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Old 09-14-2014, 01:30 PM   #1
PB26
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Help choosing a mic

Looking to buy a USB mic at $200 or less. I'll be using it to record my 15w Laney TI15-112 amp. Just me, no other instruments, and playing mostly Sabbath tunes.

Searches on the web keep bringing up the Blue Yeti and the Audio-Technica AT2020. At a bit lower price point I'm seeing good reviews for the Zoom H1. Any others I should consider?

Obviously nothing professional going on here, so I'd definitely like to keep it under $200. Just a recreational player who wants to get some half-decent recordings now and again.

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 09-14-2014, 02:37 PM   #2
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I'd suggest standard dynamic mics: Audix i5, Sennheiser e835 or Shure sm57 via an interface or USB enabled mic pre, like Art USB dual pre:
http://www.amazon.com/Art-ART-USB-D...IN%3DB002KEAT78

The AT2020 might do well but you won't be able to capture the punch as you'd have to probably pull it back a tad from the grille.

Alternately you can get one of the many adapter options XLR to USB (have tested the Shure and works):

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...oqid=1410719860

or a small USB mixer which might be cheaper than the Art USB I listed above, like the Behringer 302USB mixer about $40.

You can probably go even lower on the dynamic mic and even buy used from music stores, GC or even craigslist. I've used cheapie AKG and EV and have gotten very good results, something like this:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/micr...urrencyCode=USD

Shure PG57 is the budget guitar mic so might get that. I've recorded with
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Old 09-14-2014, 02:45 PM   #3
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Hmm, I already have a Steinberg UR22 interface so I guess I'm halfway there. Thanks.
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Old 09-14-2014, 02:47 PM   #4
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In that case just the mic, maybe a stand and a cable. See the AKG package above that I posted.

If you're going new and don't mind the $ the Audix and Sennheiser will serve you well. The Sennheiser doubles well as a vocal and snare mic if you ever have the need.
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:12 PM   #5
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Cool, appreciate the advice.
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Old 09-14-2014, 05:13 PM   #6
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A cheap usb interface, a shure sm57 (used or new) a stand and a mic cable should fall somewhat in your budget.

You could also get an interface, and try using vst plugins as your guitar amp, eliminating the need for a mic However using plugins takes a bit of practice and know how to sound good.

Lepou and TSE make some awesome free plugins. Theres also paid software like amplitube and guitar rig that are also alot of fun to play with.
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Old 09-14-2014, 05:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diabolical
I'd suggest standard dynamic mics: Audix i5, Sennheiser e835 or Shure sm57 via an interface or USB enabled mic pre, like Art USB dual pre:
http://www.amazon.com/Art-ART-USB-D...IN%3DB002KEAT78


I own this interface and can confirm it's very nice. Phantom power and decent pre's and decent gain control, as well as both XLR and Jack input. Can run on usb power or solely on a 9v battery for mobile use (the phantom power can also be fed solely from the battery).

Nice little unit.

Good mics already mentioned above^^

I own the At2020 (non usb version) and it's a nice mic, but it captures the guitar too "broad". The dynamic mics (ie shure sm58) have a more focused range and maks sure to capture a certain mid region which has most of the character and punch of the guitar.

Saves EQing and your source already has a strong representation of this EQ area.

Condenser mics are nice for guitars if you have them solo'ed or use a lot of the spectrum.

Think acoustic guitar's, songs with vocals as main focus (or vocals that are very clean and/or go through multiple octaves), cymbals due to the many contrasting higher frequencies for clarity, wind noises etc.
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:07 PM   #8
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Awesome, I'm a total noob with this stuff and this helps a lot.
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:18 PM   #9
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What you don't wanna do is using a cheap condenser to record a guitar amp.
Not even a good one unless you'll be recording clean or mostly clean stuff.

On the cheap, I'd get an SM57, and on the less cheap a used 421.

Minf though that you might get better results with amp sims though considering you'd be using less than stellar equipment and you have no experience with that.
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Old 09-15-2014, 12:45 AM   #10
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at2020 is cheap but not junk by any means, I record my guitars with it and by that I mean loud distorted guitars. I blend with sm57 though so I get some of the space of the condenser and the punch of the dynamic.
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Old 09-15-2014, 09:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by diabolical
at2020 is cheap but not junk by any means, I record my guitars with it and by that I mean loud distorted guitars.
If they were that loud the mic would clip.

Problem with cheap condensers is, as with all condensers, they have this airy sound which is very good for stuff, but is also very bad for distorted guitars 'cause the fizz lies there.
And there's a lot of fizz there.
Then contrarily to the better condensers, they don't have much more to their sound that the "air", which despite being among the main reasons people get them (the other being "pro studios have condenser mic's") isn't enough for a good sound.

In short using a cheap condenser you're getting a lot less advantages than you're getting disadvantages.
Quote:
Originally Posted by diabolical
I blend with sm57 though so I get some of the space of the condenser and the punch of the dynamic.
The "space" may come from you placing the mic away from the source and picking up more room.

That'd be good 'cause air resistance blocks high frequencies before low frequencies, so you'd be getting a less fizzy sound and reverb to bland in with the close mic.

Was TS to buy only one mic, I'd say he'd be much better off with a mic to place near the cab and then add ambience later on if needed.
In my experience, most of the times it's not needed.

Also dynamic mic's are the mic's with the less "punch" you can get.

Don't get a cheap condenser, TS.
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:54 AM   #12
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If all you need is a good mic for recording an amp, go with the above recomendations on a Shure SM-57. If you already have an interface the mic will be usfeul on a lot of other things as well (especially anything loud or percussive). I agree you don't want a condenser for capturing an amplifier.
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:17 AM   #13
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Condenser as a secong mic, I usually put mine about a foot from the cab but have done other things like stereo room ambience pair (great for leads) but with ATs higher end 4040s.
The 2020 is not crap like say the MXL and Samson's in that price bracket, I just want to reiterate that. It is actually very flat response natural sounding mic that can take high SPL. I have one in my home studio since I couldn't afford the 4040 and am not disappointed it is actually my go to mic.
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diabolical
The 2020 is not crap like say the MXL and Samson's in that price bracket
The cheapest MXL condenser modded with a $100 kit would sound a lot better if ya ask me.
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Originally Posted by diabolical
It is actually very flat response natural sounding mic

Quote:
Originally Posted by diabolical
that can take high SPL.
141dBSPL @ 1kHz with 1% THD isn't much y' know...
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diabolical
Condenser as a secong mic, I usually put mine about a foot from the cab but have done other things like stereo room ambience pair (great for leads) but with ATs higher end 4040s.
The 2020 is not crap like say the MXL and Samson's in that price bracket, I just want to reiterate that. It is actually very flat response natural sounding mic that can take high SPL. I have one in my home studio since I couldn't afford the 4040 and am not disappointed it is actually my go to mic.

MXL V67G sounds at least 4000 times better than the AT2020, and it's cheaper


...ok, maybe not 4000 times better... but I have FAR more expensive mics and I really like the V67G. It has many characteristics of a high end vocal mic, with a price that's not even remotely close

That being said, I wouldn't really opt to use either one on distorted guitar, but to each their own.



If you want a condenser that actually sounds great on just about anything, I'd spend $30 more and get a CAD M179. KILLER mics. Not as good as the V67G on vocals, but it excels at almost everything else.
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