that sounds like it's jumping out of the speakers even though I'll be singing or talking more softly, so I'm guessing something phantom powered & sensitive would be good for that. I'd rather have a little extra on the top end that I can roll off than have it too muffled to start with & nowhere to go. However I know a small diaphragm condenser would be a little to extreme on the high end sizzle, so something with a good full range sound that's not a pencil mic.

MPGK
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Re: recommend mic & preamp please

Post by MPGK » Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:17 pm

Okay, so how much do you plan on spending?

loquat
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Re: recommend mic & preamp please

Post by loquat » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:27 pm

You know you'll be surprised at how good a nice preamp actually sounds. A Shure58 through a nice preamp can sound great. A Shure58 and a FMR Audio RNP might be an idea.

icedsushi
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Re: recommend mic & preamp please

Post by icedsushi » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:00 pm

MPGK wrote:Okay, so how much do you plan on spending?
see above?
icedsushi wrote:Budget is about $800 or below.

NF
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Re: recommend mic & preamp please

Post by NF » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:47 pm

The Shure sm57 is THE mic in top studios to get the best sound in bottom and hi mids from amps and direct micing of E-guitars, Amps and Drums. The advantage is the very good transient recording in it´s frequency range(bottom- and hi-mids). the highs are good, the low bottom too. for live I wouldn´t recommend a condenser/ribbon mic! the risc of feedback is too high.
live you can also use an EQ to tune in a bit.

For Studio rec I would take the sm57 for near field and a good condenser/ ribbon as room mic. so you can create a natural, nice and usable mix.
the AKG c214 is a very good entry. from the big brother c414 I know, that it´s very neutral.

at least the preamp is one of the most important factors. you still have an interface. try to get on of these two channel preamp: SPL GOLDMIKE 9844

any other ideas??

greetz
The cool thing about techno still, comparing it to most jazz is the improvisation coupled with raw energy.

MPGK
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Re: recommend mic & preamp please

Post by MPGK » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:56 pm

icedsushi wrote:
MPGK wrote:Okay, so how much do you plan on spending?
see above?
icedsushi wrote:Budget is about $800 or below.
Whoops. Skipped that, thanks for pointing it out.

For guitar amps, I'll have to agree with the others, nothing beats an SM57 and you'll have that thing forever, you can spill a whole can of beer on it or drop it from ten feet on solid concrete and it'll still work.

I'd definitely have a look at the FMR Really Nice Preamp, and judging by what you've posted about how you're going to sing, I'd directly compare some condenser microphones: the Sennheiser E 865 and Shure Beta 87C are both great mic's (with their own sound characters) and would still fit into your budget.
I've also been hearing good things about the Audix microphones, so you should check the VX-7 too, although I've never had the chance to test one myself.

Be sure to keep us posted if you tried anything.

icedsushi
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Re: recommend mic & preamp please

Post by icedsushi » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:00 am

OK, some good suggestions here, still mulling it over. I'm going to order something by next week. I won't be using it for guitar amps that often, mostly vocals in the studio & occasional live use. Being able to put the mic through hell isn't my top concern, I baby my gear. SM57 is super duper cheap, but think I might try the ribbon though for a more detailed sound in the studio. I am concerned about feedback for a figure 8 in live situation though, hmm...

MPGK
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Re: recommend mic & preamp please

Post by MPGK » Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:07 am

Yeah, I'd only use ribbon microphones live if you can really predict the technical situation of your gigs, especially for vocals.
And in most cases... this isn't the case.

And you never know, I've often had drunk people falling on the stage in some small clubs, knocking stuff over, even when I was playing acoustic stuff. And if a ribbon mic drops 5 feet, it's probably broken.

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