#1
For my first interface, I've decided to get the M-Audio New Fast Track USB 2.

I'll be mostly recording guitar, Electric+Acoustic, and Maaybe some vocals.
For distortion, I'm thinking of using VST instead of my Marshall MG30.

Now for mics, I found this

http://www.guitarcenter.com/MXL-V63M-Condenser-Studio-Microphone-with-Shockmount-273158-i1126977.gc

It's top rated. Is it any good though? Or should I buy pairs, like

Ze Behringer C-2 Condenser Mics (Matched Pair)

And it being condenser, can it take up some distortion, or will I wreck em?
#2
for guitar/some vocals I highly recommend the Shure sm57, around 100 dollars.
I've had one since christmas and I love it, extremely versatile.
#4
For $100 I would recommend getting an AT2020 over an MXL and I'd recommend just about anything over a Behringer (yes, personal experience with the company, not just band wagon hate here...) If you do vocals, you'll want a pop filter. You're on the right track with condensers though. Good job on doing your research. And yes, you'll probably be better off if you dont count on miking up an MG, although it never hurts to experiment.

Quote by ProtestPirate
for guitar/some vocals I highly recommend the Shure sm57, around 100 dollars.
I've had one since christmas and I love it, extremely versatile.

No.
#5
Quote by suppositron
That MXL would sound way better on vocals than a 57.
Maybe. Those are the two mics I have, and with my untreated room, the SM57 comes out cleaner. If I were to treat the room, who knows. Then again, maybe some just prefer the sound of the SM57, like Tom Petty.

I love how people shoot down the SM57 on vocals when it's *slightly* distinguishable from the SM7B, a widely used professional vocal mic.

Artists that have used SM57 for vocals that I know of:

The Killers
U2
Bjork
Tom Petty
Free
Lamb of God

That's not minding all the artists using the SM58, which is virtually the same, again, just a SLIGHT difference due to the different grill, but the same capsule.
Ibanez AS93
Fender Marauder
Vox Pathfinder 15R
Last edited by muso_catolico at Jul 1, 2011,
#6
Quote by muso_catolico
I love how people shoot down the SM57 on vocals when it's *slightly* distinguishable from the SM7B, a widely used professional vocal mic.


Thats because for the price of the 57, there are better mics for vocals. The 57 isn't the Jesus mic everyone thinks it is. Its not the only mic you'll have to buy. Sure, Bono uses the SM57 but hes also the biggest crap in the world

Anyways, look into the AT2020. It'll be good for both acoustics and vocals. You aren't going to want to waste time and money micing an MG30
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
#7
Quote by lockwolf
Thats because for the price of the 57, there are better mics for vocals.
Depends. What kind of voice does the singer have? How is the room?

The 57 isn't the Jesus mic everyone thinks it is.
It's not going to be the 'best' at any one thing unless it just happens to 'click' on whatever amp/voice you have -- and neither is a V63M, or AT2020 -- but the SM57 is largely more versatile.

Its not the only mic you'll have to buy.
Same can be said for all of the cheap low-end condensers that get name-dropped.

Sure, Bono uses the SM57 but hes also the biggest crap in the world
Figures you would drop a Stone/Parker reference.
Ibanez AS93
Fender Marauder
Vox Pathfinder 15R
#8
Quote by muso_catolico
Depends. What kind of voice does the singer have? How is the room?


Most people I record sing, not scream. I've just found that the last mic I go for when recording vocals is the SM57. Everyone on here blindly says "Oh! SM57! Yeah, get it cuz X uses it" then a week later "My vocals sound like shit, I'm using a SM57".

Yeah, most mics dropped here aren't the end all mic but for the situation, its usually better suited than a 57
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
#9
Yes, a number of big name artists use dynamics, but compare that to the number that don't. When we recommend gear without knowing everything about the person and their voice/style, we should be suggestion gear that is most likely to work best for them that's in their budget. They just might have a voice that works will with a dynamic, but those chances are not at all good. We should be recommending the one that is mostly likely to work for them no matter what they sound like.

Now lets look at the current situation. They want to record both electric and acoustic and maybe vocals. Now they mentioned they're fine with recording their electric direct, so no need to suggest an amp mic. So it comes down to acoustic and maybe vocals. Now for the average home recorder, a condenser will be about as good as you can get on acoustics. Not everyone will agree, but MOST will. Now if a dynamic will only sound good on vocals 20% of the time (and that's a huge stretch right there) and rarely ever sound better on an acoustic, why recommend it? By all common sense, the mic of choice would be a condenser.
#10
I was just saying... the statement 'That MXL would sound way better on vocals than a 57' does not ring true for every instance.
Ibanez AS93
Fender Marauder
Vox Pathfinder 15R
#11
Quote by sandyman323
Yes, a number of big name artists use dynamics, but compare that to the number that don't. When we recommend gear without knowing everything about the person and their voice/style, we should be suggestion gear that is most likely to work best for them that's in their budget. They just might have a voice that works will with a dynamic, but those chances are not at all good. We should be recommending the one that is mostly likely to work for them no matter what they sound like.

Now lets look at the current situation. They want to record both electric and acoustic and maybe vocals. Now they mentioned they're fine with recording their electric direct, so no need to suggest an amp mic. So it comes down to acoustic and maybe vocals. Now for the average home recorder, a condenser will be about as good as you can get on acoustics. Not everyone will agree, but MOST will. Now if a dynamic will only sound good on vocals 20% of the time (and that's a huge stretch right there) and rarely ever sound better on an acoustic, why recommend it? By all common sense, the mic of choice would be a condenser.


(clap) Couldn've put it better myself.

Now, this dispute between the SM57 and the MXL, well.. Let me confess.

I don't sing. But I'd like to try.
Mostly I'll be recording clean guitar and acoustic, and VSTing the distortion.

From the conversation, I derive that there's not much difference between the two.

Seems like I'm getting a better acoustic guitar. Where should I spend more money in my budget, IYO?
#12
sandyman323 is right... if you're 'maybe' doing vocals, but most likely recording acoustic and then running your electric direct, you might as well get a condenser and invest in some room dampening.
Ibanez AS93
Fender Marauder
Vox Pathfinder 15R
#13
Quote by muso_catolico
sandyman323 is right... if you're 'maybe' doing vocals, but most likely recording acoustic and then running your electric direct, you might as well get a condenser and invest in some room dampening.


Ummmm I'll be recording in my room.

Like, the only soft thing is my matress. On which I'll be sitting and playing.
...does that even make a difference?
#14
Quote by ingames
Ummmm I'll be recording in my room.

Like, the only soft thing is my matress. On which I'll be sitting and playing.
...does that even make a difference?
You can get six 2 inch thick, 2'x4' sheets of mineral rockwool for about forty bucks. Spring a little bit more for some wood, wood glue, burlap, and staples and you can put together six panels to hang up. They will help if placed properly. That's a start... others will have more insight than I.
Ibanez AS93
Fender Marauder
Vox Pathfinder 15R
#15
No one mic, especially in the $100 range, is going to solve all of your problems.

Still it can't hurt to have an SM57 laying around. If you have an idea and want to stick a mic in front of an amp and record a riff before you have to leave for work...

SM57 will work. It will even sound halfway respectable.

Think about it like a gun. You can get a laser-sighted assault rifle with hollow-point rounds and a scope, etc., etc., etc.

But if you by chance have to blast a cap in someone's sorry ass in self defense?

Nothing wrong with a 6-shooter.

Just saying...
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

#16
Quote by Bubonic Chronic

Nothing wrong with a 6-shooter.

Just saying...



Except when you're bird hunting. Or maybe some deer hunting.

Best of luck to you on that
#17
bear in mind the results you get with an SM57 vary a great deal with the preamp you use. most big artists that use it in the studio run it through top of the range gear which determine the final sound as much as the choice of mic. id recommend getting a condenser as they sound much better for recorded vocals and acoustic and using a VST for the electric will sound better than recording your marshall
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Tell me what nation on this earth, was not born of tragedy-Primordial
#18
Quote by Bubonic Chronic
No one mic, especially in the $100 range, is going to solve all of your problems.


I've got a year to learn producing and recording until i go to study in the UK.
They've got pro studios in the uni. I just want to experiment, and mostly learn how to do crazy productions like

Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead. Dense, multi layered, cool sounding.

So; SM57 or the MXL?
#19
id go with the MXL
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Tell me what nation on this earth, was not born of tragedy-Primordial
#20
Ideally, you'll get two mics because you have at least two very different jobs that require two very different tools.

Miking up an electric guitar, the standard starting point is something like an SM57. Miking a lead vocal, the standard starting point is generally a large-diaphragm condensor.

I say "starting point" because these will not always be what you will end up with. I had one singer I was recording that I tried every last damned bloody mic I had on her and she still sounded strident. I even tried a large-diaphragm DYNAMIC mic - like what you would use to get that "big radio announcer" voice... still strident. The golden bullet was my last choice - an SM58, and it was just perfect for her.

As an "ending point", it's not un-common to record electric guitars with ribbon mics. They're very delicate, but as long as you don't crank the ever-loving crap out of the amp, even ribbons are fine. It's not distortion that kills them, it's volume - particularly sharp transients. Like, say, a snare drum.

My personal experience with Behringer has been very positive. I've "outgrown" nearly all of my Behringer gear, but still have a DI box, a V-Amp, a headphone amp, and pair of ECM8000 small-diaphragm condensors that I use for nearly every drum mic setup I do. Eventually, I'd like to get a matched pair of Rode NT-5's. But I've had mixers and rack gear stuff and will suggest that you have to spend about 2.5x the price to get any noticeable improvement in quality from another brand. I'll also suggest that the stuff will be reliable so long as you take care of it. Treat a microphone like a microphone and not a baseball bat, for instance. One of the reasons that SM57/58 mics are so popular isn't because they sound brilliant, but because they're practically indestructible. You actually CAN use one of those mics as a baseball bat and expect it to work afterwards.

That said, for your purposes, a pair of small-diaphragm condensors is not what you are looking for. For vocals, I would choose a small-diaphragm condensor even after an SM58, but probably before I resorted to a Rock Band mic.

If you had to buy just one of those, I would probably go with the MXL mic. Though I have never used one, I hear consistently positive things about them. You'll outgrow it eventually, but it will certainly get you going.

At some point, you WILL want an SM57 or two or three. They are very versatile in that they are adequate for many things and very good for some things. They are NOT the holy grail of microphones, though.

CT
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.
#23
Should work fine but check the price on Amazon.com and Musicians Friend and I got mine on sale and it was quite a bit cheaper.
Last edited by Guitar Hack at Jul 3, 2011,
#24
Sometimes a condenser mic can pick up too much room. There is no one ultimate mic, they are like camera lenses. Just as a pro photographer collects lenses over time, a recording studio collects different mics over time. Some cost over $10,000. Some cost under $300.

Dynamic mics typically have less sensitivity. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes you want to pick up the sounds that are close range, but not pick up a lot of room noise. A lot of radio broadcasters use dynamic mics. They want you to hear their voice, they aren't trying to have a sense of "space" where you hear the room they are in too.

A Shure SM-57 ain't bad at all for $100 or so.
#26
I want to throw the AT 2020 back into the ring. I can say from my experiences that it is a versatile and reliable mic.

Whatever you get, it should probably be a large-diaphragm condensor. If you are going to be studying engineering and production and will be starting off with simple acoustic recording, you will not get the kind of results you are after with a dynamic cardioid mic (which you seem to have been convinced against, anyway).

If you were to have said you wanted two mics, though, a 57 is an essential mic that should be in everyone's kit. Just start off with something a little more sensitive for acoustic and vocals. I personally have found the 57 does good things for my voice because of the extra bass added with the proximity effect (dynamic microphones have much greater bass response when right up close to the source, so I basically record with my lips almost touching the grill - although I have a fat wind filter on it).