I'm looking to buy a few mics, but I was wondering: sound quality aside, different mics can color input signals in different ways, right? Or should a mic try to capture the original sound source as accurately as possible?

Given that, what large/small-diaphragm and dynamic mics would you recommend for recording indie rock? I was thinking of getting a couple of standard SM57s, along with a pair of NT5s and an AT4033CL.
Last edited by iforgot120 at Jul 16, 2010,
Mics all have different frequency responses, but it doesn't really make a HUGE difference. But yeah they do.
I'm not particularly experienced with mics but I do own three and the differences from one to the next are really pretty minimal. Especially given how many other variables will affect your sound. (interface settings, proximity, software settings ect.)
Neumann mics (as with pretty much every other kind of mic, but i'll use them as an example) have a certain way that they color the sound. different mics by them color the sound differently and so work better on different sources and in different situations, but they are made to color the sound in that way and have "that (insert favorite mic here) sound"

there are other mics out that are made to capture the source exactly how it is and so have a very very flat frequency response. These are used for certain situations where you want the exact sound of the source to be reproduced (orchestras for example) without being colored.

to answer your question, what are you going to be micing? electric guitars? acoustic guitars? vocals? drums? bass? pretty much all of those, in an ideal situation, are going to need a different mic(s) on them. if you have a tighter budget, let us know the main things you'll need it for and we can find you mics that will work best for you.
Yep each mic colors the sound to some extent.

SD condensers have a bright sound and react to attack well
LD condensers also have a bright sound but slow attach response and distort easily.
Dynamics like the Heil Sound PR40 have a nice warm low end great for male vocals.

Look up frequency response sheets for different mics and see how well they react to each type of sound.
DIffrent mics have very diffrent colour, diffrent frequence response, and diffrent pattens. All this does that each mic have something they are better for than other. Theres a few mics that you cant go wrong of such as the classic Shure Sm57, which is pretty much heard on 99 percent of all recordings, Ifs jazz rock, metal, funk whatever.

If youre about to record a full band drums, guitar, etc. then heres a good general mic pack (Of course you need to have enough inouts)

Kick Drum - Shure B52, AKG D112, these mics are pretty much an industry standard.
Snare Drum - Shure 57(As discribed above, this one is a great mic for cab micing two).
HH - (Proberbly not nessesery for a budget recording but a cheap small diaprame mic is on its place here).
Toms - (maby not so much a need in budget recordings but a few 57s, or the sennheiser 604 is great for this).
Overheads - The NT5s you reffering to are pretty nice, other than that Octava makes the 012s which are great too and in the same price range.
Bass - For budget i recorment recording it directly, if you cabs got a DI or if you soundcard have a DI input. You can use put a 57 on the cab too to get some beef out of it in combination with the di input.
Guitars - The 57 here are great, u can with luck use a big diapgame condenser here too if you buing one for vocals, this can be a nice combination too.
Vocals - The 4033 is a great mic, but i reccomend you to take a look on the Avantone ck7 or CK12. Great sounding mics for a penny.

Good recording.
Generally speaking, the larger the diaphragm, the more "colour" the mic will have. Very generally speaking. That "colour" will usually be described as "warmth." Conversely, the smaller the diaphragm, the more "accurate" it will be.... or that accuracy may be described by the listener as "sterile."

Believe it or not, if you want colourless recordings, one of the best mics out there are the Behringer ECM8000's. They're small diaphragm omni-condensors, clock in at about $40 each, and are categorized as measurement mics - not recording mics. To get a flatter frequency response than that, you're looking at pretty big bucks. I use them as drum overheads, and they're decent.

However, flat mics are considered boring mics. When you buy an expensive mic (most of the time) you are paying for the colour that the mic imparts onto the sound. U87's have a definite 'character' to them.... it's that character that people are willing to pay big bucks for.

The mics you're looking at are good.

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
I think I have an answer to my question, but I should clarify a bit: when I said "different mics," I meant different mics of a particular type, ie would different dynamic mics color the signal differently? I think the answer to that is still yes, but only slightly (?).

Anyways, since it was asked: I'll be recording acoustic/electric guitars, bass, keyboard (through an amp), piano, and vocals. I was planning on using the SM57s for recording the electric guitars and possibly the keyboard, the NT5 for the piano and acoustic guitar, and the 4033 for vocals. Not sure on what I'd use for the bass yet.

Also, I'm having trouble selecting a mic-pre and audio interface. Most audio interfaces and mic-pre's come with phantom power, right? What guidelines would you go by for selecting these?