#1
Hey guys, I thought it would be fun to make a little shootout between my primary mics I use in my "studio." I'm going to warn you that I'm not an experienced engineer, I'm a 20 year old college student with a fascination for mics and preamps but I do know what I'm doing. I also can't afford high end equipment, so the mics I have are pretty cheap. These mics won't sound as good as your Nuemann's but I think I'm doing okay with them.


I would like to hear what you all think. Every track was made with the mic pointing at the body/neck joint about 8 inches out. There's no editing on the tracks except a teeny bit of a volume boost to make it audible (is that even editing?) but no compression, reverb, anything of that nature.

With that disclaimer out of the way, here's the dirt:


The first mic is the classic Shure SM57, commonly used on electric guitars and snares and only spottily seen on the acoustic guitar. Tied for the most expensive at $100USD.

The next mic is basically unknown but at a recommendation from a friend I picked it up. The Golden Age Project FC1 mk.ii is a large diaphragm condenser microphone designed by a company somewhere in Sweden(I may be wrong about that) but produced in China. I use it on every vocal track in addition to distant takes on amps and orchestral instruments. It's by far the most used of my collection.Tied for the most expensive at $100.

The last mic is even less known. The Golden Age Project FC4 is Golden Age's small diaphragm condenser mic. I was so pleased with the FC1 that when I needed a pair of SDs I looked to Golden Age. These are the cheapest at $75 a piece or $150 for the matched pair.

All mics > Presonus Firestudio >iMac


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPmptUZUZjI
Watching in HD will probably yield the best quality (seeing as it's youtube). If anyone really wants the AIFFs I can get them to you somehow.

EDIT:
There are also stereo matches at the end just fyi.
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

Protools HD
Lynx Aurora 16/HD192
Mojave, Sennheiser, AKG, EV etc mics
Focusrite ISA828 pres
Waves Mercury
Random Rack Gear

65 Deluxe Reverb
PRS CE 22
American Standard Strat
Taylor 712
Last edited by Artemis Entreri at Aug 12, 2011,
#2
Interesting... All of them sound pretty good, but I kind of liked the FC1 the most. All of them sounded a bit distant in my opinion so try bringing them closer to the guitar would maybe give you a smoother sound. Try for example 6-7 inch instead.
You could also try setting the FC4 somewhere close to the sound hole, as close as you get without it being in the way of your right hand. Then use the FC1 somewhere around the 12th fret, pointing at the fret from like 45 degrees below, this doesn't need to be as close as the large diaphragm. Note that the point's not to have the same volume on both, it's to have a smooth balance between them as the large diaphragm mostly is bass and the small diaphragm has some more treble.
#3
If it's just for acoustics, just save til you can get a pretty little condenser and get an SM57 as the distant mic and record through both. 1 mic isn't enough to capture the true acoustic feel (unless you record in a special acoustically treated room or whatever it's called)

In my world, the color RED doesn't exist.

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#4
Last time, while I was wandering in an instruments shop, I found a mic for 60 $. I was curious about it, because the shop owner had put it in a special glass like box. It was a Mascot, a brand that I have never heard off.

I asked him what was the deal behind it? He told me it's one of those brands that produced good quality but never hit commercial success.
I was persuaded the guy was overpraising just to get rid of it, but I decided to buy it.

Guess what ? It's an amazing mic for vocals. I loved it !
Last edited by brain-hammer at Aug 12, 2011,
#5
Interesting comparison - wouldn't expect the '57 to do as well as it did there, up against condensers (regardless of price) but it sounded better than I'd predict a dynamic would sound in the position. Looking at the video I couldn't help notice the mics looked much further than 8 inches away, despite your description. Nonetheless, it was fun to watch and I thought your playing was very consistent (and awesome) which is important for this sort of thing (I guess most consistent would be to run a DI through an amp and mic the amp for a test, but you can't really get the same sound or even DI most acoustics).

Anyway, I think I found the combination of FC1 and FC4 to be the best representation of what I imagine the guitar would sound like in the room but while still giving the sound an interesting flavour.
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#6
Quote by henrihell
Interesting... All of them sound pretty good, but I kind of liked the FC1 the most. All of them sounded a bit distant in my opinion so try bringing them closer to the guitar would maybe give you a smoother sound. Try for example 6-7 inch instead.
You could also try setting the FC4 somewhere close to the sound hole, as close as you get without it being in the way of your right hand. Then use the FC1 somewhere around the 12th fret, pointing at the fret from like 45 degrees below, this doesn't need to be as close as the large diaphragm. Note that the point's not to have the same volume on both, it's to have a smooth balance between them as the large diaphragm mostly is bass and the small diaphragm has some more treble.



Lots of stuff to respond to. I put them all at 8 inches just for an example, some people like you and I prefer closer and some prefer further, seemed a nice medium. As for the positioning, after hours and hours of testing I've found what works for my stuff but I'm always willing to try something new so I'll give that a shot. I somewhat agree with you on the smoothness but I also like a wide stereo image since I play solo guitar.

Quote by Andragon
If it's just for acoustics, just save til you can get a pretty little condenser and get an SM57 as the distant mic and record through both. 1 mic isn't enough to capture the true acoustic feel (unless you record in a special acoustically treated room or whatever it's called)


Not really sure what you're saying here since I have a matched stereo pair and another stereo pair at the end. Using a condenser up close and a 57 in the distance doesn't really work either, especially not when compared to a pair of SDs, no matter how cheap. But you're definitely right that one mic on a mono track isn't enough, though it does work pretty well in a fat mix.

Quote by DisarmGoliath
Interesting comparison - wouldn't expect the '57 to do as well as it did there, up against condensers (regardless of price) but it sounded better than I'd predict a dynamic would sound in the position. Looking at the video I couldn't help notice the mics looked much further than 8 inches away, despite your description. Nonetheless, it was fun to watch and I thought your playing was very consistent (and awesome) which is important for this sort of thing (I guess most consistent would be to run a DI through an amp and mic the amp for a test, but you can't really get the same sound or even DI most acoustics).


Anyway, I think I found the combination of FC1 and FC4 to be the best representation of what I imagine the guitar would sound like in the room but while still giving the sound an interesting flavour.


I was pleasantly surprised by the 57 as well but I do think it still falls apart next to the condensers. I remember getting my first 57 and having someone tell me it couldn't be used on acoustics so I never did. Bah. Works just fine! That being said, it does need a nicer preamp to get the same clean volume as the condensers. On my old interface it would get too noisy at any good volume to record an acoustic guitar.

As for the distance, I think that's a camera perspective thing because I measured each one with a ruler but I agree with you that it looks a lot further away. As for the consistency, I probably could have put ALL of the mics there and recorded them all at the same time and soloed tracks but I didn't have enough stands honestly.
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

Protools HD
Lynx Aurora 16/HD192
Mojave, Sennheiser, AKG, EV etc mics
Focusrite ISA828 pres
Waves Mercury
Random Rack Gear

65 Deluxe Reverb
PRS CE 22
American Standard Strat
Taylor 712
Last edited by Artemis Entreri at Aug 12, 2011,