#1
Hey guys, I'm working with a really simple home recording system at the moment (relatively average condenser mic, USB interface into laptop) but I've been thinking recently about buying a second mic to do some stereo recordings or to catch some reverb and experiment with different sounds. I've been considering just going for a $100-200 dynamic mic, which would be good to use for jamming as well, but I'm wondering if it would be a better idea to try and match the quality of my current mic (a Rode NT1-A) if I'm doing stereo recordings. I guess I'm also wondering whether what I'm thinking about will actually add depth to my recordings too (I'm fairly amateur-ish when it comes to recording ahahah).

My budget can probably stretch to about $300/400, so is it worth buying a second mic? And if so, can I get away with just going for something average to experiment with? Or should I go for something a bit better, more like my current mic? Thanks!
#2
stereo micing is lots of fun and definitely adds to your music if you do it right.id suggest getting a decent dynamic so even if stereo recording isnt for you, you still have another decent mic to use to give variety to your tracks. id suggest the shure SM7B


EDIT: i meant multi micing not stereo
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Last edited by Eggmond at Jul 9, 2011,
#3
For stereo miking, you want as close to identical mics as possible. Even the same brand and model aren't necessarily identical. Many companies will sell mics in what are called "matched pairs", which means what you think it would mean.

If the two mics are dissimilar, your stereo recording will sound a bit wonky.

If you get another dynamic mic, you can still use multi-miking techniques, like using the dynamic on the source and the condensor as a room mic. This is not stereo recording, but is a very valid technique nonetheless.

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.
#4
The matched pair concept is a bit of a hoax, imho. A great way to sell two $100 mics for $2000.



Are your ears a matched pair? Hell no!

Some asshole shot off a bottle rocket by your right ear when you were six, and now you have a partial deafness from 10k-18k with slight ringing (tinnitus), right?

...or something of that nature.

Unless you were raised in a bubble something like the above is true.

That said it is wise to seek the closest match as possible. Same make/model will probably suffice.

I have had some luck replicating the human head using packing materials (a roll of bubble wrap) with two mics (same make/model) taped on either side of it like ears.

The results are freaky!! Something about the "hole" in the signal where the head would be (because you can't hear anything where your head is, right?) just brings stereo recording alive. If someone talks or walks across the room while you record and you are alone at night listening it WILL scare the bejeezus out of you...

...even if you know it's coming!

That's called Binaural recording, and again $12000 manikin heads are available, but why?

Stick mics out of a cardboard box and get pretty much the same effect.
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

#5
What are you trying to mic? An acoustic? Electric? Drums?

If you're miking up an acoustic I highly recommend a second mic, but I would get a small diaphragm condenser to go with your NT1A. Use the NT1 on the body of the guitar and the other on the neck.

If you're miking an electric and want a room mic, I'd suggest using reverb plugins. If you really want to mess with it, any condenser will do. I've used both small and large for room mics with good results.

If you want to do true stereo recordings, get another NT1A. A matched pair would be ideal (despite whatever Bubonic was trying to say) because mics DO sound different if they're not matched, but getting close, especially with low end mics, will be just fine for learning. There's all kinds of stereo techniques out there and they are fun to try and you definitely add a lot to your music.

If you want a second mic just to have a second mic and to experiment with (without doing specifically stereo techniques), I'd get something different (dynamic or sdc like mentioned above) . That gives you variety and opens up the door to different sounds.